This is the second part in a series on using our power in godly ways. Last week we focussed on the church and this week we focus briefly on the family.
One of the most complicated places to use the power we have in godly ways is the family unit. It is where our most intimate relationships are, it is where we are most vulnerable and it is where our sinful nature is most likely to raise its ugly head. Into this mix of complexity is the issue of ‘power in the family’ and more importantly how do we use our power in godly ways?
From God’s point of view relationships need to be based on love. (Rom 5:8-9, John 3:16). The gospel is all about God pouring out his undeserved love on us by restoring our relationship with him by the Son paying the debt of our sin on the cross. Whilst this incredible act of love enables God to offer us forgiveness and eternal life it is also a model for the sort of love we should show in our relationships with others and especially our relationships in our family.
Let’s look very briefly at Ephesians 5:21-33 (stop and read it). Sadly, this passage has been used to demand power over others but it should have been understood as the basis for our offer of love, respect and service to our spouse.
Wives note clearly here that submission to his headship is a gift you offer to your husband because you want to honour God. It is not his position of power to demand it. If he does, it is certainly not submission that comes from the heart. Only you have the power to offer it is a gift to the one who loves you so much he is willing to die for you.
Blokes your wife is the one you promised before God to love like Christ loved the church. Just to understand what this means, the love Christ has shown to you is to be reflected in how you love your wife. Your power as head is to love your wife and not yourself and under God to put her before yourself.
Ephesians 6:4 shows how your power as parents is to be reflected to the family. The words you speak, the time you offer, the boundaries you enforce, the values you live and promote are all ways your position of power can be used in Godly ways.
By the way, for those who are children or youth who might think you have limited power in your family let me assure you this is not the case. You have incredible power in a family and this position of power can be used in godly or ungodly ways. But that is for another time.
So here is a question to think about, “How are you using your power in your family to glorify God?” Next week we look at godly ways to use our power in the work place?