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Rejecting Lukewarmness in Relationships

  • Zan Tyler Editor of the HomeSchool Channel
  • 2002 23 Mar
Rejecting Lukewarmness in Relationships
When I was a college student preparing for law school, and ultimately a career, I found my heart and my emotions (not to mention my life) to be much more tame and manageable than they are today. But marriage and motherhood are very different career choices - they are careers of the heart. As a student, I could set my goals and do the necessary work to achieve them. Emotional vulnerability was not required to be a successful student or lawyer. But emotional vulnerability is, I think, a prerequisite for a career as a wife and mother.

Wedding vows and childbirth mesh our lives inextricably with the lives of our husbands and our children. God created the home as a place of communion and intimacy. And, as wives and mothers, a large chunk of our job description is devoted to nurturing relationships - our relationship with God, our relationship with our husbands, our relationships with our children, our children’s relationships with God, and our children’s relationships with each other. Then there are relationships with parents and in-laws, our children’s relationships with their grandparents, our children’s relationships with their friends, and our family relationships in the church, the neighborhood, and the community.

Life is made up of a lot of relationships, and nurturing relationships in a biblical way requires time and energy. I think Jesus sets the standard for relationships in Revelation 3:16 when He said, "So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."

This is not the standard verse that usually comes to mind when we think of our spouses or our children. But Jesus is telling us that He does not want us to be neutral or nonchalant towards Him. He wants us to be responsive, interactive, and passionate. In the same way, I don’t think we have the option of being nonchalant or neutral toward our spouses or our children.

Today’s society is backwards. We are passionate towards jobs and material security, and much more nonchalant about family relationships. So we focus on the visible--careers and what they can provide--at the expense of the invisible - relationships with God and each other.

Biblical marriage is both exhilarating and exhausting because it requires intense interaction between husband and wife.Biblical parenting is both exhilarating and exhausting because it requires intense interaction with our children. Just as Jesus abhors lukewarmness and nonchalance in the lives of His followers, we must resist the temptation to be lukewarm towards one another in our homes. Our relationships take a lot of work, but the rewards are eternally worth it.

May God grant us the grace and the grit to reject lukewarmness in our homes and instead to energetically embrace and affirm the lives of our spouses and our children.

Zan Tyler is co-author of the book Anyone Can Homeschool and senior education editor for She and her husband have three children and have been home schooling since 1984.