Scripture Text: Acts 11
We are a people who like to create boundaries. All too quickly we begin to label other people as a way to create a differentiation between us and them. This is where labels like, conservative, evangelical, progressive, liberal and the like find root in our lives. If we can create boundaries between us and people who are different than we are, it becomes easier to proclaim ourselves as right.
A good Jewish person would not interact with a Gentile except under very specific circumstances. This certainly did not include a relationship with God. According to the years of teaching, only Jews had relationship with God, and if you wanted a relationship with God you must become a Jew first. Jesus changed all of that, the love of Jesus knows no boundary. The heart of God as found in Jesus Christ pushes past all of the labels we create.
Many of us are married to people who come from backgrounds which are different than ours. Imagine if you would have written off your spouse before even dating because they were them and not us. We might have missed out on the best earthly relationship in our lives simply be cause we allowed a label to become a boundary. It is not only with the love of God that we create false boundaries, it is with the love of humans.
The differences we experience with our spouses can create tension in the relationship. These differences also bring a richness to the relationship that can be easy to miss when we employ labels and boundaries. Take some time to think about the labels you have assigned to your spouse. Are the labels ones that celebrate who God has created them to be? Are they labels that help you celebrate the joy of being married? Or, are they labels which create boundaries? The heart of Jesus knows no boundaries, perhaps there is something for us to learn in that.