What is the consistent spiritual direction of your home? And who is leading the family in that direction? Who is following? There is only one right answer to these questions: the Lord is the one leading, and everyone else is following.
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If the home is set up in any other order, there will be dysfunction. No exceptions. With the Lord on the point, the husband, the subordinate leader of the home, is next in line. After the husband is the wife. The children orient themselves behind their parents as they humbly submit and follow their God-centered examples.
The Double Dependent Wife
Because the wife has two roles, there is a “double dependency” regarding how she relates to her husband and God. In one sense, she submits to her husband and depends on him in limited ways. In another way, she is equal to her husband as she submits and depends on God in everything.
Not only is she a coequal image bearer of God with her husband, but she responds to her husband’s leadership and care as well. There are other variations to this “orientation of the home” construct, though none of them work successfully.
- Parents who orient their home to serve the children primarily.
- Husbands who orient themselves around the wife or the children rather than God.
- Wives who orient themselves around the children instead of their husbands.
- A husband who is passive with his relationship with God.
- A wife who is bitter toward her husband.
A proper biblical orientation of the home is a husband, who is in a vibrant pursuit of God, a wife who is humbly following him in their passion for the Lord, and the children who come along in the wake of the parent’s leadership. This dynamic creates biblical, familial success.
This type of conversation nearly always stirs this question: What if my husband is not humbly and passionately following the Lord? It is a relevant and sad question because many of our Christian husbands are not biblically leading their wives and families.
This lack of biblical leadership can be a frustrating position for a wife. It is a challenging counseling situation when a wife is willing to submit to her husband, but he does not desire to fulfill his role of leading the family by passionately and wisely pursuing the Lord.
In these sad cases, the wife still has a biblical leader to help her; she can continue to submit to the Lord. If her husband refuses to lead his wife biblically, she can experience biblical leadership. And the same is true for the children.
It took me a long time to realize this beautiful truth. I spent the first two decades of my life being angry because those who were supposed to lead me (parents) did not lead me well.
Rather than submitting my heart to the Lord, I chose anger, victimization, and justifications for the misery that I was experiencing. Though my parents were not good leaders, their lack of gospel adherence should not have had so much power over my thoughts and behaviors.
It was after I relinquished my desire for a better home life that I found freedom and grace in God. I let go of what they were not going to give me and grabbed hold of what the Lord offered me. If you are sinfully angry toward anyone for what they have done or not done, you will never be free from the control they have over your heart, and you will never experience what the Lord is willing to give you.
- Step One – Start confessing to the Lord how your good desire for a better situation has made you bitter. Plead with Him to remove this sin from your heart (1 John 1:8-10).
- Step Two – Ask Him to bring contentment, even in an undesirable relationship (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
- Step Three – Find a friend of the same gender to become a mentor to care for you, hold you accountable, and spur you on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Also published on Medium.