Biblical Roles in the Family Pastor Neil Q. Miña April 5, 2012
Introduction The Family was God’s first earthly institution. Before there was a government, and long before God instituted the church, He ordained marriage and the family as the basic building block of society. MacArthur said, “The destruction of the family we are witnessing today is, I believe, a harbinger [forerunner] of the ultimate collapse of all human society. The more the family is threatened, the more society itself is in danger of extinction. We’re in the last days, and nothing shows that more graphically than the deterioration of the family.” (Answering the Key Questions)
Dr. Beeke aptly stated, “As goes the home, so goes the church, so goes the nation. Family worship is a most decisive factor in how the home goes.” (Family Worship). “Today, said Dr. Mack, there are many unhappy, unfulfilling marriages not only among non- Christians but also among Christians. This unhappiness is caused to a large extent by the failure of people to pay attention to God’s blueprint for marriage.” (Strengthening)
An Important FootnoteBy the way, this is not about your preferences or the way you were raised This is simply acknowledging that God has His own purposes in marriage. He gave us His Word (blueprint), and if we will just trust and obey Him, we will experience success in our family life.
Ephesians 5:22-33 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 6:1-4 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Remember this… These then are the elements of a successful family. A wife characterized by submission; a husband who loves his wife sacrificially; children who obey and honor their parents; and parents who instruct and discipline their children by being a consistent, godly example. Your family may be without children, or without a father or mother, but the basic formula for family success is the same: each family member must pursue his God-ordained role.
I. THE COMMAND FOR WIVES TO SUBMIT (Eph. 5:22-24,33; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:4-5; 1 Pet. 3:1-6) What Biblical Submission Is Not Submission is not merely a concept for women. It is a concept for all believers. (Eph. 5:21; Phil. 2:3-4; 1 Pet. 5:5; Rom. 13:1; Heb. 13:17) Submission does not mean that the wife becomes a slave. Submission does not mean that the wife never opens her mouth, never has an opinion, never gives advice. (Compare Prov. 31:26; Acts 18:26; Judges 13:21-23).
Submission does not mean that the wife becomes a wallflower who folds up and allows her abilities to lie dormant. Submission does not mean that the wife is inferior to the husband.Submission from a more Positive View1. Scripture indicates that it is the wife’s responsibility to make herself submissive. (Compare Eph. 5:22; 1 Pet. 3:1)
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,2. Scripture indicates that the wife’s submission is to be continuous.3. Wifely submission is mandatory, not optional.4. Wifely submission is a spiritual matter. It is to be done “as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22).
5. Submission is a positive, not negative concept. Itemphasizes what the wife should do rather than whatshe should not do.6. Submission involves the wife’s attitudes as well asher actions. (See Jesus in John 4:34 cf. Ps. 40:7-8).Now compare God’s kind of wife in Prov. 31:13.7. Wifely submission is to be extensive. (See Eph.5:24).
II. THE COMMAND FOR HUSBANDS TO LOVE THEIR WIVES SACRIFICIALLY (Eph. 5:25) First it demonstrates that the real love is not just a feeling that comes upon a person – it is an act of the human will. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, It is the most selfless, giving, caring kind of love conceivable to the human mind. There is no room in this kind of love for lording it over, or selfish domination.
1Pe 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in anunderstanding way, showing honor to the woman asthe weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of thegrace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.3 Concepts in this Verse(1) Consideration. We must be sensitive, understanding, and considerate.(2) Chivalry. Your wife is a weaker vessel. A major part of your headship is your responsibility to protect her, care for her, and give yourself for her.(3) Communion. Marriage is designed to be a close partnership – a uniting of two into one.
Ways in which husband may love his wife One of the simplest, yet neglected, ways of communicating love is by way of words. Some husbands treat the words “I love you” as corny and almost never speak them. You may love your wife by providing for the satisfaction of her varying needs (1 Tim. 5:8; 1 John 3:17; Eph. 5:28). She has physical, emotional, intellectual, social, recreational, sexua l, and spiritual needs. And you are not a good provider or lover if you are not concerned about all of them. You may love your wife by protecting her (Eph. 5:28). You may express love to your wife by assisting her to fulfill her chores and responsibilities. You may express your love by sacrificing for her (Eph. 5:25; Phil. 2:5-6).
You may love you wife by allowing her really to share your life (1 Pet. 3:7). Commune with your wife. Talk to them. Share your spiritual lives together. You may express your love by refusing to compare her unfavorably with other people, especially your mother or other women. You may express your love by demonstrating to her that, apart from your relationship to Jesus Christ, she has first place in your life. You may express your love by giving her a lot of tenderness, respect, chivalry, and courtesy (Eph. 5:28; Col. 3:19; 1 Cor. 13:4-5). You may love her by expressing appreciation and praise generously and in large doses.
III. THE COMMAND FOR CHILDREN TO OBEY AND HONOR THEIR PARENTS (Eph. 6:1-2) Why must children obey? Because they lack maturity in four major areas of life that are essential for independence. Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Children need growth in mental maturity. Children lack wisdom. They lack discretion, instruction, and knowledge. Children also lack in the area of physical maturity. It is their parents role to protect them. Children lack social maturity. It is difficult to teach a child how to share, what to say at appropriate times, and how to be humble. None of those things come naturally to any child. Finally, children need spiritual maturity. A child doesn’t just grow naturally to love God. Little children can comprehend God, but without proper instruction. Prov. 22:6 is the parents’ responsibility to train their children in all four areas of growth.
IV. THE COMMAND FOR PARENTS TO INSTRUCT AND DISCIPLINE THEIR CHILDREN (Eph. 6:4) In a study conducted less than three decades ago, sociologists Sheldon and Elanor Glueck, of Harvard University, identified several crucial factors in the development of juvenile delinquents. They listed four necessary factors in preventing juvenile delinquency. First, the father’s discipline must be firm, fair, and consistent. Second, the mother must know where her children are and what they are doing at all times, and be with them as much as possible. Third, the children need to see affection demonstrated between their parents, and from their parents to them. And Fourth, the family must spend time together as a unit.
In a similar report, but from a Christian perspective, Dr. Paul D. Meier, a Christian psychiatrist, wrote that the key to right parent-child relationships can be summed up in five things: parents’ love for each other and for the children; consistency; a good parental example; and a man at the head of the home. The bottom line is this: the example you live out before your children is what most affects them. Many parents make the mistake of being overly concerned about how they are perceived in the church and in the community, while completely disregarding the way they live before their children.
Conclusion Beyond your parenting, there is a greater need that your sin problem must be dealt with first of all. Apart from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, you will be unable to do all that we’ve talked about this morning. Salvation from sin is found only in Christ on the merit of His finished work on the cross for you. Then and only then, you will have the capacity and energy to perform your God given role in fulfilling God’s design for successful marriage and family.