What Does God Expect of Us?

By Thomas L. Andrews

People often say, “I would do something if I knew what to do.” This should be the attitude of every Christian. Can we say that the only things we leave undone in the service of God are those things we do not know to do? It saddens me to think of the number of people that readily admit, “I know I ought to . . . . ” The watchword now, as always, is “putting you in remembrance” (2 Pet. 1:13). A continual reminding to keep the commandments of God before us is essential. Upon knowing what God expects of us, it behooves each person to do it.

As we think about what is expected of us, we must realize who we are. I mean in a very basic sort of way. “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). Not many people would proclaim that they are God or the Son of God. However, we must understand that God expects us to submit to His authority and be humble as humanity. Arrogant and self-willed people are an abomination unto the Lord.

Paul also teaches that if we area man or if we are a woman, God expects us to be that which we are by our biological makeup. Certainly the sinfulness of abusing and leaving the natural sexual desires of man and women needs to be understood (Rom. 1:26.27; 1 Cor. 6:9.20). God wants people to experience their natural desires, yet these are to be satisfied in accord with His will. The child of God today perhaps has little difficulty with this aspect of God’s will but what about social behavior?

The social behavior of man and women is also a realm in which God has expectations. God expects men to be the head of women (1 Cor. 11:3). This has a two-roll requirement. Men must be so inclined as to be a head and women must be submissive to them. Although the husband is to be head of the wife and the wife is to submit to her own husband (Eph. 5:22.23), this is not the only headship of man. Women are expected by God to be submissive. There are too many passages in the Bible that teach in relation to this point for it to be casually overlooked (1 Tim. 2:9-15; 1 Cor. 11:2-16; 14:34; 1 Pet. 3:1-6; Tit. 2:3-5). It may be “in” today for women to “take the lead” and even to be “manish,” but it has never been nor never will be what God expects of women.

Do not misunderstand me. I believe in that old saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” It can also be said of such a woman that she knew her place and what God expected of her. Many women are important factors in the Lord’s work in various locations and as such do a great work. However, women do not have to challenge the authority of men to work in the kingdom. Women need to carefully examine their public behavior, modes of dress, attitudes, and actions so “that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Often the case is not that women are speaking so loudly, but that men are not speaking at all. This is to say that many godly women are looking for men to take the lead and the oversight. God expects men to accept the responsibility of being a head not only in the home but in other areas also. The Lord’s people are suffering because men will not develop as God expects.

The home is designed by God to develop children that will find the place in the work of the Lord (Eph. 6:4), yet many parents are failing in what God expects of them. Has God required of us an impossible task? Absolutely not! Our inquiry should be into our own desires, methods, and procedures of rearing our children. Lustful generations have found it easy to bring forth children, but let us realize that it is not so easy to bring up a child in the Lord. Yet this is what God expects.

As I write these words a startling thought comes to me. This is concerning the attitude that people have toward failure. “Everyone is doing it! So what.” The point is-what are the consequences of failing to do what God expects of us? This is a serious matter. To fail in what God expects of us is sin and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). It is sad to see otherwise successful people fail in doing what God expects them to do.

Truth Magazine XXII: 4, p. 69
January 26, 1978