Thursday, October 20, 2011

Christian Men in Spiritual Skirts

Some time ago I wrote on the fact that men should be leaders.  In fact, I think that was the title of that post and I invite you to read or re-read that post as today is going to be a short review of that subject.  There are far too many Spiritual cross-dressers in the church today.  What I mean is that we have many men who are acting more like Christian women forcing far too many women to take on the roles the men are supposed to have.  They lead the family spiritually and make up far too many leadership positions in the church.  Being a man of God is not about strength, athletic ability, mechanical ability, or any of the other abilities associated with men in the world.  If you are man, and you are good that those things, then I would like to congratulate you for being a man by the world's standards.  Unfortunately, that does not make you a man by God's standards.  Being a man by God's standards means being a leader in the home and in the church.  If you are not those things then you are not being a man at all.  Let's look at some Scripture.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,  Ephesians 5:22-25 NKJV

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4 NKJV
These scriptures clearly show that men are called to be the spiritual leaders of the home.  If women are called to submit to their husbands, that does not mean that women are called to be subservient to their husbands.  Many women take on a form of subservience to men who are utterly selfish all the while praying and pleading with God for those men to be the spiritual leaders they were called to be.  Really men, this is pathetic.  To think that the authority God has given you is for your own desires and for your wife to simply expect to go along with them shows a complete lack of spiritual maturity.  You are not being a spiritual woman, you are being a spiritual spoiled little girl always expecting to get what you want.  Women are called to submit to you as to the Lord and you are called to love your wife as Christ loved the church.  Just in case you do not understand what that means, God continued the passage saying "and gave Himself for her."  That is your example.  You are to have a sacrificial love for your wife, denying yourself to assure that her needs are met not your own.  Wives were created with certain needs that men were created to fill (and visa versa).  One of those needs is their desire for spiritual leadership.  You are called to be their spiritual leader.  You are called to be the example of Christ in the marriage.  You are called to lead her into righteousness, and to do so by your example.  You are called to die to yourself for your wife's well being.  That is how Christ loved the church and that is how you are called to love your wife. 

As for children, please note that Paul does not say "parents."  Paul specifically calls out fathers to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.  God (though Paul) also did not tell husbands that they can merely delegate that role to their wives so they can play video games or sports.  Surely your wife will also play an important and large part in their spiritual development, but understand that you are called to be the leader in that task.  You are the one who will give an account before the Lord as to how you raised your children.  Adam tried to blame his wife for his own failure, it did not work for him, it will not work for you.  You are to lead your children and lead you wife in helping to raise your children in the Lord.  God has given that role specifically to you and no one else, not you wife, not a Sunday school teacher, not a Christian school teacher, and not a pastor, He has given it to you. 
Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but [they are] to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 NKJV

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having [his] children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the [same] condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise deacons [must be] reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being [found] blameless. Likewise, [their] wives [must be] reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling [their] children and their own houses well.  1 Timothy 3:2-12 NKJV

And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  1 Timothy 2:12-13 NKJV
Once again, these Scriptures clearly show that men are called to be leaders in the church.  The first passage from 1 Corinthians teaches us that women are not called to teach the body of Christ.  They can have teaching roles among children and among other women, but they are not called to teach the church.  We also see a continuation of the theme of men being the spiritual leaders of the home.  We read that if women want to learn something, let them ask their husbands.  If women are called to ask their husbands to teach them something about God then men are obviously called to have a greater knowledge of God then their wives.  You, husband, are called to teach your wife.  That means you should be studying your Bible and paying attention in church.   We also see that bishops (pastors) and deacons (lesser leaders in the church) are called to be men.  The qualifications can not be applied to a woman because a woman is not called to rule her house.  One can not make the argument that these passages can be applied to men and women, as the qualifications exclude women from being qualified.  In fact, the ability of men to be men at home is a qualification for being a leader in the church.  If a man can not lead his house, he has no business being a leader in the church.  Finally, we see that women are not called to have authority over men in the church and Paul ties that authority to creation.  What this means is that this is not tied to society at that time, but to God's original plan at creation.  Men are called to be leaders in the church. 

So if you find your wife having to get you to go to church then there is a problem.  If you are causing your wife to miss church on a regular basis for trivial and selfish reasons then there is a problem.  If you find your wife initiating prayer more than you are, then there is a problem.  If you find that your wife is learning about God more than you, then there is a problem.  If your wife has questions about the message and you were not paying attention or trying to learn, then there is a problem.  If your wife constantly has to ask someone other than you when she has questions about the Word of God, then there is a problem.  If your method of raising your children is telling your wife to do it, then there is a problem.  If your wife has to correct your behavior with any bit of frequency, then there is a problem.  If your children or your wife are not growing in the Lord, then there is a problem.  If you are not leading your wife or children, then there is a problem.  If your wife ever has to plead with God in tears with her friends, family, or when she is alone for God to get a hold of you and make you the man you need to be, then there is a problem.  If any or all of those be true then you need to take off the skirt and put on the pants God gave you to wear and start to be a real man.  You are cheating your wife and children our of the leader they need and desire you to be.  You are cheating yourself of a much healthier relationship with your family and your God.  Does it make you a man to hurt your family like that? No, it makes you much less.  A real man would not be able to live with himself while his wife suffers waiting for him to grow up and man up.  Even if you are a layman in the church, you are the pastor of your home, the elder of your family.  It is time for you to become that man God has created you to be.
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.  1 Peter 5:1-4 NKJV

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