As a result of last Sunday’s teaching time, I have had a few people ask me about the section of Ephesians that I re-wrote by exchanging/inserting the term “future spouse”. It was a pretty effective way of making the Biblical text immediately applicable to a pre-marriage (and marriage) relationship. So, here it is again:
Be completely humble and gentle with your future spouse; be patient, bearing with him/her in love.
Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to and about your future spouse.
In your anger do not sin against your future spouse: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry with your future spouse, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth toward your future spouse, but only what is helpful for building him/her up according to his/her needs.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger toward your future spouse, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to your future spouse, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality with your future spouse, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for the Lord’s people.
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking with your future spouse, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (selections from Ephesians 4-5)
And now here is the million dollar question: if you were to use this as a checklist for your current relationship, how would you do?