Ephesians 5:32. However, each of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Firstly, the father is responsible for the tender care of his wife. In Ephesians 5:28 husbands are told to love their wives as they love their own bodies. As they would act instinctively to protect themselves from danger, injury, hurt or discomfort, so they should act instinctively to protect their wives. In 1 Peter 3:7 the same point is made when Peter, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells husbands to ‘…dwell with them with understanding, giving honour to the wife … that your prayers may not be hindered’. Your relationship with God as a man could well be impacted by how you are treating your wife.
The second function God has placed upon the man is to provide for his family. In 1 Timothy 5:8 we have a very interesting reference. The apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, says that a man must provide for his family and if he doesn’t do this ‘… he has denied the faith …’. Paul says that a man who refuses – (this is not a reference to a man who’s unable or who has honestly tried but who, through a certain set of circumstances, has found himself in financial difficulties) – to provide for his family has denied the faith. In other words a man who will not provide for his family in a consistent and responsible manner, is a man who cannot be regarded as a Christian.
At this point we must pause to consider the terrible plight of the poor and the effect of joblessness on masses of poor families in our world today. The psychological effect on a man who is willing to work but cannot find work is massive. I wish I had an answer for that problem but I don’t, so I am sticking to generalities and describing the ideal situation. However I want to acknowledge the problem that many fathers have. I want to express my sympathy for them.
Another responsibility is the spiritual instruction of children in the ways of God, the pathways of righteousness and in the truths of salvation. The father however, cannot do it alone and needs his wife’s assistance (Proverbs 1:8), but accountability lies with the father. Men have to act as pastors and priests to their own families and that is an important concept because it means that the spiritual care of children cannot entirely be left to the church or to the wife.
The same applies to regular attendance at worship. The father should take the lead. Men should not leave it to their wives to get everybody ready for church. Rather they should be examples to their children in this regard so that it can be seen by all that father has assumed his rightful role as the spiritual leader of his family.
Does anything need to be adjusted in your home?
Heavenly Father, thank you for the family you have given us. Help us to maintain love and order in our family by heeding what you say to us regarding headship and partnership in our home. Amen