As I continue this series on family focused faith, reflecting back to my previous post regarding idolatry in Christian families and re-reading the section of Voddie Baucham Jr.’s book which addresses the issue, I can’t help but to open up a can of worms with part 4 of this series.
Yes… Biblical submission.
I know… this is always a touchy topic in Baptist life, but it’s an important one. If “16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17)”, how can we skip over Ephesians 5 in our discussion of family focused faith? Is there not direction given therein as to how families should operate?
You see, one of Voddie’s points in his chapter on idolatry in Christian families is that we often order our relationships inappropriately. If our children become idols (as we adopt the “children above everything” culture), is it any wonder our marriages suffer once they’re raised and on their own? If our marriage becomes our idol, is it any wonder our relationship with God suffers when things get rocky?
So Voddie looks to Ephesians 5:21, and the following 21 verses. He writes:
Verse 21 says that we are to be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Verse 21 is an umbrella under which the next twenty-one verses fall. The submission in verse 21 is demonstrated in three relationships: wife/husband, child/parent, and servant/master. In other words, obedience to verse 21 (which is connected to verse 18 and the command to be filled with the Spirit) requires not only that children submit to parents, but that wives submit to husbands. You show me a wife that is not in submission to her husband, and I’ll show you a household in disarray. Can you imagine an army where sergeants openly disrespect generals, yet expect privates to respect them?
Don’t go off the deep end about this yet. I know Voddie neglects stating the obvious here… that verse 21 states that we are to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Yes… one-another.
It’s pretty clear that husbands that fail to love their wives as Christ loves the church can create households in equal disarray.
The point seems clear, though… if our relationships are not aligning with Biblical standards, isn’t it likely that we’ll hinder the ability of our kids to grow in Christ as they should?
So I have a few questions:
— What does it mean to “order [our] relationships by the book” (as the subtitle to this section reads)?
— Just what should a Biblically structured family look like?
— How does your family structure contribute (or hinder, for that matter) to the discipling of your kids?
— How do Ephesians 5:21 and follow up verses play out in a practical manner in your family?