Christianity in the Relationships of Life

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
After these great and important principles of the new life, the Apostle eaters into the diverse relationships of life, giving warnings against that which would endanger them, by showing what the Christian character of each one of them is:-
To the wife, obedience—affection was natural to her-"Thy desire shall be to thy husband." To the husband, affection and kindness-his heart may be indifferent and hard. Children are to be obedient; fathers, gentle, in order that the children's affections may not be estranged from them, and that they may not be induced to seek that happiness in the world which they ought to find in the sanctuary of the domestic circle, which God has formed as a safeguard for those who are growing up in weakness; the precious home (if Christ is acknowledged) of kind affections, in which the heart is trained in the ties which God Himself has formed; and, which, by cherishing the affections, preserves from the passions and from self-will; and which, when its strength is rightly developed, has a power that, in spite of sin and disorder, awakens the conscience, and engages the heart, keeping it away from evil, and the direct power of Satan: for it is God's appointment.
I know, indeed, that another power is required to deliver the heart from sin, and to keep it from sin. Nature, even, as God created it, does not give eternal life-does not restore innocence-does not purify the conscience. We may, by the energy of the Spirit, consecrate ourselves to God outside these relationships, renounce them even, if God should call us by more powerful obligations, as Christ teaches in the gospel. The rights of Christ over man, lost by sin, are sovereign, absolute and complete. He has redeemed him; and the redeemed one is no longer his own, but belongs to Him who gave Himself for them. Where relationships exist, sin has perverted everything, and corrupted the will, passions come in. But the relationships themselves are of God-woe to him who despises them as such. If grace has wrought, and the new life exists, it acknowledges that which God has formed. It well knows that there is no good in man-it knows that sin has marred everything, but that which sin has marred, is not itself sin. And here these relationships exist. The renunciation of self-will, death to sin, and bringing in of Christ, the operation of life in Him, restore their power: and if they cannot give back the character of innocence—-lost forever-can make them a scene for the operations of grace, in which meekness, tenderness, mutual help and self-denial, in the midst of the difficulties and sorrows which sin has introduced, lend them a charm and a depth, (even as Christ did in every relationship) which innocence itself could not have presented. It is grace, acting in the life of Christ in us, which develops itself in them." (Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, vol. v.)