The Fulfilled Family

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What does God’s Word say about raising a healthy family?

How can a husband best love his wife?

Why and how should a wife submit to her husband?

What is the biblical goal in parenting a child?

What are the common mistakes parents make in child rearing?

Discover a plan for your family that not only follows God’s design but also brings contentment and a sense of purpose.  The Fulfilled Family, the most popular sermon series ever taught by John MacArthur, is ideal for anyone who wants a biblical pattern for building and strengthening a family and avoiding the pitfalls that tear families apart.


Click Here for the “Fulfilled Family” Series.


Below is an encouraging excerpt to wives and mothers from a message in the series titled: “God’s Pattern for Wives – Part 1.”  Also, you will find a story from a woman that he, too, shared with his congregation. 


The woman reverses the stigma of having led the race into sin when she raises godly children.

That is the marvelous, marvelous calling of a woman. The domain of her home, she’s a keeper at home, a worker at home, a lover of children, a lover of husband, submissive. I can’t resist further defining the magnificence of this role in Proverbs 31. Turn back to Proverbs 31; I’m just going to refer to it briefly, and then close with a couple of illustrations that are pretty powerful. But chapter 31 talks about an excellent wife and this is a great, great description of an excellent wife, starting in verse 10 of Proverbs 31. Guys, this is the kind of woman you dream about; this is what every woman should desire to be.

“An excellent wife, who can find?”, verse 10. They‘re hard to find one. “For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her.” Find a woman first of all that you can trust; trust her with everything. Trust her with relationships, trust her with your children, trust her with your money, trust her with your possessions, trust her with your relationships. She won’t go around undermining those. “He’ll have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” This is an amazing woman. “She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar.” She’ll go anywhere for a bargain.

Amazing woman; works with her hands, goes everywhere with her little coupon book. Verse 15, “She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household.” I have so many memories of that as a kid, I have so many memories of the mornings of my life and awaking not by an alarm, but by what was coming out of the kitchen. “She gives food to her household and portions to her maidens.” This is a very enterprising woman. She finds a field that’s for sale and she buys it. She’s got earnings and she plants a vineyard. Somehow she’s got a cottage deal going inside the home; she’s been able to earn some money to help.

“She girds herself with strength, makes her arms strong.” Probably not because she went to the gym, but because she worked. “She senses that her gain is good; her lamp doesn’t go out at night” – stays up late, gets up early. Life was tough in those days. If you wanted clothes, you did what? – you made them; if you wanted food, you made it; if you wanted some food to eat, you grew it. If you wanted to grow it, you had to have a field. So when you married a woman to provide meals, that meant she had to buy a field, plow a field, plant a field, harvest a field, make the food while you were off doing whatever, doing business in the city.

“She stretches out her hand to the distaff; her hands grasp the spindle.” She’s weaving, weaving coats. It can get cold in that part of the world in the winter.

“She extends her hand to the poor; she stretches out her hands to the needy; she’s not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet.” Not only do they have warm garments, but they’re beautiful. “She makes coverings for herself, her clothing is fine linen and purple.” And you know what, “her husband is known in the gates.” They know him as, “that’s so and so’s husband. Oh yeah, I know that guy, that’s so and so’s husband.” He’s known in the gates “when he sits among the elders in the land.” They’re all a little jealous.

“She makes linen garments and sells them.” There’s how she makes a little money to buy that field. “Supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, she smiles at the future.” Why? She plans ahead. “She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Boy, what kind of model is she for her children? “She looks well to the ways of her household, doesn’t eat the bread of idleness and her children rise up and bless her. Her husband also, and he praises her saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all’” – you’re the best.

“Charm, it’s deceitful; beauty it’s vain” – doesn’t last – “but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” It all works around the home, doesn’t it, and the husband, and the children, and the needy. That’s where a woman needs to give her life. Some women are – now they’ve been sold this whole feminist deal; they grab their briefcase, put on their suit and went to the office and have done their thing. Now all of a sudden, 10 or 15 years later, there’s a terrible hollowness in their hearts.” – John MacArthur


He then shares this story … 


Two weeks ago I received this letter, really a heartbreaking letter. Listen to what it says.

“I received your tape series on the family from my mother-in-law for Christmas. You were right, when you started the tape on the duty and priorities of the wife, you were right that it would upset a lot of people. I cried many tears listening to you. You hit the nail on the head regarding the moral decay of families and children, working mothers. The reason for the tears, I am a working mother. I have four children ages 11, 10, 3 and 1½. I’ve worked all of their lives.

I feel that I have lost the connection with my 11-year-old daughter, and that worries me as she approaches adolescence. My babies go through tremendous mommy deprivation daily, my 10-year-old acts out his frustration on everyone. My oldest children go to a private Christian school and that requires a lot of time in the evenings with homework. I get home after being gone nine to ten hours; I have to cook dinner, deal with the crying, mischievous babies, and try not to let the older ones feel left out because I’m too tired or there’s no time left in the evening to work on their needs.

I would love to stay home and be a keeper of my house, but I have no alternative. My husband has chosen to ruin his career and our lives by selfishly indulging in drugs and alcohol. After a four-year roller coaster ride we separated when I found out that he was taking the babies to the park and drinking. I fear that he may get in to an accident with them or forget he has them with him. I have been put into the position of bread winner of this family and I deeply resent it. It is destroying my family; I am losing out on the most important part of my life, raising my children.

The part of me that is raising them is not the part of me that I like. I am tired, angry and frustrated all of the time; what a wonderful role model. Mom the hag. When we separated, I told my boss…separated from her husband…and he told me to call my pastor right away. Being somewhat new to a church body I couldn’t figure out what my pastor could do. I told my pastor a few days later, he said he was sorry and that he would pray for me. During the initial separation I didn’t attend church for a month. I continued to read my Bible daily and listen to tapes and radio ministry programs.

During that month I didn’t receive a single call from the church or my pastor. Incidentally, we fill out weekly attendance cards and several friends are in ministry positions who know of our situation. When I did go back to church no one asked how things were, it was also at this time I asked my employer if I could work at home to save day care cost. He’s a Christian and these costs were sending me financially over the edge; the answer was no. I thought I was naïve thinking that my church or my Christian employer should or could help in some way.

When I listen to you and your thoughts on the church’s obligation to women with children I couldn’t stop crying, I felt so let down by my pastor and church as well as my Christian employer. Well, I didn’t write this to complain, I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your messages and how you really have touched me. You’ve given me incentive to pray more fervently for God to change my situation so that I can do what I’m supposed to do. Be a keeper of my house and children.

I also pray for my husband. Keep on teaching the Word of God, it doesn’t matter if noses get bent out of shape. It just makes us open our eyes and re-examine how we live our lives. Sad isn’t it, in some ways it’s all over and there’s no going back.”


John MacArthur then adds: “The matter of submission is so clear in Scripture. To the husband, to the task of the home, that’s God’s call to women. Well, that’s one verse, verse 22, and that’s not even all that verse. We talked about the matter of submission; next time we’re going to talk about the manner of submission, the motive for submission, the model of submission, and the magnitude of it.

Father, thank You for Your Word, which is so clear. Lord, You have given us a plan and if we follow it we’re blessed. I pray for this dear lady, I pray for her, O God, that You might somehow get her in a position where she can be with her family. Her husband, who claims to be a Christian, Lord work in his life, bring him to commitment, bring them back together, may he become the supply and the support and the leadership and the strength, and the joy of her heart. Lord, we know that must be the prayer of many, many women.

We thank You for this church which is so eager to help those women who’ve lost their husbands, and to underwrite and support them so they can stay at home and care for their children. Lord, the ideal has been so devastated; raise up a generation of young people, Lord. Those who are now contemplating marriage, getting married or just recently married, Lord may they make the right choices. May there be correction where correction can be made, forgiveness for those who have failed this pattern, restoration, renewal, and Lord may there be a new beginning.

And for those, as we said, who are young and just starting Lord, may they walk in the path of obedience to Your Word. That there might be joy in the home, that You might be honored, Your Word not dishonored, and a generation of children raised to love you. Continue to lead us as we consider these great things in Christ name, amen.”


Click Here for the “Fulfilled Family” Series.




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