Stranger Things (Week 5) - Stranger Relationships



The life we experience in Jesus because of grace is a powerful and stranger thing.


We are like Jesus when we use power to serve rather than to control.


Continuing from the book of Ephesians, this teaching addresses the question of what Jesus did and how we respond, especially in the area of our relationships. The posture that governs our relationships, especially with our closest family and friends, is a posture of self-giving. This is strange and “upside-down” compared to how most of us think. We are called to think like Jesus – to be other oriented, to be self-sacrificing, and to embrace our enemies. Therefore, we are like Jesus when we use power to serve rather than to control. To embrace Jesus, we submit any power, such as what we know, our intelligence, or our sense of being right, to do the following in our relationships: We love and serve our spouse; we honor and respect our parents; we humbly teach and guide our children; and we diligently work in honor to God.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Describe a relationship in your life that has been a challenge to you. What makes it a challenge? Is there any way that it can be improved?

Being right, being smarter, being stronger – are temptations to use OVER people. How can we put these things UNDER (in other words to serve) the people we have relationships with? How does Jesus provide an example to us of how to serve others, especially in light of Him being the Son of God? (Philippians 2:5-10)

What is the difference between love and respect? Why do you think husbands are challenged to love and wives are challenged to respect? If you are married, what is the challenge of these verses for you?

Read Ephesians 6:4. What things did your parents do to exasperate you? What is the key to avoiding doing that with your own children?

Read Ephesians 6:5-8. How can we apply being “slaves” and “masters” in these verses to being “employees” and employers”? Describe the challenges of putting these verses into practice.

Read Ephesians 5:21. Describe how this verse applies to all relationships.

Other Scriptures to Read:

  • Psalm 19:14
  • Matthew 7:3
  • Proverbs 17:14
  • Matthew 7:12