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Relating well

Service: Sunday Morning 10.30 am – 31st October 2021.

We near the draw conclusion to our sermon series on the book of Ephesians. Preaching from John Western and our worship service will be led by Beverley Sills.

Sermon Notes

Relationships are important yet tricky!

Paul wrote Ephesians a very long time ago and from a very different culture. Yet they still contain some underlying principles that can help us to relate well.

Ephesians 5:1-2: “as dearly loved children [and] live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us”.

For all believers. First half of chapter 5 about leaving the darkness and living in the light. Lived out through our relationships with others.

Ephesians 5:21: “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”.

Some value relationships only for what they can get out of them. Submitting, means being willing to give up perceived rights, demands.

Children of God are called to do so out of reverence for Christ, “who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,” (Philippians 2:6-7)

Submission doesn’t mean becoming a doormat. It is not accepting inferiority.

Three Examples

1. Husband and Wife

Wives submit to your husbands is matched by husbands love your wives.

Love like that of Christ – an act of will.

Ephesians 5:26, Christ’s love for the church resulted in its cleansing.

Husbands: Is your wife, more like Christ because she is married to you? Or is she becoming more Christ-like in spite of you?

Ephesians 5:31 the miracle of every marriage – God makes 2 into 1

2. Children and Parents

Children obey, honour your parents.

No loopholes or limits. Just “in the Lord”.

But honouring parents has a promise – that things may go well and you may enjoy a long life.

No rights to parents to expect anything from their children. Their responsibility is to avoid exasperating their children. Listening and accommodating.

Parents are to bring up children in the training and instruction of the Lord. Relationship. Love. Leave them wanting to please us as parents.  

3. Slaves and Masters

Maybe we experience something of this with a tyrannical boss!

If you find yourself in such a situation, Paul says, work wholeheartedly, do what is right in return.

The example of Jesus is applicable to all our relationships. What is required, is our will together with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Five characteristics of good relationships


Not selfish, or self-gratifying.


Hold nothing back.


Not about what I get from the relationship, but what I can give.


Doing what is right, even if it is not what we think the other deserves.


See the other person through God’s eyes.

As you go through this week, find time to consider in what specific ways you demonstrate, or could demonstrate, this depth of love for those around you?

Further Questions for study or consideration

  1. What is the common understanding of “submitting” to another? What differences (if any) do you see in Ephesians 5:21-33?
  2. Can you think of any examples of people behaving sacrificially in their relationship with you? What was the effect of that?
  3. The fifth commandment (Honour you father and mother) is given in Exodus 20:12. It continues “so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you”. How do you understand this clause? How does it apply today?

Sermon Details

Sermon Title: Relating well
Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:1-6.9
Preacher: John Western
Worship Leader: Beverley Sills

Sermon Audio Download

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