Summary: What God has to say to wives about their relationship to their husbands
Studies in The Christian Family
God’s Word for Wives
This evening I want to begin a short series of studies on the Christian Family based on what Paul has to say about this subject in his letters to the Churches at Ephesus and Colossae. We will of course be looking at other relevant portions of scripture but our main focus of attention will be Eph 5/22-6/4 and the parallel passage in Col 3/18ff.
Why take up this particular subject? Well there are a number of reasons why I decided to preach on this subject. First of all, having finished the series on Joseph I was wondering what portion of scripture or what subject I ought to take up next in our evening studies, and in the course of my own personal devotions I had started reading some books and listening to some tapes on the subject of the Christian family. As I read those books and listened to those tapes I was challenged in my own heart and was forced to make a personal assessment of how I measured up to what God required of me as a husband and as a father within my family, and I believe that it was good for me to be challenged in this particular area of my life as a Christian. I was not only reminded of my God ordained duties and responsibilities to both my wife and to my children but was also humbled before God when I thought about how easy it is to become lax and undisciplined in this area of ones Christian life. And then I thought to myself well if this is something that proved to be challenging and spiritually beneficial to me personally I am sure that under God a study of these things would also prove to be of some spiritual value to others in our congregation.
The other main reason why I decided to take up this subject was because of the environment in which we live and the responsibility that falls to us as Christians who live in such an environment. And what I have in mind here is the fact that we are living in a social environment in which, tragically, family breakdown has become all too common. In many homes there is little genuine love and respect shown between the husband and the wife. In far too many homes one partner in the marriage relationship is regularly abused by the other, abused verbally, abused physically abused sexually, abused psychologically. In many such homes and indeed in other homes besides children refuse to show any kind of respect for or obedience to their parents and parents have abdicated their responsibility to give any kind of moral lead to their children or to exercise any kind of discipline over them. In many a house in Limavady this evening, behind those closed doors, there are wives husbands, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters for whom family life is a nothing but a source of misery, of discontent, and of unhappiness. The primary reason for this of course is because people are not ordering their family life according to the blueprint that God has given in His Word, a blueprint which when followed will produce a stable and happy family life.
There are different reasons of course why this is so. Different reasons why people don’t follow God’s directives. In the case of many at least part of the problem can be traced to ignorance. We live in an age in which most families in our society are woefully ignorant of what God has to say on this subject. This might be because they have never read the Bible for themselves and never go to Church where they might receive instruction in these things, or it might be that although they do attend Church fairly regularly they have never heard their minister preach a series of sermons on the subject. There is a widespread ignorance of God’s blueprint for a stable happy family.
Now what is our responsibility as Christians, living as we do in such an environment where there is this widespread ignorance of God’s blueprint for a stable happy family life? Well brethren I believe that our responsibility in such circumstances is summarised in Matthew 5/13-16. In other words we as Christians are to so order our family life that we will be salt and light in our community. We are to so follow God’s directives, God’s blueprint for family life, that we will be living examples of what family life should be like. People who have never read the Bible, people who have never had God’s directives explained to them should be able to see in your family and in my family not only what the Bible teaches about family life but also the blessings and benefits that are the by-products of ordering ones family life according to God’s blueprint. We are to bring light into the darkness. And we are to seek by God’s grace to have such an influence by our example that we might even be the means that God might use to have such an impact upon the lives of people around us that they might have a longing for and genuinely seek after and find that which we possess thereby bringing about a slowing down in the decay and disintegration of family life that we see all around us.