CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLDWIDESUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON(KINGDOM OF GOD FAMILY)
THEME: IN TIME LIKE THIS
BREAKDOWN IN FAMILY STRUCTURE
Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord
(1 Corinthians 11:11)
God created man, put him in a beautiful garden, and gave him a wonderful helpmeet. The unhappy Satan tampered with that arrangement, hence the series of family-related challenges we have today. Don't allow Satan tamper with your home!
God, in His divine arrangement, created man, and out of the same man (Adam), removed a rib that He used to form a helpmeet (Eve), for the man. God's plans and arrangements are perfect and eternal. Though God's divine purpose, both the man and the woman are expected to live together inseparably, no matter the condition, challenges, storms, or situations
When a partner sees his/her spouse as a major helper or contributor from God in achieving a common purpose, programme, or goal, relationship becomes easier. The Devil (Satan), being God's eternal enemy, is doing everything possible to destroy God's purpose for family establishment. These he does by confronting the home with different challenges, such as storms, misunderstandings, strife, rivalry, financial problems, bareness, hatred, divorce, lack of unity, etc. When we stop seeing our spouses as the root cause of any problem at home, this helps us to join our hands together in love and unity as a family to fight and overcome every stubborn problem and circumstances ravaging our homes.
Devotional Bible Reading For Week One
Mon. 8: God Institutes Marriage And Family (Gen. 2:18,20-21)
Tue. 9: Godlessness Introduces Family Feud (Gen. 4:1-7)
Wed. 10: Godless Son Throws Family Into Mourning (Gem. 4:8-16)
Thur. 11: Godless Lamech Who Started Polygamy (Gen. 4:19-24)
Fri. 12: God Gives Seth As Consolation (Gen. 4:25-26)
Sat. 13: Godly Homes Is Built On Christ's Love (Eph. 5:22-33)
1. God has graciously made provision for the success of the family institution. We experience failure when we fail to follow Him.
2. Marriage is not only to be in love and enjoy each other, but from holiness perspective, God has greater purpose and plan for it.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: Romans 15:1-7
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To help us rediscover the inevitability of challenges in marriage/family, and identify how to cope with such without compromising our faith in God.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, the learners should be able to:
i. show evidence of a better understanding that the family institution was established and monitored by God against every crisis or aggression;
ii. prove that challenges faced by families are meant to strengthen and enpower their faith in God, not to discourage or destablise the family;
iii. establish that no challenge is above God's control and power, only we need to call upon Him for intervention; and
iv. Show signs of being more confident of God's provision and manifestation in any circumstances.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: GENESISI 1:27-28; 2:18-25; 3:1; 16:1FF; 29:14B-30; 37:12-36; 1 SAMUEL 2:12FF; 1 CORINTHIANS 3:3; 6:18-19; 7:2-5; 10:13; EPHESIANS 4:1FF; 5:22-33; HEBREWS 13:4
All glory be to God for all He imparted in us in His Living Word, in the previous weeks. May His name be forever praised. Amen.
Last week, we concluded discussion on the topic, THERE ARE WARS AND WARMONGERS, being the last lesson in Unit II (Political And Economic Wars). The lesson was an eye-opener for us to understand the source of war in heaven and the Lord's warning to believers concerning the alarming incidences of war as a sign of the end-time, as well as its implications for Christian living. May His Word remain stronger in us. Amen.
This week and the next, we are starting with the first lesson in unit III (Breakdown Of family Structure). This is lesson nine, FAMILY RELATED CHALLENGES, and it is here to teach, reveal and make us understand that conflicts and challenges are inevitable in our homes, but our responses to such challenges and conflicts speak much and reveal who we are, most especially, as regards our levels of maturity and relationship with God who alone is the Solution Provider.
May He take care of challenges being encountered by our families in time like this, in Jesus' name. Amen. Happy and fruitful deliberations!
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This is two-week lesson divided into I and II, with a further subdivision into parts A and B, respectively.
DIVISION I: FAMILY GOD'S FIRST INSTITUTION
This section shows God as the Source and only One who establishes and controls the home. God, in this section, is also seen as a purposeful God who instituted the home, for His divine plan, programme, and purposes alone, which can neither be shattered nor changed. Therefore, couples should do everything possible to keep unity and love in the family/home. Couples should operate on earth in God's stead, to represent Him. God must be consulted and involved in every family issue, if success and joy is highly required. The presence of Jesus at Cana of Galilee restored the couple's fortune (Jn. 2:1ff).
DIVISION II: FAMILY BECOMES CHALLENGING
This section shows that challenges could appear in different ways, but the truth remains that, God's power and presence in the family will in no doubt, turn such challenges to testimonies (Joh. 16:33). As every problem has a cause, so also, there is always a way out of every family and life challenges, if Jesus Christ in invited to rule and take total control of every facet of the home.
I. FAMILY: GOD'S FIRST INSTITUTION
A. GOD ESTABLISHED THE FAMILY
B. GOD'S PURPOSE FOR FAMILY INSTITUTION
II. FAMILY BECOMES CHALLENGING
I. FAMILY: GOD'S FIRST INSTITUTION (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 6:18-19; 7:2-5)
Family is the centre of God's plan for the happiness and progress of His children here on earth, so as to fulfil His eternal purpose for mankind. It helps solve the problems of lack of procreation, and thereby, forestalling the Devil's attempt at truncating God's programme for man through fornication.
A. GOD ESTABLISHES THE FAMILY (Gen. 2:18-25)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (v.24).
i. The first institution that God established for man's interaction is the family. After all, God created man a social being (cf. 3:8a). It is the centre of God's plan for the happiness and progress of His children.
ii. vv. 18-23: After having created man, male and female, in the first instance (1:27), God eventually brought the woman (not another man or an animal; homosexuals and the bestial, note) out at the appropriate time (vv. 16-22), and brought her to the man (vv. 22b, 23). God still gives suitable partners when consulted.
iii. v. 22: The level of intimacy between the heart and the rib is very high. More so, the rib protects the heart and gives it life. So, God expects the most intimate relationship between the man and his wife.
iv. v.23: Marriage is sanctified when cherished and honoured by both partners, in holiness (Heb. 13:4), because it embraces partnership with God, the Originator, who equips both men and women for various responsibilities towards the same goal --- His honour alone. No sex is superior to the other. Yet, He has given man the headship of the home (cf. 1 Cor. 11:8ff).
v. 24: "Leave, cleave, and become one flesh" imply complete openness, oneness, sharing, and unity without boundaries. Marriage that aspire to be strong should include these aspects. That is God's standard!
vi. v25: ...both naked and ...not ashamed. The marriage built on the foundation of Christ must imbibe the act of total transparency. Expose your family secret to God, to keep your communication line with Him and with yourselves open. Godly marriages aren't shrouded in unnecessary secrecy.
vii. Marriage is a covenant rather than a mere contract agreement. It is an irrevocable commitment meant to last for a lifetime. Any contract agreement can be terminated at any given time, most especially, when either of the parties involved, violates the terms of their being together. Conversely, marriage is a covenant between God and the covenanting spouses because the only thing that can terminate it, is death. Neither divorce, separation, nor any other reason, no matter how legitimate we might see it today, can terminate the marriage covenant from the standpoint of God, the Creator, Source and Sustainer of the marriage institution.
B. GOD'S PURPOSELY FOR FAMILY INSTRUCTION (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:18; 1 Cor. 6:18-19; 7:2-5)
And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him" (Gen. 2:18).
i. The purposeful God never instituted marriage aimlessly, thoughtlessly, or as an afterthought. He has purposes in His heart for establishing home/family.
ii. 2:18: For Adam not to live alone. God has seen the need for companionship, since He would create man a social being. He knows it would not be good for man to be lonely, hence the creation as male and female from the onset. Loneliness kills (Eccl. 4:8-11).
iii. Adam needed a helper comparable to him (compatibility) which he couldn't get from among all the other creatures (vv. 19-20). God brought the wife to take care of that. Isn't it funny and stupid for anyone to now prefer an animal as a spouse? (Rom. 1:28)
iv. God had put man in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it (v. 15). Man needed a helper to facilitate this task. After all, two are always better than one. The man and his wife should be companions, comforters and helpers to each other throughout their lifetime (Eccl. 4:9).
v. 1 Cor. 6:18-19; 7:2-5: God established marriage and family to escape from fornication and other forms of immorality prevalent among youths and others.
vi. Gen. 1:27, 28: God intends the family, by His sovereignty, help, and gifting, to bear and raise generations, showing God's glory throughout the world (cf. 18:19). However, temporary childlessness or barrenness shouldn't tear the marriage. Learn from Zechariah and Elizabeth. May God grant the prayers of families waiting on God for the fruits of the womb, in Jesus' name. Amen.
vii. God also intends the family to be instruments of propagation of His Gospel (Matt. 28:18ff; Mk. 16:15), like Aquila and Priscilla, who laboured to the extent of having a church in their house (Rom. 16:3-5).
viii. Both the man and the woman are designed to compliment each other in God-given institution (the home). Family is God's first channel of blessing and revelation, which He established for direct contact and relationship with each member of the family. May we not abuse the privilege and its purpose, in Jesus' name.
1. Family is God's institution that should be jealously guarded for Him; no undue infiltration and introductions.
2. To get the best of God in marriage, understand the purpose of God for establishing the family institution.
WORK TO DO
Discuss the Phrase, "leave, cleave and become one flesh."
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
The phrase "Leave, cleave and become one flesh" means:
i. Leaving in this contest does not connote abandonment of ones parents who trained and brought one up in order to cleave to one's heart-throb (spouse), but we must not allow them to dominate the family decisions or affairs. Remember, we will have spiritual, physical, psychological, social and responsibilities to them as long as they live. Leaving also means to become independent, not depending on parents for food, money, decision making, etc.
ii. Cleaving means to cling very closely, steadfastly and faithfully to someone. It could also be seen as being intimate with another person of opposite sex from a different family in order to live together in marriage till death do them part. This means the man and his wife should be glued together, fused, become inseparable flesh and pooling together their resources i.e. financial, emotional, social, physical, etc.
iii. To become one in decision, words, plans, purpose, service to God, giving, child bearing and rearing. Sleeping together, eating together, bathing together, talking or discussing together, walking and sitting together, etc.
For effective leaving and cleaving, couples should:
* draw appropriate boundaries;
* set limit while still loving the other; and
* portray oneness in everything till death do them apart.