“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:1
The last post left us all hanging a bit only because to deal with how we live our lives in Christ within the home is a massive topic. The Holy Spirit in Colossians is giving a simple summary view of matters that are dealt with in other places much more thoroughly. (See Ephesians 5:22-32). This post is not going to attempt to work with that in detail. Instead, I believe the Lord desires us to examine the pattern in our God which gives us the Spirit and the heart to move into those topics with an understanding that will bless us and not injure our hearts.
Whatever we have in covenantal relationships here on planet Earth, originates in the heart of our Father. He is the origin of all. If we are to move into some sort of Biblical understanding, we must not look to tradition or customs, either of the present or the past, and allow the Spirit of God to teach us what He had in mind when He wrote these words for husbands and wives.
As we look at the original pattern of authority and leadership in our God, we see Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a cooperative fusion. The illustration at the top left gives us a visual idea of how that works in love, care, assistance, and harmony. Each one assisting, loving, caring and helping accomplish what is in the heart of the Father. None is more important to the total than the other. If we observe a human cell, we find it is made of three parts. If one part is killed, the entire cell dies. The same is true of us as human beings. If one part, body, soul, spirit, dies – the whole human dies. We are made in His image. Our nature was designed to work together as one to facilitate life. So it is in the original being. The different elements have various functions, but they are One.
There is not really what we call “rank” among them – due to the ultimate “one” that exists in Him. However, there is, according to His Word, an “Authority Flow,” as seen in the illustration on the right. The Father’s will is ultimate, sent to the Son, enabled in us through the Holy Spirit. So the “One” continues to flow in cooperative fusion to complete all that has been decided upon before the foundations of the Earth. This authority enables and empowers all to occur. Without this authority, we would be mere human beings trying to do out best in such a fallen world. Because of this flow, we as “born from above” people receive all we need to be and to do according to the will of Him who loves us supremely.
Within the church and within the home this understanding of authority helps us work together in that fusion of love and assistance that brings peace and power within our doors.
However, the understanding needs one more illustration from the life of our Lord Jesus Christ to fully live within the fusion of us and the Holy Spirit in any and all situations. The drawing on the left will help I think. (Forgive my computer drawing of us as stick figures – best I can do). When the apostles were competitive about who would turn out to be the greatest, the Lord settled it all by with telling us that the least would be the greatest, and we must become like small children, etc. He was describing a leadership role that is foreign to our world. In this drawing, you will notice that it is an inverted triangle. Jesus is the one on the bottom. In reality, He is our all in all, the one who feeds us, heals us, prays for us, intercedes for us, etc. Our lives flow from Him. The triangle represents the church/home. The ones who are leading actually “go down” on the triangle, for they are its servants. Jesus, the Servant of all, is continuing His work among us. As each one joins Him in that work, designated leadership, or individual influence – either one, we become servants of others who are in our spheres.
This is the leadership model Jesus gave us. When we see the authority emanating from Him through us to others, then we begin to be and do according to the words of our Lord Jesus. He continues to be our Lord, and He continues to be our servant – enabling our life at every turn and increasing our power, ability, and influence as we move into placement – below others. There is never a time for “lording it over” and “controlling.” It is a servant leadership of willingness. When this is understood, the husband being the authority in the home isn’t a problem – unless that husband expects to legalistically “bully” those who are to receive his care.
So back to our verse, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” When we understand how our God works – cooperative fusion – then we can love one another in truth and not be competitive, nor bullies as we try to order our homes and our church fellowships.
These words are only a small drop in the bucket compared with the massive topics of Biblical Authority. However, a blog is a blog and not a thesis. So I leave this with you, for your prayerful consideration.