Summary: What happens in our families infuences what happens in our culture. If ever there is a place for quality relationships, it's the family.
“Building Quality Relationships: With Family - Living With Order in Your Home”
If I asked you if you thought you could subscribe to the Communist Manifesto, you’d probably be inclined to say “No,” even if you didn’t know what it contained. And if I asked you if our government should subscribe to it, you’d probably say “No.” But here’s some reality. The Manifesto states, “We must rid ourselves of the burgeois claptrap about the sacredness of the family, especially about the hallowed relationship of husbands and wives and of parents to their children.” It then goes on to propose the methodology by which to accomplish this lessening of family importance: shift the responsibility for raising children from the family to the social institution. (1) While we may think we’d never adopt communistic principles, this one seems to have crept into our nation and culture in a major way.
What happens in our families influences what happens in our culture. If ever there is a place for quality relationships, it’s the family. So it’s no surprise that the Apostle Paul includes the family in his list of relationships in his Ephesian letter. The first thing to notice is that FAMILY LIFE MUST BE SEEN IN THE CONTEXT OF MUTUAL SUBMISSION. Let’s review for a moment. The section we’re studying begins in Eph. 5:18 where Paul says we are to be continually filled with the Spirit. When we are, we begin to relate to one another through spiritual behavior and language, we live with an attitude of gratitude, and we submit to one another out of reverence for Jesus Christ. That mutual submission is to be seen in all our relationships – including marriage, work, and family. So FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS ARE PART OF GOD’S ORDERING OF THE WORLD. Mutuality is part and parcel of creation. Everyone and everything is subject to someone or something.
So how did God set up this family mutual submission? It is based on the fact that OUR FAMILY CONCEPT DERIVES FROM GOD’S. In chapter 3:14-15 Paul wrote, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family (from whom all fatherhood) derives its name.” Family derives its name and very being from God our Father. So just as God cares for His family we care for ours. His pattern is our pattern. Paul, in fact, continues by stating what He prays for from this Father (16-19 NLT): “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” The family is the primary place where God’s love is communicated, modeled, and experienced. Family life is built through submission to God’s design and will.