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The Gospel Centered Home: Parenting (16 of 21)
OPENING: Today we will give you a lot of nuts and bolts, so I encourage you to write this down. Pen, pencil, lipstick or mascara. Spear these thoughts with the point of your pen. Someone said, the poorest ink is greater than the best memory.
CONTEXT: When the Gospel came to Ephesus a revolution came with it. It was said of the Apostles, "These men are turning the world upside down" well in fact they were turning it right side up, but this is the nature of the Gospel. It is a revolutionary notion.
MARRIAGE WAS REVOLUTIONIZED
Marriage in the Ephesian culture was a very flippant thing.
• Wives were treated like a combination of concubine and household slave.
• Even in a Jewish home men were permitted to divorce their wives for the slightest infraction. If she lost her attractiveness, divorce. If she burnt dinner, divorce.
But God called His men to nourish and cherish their wives.
PARENTING WAS REVOLUTIONIZED
In Roman society pa-tria po-test-as, that is, the authority of the head of the house, gave the father virtual life and death power over not only his slaves but over his entire household. He could cast any of them out of the house, sell them as slaves, or even kill them-and be accountable to no one.
A newborn child was placed at its father's feet to determine its fate. If the father picked it up, the child was allowed to stay in the home; if the father walked away, it was simply disposed of-much as aborted babies are in our own day.
Seneca - Seneca, a renowned statesman in Rome at the time Paul wrote the Ephesian letter, said, "We slaughter a fierce ox; we strangle a mad dog; we plunge a knife into a sick cow. Children born weak or deformed we drown."
Hilarion - A letter written in 1BC by a man named Hilarion to his wife, Alis, reads, "if you have another child, if it is a boy, let it live; if it is a girl, expose it" (Papyri Oxyrhynch ...
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