The Best Umbrella
The family is one of the biggest targets of the enemy today, but God has provided a protection in the form of an umbrella.
He has set up the man to be the head of the home, and the covering of protection for his wife and children. But unfortunately experience shows that in many families this umbrella is faulty. And as a result of this both wives and children have been subjected to pressures they were never meant to face.
To understand this correctly, there are two pictures I want to paint for you as a man. The first is your responsibility to be the head of your home, and the second is to recognize both your role and the role of your wife. If you are single and not married, then you have an important lesson to learn here, before you enter into a marriage relationship and make the same mistake that many men have made before.
God’s Chain of Command
God has set a chain of command, just as they have in the army. It means that authority is delegated to different ranks, and each rank has to recognize the authority of the rank above it. As far as the family is concerned, here is God’s Chain of Command
1. Jesus is the highest authority of all
2. The husband or father has been delegated the authority to represent Jesus to his wife and children. He carries the highest authority in the home
3. The wife has been delegated the authority to represent her husband in the home. She carries the second highest authority in the home
4. The children are to be subject to both parents and the Lord
If every member of a family follows God’s chain of command, there are few problems in the home, and the enemy cannot get in. The Umbrella of protection is securely in place, and he has no opening. But the moment the order is violated, things begin to go wrong.
Roles of Husband and Wife
I will look shortly at the kind of things that happen when God’s chain of command is violated. But before we look at that, I want to also show you how the roles of the husband and wife vary according to God’s pattern. And once again, when these roles are reversed, there are problems in the home, and the enemy tends to find openings to get in.
The two triangles above represent the realms of operation of the husband and wife. The smaller, orange triangle is the wife’s realm, and the larger white triangle is the husband’s realm.
The realm of the wife is largely the home, especially while the children are very young. It is the prime responsibility of the mother to lay down a foundation in the lives of her children, and this, along with the responsibilty of keeping the home functioning efficiently, is God’s order for the wife.
You will notice that the realm of the husband also includes the same region as that of the wife. But it also extends far beyond that. In other words, the husband is also responsible for what happens in the home, but he also has additional realms of responsibility. The main activity of this other realm is of course to be the bread winner or provider for the family.
So what happens in the home, although it is under the control of the wife, should also be fully under the control of the husband, they work as a team in the home. As the children grow up and reach adolescence, the role of the mother comes to an end, and the husband should take over. It is the father who takes the child, now becoming an adult and focuses him or her on the future, and a career or life goal.
I will be considering the role of the father far more in future articles, but for now I want you to see the picture of how it should work. And you should also realize that you have a great responsibility as a man, to make sure that your wife has full support and protection in her role, and that the children are able to rise up and take their place in the world.
Many men think that if they provide financially for their family, that is enough. But that is only part of your role and responsibility. You are still responsible for what happens in the home. And although the mother carries the main load while the children are young, it is the father who makes all the difference when they move into adulthood.
Here is where several problems can occur:
- The mother refuses to let go and tries to continue leading the children into adulthood. Instead of encouraging the children to move to the father, she encourages them to stay close to her.
- The father refuses to take his responsibility when the children grow up, and forces the mother to do his job. He is never there for the children and does not take the time to get involved in their lives.
- A role reversal takes place, in which the father tries to mother the children, or the mother tries to father them, or both.
All of these failures lead to problems in the life of the children, and cause the formation of faulty family situations.
What causes all of these problems in the home? Many things, but at the end of the day, one main person is held responsible before God for the outcome.
Who is that? Are you ready for it?
YES – IT IS YOU, THE MAN
The man is Christ’s representative in the home, and any failure in the home is his responsibility. So no matter what the cause of the problem, it is up to YOU to sort it out.
If your wife is usurping your authority, taking over your role, or refusing to run things according to the pattern you laid down, then it is up to you to restore order. Of course if you have a strong wife, then this is more easily said than done.
If the children are refusing to obey their mother and follow the pattern that you and she have both laid down for your home, then it is up to you to bring them to order.
The Power of Love
God has given two very simple commands to husbands and wives. He told the husbands to love their wives as the Lord loved the church, and He told the wives to submit themselves to their husbands as they submit to the Lord.
Since I am dealing with the men, here I cannot address the failure of the wives. Although I am sure many women are also reading this and will be challenged by it. But perhaps I can deal with that in another place. So for now I will speak to the men concerning what they should do.
Notice that God does not directly command the wife to love her husband. Why is this? For several reasons, which I would like to explain.
- Just as Jesus showed His love to us before we loved Him, so the husband must love his wife, even if she does not love him back.
- It is in the nature of a woman to respond to love. So when the man truly loves unconditionally like Jesus, he releases a power that will influence her. It is difficult to not love someone who keeps loving you no matter what you do.
- Love, and all the fruit that goes with it has the greatest power in the Universe, and according to the following passage, there is no law that can counteract its power
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is [agape] love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 Gentleness, self control: there is no law against this kind of thing. (AMIV)
Love is also likened to life and light. And we know that where there is even a little life, death cannot exist. Where there is just a little light, darkness cannot exist.
Do you realize the power that you hold as a man, if you use the force of love that the Lord has given you? But as men we tend to get all strong and macho, and see love as a weak and effeminate thing. Yet it is the very nature of God, and the greatest force in this world.
Love Is What Makes Your Umbrella Invincible
It is love that led God to send His only Son for us
It is love that led Jesus to lay down His life for us
It is love that keeps Him loving us even when we sin
It is love that keeps the man as head of his home
It is love that enables a wife to function the way God made her to
It is love that causes children to grow up balanced and secure
But I know, you are probaby thinking, “I cannot love like that…” And you are right. Only Jesus can love like that. And that is why He sent us His Holy Spirit to live inside us
All you need to do in order to become the kind of husband and father God requires is to let the love of Jesus flow out through you. Simply offer yourself afresh to Him and pray:
“Lord I cannot love like this, but you have commanded me to love this way. Lord I give you full permission to love through me, and cause this love to flow out from me to the rest of my family.”
You will be amazed at how you suddenly find a new power of love rising up inside of you. And when this love begins to shine out from you, I can guarantee it will change your wife, and probably everyone around you.
What About Singles
If you are a single guy, you might be wondering where you fit into this. Well hopefully you do not plan to remain single the rest of your life. And one day soon, you too will be a husband and hopefully a father.
You need to prepare for this by following a very important instruction in Scripture:
Matthew 19:5 And said, For this reason a man will leave [his] father and mother, and will become glued to his wife: and they two will be one human being.
6 Therefore they are no more two, but one human being. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put apart.
One of the biggest mistakes that most men make is failing to obey this Scripture. You see, when you are still in your parent’s home, you are under their authority and covering. But once you leave home, marry and start your own home, then this covering cannot exist any longer. Now it is up to you to become the new covering for your family.
Women find this easy. They leave the covering of their father and come under the covering of their husband. The only change they need to make is to become a covering to their children. And this tends to happen very naturally for women.
What most men do though, is they try to remain under the protection and covering of their parents even after they get married. This puts the wife into a situation where she is now under your parents instead of under you. It is one of the main causes of parent-in-law problems.
So get ready right now to leave the covering of your parents, and be ready to step out and become the man that God intends you to be. Then, as you learn to love like Jesus, you will become a covering for the wonderful woman that the Lord will give you, and the beautiful children that He will give you.