New Life in the Home

Key Verse: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
—Ephesians 5:21

Selected Scripture:
5:21 – 6:4

OUR KEY VERSE SETS forth the principle that Christians should have a mutually submissive attitude towards each other as evidence that we reverence God and are obedient to his Word. Paul expresses a similar thought in another passage of scripture, saying, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”—Gal. 6:2

Our lesson continues by noting that the fact that believers are one in Christ does not abolish the various earthly relationships that exist within the family structure as set forth by God. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.”—Eph. 5:22-29

This submission typifies the relationship of the church to Christ. Such yielding by the wife is to be done as an act of loving devotion and relates to all things that are prompted by the spirit of holiness, purity, and unselfishness. Husbands properly exercised would note their responsibilities to love, nourish, and protect their wives as Christ has done for the church.

Paul concludes his treatment on this topic by referring to the institution of marriage (Gen. 2:24), and after mentioning the great mystery of God’s eternal purpose in calling out a people to become the body of Christ to bless mankind, he summarizes the relationship that should exist between husbands and wives.—Eph. 5:31-33

Another aspect of family relationship is the responsibility of parents and children to each other. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”—Eph. 6:1-3

As a rule, children reflect the principles which they see manifested in their parents. They are anxious to please, and even as they grow into young adulthood and feel the influence of peer pressure, if parents are consistent, loving, and patient, yet firm in their beliefs, children will generally not stray that far away. It has been suggested that one of the reasons children appear to be so irreverent and disobedient today is because the adult models in their own family are not there for them to imitate.

The responsibility for appropriate Christian parenting is very great. “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (I Tim 5:8) This surely is not limited to providing material blessings, but also includes helping to raise children with a reverence for God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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