For many couples getting married today, the word “obey” is often omitted from the exchange. However, it was part of the traditional wedding vows, stemming from the word submit in Ephesians 5:21-24. In fact, the term “obey” began being removed from most historical texts, as far back as 1928, with the women’s suffragist movement. It was then that “obey” began to be replaced with “love and cherish”. Certainly, husbands and wives are to love and cherish one another. Throughout time, the use of the word “obey” or submit has had increasingly negative connotations. Some men, under a cloak of pseudo-Biblical guile, have sinfully treated their wives and children. Obviously, this is not honoring to the Lord and should be exposed as sinful wherever present.
Biblically, it is the idea of submission to the spiritual head of the home, which should be the husband, as they both follow Jesus Christ. (It is not any woman to any man, this is for married people). This is not a sign of weakness or codependence at all but rather a full declaration of the mutual love, submission, and unconditional support as a faithful wife.
As we prepare to celebrate fathers this month, let us understand just how effective Satan has been with his attack against the family unit, starting with the removal of fathers and or the reduction of a father’s godly role in the home. Every man should understand that he is to fulfill three critical roles in the home: 1. The Priest 2. The Protector 3. The Provider
- As the spiritual leader of the home, the husband is overall responsible to his family for teaching, speaking, and living out the things of God for his family. He is charged with being the earthly example of who God is and what He stands for to his wife and children. (Proverbs 20:7)
- He is also responsible for protecting his family from physical and spiritual harm. The father is the first line of defense to keep all potential threats from entering the home and teach his family to be safe when they are outside the home. The father is responsible for creating a secure environment (physically, psychologically and spiritually) for his family, so they can grow and mature in godliness by his lead, as our heavenly Father leads him. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
- Being a provider first involves assuming responsibility for meeting the family’s material needs. (1 Timothy 5:8). It also means to be willing and able to provide for the spiritual needs of one’s family as well.