Thursday, March 18, 2010

Family Matters

A lesson for teenagers about healthy families based on Ephesians 5:22-6:4 and written by Dr. Terry W. Dorsett
Note: this lesson was prepared for teenagers who primarily come from families who are not active in an evangelical church. The same scripture might be presented another way in a different setting.

Verses 22-25 - Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord.
for the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
  • When we hear the phrase "wives submit to your husbands" our mental picture is:

  • But the Bible says that the husband is the head of the wife like Christ was the head of the church.
  • How did Christ lead the church?
  • The "picture" of Christ's leadership is:

This is a different picture of leadership!
  • Ladies, if your husband loved you so much that he was willing to carry a cross for you, have nails driven in his hands & feet for you, hang on a cross between two thieves and literally sacrifice his life for you, would you be willing to follow him then?
  • In our modern world, it is unlikely that husbands will be called upon to actually carry a cross for their wife. But what if a husband loved his wife so much that he was willing to miss his favorite ball game on television so he could help around the house, or give up a job promotion so he could spend more time with the family, or stop hanging around with a friend that did not respect you properly?
  • Biblical submission is not about one person "controlling" another.
  • Biblical submission is about letting a loving and sacrificial person lead us.
  • A person like that must lead the family for it to be healthy.
  • If there is no one like that in our family, maybe we need to become that kind of person in our family.
  • Can we be part of the solution instead of adding to the problem?
Ephesians 6:1 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right.
  • I've never met a young person who likes this verse!
  • The reason we should obey our parents is because it is the right thing to do.
  • Are our parent's always right?
  • NO!!!
  • But it is always right to obey them unless they ask us to do something illegal, immoral or that will hurt us.
  • This verse says that children should obey their parents "in the Lord."
  • It is especially important for Christian kids to obey their parents. It shows the parents how Christ is working in their lives.
  • This is even more important if our parents are NOT Christians. They need to see Christ in us. That may make them desire to become a Christian too, which will make the whole family better.
Ephesians 6:2-3 - Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life.
  • This verse tells us to honor our parents.
  • What is the difference between obeying and honoring?
  • Obeying means doing what they tell us to do. Honoring means to respect them.
  • Will there come a day when we no longer have to obey our parents?
  • Yes, when we move out of the house and start paying our own bills then we will no longer have to obey our parents.
  • Will there come a day when we no longer have to honor our parents?
  • No, we should always respect our parents.
  • What promise does the Bible give if we honor our parents?
  • Life will go well and will be longer.
  • People who do not have a good relationship with their parents seldom have a good life.
  • The stress from such a poor relationship often shortens their lifespan.
  • If we obey and honor our parents, life will be better and longer.
  • If we disobey and disrespect our parents, we can expect a lifetime of pain, relational difficulties and additional stress that may lead to an early death.
  • Do our parents have any obligations in this or do they just get to be bossy and psycho?
Verse 4 - And fathers, don't stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

  • Parents are not supposed to "stir up anger" in their children.
  • This does not mean that our parents should never make us mad. They will probably do that a lot!
  • What it means is that they should not purposefully do things JUST to make us mad.
  • When Christian young people obey and honor their parents and Christian parents don't purposefully do things to make their kids mad, life is very GOOD!!!!!
  • When one (or both) side fails to act the way Christ wants us to, then life is NOT so good.
  • Sometimes life can be REALLY BAD!!!!
  • What can we do when life is not as good as we wish it was?
  • Notice this verse talks about training and instruction in the Lord.
  • We can grow our inner spirit even if our family situation is less than ideal.
  • Our faith can help us be better parents when our time comes to lead a family.

What Kind of "Family Material" Will We Be?
Adapted from LXVI™, Vol. 21 • Copyright 2006 • LifeWay Press® • Permission granted to reproduce this page for use with LXVI.

Let us each rate ourselves: Our options are NEVER, SOMETIMES, ALWAYS.

  • When I don't get my way….no problem.
  • The people in my life would describe me as loving and kind.
  • I like to hear other people's opinions.
  • I have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • I can forgive people who have disappointed me.
  • I feel good about who I am.
  • I am making wise choices now so that I can have a healthy family later.
  • I am certain my relationship with my parents will change once I get married.
  • It is easy for me to love others as much as I love myself.
  • I see an example of a healthy marriage relationship in my own home.
  • I see an example of a healthy parent-child relationship in my own home.
Let's each add our scores up for the results:
  • If most of our answers were NEVER, our future family may be Headed for Disaster if we don't make changes in our relationships NOW!!!!!
  • If most of our answers are SOMETIMES, then our behavior and attitudes are too dependent on our circumstances. This means our future family could go either way, good or bad.
  • If most of our answers are ALWAYS, then our faith in Jesus Christ has obviously affected our views and behaviors. Our future family is looking good.
Conclusion - For a family to be healthy:
  • It must be led by a person who loves that family enough to sacrifice for them.
  • The rest of the family must follow that sacrificial and loving person's leadership.
  • Children should obey and honor their parents as a way to demonstrate their Christian faith and in order to have a happier life.
  • Parents should not do things to purposely make their kids angry.
  • If our current family is not doing so well, we should improve our own spirituality so that our faith can help us be better parents when we start our own families.


  1. Thank you for sharing this with the church. It helps us to know more about what the teens are learning and how we as church members are responsible for the welfare of these young people.

    I am so blessed to be a part of a strong biblical church that encourages growth and understanding how we are all a part of the whole body of Christ.

    Many thanks for all the sacrifices that you and your family have made so that others can learn this valuable lesson.