Chapter 17 - What does the bible teach about the structure of a home and a family?

The biggest problem with our society today, as most of us know, is the disintegration of the family.  Without a loving, wholesome, structured family life, people grow up angry, lonely and afraid.  They learn to rely only on self and learn to ignore feelings of compassion and decency because, more often than not, they get hurt when they reach out to someone.  They don’t really know what love is but they crave it.  They sometimes think that puppy love and infatuation is real love.  If you’re an adult, you probably know that once the newness wears off, these feelings of “love” also fade if there is no real love in the relationship.  Sometimes people just give up on love altogether and spiral into a black hole of misery and constant searching for something they can never seem to find.  Some use drugs and/or alcohol to fill the empty space, while others find different ways to fill the void.  Some people try to find love over and over and over again; always falling into the same lonely place at the end of each relationship.  What many of us don’t realize is that God is love.  Without Him, how can we truly love anyone, or even love ourselves?  The more we love Jesus and submit to the Holy Spirit, the more we are able to love one another and truly experience what God intended for us!

And we can’t forget that there’s always the Liar (Satan) waiting to deceive us, wanting us to think we’re not worthy of love.  It’s too easy for him when many of us come from a broken family, thinking no one can love us… we fall right into his trap.  God’s word tells us that God loves every single one of us and doesn’t want to lose even one soul.  Don’t let the Liar convince you that you’ve gone too far.  There is no sin so black that God cannot forgive you for it. The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (God), which in it's simplest definition means denying God, denying Jesus. If God is calling you, he wants you.  You are worthy of His love!

When I met my wife, one of the first things she told me was that if I didn't love the Lord more than her, she could not be with me.  This is such a good example of what all relationships should be like.  We should always put God first, and our spouse second, always putting His will and guidance before our own.

I got an email the other day, forwarded from a friend, and it just hit me right in the heart because it’s so, so true.  I have no idea who wrote this, but I just have to include it here because it says so much.

Dancing With God

When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.  I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.  When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.  The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.  When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.  It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.  The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

This is so beautiful and so meaningful to what a relationship with God should really be like.  When you get it right, there is absolutely nothing like it!

The dance can be just as beautiful in the home.

We know this is how to have a perfect relationship with God, and God tells us how to have a perfect relationship with our husband or wife.  With a good parental team the chances for our children are also greatly increased.  The society we live in, what Jesus calls the “world” has twisted and perverted the ways of God in many ways.  Don’t forget our true enemy.  He deceives even the smartest and wisest of man.  God’s way in the home is really the same dance as the one we should all have with God.  The hardest part is getting a man to surrender and submit to anything.  Well, if you’re a hardheaded man like me anyway.  It’s not so hard when you’re submitting to the creator of the universe though.  I think He knows a whole lot more than I do.  He never makes mistakes and He does everything perfectly, even though we usually don’t understand what He’s doing or why.  We just have to trust that in His infinite wisdom, He knows best.  It may be harder for women to submit to God’s will, on this particular subject, in Western societies.  He’s not telling women to do what the world is giving them so many rewards for!  The world teaches to be a strong woman; to be independent and be the leader of the home.  This has been forced on many women when the man has left them to raise their children on their own.  Women’s lib has also brought massive change to western society in the last century.  You don’t even hear about women’s lib any more because it’s just par for the course now.  God’s way is different though.  With God’s way, a woman wouldn’t be left to raise her children on her own, but before anyone starts pointing a finger let's be sure we understand that both the man and the woman need to submit to God's will in order for it to work the way God intended it to.  With God’s way, a man should love his wife as Christ loves the church, and as he loves himself and his own body.  He should take care of her like he cares for his own body.  He should cherish her and lift her up in adoration.  With God’s way, a wife should submit herself in every thing to her husband, honoring, loving, and respecting him in all things.  With God’s way, a man should submit himself in every thing to God.

Before we look at the scriptures I want to say one more thing.  I had to ask myself, why did God set it up this way?  I adore women and I find them to be compassionate, smart, and as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.  Why in the world did God make these rules?  Weren't men and women created equal?  The answer is yes, and here's what I found.  It is the penalty for sin.  When Eve ate of the apple and gave it to her husband, God made changes to the earth and assigned punishment to men and women.

Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

It's because of the original sin.  It's our punishment.  Pain in childbirth, having to submit to another's rule, thorns and thistles, the ground is cursed and there will be sorrow for both men and women.  It really doesn't pay to sin.  We can see that very clearly!  When all is said and done, God will return things to the way they should be.  We were all created equal and we will also be equal when we are in Heaven with God.  It's not a fun subject to talk about but it's important to understand what God is doing for us.  Rather than destroying us and moving on to something else, God has given us a chance for life!  Praise His endless love!

Ok, now let's look at the scriptures and see what God wants us to do.

Jesus Christ said that he came, not to be served, but to serve, and to sacrifice Himself for us!

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

A mans place in his home is as Christ is to the Church.  Not to be served, but to serve and to sacrifice himself for his family in the service of God.

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The man should love his wife as he loves his own body even as the Lord loves the church.  The man and woman become one flesh, but the man is the head.  The woman should submit to her husband in every thing, honoring and respecting him.

1 Cor 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

The man is equal with his wife in the eyes of God as all in the church are equal in the eyes of God because all things are created by God, both men and women.  The head of the man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man.  God gave us these guidelines and we must remember that there is a proper order in the church (Christ is the leader), and in the home (the man is the leader), with one leader who follows the ultimate authority of God.

1 Tim 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

The woman should not usurp authority over her husband any more than a church member would usurp authority over the pastor.  Women should adorn themselves modestly and with “good works”.  She should be holy, faithful, loving and sober.

1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (conduct) of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Women should be in subjection to their husband even if the husband is not following Christ, letting her actions speak for her faith that he may also be won to Christ!  She should enhance her appearance and/or decorate herself with a meek and quiet spirit, which God loves.  Husbands should love and honor their wives, lifting them up and protecting them.

Titus 2:2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

Older men and women should be examples to younger, and teach good things.  They should not be drunks or liars, but should be loving, faithful to God, patient and obedient.

Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

The Lord loves when a wife is submissive to her husband.  Husbands should love their wife and should not be harsh with them.

1 Tim 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

A man should rule his house well and good in the sight of God.  The passage above is speaking about a man desiring to become a bishop of the church, but can be applied to anyone who wishes to be a witness, teacher, pastor, or to be in any service of Christ.  If you don’t rule your own house well, how can you handle a ministry?

Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. 7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Do not covet things not of God and be content with what you have.  Do not fear what other people will do, but trust in the Lord.  Obey and submit to those who lead you.  Husbands; understand the responsibility that comes with leadership.  Remember that Christ led by example and never forced His way on anyone.  He led with love and kindness.

The conclusion?  The devil, through the world, tries to make women strive for equality and "empower" women, and go against God and His instruction.  We need to really pay attention to what God has said, and not listen to the world.

God said, in 1 Corinthians quoted above, that the head of the man is Christ, while the man is the head of the woman.  God did not say, "have an equal partnership".  He said the woman should submit to her husband in every thing.  The man should obey the Lord and not try to usurp His authority, and the woman should treat her husband the same way.  He told the man to treat his wife like his own arm, a part of himself, and to love her and not be bitter against her.  Women should fearfully listen to the Lord, and remember that Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived (1 Tim 2:14 quoted above).  Women should be careful not to be deceived and to cause her husband to follow her in that deception as Eve did with Adam.  God knows much better than we do, and we should heed his words in this matter.

When Paul tells Timothy that Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression (1 Tim 2), it is a very strong warning to both men and women to recognize that fact.  Men have to stop “harkening” to their wives and putting them above God and listening to them instead of Him, giving in in so many ways.  And women who do not obey God in this need to realize that they are still being deceived by the devils lies and they need to look to their man for guidance and leadership and put their trust in him instead of trying to convince him to think their way.

Adam's sin was that he listened to his wife instead of obeying God, and ate of the tree that was commanded not to.  Eve's sin was that she was decieved, ate of the tree that was commanded not to, and convinced Adam to do the same.  Men, we love our wives so much that we tend to listen to them instead of God sometimes.  We absolutely cannot put our wife above the Lord!

  • The Man:
    • Love your wife like the Lord loves us.
    • Lead by example, and be a strong, yet kind leader.
    • Don't try to force submission from your wife. The Lord does not force us to submit to Him, He waits for us to willingly give it.
    • Be compassionate, patient, understanding and merciful to your wife, as the Lord is to us.
  • The Woman:
    • Willingly give your loyalty and obedience to your husband, just as we do for the Lord.
    • The Lord does not force us to submit to Him, He waits for us to willingly give it. As Christ is to the church, so a man is to his wife. Be as obedient to your husband as you are obedient to the Lord.
    • Even if your husband is not being obedient to God, submit to him anyway and let your actions be an example of obedience.
    • Be compassionate, patient, understanding and merciful to your husband, as the Lord is to us.

I truly believe that if men and women both submit themselves to the will of God, they would experience unity and love like never before.  The family would be restored to what God intended it to be and children would benefit even more than the parents.

The dance can be just as beautiful in the home.

Give praises to God constantly!  He deserves it!


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