Authority In The Home

April 10, 2013

Authority In The Home

            A job transfer once brought a family to a city where they were staying in a hotel while they looked for a house in the city.  An employee in the hotel made acquaintance with the family and knew why they were there.  One evening she was talking to the little girl in the family.  She said to her, “I’m praying that God will help your parents find a home here in our city.” The little girl responded by saying, “Oh we have a home.  We just need a house to put it in.”  Yes, a home needs a house to occupy.

A home is a little kingdom.  For that reason, there needs to be some form of government or authority.  A home where there is no authority is often in a constant state of chaos.  The Bible mentions that there were times when “everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25 is an example. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”  Laws are a good thing as long as they are right and just.  They help to maintain harmony and tranquility.  That’s why authority is a necessary ingredient for a happy home.

It is the plan of God that fathers be the authority figures in homes.  Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” This is a subject that should be discussed and agreed upon by couples before they repeat their wedding vows.  Husbands must be willing to take the leadership, and wives must be willing to submit to his leadership.  I Timothy 3:1-7 gives us the qualifications for a bishop (pastor).  It says he must rule well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.  A man doesn’t qualify for being a pastor if he doesn’t meet these standards, but I see no reason why all men shouldn’t strive to meet these standards.

Men, you need to be the authority in your home.  That doesn’t give you license to be a little dictator.  You must do it with love.  In John 13:34, God commands us to love one another.  “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” The commandment is repeated in I John 3:23.  “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”  Certainly our first obligation should be to our family.

I Timothy 5:8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”  What a man should provide for his house isn’t just material needs.  It should also include love and authority.

Wives also are commanded to love.  In Titus 2:3-4 the aged women are told that they should teach the younger women “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.” They are also told to submit to their husbands.  “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22).  Ephesians 5:28-29 says, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.   For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” If men love their wives that way, their wives shouldn’t have any problem in submitting to them.

Unfortunately, many men are negligent in fulfilling their responsibility.  In the day when they stand to give account before God, they will most certainly be judged for their failure in providing for their wife and family.  We must be realistic.  We can’t lay all the blame on the men.  There are women who have created havoc in their homes because they refused to take their proper place in the home.

Because of the failure of men, some women have had to take the sole responsibility of raising their children.  I feel inadequate to give suggestions or advice about how a woman is to fulfill that task.  I would welcome articles from single mothers who have succeeded in raising your children without the help of a man.  Such women are certainly to be commended.

Children need to know where their limits are.  Parents need to be consistent in setting those limits.  Children need to be taught to obey the rules.  If not, they won’t respect authority when they get older.  Many criminals come from homes where there was no authority.  You are failing your children if you don’t have rules in your home, and teach your children to obey them.  Don’t let your home be one that doesn’t provide authority.  It is one of the essential ingredients of a happy home.


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