Summary: The message focuses on the ingredients necessary to live a Christ-like example in our homes.
Six Keys to a Godly Family
Pastor Don Jones
West Glendale Baptist Church
Consider this family:
The husband commits adultery. His son (Amnon) raped his half-sister (Tamar, the sister of Absalom). The husband did not implement discipline. The full brother (Absalom) killed his half brother (Amnon). The husband also committed murder to cover up his sin.
Those of you who are familiar with the Word probably recognize husband. Unfortunately, not only is this an OT family but is resembles families today.
I am doing a marriage ceremony in a few weeks at a resort in town. It will be the second marriage for both of them. The odds are really stacked against them. They have a 20% chance of not failure, but success. They have an 80% probability of failure. Those odds are overwhelming.
It will take a miracle for them to succeed. The miracle comes in the form of obedience to God’s word by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:31 gives us the answer to their success and ours.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
The Lord gave victory to the Israelites against her enemies, so too will he give us victory today over overwhelming odds and lopsided statistics. The key to success today is the same as in the Old Testament battles, obedience to the Lord.
I would like us to look at the book of Ephesians this morning for the steps to a successful family in today’s world.
First, build on God’s foundation and use his blue prints. Ephesians 5:1 says,
Be imitators of God
What an awesome task. Imitate God. How can we know what God acts like? Look at the life of Jesus Christ. He said if we had seen Him, we had seen the Father. It is through learning of Him, being a disciple, that we find what to do. He is our model in all our relationships, including the family.
Second, commit and submit to each other. Of all the verses describing the life and work of Jesus, Ephesians 5:21 is the most succinct. All the verses of chapter five flow from this one verse.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
This is the overriding principle in the disciple’s family life when dealing with your spouse. If every married couple were to live their lives in this manner there would be no divorce.
Third, wives are to submit. Ephesians 5:22 says,
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
Now ladies don’t get out the tar and feathers just yet. Hold off until I get to the fourth point. Honestly though, it is the Lord telling you to submit, not your husbands or even the pastor. Husbands are to accept responsibility for the family and the life is to give godly input and then follow. Ideally you both would be following the Lord.
Fourth, husbands love your wife to the extent that you are willing to die for her. Ephesians 5:25 says,
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Did you catch that guys? Just as Christ died, we are to be willing to die for our wives. That gives a whole new meaning to "Till death do you part". I would say the woman would have no trouble submitting if the husbands loved their wives with this much passion and dedication.
The fourth step is when something happens to upset the other person. Obviously both should stay away from adulterous affairs. But even when something of that magnitude happens, the ideal would be to forgive the other person after confession and repentance. Ephesians 4:32 says,
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
The fifth principle is respect. Ephesians 5:33 reminds of another important aspect of love. It is usually mentioned in concert with the word love, it is respect. It states,
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Respect is an attitude of acknowledging the feelings and interests of another party in a relationship. It is putting the other person first. The argument that should take lace in a godly home is who gets to sacrifice or give up "rights" for the other person. Unfortunately most arguments are centered on self.
Finally, be a good Godly parent and teach your kids about the Lord. Ephesians 5:2 says,
live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I taught in the public schools for 28 years. I taught everything and every age, from the inner city to the suburbs. The one thing I notice at conferences was that the children were mimickers of their parents. It was amazing to see the parents acting like the children.