Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Every member of the family is important. Each is accountable to the others, and if each one does what it is supposed to do, it comes together as a perfect unit. Each one undertakes their responsibilities. Each one seeks the best for all, and they all seek to build each other up. And these kinds of attitudes can be applied not just in our families, but in our church families, as well.
Wives are to submit to their husbands, and this is a picture of the church’s submission to Christ as His bride. It is joining together into that love relationship and trusting the head to lead and guide. And it is a heart dedicated in love that is willing to submit. And here husbands are commanded to love their wives, and what a picture of Christ’s love for His bride, for each of us. And there are so many things that love can do, and when it is the motive and it is working, it can join everything together in harmony. So much can be overcome, and then self has no place, but service does.
Children are to obey their parents, and that teaches them from a young age to be obedient, because as God’s children, we are to obey our heavenly Father. It gets us in the habit of respecting authority, honoring those above us, and following through on what we’re supposed to do. It sets up a good picture for us that our actions have consequences. And if we are growing in that relationship, out of love, we will always seek to do what is pleasing to our Father.
But there is a responsibility that comes with the role of leadership to lead well, like how God deals with us. A father chastens his children, but he does so with love and for their benefit, not to be cruel. A father directs with love, giving guidance where needed, allowing a degree of freedom to choose but encouraging obedience. A home ruled well by love will not result in anger and bitterness and discouragement, but peace and unity. So let’s do our part within our own families and church families, building them up with love for God and love for each other.