Introduction: 1. Ephesians 5 begins with: "Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children." 2. To be "followers" [imitators] of God we must follow the instructions given in: a. vs.11 b. vs.15-17. 3. Thankfully, "the will of the Lord" has been revealed to us in the Bible. 4. By carefully studying the Scriptures we can know what God wants us to know on any subject. 5. In addition to "understanding what the will of the Lord is," Jesus showed in Matthew 7:21 that we must do the will of the Father. 6. Later in this chapter and in ch.6, God revealed His will for members of the family, including husbands, wives, parents, and children. 7. In our lesson we are concentrating on "God's will for the family." 8. Before we examine these instructions, perhaps we need to show that . . .
I. GOD ESTABLISHED THE FAMILY
A. The family did not come into existence by accident, and man did not invent it. B. According to Genesis 1:26-27, God established the family on the 6th day. C. To be more specific,: 1. God first made Adam (Genesis 2:7) 2. God next made Eve (Genesis 2:21-23). D. After creating Adam and Eve, God revealed His will for marriage (Genesis 2:24). 1. From the beginning, God's will has been for the basic family unit to consist of a man and a woman who are united in marriage as husband and wife. 2. Jesus endorsed this in His teaching (Matthew 19:4-6). 3. The Bible teaches in Hebrews 13:4 that God still approves of marriage. 4. God approves of marriage for those: a. who have never been married b. whose spouses have died (Romans 7:2-3) c. who have divorced their spouses because of fornication (Matthew 19:9). E. God also revealed His will for children. 1. A husband and a wife are responsible for bringing children into the world. 2. This has been God's will from the beginning (Genesis 1:28). F. God established the family. 1. We must not be unwise concerning His will. 2. Rather, we must understand His will for the family and comply with it. 3. As we search the Scriptures, we see that . . .
II. GOD HAS REVEALED HIS WILL FOR INDIVIDUAL FAMILY MEMBERS
A. God has revealed His will for wives in Ephesians 5:22-24. 1. The wife is to be in subjection to her husband. 2. This is not degrading to women at all, but just as God made Christ to be the head of the church, He also made the husband to be the head of the wife. 3. Being in subjection is something that the wife does herself. 4. She does this because of her respect for God and her husband. B. God has revealed His will for husbands in Ephesians 5:25-28. 1. The husband is to love his wife. 2. This kind of love: a. includes care and protection b. eliminates bitterness (Colossians 3:19). C. God has revealed His will for fathers in Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21. D. God has revealed His will for mothers in Titus 2:3-5. 1. Mothers are to love their children and keep the home. 2. The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 provides a wonderful example. E. God has revealed His will for children in Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20.
1. God has revealed His will for the family in His Word. 2. Let us understand it (Ephesians 5:17) and obey it (Matthew 7:21).