1. The theme for today's lesson is: "God Has a Plan for the Family." 2. As we study passages that relate to this important theme, let us remember the principle mentioned in Psalm 127:1a. 3. Basically, this statement means: "unless we follow the Lord's plan for all that we do, we are wasting our time." 4. In order for our families to please God, we must follow His plan. 5. God's plan includes instructions for each member of the family. a. God's plan includes instructions for husbands and wives. b. God's plan also includes instructions for parents and children. 6. We first need to point out that . . . Discussion: I. GOD'S PLAN INCLUDES INSTRUCTIONS FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES
A. According to Genesis 2:24, God's will has always been for the basic family unit to consist of a man and a woman, united in marriage as husband and wife. 1. According to Hebrews 13:4, God still approves of marriage. 2. God's plan reveals who is eligible to marry. a. Men and women who have never been married may marry. b. Men and women whose spouses have died may marry (Romans 7:2-3). c. Men and women who have divorced their spouses on the grounds of fornication may marry (Matthew 19:9). 3. When a man and a woman who are eligible get married, each has instructions to follow. B. Instructions for wives are found in Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18. 1. It is God's will that wives submit themselves to their own husbands. 2. Submit: to subject one's self, to yield, to obey. 3. God has explained why wives are to submit to their husbands. a. Because the husband is the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23a). b. This is not to be degrading to women at all, but just as God has made Christ to be the head of the church, He has also made the husband to be the head of the wife. c. (Proverbs 31:11-12) The virtuous woman is highly praised for being in subjection to her husband. C. Instructions for husbands are found in Ephesians 5:25-28; Colossians 3:19. 1. Husbands are to "love" [seek what is best for] their wives. 2. This kind of love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. D. In order to follow God's plan for the family, husbands and wives must follow these instructions. E. This brings us to our second point. II. GOD'S PLAN INCLUDES INSTRUCTIONS FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN
A. More specifically, God has given instructions to fathers, mothers, and children. B. Instructions for fathers are found in Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21. 1. Fathers are responsible for the training and discipline of the children. 2. However, fathers are warned against provoking their children to wrath and anger (including physical and verbal abuse). C. Instructions for mothers are found in Titus 2:3-5. 1. Mothers are to love their children and keep the home. 2. (Proverbs 31:28) Because she fulfills her responsibilities, the virtuous woman's children "arise up, and call her blessed." D. Instructions for children are found in Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20. 1. Children are to honor and obey their parents. 2. According to Psalm 127:3, children are an important part of the family. Conclusion:
1. Since the creation, man has been blessed beyond measure because of the family. 2. Throughout the Bible, the family is highly exalted, and we must exalt it as well, even though many people do not follow God's plan for the family. 3. Some of the passages we have read indicate that the Lord is to be the central figure in the family: a. (Ephesians 5:22) "Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord." b. (Ephesians 5:25) "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church." c. (Ephesians 6:4) Fathers are to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." d. (Ephesians 6:1) "Children, obey your parents in the Lord." 4. Perhaps this will help us appreciate what is stated in Psalm 127:1. 5. Is the Lord the central figure in your family? 6. He can only be the central figure in your family if each member follows his/her God-given instructions. 7. Let us follow God's plan for the family!