Be Her Man, Part 1
This is probably the hardest of the three areas we'll be looking at in this study. Why? Because we've been taught by a feminist-dominated culture how to treat women. To a great extent we have succumbed to those teachings. If we're going to claim our rightful places as heads of our household and heads of our women, we have to overcome our own training - and we have to overcome the training and examples our wives have had. This is not easy.
First let’s make sure we're convinced as to what the Bible says out role is, then I’ll look at some practical ways in which we can be the men God intended our wives to have.
In 1 Peter 3:7 we read, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” It is not some sexist, male plot to take over the world which teaches that women are in fact the weaker vessel. God's Word says so. Not only that, though; they are also co-heirs of the Kingdom of God with us. These two facts need to constantly be balanced in our relationships with wives (or future wives, for those of you not yet blessed with one).
Let me submit before I go any further that anyone who tries to tell you that this headship thing is the position of superiority - or comfort - has not understood the concept. The word "husband" is used 105 X in Scripture. Now some of those do refer to animal husbandry. Most however, refer to that role of male half of a marriage relationship. There are a lot of ways to approach this subject. Let's look at three roles God prescribed for men in relationship to their wives (Just one in this blog entry).
If you are a Christian man and you are married, you are the head of your wife. Nowhere in Scripture is the man commanded to take this role. We are simply told that we are. Ephesians 5:23 states, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” This is an important distinction. We don't have a choice in the matter - and neither do they.
How we fulfill this role has a lot to do with how our wives relate to us. This is especially difficult if you marry a smart and strong woman. If you become a Christian after she does, there are all sorts of obstacles to climb. But, we don't have a choice. We can be good leaders or we can be lousy leaders. A man's authority in the home should be exercised with gentleness, grace, and love as a servant-leader, following the example of Jesus Christ.
Leadership is a stewardship from God. (Read Psalm 103:13; Malachi 3:17; Matthew 11 :29-30; Colossians 3:21; 1 Peter 3:7). In other words, being her leader; being the head of the household does not mean living up to that caricature of headship that anti-Christian, anti-God leftists want to impose on us. It does not mean being the boss at all costs. It does not mean forcing her into some kind of unbiblical submission.
One of the problems with trying to understand our leadership role is that there is so much written about leadership. Most is written from a secular, success=$ perspective. We cannot simply superimpose non-Biblical models of leadership on men and expect them to be Christian leaders. We need to have Biblical models (the positive ones - there are also plenty of negative ones). Modern families, Christian families included, lack men who are willing to stand up and point the way and expect the others to follow their direction. So most families flounder about like rudderless ships with no sense of overarching mission or purpose and no clear guidance for day to day life. In place of purpose they substitute frantic busyness, trying to mask their lack of direction with endless activities.
So what does headship look like? [Note: in trying to cover as much as I can, I am not going to give specific scriptures or examples for every statement. Many of them are self-evident. Others would be good topics for you to research.]
Things we need to be:
· A Christian: not just a non-Jew or non-Muslim; a real, authentic; born-again disciple of the Messiah.
· A leader: Someone who develops goals for the family instead of drifting along wth the tide of culture.
· Someone who takes initiative: who's not afraid to make the hard decisions - and is willing to stand up against the onslaught. (our children and dating can be a big crisis).
· Someone who develops and calls upon the gifts of his family.
· A man of Integrity
· Anti-feminist: the feminist society will hate you for making a biblical stand - your wife may be among them. After all she grew up in this culture too. Quote: "Today the most organized and formidable opponent of women’s social, economic and sexual rights remains organized religion. Religionists defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. Religious fanatics and bullies are currently engaged in an outright war of terrorism and harassment against women who have abortions and the medical staff which serves them." (From an Anonymous pamphlet, "Why Women Need Freedom From Religion.").Things we need to do:
· Grow (devotional study)
· Learn (doctrinal study)
· Provide for our family
· Pray for your family
I think that may be enough to chew on for a while. Next installment will look at husband and father as teacher.