Sermon: Husbands, Wives, and Children
Scripture: Matthew 5:27-30
In this week’s lessons, we learn how a family is to function, and what the responsibilities are of husbands, wives, and children.
Theme: Parents and Children
Now the most important thing that the husband is commanded in the Bible is to be the spiritual head of his home. Since that involves the children as well as the wife, I propose to treat it more broadly in that context. What does the Bible say to children? The Bible says, “Honor thy father and thy mother” (Ex. 20:12). But if they are to do that, you and I must be the kind of fathers and mothers that our children can honor. The Bible says, “My son, keep the commandments of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: bind them continually upon thy heart; tie them about thy neck” (Prov. 6:20-21). But if God tells a son to give such meticulous attention to the instruction received from his parents, it is implied that the parents must give sound counsel. Clearly, God holds the parents responsible, and particularly the fathers, for the spiritual life of their home.
The Bible teaches that children are to obey their parents. And if they do not, the parent is responsible before God for establishing discipline and meting out punishment. Someone says to me, “Do you mean to say that the Bible tells me to spank my children?” Yes, it does. The Bible says, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Prov. 19:18). Scripture also says, “Withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die” (Prov. 23:13). And again, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him early” (Prov. 13:24). Still again we are told. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Prov. 22:15). That is the Bible, my friends; that is God speaking.
A woman once came to Billy Graham and said, “Mr. Graham, don’t you think that all my little boy needs is a pat on the back?” Dr. Graham answered, “Lady, if it is low enough and hard enough, it will be all right.” And thus, Billy Graham again took a strong stand upon Scripture.
Now let me add that I know quite well that children are all different and that each one requires different handling. Some children do not need to be spanked in order to be disciplined. For some a sharp word is sufficient. But the principle is that discipline must be established and maintained, and when the parent is disobeyed there must be chastisement. What is more, there must be chastisement within the general spiritual life and worshipful atmosphere of the home. For that there must be family prayer and Bible reading, and the father is the one responsible.
Read Ephesians 6:1-4. What are parents’ responsibilities toward their children? Give specific examples of how these responsibilities are to be carried out.
How are children to act toward their parents?
What does it mean for a child to honor his parents?
What is the purpose of parental discipline and punishment?
Why is it critical for there to be family worship?
Application: How does the husband fulfill his role as the spiritual head of the home? How does the wife fulfill her role as her husband’s help and support?
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