I have been blogging the last few days about LOVE in a marriage; “supportive roles” of the husband and wife. The detective work was centered in 1 Peter 3:1-7. Todays investigation, will focus on family and church relationships; along with individual roles in the marriage relationship. As believers in Christ, we need to take a stand in our marriages. I found a quote in researching words this morning. It said, “If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything“. With those words in mind, turn to Ephesians 5:21-33 and we will try to uncover some important clues.
Verse 21 says, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” God starts us out in the following verses by giving all of His instructions to us believers. Whatever God instructs us to do, “submit or “be subject to” is for others; not for our sake but for Christ sake! That clue is vital for each role in the church and family; wife, husband, parent, fellow believer. This clue doesn’t “just happen” in our every day life. We all have to “exercise” or “practice” being who God intended us to be (see Romans 12:1-3).
That thought is carried through to Verse 22, saying “Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.” “sub” means under his mission. The Amplified Bible uses the word “adaptable“. You hear and read about words thrown out of the mouths of celebrities in the world. “They are sure to both sign a pre-nuptial marriage agreement before getting married”. “Pre-nuptials” are contracts which protect each of your rights. Marriages, on the other hand should be a covenant between husband and wife. Covenants are giving up your rights to one another. It becomes an “investment of power” in “submission“. Our lives as Christians should be a living epistle. Respect and honor should be mans number one need.
Ephesians 5:23 deals next with the “HUSBANDS“: Specific instructions of the “why’s” and “how’s”of being supportive to our wives.
“For the HUSBAND is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the Church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.” The husband should show leadership in a supportive role in marriage. “Leadership” in the “headship”; or demonstrating your “headship” by your “leadership”. A godly leader doesn’t use ones authority for control. That is dictatorship and doesn’t benefit anyone in the relationship.
HUSBANDS are to be a living epistle, an open letter; not to only to your wife but to your family. Looking back at my life as a father, I didn’t do a very good job as “a living epistle”. I based my leadership on age-old strongholds taught to me by my parents. “They don’t write books on parenting” I thought. Oh but they do; it’s called the Bible or God’s instructions. I was immature in Christ and showed it. I have repented from those mis-understandings, of what role a father is responsible for to his children.
And to your wife…you need to let her know where you are and when you will be in a certain place. At the beginning of our marriage, Dianne and I made an agreement. If we were out of the house and it was 10 P.M., we would call and check in with one another, NO matter what the circumstances were! We still do, to this day. It is called “respect” and “honor” in the relationship. The “body” needs to know where the “head” is men and visa versa.
About three years ago, I made an important decision in my marriage. Dianne always made out the budget, paid the bills, and balanced the check book. I needed to be a participant in the “Supportive Roles in Marriage”; leadership in the financial areas. Once a month now, we both sit down together at the kitchen table and pay the bills together. I can look at each bill and see where the money is going and when the payment is due. My mother had handled everything in the family regarding budgeting and money distribution. I never remembered my dad even writing a check…until my mother got sick. He had no other choice but to take over that responsibility in their marriage; mom didn’t have the mental capacity to handle it any longer. Dad tried, but things just got worst. After being married for over 70 years, dad tried but couldn’t take the financial leadership role. If you husbands find yourself in a non-leadership in the financial areas of your marriage…STOP! Sit down with your wife and explain that you need to be supportive to her. She might not want to give up this task completely, but tell her you just want to be a godly leader as a husband.
There are four basic needs in marriage and in all human life. God does know all your needs (Philippians 4:19) and His Spirit will prompt you to remember what is lacking in your relationship.
1. Acceptance. Know that your loved and needed by other people.
2. Identity. Knowing you are significantly needed and are special.
3. Security. Knowing women, that you are provided for and protected.
4. Purpose. Knowing you have a reason for life. Christians have purpose.
All family relationships should have results to those basic needs. Friendship is a “covenant word“. True friendship is giving up your needs for others. I often have heard a marriage partner say, “My wife/husband is my best friend!” That is a great claim to make in a marriage IF…you are willing to give up your own needs. “I thought marriage was a 50/50, give and take relationship?” Sorry, it’s not! It’s a 100% giving from the husband and 100% giving from the wife. Your friendship to your marriage partner or between someone else, should be a blessing; not what you can get from the relationship but what they receive from you. Don’t just settle.
Knowing these basic needs,I want you to turn back to Ephesians 5:21: “Be subject to one another…” God’s Word tells me that “being subject to“; is what He told me to do as a husband ( wives too). Will you be “subject to” Christ? Will you be obedient to His instructions?
I hope all the evidence presented, will help you understand more clearly your roles in marriage, your role as parents and your role in the family of God. It starts out with “exercising” God’s principles. Being “Doers” of the Word,not just listeners. Remember… “EXERCISE CAUSES DEVELOPEMENT“; developement of the “Supportive Roles in Marriage”–How does it work?