Friday, March 6, 2009

How to Have a Spirit Controlled Home

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:18-33). “When home is ruled according to God’s Word,” Said Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “angels might be asked to stay with us, and they would not find themselves out of their element.” The trouble is that many homes are not governed by God’s Word-even homes where the members are professing Christians-and the consequences are tragic. The answer is the Holy Spirit of God. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can walk in harmony as husbands and wives, parents and children. The home can be heaven on earth if each family member is controlled by the Spirit. Note three way in which Spirit control will affect each family member. First, the Spirit filled family member will be joyful (5:19). Joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit. Christian joy is a deep experience of adequacy and confidence in spite of the circumstances around us. This kind of joy is not a thermometer but a thermostat, it determines the spiritual temperature of the home. To illustrate this joy, Paul used the familiar experience of drunkenness (v. 18). The drunk is under the control of another force. The drunk is not ashamed to express himself, nor can he hide what is going on in his life. Transfer this picture to the believer who is filled with the Spirit. God controls his life, and he experiences a deep joy he is not afraid to express to the glory of God. The drunk calls attention to himself, while the Spirit filled believer is a witness for Christ. Second, the Spirit filled family member will be Thankful (5:20). Someone defined the home as “the place where we are treated the best-and complain the most.” A grateful heart promotes harmony in the home. The grateful person realizes that he is enriched because of others. Paul commanded his readers to be thankful for all things at all times. We need the Spirit of God to help us be thankful for suffering, disappointments, and bereavements. When a Christian finds himself in a difficult situation, he should immediately give thanks to the Father to keep his heart from complaining and fretting. The word gratitude comes for the same root word as grace. Thank and think also come for the same root word. If we would think more, we would thank more. Third, the Spirit filled family member will be submissive (5:21-33). The fact that Paul uses Christ and the Church as his illustration is evidence that he has the Christian home in mind. Wives submit yourselves (5:22-24). He gives two reasons for this command. 1. The Lordship of Christ (v. 22). 2. The headship of the man in Christ (v. 23). Husbands love your wives (5:25-33). Paul had much more to say to the Christian husbands than to the wives. 1. He set a very high standard “Love your wives even as Christ also loved the church (v. 25). Paul was lifting married love to the highest level possible. The Christian home is an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the Church (v. 32, 33). 2. God established marriage for many reasons. It meets man’s emotional needs. “It is not good that the man should be alone (v. 31). Marriage has as social purpose in the bearing of children to continue the race. Marriage has a spiritual purpose, as the husband and wife experience the love of Christ. 3. If the husband makes Christ’s love for the Church the pattern for his wife, then he will love her sacrificially (v. 25). 4. The husbands love will be a sanctifying love (vv. 26-27). 5. The husbands love for his wife should be a sastisfying love (vv. 28-30). We must claim the promise of John 7:37-39: “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink!” By faith yield yourself to Christ; by faith ask him for the fullness of the Spirit. By faith receive. When you find yourself joyful, thankful, and submissive, you will know that God has answered. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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