Ephesians Session 12- The Spirit-Filled Family

Session 12- The Spirit-Filled Family

Ephesians 5:21-6:4


Click here for Ephesians Session 12- Ben’s Session
Click here for Ephesians Session 12- Handout

Subject: Family

Central Theme: Spirit Filled Family

Objective Statement: Spirit-filled family members live out submission in the following ways.



  • Family
  • When I say that word, what comes to mind?
  • The word conjures up all kinds of emotions.
  • For some the word is quite positive.
  • Family is part of God’s plan. It’s the most basic unit of society.
  • God certainly meant it to be good and to promote human flourishing.
  • For many though the word comes with all kinds of baggage.
  • So many families are hurting. Relationships are not what they could be or should be.
  • When we think of the word family many people may think of words like: Complicated.
  • In the book of Ephesians, Paul has made the case that those who are in Christ have been redeemed. We are different.  We have a vocation that we have to which we have been called.
  • And this means that our lives must match our identity.
  • Last week we discovered that being wise is God’s will and the logical outworking of someone who is in Christ.
  • Being wise looks like being controlled by the Spirit of God.
  • When we are controlled by God’s Spirit through God’s Word we will be worshipful, thankful and submissive. (See 5:18-20).
  • A spirit controlled person puts others ahead of themselves.
  • So what does that look like as a family?
  • Should a family be Spirit-filled? Spirit controlled?
  • Spirit- filling played out in family is people putting others ahead of themselves. What will that look like?

Spirit-filled family members live out submission in the following ways.

1.  Spirit filled wives reverence their husbands. V.21-24

Ephesians 5:21-24

(21)  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

  • As a reminder about last week and where we are in the text…

(22)  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

(23)  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

(24)  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.


  • Filled with the Spirit > mutual submission > adopting God given roles. Everyone is submissive in their role.
  • The motivation for the wife to follow the lead of her husband is obedience to the Lord.
  • This husband/wife relationship is a picture of Christ (husband) and the church (wife).
  • The church’s necessary obedience to our loving head, Christ, is a picture of the way that a wife should follow her husband, and of how a husband should lead his wife as the head of his home.
  • This does not mean that the husband does not submit to the wife at all.
  • Remember the heading here is mutual submission.
  • What it does mean is that God’s design for the home is that the wife would follow the leading and authority of her husband.
  • Husbands and wives are equal in value and complementary in roles.


2.  Spirit filled husbands love their wives. V.25, 33

Ephesians 5:25

(25)  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:33

(33)  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

  • He is the protector, purchaser, redeemer, provider, and initiator.
  • Love in both verses is a verb. It is best and most aptly demonstrated in the life of Christ, his death and his resurrection.
  • He cares for us because of that initiated redemption.
  • This is the standard to which God calls me as a husband, and really as a Father.
  • I submit to my wife by leading her spiritually, with a heart of sacrificial Christ like love.
  • If Christ died for the church, I should be willing to die for my wife.
  • I must love my wife actively, intentionally and in a Christ-like manner. I must love her with the intensity that I love myself as the floor and how Christ loved us as the ceiling.


3.  Spirit filled children obey their parents. 6:1-3

Ephesians 6:1-3

(1)  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

(2)  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

(3)  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.


  • A spirit-filled child submits to their parents, and a spirit filled parent teaches their children to obey.
  • As a parent, I have no option but to require obedience in my children.
  • It is the right thing to do.
  • God’s requirement of me as a parent is to require obedience of my kids.
  • God also desires for children to honor their father and mother, and Paul points to the fact that in the 10 commandments this is the one where God promises to prosper a person for their obedience.
  • You may be thinking, but what if my child is not a believer yet. He can’t be filled with the Spirit if he is not indwelled with the Spirit.
  • This is right. They cannot be indwelled if they are not saved.
  • Which is why we must teach our kids the gospel.
  • There is a standard- obedience- which they cannot meet perfectly.
  • So we must reflect mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love to them that is not based on their performance.
  • In this we can exemplify the Gospel.
  • We must also pray for their salvation. We must take that very seriously.
  • The kind of obedience that pleases God- obedience from a right heart attitude- is ultimately only possible once the children know Christ.
  • As a parent, according to these verses:
    1. I should demand obedience of my children. (This is hard)
    2. It will help my children to honor me if I live honorably in front of them. It will help them be obedient if I invest in them.
    3. Their prosperity is tied to my parenting them in these two directions.


4.  Spirit filled parents raise their children.


Ephesians 6:4

(4)  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


  • A Spirit-filled father makes sure not to provoke – (aim to cause or continue to cause) – wrath (vengeance, anger, strife) in their kids.
  • A father can do his by exemplifying wrath to their kids or at their kids.
  • The opposite of doing that is the second half of the verse. We should bring them up in the:
    1. +Nurture of the Lord – to care for and encourage the growth or development of our kids in the Lord.  This is the positive, teaching aspect of instruction.
    2. -Admonition of the Lord – to warn or correct our kids authoritatively by the Word of God. This is the negative, correcting aspect of instruction
  • This reminds me of 2 Tim. 3:16-17 – “All scripture …is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man (person, child, father) of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
    1. What to believe- Doctrine
    2. What not to believe- reproof
    3. What not to do- Correction
    4. What to do- Instruction in righteousness
  • I shouldn’t just parent with a paddle. I must parent with a sword, milk, bread, meat – the Spirit of God and the Word of God.


  • Imagine the strength of our homes, our neighborhoods, our churches, our schools…if the families functioned according to the Spirit of God as He has revealed His will in the Word of God.
  • The only way to be filled with the Spirit is to be families who live according to the Word of God!

Discussion Questions:

  1. How have you seen people misunderstand this command for wives to submit to their husbands?
  2. What do you think is a Christian wife’s motive for submitting to her husband?
  3. How do you think a marriage demonstrates a couple’s understanding of Christ’s love and the gospel?
  4. What did it mean to obey your parents when you were a child? Which of those actions would be inappropriate now that you are an adult?  Which would be appropriate?
  5. How might this command to fathers be carried out after children are adults?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *