My 10/4/15AM sermon, New Relationship from 1 John 3:1-3, is now online. The idea in the sermon is that having a relationship with God changes things. In fact, you could say your past, present and future are affected because you know Him. I hope you’ll listen to this sermon and find help in it.
I’m reading Paul Tripp’s latest book, Forever, and today was privileged to read a chapter entitled Forever and Your Relationships. Read this amazing excerpt unpacking how forever reminds us of where we are living:
Most if not all relationships will go through times of difficulty and stress. A good relationship, then, is a humble and needy relationship in which both parties admit that they haven’t arrived and are not perfect. They are approachable, willing to listen to the concerns of the other, willing to admit and face their shortcomings. They do not give way to thinking that they are mature and the other person is not. A good relationship doesn’t get stuck in a cycle of expectation, disappointment, criticism, and punishment. It doesn’t give way to the hopelessness that often grips relationships when change doesn’t seem to be happening. A good relationship is good because each person is patient and understanding. Each seeks to encourage the other to grow while resisting laying unrealistic burdens on the shoulders of the other person.
And Tripp’s point of pursuing this is that
“Forever tells us that all relationships exist in a world that is broken in need of redemption.”
Might it be that one reason your relationships are so frustrating and not “good” is that you are not viewing them in the light of eternity which is screaming to us that one day God will make all things new. We are in process. Therefore, be patient with your spouse and those you relate to. God’s not finished the work of sanctification in you or them yet.
I also found this post by Zach Nielsen helpful…
He’s asked by a young married guy with kids how he organizes his life.
1. As you do, I have a rockstar, off the chart, amazing wife.
2. We don’t watch much T.V.
3. We are very intentional about doing things WITH the kids.
4. One of the things we have learned from another family is the idea of “special dates” with the kids individually.
5. Your stage is really hard. Having a toddler and a new baby is very physically demanding.
6. As our kids get older, I’m sure we’ll limit their activities.
7. In the end, I think you just sort of get used to the chaos.
8. There certainly are times when we feel like we are losing it.
9. I think your feelings of “insanity” are somewhat relative (which isn’t to dismiss them).
Read the entire post for elaboration.
Since I’ve been back, some people have been talking (in a helpful way I might add) about the nature of relations in the Trinity. The issue has to do with the subordination of the Son. On the one hand, I think evangelicals must affirm that there is no subordination in terms of being within the Trinity. This was condemned as heresy in 325 A.D. at the council of Nicaea. A helpful summary of this can be found on Wikipedia. This should be distinguished from the eternal subordination of the Son in relation to the Father. This is the function of Jesus. A helpful series of posts highlight this opinion at the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I like how Grudem summarizes it:
The heresy of subordinationism, which holds that the Son is inferior in being to the Father, should be clearly distinguished from the orthodox doctrine that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father in role or function: without this truth, we would lose the doctrine of the Trinity, for we would not have any eternal personal distinctions between the Father and the Son, and they would not eternally be Father and Son. (p.245, footnote 27)
Hope this helps clear up some confusing (and deep) theological waters.