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Seeds of the Kingdom

Marriage Vows (2)

by Malcolm Wood

A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. This is a great mystery, but is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
Ephesians 5:31-32, NLT

Looking at what is said in traditional marriage vows may help us to grow in understanding the special relationship which the Lord wants each one of us to enjoy with Him, as part of His Bride; the Church.

The question is asked of the bride ‘Will you obey Him?’ The idea here is not one of slavish servitude (as perhaps some may think), but one of willing submission to the wishes and desires of the other person, in a loving relationship. It’s a relationship in which the authority and responsibility of the husband as head is acknowledged, honoured and respected by the wife. At times this may mean laying down her own feelings and agendas and submitting to her husband.

We can equally apply this to the relationship we all have to the Lord as Christians. A good example of this is how Abraham was so secure and confident in his relationship with God that he was prepared to sacrifice what was most precious to him - his son Isaac - when asked to do so. God had confidence in this relationship with Abraham and knew He could ask anything of him. What of our relationship with the Lord? Would it stand this type of challenge?

Both marriage partners are asked ‘Will you serve him (her)?’ They are being asked here whether they’re willing to be of use to the other, out of a genuine loving desire to care for and please each other. A servant heart is something to be desired, yet our service should never be to the detriment of deepening our relationships, whether it’s on a human level or more importantly our relationship with the Lord.

Martha is often regarded as the one who was always busy serving and not sitting at the feet of Jesus like her sister (Luke10:38-42). Perhaps she had got it out of proportion on that occasion, but so can we. We also can be so busy serving that we miss out on those special intimate times.

In the busyness of all the Kingdom work to be done we need to be asking the Lord to help us keep a rightful balance between sitting at His feet and serving at His table.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank You for loving me. Help me to deepen my relationship with You so that You’ll be able to ask anything of me and I’ll be willing to do it. Lord, please give me a servant heart, one which comes from spending much time with You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Malcolm Wood and his wife Anna became part of the Ellel family as House Managers at Ellel Grange in 1990. Since then they have been involved with many aspects of the developing Ministry. From 2001 until 2015 they were Directors of Ellel Scotland where they hosted several International Schools and Operation Blairmore and helped pioneer the exciting Creative Inspiration Weeks. They have three sons.


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