“Every plot in literature or film centers on one question: ‘who am I?’” That’s a paraphrase from a movie I saw recently. I guess the plot wasn’t developed well enough for me to remember more, but the point is worth pondering. For how we answer that question about our self, our spouse, and others will determine how we treat them. E.g., are we bio-chemical happenstances, or are we much more?
The Sixth Commandment forbids murder, intentionally killing a person in vengeance or recklessly. But, again, we should ask ourselves, “Why?” What if murder is not really wrong but merely disruptive to socio-economics, contrary to our current laws, or aesthetically distasteful? What does God say?
Ideally, every person who believes in the Bible as God’s Word will honor, protect, and provide for the life of their spouse, children, and even strangers because they know He made people in His image. Scripture describes only human beings as being created for relationships of love with God and each other through Christ. Yet, most of us are daily bombarded with other messages about who we are.
At the risk of seeming overly simplistic, other voices tell us that we’re more than that or less than that.
For example, one voice boasting that Man is greater can be heard in “Invictus”, a poem by William Ernest Henley, popularized by a movie of the same name about Nelson Mandela. In the film, the courageous Mandela recites, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” And, yes, I understand the truth and need of taking initiative and responsibility for our lives. But when we go to the extreme that “no one will tell me how to live”, then we will not listen even to God’s will for our marriage. How much less will we listen to a mere family member if we are the captain of our soul?
Equally damaging is a whisper of democratic capitalism that most of us are less than the image of God. Please hear me. Although all governments and economies in this world necessarily reflect the flaws of sinful human beings, I do believe that democratic capitalism offers the best opportunities for honorable work and due wages. Yet, the few who achieve extreme “success” and elite status can bring a 2nd order effect of the rest being deemed as less able to contribute to the society and a 3rd order effect of their lesser status, income, etc. deemed as “proof”: those people are less valuable.
Consider some of the discussion prompts before watching the video.
- If this world ranks our value by race, gender, body shape, age, level of education, socio-economic status, etc., who is more valuable, you or your spouse? In what specific ways does this impact your relationship?
- God’s Word says our value is in being created in His image. What voice disagrees most loudly in your life: your family, one of your sub-cultures (racial culture, regional culture, vocational culture, etc.), your nationality, or another voice?
You can see other articles and the embedded videos in this series here.