For the last two days we have been trying to get an understanding of how we as Christians ought to respond to and perhaps contribute to the governments “sixteen days of activism against women and child abuse.” I stated I’m dangling a carrot that I will explain as we conclude these notes. I found an article and quote the first section “The modern-day dad is no longer the traditional ‘head-of-household’ and the idea of what is considered to be a ‘nuclear family’ is also evolving and expanding. According to the State of South Africa’s Fathers (SOSAF) 2021 report, more male kin are taking on the roles of ‘social fathers’. As opposed to biological fathers, social fathers are the father-figure in a child’s life who is not biologically related to the child, but take on the responsibility and role of the father and is physically, economically and psychosocially engaged in the child’s life. These social fathers consisted of employed men who were older brothers, paternal and maternal uncles, mothers’ partners and grandfathers who were fathering and providing for the child’s livelihood and education, and give them paternal love and guidance. (For the complete document please go to: www.news24.com/parent/family) The keys words for me are … “the modern-day dad is no longer the traditional head-of household.” Be it as per this article or be it the modern day dad in any other way, this is one of our greatest problems. As soon as families or communities move away from what God says in His Word about the individuals within a family and their roles within that family, the family falls apart and in particular, fathers are no longer what God requires of them.
5) God’s design for marriage is for blessing. Remember we dealt with the difference between “complementarianism and egalitarianism?” The latter believes that husband and wife are totally equal without exception where the former (the position I hold) believes in total equality except in the God appointed roles of man as the head of the home and church. A move away from complementarianism prevents us from understanding
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
(1) Love must be unconditional and sacrificial. How did Jesus love the Church? He gave Himself up as the sacrificial Lamb of God. He died in her place. He did not say the Church changed in appearance, or was not as loving, or did not exercise submission to His Lordship. He did not abdicate His responsibility because the Church was not pure. Right here lies the fundamental problem in many homes and with many husbands. She changed, she did or did not do, she does not meet my needs, she … she … she … without looking at the Biblical example of unconditional and sacrificial love set before us by the Lord Jesus. In saying this, the husband becomes self-defensive, daring not to look at or address personal sin, short comings or failures … it’s all of the wife. Imagine if the Lord Jesus followed that approach? We would be eternally ruined!
(2) Love must be purposeful. The Savior’s objective through His sacrificial love is to make the Church holy. That is, as it were, His lifelong ministry. He never shrugs off His responsibility when the Church becomes polluted with sin! How often do you as a Christian become idolatrous? How often are you offensive to the One who pulled you out of the gutters of mud and mire? How often do you cheat on the Lord Jesus? How often do you steal His glory for yourself? How often do you fail to keep His Word? Did He ever forsake you? Did He cast you asunder? Did He send you packing? Did He write a note of divorce? No … never … because He understands that saints are saved sinners. He will work by His Spirit and His servants to chisel away at your sin, sometimes harshly and other times gently with the object of making you holy in practice as you journey through this life towards glory. That is His intended purpose. There is no difference where it comes to the husband. No wife (like no husband) is perfect. She needs loving, gentle shaping through sacrificial love. The husband’s purpose is to make his wife holy and blameless. Failure here is failure to fulfil God’s mandate placed upon the husband. Far too many husbands think that separation or divorce is the easy way out and in doing that they will be excused from their responsibility as husband. Not at all! Listen up if you are in this category … God will always see you as a married man … married to that wife you left. He will hold you accountable for negating His designed purpose for you as a husband. I have seen men do this and I have seen some of them continue to pursue some form of ministry in the Church. Disobedient husbands (and fathers) will be held accountable to the “Father of the Heavenly Lights.” Such can escape but they cannot hide from the all-seeing x-ray vision of the Almighty. Consider Jonah.
(3) The husband needs to give up all of life that interferes with the marriage mandate. There is nothing wrong with having hobbies, friends, alcohol, ministry, etc. … but when they interfere in the marriage they need to be circumcised, cut off … cut away! All of these have the potential of stealing time, finances and emotions. How often have alcohol coupled to friends ruined a family and a marriage? How often has Church Ministry ruined a marriage because the wife was neglected? When emotional support, image, pleasure and companionship are found in hobbies, friends, alcohol and ministry … husband you are an idolater. Did you note that I did not even include the distraction of womanizing and what has come to be known as sexting? I am certain you already see where I am going. Yes … I am placing the responsibility of woman and child abuse largely at the feet of delinquent husbands (and fathers). Far too often the wife (family) are not cared for; not protected and not ministered to spiritually and Biblically for their good. Far too often it’s all about self and self-pleasure. In doing this, husbands and father abdicate their responsibility but they cannot abdicate and escape their accountability before God. They might be persuasive, manipulative and get people to believe they are the “good ones”, but the Day of Judgment will reveal all and none shall have an excuse.
Lord, so many wives and children are injured through absent husbands and fathers. Please convince and convict them of their sin. Amen.