From the Pastor - September 2022 Newsletter
“The Healthy Household”
There is a hierarchy to the family. This is most obvious from the fact that children do not (or should not, if you wish to maintain a healthy household) tell their parents what to do. Rather, children are to be submissive to their parents (Eph. 6:4).
But Holy Scripture is blatantly clear that there is another part of this hierarchy. Before delving into that, it is first important to note that the existence of a hierarchy DOES NOT necessitate oppression or even inequality. In fact, without hierarchy, there is arguably less possibility for order and structure. It is a fairytale to think that living in a sinful, fallen world, the majority of people will always choose what is best.
We may very well argue that hierarchy often does not function in a way that supports order and structure, but let us recognize that this is not because of hierarchy itself. Rather, it is because of the sinful individuals who occupy such hierarchies. This is the reason why such hierarchies do not function as the Lord intended.
Yet, because as I said above, there is a greater possibility for order and structure in a hierarchy than in masses of people doing whatever they think is best at any given time, God has knit hierarchy into the very fabric of creation. Yes, especially in the family itself – that which led Him to conclude things to be “very good.”
This hierarchy is that the husband is the head of the wife (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-23). And whenever this hierarchy of the family is ignored or suppressed, bad things happen. When husbands and wives do not function as God intends, they not only hurt themselves, but also their children, and consequently, society as a whole.
Now, no doubt, you are thinking to yourselves that when I say the husband must function as the head of the household and specifically his wife – if the household is to be healthy –I am suggesting a dictatorial system where husbands rule their wives as slaves. Most people come to this conclusion when they first hear such things, and this is certainly the view of our culture.
But perhaps it would behoove us to see what God has to say – He who created us and our families and Who knows how they will work best. For when we look at Holy Scripture, when we look at what Christ, the Founder of Christianity, says concerning those in authority, we see that this is the furthest thing from His mind. Indeed, such are not the sentiments of He who came not to be served, but to serve (Mt. 20:28).
So, what does Christ mean when He speaks of men being the heads of their wives? How are men to function this way? It is in the husbands and fathers teaching their wives and children God’s Word; teaching them how to pray; leading them to the Divine Service weekly. In short, it is teaching them to fear the LORD – to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and their neighbors as themselves.
Psalm 128 (see above) describes such a household functioning in the above mentioned way beautifully:
It is not without reason this is one of the suggested Psalms for our marriage rite. For blessed, indeed, is everyone, especially the husband and father, who fears the LORD! He who puts God first in all things, loving Him with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength; he who does not – like Adam – choose his wife over God in listening to her voice when it conflicts with God’s Word is blessed, indeed, and thus, that household.
For what did Adam gain by choosing to listen to his wife’s voice over against the LORD’s clear command, “you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”? He gained sin, death, separation from God [Hell], painful toil of the ground with his hands, and, ironically, he even lost his wife. For confronted with his sinful choice to choose his wife over the LORD, he quickly turned against her: “It was this woman …”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the cold, hard truth is that if we choose anyone or anything over God, we in fact, lose not only God but also everything else. If we do so with our own lives, our wives, our children, our friends, we are not acting in love toward them, but rather for their everlasting destruction. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” (Lk. 14:26) Let this not be us! Husbands and fathers, love your wives and children by loving Jesus more than them. For in this, our families will, indeed, be blessed.
If you are interested in learning more about biblical masculinity and encouraging one another, join us at Men’s Group