Summary: The Bible provides helpful information in making home improvements in our family relationships
Today is a day to honor the fathers, grandfathers, and husbands in our lives. As we did on Mother’s Day, before we honor the men in our lives, let’s have a little fun with them.
To do this, let me ask the women a question: Why did God create Eve? The Bible teaches that God created Adam first and then decided that the man needed Eve. Why did God create Eve? The following are the top 10 reasons as compiled by a Christian humor site. (Source: The Christian Joke Page- Religious Jokes- Index 1; http://www.shoptcs.com/cjp/rel/24.htm)
10. God worried that Adam would always be lost in the garden because men hate to ask for directions.
9. God knew that Adam would one day need someone to hand him the TV remote. (Men don’t want to see what’s ON television, they want to see WHAT ELSE is on!)
8. God knew that Adam would never buy a new fig leaf when his seat wore out and would therefore need Eve to get one for him.
7. God knew that Adam would never make a doctor’s appointment for himself.
6. God knew that Adam would never remember which night was garbage night.
5. God knew that if the world was to be populated, men would never be able to handle childbearing.
4. As "Keeper of the Garden," Adam would never remember where he put his tools.
3. The scripture account of creation indicates Adam needed someone to blame his troubles on when God caught him hiding in the garden.
2. As the Bible says, "It is NOT GOOD for man to be alone!"
1. When God finished the creation of Adam, He stepped back, scratched His head and said, "I can do better than that."
Now, as a man, I want to comment at least on one point. One of the reasons given was “men could never handle childbirth.” And, yes, that is true-- we could never handle childbirth. But, as Bruce Willis once said: "On the one hand, we’ll never experience childbirth. On the other hand, we can open all our own jars." (Source: The Christian Joke Page; “On the difference between men and women” http://www.shoptcs.com/cjp/crz/4.htm)
All kidding aside, today, as we celebrate Father’s Day, it would be helpful to consider the Bible’s instructions for family living. The Bible is our home improvement manual. If we follow its instructions, we will inevitably improve our family relationships! And in Ephesians 5:21-6:9, we have some great instructions for improving our home life.
I Everyone…Submit to one another (5:21)
A) The command: SUBMIT to one another out of reverence for Christ (5:21)
1) The word “submit” has received a bad name in our day. But we need to come to grips with this word because it goes to the very heart of what we Christians are called to do in relation to one another.
2) We need to come to grips with how submitting to one another is the key ingredient in healthy and happy family living. That is why Paul begins his section on family living with this one command.
(a) One commentator has rightly pointed out that in verse 21 this one command “anticipates all that Paul is about to say not only to wives, children, and slaves, but also to husbands, fathers, and masters, about the specific respect they owe because of Christ to those with whom they live together either by choice, or by birth, or by historical circumstances.” (Markus Barth, The Anchor Bible: Ephesians 4-6; Doubleday, 1960, p. 609)
(b) John Stott also reminds us that, “Submission is a humble recognition of the divine ORDERING of society”
B) The example of Christ: Philippians 2:5-11 (cf. Ephesians 5:25b-27): Perhaps we can recover a better image of this concept of submission when we recognize that Jesus Christ provides the ultimate example of submission.
II. Husbands… (Ephesians 5:25-32)
The command: LOVE your wife… (5:25a)
A. On Mother’s Day in part 1 of this message, we went into pointed detail about the responsibilities of husbands to "love their wives."
B. This command flows from the general command in 5:21: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
C. There are two reasons given why we husbands should do this:
1. To honor Christ and model his love to our wives (5:25-27)
2. To benefit ourselves (5:28) It is true as Gary Smalley says that, "(Husbands)…you are the one who gains when you strive to have a loving relationship with your wife."
III. Wives… (5:22-24)
A. The command(s): SUBMIT to your husband as to the Lord… and RESPECT her husband (5:22, 24, 33)
B. The example: as the CHRIST submits to Christ, so also wives… (5:24)
C. Our culture’s notions of "submission" is not in line with what the Bible teaches. In the Bible, submission is not negative at all... for Christ is one who also submits to the will of the Father. Here is how two noted Bible commentator explain the Bible’s rationale and connection between the dual commands to "submit" and "respect".