“But as the church is subject to Christ…” Ephesians 5:24a
Our family dog is inconsistent in his obedience. He enjoys the perks of food, water, comfy living, grooming and attention, but disobeys in ways that stretch my patience and kindness. He never asks for forgiveness, and stubbornly stays with his patterns. I’m supposed to not take offense. He knows the behaviors I want, and there’s been training, but he is often caught disobeying in dog-flesh with a rebel dog-spirit. For me, it’s not a great relationship. I believe he’s ok with the present arrangement.
Maybe this column has gone to the dogs, but I find a similarity in our resistance for obedience to our Lord.
We love “freedom in Christ” but we often do not place Christ and the Word first in defining the parameters of that freedom. Today, calls for obedience that are dissonant with our perceived freedoms in personal time, family time, priorities, and otherwise doing what we please are dismissed as “narrow”, “conservative” or “legalistic.” We toss around the strategies of boundaries and balance, offering these as the reasonable rationale for our disobedience. After all, we are educated, you know.
We love to remind our kids to obey us (Ephesians 6:1). We love messages about how Christ was obedient for our benefit (Philippians 2:8). We teach others that He as a man learned obedience to the Father (Hebrews 5:8). We get almost patriotic seeing the apostles resist pressure to obey man and disobey God (Acts 4:19, 5:29).
Reading John 14:15-26, it is apparent that obedience is not our summation, but His. Perhaps you find assurance that all is good, and maybe it’s me that needs to lighten up.
But maybe, just maybe for us all, there’s a lesson here to learn, before things go to the dogs.