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Chapter 7. One Family under God
The Christian family in America is broken, but it can be fixed. The problem today in America is not wives who won’t submit, it is husbands who won’t lead or who won’t lead correctly. Therefore, this chapter is to men who want to be the right kind of Godly man.
How to be the right kind of husband and father:
There are only two things needed. They are not hard to understand, but they are hard to do because they require a re-ordering of most men’s priorities and schedules.
1. Actively seek a real relationship with God, your wife, and each of your kids individually. You have to take the time and effort to enter into their life. Find out what they are feeling, not just what is happening on the surface. You have to enter into their world, see them as a person with their own unique hopes and dreams and challenges they might be facing. I was in a fast food joint and watched a young father and his son eating in total silence. I couldn’t help but think what a golden opportunity that father was missing.
2. Actively seek to hear God’s voice, His rhema words. If you give step 1 some honest effort, I guarantee you God will speak words of encouragement and instruction on how to best minister to your wife and each of your kids. But you have to give God something to work with. You can’t skip step 1 and expect much from step 2. Implicit in this step is that you will give God the time and effort needed to accomplish step 1 in regard to Him. How can He speak rhema words to you if you don’t have a genuine relationship with Him?
Men, it takes rhema words constantly washing your mind to overcome sexual strongholds that can take hold in a man’s life. But they can be overcome. I encourage you to review Chapter 5 and attend Christian men's groups who are serious about tackling the tough issues for men.
If you practice the steps above, you won’t have to assert your authority. God will do it for you, in a way your wife can submit to.
A woman’s place: (my opinion only)
After some research, I feel the principle of “coverings” as described by Paul in the New Testament is still valid. The verses about “There is no longer male or female, slave or free, etc.” means all people have access to God equally through the blood of Jesus, so a husband would be wise to listen to his wife if she said she had a word from God. But coverings goes to the issue of order. Someone has to be in charge. Throughout the Bible, that has always been the man. It doesn’t make him superior, just the one responsible to God for leading the family. Women in the home are to be covered by the husband. Women in church are to be covered by their husband and pastor. Women in denominational positions must be covered by a board of men. How that works out as to letting women preach or hold higher positions within denomination administration is open to interpretation, but I still feel it must account for the concept of coverings. It’s interesting that the serpent chose Eve to talk to. Perhaps in creating the woman with her nature, God knew she would be more susceptible to being deceived. The Bible says Eve was deceived by the serpent. Maybe that is one reason she needs a covering.
Outside of family and church family, it seems ok for women to have leadership roles in business and maybe politics as long as she is covered at home and at church.
We need to see the real purpose of marriage, beyond the purpose of children or being a united front against the world. The real purpose is to help one another know God intimately. I think marriages fail when they run out of reasons to exist. Helping each other know God intimately is a never-ending reason to stay married.
Here's an unusual statement: Your failed marriage where you were seriously seeking God is still better than your "successful" marriage where you weren't seriously seeking God. The spiritual cost of that kind of "success" is way too high.
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