Coming out of Sunday’s teaching, “Ephesians: Spirit-Led Relationships” spend some time in prayerful reflection and dialogue with your Home Church/Friends/Family around any combination of these questions.
Read through Ephesians 5:21-6:9 before starting. Pray and ask God to speak.
- How did God speak to you through the text and/or Sunday’s message? What jumped out to you? What questions did is raise for you? What are some of the main ideas that Paul is communicating in this passage?
- Jeff talked about how Ephesians 5:21 (where Paul invites us to live into a posture of ‘mutual/reciprocal submission” in all of our relationships) is the main, context-setting verse for this entire passage. Why is it important that we keep that in mind as we read the other verses in this passages? What are some of the dangers of ‘cherry-picking’ some of the other verses in this passage and taking them out of context (in particular verses 22-25)?
- How would you define “mutual submission”?
- Look again at verses 5:22-25, as well as verse 33. What does Paul mean when he tells wives to submit to their husbands – keeping the context in mind? Practically speaking, what might this look like in a healthy, Christ-centred marriage? What do you think Paul is getting at when he talks about the husband being the head of the wife? What makes these verses so difficult to understand?
- Look again at verses 5:25-30. What does Paul mean when he tells husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church? Practically speaking, what might this look like in a marriage?
- Jeff mentioned “shared leadership” in a marriage as a practical application of “mutual submission” (as opposed to the husband having automatic, absolute power – as some have assumed this passage gives them). What might “shared leadership” look like in a marriage? How does (or doesn’t) this concept challenge you and your assumptions about marriage?
- Look again at verses 6:1-4. What does ‘mutual submission’ look like in our relationships with our kids?
- What are some (big and small) ways that parents can provoke their children to anger and can discourage spirits? What can be done to avoid that?
- What do you think is meant by Paul’s words in verse 4 when he says to “bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord” as opposed to provoking them to anger?
- Look again at verses 6:6-9. What might ‘mutual submission’ look like in our relationships in the workplace?
- Jeff asked the question, What would it look like for us to put aside our power and our privilege and our pride and our “me first” attitudes and to live with an “others first” attitude instead – just as Jesus did for us?
- What are your thoughts/responses to this question?
- How can ‘power’ and ‘privilege’ and ‘pride’ hurt our relationships if we are not careful? What does it mean to let go of these things?
- How did Jesus demonstrate this for us?
- What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our relationships where mutual submission is embraced?