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Four Biblical Examples On How To Thrive In Any Relationship

February is widely recognized as the month of love for many worldwide. In this article, I share my perspectives, inspired by biblical scriptures, on the role of love within as a means to thrive I any relationshipAnd then explore four relationship types between two individuals and the function they each play.

In every relationship, there are two distinct parts – the head and the body – that together form a unified entity. Each part has different functions, characteristics and capabilities. As a principle, the head’s role is to give and provide for the body, and the body’s role is to submit and follow the guidance of the head. Giving encompasses a spectrum of aspects related to existence, including love, wisdom, wealth, insights, knowledge, and guidance. Submission involves a voluntary acceptance of authority and adherence to the guidance, wisdom, and direction provided by the head. With the head and body delineated, the next paragraphs outlines the four relationships and the distinct roles each part undertakes.

1. The Relationship Between God, The Father and His Son, Jesus Christ

God the Father is the head, and Christ constitutes the body, together forming a unified entity as Jesus declared in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one”. God’s role as the head in this relationship is to give to his son Jesus. Matthew 3:13 records the first instance God gave to his son, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending on him like a dove and alighting on him”.

It is noteworthy that giving follows submission; the head initiates by giving before the body can begin to work. The body’s execution of the head’s plans requires the provision of essential resources by the head. God bestowed His Spirit upon His son, Jesus Christ, as a manifestation of His love and to signify His position as the head in their relationship. This is evidenced in Matthew 3:17, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”. Colossians 1:19 also confirms this: “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him”.

Jesus’ role as the body is to receive from God and submit to His plans and authority. Jesus exemplified this principle by carrying out the divine will of God the Father. He preached the gospel, healed the sick, cast out evil spirits, raised the dead and finally laid down his life on the cross for our sins. He had the choice to avoid death on the cross by the ability to summon angelic assistance, as indicated in Matthew 26:53, but chose not to, opting rather to submit to the will of God.

2. The Relationship Between Christ and The Church

In this relationship Christ and the Church are one entity, where Christ is the head, and the Church is the body (Ephesians 2:13). Christ gave us what he received from God. The Holy Spirit, which descended upon Jesus following his baptism, is the same divine presence that descended on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus also gave us the love from God: “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me.”

Christ’s position as the head of the Church inherently designates him as the provider. He gives guidance, direction and wisdom to the Church through his word. This divine guidance empowers us to fulfill work designated for us with effectiveness and purpose. John 14:12 reads, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these give because I am going to the Father”.

The establishment of the Church followed the descent of the Holy Spirit of God, highlighting the principle that in any relationship, the head must provide resources before the body can carry out the designated work. Hence, the Church is aptly referred to as the body of Christ, capable various functions such as prophecy and teaching, as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.

3. The Relationship Between Husband and Wife

Ephesians 5:23 presents the following simile: “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Paul elucidates the husband’s role as the head and the wife’s role as the body. The principle dictates that the husband assumes a role as the head, while the wife embraces a submissive role as the body; together, they function as a cohesive unit (Genesis 2:24). Husbands are explicitly directed to love their wives in a manner akin to Christ’s love for the church.

It is essential to understand that loving and giving are not mutually exclusive, therefore, as the head of the household, husbands are called to love and provide for their wives. When Abraham’s servant was tasked with finding a suitable wife for his son Isaac, the Bible recounts that upon identifying Rebekah as the chosen one, he presented gifts of gold to her and her family. Thereafter, Isaac meets Rebekah, the bible in Genesis 24:67 reads, “And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply…”

The wife willingly embraces the husband’s leadership and aspirations as the head for their shared life. Empowered by the love and support she receives, she channels her skills and talents towards realizing her husband’s vision.

4. The Relationship Between Mother and Child

The mother assumes a leadership role as the head within her family dynamic, particularly with her children. Her nurturing role commences even before birth, as her physical anatomy is biologically primed to sustain and nurture the developing fetus. Every substance she consumes, whether food or air, directly nourishes the unborn child.

Relationship

Upon a child’s birth, the mother assumes the role of primary caregiver, nurturing the child by providing sustenance and witnessing their daily growth. Through unwavering love and selflessness, the mother dedicates herself to meeting the child’s needs and supporting them throughout every phase of life. In turn, the child acknowledges the mother’s authority and guidance by demonstrating obedience and yielding to her leadership as the head.

5. Other Applications

The analogy of the head and the body extends to the realm of business, where the CEO formulates the company’s strategy, establishes short- and long-term objectives, and articulates the organization’s vision. In this structure, the CEO ensures that subordinates receive the necessary resources and training to implement the designed plan effectively. Subsequently, the subordinates collaborate to realize the CEO’s vision and strategic directives, operating within the framework of the CEO’s leadership.

6. Final Remarks

When Adam and Eve transgressed against God, there was a reversal in the traditional roles, with Adam no longer leading as the head and Eve no longer following as the body. Eve’s failure to adhere to her husband’s authority and guidance led to actions that contradicted God’s directives to Adam. Adam’s failure as the head to uphold God’s word and authority over Eve resulted in his subsequent punishment. By yielding to Eve’s persuasion and consuming the forbidden fruit, Adam deviated from God’s command. Essentially, the head assumed the role of the body, and vice versa, leading the disruption in harmony between a husband and wife’s relationship.

For a relationship to function harmoniously and cohesively, both the head and body should maintain their roles without encroaching on each other’s authority and responsibilities. It remains a possibility that individuals may perceive themselves as the head in a relationship and yet not achieve the desired outcome. This may suggests that what they are offering may be inadequate.

To exemplify this, when a child exhibits disruptive behavior at school, teachers often probe into the child’s home environment. This is because children reflect the atmosphere of their homes. Likewise, a wife is the glory of her husband (1 Corinthians 11:7), she radiates the love (or lack thereof) that her husband gives to her. Also, Jesus laid down his life to present the church as glorious, without a spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27). Thus the church radiates the glory of Christ. Finally, Hebrews 1:3 reads, “The Son of is the radiance of God’s glory”. This divine radiance was witnessed by Peter, James, and John during the transfiguration of Jesus, as recounted in Matthew 17:1-11.

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