I Am LVL
The Order of Things
God, Spouse, Children: Your Love Succeeding
The word “succeed” is what is called a heteronym. These are words which are spelled the same, but have both different pronunciation and meaning. In the case of our subtitle, we have “to accomplish what is attempted or intended” as well as “to come next after in an order or series, or in the course of events; to follow.”
For success, the order of things must be properly followed in life, so proper succession leads, very literally, to success. Media and movements popular in our world right now discourage the proper order of things as God set forth in his plan for family. Different references throughout the Bible point towards this. Modern society and the push for feminism and women’s rights find the world pushing past the hope for women to be humanized and seen as an equal in the working world, and seem to want to diminish the roles of men in family or affairs altogether. Men are no longer seen as valued heads of households, both spiritually and familially. The push of toxic feminism to tear down men is very real, and has paved the way for the roles of men in family to be taken away or seen as unnecessary when that is not within God’s plan.
Within the Bible, the metaphor of the church and God being the head of Christ and Christ being the head of the church is an example given as it relates to Man being head of the Woman and Woman being head of the Children/Household.. For a more modern look, let’s refer to something the majority of people can relate to: Travel.
Travel is something fairly common. It’s something most of us do, whether we delight in it or begrudge it. And for my personal taste, I would much prefer to fly versus sit in a car for very long. Flying has become a convenient, quick and safe form of travel. There are exceptions, of course, but flying is, statistically, less dangerous than riding in an automobile. It is also something the majority of us can relate to.
When we fly commercially, we are on board with an aircrew. This crew, though composed of many positions, truly only has three that we as the passenger come into contact with or know of offhand: The flight attendant, the co-pilot and the pilot.
We are aware, by the smiling face and warm greeting that we will be kept company by a flight attendant. She is there with us in our space on the flight. Over the intercom before disembarking, we hear the voice of our captain speak, who is our pilot. And next to him, we occasionally hear the voice of the first officer, our co-pilot. These two take us safely where it is that we need to go. They assure us we will get there safely and without too much issue, though they can’t keep us out of storms, they lead us through them. Meanwhile, the flight attendant remains with us during smooth or bumpy flights, being sure we are nurtured.
Much like the aircrew on an airplane, are the relationships between a man, a woman, and God. When a man and a woman choose to become a couple, especially when they choose to be married, they are uniting together as a team. They are a force working together towards one purpose, supporting each other. And what good is a team with no coach? God is the coach. Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that reads “God is my Co-Pilot?” Wrong. He is the pilot.
“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” – 1 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)
God is our pilot on our marital and family aircrew. He is who gets us there. He is whose voice calls to us and welcomes us. He is the one who we trust to guide us and take us where we need to go. Sure, we choose that ticket and that flight. But who is really in control? The plane isn’t going to fly itself where my ticket asks it to go. The pilot is the one who does that. There have been occasions where pilots have had to alternate their routes, to make landings where they weren’t supposed to, or where they have had to delay a flight. It is never for no reason. Our safety is their concern. Our lives.
“25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” –Ephesians 5: 25-31 (NKJV)
Husbands, you are the co-pilot. You are directly beneath the pilot. You have much of the same power and responsibility, at least within the respect of governing your family and marriage, but without the authority the pilot has. Your responsibility is to do as the pilot commands. To help him ensure that yourself, the flight attendant, and the passengers get where they are meant to go. Safe from harm, and on the route you are meant to travel. You can diverge from the path when deemed necessary, but always with the thought of those you carry and their well-being on your heart and mind.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. – Ephesians 5:22-24 (NKJV)
Wives, you are the smiling and nurturing, welcoming face of the flight attendant. You are the member of the aircrew who we reach out to. Who we expect to provide us comfort in storms, nourishment, and gentle reassurance to those in fear. You work beneath both the pilot and the co-pilot. Your authority is less, but you still govern those in your care. You have a firm hand when needed, but you are kind and serve. You not only serve and care for those passengers on your flight, but also cater to the pilot and co-pilot, insuring they are taken care of as well.
Can the crew survive with one of these members gone? Realistically, of course they could. But the roles are essential.
–Without the Pilot, the Co-Pilot is trained and can fly the plane himself, but with all of the radio communications, navigational tools, or long flights common in commercial airlines, he would be left to shoulder all of the responsibility alone. He would lack someone to lead him and be there for him to lean on. And his job would be harder, more tiring and taxing upon him. This may lead him to wish for more from the flight attendant than she is able to do, not that she wouldn’t be willing. But she must care for her passengers as well as he.
–Without the Co-Pilot, the Pilot could lead the flight attendant and the plane where they need to go, but again, we see a worn down flight attendant trying her best to do double duty on a long flight because she must be sure to take on extra responsibilities and leadership that was not her duty.
–Without the Flight Attendant, the plane, of course, would get where it is going. The passengers would arrive, but with no nurturing aside from the kind voices of busy leaders, they would not do so happily. They would stray away from this airline in search of one that better met the human needs of caring, nourishment, and comfort. Or, perhaps, if a disgruntled passenger caused an issue, who would be able to subdue them if the Pilot and his Co-Pilot are both busy in the cockpit?
God is the pillar and center of marriage and family. He was always meant to be. Leaning on God for understanding, for comfort, and for wisdom takes a great load of pressure off of us. It provides us with a deep inner peace.
The Husband is the leader and head of a marriage. In Latin, father is pater. This word, along with praetor, the word for leader, share many of the same synonyms. It is symbolic of the man’s chief position in his family. He is not a dictator or a tyrant, but he does hold a responsibility both to his family and to God to lead his family on God’s righteous path. He is a teacher, a friend, a lover and a caregiver to his wife.
The Wife is the helpmate. She is the loyal and loving partner to her husband. She is devoted and faithful to him and to God. She respects her husband, cares for him, and prays for him as he prays for their family. She nurtures their children, teaches them, and controls her household. She keeps things in order so that her husband can lead them all safely through the life God has planned for them.
With these things in mind and this map of how our relationships with God and our spouse should work, we are on the path toward a happy, healthy and strong marriage in Christ. Does that mean it will be easy? Of course not! What, worth anything in life, is easy? But it will be easier and less stressful. And full of the unconditional love of Wife to Husband, Husband to Wife, Husband and Wife to Family, Husband and Wife to God, and God to Husband, Wife and Family.
I Am LVL