Ephesians 6:1-4 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for 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 enjoy long life on the earth.”Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
We can also broaden the application to be beyond biological families and household relationships. Think about this passage in terms of your relationships with others within the church or your small group or roommates. How might these commands apply for you in that context?
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.
Prayer: Lord, we ask for Agape Churches for Spirit-empowered mutual submission to one another in the church. Help each one of us grow in a servant leader lifestyle that is radically transformed to care about others more than ourselves, willing to be trained and instructed, willing also to train and instruct others in the way of the Lord! May there be enlarging, enlarging and enlarging of the place of Your tent among us!
Let’s end this week worshipping to the song “More To Come” (click here) by Passion.
Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The Greco-Roman household was quite cruel and followed in the pattern of the emperor:
single autocratic ruler who wields oppressive authority
home also a place of business, used for negotiations and networking
servants do much of the work, including the teaching of children
The Christian household is to follow in the pattern of our King of Kings. What pattern would that be and how would that affect each role in the household?
Specifically in verse 4, fathers (and parents) are to carefully and with much kindness and hands-on involvement, train and instruct their children about life and about the Lord. When such constant and warm care is properly provided, children won’t be left angry or embittered.
“It is assumed that he [husband/father] will continue to provide leadership to the household, but his role will be radically transformed into one of caring for the people within the household for their own sakes, not having them around to serve his own self-interests.” [G. Fee, Priscilla Papers]
Prayer: Heavenly Father, would you continue to grow functional families and households in the Agape Churches, where fathers and parents are servant leaders in the homes and there is much kindness, care, training and instruction provided for our children in the pattern and way of our Lord!
Ephesians 6:2-3 – “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 enjoy long life on the earth.”
For the grown-ups living independently from our parents, we are to honor our parents – and what is more honoring to them than that we live in the way of the Lord and desire that shalom (God’s peace) for them as well? How does this apply to your relationship with your parents?
There is a sort of “turning of the tables” where we now are the ones with God-given responsibility to care for our parents. It takes the Spirit-empowered letting go of our disappointments, bitterness or unforgiveness so we can properly overflow with God’s care for our parents, desiring the Lord’s blessing and salvation to come. [paraphrase from C. Han’s message]
Let’s be overwhelmed with the Father’s love for us and for our parents as we worship to “Love Like This” (click here) by Lauren Daigle.
Prayer: God, we lift up to You our parents and ask for Your blessing and shalom in their lives, that they would experience and know You more. We also ask that You would continue to form us as children who honor our parents in the best way possible!
Ephesians 6:1-3 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for 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 enjoy long life on the earth.
There is specific instruction regarding family life in the Ten Commandments, which is then quoted several times in the New Testament including here in Ephesians 6. What does that show about the importance of family to God and what would the application for the Christian be?
For young children, there is blessing in obedience to their parents. It is also them joining with at a young age Jesus’s heart of obedience to His Father and learning what the life of discipleship is.
“This is also why the Christian household, which is always a kind of nucleus of the larger Christian community, should always be understood as the first place where all the other imperatives are to find their first place of existence. The household, which was also the church, was the place where Christian life had to be put into practice.” [G. Fee, Priscilla Papers]
Let’s worship to the song “Goodness of God” (click here) by Bethel Music.
Prayer: Father, may the children in our churches continue to experience what it is to join with Christ as they obey their parents, and we ask that they be raised up in the heart and life of disciples of Jesus!
Ephesians 4:1 – As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Ephesians 5:15-18, 21 – Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
How does the flow of what Paul is writing speak to the essential nature of relationships for the Christian?
What do Spirit-enabled functional relationships look like?
“The ethical implications of this theology are immense. Mutual submission is merely a logical conclusion of Paul’s understanding that Christians are part of each other. Oneness with Christ is the basis of all Christian ethics (cf. 1 Cor. 6:15).” [K. Snodgrass, NIVAC Ephesians]
Let’s worship to the song “Love Won’t Give Up” (click here) by Elevation Worship.
Prayer: Father, continue to lead our churches in this essential business: our lives under the Lordship of Christ and in mutual submission to one another as Your Spirit fills and enables us!