Summary: Are you walking in Godly Wisdom? Does you family life reflect the love of God? Paul, informs us all of the responsibilities of each family member and how we are to act and walk in God’s wisdom, not our own.
Godly Wisdom in the Family
1. Up to this point Paul has been describing how we can "have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called" – Eph. 4:1
2. We have seen that conduct "worthy of the calling" involves:
a. Walking in unity – Eph. 4:1-16
b. Walking in truth and holiness – Eph. 4:17-32
c. Walking in love, walking as light and walking as wise – Eph. 5:1-21
3. In what might appear at first to be an abrupt change of direction, Paul begins to describe how
various family members are to conduct themselves – Eph. 5:22-6:9
a. The responsibilities of wives – Eph. 5:22-24
b. The responsibilities of husbands – Eph. 5:25-33
c. The responsibilities of children – Eph. 6:1-3
d. The responsibilities of fathers – Eph. 6:4
e. The responsibilities of servants – Eph. 6:5-8
f. The responsibilities of masters – Eph. 6:9
4. But the subject matter is really not so abrupt as it may appear, for Paul mentioned earlier...
a. How the church is to "make known the manifold wisdom of God" – Eph. 3:10
b. How we are to walk in "wisdom" - Ep 5:15-17
...and it is through family relationships that we can often do this more successfully than in any
5. How can this be? Well, it is through our families that we interact so much with the society in which we live...
a. Through marriage we immediately come into contact with another family (our "in-laws")
b. Through children we develop relationships with those in their schools, their neighborhood,
6. Thus it is through our families we have great potential to demonstrate the wisdom of God...
a. The same principles that underlie the gospel message (submission, love, sacrifice, obedience,
honesty, fairness) are to be displayed in our family relationships
b. By example, then, we can demonstrate in our families what is truly good and right (i.e.,
God’s will), and prepare others to be receptive to the gospel message!
[Thus Paul is not abruptly changing direction, but continues to talk about those sort of things which are crucial to having a "walk worthy of the calling with which you were called".
Consider, then, how those who "walk worthy" conduct themselves in regards to...]
I. MARITAL RESPONSIBILITIES (5:22-33)
A. THE DUTY OF WIVES... (22-24)
1. They are to submit to their husbands in everything...
a. Just as they are to submit to the Lord ("as to the Lord")
b. Just as the church is subject to Christ
2. The reason: the husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the church
a. Any time you have organization that is functional, you must have some chain of authority
b. In the family, it is God’s Will that the husband be the head of the wife, and
that parents be over their children
3. Here is an opportunity for wives to demonstrate the wisdom and value of an
important principle in God’s will: that of submission!
a. Jesus taught by both word and example of the importance of submission –
John 13:12-17; Mk 10:42-45
b. Indeed we all are to submit in one way or another - James 4:7; Eph. 5:21
c. Through their submission, wives prove that God’s will is best in such matters!
B. THE DUTY OF HUSBANDS... (25-30)
1. They are to love their wives...
a. Just as Christ loved the church, i.e., with a sacrificial love designed to bless
and benefit their wives
b. Just as they love their own bodies, i.e., with a love that nourishes and
cherishes their wives
2. Just as the wives have the opportunity to demonstrate God’s wisdom concerning
submission, so husbands are given the opportunity to demonstrate Christ’s love...
a. As the head over His church, Jesus rules as a "benevolent monarch"
b. Some think such a concept as "benevolent monarch" is impossible (as per the saying, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely")
c. But when a husband exercises his authority as head of the family with the
kind of love Jesus displays while ruling over His church, they demonstrate
not only the possibility, but the wisdom of a benevolent monarchy!
[Indeed, the "marriage" between a man and a woman can reflect the relationship that exists between Christ and the church (31-32). But this can happen only if...
1) A husband exercises his authority with love (33a)
2) A wife submits to her husband with respect (33b).
Just as there are "marital responsibilities", so there are...]
II. FAMILIAL RESPONSIBILITIES (6:1-9)
A. THE DUTY OF CHILDREN... (1-3)
1. Children are to obey their parents in a way that honors them
2. There are certainly temporal benefits for such obedience ("that it may be well with
3. But there are also spiritual repercussions – Col. 3:20