MORE FROM RUTH / The Life-Giving Spiritual Leader of the Home
Like many things today, spiritual male leadership in the home is under attack. However, at Veritas, we’re not interested in arguing with you about this. We’re interested in your obedience to the Scriptures.
That is why we think it’s important to challenge our men to lead spiritually in the home (if married), and to prepare themselves to lead spiritually in the home (if single). The husband and father, when leading well, bring life and flourishing to the home. And the opposite is true if he is not leading well.
BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR MALE SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP IN THE HOME:
Like many themes in Scripture, spiritual male leadership (sometimes known as spiritual headship) begins in the Garden of Eden. It was Adam who was called to cultivate and lead his family, and it was Adam who was held responsible when Eve sinned and participated in taking the fruit.
Furthermore, throughout the writings of Paul, we are reminded of spiritual male leadership, and how, when properly leaned into through the power of the Holy Spirit, brings flourishing and life to the home and marriage.
Ephesians 6 says:
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so 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.
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Let us be reminded of an important truth here. Spiritual male leadership is not dictatorship, or domineering, or giving orders, or directing, or “having the final say,” or anything that culture makes it out to be. However, it is quite the opposite. Spiritual male leadership is personified in Jesus, and it finds itself fleshed out in sacrificial humility and sacrificial service. Spiritual leadership finds its telos in the phrase “as Christ does the church.” With that end, spiritual male leadership comes to an apex when a husband gives everything for the flourishing of his wife and children.
LEARNING FROM ELIMELECH’S TERRIBLE EXAMPLE:
In Ruth 1, we see Elimelech fail to lead his family. In fact, he becomes a giant failure. Even more, the dude is a moron.
Here’s his laundry list of failures:
- He leaves Bethlehem (the house of bread). Bethlehem is the epicenter of God’s people, God’s presence, and God’s provision.
- He takes his wife and kids to Moab. Moab is the epicenter of immorality at the time.
- He allows his children to marry Moabite women. This is clearly forbidden in the Law of Moses.
- He cares more about financial provision than spiritual provision. How many of us live here?
- He takes his family out of church for 10-years.
- He doesn’t leave anything for them to survive and flourish after his death. In other words, he provides no life insurance, no plan, and no financially provision for them after his death.
- His family becomes homeless after he dies.
Let’s stay far far far away from the example Elimelech gives us in Ruth 1.
LEARNING FROM THE TRUE AND BETTER ELIMELECH:
Thankfully we have a true and better example in Jesus of what it means to sacrificially lead. Although Jesus was never married, his life, ministry, death, and resurrection are the greatest example we have in how men should lead.
Jesus lead by humble sacrifice.
Jesus gave his life for his family — the Church.
And Jesus brings life to his family — the Church.
Again, many of you might want to argue this point, but we're not interested in your arguments. We’re interested in your obedience. If a man is spiritually leading his home well, he will bring life to his home. If a man is not spiritually leading his home well, his home will not be a pleasant place.
Single women — The first question you need to ask yourself before you go on any second date is this: Can this man lead me and a future family spiritually? If he cannot, then he is not your man.
Send him to us at Veritas, and we’ll work on him for a bit, then we’ll send him back into the game when we feel like he is ready to bring life.
Men (single men and husbands) — it is your great responsibility to be the spiritual head of your home. Married men, your spiritual leadership in your home should bring great life to your home. Your greatest calling as a man is to love, pursue, and spiritually lead your wife and children. Single men, your greatest calling as a man right now is to become a man who can love, pursue, and spiritually lead a family. If you cannot, then it’s time to stop playing games, and it’s time to get after it. Single men, let’s remember that life is not about having a good time. It’s about leaving a legacy.
One day, there will be people with your last name who will follow after your example of how you chase after and pursue Jesus, and out of that, how you chase after and purse your family. In other words, marriage is for men… not boys… and it’s a man-sized responsibility.
Let us step up to the plate and do the opposite of what culture is telling us to do. Culture says get a degree… get another degree… put some money away… play around for a bit… sleep around for a bit… and then around 30-years of age… get married. The Bible says become a man who can carry a man-sized spiritual responsibility now (read all of Ephesians 5), then get married. There is no checklist, and there is appropriate order of events.
Grace and I were married at 22 and 23-years-old. We had $100 in our bank account. We worked five jobs between the two of us for the first year of our marriage, and we had a food budget of $30 a week.
Grace would spend hours couponing, so that we could have somewhat edible food and not be on food stamps. Yes, it was hard, but it forged who we are today, and it showed us that even in hard circumstances, we could have a life-giving home as we anchored to Jesus alone.
MY PRAYER FOR OUR CHURCH:
One of my greatest prayers for our young and growing church is that I would be officiating dozens and dozens of weddings over the next several years, because we have men and women who are pursuing Jesus first with all they’ve got.
Men, let’s step up to the plate here and chase after Jesus. Let us become men who can spiritually lead. Let us become men who can bring life. And then, and only then, let us pursue our brides for the glory of God alone.
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