Today’s message of July 24, 2016 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:
What defines a family? Is it merely love? Or is it something greater than that? Our definition of love should not come from television sitcoms or of something that is more about lust? The world view is that “love wins,” but if this love is expressed outside of the word of God, then it is not what God would condone.
Love is not love according to how the world views love.
1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
Nonetheless, if we adopt the world’s view of God, then it is outside of how the bible instructs. The world view of love is not a reflection of Jesus Christ.
The world’s view of family is based upon a faulty love.
In Genesis 4, there is a brotherly love turned into jealousy…and murder. This happened because of Cain’s evil tendencies in his heart that was against Abel’s acts of righteousness.
1 John 3:11-14
For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.
If you ever thought that your own family was dysfunctional, it probably doesn’t compare to the family of David. It was truly dysfunctional. David’s failure to discipline his children created a great deal of pain and suffering, and he even lost one of his sons because of it.
Interestingly, many families today are just as bad if not worse today.
The world has no clue today what it means to be a family. God defines what it is to have a spirit-filled family.
Love is involved within a spirit-filled family, but not just any love. A spirit-filled family is characterized by submissive unconditional love.
Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:
speaking to one another
in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,
singing and making music
from your heart to the Lord,
giving thanks always for everything
to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
submitting to one another
in the fear of Christ.
Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body.
For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
These are the biblical examples of a spirit-filled family.
Notice that in Ephesians 5:18, he notes that we are to be spirit-filled. This is imperative in order to be able to submit to and to be obedient to God’s Word. Anything outside of this means that there is a desire to follow what the world teaches.
Be obedient to the Word and bring yourself under self-control. Putting aside the deeds of the flesh is to surrender everything to God. This includes everything. This is spirit-filled living.
It takes more than love to have a spirit-filled family. It cannot pay the bills. It cannot cut the grass or wash the dishes. Loving someone means submitting yourself, in love, to someone else.
Our families should be branded by love in submission. That is what a spirit-filled family is.
As far as the roles within a family, as noted by Paul (Ephesians 5:22-28), there is a structure that requires submissive love, and the structure is in place in order that God is glorified. A submissive wife is the crowning jewel of her husband. She is not submissive not just to please her husband, but to please the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Godly submission is much more pleasing than physical attractiveness.
1 Peter 3:1-7
In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives. Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming.
Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature[d] yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
God is using the church, the bride of Christ, to reach people with the good news. The spirit-filled family is the essence of living before the world in a godly manner.
The husband, in Ephesians 5:25-33, also has to be submissive. He has to love his wife unconditionally in submission.
This submission, even in a marriage where there is an unbeliever, can have a profound effect on the unbeliever. You won’t know unless you stay with it.
1 Corinthians 7:14-16
For the unbelieving husband is set apart for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart for God by the husband. Otherwise your children would be corrupt, but now they are set apart for God. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace. For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
That is why Paul is telling husbands to love their wives. The love is reflection of Jesus Christ, who saves.
Sanctification is a maturity process for both the wife and the husband in marriage and in faith (Ephesians 5:26-27).
This sanctification comes from the power of the Word of God. The church is polluted and guilty under sin, but the Word has cleansing power. A husband who is submissive to his wife is a Christlike example as to how to live for Jesus Christ.
Children are to live in obedience to the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4). The husband and wife, to the children, represent God’s authority. Disobedience is a reflection of disobedience to God. The Lord will bless those children who submit to their parents.
The husband and the wife are mindful to not abuse this authority and to make their children miserable. God will judge all parents as to how their children were raised and disciplined.
Listen, my son. Accept my words,
and you will live many years.
Don’t withhold discipline from a youth;
if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
Families are hardly perfect. There will be arguments and difficulties, but allow the love of Jesus Christ, in submission, to prevail. This love is a love in humility and in submission to Jesus Christ.