Read: Eph 5:17, 21;Rom 15:4; I Jn 4:11: Is 54:5; 66:13
God’s Word on Family Living:
Our study this week encompasses an interesting range of Biblical passages, beginning with a number of hortatory injunctions, such as honor your parents, don’t commit adultery, be happy with the spouse you got, submit, love, respect, and above all don’t anger your children. From there we move on to the story of Ruth as a coping model for difficult times. We review Solomon’s wisdom statements in Proverbs and read the love poetry of the Song of Solomon. Finally the metaphors of God as husband as well as mother/father are considered.
- Ephesians 5:17, 21 – Try to find out what the Lord wants you to do. Mutual submission in Christ.
- Romans 15:4 – Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us.
- 1 John 4:11 – We should love one another as God loved us..
- Isaiah 54:5, 66:13 – God loves the church as a husband, as a parent loves a child.
Questions for Discussion:
- The picture of God as a delighted husband or as a loving parent can be very reassuring for some, especially those whose experiences with parents and mates has been deep, rich and personally satisfying. But unfortunately, that’s not true for everyone. For some those relationships have been hurtful and painful. I have had women clients for whom the image of Jesus, a male, coming into their hearts has been frightening and repulsive. What help or hope is there for persons whose models for family love have been twisted and destroyed?
- Then there is the whole concept of submission. Wives submit to your husbands. Husbands treat your wives as you treat your own bodies (feed and clothe them). We have often asserted that Paul and Peter are encouraging mutual submission. What do you think they are saying to a master/slave culture where male dominance is the order of the day? How do we reconcile these injunctions with God’s making male spousal responsibility part of the consequences of the entry into sin?
- One of those exhortations from Paul in Ephesians 6:4 has to do with not angering your children. Actually anger is the mode of exercising control in many households, especially where emotion is used to manipulate in order to get one’s wishes obeyed. And the blame for evoking anger is often placed on the other person’s words or actions. “You made me angry!” What do you think Paul is advocating here, and does this in any way connect with his earlier statements in Ephesians to “be angry and sin not,” or to “not let the sun set on one’s anger?”
- 1.In Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families he suggests that in setting family goals one should start with the end in mind. Then family members work together to stay on course, to keep reaffirming their goals, to refocus their plans. Along the way family rituals keep the connections strong in addition to providing ongoing meaning to the journey. What have been the rituals that you have established in your families which have been the means for teaching and experiencing the values you have wanted to transmit? i.e. Family Worships, Bedtimes, Mealtimes, Vacations, Holidays, Sabbaths, Service Projects.