Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:17-20)
Filling The Family With The Spirit
The book of Ephesians is a grand treatise on the nature of the church. Paul illustrates in powerful tones of God’s grace the redeeming qualities of the riches of His mercy and love to allow a man to possess all spiritual blessings in the Son. As the apostle draws to a close his letter he weaves in the relationship of Christ and the church to the family and how each part represents the other concluding with various admonitions for the wives, husbands, children, and fathers. Before addressing the relationship of the home Paul establishes the kind of teaching that should pervade the home. It should never be lost on the student to take the text as a context and see how the author develops the theme. One of the important needs of the home is to fill the home with the Spirit of God. There are many things that can overwhelm the family with the pursuits of education, recreation, and societal expectations. The will of the Lord is for the parents to instill in their children the filling of the Spirit. Being drunk with wine shows a carefree and unrestrained kind of lifestyle that so many homes are following after. It does not necessarily suggest the actual drinking of wine but the lighthearted approach to life without God. While it is a shameful thing for parents to consume alcohol as a social drink what they are teaching their children is unrestrained behavior before the Lord. Walking in the light is having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness and this must begin at the home. Instead of filling the family character with the trappings of the world, the home should be a haven of the Holy Spirit. The aims and goals of the family must be centered upon the glorification of Jesus Christ rather than the dissipation of the worldly pursuits.
Paul uses a strong word to describe the wrong character of the home. He says the family should not follow after dissipation or debauchery which leads to wild living. The idea is the excess of life to the point of being more concerned about the things of the world instead of the eternal matters of faith. Parents can convince themselves that as long as they do not commit terrible sins they are doing well. What they often do not realize is that giving their children everything in life in a carnal way without a foundation of God is just as damaging. The will of the Lord is for the family to be filled with the Spirit – not the things of the world. The dissipations of life will teach children to enjoy the passing glories of this world with little or no knowledge of the Lord. Materialistic minded families do not think about God. Jesus described in the parable of the sower the greatest danger to producing good seed is the heart being choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. That is unwise for the family to allow.
Filling the home with the Spirit is done through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in the heart to the Lord. There is precedence to use this passage in the worship service of the church but it begins in the home. Children should learn the praise of the Lord first in the home by parents who love to spend time in worshipping God in the home. The spirit of the home is filled with thanksgiving for all the blessings of God knowing that anything a family has comes from the hand of the Lord. The name of the Lord Jesus Christ is heard often in the home in praise, honor and the glory of His grace upon the family. Parents do well who build their homes on the praise of the Father teaching their children to sing and give thanks to the Lord God for all His eternal blessings. That is the will of the Lord for the family. It makes submission an easier task. Children are taught in the home the model of submitting to one another as they see their parents submitting to one another. Young ladies learn early the attribute of submitting to a husband because of the example of their mother. Young men are established in the principles of leadership when they see their fathers loving their mothers as Christ loved the church and leading with the Holy Spirit as their guide. It makes the task of children submitting to the father a lot easier when the home is filled with the Spirit. Understand what the will of the Lord is for the home. It must be filled with the Spirit.