Good homes, good Christian homes are the foundations of civilisation, the flower gardens of purity and the nurseries of the church.It takes the finest things of life to make the home beautiful; love, character, honour, humility, sacrifice, dignity, integrity, Godliness and righteousness. These are some of the ingredients to make a good and peaceful home in a wicked world.In order to have good homes, Jesus should not be our Lord just on Sunday but He should be our Lord in our homes on Monday through Saturday. We must remove all that is spiritually offensive to Christ; cobwebs of unbelief, dust of worldliness and all appearances of sin.
In building good homes, each member has a part to play and whenever any member of the family fails to play his or her part, there is discord, disagreement and dysfunctionality.So in keeping with God’s design for the home, everything starts with the man, the husband, the father.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
This is probably the most abused scripture in the Bible because often men use this scripture to justify a dogmatic and tyrannical approach to their role in the home. The position as the head of the family is not a position where we sit on the pedestal or throne and issue orders to those who are beneath us. But brethren it is more a position of being a leader. A humble leader even as Christ was despite His position as God.
Brothers if we are to lead and God has called us to lead at home, we are to lead according to God’s will and if we do not lead, our wives will. When you look at the state of our society today, so many women have been forced to take up leadership in the home because our men have refused to lead,abandon their role to lead or in some cases have led so badly that the women have had to step up and take the reins and start leading.
As leaders (men, husbands) in the home, there are some basic things we must bring home in order to have good Christian and peaceful homes:
- This is the ability to perceive or foresee something through a mental awareness. As husbands we have to have the ability to look down the road, weeks, months and even years and see where we want ourselves and our families to be.
- This is simply the ability to put the way to direct the course. Having a vision is not enough because if that is the point where you want to go and you have no idea how to get there, then having a vision is not enough
- Meal on the table. 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. Brothers, God has placed on us the responsibility to provide financially for our families and if you are currently out of work my heart goes out for you and my prayers go up for you. Sisters are not prohibited to work in the family but if either the husband or the wife is working for themselves, that marriage is in some serious trouble. Our wives are called ‘help meet’ in the Bible and that is the reason they must help the husband to take care of the home, even financially.
Submitting to anybody is a sign of humility on the part of the person submitting. It is interesting that Apostle Paul in verse 21 of our text phrased it to require both husband and wife to submit to each other not out of fear of each other but as a mark of respect for Christ our Saviour. Men have, more often than not, relied on verses 22, 23, 24 to expect their wives only to do all the submissions even in matters of opinions and arguments. I believe Paul created a valve in verse 21 so that men should be comfortable to yield to or agree with their wives as the occasion demands without necessarily losing their authority.
The next point we shall look at is about children and other household members. Eph. 6:1-6 addresses our children clearly in the family structure.Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Simply put and generally speaking, a disobedient child is likely to struggle through a shortened life here on earth. This is scary and our children seem not to appreciate this passage, I guess. In Verse 4, Apostle Paul is cautioning us Fathers against excessive severity that provoke bitter and wrathful rebellion in our children. Proverbs 19:18 Chasten your son while there is hope And do not set your heart on his destruction. Children must be corrected and restrained against their self-will but this must be done in love for the child. We should raise our kids in such a way that when we get old they will still love us instead of hating us.Proverbs 22:6 stressed the word train when dealing with our children, one wonders if there is anything as violent training.
Appreciating the Structure at Home using David’s Psalm
Fathers, in order to have a good Christian home we must not only bring home the ice cream, we must also bring home the teachings of God’s word, the Bible. A close look at Psalms 128:1-6 reveals God’s established order in the home and the blessings that come with it.
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.
5 The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
6 Yes, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!
In this chapter of Psalm, we are promised the blessings of God when we fear Him. The word fear means that we take God seriously, we take Him at His word. What is the promise? Verse 2 affirms that our labour shall not be in vain as we shall be happy and it will be well with us. The promise that our wife shall be like a fruitful vine is simply awesome. A vine usually wraps itself around a stake and grows up with it. So if we are the right kind of man our wives will cling to and grow with us while producing fruits. Evidence of the fruitfulness is the promise that the wife is giving us children. It is interesting that this passage uses metaphors to describe the members of the family. Children are described as olive plants here and for an olive plant to become a tree it takes fifteen years of nurturing and once the olive plant becomes a tree it takes forty years to produce olive. Dinner time is about the best opportunity to do the nurturing because of the love that radiates while we eat together. This is how the man shall be blessed who fears the Lord. In like manner in Matt 6:33 Jesus said ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’
Let us conclude by looking at the closing verses of Psalm 128:5-6.We remember that Jerusalem was the centre of the lives of children of Israel and whenever something happened to Jerusalem, the Jewish people were torn internally.So the blessing to the father that he may see the good of Jerusalem all the days of his life was and is quite reassuring even for us today. We can see the implication for the father that he shall see his grandchildren and peace be upon his home for he fears the Lord. So if you want peace in your home, the church, your neighbourhood and the country in general, it starts with the husband, the father. Thank you.
Emmanuel Ekong (Brother)
29 July 2018