Here is a scripture that this world hates, but that every true Christian loves: “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” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
That is a beautiful summary of some critical aspects of God’s family government.
Leadership flows from God, to Christ, to husband, to wife. When it flows this way, God can bless a marriage and a household. The question isn’t just whether the man is the head of the wife, but whether Jesus Christ is the Head of the man. The man must actively follow his Head as attentively and submissively as Christ follows His. Then the man must direct and teach His wife, and serve her spiritual needs.
Husbands: Are you the spiritual head in your marriage and in your home?
Fulfilling this role takes real sacrifice, but as you work to fulfill it, it truly prepares you to be God!
In 1 Timothy 3, the Apostle Paul says that for a man to qualify for God’s ministry, he must be “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity” (verse 4). In the next verse, Paul explains why this is so crucial: “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”
Think about that: The government in the home is the same as the government in the Church—and the same as the government in the eternal Family of God! The government in your marriage is the same as the government in Christ’s marriage!
You must get the government right in your home to prepare for those greater responsibilities. You have to rule well! This is a critical job in your family—and God gave that job to you. For your family to function, you absolutely must fulfill this God-given office.
It is easy for a man to defer too much to his wife. It is too easy to back off, to let her handle the child rearing, to expect her to establish order. But that is not the way Christ operates.
The direction for the body must come from the head. That means you must hold to your Head. Then you must provide direction, guidance, leadership and nourishment so your wife can hold to her head! Otherwise you are blocking the flow of government from God, and cutting yourself and your family off from some of God’s blessings.
If you don’t do your job, you hinder God’s ability to lead your household. If you don’t step up, there will be confusion, and Satan will fill the leadership vacuum.
But when you actively fulfill your office and yield to Christ, He will lead your family through you. Then God can give peace in your marriage and in your household.
Christ has control over His Body! He orders and organizes it. He uses His power to make changes. He forces order and change when necessary.
Your fulfillment of your role will be evident in your home in specific, practical ways:
• Run your finances. Establish your family’s budget and ensure that you stick with it.
• Have decisions come through you.
• Establish the routine in your house. Establish order.
• Set proper bedtimes.
• Don’t get distracted by electronics, sports, the Internet or anything else and neglect your family.
• Read God’s instructions on childrearing. Read and review The Missing Dimension in Sex by Herbert W. Armstrong and The Plain Truth About Childrearing by Garner Ted Armstrong. Search pcog.org and Royal Vision magazine for biblical guidance for your family. Implement what God says in the Bible in your family, and ensure that your wife is doing so as well.
• Even when you are away, run your house. Call home to see how things are going, and give guidance.
The Need for Confrontation
Don’t be soft when you should not be. Stand up and confront when you need to. Don’t be afraid to have a confrontation with your wife. If you fear confrontation, then you are opening the door to letting your wife lead.
Fear of confrontation can be subtler than you realize. Maybe you make the decisions, but you do so based on avoiding confrontation with your wife, rather than on where Christ is leading you! She is driving the house from the back seat—and she may not even realize it. But you need to realize it!
Be honest about this. Are you doing what she wants done simply to avoid conflict? God commands you to be the head! Your decision must be based on His influence.
If what you are doing is not working, then get counsel. Go up the chain of command and get help! Too often, frustrating situations within a marriage and in childrearing drag on and on, wearing out the wife and damaging the family’s relationship with God. Parents are simply too exhausted and irritated with the children and their behavior issues to make progress.
In some cases, a woman may resist going to the ministry. Be firm. Sometimes it is critical to seek counsel! Bring God in, get educated, and kick Satan out of the situation.
Absenteeism and disengagement is common in fathers. For a man to be the godly head of his home, he must actively engage in child rearing. If you aren’t energetically involved with your children and the family isn’t revolving around the husband and father, then a lot is happening that you are not aware of. Your wife is left to do the training; she has to run the household; she has to deal with rebellion; she has to struggle with the child who is being manipulative. You simply don’t see it because you are disconnected!
God needs us fathers to be connected and discerning. We must have our antenna out, remaining vigilant to our children’s attitudes and tendencies. Develop your capacity to identify rebellion, even in its subtle forms.
At Sabbath services, make sure your children behave. You can’t focus 100 percent of your attention on the messages and expect your wife to deal with the children. When a child is very young, often it is your wife who must tend to his or her needs during services. But this changes as children get older, especially once they are school age and able to sit through services. You set the expectations and ensure the children meet them. Confront disruptive behavior immediately, even if only with a stern look. If you have established proper fear and respect in your children—if you rule well—then disruptions will be subtle, easily stopped, and increasingly rare.
Make sure your children know that you are the boss! You are the head! Don’t sit there while your wife struggles. Use the authority God gave you! Use it with wisdom based on the circumstances of the moment—but use it. Rule well!
It is also your responsibility to make sure your children respect their mother. They will challenge her. Make clear that you will not tolerate that. Take that burden off your wife. Back her authority over them (Proverbs 1:8; 6:20). Disrespecting her is disrespecting you, and disobeying God’s commandment.
Execute your office in a way that your wife can really look to you as her head! That is what being the head means. That is the kind of love that Christ demonstrates for His wife. Never abuse God’s form of government and use your family authority selfishly. And never relinquish God’s requirement of you to rule your family well.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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” (Ephesians 5:25-27). When you show this kind of sacrificial love—really giving yourself in order to provide this kind of leadership—then you are truly helping her spiritually. You will be cleansing and washing her, helping her to become perfect—a bride who is ready to marry Jesus Christ!