Love and Forbearance in the Home

More Ways a Home Can Thrive

Ephesians 4:1,2

DATE: Sept 11, 2005  AM

PLACE: BBC Ballincollig


I.         Introduction (1John 4:20)


A.      Still continuing in our attempt to swap-out faulty aspects of our lives with the perfect life of Jesus Christ – that is our goal this year - and it is attainable!

B.       Two things you need to fully believe this morning:


1.        That your life really is a mess and in trouble without God

2.        That Jesus Christ living in you and through you is the only answer
No religion, no quick fix is sufficient to save our homes and society


C.       This month we are looking at the Home-Life of our Lord – not of your dear old grandmother, or of mother Theresa, but the home of Jesus Christ!

D.      We would all agree that our homes need some serious work – some spiritual transfusion of heart and love and maturity


1.        A Serious breaking-up of our hard hearts

2.        Some Serious uprooting of bad attitudes

3.        The Serious replacement of wicked imaginations

4.        Some Serious infusion of submission and humility

5.        A Serious commitment to prayer and revival


E.       We all need something big enough to revolutionize our view of the home and make the changes necessary to not only survive but thrive in this very wicked day and hour! It is only going to come from studying and learning from the home-life of the Lord Jesus Christ! It is there for us, if we would just take it!

F.       Goals this month is for all of us to…


1.        Learn God’s Design for the Family – conform our homes to His pattern, His shape and form of such a wondrous thing – get last week’s tape!

2.        Have Love and Forbearance for Each Other – this week!

3.        Effectively Deal with Rebellion and Stubbornness in the family – rough stuff ahead!!! Jesus dealt with it in His own earthly home!

4.        Lastly, Develop and Enjoy Protective Boundaries for our Homes


II.       Background – Love and Forbearance in the Home


A.      One of the clearest teachings in God's Word is that Christians are to love one another. We remember very clearly the words of John in 1John 4:20 that if a man says that he loves God and loves not his brother, he is a liar. Let me expand that for a moment:


1.        If a man say that he loves God and love not his wife, he is a liar.

2.        If a man say that he loves God and love not his mother, he is a liar.

3.        If a man say that he loves God and love not his father, he is a liar.

4.        If a woman say that she loves God and love not her husband, she is a liar


B.       The need for Godly Love in our Homes! Listen to the following Scriptures, and realise they apply to people in our own HOMES as much as it applies to loving other Christians


1.        John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Jesus commands us to “LOVE AS I HAVE LOVED YOU!”

2.        John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Do people in your home know you to be Jesus’ disciple by your LOVE?

3.        Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another
Do your family members think you think highly of them or only of yourself?

4.        Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
You OWE the people in your home YOUR LOVE!

5.        1 Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
Our love at home needs to be GROWING, not chilling out!

6.        1 Thessalonians 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

7.        Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works
Oh we know how to provoke people to anger – but shouldn’t we be trying to provoke people unto LOVE and do doing GOOD works for Christ?

8.        1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Since you have been cleansed and forgiven by God you should have REAL love toward Christians, but toward your FAMILY as well!!!

9.        1 Peter 3:8,9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
WOW! When Paul wanted to talk about the kind of love that we should have towards other Christians, he says that we should LOVE AS IF WE WERE FAMILY! So Family-Love ought to be the highest!!!

10.     1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
God gave us the ability to love our family’s and even our enemies when we got born again!

11.     1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
That settles it doesn’t it?


C.       But God adds an extra ingredient this morning – forbearance


1.        To forbear is: to resist, abstain, avoid, evade, forgo, go easy, hold back, refrain, restrain yourself, sacrifice, avoid confrontation, to pass-over, to pass up an opportunity, to refuse to attack, to starve one’s anger and frustration, to tolerate, to endure, make allowance for

2.        It is a readiness to resist the urge to hurt back!

3.        It allows for love to continue!

4.        The opposites would be: to give in, indulge your feelings, yield to your anger towards someone in your family that you are commanded to love

5.        In other words, a Christian is commanded to Put up with each other in our homes, AND to stay in love with each other!

6.        There is a tendency to work downward


a.        From great love and tolerance

b.       To little love and lots of tolerance

c.        To anger, bitterness and lots of tolerance

d.       To hatred and no tolerance

e.        To murder!


7.        Jesus Christ came to change all that!


D.      I want you to open your Bible now to Ephesians 4. We are going to look at one of the most beautiful of the passages in the Bible which teach us how we are to love everyone in our families, and in our church.

III.     Message – Love and Forbearance in the Home


A.      The War.


1.        Families hurt each other (see Cain and Abel; the prodigal son)

2.        Christians hurt each other

3.        It is our old nature that wants to hurt back – keep a record – make sure they get what’s coming to them!

4.        But if you are a Christian, you have a new nature – a new way to react – it is called “the walk!”


B.       The Walk (Eph 4:1-3,17,20,22-24)


1.        Every Christian has A New Owner – a willing “Prisoner of the Lord” – I surrendered my life over to Him, completely – He is in charge now!

2.        Every Christian has A New Purpose - “Our Vocation”


a.        To honour, and glorify God – not ourselves anymore

b.       To represent the life of Christ through my life – in other words, live the life that Christ purchased for me


3.        Every Christian has A New Challenge - “Walk/Live Worthy of that Calling” – this is where we need the work


a.        To walk worthy means to take our walk seriously as Christians

b.       To walk it not only on Sundays among Christians

c.        But also at home, amongst the people that often times drive you insane!


4.        So, when Paul talks about our walk, he is talking about at the horizontal level: how to live with one another. It is practical stuff!

5.        Positive command in verse 2 - “walk with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love."


a.        Long-suffering and forbearance are what we need, not so much in our walk before God, but as we walk with each other. So he says, "Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." It is very plain that we are being called to walk worthy of our Christian calling. And we are to do that as we live with each other as family.

b.       As members of the body of Jesus Christ, we are to be filled with all long-suffering and forbearing one another in love.

c.        How much more so in our HOMES?

d.       Remember?


1)       To forbear is: to resist, avoid, evade, hold back, refrain, restrain yourself, avoid confrontation, to pass-over, to pass up an opportunity, to refuse to attack, to starve one’s anger and frustration, to tolerate, to endure, make allowance for

2)       Put up with each other in our homes, AND to stay in love with each other! You can’t stay in love unless you forbear your anger!


6.        In verse 17, is the Negative command - "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind." He goes on to describe the life-style of the Gentiles, or of the unbelieving. And he says to us that that life-style grows out of several things.


a.        It grows out of the vanity of their own minds, which are darkened in their understanding.

b.       In other words, Paul is telling us that they have a totally distorted view of life.

c.        They think all wrong about this life. They live out of the pride of their own mind and it is seen in their life-style, verse 19, "Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." THAT’S MODERN LIFE!!!

d.       And then he goes on to say in verse 20, "But ye have not so learned Christ."


1)       You are not to have the same life-style as the unbelieving world, because you have learned Christ.

2)       You have been taught the truth as it is in Jesus. And Christ has taught you, he goes on to say in verses 22-24, that you are to put off the old man of sin with his deeds, and you are to put on the new man, which is created in righteousness and holiness.


7.        So the setting of this chapter is this: You have a calling, a calling given of Jesus Christ towards each other. That calling is the very opposite of the world. They live out of self, for self. But you must put off the old deeds of your flesh and put on the new man in Christ, specifically in how you live with each other as Christians, daily cleansing your life from all of the old corruptions of lying and stealing, evil speaking and lust, bitterness and envy, and putting on the new man in Jesus Christ in love, in tenderness, and in forgiveness. Did you get that? FORGIVENESS! DAILY CLEANSING YESTERDAY’S STAINS!


C.       The Wrestling (Eph 4:29-32) – this is where the forbearance and love need to come into a relationship


1.        I intend to surprise you with the thought that the wrestling-matches in your home need to move out of the bedroom, and out of the kitchen, and out of the car, and into the FLESH! Your flesh, your old nature!

2.        Beginning, in verse 29, the apostle Paul tells us that we must put aside specific sins (I liken it to a wrestling match), so that we can walk in a specific way towards each other. Throw these two things off


a.        He speaks, first of all, of the sins of the tongue (v.29), "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth."


1)       The word "corrupt" means rotten or putrid (as a rotten vegetable). And it means that which is rotten in itself, such as filthy talk, dirty talk (let no dirty talk proceed out of your mouth as a Christian). But it also can be understood in terms of what we do with something that is rotten. We consider it worthless and we discard it. So he is saying, let no worthless communication proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good, for the use of edifying.

2)       Speech which does not become an instrument of grace and up-building among the people of God is worthless speech, even though it may not be outright foul and immoral and dirty.

3)       If it is speech which does not build up, we are to put it away, says the Word of God, and replace it with the kind of speech which becomes an means of grace to the hearer.

4)       All such speech which reflects, then, a judgmental attitude towards another, which reflects an unkind attitude towards another, whether it arises in casual conversation, or in debates and serious questions, must be weighed as to whether we are hurting the other person, or loving them!

5)       So we have the exhortation: If we are to possess a tongue which is to be to the honour of God, then we must put away any worthless, or smelly speech. Rather, we are to speak that which is good, to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.

6)       We are to have words which, according to Proverbs, are fitting words, wholesome words, words of encouragement, words of love, (grandparent words), sensitive, gentle, kind, wise, along with exhortation and rebuke as are needed.

7)       Not the quick, irritable, judgmental responses which leaves the person who has received it wounded and bleeding, or words responding in the same kind with more of the same, but words which are calculated to build up and to administer grace to the hearers, wholesome words, sought out of the heart to change the other person God’s way!

8)       Why are we to do this? Look at verse 30: "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Why must we have a tremendous awareness of the need to regulate our tongue? Because the ill use of the tongue grieves the Holy Spirit of God. How we speak to and about each other has a tremendous influence on the measure in which the Spirit will minister in our own homes. The Spirit of God can, of course, be grieved in other ways. He can be grieved with an unholy walk of life. But the idea here is this: the sinful, the quick, the irritable use of a tongue in marriage or in Christian relationships grieves the Holy Spirit as nothing else can.

9)       The Spirit has marked us as the property of God with a seal that cannot be broken. Now, would you grieve, would you disappoint, would you offend the one who is keeping you unto the day of eternal redemption? Then you must put away from you all unkind, all careless, all ungracious, all cutting use of your tongue. A speech which comes out of irritability, frustration, anger -- put it away.


b.       Now we come to verses 31 and 32. In these verses Paul moves from the sins of the tongue to the disposition of the heart.


1)       There is a progression. In verse 31 we see that this list of things is not simply given arbitrarily, but that one thing leads to the other. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

2)       The idea there is that if these things are unchecked they will proceed one to the other.


a)       Bitterness will bring wrath.

b)       Wrath will bring anger.

c)       Anger will bring clamour.

d)       Clamour will bring evil speaking.

e)       And evil speaking will result in a deep disposition of malice in the heart. Malice is the planning for revenge!

f)        Now bitterness is a sour resentment which, if allowed, brings wrath and boils over into evil speaking.

g)       Let all bitterness.... Bitterness then is the hot-bed, the culture-dish, out of which anger proceeds.

h)       Put away bitterness, that burning spirit of bitterness which as an acid wants to work down into your heart.


3)       You say, I feel I have been neglected. I feel that I am constantly being corrected by my parents. I feel my point of view is not being heard sufficiently. I feel that my ideas are not adequately esteemed. And something happens which causes me feel put-down, slighted, overlooked. And a spirit of bitterness arises in my heart that seems uncontrollable.

4)       Let all bitterness be put away says the Word of God. There is no justification for the bitterness which we like to nurse. We like to feel justified. We like to stroke ourselves in self-pity. That is the work of the flesh.


a)       If you do not put away bitterness, the Word of God says the result will be anger and wrath, not a righteous anger but a sinful anger. Your face will become red. Your jaws will become tight. You will begin to see red, and to see everything with a jaundiced eye.

b)       And then will come clamor and evil speech, shameful eruptions and arguments and dirty digs put in against each other trying to maintain your own self.

c)       Now, put it away. Do not tolerate it. Do not indulge it. Do not call it a constitutional weakness. Do not call it a personality fault. Do not say, this is my learned response. Call it nothing but what God calls it: SIN. And put it away.


5)       And put on the opposite. Verse 32, "Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." That verse belongs in every room of every home in this church!

6)       You see, the opposite of bitterness is kindness, tender-heartedness. It is the feeling of sympathy towards each other. That is the careful and sensitive handling of each other (1Pe 3:7).

7)       We are commanded to be tenderhearted and compassionate, forgiving one another. That implies, of course, that we sin against each other.


a)       Forgive means that we are not to keep a list of faults with each other, of the things which have been done against us.

b)       Love beareth all things. Love thinketh no evil. Love takes no account of evil. It does not have a ledger book, a list where record is kept of grievances.

c)       Forgive, dismiss, send away those grievances.


c.        Notice the Motivation: “even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you” (v.32).


1)       Do you stand forgiven, as one who deserved hell? Have you so offended the living God as to provoke His righteous anger? Are you justly a recipient of death and damnation?

2)       Well, if the infinite God, in all of his holiness and majesty, the offended God, has forgiven us in Christ, graciously, fully, and unconditionally, who are we to do anything less to those who have sinned against us?

3)       The motivation for tenderheartedness and kindness is the awareness, is the felt-consciousness, of God's forgiving mercy to me in Jesus Christ.

4)       If we have tasted divine forgiveness, it cannot but create within us the desire to extend forgiveness to others. A man wrongs me. I must forgive him, then my soul is free. I must not wait until he comes to me to forgive him in my heart. If I do not forgive him right away, I jeopardize my standing before God – and let me add, I jeopardize my sanity and health! The brother who has offended me he has to answer to God, yes. But I must forgive and go and point out his fault as one who is not a stranger to extending forgiveness to him. The spirit of forgiveness must be extended immediately, although perhaps a word of forgiveness cannot be extended until the brother has acknowledged his sin.


D.      The Will – it is up to you now!


1.        Do you have the will to forbear what you would naturally do, and just love the other person like Jesus would, or are you always going to blow-it and drive the relationships in your home apart?

2.        The test of whether we truly love God and have heard His Word and whether that Word abides in our hearts is how we live with each other. If we say, I have tasted the kindness and the mercy and the forgiveness of God and still walk in evil speech, bitterness, anger, and wrath against my brother or sister, in the home, in marriage, or in church, then our confession is nothing but a bunch of noise. But the proof will be found in the disposition of our heart and in our speech towards each other.

3.        But what about the other? Jesus says that if he can change YOU, He can change the other person too! But it begins with the hearer of His word first!


IV.    Conclusion


A.      You KNOW you ought to love one another

B.       You just don’t like to forbear – you don’t like to put up with stuff that hurts you in your home

C.       God commands you to do both

D.      Neither are easy for very long

E.       But both are fruits of the Christian walk with Jesus Christ

F.       Has God, for Christ’s sake been allowed to forgive you? Have you known the tenderhearted kindness of God?

G.       Then start divorcing some serious sins from both your speech, and your heart (your thoughts)

H.      Our homes just won’t survive the continue attacks on the outside if they are constantly under attack on the inside!



Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland