Fourth Sunday After Epiphany: A Life Of Debt And How To Deal With It.
Not all debts are related to money. When Romans 13:8 is read in conjunction with the previous verse (Romans 13:7), we see that giving honor, respect and obedience are also debts that we owe to others. Lets read both these verses together: Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no man anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Today day, let me zero in on three areas of debts that many of us have.
Children must obey their parents as long as they live at home. But they must honor them as long as their parents are alive. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long upon the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3). Honoring our parents is not a favor that we do to them but a lifelong debt that we owe them.
When God says, “Honor your father and your mother,” he is also saying, Will you trust and submit to me? — to my wise, sovereign, and specific plan for you, however hard that plan feels along the way? He chose your mother’s womb as your first home (Psalm 139:13), and then wove pieces of your parents together into a new person. “[God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth,” the apostle Paul reminds us, “having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place” (Acts 17:26) — and whose children we would be.
So, will you take this man and this woman, the parents he has chosen for you, to love and to honor for as long as they both shall live? Teachers will come and go, bosses will be hired and retire, governors and presidents will be elected and leave office, whole nations will rise and fall, but your parents will always be your parents. Because God, with literally billions of options, chose this mother and this father for you. So, will you honor him by honoring them?
Honoring our parents is about honoring God, first because God has told us to honor them, but also because honoring them builds deeper and wider channels in our hearts for honoring him.
Husbands and Wives
Wives are commanded to respect their husbands and to be subject to them Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33). This is a debt that every wife owes to her husband. And husbands are commanded to love their wives Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.(Ephesians 5:25-33). This too is a lifelong debt that every husband owes to his wife.
7 Ways to honor your husband
1. A man needs a wife who is loyal and supportive.
Helping her husband fulfill his goals and dreams is a wife’s main responsibility. Remember that you are to support his vision—he establishes the goals and priorities for your family. A foolish wife will crush her husband’s spirit by resisting his decisions, and God will hold her accountable for disobedience to His instructions. (Ephesians 5:22-24.) If your husband’s goals are not in harmony with Scripture, you should make a wise appeal.
2. A man needs a wife who honors his leadership.
Scripture instructs a wife to reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:33.) What does that mean? To reverence a husband means “to respect, defer to, revere him; to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy him.”
3. A man needs a wife who develops inward and outward beauty.
Every woman wants to be the wife of her husband’s dreams. The inward qualities of a meek spirit and quiet spirit are the keys to genuine attractiveness. “Let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek [mild, humble] and quiet [undisturbed and undisturbing] spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (I Peter 3:4).
4. A man needs a wife who will make appeals, not demands.
If a wife discerns that her husband is going to cause damage to the Lord’s reputation, to their family, to others, or to himself, she should appeal to him, following proper guidelines:
Be in right standing with God and your husband. (Matthew 7:21 and Romans 10:9-11.)
Use the right basis for the appeal: In other words, how will your husband’s bad decisions affect his and the family reputation, or the goals for the family, or authority. (Matthew 6:9-13.)
Discern the right timing for presenting your case to him. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7.)
Thoroughly present accurate facts. (See James 4:3.)
Have right attitudes. (See Matthew 6:15 and Psalm 51:10.)
Choose the right wording. (See Psalm 19:14, Ephesians 4:29, and Ecclesiastes 5:2.)
Respond with grace to your husband’s decision.
5. A man needs a wife who understands his need for time alone with God.
A man needs time to be alone with the Lord. If you react and feel rejected when your husband takes time to be alone with the Lord, you will frustrate him. The richer a man’s fellowship with God is, the sweeter a man’s fellowship with his wife and family will be.
6. A man needs a grateful wife.
Expectations destroy gratefulness. Gratefulness is the basis of joyfulness, and a joyful wife is a crown to her husband. (See Proverbs 12:4.) An unhappy wife is a public rebuke to him. A husband feels like a prisoner of his wife’s expectations if she does not release them to the Lord. (Psalm 62:5.)
7. A man needs a wife who will be praised by others.
When a woman is praised for her character and for her good works, she brings honor to her husband and to the Lord. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31)
Ways For Men To Honor The Wife
I think the best way to describe how to honor the wife is a "LETTER FROM GOD to husbands" ~~ Fr. Giordano Muraro
The woman who is at your side, wearing a wedding gown ~~ is Mine.
I created her.
I have always wanted what is best for her ; before she met you, and beyond what you can give her. I did not hesitate , to give My Life for her.
I AM ENTRUSTING HER TO YOU.
You will take her from My Hands, and become responsible for her.
When you found her, she was beautiful, and you fell in love with her. It was My Hands that formed her beauty, and My Heart that filled her with tenderness and love, and My Wisdom that formed her sensibility, her intelligence, and all the beautiful qualities you have discovered in her.
You must commit to responding to her needs and desires.
She needs many things : a home, tranquility, joy, affection and tenderness, company and dialog, family relationships, and so many other things …
But you must realize that, above all, she will need Me, and everything that helps her to encounter Me : peace of heart, purity of spirit, prayer, the Word, forgiveness, hope and trust in Me, and My Life.
We will love her together.
I have always loved her. You began to love her a few years ago, when you met her.
I am the One Who put love for her in your heart.
It was the best way to tell you ~~ “I am entrusting her to you” ~~ so that you could enjoy her beauty and her virtues.
When you said to her, “I PROMISE to be faithful to you, to love you and respect you for all my life” ~~ YOU ANSWERED ME saying that you would take her into your life and take care of her.
From that moment on ~~ We Love her together .
Not only that : I will make you capable of loving her as I, God, love her ~~ giving you the gift of a special kind of Love that will transform your limited love as a created being and make it able to produce the works of God in the woman you love.
This is My wedding gift : the Sacramental Grace of Holy Matrimony.
I will never leave you alone in this enterprise. I will always be with you, and I will make you the instrument of My Love and Tenderness.
I will continue to Love My creation, who will become your spouse ~~ through your gestures of love.
A great reminder to the husband the great responsibility God has given to him towards his wife.
We are commanded to honor ALL human beings. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King (1 Peter 2:17). This is a debt that we owe to ALL human beings - poor and rich. Any believer who speaks disrespectfully to another human being is disobeying this command and is in debt. He must clear such a debt by apologizing - both to God and to the person concerned.
Gratitude for Spiritual Ministry
We owe an immense debt of gratitude to those who have ministered to us spiritually. We are commanded in a number of places in the New Testament to appreciate, express our gratitude and honor those who serve us in the Name of the Lord and whose ministry has blessed us.
"Honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of guiding you. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!" We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
This is a debt that is very easy to pay. Yet most believers never pay it. They honor and appreciate doctors who have treated them and cured them far more than they honor and appreciate The Priest and the Parish that have blessed them. That only proves that they value their physical health more than they value their spiritual health.
Let us seek with all our hearts to live free from every form of debt at all times.
Owe no man any thing...