A Regimen of Relationship

What does the Bible say about relationships?  I have found three principles that I believe will make for healthy and fruitful relationships, the lack (or antithesis) of which will do nothing but cause damage and debilitation to those who love one another.

It is really quite simple in conception, though in execution it becomes a more formidable challenge, whatever the nature of the relationship, whether relating to our spouses and families, to our neighborhoods and places of work, or to our church community.  Here are the three:

1. Submit to one another;
2. Honor one another;
3. Love one another more and more.

History’s Right-Side

 One hears talk amongst our contemporaries of the need to be on the “right-side” of history.  It is a decidedly western concept, one that is marinated in the notion that human history is progressing, both linearly in destiny and qualitatively in value.

The idea that human affairs are moving in a particular and positive direction actually stems from the core teachings (i.e. biblical) of the Judeo-Christian heritage; I am not certain that it is anything other than a novel concept comparative to other world-views of historical import.

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

    We sing a song in our church entitled, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.”  It is a beautiful, slowly-paced reflective song that speaks to our beloved Lord’s sovereignty over history and of His love for each of us.  The lyrics are as follows:

“… And history itself belongs to you/ Alpha and Omega, You have loved me, and I will share eternity with you/ It’s all about you, Jesus, It’s not about me/ As if you should do things my way, You alone are God, and I surrender to your way.”

Speaking the Truth in Love

 Ah, civility, where have you gone?  You were one of the trademarks integral to a fruitful society.  You respected your elders, your peers and you wanted to establish an example for those coming after you.  You always saw beyond the nose of your self, including your sense of self-rightness.

You had a sense of restraint that in no way diminished your convictions; in truth, those same core principles were augmented by a deportment and disposition that afforded respect to others, even those with whom you disagreed, however fundamentally.

Harbingers of Holiness

    The little lady likes a prize from the machines at the market.  She got a miniature Denver Broncos hat on her first try that she gave to her Bronco-supporting Daddy.  He was gratified by her thoughtfulness and she was elated by his gratitude.

Pop-Pop had every right to anticipate that the next hat would feature the New England Patriots logo and colors.  Amber made her request, Pop-Pop inserted the requisite quarters, and out popped a hat – It was the New York Giants!  Uuggh!

A House Divided

King William IV of England wrote this memorandum concerning the prospect of national prosperity to his newly-installed government in November 1830:

In order to attain this desirable end, the King deems it very essential that endeavours should be made to prevail upon the Members of the Two Great and Influential Parties in the Country to lay aside the feelings which have so long produced a Spirit of Political Hostility between them … and to unite in the Service of the State those of both Parties whose general character, abilities, experience and Patriotism would offer to the Country the happy prospect of a Government founded upon a secure and permanent Basis.”

Lucy Lacey, RIP

 Her black eyes bore a rich crystal-like lucidity.  She would bathe in the sun with sensuous abandon for hours, with fur engulfed and aglow with its rays.  And, ever sensitive to spiritual presence, the lady would fervently purr on my lap while we prayed.

You will have noticed my accentuation of adjectival and adverbial usage in reference to Lucy, my lovely little feline, an accentuation applied if for no other reason than the fact that I gladly served as steward of her welfare as God gave her breath. 

Aesop Should Have Taken a Horse and Buggy Ride!

  We took the lovely little kiddo on a horse-and-buggy ride.  She was enchanted and her grand-mother and I were also charmed.  Amber’s pleasure was foremost in mind but, finding myself challenged and feeling pedantic, I extracted a point of principle.

Our driver was a fine young man, just up from the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia where he worked with Clydesdale horses.  He was personable, engaging and quite honest concerning what he did not yet know. 

We were quite satisfied, though I struggled on one very important count:  I knew a great deal more than did our affable host and very much wanted to share what I knew.  To speak or not to speak became the pressing dilemma of my existential conundrum. 

The Best and Worst of Times

   The Best and Worst of Times 

Charles Dickens wrote of the advance of the French Revolution that it was both the best of times and the worst of times.  It was a time of anticipation, borne along by hope, but it was also a period during which the oppression of poverty and despair abounded.

Christmas affords a similar duality of sentiment, though more a spiritual than a social one.  We are presented with two seemingly alternate expressions of Christmas, the one ostensibly at fundamental odds with the other.

Ten Years Have Passed

September is a sensitive month.  Summer enters decline, children return to school and (for some) ragweed provokes allergic responses.

It began catastrophically and insidiously in 1939, when the Nazis stormed Poland, thereby consigning the world to the 2nd World War.  W.H. Auden wrote:

“I sit in one of the dives/On Fifty-Second Street/Uncertain and afraid/As the clever hopes expire /Of a low dishonest decade:/Waves of anger and fear/Circulate over the bright/And darkened lands of the earth,/Obsessing our private lives;/The unmentionable odour of death/Offends the September night.”

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