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Summary: : A home is more than a house or the place where one lives; that’s merely space. A home is family, it’s security, it’s provision, and it’s love in the relationships that are found there; it is more than space – it is a place where life is fleshed out in

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INTRODUCTION

Opening Statement: A home is more than a house or the place where one lives; that’s merely space. A home is family, it’s security, it’s provision, and it’s love in the relationships that are found there; it is more than space – it is a place where life is fleshed out in all of its variegated forms. It’s so important to have excellence in leadership and service there.

Title: Excellence in Family Living

Theme: Leadership and Service Excellence Series

Text: Colossians 3:18-21. Colossians offers us some help in establishing a home of excellence.

Background: Colossians is one of the most Christ-centered books of the Bible. Anyone who has ever searched for an answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?” must eventually come to Colossians. Colossians answers this question with “Christ is Supreme over all persons and things!” And, if He is supreme, then He is sufficient for all of our spiritual needs. Jesus does not need supplemented. We need not seek other mysterious religious experiences outside of knowing and encountering Him as Savior and Friend. And, if He can hold together and sustain a universe (1:15-17) as Paul asserts in Colossians, can He not also hold my life together, hold my family together, hold my marriage together, hold our society together and sustain us?

Just a surely as the principles that govern this great universe reveal a system of order and structure, even so, God also has a system of order and structure within the family unit. This order and structure is meant to make life better for everyone.

Key Word: Four #1 PRIORITIES are given in this passage that govern this great universal idea of the family unit. We will look at 2 of them today. Then we will look at 2 of them the next time I speak.

Recitation: 18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

I. Number 1 Priority for Wives

II. Number 1 Priority for Husbands

III. Number 1 Priority for Children

IV. Number 1 Priority for Fathers

I. Number 1 Priority for Wives

A. Recitation: 18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

B. Exposition: This verse is not just about subjection or submission; it is primarily about leadership. What Paul is saying to the Christian ladies of Colossi is that when your man is a godly man, let him lead.

II. Number 1 Priority for Husbands

A. Recitation: 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.

B. Explanation: The husbands’ number one job is to love his wife (not the wife of another or another woman).

III. Number 1 Priority for Children

A. Recitation: Paul said in Colossians, "Children, be obedient (active imperative) to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord."

B. Observation: Paul talked or addressed children directly. I am grateful for that. It shows that in these early church meetings whole families were present.

C. Definition: The word "obey" comes from Greek words which mean "to hear under someone."

D. Explanation: Thus, children are exhorted to listen to their parents, recognizing that they are over them and have authority in their lives. Again, the theme of authority is present. Parents should point out to their children that they can please God by their willing obedience to them. Why is that pleasing to God? Because it preserves peace in the home, for one thing. Disobedient children are always a cause of strife and difficulty. Further, because it teaches respect for all authority. God knows that this is an immensely important part of life and ought to be taught to children as they are growing up. To teach your children to obey is extremely important, especially for the strong-willed child. The obedience is to be total, not governed by your wishes, but by the very fact that you are in a position of submission.

E. Amplification: Remember how the book of Proverbs puts it. The Living Bible states it beautifully:

"Young man, obey your father and your mother. Tie their instructions around your finger so you won’t forget. Take to heart all of their advice. Every day and all night long their counsel will lead you and save you from harm; when you wake up in the morning, let their instructions guide you into the new day. For their advice is a beam of light directed into the dark corners of your mind to warn you of danger and to give you a good life."

F. Illustration: This reminds me of something that one set of parents were going to share with their children when they were old enough to understand. Children, listen up. "I loved you enough to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home. I loved you enough to insist that you save your money and buy a bike for yourself even though we could afford to buy one for you. I loved you enough to make you take a Milky Way back to the store (with a bite out of it) and tell the clerk. I loved you enough to stand over you for 2 hours while you cleaned your room, a job that would have taken me 15 minutes. I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment and tears in my eyes. I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart. But most of all, I loved you enough to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it. These were the most difficult battles of all. I am glad I won them because, in the end, you won something too. With Love, Your Parents"

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