When relationships are rooted in compromise rather than mutual submission, we can find ourselves focusing on obligation rather than honor. When loving others feels like a duty or a task, it loses its luster and original design. Romans 13:8 reminds us to resist converting love to a duty or obligation, but rather to make true Christlike love the beacon that guides us in every relationship. Is there someone that you’ve been struggling to trust in mutual submission? Surrender that relationship in prayer today and trust God to work all things together for good as you take brave steps toward trusting in mutual submission.
Fear robs us of quality, faith-filled, lasting relationships. 1 John 4:18 in The Message translation reveals that “There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” Where in your relationships are you allowing fear to destroy opportunities for trust? Take some time to write out a prayer based in today’s scripture. (i.e.: Help me remember that there is no room in love for fear in my relationship with _______.”) Read over that prayer each morning the rest of this week/weekend.
Ephesians 5:2 compels us to walk in the way of love in the same way that Christ loved us. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget how loved we are. We tend to focus on the flaws and setbacks, instead of valuing our hearts and souls the way that Jesus does. Take some time today to write out a list of all the ways that you see Jesus loving you. Afterward, hold that list in your hand and say a prayer of thanksgiving for all the ways that Jesus proves love to you. Then pray that He would help you to reflect those listed items in thought, word, and deeds through your everyday interactions.
Whether you are a fan of this holiday or not, it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on how Jesus can help us to be more committed to the other people in our lives, instead of just being focused on the relationship itself. Read over 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 and reflect on ways that you can inspire others towards love today. Whether it’s a text message, a piece of candy, or just completing a task for the benefit of another out of love—take that next step. Make time today to pray and remind the Lord how grateful you are for His love and the opportunity to share the love!
Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice of submissive love when He died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. His forgiveness was not rooted in pride, but in tenderhearted submission to grow a deeper, closer, more fulfilling relationship with you. We are reminded in Ephesians 4:32 to lean into forgiveness as Christ forgave us our sins. Are you finding it hard to talk things over, be vulnerable, and offer forgiveness to anyone in your life? Take that relationship to God in prayer today and ask Him to help you extend a listening ear, a tender heart, compassion, and kindness to that person.
TALK IT OVER
- Who is your favorite TV couple?
- What is one gesture that you find romantic?
- What’s your favorite love song?
- What do you think are the key elements to a successful romantic relationship?
- Whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, how can compromise be a setback in relationships?
- How do you see trusting in Jesus playing a part in your closest relationships?
- How does fear rob us of quality, faith-filled, and lasting relationships?
- What does it look like to live out Ephesians 5:2 in your everyday life and in the different relationships you are a part of?
- What can you do this week to practice an attitude of gratitude at work or home?
- How would your relationships look different if you chose to trust those people more?