Summary: Discover God’s prescription for a healthy home in this overview message about roles and responsibilities from Ephesians 5.
If you really want to find out what someone is like, visit their home! Watch how they treat their family, view their daily habits, look at what they do when they are most comfortable – yes, this is the greatest measurement of our faith. In other words, how we treat those closest to us is the greatest indication of our spiritual character and maturity.
Paul knew this no doubt! That’s why, after laying out 3 lifestyle commands for us in chapters 4-5, he went right away to our spiritual “jugular” – our closest, family relationships!
And we at FFC believe this whole heartedly! We value the family, and believe that it is the most fundamental unit of society, a church, a community…families need to work well. When they don’t, everyone suffers. So we make no bones about it – start inside the walls of your own home first. And I think that’s one of the implications of these verses we’re studying today…start with those closest to you! Begin there. Yes, living worthy, lovingly and wisely should start with those closest to us…the ones inside our home! Those who are closest to us, both in proximity and in emotion, should be the ones we strive to live godly around. They matter most!
And just who are those closest to us? Well, we call them our family, and we’re going to take a look today at how we’re supposed to live around the people that bear that name. So take your Bible and turn to Ephesians 5 and let’s look at some family matters. That’s right – we’re going to focus on those under your roof – man, woman and offspring. And Paul starts with a simple command to all of us in Ephesians 5:21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
This umbrella command arches over all the instructions that are about to follow. And just what is submission? Submission is the principle law that helps us be most like Christ in our closest relationships. If you’re wondering how to approach this verse in light of the fact that it asks all of to be submissive, think about it like you would a bridge with two yield signs. Your best bet is to watch the one on your side of the bridge!
After giving this overarching command, he is now going to talk about the specifics.
First, to wives.
[READ 5:22-24, 33]
Now I realize this isn’t the most “politically correct” passage, and sometimes we get tempted to find a more palatable word than “submit,” a more culturally sensitive term. But let’s not back away from God’s words or God’s Word! It is God’s perspective – the Bible’s truth – that’s what changes people!
• “Submit” is the only word found in all passages about the wife (Eph 5, Col 3 1 Peter 3)
• Lit., it means “to organize under someone” and it is in the middle voice (she does it to herself…a husband doesn’t make her submit!)
• I think this word is closely associated with the word RESPECT in v 33
• In a definition, submission is an attitude between a wife and God that results in the voluntary actions of respect and honor towards her husband’s leadership.
My advice? I think the #1 way a wife can show biblical submissiveness is R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
The most common word used for husbands throughout the Bible is LOVE ... you ought to be the best lover in your home!
Two principles are taught here that will help you love her better…
• The One Day Principle – “present”(25-27)
Do everything you can to make her the best wife possible. That’s what Christ is doing for his church…you ought to do it for your wife. This is called SACRIFICE!
• The One Flesh Principle – “as your own body” (28-33)
Whatever you do and however you treat your wife is what you are doing to yourself. Give her the same priority you give yourself! Schedules, time, etc…give her the same standard of care and attention.
My advice? I think the #1 way a husband can show biblical submissiveness to his wife is TENDER LOVE AND SACRIFICIAL SERVICE
One way you can do this is by asking her everyday, “What can I do for you today that will help you be the best wife and mom possible?” Ask it every day! Everyday! In about 6 months she’ll start believing you really love her!
And while I’m talking about men in the home, let’s look at what God says to the next group.
There is a simple way to look at this…
- (neg) - “don’t exasperate our children.” Don’t tease, antagonize, make things worse. This usually happens when punishment goes too far! (This is also mentioned in 2 Cor. 2)