Greetings! I hope this finds you doing well, especially under the COVID circumstances. I want to take this moment to tell you about an exciting study coming next week! I will be looking at how the Apostle Paul thinks of the marriage relationship (don’t stop reading now as it isn’t what you may think). I think that many Bible teachers in certain circles interpret Ephesians 5: 22-33 incorrectly. They tend to leave women under a man’s thumb (that’s a figurative way of saying that the man is the boss) and let the man off the hook (that’s a figurative way of saying that the man has less responsibility) in the relationship. Marriage is intended to uplift the woman and the man, and it is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church (“the bride of Christ”). So please check in next week as I begin this series. Commit yourself to reading at least the first two sessions as I take an in-depth look at marriage as I believe God intended it.
Please let me also convey to new readers of my approach to this blog. I have readers – or, at least, “check-ins” – from all over the world. Some use a British version of English in their country while others wrestle with English as a second language. As such, I have tried to avoid “Americanisms,” and if I do use Americanisms, I try to explain them as I did twice in the first paragraph. I also try to use fairly simple language that I hope everyone can understand. Even when I give references to scripture, I write out the name of the book instead of the abbreviation of the book. I also write out the scripture passages as I realize not everyone has a Bible at hand. Also note that not all readers are Christian or Christian-leaning. While my studies are from a Christian viewpoint, I do recognize other viewpoints and places of worship, such as synagogues, mosques and temples.
I intend my style to be one of sharing or communicating with the reader as an equal with different interests. I try to avoid the writing tone of a teacher or being a know-it-all. I hope I succeed in some measure.
I enjoy teaching. However, I know that I have a different approach than many. When I look at the Bible, I examine it for what it says and not what other people or traditions say it says. The latter view tends to propagate cultural or historical interpretations of the Bible that really may not be in the message of the Bible.
As a reminder of my background, I am a seventy-year-old retired male who has been in Christian leadership for way over thirty years, with ten years as a Senior Pastor. I was also a professional social worker for thirty years with ten of those years being in social work administration. No, I am not ninety years old as some of those positions were concurrent in bi-vocational roles. I have earned a Master of Divinity, Major in Religious Education degree as well as a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Program Directing.
My wife and I have been married for almost forty-nine years, and we “went together” for four years before marriage. We waited until the year we each graduated from colleges that were 100 miles apart before we married. We have three married children and seven grandchildren. From the first kiss fifty-three years ago to now as I sit typing on the computer, it has been quite a spiritual, emotional and physical journey – and it continues. May our life experiences be helpful to you as you venture on your own life-journey.