Introduction: Do you believe that the family is the basic building
block of society? If true, then if the family breaks down, the nation
breaks down. Do you believe that your nation is breaking down? A
“key” is something that unlocks a door or a secret. Let’s open our
Bibles and see what the Bible teaches are the keys to unlock the
secrets to family unity!

  1. Unlocking the Foundation

    1. Read Ephesians 2:11-12. What is one unity problem
      described here? (People are without hope and without God.
      The text is specifically describing Gentiles, but it would
      apply to anyone who is not converted.)

    2. Read Ephesians 2:13. What is the cure for this unity
      problem? (Jesus.)

      1. How does Jesus fix this problem? (His sacrifice for
        us at the cross.)

    3. Read Ephesians 2:14-15. This seems to describe the cure
      for more than one problem. What unity problems are being
      fixed? (These are two faces of a single problem. One face
      is that Jews thought they were morally superior to the
      Gentiles. They were, after all, given God’s law. The other
      face is that the Gentiles did not follow the law, and
      Jesus fulfilled the law for them, just as He did for the

    4. Read Ephesians 2:16. What other unity problem did Jesus
      fix? (Our unity problem with God. We are sinners and He is
      a holy God. Jesus reconciled us to His Father by living
      His perfect life, paying the death penalty for our sins,
      and rising to life eternal.)

    5. Read Ephesians 2:17. What does Jesus give us? (Peace.)

      1. Let’s think about this. If Jesus is the answer to the
        conflict between Jews and Gentiles, and between us
        and our Holy God, would these same concepts apply to
        unity in the family? Let’s explore that next.

  2. Unlocking Compatibility

    1. Read John 17:20-21. What is Jesus’ ultimate example of
      unity? (The Trinity! Jesus says that He wants us to be
      “one” as He is one with the Father.)

      1. Notice that Jesus says, “May they also be in us.”
        What does this mean? (Fellow believers in Jesus are
        one with Him and the Father.)

      2. How would you apply this advice to the family? (Our
        first priority is the conversion of our family. If
        all of the family believes in Jesus, then the same
        unity principles that apply here should apply to us.
        Hopefully, the problems pulling your family apart are
        less than the problems pulling the world apart.)

    2. Read Philippians 2:1-2. What is the next step after being
      “united with Christ?” (Being “like-minded, having the same
      love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”)

    3. Read Philippians 2:3-4. What does this look like as a
      practical matter? (We make an effort to be unselfish.)

      1. Compare 1 Timothy 5:8. When Philippians 2:4 tells us
        not to look to our own interests, does that mean we
        should put others before our own family? (We are
        first unselfish with our own family. At a minimum, we
        should provide for our family.)

    4. Read Philippians 2:7-10. The life of Jesus gives us an
      insight into what it means to be unselfish. What is the
      natural outcome of being unselfish? Is it that we
      continue to have nothing? (Jesus is our example. The Bible
      tells us that He was “exalted to the highest place.”)

      1. Telling your children that they should always put
        others first is not a very attractive message. The
        message of the Bible is that this approach has a very
        great reward in the end!

    5. Read Ephesians 5:21. Is this a popular concept today?

      1. What does the last phrase “out of reverence for
        Christ” add to the meaning? (Our understanding of
        Jesus’ desire for how we should live shapes this

    6. Read Ephesians 5:22-23. Is this an example of the
      submission we have been discussing?

    7. Read Ephesians 6:1-3. Is this an example of the submission
      we have been discussing?

    8. Read Ephesians 6:4. Does this modify our obligation of
      submission? Would this modify the submission of the wife
      to the husband?

    9. Read Ephesians 6:5-8. What is the modern context for this?
      (Our work.)

      1. Is this another example of the submission we have
        been discussing?

      2. Focus on Ephesians 6:7. What is the point of
        reference? (Our service to God.)

        1. Do you see that our relationship to Jesus, our
          understanding of Jesus, shapes our concept of

    10. Read Ephesians 6:8. Once again, what is the result of this
      submission? (A reward!)

    11. Read Ephesians 6:9 and Ephesians 5:25. On first read, it
      looks like everyone is submitting to the husband and the
      boss. Is that true? (No. All submit to Jesus. Jesus’
      example is one of submitting to others. In reality, this
      is a circle of submission.)

    12. Read Ephesians 5:28. Why not start here? Why not say, “If
      you submit to [your husband, your wife, your parents, your
      boss] you love yourself?” Why not say there is great
      reward, even right now, in this approach?

  3. Human Example

    1. Read Ruth 1:1-5. How would you feel if you were Naomi?

    2. Read Ruth 1:6. Notice the way this is written: God came to
      the aid of His people by giving them food. Has God
      forsaken Naomi? Is she chasing after God’s aid? (We
      started out learning that a relationship with God is the
      foundation for family unity. Naomi has reason to doubt
      that God is looking out for her.)

    3. The story continues that the three of them continue back
      towards Judah, but Naomi tells her two daughters-in-law
      that they should return to their mothers’ homes. Read Ruth
      1:12-13 and Ruth 1:20. What does this confirm about
      Naomi’s attitude? (God’s hand is “against” her. The lives
      of all three women are “bitter.” However, Naomi says that
      her situation is worse because her God has let her down.)

    4. Read Ruth 1:14-16. What does this tell us about Ruth’s
      view of God? (She wants Naomi’s God to be her God. She
      rejects Naomi’s call for her to return to her native

      1. We previously discussed unselfishness. Is Ruth being
        unselfish? (Skip ahead and read Ruth 2:9-10. Notice
        the danger and problems referred to in these verses.
        This shows that Ruth understood the perils of being a
        foreigner. Yet she decided to stay with Naomi.)

      2. We previously discussed submission. Is Ruth
        submitting to Naomi? (Ruth is submitting to the true
        God. However it may appear on the surface, Ruth is
        submitting to Naomi in the sense of agreeing to
        support her in the future.)

    5. Read Ruth 1:17-18. Who, among the three women, is
      promoting unity? Who is urging that they are compatible
      despite national differences? (Ruth.)

      1. What does this tell us about the truth of what we
        studied earlier? (Naomi lost her trust in God. She is
        the one urging that the three of them split up. Ruth
        embraces the true God and she promotes family unity.)

    6. The story continues and we find that God blesses Ruth with
      a rich husband named Boaz. Let’s read what attracts Boaz
      to her. Read Ruth 2:10-12. What is the attraction? (Her
      faithfulness to Naomi and to God. Boaz believes that God
      is in the business of repaying people for their kindness.)

    7. Friend, can you see that the principles that we learned
      about family unity are proven to be true in the life of
      Ruth? Why not ask the Holy Spirit, right now, to help you
      model these principles of devotion to God, submission, and

  4. Next week: Season of Parenting.