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Shepherds Hill Homestead » God's Plan for the Happy Home, Messages » God’s Plan for a Happy Home-Part IV

God’s Plan for a Happy Home-Part IV

This week I will continue covering passages that deal with the husbands. Last week I went through Ephesians chapter five which explains that the man stands in the role of Christ in His relationship to the Church. The wife stands in the role of the Church in her relationship to Christ. Since God has declared that the man is head of the home it is important that we understand what He has called us to do. As I was going through the passages for last week’s message I came across 1st Peter 3:7. While it is just one verse I kept it for this week so that we could break it down. Let’s see if we can find the depth it was written in. As I often say we skim over scripture too often, assuming we understand what it means. When we spend time thinking about it we always see more. That is what God wants!

Turn your Bible to 1st Peter 3:7 and let’s continue learning about the order of the home and the roles and responsibilities of each member. This verse follows six verses which speak to wives. The verse begins with the word “likewise”. This means “in the same way” or “in like manner” so we know that verse seven means that husbands should do the following in the same way that the wives had to submit. It continues by saying that husbands should dwell with them (the wives) according to knowledge. I am breaking down this verse and looking at the individual Greek words it came from. Dwell comes from the word meaning “to live with domestically”. According to means “towards”.The word “knowledge” here means “moral wisdom” or “things lawful and unlawful as a Christian”. What exactly is it saying to us, men? It means that you should set yourself a target to live with your wife in a manner that is always moving toward Godliness and becoming more like Christ. We already have read in Ephesians that we stand in the role of Jesus and this scripture is in complete agreement with that idea.

The next section of this verse says to give honor to the wife as unto the weaker vessel, so lets break that down. “Give”, here represented in the original Greek means “to attribute to” or “to assign”. Honor means “a value”or “reverence and respect for someone by reason of their state of by their position”. “Wife” means a “female spouse”. “As unto the weaker” is all one word in the Greek and it means “weak”, feeble or fragile”. Lastly, the word “vessel” means either an actual vessel or “a person who was chosen and selected for a task”. Ok men, let’s put all of that together. We are to attribute or assign a special reverence and respect to our wives because of the high position that she holds. Also, we should do this as if we were holding a specially chosen vessel which is delicate and fragile. I get the mental image of a priceless bowl or vase here.

Too many people (both men and women) lock on to that line about women being the weaker vessel and get offended or arrogant. Men often mis-interpret it and belittle women, believing them to be weak. Men, just because they can’t lift the same physical weight as you do doesn’t mean that they are weak. We sometimes think we’ve got it difficult because we work back to back shifts or just a lot of overtime. My daughter Haley went into labor two weeks ago. My wife left the house and sat up with her all night long until it required going to the hospital. By the time the baby was born they had both been awake almost forty-eight hours. Years ago I worked thirty-six hours straight and was completely exhausted. All I was doing was changing out a telephone system; not delivering a ten pound baby!. I don’t know if any man could deliver a baby with the stamina that women have. Men, women are strong creatures!

I once heard a marriage counselor speaking about this passage. He passed around a seemingly broken and worthless violin to the front row of the crowd and everyone quickly glanced at it and passed it further. After each person had their chance to inspect it he announced that it was an original Stradivarius violin and even in its poor condition was worth over a million dollars! He again passed it along the front row and each person then delicately handled it and slowly and carefully passed it along to the next person. The change in their attitude was incredible. The point he was making was that we can give something or someone greater worth when we know the real truth about them. Men, have you considered the lady that you are married to? Do you recognize her value and worth? We are to give our wives great honor and respect in the same way that the violin had. We must treat her as delicately as the fragile instrument. Please don’t see the word “weaker” and scoff at her. Fine china is more fragile than a wooden bucket but it’s also more valuable.

Picking back up with verse seven, Peter writes,” and as being heirs together of the grace of life”. He says that the second reason we should treat them with honor is because they are joint heirs with us. Let me ask you a question, husbands. Do you treat anyone else in your life better than you treat your wife? Is there a golfing buddy or a friend that you get along with better than you do with your wife? We sometimes treat complete strangers better than we do our spouses. I’m not saying to be rude to strangers-be kind to them. But we should be able to treat our wives with more respect and kindness as they are going to inherit the Kingdom of God along side us.

The last part of this verse says that we should do all of these things so that our prayers aren’t hindered. Did you catch that? God says your prayers quite possibly are hindered because you, husband aren’t honoring your wife. I used to think “hindered” meant slowed down. The Greek word here actually means “cutoff” or “stopped”.  Think about what you have if your relationship is in order, men. As joint heirs in Christ you have an automatic prayer partner! Jesus said that where two or more are gathered together in His name He would be there. Men, you and your wife can join in Jesus’ name and Jesus promises He is right there with you. When you are the spiritual leader in your family and your wife submits to your leadership your children will grow up seeing a properly functioning home.

Let’s look at one more passage. In 1st Timothy 2:8 we see another passage where husbands are given a mandate. Paul writes that men should pray every where. I stopped intentionally as this is another example where we read right through the verse without thinking. The original word for “men” here is the Greek word for male and husbands. Clearly he is directing this to the men and head of the family as the next verse speaks to the women. Men, we should be praying everywhere. I still get gently reminded to pray by my wife in situations where I am caught off guard. I may get caught up in the moment or just too busy to think about spiritual matters. She always brings me back. It is not just my responsibility, but also my privilege to pray for my family and others. When my wife and children see me praying they see the image of Jesus standing at the right hand of God making intercession for the Church! A praying father is a powerful and lasting image to us all. No man is as tall as when he kneels and prays. My own Father still prays for me and for that I am eternally grateful!

The next part of that verse says that we should pray lifting holy hands. I grew up in a church where no one said a word during the service, let alone raising their hands. Later we attended a Pentecostal church where people shouted and even ran occasionally! It was there that I first heard this verse taught. During the worship service people would often raise their hands. I asked my parents about it and this passage was read. It was explained that raising your hands was an international sign of worship. Even in secular music concerts and football games people sometimes raise their hands. They don’t realize that it constitutes worship. Men, we ought to be worshipping openly so that our family and others see what is happening. Men, your children are watching you. Do they see you praying for them? What about worship time during the church service? Does your family see you openly showing gratitude and worship to God? One of the most powerful things to a child is seeing father worshipping God. Raising your hands is just that.

Note that it doesn’t just say to raise your hands. It says to raise “holy” hands. I thought I understood what holy meant but I looked up the Greek word anyway. It means “undefiled by sin, free from wickedness, religiously observing every moral obligation”. Is this your life Husbands? Do you live a life that is pure and undefiled? Since you are the leader in your home (whether you want to be or not) your actions will lead your wife and children somewhere. That direction is up to you.

The last section of that verse says to pray without wrath and doubting. Wrath is anger. Doubting is a half-hearted attitude. This means that if you are praying for your wife and children and they sense you are doing it in anger or grudgingly, or if you are praying half-hearted because you don’t really believe God will answer it just won’t work. The passionate prayers of a righteous man accomplish much (James 5:16)!

Now, I would like to turn your attention again to the next verse (1 Tim 2:9). We covered this a couple of weeks ago in the wives’ passages. It begins “in like manner”. It means, “Just like this” or “along the same thought”. Men should adorn themselves by praying everywhere and openly in the same way that the women should put on modest garments and not adorn themselves in flashy clothes. Their adornment is a meek and quiet spirit in the same way that men adorn themselves in righteous, open prayer and worship. I know that there are a lot of men who are afraid of openly sharing their faith. We are called to be men of God and that requires us to be open about it. Only when our family sees this in us will our families be in order. Only when our family is in order can their be joy and happiness!

Prayer-Father God, I pray for the men who are struggling with their role in the family. Today I ask that You give them strength and make them aware of their responsibility. I pray for these families today that You would give them the order that is ordained from Heaven. Let them see that only living under Your design can their home be made right. Show them areas to improve on daily. Allow them to leave an inheritance to their children of righteousness.

In Jesus’ Name–Amen

 

Watch the recorded message at the link below-It will be available after Sunday at noon Central Time

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/shepherds-hill-homestead

 

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Filed under: God's Plan for the Happy Home, Messages

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