Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you needed to hear a word or two of encouragement from Papa God? I had one of those days yesterday. Since she had the two seizures a week or so ago, my wife has been experiencing different symptoms that have definitely kept me on my toes. I have been in communication with her Neurologist and we are trying some different courses of actions that seem to be helping, but it still takes a toll on one’s energy and hopefulness!
As I stared at my Bible program on my lap top yesterday, I asked the Lord for clear direction and special insight into His Word for the day. I was a little surprised when it came through Ephesians chapter five where Paul teaches on the marriage relationship and the subject of submission with husbands and wives. My commentary explained that “Submission has nothing to do with the order of authority, but rather governs the operation of authority, how it is given and how it is received.”* It also suggested that husbands and wives should experience the submission and love of Christ within their working relationship with each other.
Then things got a little personal for me and I began to have flashbacks of the years of our marriage and many of the things the two of us accomplished both together and individually. Every time Piper and I go to a new health provider I usually find myself telling the story of my special, multi-talented wife. Of how her current state is SO opposite to the real Piper with her out-going, sparkling and encouraging personality that would always seem to light up any room that she entered.
I love to watch the expression on the listeners face when I tell how she homeschooled our four kids through high school. Most times I hear the reply that “I could NEVER have attempted that!” Then there was her classical training on the piano, her love of the outdoors, camping, and hiking, taking daily walks and how she made it fun for the neighborhood kids to hang out at our home.
Then it hit me as I read: “If a husband is submitted to Christ and filled with the Spirit, his sacrificial love will willingly pay a price that she (his wife) might be able to serve Christ in the home and glorify Him.”* I realized that even though I have made my share of goofs as a husband and father, one thing I have always sought to do was to submit my life to Christ, study His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to have His way with me.
And with that understanding I felt that small still voice deep inside me saying that my submission to Him gave Piper the freedom to use her unique set of gifts and talents to follow her dreams in homeschooling our kids, minister alongside me in the various churches we served and freely glorify God in our home as she used it as base of neighborhood outreach. It was like He was telling me that the flack I had received concerning what some uninformed individuals had insinuated concerning my job as head of the home a few years back was undeserved and that I had actually done well.. and that Piper’s life and accomplishments were the proof!
Please understand that I am not sharing any of this for a pat on the back, but in worship and awe of Papa God and what our faithfulness to Him provides… not only for us but for those under our love and care. It also strengthens the argument that, in some respects, seems lost in today’s society concerning the utmost importance and sanctity that God has given to the husband and father in the family.
In defining the word “head” in respect to husbands over wives (Ephesians 5:23) Thayer’s Greek Definitions tells of how “the loss of the head destroys the life…” So, in referencing my personal example above, if I had abdicated my responsibilities to love my wife as Christ loved the church and not submit to Him, would she have had the freedom and grace to pursue her God-given dreams? Would she have had the ability to live the fullness of her life and callings… or would that part of her life been inaccessible?
Gets you thinking doesn’t it? Makes me want to make sure that I am fulfilling all of my responsibilities as a man, husband and father, so that those within the line of my headship are able to live their lives to the fullest extent! What do you think?
Have a great rest of the week! Stay in tune and obedience to the Word of God and keep asking yourself… “Am I expecting the correct completion of my responsibilities to positively affect my family and friends today?”
*”Be Rich” A Commentary on the book of Ephesians by Warren W. Wiersbe, chapter 11