Family and Friends
I'll start by writing about husbands since I happen to be one. Because I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, then I beleive that we can profit from learning its instructions for every member of a family.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Eph 5:25-28)
Notice that the standard for husbands loving their wives is the sacrificial love of Christ for the church. Christ did whatever was necessary to provide what the church needed to abide eternally with Him in splendor, without any imperfections. The natural tendency for us men it for us to love our wives when we feel like loving them, such as when they do what we want them to do. But Christ died for us when we were still actively rebelling against Him.
Is it profitable for a husband to love his wife even when he thinks she doesn't deserve it? Even if he just doesn't feel like even being considerate of her? Yes, indeed. Why? Well, one reason is because it tends to work out that when you have a happy wife you also have a happy life. But for Christians the more important reason is that our marriages are to be a testimony of our faith in Christ. Just as He has sacrificially loves the church, we should demonstrate to the world that He is our Lord by, in obedience to Him, we love our wives as Christ loves the church.
Since I am a husband it stands to reason that I have a wife. And, since she is also a Christian, she accepts that the follwing passage is indeed part of the Word of God, even if she doesn't always fully appreciate what it says.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Eph 5:22-24)
Why should wives submit to their own husbands? Are men superior? Smarter? Better at making the best decisions? Ahh...based on my own marraige I would have to say no. But that does that mean we should ignore what the Bible says about wives submitting to their husbands? Consdider this: if we ignore that part of the Bible because we don't like it then why not ignore any other part of the Bible that doesn't appeal to us? In that case, why bother with the Bible at all, and simply have everybody do whatever they feel like doing? just spit in the face of God and tell Him to mind His own business and not bother us. Ahh...I suspect the eternal consequences of that attitude won't be pleasant.
As with husbands loving their wives, wives submitting to their husbands can not only contribute to a better marriage, it can can also make for a better testimony to the world that Christ so loved the world that He gave His life to pay for our sins, and that all who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior therefore should gladly submit to Him in all that He calls us to do.
Although I don't have any chilren of my own (I didn't get married until I was 52 and my wife was 48), I can still share a little something from the Bible that could be profitable to parents. This is something our pastor spoke on recently, and he and his wife have six children. Let's look at one verse of Scripture on the subject.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)
Our pastor shared how fathers, as the head of the family, represented both parents, since it was his responsibility before God act as head of the family. And the first instruction to fathers in this verse is to not provoke their children. Don't be exasperating and overbearing, demanding unattainable standards that only convince them that they can't do anything right and give up trying. Appropriate discipline is necessary so children know there are consequences in life when there is wrong behavior. And parents, including Dads, need to see that children benefit from godly instruction which comes, of course, from God's Word.
It seems God knows what is good for us even when we don't like hearing it. Children are not usually fond of obeying what their parents tell them to do. However the Bible includes this passage:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." (Eph 6:1-3)
If children don't learn to obey their parents they are unlikely to willingly obey the authoriies in society, whether in school, or in the streets, or on the job. That can lead to consequences where things do not go at all well for them, and can even shorten their lives.
Real friends are more than just those who like to socialize with you. A real friend is someone who gets to know you well enough and comes to care enough about you that he or she will come to your help when you are in need.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Pro 18:24)
A true friend won't just tell you things you want to hear, but will tell you things you may need to know even if hurts. Sometmes facing the truth about ourselves is painful.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (Pro 27:6)
Jesus can be that kind of friend who tells us things that may hurt us but are exactly what we need to hear. We can learn what He wants us to know both Himself and also about ourselves. These are things we ought to know.