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UNIT 2: Family Relationships

LESSON 8: February 25, 2024.

Memory Verse: Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, (KJV).
Lesson Bible Text:
Ephesians 5:25-33; Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7,12.
Lesson Central Truth:
Christian husbands are to love their wives as Jesus Christ loves the Church.
“I love you.” Those words have been spoken countless times and in every language. Many a man has made that declaration to the woman he believed would meet his deepest needs. Many have followed those words with, “Will you marry me?” Sadly, many men have failed to understand the depth of meaning behind “I love you,” and as a result, failed to meet the obligations of marriage when that proposal was accepted.
Every day young couples, even Christian couples, go into marriage with almost no idea of what it means to be a godly husband or wife. This lesson offers solid biblical guidelines for being a Christian husband, but even wives can benefit from some of the key principles. As Christians, both husbands and wives are to model their lives after Jesus Christ. So, while this lesson describes the pattern Christ has established for the husband, elements of that pattern will enrich a wife as well.
A. Sacrificial Love – Ephesians 5:25
B. Beneficial Love – Ephesians 5:26-27.
A. Golden Rule – Ephesians 5:28-30
B. Priority Relationship – Ephesians 5:31-33.
A. Sowing And Reaping – Colossians 3:19
B. Spiritual Yardstick – 1 Peter 3:7,12.
Ephesians 5:25-28
✅️ The first and foremost priority for a godly husband is to love his wife–with a particular emphasis on action. Paul also provides a high standard for the love a husband should express to his wife: the example of Christ’s love for the Church. Sacrificial love ie the agape kind of love is the type of love the Christian husbands are commanded to express to their wives. Complete sacrifice is the true nature of Christ’s love.
The purpose of God for the marriage is for the husband to love his wife just as Christ loved His bride(the Church). Christ gave Himself for the Church. He paid the ultimate price for our redemption. So, the husband’s love to his wife should involve a deep, lifelong commitment and the willingness to make any sacrifices necessary on her behalf. As Christian husbands, our love shouldn’t just be “I love you” words. We are to back it up as the head of the family with action. We must take full responsibility of taking care of our families. Are you a husband who loves his wife just like Christ loved the Church?
✅️ The practical reasons husbands are to love their wives are offered in verses 26 and 27. To “sanctify” means to set apart or make holy. A godly husband who shows love for his wife helps her grow spiritually. Also mentioned is the idea of cleansing via a study of Scripture. This appears to include the idea of helping a wife with spiritual growth by mutual discipleship. As you grow spiritually as a husband, you must carry your wife along.
Pray with your wife constantly. Be the coach and discipler to her. As the head of the family, always be incharge and allow the Word of God to pass through you to affect your home. Let your wife see you as the “senior pastor or prophet” of your family. Note that to help a wife grow in holy living and biblical understanding involves a level of personal growth. It requires both love for one’s wife and a serious commitment to helping her. And, of course, it requires a husband to be personally committed to serious study of the faith, himself. Many applications exist, but the principle is clear: a wife’s spiritual growth can best be enhanced by a godly husband who shows love to her. Be a Christian husband who helps to sharpen his wife to a holy living both in words and actions.
Ephesians 5:28-33
✅️ Paul demands that husbands love their wives “as their own bodies.” This includes personal care, time, and provision. A man would not leave his body “unattended” or without care for a great length of time. He should likewise not treat his wife in this manner. One reason Paul gives for husbands to love their wives as themselves is because human nature inevitably pulls us to care for ourselves more readily than for anyone else. Instinctively, a man “nourishes and cherishes” his body.
Similarly, the husband should have an instinctive desire to nourish and cherish his wife. Once again, comparison is made with Christ’s relationship with believers. The standard is Christ, not some human relationship which is prone to failure. This includes the idea of continual learning and growth. There is never a point at which a husband can claim he perfectly loves his wife and has no room to improve. Loving one’s wife is a lifelong pursuit that resembles the lifelong pursuit of personal spiritual growth. Husbands should note that they are united in marriage with their wives. They are not two individuals living in the same household; they are now one unit or “one flesh.” May God cause mutual care, selflessness and spiritual growth among our married couples in Jesus Name. Amen!
✅️ Paul reminds us that marriage turns two people into “one flesh” or one body or unit. God’s original design for marriage was one man and one woman in lifelong relationship. Marriage has been defined for God’s people since the earliest times and was not changed in the early church. Instead, Paul restated this teaching and gave an even higher standard by comparing the marriage relationship with Christ and the Church.
Paul went on to let us know that wives ought to submit and have respect to their husbands as to Christ, and husbands ought to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Our husbands must approach every part of marriage with the attitude of being a blessing to his wife. As a follower of Jesus, a Christian wife will respect Christ-like character in her husband. Note that a Christian marriage is not guaranteed to be without problems, yet there are godly solutions. Paul offers hope for those struggling to honour God in marriage, noting the example of Jesus as the standard for those who seek to show greater love between husbands and wives. May His love continue to propel us to love and respect each other in our families in Jesus Name. Amen!
Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7,12
✅️ Colossians 3:19 – Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly (NLT).
Men are meant to be the leaders of the home. At the same time, there is no room in Scripture for husbands to be abusive or unfair. Nor is there anything suggesting male superiority: on the contrary, a properly functioning marriage should have the same kind of equality-with-submission found in the Trinity itself. Paul commands men not to exasperate their wives, but rather care for them and treat them with kindness.
The way husbands treat their wives can directly affect the marital relationship. Many so called “Christian husbands” beat up their wives even in the presence of their children. Are you like that? Repent! Turn to Christ and enjoy a happy home. Building a successful marriage is a lifelong process of sowing and reaping. Husbands who sow discord with their wives will very likely reap a miserable or possibly a divorce. Husbands who faithfully sow Christ’s love with their partner have a good chance of reaping the wife exemplified by the Church.
✅️ The godly husband has several basic roles toward his wife. He should be considerate. A husband is to live with his wife in an understanding. Learning one’s wife is a key quality that men need to exercise. Understanding one’s wife requires study and patience.
What is your wife’s favorite food? What are things that cause her stress? What can you do to make her happy even when she is angry? By truly understanding your wife, her emotions, her thought processes, her likes and dislikes, you can properly serve her by sacrificially loving her according to how she needs to be loved. Note that women are naturally weaker than men. Therefore, men are to help take the pressure and load off their wives. Try helping out with household chores when necessary. Treat your wife with honour and respect. A husband should never abuse his authority as head of the family. See your wife as your fellow heirs of the grace of life. The failure to live as a godly husband has spiritual consequences. It can and it will hinder prayer.
Lesson Action Word
Just as Christians must rely on Christ’s work in them in order to live for Him. Husbands must rely on Christ to model His behaviour in their marriage.
Lesson Prayer Point
Father, help us to model our lives after You and to obey the biblical guidelines You have established for our families in Jesus Name. Amen!
Remain blessed as you join us in our Sunday school both online and at any Assemblies Of God Church close to you as we study together under the Feet of the Master.
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