Expository Preaching
J. Michael Shannon and Robert C. Shannon
(c)opyright J. Michael Shannon, 1982
"Three Keys to a Healthy Family"
Ephesians 5:21-6:4

Introduction:  The Bible is the most practical book on earth.  It gives us sound advice for everyday living.  Especially helpful is the advice given to families.

Proposition:  The Bible has an ideal for the family that is practical and attainable.

 I.  CARE FOR EACH OTHER, 5:25-29; 6:1-3

A.  Husband and wife relationship
B.  Parent and child relationship
A.  A merging
B.  A miracle
C.  A mystery
III.  BEAR WITH EACH OTHER, 5:21, 22; 6:4
A.  Cooperative submission
B.  Mutual submission
C.  Willing submission
Conclusion:  God cares what happens to our earthly families, but whatever the situation with your earthly family, you have a heavenly family in the church.

    A researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Mary Ann Fitzpatrick, says that nearly half the married men in America are "emotionally divorced" from their wives.  We take that to mean that they are living together but not sharing emotionally, not showing care and concern.  The solution is not for the emotionally divorced to get legally divorced.  The solution is for them to be emotionally remarried to their wives.  Christ loved the church, declared His love, and demonstrated His love.  If men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, they must say so and then show it by their deeds.

    In Dick Browne's "Hi and Lois" comic strip, the next-door neighbor says, "Irma and I have been fighting a lot lately.  I've been thinking about looking into a 'no fault' divorce."  Hi answers, "What this country needs is more 'no fault' marriages."

    James Thurber wrote: "Marriage is so much more interesting than divorce.  It's the only time an immovable object successfully meets an irresistible force!"

    A wife went to the police station with, her next-door neighbor to report that her husband was missing.  The policeman asked for a description.  She said, "He's 45 years old, 6 foot 3, has blue eyes, blond hair, an athletic build, weighs 185 pounds, is soft-spoken, and is good to the children."  The next-door neighbor protested, "Your husband is 5 foot 3, chubby, bald, has a big mouth, and is mean to your children."  The wife replied, "Who wants him back?"

    David Reuben wrote: "A marriage is like a long trip in a rowboat.  If one passenger starts to rock the boat, the other one has to steady it.  Otherwise, they will both go to the bottom together."  How well that illustrates the mutual responsibilities and mutual concerns that must be a part of marriage.

    The New York Times reported on a Wisconsin study of divorced couples with children.  It revealed that 52% of them were back in court within two years of their divorce.  The majority of them reappeared in court from two to ten times; and one father had a total of seventy-six court appearances in two years!

    A five-year study by Mavis Hetherington of the University of Virginia concluded that the worst victims of divorces are small boys.  And regardless of gender, children of divorced parents cause a disproportionate share of problems in schools.  They do worse academically.  If present trends continue, 48% of the children attending school in the 1990's will be from broken homes.  Problems are ahead.  They are problems that can be prevented far easier than they can be solved.

    Redbook magazine recently reported that money and in-laws are no longer the major causes of divorce, though they once were.  A new study shows that lack of communication, changing goals, and sexual problems are the major causes of marital difficulties.  Whatever the causes, we know the cure.  If we care for one another and share with one another and bear with one another, we can spare ourselves many heartaches and spare others much pain.

The Gospel Offers a Model (5:1-20)
Table of Contents
The Gospel in the Church (5:23-32)

Scanned and Proofread by Michael J. Riggs