And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. . . . For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. . . .So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. . . . Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. . . . Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 5:21-22, 25, 33; 6:1, 4 NLT (Suggested reading: Ephesians 5:21-6:4)
Thoughts for Today
In a functional family, communication lines are open between parents and children. Children have input into family matters; however, the parents make the final decision for the child's well-being.
A functional family is characterized by a sense of family wholeness. Each family member has a feeling of belonging, which contributes to their personal self-esteem.
Children need to see a loving relationship between their parents. Spouses who love and respect each other contribute greatly to the children's sense of well-being.
Consider this …
The characteristics of a functional family are described by the apostle Paul in today's Scripture reading. Each family member has a role to play in God's plan for the family. This unit functions properly when there is submission to Christ. And husbands and wife are admonished to stand together as one in Christ. Children honor and obey their parents.
Paul describes checks and balances to prevent abuse and neglect in the family unit. The entire family operates under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Father, help us to submit more fully to your plan for families. Help us to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Help us as parents to stand in unity in guiding our children and teaching them your ways.
In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
- Ministers to families from abusive relationships
- Ministers to victims of family violence
- Deals with wounded emotions
- Deals with control and intimacy issues
- Presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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