James J. Barker

Lesson 20

Text: EPHESIANS 5:216:4


  1. 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 children.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. But nevertheless, the sodomites and their liberal allies are still pushing hard to redefine the family.
  5. 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.
  6. That this sort of foolishness has become commonplace here in America indicates how far this country has drifted from its Biblical mooring.
  7. We need to get back to what the Bible teaches about the home.
  8. The Bible teaches that marriage is analogous to that of Christ and His church.
  9. 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.”


I. WIVES ARE TO BE SUBMISSIVE (5:21, 22; cf. COL. 3:18).

  1. I would like to preface my remarks by stating that all Christians should have a meek, submissive spirit (Eph. 5:21).
  2. The husband is to be the head of the home (5:22-24).
  3. Subjection does not imply inferiority. Women are not inferior to men; just as Christ is inferior to God the Father (I Cor. 11:3).
  4. God is a God of order (cf. I Cor. 11:3).
  5. 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).
  6. God’s plan goes back to creation (Gen. 3:16; cf. I Cor. 11:8, 9; I Tim. 2:9-14).
  7. God has a plan, an order.  And when this plan is violated there will inevitably be chaos and confusion (Eph. 5:22-25; 6:1-4).
  8. When God’s plan is followed, there will be peace and harmony.
  9. Biblical submission is very difficult in some cases because oftentimes the husband is not saved, or is a drunkard, abusive, etc.
  10. 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).
  11. The worst thing a Christian wife can do is start nagging because that will drive him further from the Lord.
  12. “The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping” (Pro. 19:13).
  13. “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house” (Pro. 21:9).
  14. “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman” (Pro. 21:19).
  15. “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike” (Pro. 27:15).
  16. This reminds me of the poor fellow who said, “I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.”
  17. Contrast that with Proverbs 18:22, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”
  18. “A prudent wife is from the LORD” (Pro. 19:14).
  19. “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Pro. 31:10).
  20. 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.



  1. 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).
  2. 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. 5:23-33).
  3. Why does God have to tell us to love our wives?  Because we men often take our wives for granted.
  4. Colossians 3:19 says: “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
  5. Why does God tell us not to be “bitter against them” (Col. 3:19)?  Because God knows this is often the case.
  6. “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, 29).
  7. Therefore, when a husband loves his wife, he is loving himself because husband and wife are “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
  8. We ought to be grateful to God for good Christian wives (cf. Pro. 31:10-12, 28-31).



  1. “For this is right” (Eph. 6:1b).
  2. It “is the first commandment with promise” (6:2).
  3. “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.  (Ex. 20:12).
  4. Obeying parents “is well pleasing unto the Lord” (Col. 3:20).
  5. Obedience to our parents is important, because parents stand in the place of God to children.
  6. Parents spend many years feeding their children, and clothing them, and educating them, and protecting them, etc.
  7. Therefore, the Bible (5th commandment) says, “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Ex. 20:12).
  8. 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.”
  9. 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.
  10. 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 downtown.
  11. 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 liquor?”
  12. The son promised his mother he would not.
  13. When the beautiful restaurant opened, salesmen and other representatives from the breweries, and the wineries, and the liquor distilleries came by to do business.
  14. They told the man, “You cannot run a luxurious restaurant like this unless you sell alcohol.”
  15. 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.”
  16. “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).
  17. “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise” (Eph. 6:2).



  1. 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. 3:21).
  2. 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 children.
  3. Nowhere in the Bible is the training of children assigned to agencies outside the home (e.g. schools).



  1. Our families are under attack by the devil.  He is using every weapon he can – television, movies, the Internet, rock music, the public schools, etc.
  2. We need to be very careful.  And we need to do things God’s way.

<< Back                                       Next >>