Ephesians 5:22-33 [Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband]
Ephesians 6:1-9 [Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.]
Matthew 7:24-27 [Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock. and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall]
One of the reasons why God wants us to turn to our families this period is because God is interested in families.
The family can be healthy or unhealthy.
Healthy families make for healthy churches and vice versa. If for instance, in the church, there are families fighting amongst themselves, it would be difficult to conduct church as usual. Soon after much bickering, factions would be created as members of the church choose sides.
The church needs healthy families.
Ephesians 5 talks about what the relationships should be like. What we face now are faulty relationships. Faulty relationships come about when individuals don’t play their roles. We are now struggling to play other people’s roles that are not ours. When we play the roles God has fashioned for us, the home would be healthy.
A story was told thus: a lost child was picked off the road. He was asked the name of his father and he answered, Oloshi. The helpers amazed asked him what his mother’s name was and he said Oloriburuku. When the helpers finally got the boy home, they met the parents squabbling and calling themselves names.
Every unhealthy home will produce unhealthy children.
Roles to play
Wife: A lot of Christian women find it hard to submit due to educational qualifications, finance, accolades and the likes. When all these things are considered, submission becomes hard. But the Bible says wives should submit to their own husbands. And the scriptural principle is that when wives submit to their husbands, they are submitting to the Lord.
If the wife doesn’t submit, then the Christianity is hypocrisy.
Husband: The husband is enjoined to love his wife. There is no sane man who wakes up and begins to flog himself. He that loves his wife loves himself. When you love yourself, everything you do, you do for your benefit. This is the relationship a husband is to have with his wife.
There is a higher duty on the one that is to love.
A story goes thus: One day a bridge was blocked by robbers. A man’s wife, heavy with pregnancy started running. The man stayed behind. When they were done with the robbery, the woman returned and found that everything had been taken from the husband. She asked why the husband didn’t run and he said he risked his life so she could run to safety for if he had run with her, the robbers would have chased them down. That is what love is.
Love gives itself. As Jesus Christ gave himself.
Another story goes thus: A man’s friends visited his home and found a cane there. When asked, he stated that he sometimes disciplines both his wife and children and because he respects his wife he has a different cane for her. That is not Love.
When you love, everything in you loves. You give preference to the other person.
Children: Foolishness is the lot of children because there are certain things they don’t understand. The first thing Bible requires of children is that they obey the parents. Children honor your parents that it may go well with you and you may live long in the land. You must honor them, obey them, and do those things that show that they are your parents. Isaac was not a small boy when Abraham was to sacrifice him. That he allowed Abraham tie him down, was honorable.
Every age has its peculiarities. Parents are not to provoke their children to wrath. A child has the right to learn. Parents cannot live their lives and then try live the lives of their children also. There are stages in life and the children should be left to learn the appropriate things are the different stages.
The best we can do is pray for our children.
They need to go out and learn their own lessons. When you stop this, they naturally rebel and turn to wrath.
Servants: Servants are not the houseboys alone. Corporate worker and those who work for people are servants also. The original relationship was not called employer-employee. It was called master-servant in ancient Britain.
We work hard when the master is around. But when the master is not around, we become lackadaisical. We must not serve with eye service.
Also, if we are masters, then we must operate under the understanding that we have a master over us. So we must deal with our servants with mercy. We ought be good masters to our servants. For some, the way they treat their house-helps make you wonder where the Christianity went to.
How do we bring about these relationships?
In Proverbs 31 we notice that the woman went out of her way to build her home. Problems will naturally come. Offenses will come. These are part of life. But for people that have determined to build their homes, Jesus would always be the head.
- Realize that building the home is a joint venture. It is not just for the wife, neither is it just for the woman. At the beginning man and woman were created equal. It was the fall of man that subjected the woman to him. Now Christ has come to restore the original things. The husband, wife and children must be committed to building their home. Each person can respect the other’s differences. God has assigned different complimentary roles to both the husband and wife – like who can get pregnant. In fights, not everyone can be angry at the same time. You must learn forbearance. You must learn to respect everybody’s opinion.
- There must be mutual love. Perfect love cast out fear. There must be perfect love.
- You must learn to pray together. Because you and your wife are one – wherever the wife is spiritually is where the husband is spiritually and vice versa. Don’t stop praying with your spouse merely because the other does not encourage the prayers.
- Lord sustain my home.
- Anything that undermines the health of my family, Lord take it away.
- Lord give me a healthy home.
- Help us all to walk according to the roles you have assigned to us.