<Video Segment “The Perfects” is a nauseating spoof on the perfect family. (You can preview it here ))
I don’t know what your view of perfect family life is like. Some of you might like something like that clip, though I doubt it. I’m tempted to do a survey this morning. Kids how many of you did the dishes or at least cleared the table for mom? And how many of you were so far ahead of schedule today that no-body was yelling at anyone else?
It’s kind of a sad commentary isn’t it? I’m not convinced that “The Perfects” reflect the true ideal family. But it does highlight some misconceptions and get us into the mode of thinking about what a perfect family looks like.
If we follow the trail established for us last week in which the Godhead is the MODEL for a faithful family we really ought to start this week with the Man of the house. (Especially since this is father’s day.
So if we follow the trail established for us: God the Father is the head of Christ and Christ is the head of the husband, so that is where we’ll begin: with the Husband and Father. Of course that doesn’t mean that only the married men here need to hear God’s word, God’s word is for all of us.
Husbands this is for Me and you both. Wives, This is for you to know as well what you should expect of your husband. This is also for the children and the unmarried in that it reveals the extent of Godly character in the family. Besides some of the young ones might get married someday. So grab some paper and let’s get ready to walk through the First Function of a Faithful Family.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF HUSBAND TO WIFE.
If you spend any time reading popular thought or even watching TV – or engaging in conversation it’s really not too long men before you discover that men are typically are portrayed by society as autocratic morons without a clue while the children or your wife is considered to be the heroes who put up with your idiocy while you drool on your shirt.
I don’t know about you men, but I’m fed up with that Caricature. But here’s the problem: it’s our fault. We’ve let that distorted picture take center stage in our culture because we have refused to live up to the commandments of God either out of ignorance, weakness or meanness masquerading as “being macho”. We have failed to follow through on our responsibilities.
That’s a pretty severe indictment – but I think it’s true. If it weren’t true our families would be functioning Biblically. And as much as I wish it didn’t the indictment rests fairly squarely on our shoulders. The reason for that, men, is that we have the principal responsibility of the family. So the family goes as we go.
So let’s look at this vital relationship of Husband to wife and we’re going to start with our Text in 1 Corinthians 11:3
“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” (1 Co 11:3, NASB95).
The issue of headship in the Corinthian church is related in this passage to head coverings as a symbol of authority. Very briefly in Corinth the temple prostitutes shaved their heads. Knowing this Paul demands that all the women cover their heads as a symbol of their husbands authority. Not only to declare that they were under their husband’s authority but also to protect the cult prostitutes who were coming out of that culture into the church. As they were coming under the authority of God they needed to symbolically display that.
Going further then, what is at stake here is an issue of appropriate authority which is intended to be in the husband. Looking forward to the tenth verse Paul says that the symbolic head cover is necessary in Corinth because the angels are watching.
Remember that the angels know that the family is a unit representative of the very nature and Character of God therefore the symbol of a husband’s authority is needed for the sake of God’s reputation before the angels.
So here’s the first point of application and I’m going to point it at you and I men: Because the family is intended to represent the nature and character of God to the world- it is imperative for the sake of the angels that you take godly headship of your wife.
Gentlemen you are supposed to be the head of your family – but not in a macho, brute of a man sort of way. The rest of this week and next really unpacks what headship means but let me summarize it with the term we often hear: “Servant Leadership.”
It is the duty of the husband to provide leadership that his wife can rely upon without crushing her in the process.
Since everything else comes out of this leadership – everything else we’ll talk about also helps to explain this leadership so let’s move on to your first responsibility as head of the house.
Make Your Marriage Secure.
Men it is your responsibility to make your marriage Solid Your Marriage Gen 2:23-24; notice that Adam made the declaration, not Eve. Men, who is usually responsible for making marriages strong? Isn’t it normally the women? Why are Marriage conferences targeted toward women most of the time? I’ll tell you it’s usually because the men are too thick-headed to understand that a strong marriage bond is your responsibility. If you’re marriage needs help guys – don’t wait for your wives to do something about it, and don’t just weather the storm. It’s your job to make your wife feel secure and fulfilled in your marriage.
Solidifying your marriage involves more than getting married, it means maintaining it. Deuteronomy 22:13-ff, and Numbers 5:11-ff both point to extreme ends of the pendulum where it is considered the husbands duty to keep the marriage on stable moral grounds. In Numbers it’s about keeping your wife morally pure; while in Deuteronomy the text demands that you honor and respect your wife’s moral integrity.
But whatever the issue whether it’s Moral or emotional – the wellbeing of your marriage is not women’s work. It’s work for a man to make a strong marriage.
So How do you strengthen your marriage? Ladies You’ve been waiting to hear this I think.
Men if you want a strong marriage:
Make Your Wife Happy. (Deut 24:5)
Turn back to Deuteronomy 24:1-5 for just a moment – I want you to note verse five because that’s the one I’m concerned about: Notice that the instructions for the newly married man is to stay home and “Give happiness to your wife.” Deut 24:5
Notice the context of that command comes right on the heels of a discussion about divorce and some potential problems associated with it. Then Moses sticks this command in here at the request of God that a newly married man stay home with his wife instead of going to war, at least for the first year.
By extension we should be able to say that a newly married couple should have as little responsibility away from each other as possible. Why is that? Especially in the beginning there should be as little outward pull on your marriage as possible so as to give them enough time to settle into marriage in a way that fully reinforces the sacredness of your relationship.
Now please pay attention, I’m not talking about making your marriage as comfortable as an old shoe. This is different – this is making your marriage pleasurable. And in the context it means men that you passionately pursue not your own good pleasure, which is what normally happens.
But men you and I have got to be committed to providing JOY for our wives.
Ladies, let me ask you a question. If your husband wanted to make a stand on being the God-appointed head of your household and he wanted to do it in a way that made you happy to be married to Him – and made you feel completely secure in the stability of your marriage; would you consider that a good thing?
Boys and Men, I’m not done with us yet because we’ve got a lot of responsibilities. The first and most necessary function of a faithful family is a husband that provides Godly leadership to his wife.
Men this doesn’t mean that you demand glory. The Father is the head of the son and I want you to note that the Father’s purpose is to glorify the Son so that the Son might be first.
Men, being the leaders in your homes does not mean that you’re browbeating her, or demanding that your wife submit to you like a servant or a child – that’s not godly leadership – that is the exact opposite. It is godless, cowardly and unloving.
A godly husband will lead his wife lovingly; he will take upon himself the task of creating a stable and secure marriage – and because he loves his wife he will labor to make her happy to be married.
Husbands – “love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her….” Eph 5:25