Godly Family Relationships
Next in Ephesians, Paul teaches Godly family and work relationships. Godly family relationships reflect and are a major part of body of Christ relationships in which we are built up together. When family relationships are harmonious, they bring glory to God.
Our heavenly Father, from whom every group in heaven and on earth gets the name of family, has blessed us with the ability to enjoy harmonious family relationships. They are the primary setting for the calling to which we are called. As we love and nurture one another, we bear fruit that doesn’t pass away. Beyond that, godly family relationships are essential to civilized society.
We have all things in the Messiah to share with other family members in our homes. Godly families orient us to be other-directed caregivers. Family members also teach us to share His life with guests in our homes. Then, it becomes natural to share our lives with others we love, like one another (1 Jn 4:7-14).
Walking worthy in marriage
Godly marriage is meant to taste of, nurture, and reflect our love for the Lord. By pouring His love into our hearts, God enables us to lay down our life for our mate and so participate in the creation and sustenance of a home filled with His glorious light.
Marriage love is mutually rewarding now and will be rewarded through eternity. Troubles do not quench such love. They develop godly character. The fire of the Holy Spirit vaporizes our dross and replaces it with love that repents, forgives, and serves to the building of a home. Such love is painful at the times it shines bright light on inner darkness we vainly try to hide from God and our spouse. But, it makes our relationship tingle with healthy transparency. In the light, little things do not get a chance to escalate into distrust, resentment, hatred, jealousy, or other selfishness that fractures relationship.
Facing and resolving our problems together is the way we grow up in the Messiah in a bond of love. We can walk in this light because God has rescued us from the tyranny of darkness and transferred us into His marvelous light.
Still, husbands and wives have ample opportunity to find out how tough and challenging it is to ‘live as people whom God has called should live. Be humble and gentle in every way, be patient and lovingly bear with one another. Do your best to keep the oneness of the Spirit by living in peace” (Eph 4:1b-3). Applying that instruction does wonders for marriage. We are at our best when we are humble, gentle and patient. These love qualities help us stick together and be built up together toward Messiah.
Marriage begins with mutual submission
As you respect Christ, submit to one another. Ephesians 5:21.AAT
Mutually submitting to one another as we submit to Messiah does wonders for relationships. This instruction applies to each of us individually and to the other. God does not call us to unilaterally submit. Submission has nothing to do with servitude. It has everything to do with love and grace.
You married women, obey your husbands as you obey the Lord, because a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the Head of the church, which is His body that He saves. Yes, as the church obeys Christ, so wives should obey their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24 AAT
God blessed me with a wonderful Proverbs 31 wife, who helped me establish a godly family.
Husband, you act as the head over your wife by loving and edifying her—tenderly cherishing, nurturing, providing for, and protecting her as Christ loved the church.
You husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it to make it holy by washing it clean with water by the Word, to have the Church stand before Him as something wonderful, without a spot or wrinkle or anything like that; yes, it should be holy and without a fault. This is how husbands should love their wives, like their own bodies. A man who loves his wife is loving himself. Nobody ever hated his own body. Everybody feeds it and treats it tenderly, as Christ does the Church because we are parts of His body. This is why a man will leave his father and mother and live with his wife, and the two will be one flesh. There’s a great truth hidden here—I mean that of Christ and the church. But every one of you, too, love your wife as you love yourself. And a wife should respect her husband. Ephesians 5:25-33 AAT
Our husband and wife marriage relationship is congruent with God’s Messiah and Church relationship. Family is like a micro-body of Christ, where love is shown in word and deed. Following the Messiah is the way to build a godly home. God plans for us to be a supportive clan that thrives on doing good for one another.
Wives need love. Husband “love your wife as you love yourself. Husbands need respect. And a wife should respect her husband” An excellent book I recommend on this subject is: Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs, Emerson Eggerichs. He says, a wife has one driving need—to feel loved. When that need is met, she is happy. A husband has one driving need—to feel respected. When that need is met, he is happy. When either of these needs isn’t met, things get crazy. Love and Respect reveals why spouses react negatively to each other, and how they can deal with such conflict quickly, easily, and biblically.
Walking worthy as parents
Parents, the best thing we can do for our children is to be faithful to our Messiah Jesus, to God’s Word, and to one another. We teach by example of our relationships. Our devotion to God is shown by our devotion to our spouse and our children. As we grow up into Messiah, we do our best to facilitate each other’s love, fulfillment and worth.
Our children trust us. How we nurture them, greatly influences how they see our Father in heaven. Whether we are good parents or not our children look up to us. “Parents are the glory of their children” (Prov 17:6b).
God plans for parents to serve their children by loving them in word and deed. When we lay down our lives to nurture each family member, we are as life givers to each other. Children thrive in God’s peace environment–in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This nurture is primarily relational but includes feeding, clothing, even changing diapers. Through our personal ministry to our children, they get to know the Lord and learn to relate in peace/shalom.
A godly mother’s hugs and soothing words are special ministry, beyond anything an unbeliever can muster. They encompass her children with a soft glow of love. Love is so vital that babies deprived of it die. Think of the sting a mother takes out of a wound. With her mothering she makes it better, whether it’s a toddler’s owie, an adolescent’s shattered expectation, or an adult’s heartache. That’s ministry!
Fathers, we bear the ultimate responsibility to help our children get to know the Lord and relate in fellowship with the Lord and one another. In order to do that, we must do our utmost to be faithful to the Lord (1 Jn 1:6-7;1 Jn 2:3-6).
And you fathers, don’t make your children angry, but rise them by letting the Lord train and correct them. Ephesians 6:4
The Lord Jesus led in love. “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (Jn 14:15). Paul exhorts, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord” (Eph 6:1). Our children obey because they love.
As we walk in love and help our children to love they willingly obey us. Our children don’t just naturally love. They are by nature self-centered. Our children must be taught to love. If we learn to be obedient to our Father in heaven and His Word, we have a rich heritage to convey to our children. In addition to living a godly lifestyle, we can bless our children by loving them and teaching them to obey because they love.
Telling our children we love them is very important. When we verbalize our love, we also share the inheritance God has given us with them. As we tell them of our love, we can also speak a blessing to them. This can begin with something as simple as thanking God for His blessing during our table and evening prayers. Or when we tuck our children in at night, speaking a blessing like: “We love you and God loves you. The Lord bless you with life and health and well-being.”
The nurture of a godly family helps children grow up in the Messiah. By learning to obey godly parents, they learn to share, to lay down their lives for those that they love. If we parents love, discipline, and nurture our children in the way of the Lord, our work of service becomes very rewarding. If we are harsh or unfair or unfaithful, we are in danger of making our children angry with us and with the Lord. “And you fathers, don’t make your children angry, but raise them by letting the Lord train and correct them” (Eph 6:4). May we love so our children learn of the love and grace and glory of the Lord and find it to be true by family and life experience.
Walking worthy as children
Child, you are a blessing to your parents and grandparents and you can continue to be a blessing to them. If you love your parents, you obey your parents and God’s peace/shalom is upon you.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because it is right. Honor your father and mother – this is an important commandment with a promise: it will be well with you and you will long on this earth. Ephesians 6:1-3 AAT
You children, obey your parents in everything. This is pleasant when it is done in the Lord. Parents, don’t irritate your children, or thy will get discouraged. Colossians 3:20-21 AAT
Listen to your father – you are his son and don’t despise your mother when she’s old. Buy truth and don’t sell it; acquire wisdom, training, and understanding. A righteous man’s father can surely rejoice; and who has a wise son will take delight in him. May your father be happy, and the mother whose child your are be glad. Proverbs 23:22-25 AAT
Grandchildren are the crown of grandparents, and parents are the glory of their children. Proverbs 17:6 GW
Walking worthy at work
What do citizens of the kingdom of God do at work? According to God’s plan, we become increasingly useful and productive as we partake of the divine nature and mature in the character traits supporting harmonious relationships (2 Peter 1).
These traits make us excellent workers in what we do for a living. We know who we are in Christ. We are other-directed caregivers. We work well in society. We relate well with fellow believers. We are excellent family people. We think as people of destiny. These qualities make us good workers.
In our occupation, we are to serve eagerly, as we would serve the Lord and not merely men, whether we are employees or masters.
You slaves, obey those who are your masters in this world, with respect and trembling and as sincerely as you obey Christ, working not only while you are being watched , as if you merely wanted to please men, but as slaves of Christ who are glad to do what God wants them to do. Serve eagerly as you would serve the Lord and not merely men. You know that if you do a good thing, the Lord will pay you back whether you are a slave or a free man.
You masters, treat your slaves in the same way, and stop threatening them. You know that they and you have one Master in heaven, and He doesn’t prefer one to another. Ephesians 6:5-9 AAT
Our primary vocation is to be to God’s glory. To the extent each of us serves in that kingdom mode, we bear fruit that doesn’t pass away. Sometimes this way is hard and it is often without instant earthly reward. But for the long haul, God’s plan is far better than anything man can conceive. If we walk in His way, our lives make a difference. We defer to one another out of reverent obedience to Messiah Jesus. And, the light of knowing Jesus shines forth in this dark and tyrannical world.
Ephesians series 1 Grace and peace to Gods holy ones 2 God has a plan for all who trust in Jesus 3 Our Personal Identity and Purpose 4 Jews and Gentiles made one in Christ 5 Growing up to work in the body of Christ 6 Walking as God’s dear children 7 Godly family and work relationships 8 Let the Lord make you strong