“He Is the Saviour of the Body”
It has been observed that the home is the foundational stone upon which is built the Church, the community and the nation. It is also true the husband/father’s heart has a profound influence on the quality of the home. Thus ultimately, all institutions are influenced by how men walk with God.
More than one man has found himself married to a selfish woman that he found impossible to correct. Deciding to trust the power of the Word to meet what was seemingly unreachable, he decided to proceed with reaching out for a closer walk with God and family Bible reading and praying the rosary together. The results are amazing. Faith still comes by hearing. When a husband chooses to bring the Word and the mysteries of the rosary consistently into everyday life, God still changes lives.
One cannot overestimate the place that Christian manhood fills in home life in meeting the needs of a wife.
Even godly women have deep emotional needs and desires that will be supported by a husband who is finding his way through his walk with Christ.
The focus of this lesson is on what is put into a family’s life by the man of the house, both consciously and subconsciously. When a husband/father consistently puts family worship into the family schedule, he is saying how much he values God’s place in his life. The way he picks up the Bible and the way he approaches the Rosary form daily habits. These habits secure a wife’s weaker emotions and establish the child’s impressions as to who God is and what place He fills in life.
The observation is generally made that we know what is law in the state by what the officers of the law enforce. We all know if people are not given tickets for violating the miles per hour sign, then it is assumed the real law is the invisible ten or fifteen miles per hour higher. The same is true in life.
No matter what the parish Priest stresses, or what the school standard is, it’s what Dad actually does that leaves the pattern that will be followed.
This lesson may tend to gravitate toward the father’s influence on the children. Since our study is marriage relations, we will put forth effort to observe the emphasis that when the husband walks with God, he will influence his wife in a godly direction and give her fulfillment in life.
“Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body.” Ephesians 5:23
The husband is first called to “husband” his wife, before any other household responsibility. It is a solemn responsibility to be custodian over a woman’s heart, mind and emotions. Her desire is to her husband. She has deep unexplained cravings to find fulfillment in him. She wants to know what he is thinking and how he feels over countless issues. When she does not feel she has his heart, she feels an emotional unraveling.
A man can soon be frustrated in this demanding regimen. He was accustomed to living his own life. Even talkative men are private with their thoughts. His frustration can turn to methods of evasion. He can mock his wife’s passion for him. He can develop other interests that ignore her.
If he chooses these responses, he may one day be in dismay over what he has helped to create. A man with an unhappy wife should seek to see how his early responses helped create the “wreckage” he lives with later.
Husbands are to husband. They are the bands to hold their house together. First they are to hold their wife’s heart. Next they reach out to the whole family. There are many tasks involved in this calling.
God has established the husband/father to be the spiritual leader/servant in the home. The call to men to lead the wife and children in home life is from God. He created men, He can give them the abilities, and He has the right to call men to this task. Since God gives the abilities and the assignment, we can rightly conclude He will hold men responsible for their leadership choices.
A man may sense his leadership is resisted. Being a coward by nature he can easily slip into avoidance mode. He will be tempted to duck below the radar and let the women take charge. This is not God’s plan.
Or, a man may feel that since he is called to lead, then he can make decisions that please his nature. This too is not God’s plan. When a man is selective in leadership he creates a temptation for his wife to become involved in a power struggle with him.
Leadership is about servant-hood. A true man of God will be on the alert for problems or needs that beg to be addressed. If it is a need in his wife’s life, or in his family life, he should first spend time in prayer, seeking wisdom from above. If it is a need with something material, then perhaps he should simply get busy and fix the faulty fixture.
The point is, he is to take responsibility. He should assume he is to address needs and find solutions. That’s what leadership consists of.
As the spiritual leader, the husband is to establish a spiritual atmosphere in the home.
Every man has his own set of temptations. If he is not experiencing victory, even if it is in his thought life, then the hedge God puts around that home is compromised. Sadly, some men have found Satan made inroads into their homes and found it paralleled the times when they were not walking with God as they should have been. It is right for men to beseech God to maintain this hedge around their home.
Along with his own active walk with God, the husband is responsible to see that God is brought into family life. He should insist as much as possible that the family sits together for meal times. “Cafeteria” style meals are missing a key ingredient of family togetherness. After the family has gathered together, he should see there is meaningful, audible prayer made to God.
There also needs to be a family worship time. The father should establish a normal time and place for this to be done. Family worship should not have to compete with a rushed schedule to get the children off to school, or sleepy time when the children can hardly stay awake. Fathers may want to give forethought to making family worship meaningful. Worship time is prime time to sow seeds for time and eternity.
The husband should be willing to lead the wife in her spiritual journey, helping her find answers for the questions she faces. The woman is not to disrupt the assembly, nor to draw the ministry off into private conversation by themselves. She is to ask her own husband at home. This endorses the concept that women will have spiritual questions. They may also have doctrinal questions or want to know about prophetic issues. These questions are entirely appropriate for a woman. But she is to ask her husband at home. If she asks him, he should give her a decent and respectful answer. Many women think very differently than their husbands. Their questions may seem strange to their men. But that doesn’t warrant men to mock or make fun of their wives for their questions.
Women leave a profound influence on children, and as they grow older, on the younger women. They need to know what they believe and why they believe it. In the past, women who have not believed correctly have been instrumental in bringing false doctrine into the parishes. These women should have had husbands who were willing to take their place and guide their thinking.
Part of having a spiritual home is commanding respect from children and establishing order in the home. A father’s male figure and masculine voice often command respect more quickly than the wife’s does. But his presence alone will not always carry the weight it should. The father will need to lead out in making sure the child learns to hearken to authority and be in obedience.
When children are unruly and cannot be directed, it is the responsibility of fathers to correct this problem.
Each father should sense his responsibility to maintain godly standards in his home, perhaps over and beyond the standards of his contemporaries. We may well wish for simpler times. We cannot escape the fact we live here and now in an age of many temptations. In order to guide children in the stages of life, fathers must have the platform of respect and cooperation established long before the normal age for adult freedoms.
Driving a car extends boundaries. Having a cell phone does the same. But all these tools do is extend the faculties one already exercises. Youth of every generation had the ability to use their hands and feet, to speak and to listen and so forth. Parents have needed to discern if youth had internal controls to guide them when external fences were no longer in place.
This responsibility is really no different today. While the world of entertainment may be brought into your son’s bedroom by technology, he once could wander to the town square and find the same temptation in physical form. The Proverb writer looked from his window and saw a woman dressed as a harlot. Your son today may check his email and find a letter from today’s strange woman.
A godly father is responsible to be the protector of his wife, his children, and his home. When he provides godliness, love and virtue, there will not be a vacuum there to draw the filth of the world in. But when he provides no godly resource and reservoir, then a vacuum naturally exists. The problem today is we cannot build a dam strong enough to cover all the opportunities for evil and prevent them from pouring into our homes.
It is a sign of spiritual weakness and a cause of heartache and negative consequences when a father permits his own base carnal nature to undermine godly convictions.
Eli’s sons saw their father eat too much day after day until he was very heavy. He used his priest’s office to live the good life. Watching his example, his sons took the liberties a step farther. They chose to live licentiously with the women that come to the tabernacle. This brought great shame to the people of God.
Did Eli connect the dots? Could he see that even though he would not have taken liberties to the point his sons did, he paved the way for them? Could he see that his own example was shouting so loudly that the sons could not hear his admonitions?
Serving as savior of the home is a sacred calling. Headship in the home is not a position of prestige but of deep self-denial. It can only be maintained as one keeps a vibrant experience with Christ each step of the way.