Are your family relationships consistent with God's Word?
Improper family and church relationships are common places we lose the filling and power of God's Spirit. "No one who is wrong with others can be truly right with God." The following Scripture reveal God's plumb line for husbands, wives and children.
God's special words to husbands and fathers: Ephesians 5:23 ff, "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church..."
From this verse we see that God calls the husband to be the spiritual head of the home. He is responsible to give spiritual guidance and nurture. Every husband and father has a very special responsibility to God and to his family.
Ephesians 5:25 - "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it."
The husband is commanded to love his wife with a powerful, sacrificial love. He is to literally sacrifice himself to meet the needs of his wife. The husband is to give himself' to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of his wife. In every way, he is to place the needs and welfare of his wife ahead of his own.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the weaker vessel."
The husband is commanded to be very caring and sensitive to his wife's needs. A husband's uncaring, insensitive attitude toward his wife will inevitably hinder his ability to pray (1 Peter 3: 7). A godly husband will literally study the unique needs and desires of his wife. This includes physical, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual needs.
Ephesians 6: 4 - "And you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
The father is commanded to relate to his children in loving spiritual guidance, not in anger or wrath. Discipline must done with consistency and love. The father's great priority is the spiritual nurture and training of his family. It is certainly important, but financial provision is by no means the father's primary responsibility.
Questions for Reflection: Husband, have you taken responsibility to lead your family in devotions and prayer? Do you set a loving atmosphere of spiritual nurture and training? Do you put your wife's needs and desires ahead of your own? Do you study to understand and meet the unique emotional needs of your wife? Have you made use of today's excellent books and videos on marriage? Are you providing wise financial guidance and stewardship for the security of your family? Are you guiding your children in spiritual growth and training? Do you discipline your children with consistency and love? Do you consistently talk to your children about spiritual values? (A brief daily devotion alone can never replace the value of consistent conversation with your children about everyday life issues.)
Let no husband despair! If you honestly confess your failures, God will give you the powerful grace to change. Today, there are many good books and resources to help you. Don't be overwhelmed even though you may feel inept. God will bless even small steps toward fulfilling your spiritual responsibility. Husband, you can see a miracle in your family!
As those of us who are Husbands and fathers confess and forsake our sins and failure to love our families as Christ calls us to do, we must always remember it is "Christ in us, the Hope of Glory" (Col. 1: 27). As believers, we are forgiven and empowered only by the covenant of Christ's blood and His indwelling life. As we plead His precious blood and wholly trust in His fullness, victory is surely ours!