May 17, 2018
Last night was a good night in the Word, especially given the tough passage. We spent our time studying Ephesians 5:21-6:9, in which Paul helps the Ephesian believers understand how to “submit to one and other out of reverence to Christ.” There are three groups of people that Paul specifically addresses: husbands and wives, parents and children, along with slaves and masters. I’ll summarize below:
Husbands and Wives
Although none of the students are married (which is good!), we still noted that what Paul says about husbands and wives is profitable for us, especially in the current culture of the day. Paul primarily talks of the husband’s headship, and the wife’s’ submission to that headship. We talked for a while about what that means, using the illustration of a dance (not my original illustration, but very helpful). When two partners dance, there is always a lead and always a follow. The lead’s job is to take the first step, to set the steps of the dance, and to help anchor and guide the dance as a whole. While dancing, he’s constantly and consciously trying to think of the next move, and the thing that will make his partner, the follow, look spectacular and bring her joy! On the other side, the follow is to trust the lead, stepping where he steps, moving where he moves in the dance. In this regard, the follow isn’t mindless, but is consciously choosing to follow her lead, knowing that in doing so, they’ll dance as one unit, beautifully. The husband’s role in marriage is leadership by sacrificial, humble servanthood that puts the wife first. When that leadership is taken advantage of, we see a perversion of God’s good design for marriage, one in which the follow loses trust, and the dance falls apart. On the other side, when the follow tries to take control of the direction of the dance, the dance can’t move… it’s of two minds, and falls apart just the same. God created male and female with equal standing and separate roles. No one role is more important than the other, and when done in unison, the result is beautiful, as it’s a picture to the world of who Christ is for His church. In our current culture, headship and submission is very often misunderstood, and we had some really good conversation in small group talking about it.
Children and Parents/Slaves and Masters
We spent a shorter amount of time here, but hopefully it was impactful nonetheless. Paul commands “children obey your parents in the Lord.” We especially talked about how, for the students, their God given role right now is as children, and because of that, it’s not just parents that are honored in obedience, but God is honored and pleased in obedience. That’s the perspective we must have to be submissive kids. We talked about how in each of these relationships, there’s balance, as Paul speaks not only to kids, but to parents as well, commanding them to not provoke their children. The same goes for work relationships between bosses and workers. God created different roles, but equal standing, and our job is, with the help of the spirit, to live out our role for the glory of God.
There were some big things that we talked about, but again, it’s got so much significance for these kids. I truly believe that! I pray that you’re helped by these updates as you strive to bring your kids up in the Lord.