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God's Plan For Your Family

No one needs to prove that we are watching the death of the crux of civilization, the family. All the signs are evident around us. We could show all kinds of statistics to reveal the dire condition of families in our culture. We are all continually looking at the media parade of divorce, sexual rebellion, abortion, delinquency, infidelity, and so on. It has been trodden out before us for the last 20 years. We are observing the construction of a rope that will strangle the family to death. And many in society today are gladly etching out the tombstone for the family.

There is no question that the family is under a significant attack and people want to redefine family in any terms they want. We are watching a generation of people grow up with no moral sense. There is chaos, murder, and crime at unprecedented levels. You can tamper with society in many places, but if you destroy the family, you destroy society.

There is a divine plan for how the family operates, the way God intends. When seeking that model, we need to go no further than the Word of God.


"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." – Ephesians 5:18-21


1. Families Are To Be Filled With The Spirit


Being filled with the Spirit is the key that unlocks all the rest. It is the first of several prerequisites for any thriving marriage or relationship. If you want true fellowship with God and to please Him, you must be filled with the Spirit.


"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." – Colossians 3:16


When the Word of God dominates your life, and you respond in obedience to it, you are being controlled by the Holy Spirit. It's not a mystical experience. It simply means we are obeying the truth.

Whatever we do regarding our Christian life, whether it's our marriage or our family, must flow out of a life yielded to the Holy Spirit. The right kind of marriage and family relationship is built on a life where Christ is the foundation.


2. Families Are To Be Filled With Praise


"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" – Ephesians 5:19-20


There is praise when we live a life devoted to the Word of God and obedience to Him.

If you find a person filled with the Spirit, you will find a happy and thankful person, one who is filled with joy and praise and worship.

The only way to cultivate the right relationship with anybody is to be filled with His Spirit. Filled with praise and thankfulness to God so that your heart is overflowing with joy, and that's what makes a person someone you can live with.

You are to be so filled with love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control that your spouse may get upset at their inability to cause conflict.


3. Families Are To Be Filled With Submission


"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." – Ephesians 5:21


This does not mean you are afraid of Christ. This verse tells us to be subject to one another. This isn't talking wives to their husbands or children to their parents. It's talking about everybody. This is what makes meaningful marriages and family relationships.

The word "submit" here in the original Greek means "to rank under." It's a military term. So we are called to place ourselves under one another.

What is the makeup for meaningful relationships? It is someone controlled by the Spirit, obedient to the Word of the Lord, filled with joy, praise, and thankfulness to God for every single thing in their life, and eager to submit their will to everybody else. We are called on to set ourselves under one another. This principle is dominant in Scripture. Expressing the idea of humility and meekness is so fundamental to Christian character.


"That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth." – 1 Corinthians 16:16


"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." – Hebrews 13:17


"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;" – 1 Peter 2:13


"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." – James 4:7


This is the idea of humility. Jesus illustrated this by washing His disciple's feet and then told them, "I want you to love one another just as I loved you." How did He love them? Enough to humble himself as the incarnate God to wash the dirty, fifthly feet of a bunch of proud, self-centered disciples arguing about who would be the most significant in His kingdom while Jesus was on the brink of giving His life for them.

Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and submitting ourselves to Him, two flawed, imperfect people can come together and form a God-honoring family.

If marriages and families are to fulfill their divine purpose, these issues are at stake here and become a matter of spiritual devotion. If we are willing to be obedient to His Word, have our hearts are filled with overwhelming joy, be thankful for every single thing that comes into our life, and willing to submit ourselves to one another out of devotion to Jesus Christ, then we are going to have meaningful relationships. Apart from an unselfish devotion to God and each other, this will not happen.

The current trend today is self-centered pride. Today the emphasis is on individualism, liberties, and self-esteem. That individualistic thinking is deadly to any meaningful marriage and family relationships. Ultimately, the price for our sought-after freedom will be loneliness and isolation. People will become like objects, just used and discarded. They become like strangers, and families are more like a bunch of disconnected people living in boarding houses. More interested in self-fulfillment than giving, more desirous of material goods than relationships.

Families and meaningful marriages, which are essential to society and real fulfillment in life, are only possible if you have unselfish attitudes. Where personal desires are sacrificed for others, that's the key to all relationships to be Spirit-filled, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and being submissive.

There is no magic or gimmicks. If you have a Spirit-filled obedient, praising, worshiping, thankful, submissive heart, you have the formula to make a wonderful family, marriage, and life.

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