A Godly Home is made up of a husband and a wife joined together in marriage by God. In the previous devotion, the Purposes of a Godly Home are discussed, describing the Positions of the husband as the head; and the wife as the body, in submission to the head.
There are three areas of Practice in each Position:
- The Attitude (one of edification);
- The Action (one of love);
- The Attire (one of holiness).
These areas must be Prescribed, Perceived, and Performed by the husband and the wife in their respective positions, according to God’s instructions in His written Word, if the husband and wife are to be highly blessed of God.
The evidence of the lack of the fruit of the Spirit of obedience to God’s instructions in many so-called Christian marriages arises from three possible areas:
- They have never been taught God’s instructions for a Godly marriage;
- They have been taught, but are in rebellion to the instruction of God for a Godly marriage.
- They have been taught, but have not the Spirit of God living in them, and therefore cannot perceive the instructions. They are professors, but not possessors of the Spirit of God; and so they have neither the power, nor the desire, to Practice God’s instructions for a Godly Marriage in a Godly Home.
The Husband’s Practice in the Position of the Head:
First, there must be a leaving of father and mother and a cleaving to his wife; “…and they twain shall be one flesh” (Matthew 19:5).
Second, there must be an assuming of his role as head (1 Corinthians 11:3). The husband is to rule his wife (Genesis 3:16). He must know his responsibility and put it into practice.
#1) Headship is equated with rulership. In Genesis 2, Adam was the first one created by God. Adam was ordained to be head of God’s creation and of the woman. The woman was taken from man and was made for man. After the woman had broken God’s Law in the Garden of Eden, God said, “…and thy desire shall be to thy husband (or you shall be subject unto thy husband), and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16). The rulership of man over woman was one of the first matters of order God revealed to man.
Paul affirms this order, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man…” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Paul also said in Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church…” Headship demands submission by those the head rules.
Therefore Paul said, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22).
Peter confirms this in 1 Peter:
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands…” (1 Peter 3:1)
“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…” (1 Peter 3:5-6)
Then Paul adds in Ephesians 5:24, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
Submission reveals the headship of the one to whom submission is given. When one submits to the authority of another, it reveals the one who receives the submission is the ruler, or the head, of the one who submits.
Paul said that the husband is the head; and he proves this by God’s command of the wife to submit to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-23). Paul supports this physical action by the wife to the husband by using the spiritual submission of the Church to Christ because Christ is the Head of the Church (verse 22b), which proves the Headship of Christ of the Church. Christ was made Head of the Church, “…and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22b). And so, in a like manner, God made the husband the head of the wife.
#2) God however did not place the husband as a dictator over the wife; but as her leader, guide, teacher, provider, and protector in love; proving it by giving himself for her. This love is described as the same kind of love as the love he has for himself. That is, a caring, considering, and compassionate love, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh…” (Ephesians 5:29).
The attitude of the head is one of edification for his wife; that he might carry out his headship over his wife with the attitude to build her up in Christ.
His actions are to be of love, or charity (1 Corinthians 13:1-13). They are summed up in the words, “…nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:29b).
His attire is to be one of knowledge, “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” (1 Peter 3:7).
Therefore, for a husband to carry out his Position of headship, he must Pattern himself after Christ’s Headship of the Church. When a husband considers and respects and treats his wife as Christ does the Church; then the wife will submit to him “…as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). She will be doing it to Christ through submitting to her husband.
#3) Paul said, “…he is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). The word “saviour” describes the responsibility of the head of the body. The husband is to provide food, clothes, and shelter; he is responsible to provide for every need of his wife (his body), both physically and spiritually. And he is to protect his wife from all enemies of the flesh; even from herself, from being deceived, being “the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7).
Paul tells us the husband must love his wife. In Ephesians 5:25, Paul explains this Practice, with Christ as his example, “…even as Christ also loved the church (His Body, His Bride), and gave himself for it.” If the husband “gives himself” for his wife, it means that he gives his entire being – his body, soul, and spirit – to his wife. It means that his giving to his wife is total and complete, holding nothing back; from the moment they are married and forward. The husband will give his wife guidance and instruction in the Ways of God. When a man loves his wife, he will give himself for her. Whatever and whenever it is required, the husband will do it for his wife. And it is for her good and for his good, as it purifies and perfects his wife (Ephesians 5:26-27).
Paul also tells us “How” the husband is to love his wife and give himself for her: he must love his wife as he does his own body, which is totally and completely (Ephesians 5:28). Therefore, if a husband loves his wife, he loves himself; which reveals how much he truly loves his wife, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth (gives sustenance; “to promote the growth or development of” (Webster)) and cherisheth (great affection) it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:29). (Also see 1 John 4:9-21.)
Then Paul tells “Why” Christ loved the Church: “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30). (That is, we are One with Him; for we are in Him and He is in us.) So it is with a husband to his wife, “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” (Ephesians 5:31). The husband loves his wife and gives himself for her, because she is his body and no man ever hated his own flesh.
#4) The husband must dwell with his wife according to knowledge (that is, according to how a man is to treat his wife).
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel…” (1 Peter 3:7)
That is, he is to consider her, respect her, and give her honor, as his own flesh. He gives her his love; he lifts his wife up to the place of himself, as she is his body.
He gives honor to her by taking care of her every need, as the husband does for his own flesh; considering her the same as himself. But not only because she is the weaker vessel (not in intelligence, not in the eyesight of God, but as to position), but also because “…and as being heirs together of the grace of life…” (1 Peter 3:7c).
The wife is a sister-in-Christ to her husband, and also an heir of God and joint-heir with Jesus Christ of The Inheritance, of “the grace of life,” of Eternal Life in Power and Glory. Christ is Eternal Life (1 John 5:20); and to be an heir of the Grace of Life is to be an heir of the New Birth, which is Christ living in the individual (Colossians 1:27); even every step of the Chain of Grace (Romans 8:29-30).
#5) The husband must be of one mind with his wife (that is, be in complete agreement). See 1 Peter 3:8-9:
a) “Finally, be ye all of one mind,”
b) “Having compassion (forbear her and others) one of another, ”
c) “Love as brethren, ”
d) “Be pitiful, ”
e) “Be courteous: ”
f) “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing:” (“rendering” means to give up or back; to give in return for – not to give “railing” means not to be abusive)
g) “But contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (“blessing,” means a benefit bestowed)
Peter then quotes Psalms 34:12-16.
Peter is saying, instead of returning evil for evil, the Child of God ought to invoke a blessing; because, being heirs of the inheritance, you are to receive the Blessing, the Benefit. (That is, to be one with Christ; see John 17:21-26.)
The Wife’s Practice in the Position of the Body:
First, leave father and mother and cleave unto her husband (Matthew 19:5).
Second, assume the role of submission to her head, her husband.
#1) Why is she to be in submission? First, because God decreed it (Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11:3); and second, because God commanded it (Ephesians 5:22), “As unto the Lord.” She submits to her husband as if it were to Christ; and she is submitting to Christ through her submission to her husband.
#2) How is she to be in submission?
“…in every thing” (Ephesians 5:24)
“Adorn themselves…with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
“Learn in silence with all subjection” (1 Timothy 2:11)
“Suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (1 Timothy 2:12) Why? “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:13-14).
See Titus 2:4-5:
a) “…teach the young women to be sober,”
b) “To love their husbands,”
c) “To love their children,”
d) “To be discreet,” (of sound mind, self-controlled)
e) “Chaste,” (holy, pure)
f) “Keepers at home,”
h) “Obedient to (subject to) their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
And look at 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 of the wives.” That is, if their husbands are not obedient to the Word, they may “be won by the conversation of the wives”; by the behavior of the wife (her “conversation”).
“While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” (1 Peter 3:2)
“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.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
“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…” (1 Peter 3:5)
See 1 Corinthians 14:34-35:
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” (1 Corinthians 14:34)
“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:35)
The wife’s attitude should be to glorify or honor her head, even Christ. The wife’s action must be submission. The wife’s attire should be of the obedience of submission, proven by her works of Godliness.
The Summary of the Practice of the Home
The Word of God is very plain in the Practice of the head (the husband) and the body (the wife) in rulership and submission.
It is also very plain about the manner in which the head (the husband) is to rule (lead, guide, direct, provide, and protect) over his wife’s entire being; which is to be in love, with the motive of presenting his wife without spot and blemish. That he, as the head, would be used to guide his wife into glorification (perfection).
The wife is to carry out her role in submission to her head (her husband); because it reveals God’s Order and His Commandments for the wife, and the Church’s position of submission “in every thing” to Christ as Lord and Master (as the Head of the Church).