I generally think of John MacArthur as writing books about business and leadership, not home life or families. But this one focuses on Ephesians 5-6 and focuses on the mutuality of submission.
But, MacArthur made some interesting points:
- The book of Ephesians is written only to Christians. If you are not a Christian, you cannot possibly make your marriage everything God intended it to be.
- Mutual submission is the single most important principle governing all personal relationships for all Christians. It is not merely a wife submitting to a husband. MacArthur quotes numerous Scriptures which show that all Christians should submit to all other Christians. It is what Jesus modeled for us.
- Wives must submit to the leadership of their husbands. But husbands must also submit to the needs of their wives.
- The command for mutual submission is unconditional. It does not exclude women whose husbands are not believers.
- Submit does not mean obey. Submit is an active, deliberate, loving, intelligent devotion to the husband's noble aspirations and ambitions.
- Titus 2:4-5 commands a woman "to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands." Yes, we are commanded to be home makers.
- Wives are required to submit to their own husbands, not all husbands or all men.
- Children are commanded to honor their parents, not obey them. Of course honoring parents usually means obeying them. The commandment includes a promise: that if you obey your parents the days of your life on this land will be long. In other words, rebelling against parents often has built-in consequences that tend to shorten one's life.
- MacArthur writes that "Teaching children to obey is ...a full-time, years-long duty for parents, often frustrating and always requiring diligence." He writes of our innate desire to disobey and the need to overcome it.
- The parent's job is to nurture and admonish. Admonition should always include instruction, not just discipline.
- Instilling an attitude of obedience in our children is more important than the actions of obedience.