Summary: Each of us should re-double our efforts to ensure that our families are all that they should be. Husbands and wives have a God-given obligation to love one another and to submit to one another for the glory of God.
LOVE IN THE FAMILY
Study Text: 1 John 3: 10 - 12
- Families generally begin in love. A man and woman fall in love, they get married, and out of their love come children. . In the beginning, God established the family as the first of all human relationships.
- From that family, God built society. The family is still the foundational unit of society. In fact, no church, no community, or no nation is any stronger than the families that make it up.
- The problem is how to keep this love alive and growing, for love requires constant attention. Unless it is nourished by constant care, like a plant without water it will shrivel and die.
- Each of us should re-double our efforts to ensure that our families are all that they should be. Husbands and wives have a God-given obligation to love one another and to submit to one another for the glory of God. Parents have a God-given obligation to create a home that allows their children to become all they have been designed by the Lord to be.
- We shall discuss the topic under three subheadings:
1. The Expectation of Love in the Family
2. The Expedition of Love in the Family
3. The Evaluation of Love in the Family
1. The Expectation of Love in the Family
- Since the family is to live together in unity and oneness for the good of all, love must be present at all times. Where there is no love, there can be a family, and if there is, it cannot be a successful, progressing and profiting family.
- The most important thing we can do to nourish the love in our families is to live the first great commandment: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37).
- Our Heavenly Father is the source of all truth and all love. By loving him we draw close to him and become more like him. As that happens, we receive from him the knowledge and power to love each family member, to better nurture their love, and to meet the daily challenges in our homes.
- The Saviour taught, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 John 4:8).
If we love God, he gradually teaches us and gives us the power to love as he loves.
- The Saviour defined the second great commandment as "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Matthew 22:39). Our closest neighbours are the members of our own families. And yet we sometimes fail to treat them with the same courtesy and kindness that we grant to strangers.
- The family has been under attack ever since Satan first taunted Adam and Eve. So today, each must guard against the hazard of contention in the family, and pursue love according to the purpose of God.
- The home is the foundation of learning and love. Here, parents help children overcome the natural tendencies to be selfish that is rooted in every one, and to put on love which is patterned after Christ.
- Showing love for our own parents is also important to nourishing love in our families. We cannot expect our children to love and respect us if we do not show them that we love and respect our own parents. Loving our parents is necessary not only in nurturing family love and unity, but in loving God.
2. The Expedition of Love in the Family. Ephesians 6: 1-4
- Love is fully demonstrated in the family when each member fulfil their God-given responsibilities faithfully in the home.
- Since every family consist majorly of the Parents and the Children, it is necessary to consider the responsibilities given by God to each family group.
a. Responsibilities of the Children
i. Obedience to Parents
- Children are told to “obey” their parents. This word means “to submit to, to comply with, to heed, and to follow directions and instructions.”
- This means that a child is to listen to the voice of his or her parents attentively and they are to respond to what they hear with perfect submission. They are to do as they are told. This obedience in the home lays the foundation for obedience throughout life.
- As children learn to obey their parents; they are setting the stage for obedience throughout their lives. They are learning to obey the other voices of authority, school, government, etc., that will become part of their lives later on. Ultimately, they are learning to walk in obedience to the Lord when they walk in obedience to their parents.
- When the commands of a parent contradict the clear teachings of the Bible; the child, just like anyone else, has an obligation to put the Lord and His will first. Of course, this truth runs through every area of life. No parent, no spouse, no authority figure in our lives has the right to command us to do something illegal, immoral or that contradicts the Word of God. We are to always place God and His will ahead of the will of others.