Friday, February 19, 2016

Lesson - The Family In God's Plan

VERSES:  Ephesians 5:21-33

MEMORY VERSE:  "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."  Ephesians 6:1

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review the first four books of the New Testament -Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

PRAYER:   Pray that families will love each other more and will be kind to each other.

SPECIAL SONG:  The Family In God's Plan (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog.) Children, Obey Your Parents (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog.)  Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog.) (Click on orange circles to hear tunes.)

VISUAL AID:  Whiteboard or chalkboard. Draw an man, a woman, and a child on the board. As the lesson is taught, write responsibilities around each member of the family.

  • From the beginning, God has always had a plan and a design for everything! When we look up at the stars and moon at night, we know that God is the One who designed the heavens. When we inspect a drop of water under a microscope, we can see that God has a plan for even the tiniest creatures. Everywhere we look, there is design, detail, and organization. We have studied in times past about God's plan for creation (See March 2014 - Lesson - God Created Everything on this blog), for the church (See October 2015 - Lesson - How Do Christians Worship God? on this blog), and now we turn to the family. Is there a design for the family in God's plan? When we remember how God created one man and one woman and how they became a family, we can definitely say, "Yes! God has a plan for the family." 
  • MAN:  As Jesus is the head of the church, God created man to be head of the family (Ephesians 5:23). To be the head of the family means to be responsible for the family and to lead the family in all aspects of life, making certain that all members of the family are working towards a home in heaven. In God's plan, the man is the one whom God has chosen to have these responsibilities. The man is commanded to love his wife just like he loves himself. No one hates himself. He loves himself and takes care of himself just like he should love and take care of his wife. The man who loves his wife loves himself. In Ephesians 5:25, men are told to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and sacrificed himself for it. Did Jesus love the church? Yes! He purchased the church with His own blood. That is how much a husband should love his wife. The husband should love and cherish his wife and treat her like a precious treasure, knowing that she is the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). Finding a wife is a good thing! (Proverbs 18:22). 
    • When a husband becomes a father, he should delight or be joyful that he has children (Psalm 137:3-5). In these verses, Solomon compares children to arrows. Just like arrows that must be guided by mighty men, children are to be guided by godly fathers (Proverbs 19:18).The father should rule his own home well (1 Timothy 3:4). What responsibilities fathers have in this life (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4)!
  • WOMAN:  The wife has a command, too. She is commanded to submit to her own husband just like she would submit to Christ. Just as she submits to Christ and lets Him lead her through life, this is the same way that she submits to her husband. She should not be bossy or try to rule over her husband. Her job is not to be the head of the family, but to love and support her husband. 
    • In Titus 2:4, 5, Paul tells the young women to not only love their husbands, but to love their children, teaching them about God and His love for them (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 2 Timothy 1:5). The mother takes care of things at home, so that her home is organized and everything runs smoothly. Some women work outside of the home for different reasons, but their main purpose is to love God, love their husband, love their children, and to take care of their home. 
    • It is not God's way that children should be raising or training themselves. One of the parents' responsibilities is to keep their children safe, teaching them right from wrong and the rewards or consequences that follow. Discipline is a form of love and mothers know that training their children to do right will only help their children in their lives while they are growing up and after they are grown (Proverbs 22:15).
  • CHILDREN:  Children also have responsibilities. They are to love, honor, and respect their parents, so that everything might go well for them in this life and that they might live a long time on this earth (Ephesians 6:1-3). Children should follow the advice of their parents because they know their parents love them, care for them, and always have their best interests at heart (Proverbs 1:8). There is much good advice in the book of Proverbs for children and what they should do to be pleasing in God's eyes.
    • A few things that children should do: 
      • Remember their father's commands and seek knowledge (Proverbs 2:1-5; 4:1-4).
      • Be obedient (Proverbs 3:1-4).
      • Be thankful for discipline (Proverbs 3:11-12; 13:24).
  • A HOME:  God has always had and still has a plan for the family! Doing everything God's way is always the best way. A refuge from this wicked world, all should find love, forgiveness, and tenderness in their home, always serving the Lord (Joshua 24:15). It was God's idea from the very beginning and it is still God's plan today (Isaiah 55:8, 9). What a blessing a loving, God-centered home is!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Marriage is the oldest institution that God created. Before the nation of Israel and even before the church, marriage was the first institution created by God.  
  • There is a description of what makes a marriage and it is found in Genesis 2:24.
  • Marriage is for life. God has always hated "putting away" or divorce (Malachi 2:16). Divorce comes from man's way of thinking, not God's. When a man and a woman marry, it is for their entire lives! Marriage is a covenant or a sacred promise, never to be broken, until either the husband or wife dies. Great care needs to be taken when selecting a husband or wife because divorce should never be an option. Marriage is for a lifetime. Also, we need to be careful who we date because those whom we date, we end up marrying.
  • Discuss the definition of submit:  To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.
  • In today's world, people are not fond of words like 'submit,' 'rule,' or 'responsibilities,' but God does not change (Malachi 3:6). God has always said what He meant and meant what He said. Christians need to change their thoughts to God's way of thinking (John 12:48).
ACTIVITY:  The Family In God's Plan
Materials:  12" x 18" tan construction paper, pink or red construction paper, scissors, crayons, stapler, staples.
  1. Hand out tan paper.
  2. Placing the paper landscape-style, fold up bottom edge up 4 inches.
  3. Staple paper on outside edges. 
  4. Fold paper into thirds.
  5. Open folded paper.
  6. Staple once on each of the fold lines at the bottom of the paper. This should form three 'pockets.'
  7. On both sides of the paper, trace all fold lines with black crayon, even the edge of pocket
  8. Open paper, so that the 'pockets' are on the backside or bottom and cannot be seen.
  9. In first box, the student draws a picture of the student's father.
  10. In second box, the student draws a picture of the student's mother.
  11. In third box, the student draws a picture of himself/herself and their bothers and sisters.
  12. Color.
  13. In first box, write 'Husband' at the top of the box and 'my father' with an arrow pointing to the father.
  14. In second box, write 'Wife' at the top of the box and 'my mother' with an arrow pointing to the mother.
  15. In third box, write 'Children' at the top of the box and an arrow pointing to the siblings, writing either 'my sister' or 'my brother' and an arrow pointing to their sibling. Also, write 'me' and an arrow pointing to the student.
  16. Turn the paper over to the 'pocket' side.
  17. In the first box, write "Husband/Father' at the top.
  18. In the first box, write 'Ephesians 5:21-23,' 'Titus 2:4, 5,' Deuteronomy 6:6-9,' and 'Joshua 24:15' on the pocket.
  19. In the second box, write 'Wife/Mother' at the top.
  20. In the second box, write 'THE FAMILY IN GOD'S PLAN' on the pocket.
  21. In the third box, write 'Children' at the top.
  22. In the third box, write 'Ephesians 6:1-3,' 'Ephesians 6:4,' 'Proverbs 22:6,' and '1 Peter 3:7' on the pocket.
  23. Cut out a few hearts out of the pink or red paper. These are Responsibility Hearts.
  24. On the hearts, write responsibilities like 'Loves his wife as himself,' 'Loves and submits to her husband,' 'Loves their parents,' 'Respects their parents,' 'Remembers their father's commands,' ' Is thankful for discipline,' 'Teaches God's ways,' etc. Some hearts may be suited for more than one person or 'pocket.' Student chooses where hearts are pocketed.
  25. Place the appropriate heart in the matching pocket.
  26. Fold tan paper with hearts inside pockets and take home.