The Book of EPHESIANS
James J. Barker
THE CHRISTIAN HOME
- The family is now under full-scale
attack. When I was a boy the vast
majority of families in America had a dad and a mom and several
- Those days are long
gone. Now it is usually a mom with
children and no husband, or a husband and wife with no kids or maybe just one,
or maybe it is too homosexuals with adopted children.
- So far citizens in 31 states
(including liberal states like California) have voted for keeping traditional
marriage – a man and a woman (Eph. 5:33).
- But nevertheless, the
sodomites and their liberal allies are still pushing hard to redefine the
- The sodomites and their
liberal allies tried to pass a so-called “gay marriage” law the other day up in
Albany, but thank God they failed.
In fact, the vote wasn’t even close.
- That this sort of
foolishness has become commonplace here in America indicates how far this
country has drifted from its Biblical mooring.
- We need to get back to what
the Bible teaches about the home.
- The Bible teaches that
marriage is analogous to that of Christ and His church.
- Spurgeon said: “When home is
ruled according to God’s Word, angels might be asked to stay with us, and they
would not find themselves out of their element.”
WIVES ARE TO BE SUBMISSIVE
(5:21, 22; cf. COL. 3:18).
- I would like to preface my
remarks by stating that all Christians should have a meek, submissive spirit
- The husband is to be the
head of the home (5:22-24).
- Subjection does not imply
inferiority. Women are not inferior to men; just as Christ is inferior to God
the Father (I Cor. 11:3).
- God is a God of order (cf. I
- This is not a very popular
subject these days, but nevertheless the Bible is clear – wives are to be
submissive to their husbands (Eph. 5:22).
- God’s plan goes back to
creation (Gen. 3:16; cf. I Cor. 11:8, 9; I Tim.
- God has a plan, an
order. And when this plan is
violated there will inevitably be chaos and confusion (Eph. 5:22-25;
- When God’s plan is followed,
there will be peace and harmony.
- Biblical submission is very
difficult in some cases because oftentimes the husband is not saved, or is a
drunkard, abusive, etc.
- The Bible says if the
husband is not saved the Christian wife can win him to the Lord by her godly
testimony (I Peter 3:1-6; Titus 2:3-5).
- The worst thing a Christian
wife can do is start nagging because that will drive him further from the
- “The contentions of a wife
are a continual dropping” (Pro. 19:13).
- “It is better to dwell in a
corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house” (Pro.
- “It is better to dwell in
the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman” (Pro.
- “A continual dropping in a
very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike” (Pro.
- This reminds me of the poor
fellow who said, “I take my wife
everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.”
- Contrast that
with Proverbs 18:22, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good
thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”
- “A prudent wife is from the
LORD” (Pro. 19:14).
- “Who can find a virtuous
woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Pro.
- I realize that God’s plan is
not popular today but we can plainly see that the world’s way is not
working. I believe we ought to
stick with God’s plan.
HUSBANDS ARE TO BE LOVING
- Here we see God’s high
standard for love – we are to love our wives “even as Christ also loved the
church, and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25).
- By using the Christian home
as an illustration of our relationship with Christ, the apostle Paul has lifted
married love to the highest level possible (Eph.
- Why does God have to tell us
to love our wives? Because we men
often take our wives for granted.
- Colossians 3:19 says:
“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
- Why does God tell us not to
be “bitter against them” (Col. 3:19)?
Because God knows this is often the case.
- “So ought men to love their
wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh;
but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Eph. 5:28,
- Therefore, when a husband
loves his wife, he is loving himself because husband and wife are “one flesh”
- We ought to be grateful to
God for good Christian wives (cf. Pro. 31:10-12,
CHILDREN ARE TO BE OBEDIENT
- “For this is right” (Eph.
- It “is the first commandment
with promise” (6:2).
- “Honour thy father and thy
mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God
giveth thee. (Ex.
- Obeying parents “is well
pleasing unto the Lord” (Col. 3:20).
- Obedience to our parents is
important, because parents stand in the place of God to
- Parents spend many years
feeding their children, and clothing them, and educating them, and protecting
- Therefore, the Bible
(5th commandment) says, “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Ex.
- In his commentary on the
book of Ephesians, WA Criswell tells a story about a beautiful restaurant in
Florida. Dr. Criswell referred to
it as “one of the famous restaurants on the Eastern seaboard.”
- A pastor friend took him
there one day, and as they walked past the cashier’s desk they saw a huge
portrait of a pretty woman.
- The pastor explained the
story behind the picture. A father,
mother, and son worked a farm in south Georgia. The father died and the mother and son
relocated to Jacksonville, Florida where they opened up a small restaurant
- They worked hard and the
Lord blessed them and the business flourished. They then moved to the outskirts
of town and built a beautiful, luxurious restaurant. Right before the work was completed the
mother passed away. Just before she
died, she said to her son, “Son, I want you to promise me one thing. When this beautiful restaurant is
opened, will you promise me that you will never sell wine, or beer, or
- The son promised his mother
he would not.
- When the beautiful
restaurant opened, salesmen and other representatives from the breweries, and
the wineries, and the liquor distilleries came by to do
- They told the man, “You
cannot run a luxurious restaurant like this unless you sell
- In each instance, the son
took the representatives to the lobby and pointed to the big picture of his
mother and said, “I promised my mother before she died that I would never sell
alcoholic beverages in this beautiful place. Before I break that promise, I will go
back to the plow on the farm in Georgia.”
- “Honour thy father and thy
mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth
thee” (Exodus 20:12).
- “Honour thy father and
mother; which is the first commandment with promise” (Eph. 6:2).
FATHERS ARE TO BE REASONABLE
- We are to be reasonable with
our children. We should not
discourage them. “Fathers,
provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col.
- Our # 1 job is to “bring
them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). This means parents should educate
(especially about God) and discipline their
- Nowhere in the Bible is the
training of children assigned to agencies outside the home (e.g.
- Our families are under
attack by the devil. He is using
every weapon he can – television, movies, the Internet, rock music, the public
- We need to be very
careful. And we need to do things