Lead Me

The Christian group, Sanctus Real, has a song entitled “Lead Me,” that reflects some of the ideas from our mini-series on marriage.  The song, written from a husband’s perspective, is his realization that his wife and children need him to be the spiritual leader in the home, and his response to that request.

You can watch it here or simply read the lyrics below.

Lead Me

I look around and see my wonderful life

Almost perfect from the outside

In picture frames, I see my beautiful wife

Always smiling, but on the inside

Oh, I can hear her saying

 

Lead me with strong hands

Stand up when I can’t

Don’t leave me hungry for love

Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you’re willing to fight

That I’m still the love of your life

I know we call this our home but I still feel alone

 

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes

They’re just children

From the outside I’m working hard,

I tell myself they’ll be fine

They’re independent, but on the inside

Oh, I can hear them saying

 

Lead me with strong hands

Stand up when I can’t

Don’t leave me hungry for love

Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you’re willing to fight

That I’m still the love of your life

I know we call this our home but I still feel alone

 

So Father, give me the strength

To be everything I’m called to be

Oh Father, show me the way to lead them

Won’t You lead me?

 

To lead them with strong hands

To stand up when they can’t

Don’t want to leave them hungry for love

Chasing things that I could give up
I’ll show them I’m willing to fight

And give them the best of my life

So we can call this our home

 

Lead me ’cause I can’t do this alone
Father, lead me ’cause I can’t do this alone

 

Sarah As A Model

In the sermon on Sunday (“Marriage, Part Two” — 4/29/2012), one of the statements I made was that the husband is not “lord” of the wife in the way that Jesus is Lord.

Jan Provost's (1465-1529) Painting of Sarah and Abraham

However, this does raise the question: what about 1 Peter 3:6 where it says, “like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham, and called him her master” (NIV 1984).  While the 1984 version of the NIV has “master,” the 2011 NIV as well as the ESV and KJV has “lord” since it is the Greek word kurios.

Peter is making a very interesting allusion here because the only time in Genesis when Sarah calls Abraham “lord” or “master” is Genesis 18:12 where she is told that she and Abraham will have a child in their old age.  Seeing the reference in context helps us to understand that Sarah was using the term as a term of respect.  Sarah was acknowledging that Abraham was the leader in their marriage relationship, just as Paul urges wives to do in Ephesians 5:22-33.

From an article entitled, “Sarah as a Model for Christian Wives,” in Bibliotheca Sacra (a biblical journal) we read,

“Lord” sounds servile to us, but an equally acceptable translation of the Greek word is “sir.”  The point is that she verbally expressed her submission to him in a way that was appropriate in her culture.

Sarah was respecting the authority God had given to her husband and following his leadership.  This attitude of respect for her husband, despite his advanced years, makes Sarah a model for wives’ attitudes toward their husbands today.

Blessings,

Jim

Marriage Accountability Question

 

Blog Question

Although we won’t be able to answer every question or reply to every comment, we do hope this blog is a place where we can tackle some questions that arise from sermons or blog posts.

Scott asked, “…one thing that occurred to me after your message to wives yesterday was this:  the notion of husband as “head” also seems to imply “accountable steward.”  If so, this means that not only is each accountable for his/her own actions (husband to sacrifice, love and give; wife to respect and submit as you described); but also husband is ultimately accountable for whether the marriage functions as an effective picture of Christ and the church.  Is this right?” [Full question can be found in the reply section of the April 29 blog post.]

My thought is that you are absolutely right.  In my opinion, the husband bears 75 percent of the responsibility for the marriage relationship.  If the husband loves his wife the way that Christ loved the church, a majority of marriage problems would go away.

However, the reason I say 75 percent (and not 100 percent) is because even in the case of Christ — who loved perfectly and completely — there are still many who resist his love and wander away into sin.  So, too, a husband who loves perfectly may still have a wife who refuses to submit or is unfaithful to him.

Here are some reasons why I believe the husband bears a majority of the responsibility:

  1. If you simply count verses in Ephesians 5:22-33 you end up with 10 verses on Christ/husband and only four verses on church/wives. This is a notable contrast with the following two passages where the “leader” receives less attention then the “follower.”  In Ephesians 6:1-9, children have three verses and fathers have only one verse; slaves are addressed in three verses and masters are addressed in only one verse.  (Although in 1 Peter 3:1-7 there are six verses addressing wives and only one verse addressing husbands, Peter is talking about a specific situation in which a wife is suffering because her husband is not a believer.)
  2. There is a Bible passage instructing wives on what they should do if their husbands refuse to love them sacrificially (1 Peter 3), but not a comparable passage telling husbands what to do if their wives refuse to submit.  This implies that if a husband will sacrificially love his wife the marriage will usually be in good shape.
  3. The most powerful force in all of existence is sacrificial love (cf. 1 Cor. 13:13) and when God sacrificially loved us it set in motion the entire salvation process. This most powerful force of sacrificial love is assigned to husbands in their leadership role.

For these reasons, when I counsel husbands, I tell them that when the cycle of mutual self-sacrifice in marriage breaks down, as it inevitably will, it is the husband’s job to restart that cycle by sacrificing for his wife.

Additionally, when we talk about the husband being the leader in the marriage relationship, it brings to mind the analogous passage of Hebrews 13:17: “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.”  This is not speaking of marriage, but it gives the indication that leaders will have to give an account to God.  I would be hard-pressed to think that God would ask leaders in a church to give an account, but not the leaders in marriages.  Likewise James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”  Here again is the principle: “to those whom much has been given, much is expected.”

Blessings,

Jim

Marriage (Part 2)

This morning we covered wives’ role in marriage as described by Paul in Ephesians 5.  I was not able to discuss a situation where a woman finds herself in a marriage with a man who is not striving to be a sacrificial, servant-leader.

Following is additional insight into this scenario that I did not have time to cover this morning:


And most important, don’t forget to pray daily for your husband, trusting God to transform his heart and mind.

Jim

The Greatest Good

Our family’s favorite movie is the Pixar animated film The Incredibles. It is a very witty look at family life, with a lot of special superhero powers to make it lots of fun.

Our favorite scene, one that every one of us can quote verbatim, fits with what Jim spoke about on Sunday in his sermon on husbands.  It is a conversation between the superhero Frozone, who is looking for his superhero supersuit because he notices an enemy attacking the city outside his window, and his wife, Honey.

Watch here:

That last line is powerful, “I am your wife. I am the greatest good you are ever going to get.”

Husbands, there will always be something masquerading as the “greater good” outside your window.  Sometimes, you do have to leave and take care of the responsibilities that God has given you.

But, most of the time do your actions show that your wife is the greatest good you are ever going to get?

All is well,

Lisa