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He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:10,11

Comment

Lost month marked the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights. Not that many generations back, a wife, along with her possessions, was considered her husband’s property; even today in certain cultures women are the unequal partners, sometimes having to submit to unjust treatment and a lack of status in their marriage.

Jesus was revolutionary for His time; He loved and accepted women as men’s equals, appreciating their qualities and offering them support and respect. I guess we take for granted in the UK the degree of equality men and women have before the law and in our culture – derived from Christian teaching.

Equality does not mean uniformity and it should never deny the need for appropriate leadership within a marriage. The Bible tells us to submit to one another in love – which may not be easy to work out, but when we do find the right balance it works so well.

Perhaps we can think about and thank our spouse for ways they lovingly serve us; setting us free to express and live out our hopes and ambitions in positive, godly ways.

Prayer (as a couple)

Father God, thank You for the amazing freedom from sin’s power and penalty through Christ’s death and resurrection. You give us the right to be called Your children! May we serve You as we share this freedom together. Amen.

Prayer (for others)

Dear Lord, we pray for people in marriages that are unequal. Please soften the hearts of those who make unfair demands on their partners and help them to be compassionate and unselfish. Amen.

Final quote

Submit to one another in reverence to Christ.

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