In the “spirit of this world” there is a challenge the Lord’s people have with regard to the Lord’s will concerning the family. In today’s environment, the husband is not the head of the house, but merely a co-authority alongside his wife. The male and female were created (and are still) equal in the Lord’s eyes (Genesis 1:26; 2:18), but with that declaration of the Lord’s, there is also the declaration concerning who the leader in the family is (1 Corinthians 11:3).
When the Lord brought the male and female together that He created, He brought two equals and made them into one whole (Genesis 2:23-24). Though both the male and female are equals, they were given different roles within the family structure. Paul made this plain in his writings to the church at Ephesus and to Timothy (also at Ephesus). To the church he wrote, the husband is the head of his wife like Christ is the head of the church. The very use of the word head in this context indicates authority. Lest we misunderstand what that authority entails, consider the remainder of the chapter (Ephesians 5:22-33).
The word head, indicating authority, is not dictatorial—not even close! It is authority based on love, and love always seeks that which is best for the other person. Christ is the savior of the body, and the husband is to seek to save (or protect) his wife from the outside harm that will surely come to her if he fails to make the right choices in leading his family (poor choices are made by both the male and female in any and all relationships). This is what love does.
The insecure (and spiritually weak) husband who demands that his wife must obey him, this is a man who is operating, not from love, but spiritual infirmity. What kind of spirit of a man will operate in such a way as this? Only one who is insecure and weak of spirit! Someone might object to this sentiment with, “Does not the Scripture say she must obey him in all things”? It does say this with regard to children (Colossians 3:20), but with regard to the wife it does not say this, and the wife is not a child!
In Titus 2:5, Paul exhorts the older women to teach the younger women to be obedient to their husbands (Titus 2:5). Given what we know of God’s love and Jesus’ example, what do you think is in mind? Dictatorial, of course! Hardly. What is in view is a godly disposition that seeks to honor God in one’s life (Titus 2:1-5). A wife who understands her God-ordained role contributes, mightily, to the strength of her family. The husband who understands his God-ordained role leads his family on the path already blazed by the Lord Jesus.
To wrap up this thought, let us reflect (and be reminded) on the work of love. Love seeks that which is best for the other person. With regard to salvation, Jesus sought our best interest (John 3:16; Luke 19:10). With regard to personal relations, man is to love God with all of his being (which means he honors God by obeying Him), and he is to love his neighbor as himself (which means he will seek that which is best for him—as he would himself).
Husbands, love your wives; if God brought you two together, then she is the best thing that has happened to you in personal relations. Wives, love your husbands; if God brought you two together, then not only is he the best thing that happened to you in personal relations, but his example and leadership is of such a quality that he will do you good all of your days. RT