Thursday, March 08, 2007

Be Her Man, Part 2


The second role that God has prescribed for men in regard to their wives is that of a teacher. In 1 Corinthians 14:35, Paul wrote: “If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home….” Then we read in 1 Timothy 2:11-14,

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

Much controversy swirls around the interpretation of these verses. One thing these passages point out clearly, however, is that you are expected to be the “resident theologian” in your own household. When she asks the questions (which she should be doing), you are expected to know the answer - or know how to find it!

Talk about pressure! Here are some questions that immediately come to mind. How many of us have wives who've been Christians longer than we have? How many are intimidated by our wife's Bible knowledge or church understandings or personal piety? These make things harder on us. But in our role as head of the household, we are also supposed to be the lead teacher of Bible knowledge. Let me tell you how I know that this can be intimidating. My own wife was a Christian long before I was. When God graciously took me into His family, all of a sudden I was the head of a Christian family. I was afraid to lead her in Bible study! It took years and years and effort - on her part as well as mine before I could fully assume my rightful role.

How on earth do I do that? Let me give you just a couple of verses which may help. 2 Tim. 2: 15 states that each of us should, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Granted, this is in the context of Timothy going to be a pastor. It's applicable to us, though, because we are called to be the pastor/chaplain/theologian for our families.

Hebrews 5:14 says, “… solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” The key here is “constant use.” We will not get to be the resident theologians we are called to be simply by going to church one morning per week and hearing someone preach. If we want to learn the Word, we need to be in the Word. Here are some thoughts about the process of becoming the teacher wants us to be.

  • Take baby steps. Learn books of the bible. Learn who wrote them. Learn a general outline of scripture. When you read scripture always have a reliable bible dictionary and concordance. Follow those trails of connecting verses. Find some study help online, like http://bible.crosswalk.com/; http://www.biblegateway.com/; and http://netministries.org/bbasics/bbasics.html. You’ll find more as you begin to explore the wonders of Bible study online.

    Go easy on yourself. Don't expect to become a theologian overnight.

    Keep her informed. Let her know that you're working on this.

    Don't give up because you think you don't have time. You can devote a half hour a day to this kind of study and make great progress. You can give an occasional weekend. You can stay up late at night and not watch TV. Imagine if you gave up one hour per night of TV and gave it over to understanding God's Word!

    Ask questions. Your pastor is your theologian. If he isn’t then get him educated – or get a new pastor.

    Pay attention. Take notes during sermons. Follow up - or ask questions.

    Attend a Bible study. Get one started if there isn’t one already. This is an opportunity to study and discuss what it says in God’s Word. Don’t fall for the easy ones. Pick a study that’s going to make you think and pray.

    Don't make excuses. This is a God-ordained task. You find time to do the things you like to do. You can make time to do this.

    Study with her. This might mean going through a book about Biblical marriage or about Bible study. If you’re new at this don’t start out with studying major theological topics!

    Do not be afraid. You are not trying to take something that is rightly yours. You don't have to take it - it's already yours, by default.

What we have to be constantly working on is developing our leadership. If you're married, there's probably a woman at home just waiting for you to be the man she wants you to be and God ordained you to be. If you aren't married yet you have a great advantage. Look for a woman who understands these things and grow together with her.