Husbands, Priests and Fathers (part 1 of 5)
What does it mean to be “The Head of The Household?” Are men licensed when married to be tyrants? Getting this wrong can bring endless misery. IF you have the courage to read this, expect to face some tough issues. Let’s consider this.
We Americans must consider this carefully. Half of American marrieds, divorce and many of them marry someone else, and then break up and try a third time and then at age 60 admit on Facebook they are “in a relationship” which proves one or both parties have no idea what it really means to be married. We (both genders) need to make serious changes or we’ll be in trouble about this issue for life! Worse, The building block of society is the Family with Mother and Father together raising children. Now over 50% of children are alone with mother, father is not with them. The children grow up very confused and often uncivilized. If we don’t turn this mess around, the entire society will be chaos within another 25-years!!! (…”we should live so long.”)
(Part 1) The Husband’s Role
What is the husband’s role in the family. A family is a symbol of God’s complete design for the church. If the family is dysfunctional, so will be the church and the people in the church and all of this will affect the entire community.
The goal of this study is to take a deeper look at how the man fits into God’s perfect design. When each member of this God ordained institution submits to God by defining and accepting their roles and responsibilities, the family becomes a powerful testimony of God grace.
When husbands and wives become self-focused and reject God’s design, the family will be weak at best. At worst, the family collapses and there is no limit to how far we can fall when a family begins to spin out of control.
The role of a father is vital to the health of the marriage and reproducing godly values in their children.
We’ll first consider the man’s role as a husband and a priest then will end by examining the role of fatherhood. To successfully fill this role, a man must first be a God respecting reflection of the family’s spiritual leader and this enables him to be a stable husband and equipped father. It must be in that order. If he can’t respect God and God’s Ways he can never be a stable husband.
A man who neglects his spiritual role has already undermined God’s design. Likewise, a man who fails to fulfill the role of a husband cannot effectively execute the role of fatherhood. This is why the old saying, “The family that prays together, stays together,” is proven workable. Meeting single wives in a church and hearing them say, “My husband won’t go to church” or even, “He attends a different church” is a sign of problems at home and tolerance for differences, rather than agreement.
Husbands and Priests
Let’s see Ephesians 5:22-33:
Ephesians 5:22-33 New International Version (NIV)
/22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
This passage gets convoluted and is often taken out of context and abused. Some groups look at this as a license to dominate and others look at this as unjust to women. The word “submit” is a particular target. Today’s “modern” women seek to submit to nothing and any suggestion otherwise can launch a verbal war that supersedes all hidden standards of our place in our culture. I would guess this word alone might be responsible for more women deciding to stay single, than any other theological discussion about marriage.
But if you look at the passage without filtering it through modernistic thinking, this critical passage becomes very clear.
I am not going to look at the wives role, but only how it applies to husbands. The command here is, “husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church”.
It is actually two commands. Men are commanded to love their wives. This is a command, not a cause and response. It does not matter if she meets your expectations or keeps her role as a wife. This is a command from God to the man and obedience is a direct response to God. Like all commands, even though someone else may be the focus of the command, we must obey because we love and obey God. God honors obedience from the heart. What you will find is that by obeying God, He will produce the fruit in your marriage.
Thus when someone this year says, “I love you” and next year says, “I don’t love you anymore,” these statements juxtaposed are telling us our effort to continue loving is insufficient. It may also tell us, we married for lust and now we really have to behave like God-respecting adults and love for the sake of God’s Way and Love, not for the sexual pleasures exclusively.
When we enter into marriage we think we are very giving, but in reality most couples are selfish. We eagerly give in the beginning because our emotional tanks are overflowing, but as those emotions begin to fade, so do our dreams of grandeur. Unless the transition is made from self-serving to self-giving, we quickly become disillusioned and bitter. This is why it is so important to become a husband founded on the word.
God commands that husbands love your wives. God doesn’t fulfill His promises up front. All of God’s commands require a step of faith – self-giving – and the promise will be inherited once we show ourselves faithful.
Without a solid focus on God’s word, you will never have the faith to let go of your desires and obey God. We obey because we believe and trust God. If you are not taking on the spiritual role of a husband, you will become emotionally and physically focused. Emotional and physical benefits are a byproduct of a functioning marriage, but they are not the purpose or the focus of marriage.
If your focus is on your desire for your own emotional and physical thrills, you will look at your wife as someone placed with you to meet your needs. That is not the role of a wife.
You should see your wife as a spiritual union created by God for His glory, and see marriage as a spiritual journey you decided to embark upon with this woman.
God created two to become one. Unless you become one, you will never be satisfied with your spouse.
Becoming one physically takes little effort. For most marriages, the spiritual union goes neglected and true intimacy is never achieved, consequently there is no real emotional bonding. People trade lovers like dogs trade fleas.
When there is no intimacy, men drift away from their wives. Their wives begin to lose appeal, the physical desires fade and then the temptation to look outside of the marriage becomes a problem.
What non-analyzing men and women do not realize is that physical beauty means very little. It is great to attract a spouse, but does nothing to maintain a lasting marriage. Regardless of how physically attractive a woman is, the husband will not be satisfied unless he can look beyond the physical and find true intimacy.