Summary: If you want harmony in YOUR home, submit to your husband; love your wife; obey your parents; encourage your children
A man shared with his friends that he and his wife were going through the empty-nest syndrome. He said the worst part about it was that once the children leave, some wives treat their husbands like children.
He said, “When we go to the grocery store and I reach for cereal, she slaps my hand and says, ‘We don't need that this week.’ Then I reach for the ice cream, and she slaps my hand, saying, ‘We don't need that this week.’ I reach for the potato chips, and again she slaps my hand and says, ‘We don't need that this week.’ I finally get so frustrated I hop out of the basket and go to the car!” (Van Morris, Mt. Washington, Kentucky; www.PreachingToday.com)
I think that couple is in for a lot of trouble – with his immaturity and her controlling tendencies. It’s certainly not the way to enjoy peace and harmony in the home, but is that possible even with two mature, emotionally healthy adults? After all, men and women are so different. How can there be harmony in the home, and not only between husbands and wives, but also between parents and children?
Well, the Bible tells us that we have everything we need in Christ not only to live holy lives, but to live in harmony with one another. A couple weeks ago, we looked at some lessons on relationships which give us a path to harmony in the church. Today, I want us to look at some lessons which give us a path to harmony in the home.
Colossians 3:18-21 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. (NIV)
The Bible addresses each member of the family, and gives each person one simple lesson, which if followed will go a long way towards bringing harmony to YOUR home. First, God addresses the wife, and He says to her…
SUBMIT TO YOUR HUSBAND.
Literally, rank yourself in order under the man you married. The word, “submit,” is actually a military term, which describes the relationship between the various ranks from general to captain to sergeant to private. It’s a word which implies order, and that’s what God wants in our homes – order, not chaos.
Ladies, I know that’s what you want, as well. No woman I know likes a disorderly home, but most women resist God’s path to order and harmony. I think they’re afraid it means they have to accept abuse from their husbands, but that’s not the case at all.
God asks a woman to submit “as is fitting in the Lord.” In other words, a woman is not obligated to follow her husband’s leadership if it goes contrary to clear, biblical standards. God is not asking a woman to accept abuse from her husband, because that’s clearly not biblical. Furthermore, God is not asking a woman to lie for her husband or cover up for his irresponsibility, because that goes against God’s clear commands, as well. No.
God is simply asking a wife to order herself in rank under her husband as a captain does under his general and accept his lead as is appropriate in the Lord. Now, this is not something your husband does to you, ladies; this is something you do to your husband.
God is not instructing the husband to MAKE his wife submit. He is instructing the wife to submit voluntarily. It is an act of the wife’s will, from a position of strength, whereby she chooses, voluntarily, to follow the lead of her husband.
Rhonda Mony, of Lake Elsinore, California, talks about an evening when her husband, Mark, and their preschooler, Krystal, were on the couch chatting. Krystal asked very sweetly, “Daddy, you're the boss of the house, right?”
To which Mark proudly replied, “Yes, I'm the boss of the house.”
But Krystal quickly burst his bubble when she added, “Cause Mommy put you in charge, huh, Daddy?” (Rhonda Mony, Lake Elsinore, California, “Kids of the Kingdom,” Christian Reader; www.PreachingToday.com)
We laugh at that, but that’s the sentiment of this verse. In order to have order and harmony in the home, the wife must put her husband in charge, voluntarily but deliberately.
I have spoken to many women who wish their husbands would take the spiritual leadership role in their homes. But often when they do, some women resist it. They’re so used to being in charge, that when the man finally does take some initiative in the home, she questions it; and often subtly, or not so subtly, she undermines his authority.