By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
The practical application Paul gives here might seem out of place at first glance but it is a perfect picture of everything he has been writing to this point.
First, if God has transformed us personally He transforms us privately as well as publicly. I confess it is easier for me to be in public the man I want everyone to think I am than to actually be that man in the private, comfortable parts of my life. That’s where it counts the most, though. Who I am on stage matters nothing if it is not matched by who I am at the dinner table.
Second, Paul shows us that the way we live out our relationships with those closest to us is a clear reflection of our relationship with God. Do you see it? Women are submitting to their husbands as to the Lord.
Men are loving their wives as Christ loves the church. Children are obeying in the Lord. Fathers are instructing in the Lord. Since we’re family, I’ll confess to you that my wife and kids take the brunt of a lot of my frustrations, fears and failures as a man of God. It’s not their fault or failure, it’s mine.
When I’m not walking closely with Jesus and I’m not spiritually where I need to be my family suffers for it. My family needs me to be a godly man. My wife deserves a husband to love her like Christ and my kids need a daddy whom they can look at and see a clear reflection of God the great Father.
The gospel transforms our homes! Do you see it? If the gospel has the power to transform my eternal home then surely it has the power to transform my earthly home. I’m convinced that more than we need sermons or singings we need Spirit-filled, Jesus loving, God honoring mothers and fathers who take their God granted responsibility to disciple their children and live fearlessly for Jesus as a family. Lord, let it start with me.
Finally, something Paul is saying is that all of this isn’t even about the family but about Jesus. A God-honoring, gospel-driven family in all its glory is merely a dim picture showing the beauty and wonder of the mystery of Christ and the church.
How I love my wife shines forth a greater story, the story of the Bridegroom who loves His bride with a sacrificial love and will one day eagerly return for her.
How I father my children shines forth the story of a greater Father than I could ever be, One who loves, leads, defends, and disciplines for our good and His glory. My family needs a man like that.
Only Jesus can make me a man like that. Lord, make me a man like that!