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Paul starts to deal with practical areas of family relationships – always dealing first with the subordinate member in the relationship and then offering some balancing admonitions to the other party who is in the position of authority.


A. What is Involved in Submission?

Stedman: “This word ‘submit’ has become the focus of the feminist movement and is probably the most hated word among women today. The meaning has been grossly distorted. Many wrong things have been done in the name of submission. Perhaps the first thing that needs to be said about submission is that it does not cancel out equality.”

1. It does not mean:

– a lesser degree of worth or value

– never expressing your opinion

– slavery

2. It does mean:

– military expression = “to rank under”

“put yourself under, arrange yourself under someone” = voluntary

– loyalty; support of the husband’s role of leader of the household

– being willing to give way to the decisions of your husband even when you disagree – But: Important for husband to take into account the wise counsel of his help-meet

B. Scope of this Submission – “to your husbands”

not saying that all women should be subject to all men

C. Why is it so Essential? — it is “fitting to the Lord”

represents God’s sense of order in relationships – even if it is unpopular in today’s culture;

Gen. 2:18; 1 Tim. 2:12-13

D. Personal Illustrations from your own life

E. Example of the Church as the Bride of Christ – submitting to her Head – Eph. 5:24


A. What is Involved in Sacrifical Love?

Essential ingredient of loving leadership and headship in the home;

Seen in acts of sacrifice and concern for her welfare;

Stedman: “honor, value, respect, guard, protect, show delight in your wife”

B. Why is it so Essential? protects against resentment – “and do not be embittered against them”

Wives have special needs; husband had certain limitations (restrictions) which he did not have as a single man; the pressure to meet these needs may lead to resentment or bitterness

Kent: “The verb is used of water which has been made bitter (Rev. 8:11). It is also used of an incensed and angry attitude, when one is mastered by a bitter spirit. Perhaps Paul had in mind instances where a husband might develop a continuing resentment because of a wife’s lack of submissiveness.”

Morgan: “Don’t act harshly, unkindly, roughly”

Zeisler: “Impatience is frequently the source of anger and bitter feelings. ‘Doggone it, I want a soution! Let’s get on with it. This love business takes forever.’ Love keeps men connected longer than they naturally want to be, and the typical response of men is to get impatient. But that’s exactly what we are forbidden to do. We must not start tapping our feet, growling, and getting tired of the process. We must live with the process. And similarly, Paul modifies his directive to wives by adding that it is fitting in the Lord that they have limits set on them by submitting to their husbands. Jesus’ sacrificial love for us and joyful submssion to his Father are models for both husband and wife.”

Temptations for Husband to become bitter or resentful against his wife:

– Feeling that there is a lack of appreciation or encouragement from the wife

– Feeling that the wife has failed to act submissively or to show proper respect for the leadership or provision of the husband

– Unwilling to spend the necessary time to communicate fully with his wife

– Insensitive to the emotional nature of the wife and the different way in which she responds to problems and situations

– Unwilling to adjust his habits of life to accommodate her different preferences and priorities

C. Example of Christ – How He sacrificially gave Himself for the Church – Eph. 5:25 ff


A. What is Involved in Obedience?

Vaughan: “implies a readines to hear and carry out orders; the child is to listen to and cary out the instructions of his parents. The verb is in the present tense, indicating that such action is to be habitual.”

B. Scope of this Obedience – “in all things”

C. Why is it so Essential? – “this is well-pleasing to the Lord”

Preserves peace in the home

D. Example of Christ in Obeying His Heavenly Father

Heb. 5:8


A. What Does Abuse of Authority Look Like? – “do not exasperate your children”

Eight Ways to exasperate your children:

1) Make promises that you don’t keep

(Even using the “maybe” word can confuse your children who automatically assume that you have made a commitment)

2) Nag them to death; always finding fault

3) Micromanage them

4) Have unrealistic expectations that they can never meet

5) Show partiality in how you treat your different children / Play Favorites

6) Be inconsistent in your enforcing of rules and exercise of discipline

7) Design punishments that far exceed the nature of the infraction

8) Ignore them; Fail to spend time with them in activities of their choosing

B. Why is it so Dangerous? – “that they may not lose heart”

leads to resentment, bitterness, sullenness