Small Group Questions: Who Do You Think We Are? Ephesians 6:1-4

pursue
Invite someone to pray asking the Spirit to move and speak during your small group time.

ICEBREAKER
Share a parenting fail you’ve experienced.  This could be one of your own, or one from your parent/s.

Please read Ephesians 6:1-4 together out loud.

DISCUSS

In my message I said that these 4 verses are powerful because I believe that they have the potential to have generational impact on your family and not only on your family but also on our society.
Do you agree or disagree?  Why?

I’m pretty certain that the evil one not only hates families but hates women, children and slaves.
Do you agree or disagree?  Why?

Men or women have you ever noticed how selfish you are? Have you ever noticed how selfish your children are?  Children, have you ever noticed how selfish your parents are or were?
Take a moment to reflect and discuss this.
Can you think of a time over the last few days where this has really struck you?

Paul calls us in Ephesians 5:22 to stop being so selfish…

Have a group member read this again:
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord,  for this is right. 2 “Honour your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Have a group member read this passage from The Message:
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honour your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”
4 Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.  

Love that!  What a beautiful picture of Parenting…

Looking further at verse 1: “Children, do what your parents tell you. This is is only right.”

DISCUSS

What does it means to OBEY?
Ask the questions:
Why? Why would we obey?  Why should I obey my parents?
“It is the right thing to do!”

Discuss if this is an overly simplistic response or just good old fashioned truth?

Take two chairs and set them apart in the room: Call one the “rule breaker/disobedient” chair and the other the “rule keeper/obedient” chair.

Ask the group: I want you to think about your relationship with your parents and, as you do that, I wonder where you sit between “rule breaker/disobedient” and “rule keeper/obedient”?  Which chair do you sit on? Do you sit somewhere between? Where?

Looking further at verse 2: “Honour your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, 3 “so you will live well and have a long life.”

Paul takes the first verse to another level and he now uses the word honour.
Ask:
What do you think honour means here?

Spend some time talking about the promise linked to this 5th commandment…
Ask
Can you remember the different interpretations of verse 2?

Looking further at Verse 4: “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.”

Ask
What does it mean to “exasperate your children”?

The NIV translation uses the phrase “bring them up”.
What does this mean?

The Message says, “Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.”
Ask
What comes to mind when you read this verse?  Share with your group.

Paul is encouraging us to take our children by the hand and lead them in the way of Jesus, to help them find and follow HIM, to disciple them:
Encourage the group to reflect and share how this is going for them? Be aware that this may be a sensitive time.

Here are 10 practical ways we can live out v4.  If you are not a parent think about how these might help you to better relate to the little people in your world?

(1) create a home full of mutual, grace, LOVE, support, respect, and encouragement.  Out submit one another eg, Alan Myer’s dad.

(2) always speak the truth in love

(3) attend to the material and emotional needs of children

(4) teach, enlighten, warn, hold accountable and discipline, as “you walk with them” in the way of the Master.  You have to go with them…  You can’t lead someone where you’re not prepared to go yourself…  Walk with them in the fullness of the Spirit

(5) give experiences, especially in work and in caring for others

(6) refuse to put down, demean, or damage them (harsh words don’t belong)

(7) grant freedom within legitimate boundaries

(8) pray both for and with your kids

(9) make worshipping Jesus on a Sunday a priority and take your kids to Youth on a Friday night

(10) REFUSE to live your life (or the life you didn’t live) through your children (vicarious living)

Ask the group to share which one of these the Spirit wants them to focus on and take into their week?

PRAYER
You may like to close by praying for each other and specifically praying for God to help you build healthy relationships across generations in your family and in your community.

God Bless.

Click below to listen to the Message linked to these Small Group Questions.

LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE »
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