LESSON 4 25/9/2016
DUTIES OF FAMILY MEMBERS
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 244, 245
Devotional Reading: Col. 3:18-25
Topic For Adults: Make Your Family A Successful One
Topic For Youths: Prepare To Make Your Family A Happy One
Topic For Intermediates: Do Things That Will Make Your Family Succeed
Scripture Lesson: Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:18,19, 20,21; 1 Pet. 3:1; Eph. 6:1-3
Memory Verse: Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph. 5:33) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Children To Take Care Of Their Old Parents
When Joseph was young, the father took care of him. There came a time when the father would have suffered, but for Joseph whom God had raised to a high place. Most parents sacrificed a lot to train their children – time, energy, money, love, prayers, advice, etc. As the children get settled in life, they should not forget their parents; even if they are well-to-do. The children should show appreciation to the parents in form of gifts, visitation and care. Children should not get so elevated or prominent that they are ashamed of the parents because they are poor or uneducated. If parents live long, there may come a time when they will need old-age care. Christian children should ensure such parents are well taken care of. It is a form of repayment for the care the parents gave when the children were young.
Point of Emphasis: Let children first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents for this is good and acceptable before God.
Prayer Point: Lord, help us to repay our parents’ love at old age.
Christian families must exhibit mutual submission in Christ to co-exist in harmony and enjoy peaceful home. Each party in the family must know his or her responsibilities and carry out same with sense of responsibility. It is the duty of the father and mother to live a life worthy of emulation and also bring the children up in a way that is pleasing to God. it is the focus of this week’s lesson to bring things out that will make Christian families live together according to God’s divine will.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
PART 1: HUSBAND, LOVE AND CHERISH YOUR WIFE (EPH. 5: 25; COL. 3: 19)
Loving one’s wife goes beyond the romantic feeling one had at courtship. The feeling may fluctuate from day to day. What God commands is a commitment to cherish and care for the wife. When the romantic feeling is there, the action becomes easier to carry out. Without the romantic feeling, the commitment should not diminish. Jesus’ love for the church is given as example for husbands. The church is imperfect, yet His love does not waver. When the church demonstrates fervent love for Christ and when the church’s love grows cold, His love remains unwavering. In a similar way, the husband’s love for the wife should not depend on the behaviour of the wife – love for one’s wife should be unconditional.
In marriage relationship there is a circle of crisis. When the wife perceives that the husband’s love is waning, she also withdraws her respect and submission. The wife’s lack of submission further infuriates the husband and makes the husband to withdraw his love. The circle continues unless one of them breaks it. The husband should decide to rather obey God by loving the wife, rather than allowing the circle of crisis to continue.
PART 2: WIFE, SUBMIT TO AND RESPECT YOUR OWN HUSBAND (EPH. 5:22-23; COL. 3:18; 1 PET. 3:1)
Most wives have no problem submitting to husbands that show true love to them. The command to submit becomes more difficult when the husband does not show he cares about the welfare of the wife or treats the wife as a second-class person in the home or behaves recklessly. God’s command does not allow conditional obedience. However, the type of submission God expects from the church to Jesus as the head of the church, is that which God expects from the wife to the husband. It is when a wife’s obedience to the command of God is complete that God can intervene in the case of a husband that is not carrying out his own part of the bargain.
In a case where the wife’s submission may result to threat to life, she should seek the counsel of her spiritual leaders. In any case no wife or husband should take each other for granted and misbehave, because God is the judge in their relationship (Mal. 2:14-16). God will judge a husband who withholds his love because he knows the wife will submit in obedience to God’s command. Similarly for the wife who refuses to submit because she is aware the husband has no choice.
PART 3: CHILDREN, HONOUR AND OBEY YOUR PARENTS (EPH. 6:1-3; COL. 3:20-21)
Teenage years are difficult years for both children and their parents. While parents try to make sure their children are shielded from the various pitfalls around, the children feel their parents are too overbearing. They want to experiment with all the things around them and to express their individuality. Children should realise that parents’ anxiety over them is based on the parents’ experiences and observations of the pains of others who have fallen into pits. It is not wise to have to learn from one’s personal mistakes when one can escape by listening to the instruction of parents. Obeying parents brings honour (Prov 1:8-9), wisdom and long life (Prov. 2:1, 9-12; 3:1-2).
Children should also honour parents by showing respect and care for them. Most parents would have sacrificed their comfort to make sure the children are trained. No matter how limited the parents were able to educate the children, the sacrifice should be appreciated. In appreciation, children should show that they care for the parents. The care a child shows for his parent is a seed sown; the child will eventually reap same when he or she becomes a parent.
Every member of the family has a part to play in making the family a happy one. Do not use other’s failure in doing their part as an excuse to disobey God. God will hold every member of the family responsible for his or her action or inaction.
- How will you interprete God’s charge to man in Ephesians 5:25?
- Is the circle of crisis real between couples in marriage? How does it manifest and how can it be overcome?
- Explain why God does not allow conditional love between couples?
- What should a wife do, if her submission results to threat of life?
- Why is teenage years difficult and what should teenagers realise about their parent’s anxiety over them?