Recently the topic was brought up amongst my brothers and their friend. Basically, the sum-up is:
If a girl ain't gonna be a lady, then there ain't no way I'm gonna be a gentleman to her.
Well, I'd like to introduce a thought. No, I'd like to show you a principle, even, a command straight from the Word of God on this matter.
Our lives are to be lived unconditionally. Everything about them should be unconditional.
"and trust in the LORD." - Psalm 4:5b.
"And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind...The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' "
I see that nowhere in the scriptures does it ever imply,
"and trust in the LORD, but only if everything's going OK, life is stable, and you're not scared."
nor does it say,
"You shall love the Lord your GOD, when you want to, when you feel like it, when He's blessed you and when you feel like obeying and serving Him...You shall love your neighbour- but only those that love you back, and you don't have to love the annoying, mean, cruel, unreasonable, neighbours."
Does it say that? I should say not! How about this verse,
"Appeal to...the younger women as sisters, in all purity." -1 Timothy 5:1-2
May I ask, my friend, if it says,
"Appeal to...the younger women as sisters, in all purity, but only if they're acting as young women and not like cows, only if they're being ladies."
Dear me! What is the catastrophe here?
It is that we are adding to the Word of God. You can see clearly above and in the examples prior that I added some almost humorous phrases. But...only...you don't HAVE to... et cetera.
"I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;"
We cannot make additions- "But actually if they aren't being ladies, you don't have to treat them gently." or "But actually if you don't feel like it, you don't have to submit." etc.
This is a dire sin! We cannot even touch it with a ten foot pole!
The verses in the Bible stop after commanding us to not lie. Period. We CANNOT add "But..." It CANNOT happen! The LORD, in His commandment to love our neighbour as ourself, said exactly that, and stopped there. Period! We cannot add more to these verses, even in our heads, or our mentality, or our actions.
As you can see in the verses above, the way we live needs to be unconditional. We cannot base our trust in God on the conditions around us. We cannot base our love for others on the way they act or the condition we or they are in. We cannot base how we treat others on the way they act or don't act.
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into accound a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;...."
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Please bear with me as I beg you to notice: Love is patient not only when it feels like it! Love is kind not only when it feels like it! This is a major point and needs to be exercised in our daily life!
Submission as a woman cannot be conditional- "Oh, I can't submit to him because he's such an ungentle man."
Love as a man cannot be conditional- "Oh, I can't love her because she's so unsubmissive."
Marriage cannot work that way. Obviously! If it worked that way, no one would do anything and the marriage would end up most likely like the marriages of those in the world: ended.
So please, as you take your next step, remember to be unconditional.
The greatest example of unconditional love is that of our Savior's!
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
We are to be imitators of Christ. If His love is unconditional, so should ours be!