By Irven Lee
An elder is to be “one that ruleth well his own family, having his children in subjection with all gravity; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” (1 Tim. 3:4, 5). The elder wins the respect of his brethren in being the good husband and father to his family. The orderly family with well-behaved children and a loving wife is a tribute to a man, indicating that he has good judgment, courage, and traits of leadership. Our nation needs thousands of more fathers who have skill in guiding and training their children.
It is just as easy to show that wives are to be in subjection to their own husbands as it is to prove that fathers are to have their children in subjection. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Eph. 5:22-24). The idea of the husband being the one in authority in the home could not be taught with more plainness of speech. A business needs a manager; a school needs a principal; a state needs a governor; and a home needs a head a decision maker with the power of oversight in a position of leadership.
The father is to love his children so that he will bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:1-4; Prov. 22:6; Heb. 12:5-11). It is love that causes him to use the rod when needed (Prov. 13:24). The children are given a sense of security by his strong arm of protection and guidance. The little people need the love and chastening of a good father just as they need food and clothing for their bodies.
The wife is to obey her husband since he has been given the responsibility of leadership. The manager of a business and the principal of a school are in charge in their respective spheres. This position of leadership is not a pedestal for praise and special honor. It is rather a special responsibility to see that the business and the school operate properly. Neither is to have the unpleasant attitude that he is a lord over the teachers or the clerks. The workers are not at war with their leader, but they work as parts of the team under a captain whom they appreciate. They realize the need of a leader who can co-ordinate and systematize their work. Many teachers have no desire to be principal because they know the responsibility that comes with the position. Many good wives are very happy as worthy helpers of their husbands who have been so good to them.
We could read of the wives being in subjection to their husbands in Col. 3:18 and 1 Peter 3:1-6, as well as in Eph. 5:22-24. In each of these references, the very next verse teaches that husbands should love their wives. Love suffers long and is kind (1 Cor. 13:4-7). In finding a good wife a man is abundantly blessed (Gen. 2:18; Prov. 18:22: Prov. 31:10-31). Aged women are to teach young women to love their husbands and their children (Titus 2:3-5). The wife will find happiness in being in such intimate association with loved ones. The one true God asked that men serve as head of the house, and He insisted on the proper love that flows both ways. His plan offers a pleasant situation for all members of the family.
The leaders of the Women’s Liberation Movement are atheists and admit it. They seek woman’s liberation from the responsibilities of a wife and mother. To them the woman who is a home maker is a slave. They do not count that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:25). To them, Christ was only man and the Bible only a book to be rejected. They would give the children to the government to be cared for in communes. Women and men could live more like a herd of animals.
I am not ashamed to admit that I recognize Christ as having all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). We are to be judged by His word at the great day of reckoning. Any may deny these fundamental facts if he desires, but he will realize the error of his way when he finds his place outside the walls of the great city with his own kind from all ages (Rev. 22:15).
The Bible was given to the human race to give hope, instruction, and warnings so that we might find the abundant life now and in the world to come (1 Tim. 4:8; Mark 10:28-30). It was not God’s purpose to crush men or women nor to mistreat children. There is a God, and those who realize this should treasure His counsel and His exceeding great and precious promises (2 Pet. 1:1-4).
The leaders of the National Organization of Women (NOW) have many deceived followers who think that this well-financed political body is working toward women receiving fair salary in the industrial and business world through the ERA. Congress and the presidents have already put laws to this effect in the statute books, and the courts are going about to enforce them. The real effort of NOW is to bring honor to the homosexuals and lesbians. Their thrust is against marriage and the home.
When people follow the Bible they “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2). Those of us who visit one home of true Christians after another know that God’s law is best. One of the most effective proofs of the divine origin of the Bible is the evident blessedness of those who believe it and live by its precepts. A husband who is a Christian and a wife who is a Christian find great happiness in living with their obedient children. Truly the husband rules with love.
The church is subject to Christ. Wives are to be subject to their own husbands as the church is unto Christ. Christ and His apostles used the picture of the bride and groom to typify the church in its relationship to Christ. (Read Romans 7:1-4; Rev. 21:2; 2 Cor. 11:2; John 3:29.) It is wonderful that the church can be married to Christ who is head over all things to the church. The church needs His guidance, protection, and love. When is a more beautiful picture of happiness seen than in the picture of a happy bride who is glad to help make a stable home with the one she loves? Her husband has found a good thing and is happy, but she is just as happy.
Faithful servants of God are referred to as children of God (Rom. 8:16, 17; 1 John 3:1). Christians are subject to their heavenly Father. What more appropriate relationship could be found than a son to his father to typify the Christian’s relationship to God? The ideal father and a wonderful son give us a picture of genuine happiness when they walk down the street together. Oversight and authority in no way destroy love. God is love, but we are to obey Him. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Guardian of Truth XXV: 1, pp. 5-6
January 1, 1981