Marriage & Teachers: Two Things I Have to Say
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18 My prayer is that this article is both an encouragement and an exhortation. I hope it is encouraging inasmuch as it points you to genuine gratitude in your life. Gratitude is the seed of all authentic worship of God. I hope this article also might be an exhortation to challenge you regarding your attitudes towards Marriage & Teachers.
Why am I writing this article?
I'm writing on Marriage & Teachers because both topics have been weighing heavily on my heart and mind over the last few weeks. My recent interactions with people have moved me to write about marriage. Also, the recent local school board elections have allowed me to observe candidate meetings and social media posts that have moved me to write about teachers.
Let's start with marriage. Marriage is meant to be a life-long covenant relationship between a man and a woman in the sight of God (Genesis 1:27). Marriage is meant to be beautiful, satisfying, and one of the pinnacles of human existence on earth (Genesis 2:23-25). The problem is that Sin has marred and broken things, leaving marriages full of hurt, frustration, anger, and a struggle to communicate clearly with each other in difficult seasons of life.
Imagine two married people sharing the same room, yet unable to speak to one another because the pain is too sharp and the emotional distance too far. It's not hard to imagine. I might be describing your marriage right now. Imagine a husband and a wife who habitually fail or refuse to forgive one another. The bitterness and resentment rest in their souls at every meal and every conversation, hovering over them like ominous storm clouds on a humid day. Many married couples try to numb the pain they are feeling with alcohol, drugs, denial, keeping themselves busy with their children or a multitude of other diversions.
Surely every married couple feels what I'm saying to be true. So what's the answer for marriage? God points us to Jesus Christ and His amazing grace as the solution for marriage. As Jesus willingly and joyfully laid down His life for His church, so husbands should willingly and joyfully lay down their lives for their wives (Ephesians 5:25). God's Word says husbands are to love their wives! Sacrificially. Lovingly. Humbly. Marriage must be built on a man who understands Jesus Christ's love for him. The man who understands the extravagant love of Jesus for him will love his wife in a way that blesses her, values her, protects her, and treasures her above all else.
Guys, love your wives! I know there are more factors to marriage than just this, but this fact might be the most important one. Men often have no idea how much their love (or lack of love) is affecting their wife's soul. I can confidently tell you that the common denominator in a broken-hearted married woman is the lack of security she feels from a man who doesn't love Jesus, and consequently, doesn't love her. So that's the first thing I have to say: Husbands, love your wives with a servant's heart.
Now let's finish with teachers. Teachers are some of the most important people in our culture today. Teachers are essential to who we are as a society and yet, they are some of the most overlooked and under-thanked people I know.
God is passionate about teaching. Don't believe me? The Bible repeatedly commands that children be instructed so that they, as the next generation, can glorify Him and transform the world. In Deuteronomy, God commanded the people of Israel to diligently teach the words and promises of God (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). When Jesus was walking on the earth, one of His main ministries was teaching and He was committed to the ministry of teaching, as were His apostles and the early church fathers (Matthew 9:35). If you take a historical survey of Christianity through the last 2000 years, you'll see one of the main blessings Christians have always brought to any culture is that of teaching and learning.
God commands that we give thanks to our teachers for what they do (1 Corinthians 12:28). Teachers are worthy of our gratitude and worthy of our consistent verbal encouragement.
Public School Teachers? Yes.
Christian School Teachers? Yes.
Homeschool Teachers? Yes.
Sunday School Teachers? Yes.
Kids Ministry Teachers? Yes.
There are numerous quality teachers out there. There are many teachers who are called by God, skilled, transformative, Christ-honoring, humble and effective. For these teachers, we should give thanks. Teachers, please know we honor you and offer gratitude from our hearts.
Might there be some unfit teachers who you can't support? Yes.
Are there some teachers that teach spiritually destructive doctrine? Yes.
Regarding false doctrine and poor teachers, I will submit to you Paul's words in 2 Timothy 2:25. Paul encourages the servant of the Lord to gently reprove his opponents with the hope that God might grant them repentance. In other words, be firm in truth and sweet in attitude with such individuals. Seek to meet teachers where they are, not on the viral playground of social media. If a teacher is spiritually dead, diligently pray for them to be saved through Jesus' grace and mercy. For isn't this the way you came to Christ?
I am submitting to you that God has called His people to enthusiastically applaud & encourage the teachers that love Jesus and are making a difference in the lives of the next generation. We are to rejoice in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). We should not submit to an unbelieving culture that tells us we must distinguish ourselves by our tribal identification and disassociate with others who don't agree with us. If we are in Christ, we are called to encourage Christian teachers, wherever they might be serving or whichever orbit we might find them.
We have teachers at our church from every school district and every type of educational philosophy. In Jesus, we are to encourage one another to keep going where God has called and planted us. When we have disagreements or tougher issues to discuss, let's look to God's Word for direction. May our unity in Christ fill the gaps and stimulate needed course corrections. (I'm certainly not aware of any perfect teachers, nor is that the point).
That is the last thing I have to say: Teachers, I thank God for you. We appreciate your investment in our young people!