Thursday, June 29, 2006

Men, turn all your leading into serving!

I read a great John Piper sermon yesterday called, "Husbands who love like Christ and the wives who submit to them." I would recommend this article to anyone! It superbly unwraps God's true intention for serving and leading. I've included below the parts that most impacted me!

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. he who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-33).

"One of the things to learn from this mystery is the roles of husband and wife in marriage. One of Paul's points in this passage is that the roles of husband and wife in marriage are not arbitrarily assigned and they are not reversible without obscuring God's purpose for marriage. The roles of husband and wife are rooted in the distinctive roles of Christ and His church. God means (by marriage) to say something about His Son and His church by the way husbands and wives relate to each other...Sin didn't create headship and submission; it ruined them and distorted them and made them ugly and destructive.

Now if this is true, then the redemption we anticipate with the coming of Christ is not the dismantling of the original, created order of loving headship and willing submission but a recovery of it from the ravages of sin. And that's just what we find in Ephesians 5:21-33. Wives, let your fallen submission be redeemed by modeling it after God's intention for the church! Husbands, let your fallen headship be redeemed by modeling it after God's intention for Christ!

Therefore, headship is not a right to command and control. It's a responsibility to love like Christ: to lay down your life for your wife in servant leadership. And submission is not slavish or coerced or cowering. That's not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership: he wants it to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening...

Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection and provision in the home.

Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts...

Submission is an inclination of the will to say yes to the husband's leadership and a disposition of the spirit to support his initiatives. The reason I say it's a disposition and an inclination, is because there will be times when the most submissive wife will hesitate at a husband's decision. It may look unwise to her. Suppose it's Noel and I. I am about to decide something foolish for the family. At that moment Noel could express her submission like something like this: "Johnny, I know you've thought a lot about this, and I love it when you take the initiative to plan for us and take the responsibility like this, but I really don't have peace about this decision and I think we need to talk about it some more. Could we? Maybe tonight sometime?"

The reason that is a kind of Biblical submission is because 1)Husbands, unlike Christ, are fallible and ought to admit it. 2)Husbands ought to want their wives to be excited about the family decisions, because Christ wants us to be excited about following his decisions and not just follow begrudgingly. 3The way Noel expressed her misgivings communicated clearly that she endorses my leadership and affirms me in my role as head."

1 comment:

4given said...