Summary: The father is the spiritual compass of the family. It is the responsibility of the man to be a Husband, Priest and Father.
Husbands, Priests and Fathers
In honor of Father’s Day I want to take a look at the husband’s role in the family. A family is a symbol of God’s complete design for the church. If the family is dysfunctional, so will the church and the people in the church. The goal of this study is to take a deeper look at how the man fits into God’s perfect design. When each member of this God ordained institution submits to God by taking ownership of their roles and responsibilities, the family becomes a powerful testimony of God grace. When husbands and wives become self-focused and reject God’s design, the family will be weak at best. At worst, the family collapses and there is no limit to how far down people can go once a family begins to spin out of control. The role of a father is vital to the health of the marriage and reproducing godly values in their children. I will break this study into two parts. We’ll examine the man’s role as a husband and a priest then will end by examining the role of fatherhood. I believe that to successfully fill this role, a man must first be a godly reflection of the family’s spiritual leader and this enables him to be a stable husband and equipped father. It must be in that order. A man who neglects his spiritual role has already undermined God’s design. Likewise, a man who fails to fulfill the role of a husband cannot effectively execute the role of fatherhood.
Husbands and Priests
Let’s begin by looking at Ephesians 5:22-33:
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
This passage gets convoluted in today’s ideology. This passage often taken out of context and abused. Some groups look at this as a license to dominate and others look at this as unjust to women. But if you look at the passage without filtering it through modernistic thinking, this critical passage becomes very clear. In this study, I am not going to look at the wives role, but only how it applies to husbands. The command here is, "husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church". It is actually two commands. Men are commanded to love their wives. This is a command, not a cause and response. It does not matter if she meets your expectations or keeps her role as a wife. This is a command from God to the man and obedience is a direct response to God. Like all commands, even tough someone else may be the focus of the command, we obey because we love and obey God. God honors obedience from the heart. What you will find is that by obeying God, He will produce the fruit in your marriage.
When we enter into marriage we think we are very giving, but in reality most couples are selfish. We eagerly give in the beginning because our emotional tanks are overflowing, but as those emotions begin to fade, so do our dreams of grandeur. Unless the transition is made from self-serving to self-giving, we quickly become disillusioned and bitter. This is why it is so important to become a husband founded on the word. God commands that husbands love your wives. God doesn’t fulfill His promises up front. All of God’s commands require a step of faith – self-giving – and the promise will be inherited once we show ourselves faithful. Without a solid focus on God’s word, you will never have the faith to let go of your desires and obey God. We obey because we believe and trust God. If you are not taking on the spiritual role of a husband, you will become emotionally and physically focused. Emotional and physical benefits are a byproduct of a functioning marriage, but they are not the purpose or the focus of marriage. If your focus is on your own desires, instead of looking at your wife as a spiritual union created by God for His glory, you will look at your wife as someone placed with you to meet your needs. That is not the role of a wife. God created two to become one. Unless you become one, you will never be satisfied with your spouse. Becoming one physically takes little effort. For most marriages, the spiritual union goes neglected and true intimacy is never achieved. When there is no intimacy, men drift away from their wives. Their wives begin to lose appeal, the physical desires fade and then the temptation to look outside of the marriage becomes a problem. What people don’t realize is that physical beauty means very little. It is great to attract a spouse, but does nothing to maintain a lasting marriage. Regardless of how physically attractive a woman is the husband will not be satisfied unless he can look beyond the physical and find true intimacy.