Today, Pastor Doug continued his series on marriage entitled “Take a Vow.” We looked at the Vow of Partnership, which says this to our spouse: You are my covenant partner in Christ (Genesis 2:24). A covenant is a pledge where vows are made between two people committing their lives to one another, until death do them part. And this covenant is made in the very presence of God.
We are partners with our spouses, and for that partnership to flourish, we need to understand and live out God’s design for the home. In a covenant partnership, God has designed that the husband serve as head of the home (the pilot), and that the wife serve as his helpmate (the co-pilot). Men, that means that God will hold you ultimately responsible for what happens in your home. And you should feel weight of that responsibility. God’s Word teaches that the husband has two main responsibilities: 1. He is to lead his wife, and 2. he is to love his wife.
Let’s consider first his leadership role. Being the leader of your home means that you are to be your family’s biggest servant. A biblical leader isn’t someone who calls all the shots. It’s not someone who forces his agenda on the rest of the family. Being head of the home doesn’t mean that you are to be waited on hand and foot. Rather, it is someone who seeks to serve those whom he is called to lead. If anything, being head of the home means that we are to serve our family, hand and foot. Leadership involves delegation and decision-making. In marriage, someone has to be the final decision-maker. Someone has to delegate responsibility, and God has ordained that this should be the husband. Husbands, this doesn’t mean that you make decisions unilaterally. Because your wife is your God-given helpmate, you need to listen to her. She has wisdom and insight that you do not. The husband’s second responsibility is to love his wife. In Ephesians 5, four times in the space of nine verses, husbands are commanded to love their wives, both unconditionally and sacrificially.
While God designed the husband to be the head of the home, He designed the wife to be his helpmate (Genesis 2:18). Wives, just as God comes alongside us to provide what we lack, so God calls you to come alongside your husband to provide what he lacks, so that together you might fulfill your God-given responsibilities.
As his wife and helper, God calls you to submit to your husband’s authority as the head of the home (Ephesians 5:22-24). Biblical submission, however, is frequently misunderstood. Submission does not imply inferiority; rather, it is related to differing roles of equal worth and dignity. Submission does not imply a loss of personhood–a wife’s dignity and worth as a person created in God’s image is in no way undermined by submitting to her husband. Submission does not involve blind obedience; decisions should be jointly reached. Biblical submission greatly differs from the world’s concept of submission.
Not only are wives to lovingly yield to their husbands’ leadership, but they are also enjoined to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). Just as women have a great need to feel loved by their husbands, so men have a powerful need to feel respected by their wives. In his book Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs talks about this whole dynamic of love and respect. He says in marriage, when a man doesn’t feel respected, he reacts in negative ways toward his wife. As a result, she doesn’t feel loved by her husband. This in turn leads her to react negatively to her husband, and he doesn’t feel respected. And on and on this crazy cycle goes. Wives can help break the cycle by beginning to express the respect their husbands crave.
Pastor Doug presented a great deal of information to absorb and meditate on this morning. Husbands and wives, with God’s help, let’s resolve to put these biblical truths and the Vow of Partnership into practice this week.
Application / Challenge
- Take the Forty Day Challenge—intentionally apply the four “vows” and watch how God blesses!
- Do the week-long Bible Study (called “Digging Deeper”) found in Talking Points, Walking Points.