Family Leadership – “The Buck Stops Here”

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As we investigate the vision of a husband’s responsibilities in a biblically structured family, we have seen that its initial aspect is that we LOVE our wives “as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25). Last week’s posting outlined God’s “crazy, mixed-up, backward and upside-down” way He will accomplish this impossible task in our lives. If you missed it, you can get to the blog by clicking on “Comments.”

Our second, God-assigned task as husbands is to LEAD our wives with strong, firm decision-making. They are our “helpers” in our assigned task of ruling over the earth (Genesis 2:18), and our helpers need to know how they can help us. We men, whom they are created to help, must tell them how they can do so.

Our wives  are directed by God to do just as we have instructed them to do: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24). 

These verses are as difficult for a woman to do as it is for a man to love his wife unconditionally, as the next verse tells him to do. The reason is that God has made His vision for the biblical family impossible for us to experience because He “cursed” women by giving them a desire to control their husbands, along with giving men an innate desire to “rule” (subjugate) women.  

We have seen in previous postings that Genesis 1:26 tells us that we were created to rule, with a list over what that rule includes.  It conspicuously does NOT include other human beings. They all, including our wives, were created to rule just as we are, and thus our rule is over the earth itself and all other creatures (besides humans!) who live on it. 

That rule also includes institutions such as the civil government (by the people, through a republic), the church (through a corporate body of elders, chosen by the church), and the family (by the father, with his wife as his co-ruler). Notice each of these ruling situations may necessitate using compelling force to insure compliance, within the context of its institutional function. This also includes other organizations such as a business.

What then does it mean for a wife to “submit” to her husband? This means the wife submits to her husband as her leader, not her ruler, and that submission is voluntary, not mandatory. It cannot be compelled. There is a huge difference! 

As a man searches for a wife to assist him in his task of ruling, he will eventually find a woman for whom he discovers God has given him agape love in his heart for her, the very same unconditional love Jesus has for His church. 

We have seen that this love is initial, sacrificial and unconditional, and she will find herself. unconsciously and without any effort, maybe even against her will, responding and loving him back! When he tells her he wants to marry her and have her join him in his task of ruling the earth, she enthusiastically says “Yes!”

His strength and decisiveness lays the groundwork for his leadership in their new family. He is the final decision-maker, and all of his decisions are never for his own benefit, but for the ultimate benefit of his family and what he sees to be the advancement of the kingdom of God.

However, he is always open and eager for her input and what she sees from her feminine perspective, and the final decision may be her insight. If so, he says, “Great idea! We’ll do that!” The idea may be hers; the decision to follow it must be his. She has proven to be an irreplaceable helper!

As the ruler of his family, the husband understands that the direction this family goes as an institution in God’s kingdom, is his determination. He knows he possesses the 1.) responsibility to ensure that the  family follows biblical law as he applies it, in the power of the Holy Spirit (“The Truth”). He alone has the 2.) authority from God, as revealed in the Bible, to cause this to happen. Finally, he alone bears total 3.) accountability to God for its success or failure as a kingdom family. .

This is God’s vision for the family from the Bible; it is not a punch list of things to do to “have a biblical family.” That is a prescription for failure and nothing more than a hit of the drug of “doing good and not evil.” It is crucial for us all to always remember this distinction and to realize that “vision” is not optional, for “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). 

God’s promise is that He Himself will keep all these impossible commands He has given TO US—THROUGH US, naturally, spontaneously and unconsciously—as we simply face and repent for our failure to do so, i.e., “walking by the Spirit.” Romans 8:4 says exactly this: “…the righteous requirement of the law will be fulfilled IN us (by the Holy Spirit Who lives there), who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” 

Next week we will see that these three principles—responsibility, authority and accountability—are always present in the Kingdom of God, and are therefore indications that “Thy Kingdom (has) come (in that place), and Thy will (is being) done, on the earth as it is in Heaven.”

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