Becoming a Spirit Led and Spirit Filled Family
One of the greatest things under attack today is family
Satan desires to divide families and divide marriages
It seems he has many families surrounded on every side and the main target is children
Through causing gender and sexual confusion many children are questioning who they are
They are questioning who God has created them to be
Parents can feel overwhelmed in trying to raise children in this day and age
But God has a plan and purpose for marriages and families
I believe God desires that every family would become a Spirit led and Spirit filled family
What does it mean to be Spirit led?
It means in every decision we are surrendered and guided by The Holy Spirit
What does it mean to be Spirit filled?
It means the presence of God marks our lives
There are many decisions that parents are faced with and where we should find the answer is the leading and guidance of The Holy Spirit
In John 14:26 Jesus says 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
The Holy Spirit is here to lead, guide, and direct us in all things
The Holy Spirit leads and guides us into all truth and as we look in Ephesians chapter 5 and 6 the apostle Paul gives instructions to husbands, wives, and children
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Because of our culture today the instructions by the apostle Paul that wives should submit to their husbands can seem foreign or even in some minds as wrong
Is Paul calling wives to be obedient to their husbands?
Is he stating that wives have no say in decision that are being made?
This word submit can mean either submission, submitting, or subordinate
Paul is speaking of order and rank of a family
Paul uses the example of Christ and the church because all throughout the book of Ephesians Paul’s focus is all that we have in Christ.
Through the relationship of Christ to the church Paul reveals how a family should be ordered under the leading and guidance of The Holy Spirit
In Ephesians Paul gives two different prayers for the believers
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[a] toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Paul’s Prayer is that believers would fully understand all they have in Christ
They would be empowered by Jesus Christ
They would understand the fullness of Christ and His love for them
It is when we truly understand all we have in Christ that it will impact every area of our lives
This is true concerning our marriages and our families
Paul begins by stating that wives should submit to their husbands but it is also important to see that Paul states that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church
This during Paul’s day would be a revolutionary statement
As many times those who were wives in Greco Roman society were not treated with love nor respect
Often a husband would rule his home and he would rule it with an iron fist
But I truly believe if a family is to be spirit led and spirit filled it begins with the parents
Today we have families who have both a dad and a mom
But we also have many families that may be led by a single parent
The challenges that a single parent confronts in trying to not only raise one child but often multiple children can be difficult
But I believe if a family is to be spirit led and spirit filled it must begin with the personal spiritual lives of the parent or parents
As a father or mother do we have a personal prayer time on a daily basis in which we are spending time in God’s presence and building intimacy with Him?
Are we spending time in His word allowing the Holy Spirit to renew our minds and transform our lives?
Because Jesus has spoken to us of the importance of abiding in Him
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Everything we need is found in Jesus
But our connection to Christ on a daily basis must be the priority of our lives
Are there times when there is challenges and trials within a marriage?
The answer is yes
But the answer is always found in Christ
He is the restorer, healer, and great physician
God will actually use every challenge we face in our marriages to strengthen it and glorify Him
I truly believe no marriage is outside restoration and healing of Jesus if both people are willing to commit themselves fully to Christ
But not only a family being spirit led and spirit filled is dependent on the individual spiritual lives of the parents, but it is also dependent on the parents praying and spending time in the word together
Yes we can be exhausted through the course of the day with work, children, and other challenges we face
Often when raising children we can get to the end of the day with nothing left in the tank
But Jesus shows us the power of agreement and coming together in Him
18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
When a husband and wife come together in prayer it creates a dynamic in the home in which the power and presence of God is released
Where two are gathered, He is there
Where two agree on anything it is done
When a husband and wife pray together and are in the word together on a regular basis it creates a bond and dynamic that is unstoppable to the enemy
12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
The three cord strain is husband and wife and Jesus
But does this mean that single parents are less in the eyes of Jesus
The answer is no
Though raising children as a single parent can be filled with challenges and can be very hard and difficult, I truly believe the grace of God is sufficient
We must remember in our weakness, His strength is perfected
But I also believe In Ephesians 6:1-4 Paul leaves important instructions for parents and children
Paul states in verses 1-3
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Paul calls children to obey their parents
He list the fifth commandment which is to honor your father and mother
God is concerned with relationships
We are created in the image of God
God created and designed marriage
God created and designed the family
For a family to be spirit led and spirit filled as a unit it is greatly impacted by the relationships that exist within its members
Paul even tells us that there is a great blessing for children who walk in obedience to their parents
Paul’s words in verse three come from Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
When parents are honored and obeyed it creates peace and order in the home
We live in a world that is becoming more chaotic and sinful by the day
Paul even told us that the last days would be marked by children who are disobedient to parents
But Paul leaves important instructions for fathers in verse 4
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
This instruction is important for the development of the child and their relationship with their parents as they grow
That word provoke in the Greek means provoke to anger or make angry
Paul instructs fathers to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord
Now Paul addressed fathers because in this culture the father was often the supreme authority in the home
Even today we see the impact a father has on the lives of their children
Many men and women who face brokenness in their lives can trace it back to their relationship with their fathers
When a father is cruel, abusive, unkind, unfair, berating it impacts children in destructive ways
When a father and mother are led by Christ and their lives are surrendered to Christ it will impact the way they treat their children
As parents we should reflect the love and compassion of our Father in Heaven
When we examine our own lives, how many times have we fallen short?
How many times have our Father in Heaven not only forgiven us, but through our mistakes have taught us and used them to help us to grow
God’s desire is that every marriage in Him would reflect the relationship of Jesus and the church
His desire is that every family would be filled with His love and His presence
This is only possible when Jesus is the foundation and He is the priority
Many things desire our time and attention in this day and age
It is very easy to simply treat Jesus as a part of our lives instead of building our lives upon Him
But if our desire as a husband and wife and as a family is to be Spirit led and Spirit filled it requires that all things be built upon Jesus