Marriage (3): rebellions large and small

Marriage (3): rebellions large and small

We live in such a rebellious time that any authority other than the monstrous state apparatus is on life-support. I was certain by the time I was older male authority would be gone and women would rule the world. What I never conceived of was that men claiming to be followers of Jesus would publicly deny our Lord has delegated His authority to Church officers.

Now though, I’ve seen it, and when these men are corrected by the godly demonstrating their error from the text of Scripture, they double down on their rebellion and do so without shame.

This rebellion against church officers’ authority of the keys is in lock-step with the state’s attempts to usurp all authority, centralizing its authority at the national level, then hoping and working for the day nations will be subordinate to a one-world authority Belgium wields over the European Union.

We must pay attention to the state’s jealous assumption of all authority and vicious attack on the authority of the mediating institutions of the church and the family if we’re to diagnose the attenuation of authority in the Christian Church, home, and marriage. This is a systemic evil.

Now then, marriage.

Given the rebellion against non-state authority, it’s no surprise Christian wives bristle at any slightest command given them by their husband. Their anger and rebellion is particularly intense when the command violates what they see as their own turf. Say, for instance, the discipline of the children.

Years ago, I had a friend who served in a position of public authority and exercised his authority calmly and with a sense of proportion. The man and I were in a men’s Bible study together, so I knew him pretty well. He and his wife were active in church and both of them honored God, but their children were out of control.

It seemed out of character for them, so one day I asked this brother what was up with it?

He said he’d been in the Navy and, getting home from a many-month long cruise when their children were little, he tried to discipline the kids. He said his wife had responded, “Look, you’ve been gone forever and now you think you can come in the house and do what you want? You left me to set up our home and raise our children. Don’t mess with what I’ve done!”

So he didn’t, and to this day that couple is reaping the consequences of his wife’s rebellion and his own abdication.

This is common within the Church. Women say “no” to their husband and their husband allows it. Scripture commands the wife to submit to her husband, but the wife refuses and the husband allows her to. Note carefully that both the wife who rebels and the husband who permits her rebellion are rebels against God because they both have upended God’s created order of Adam first, then Eve. Both of them are attacking the Fatherhood of God writ large across all His creation.

If we are to confess our faith to this sinful world, it would be good to start with submission and respect for authority. This is the battle line today; the breach in the wall where men will be judged. Remember the Apostle Paul’s words to Titus. The church’s “older women” are to:

urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:4, 5)

“So that no one will malign the word of God.”

In other words, just as it’s a scandal to the world for Christians not to love one another because by our love for one another they will know we are Christians, so it’s a scandal to the world for Christian wives to abandon the home for the workplace and to rebel against their husbands. Such behavior causes worldlings to “malign the word of God.”

Husband and wife, even if you don’t care about your children growing up in a home whose order is upside-down, you both ought to care very much about the reputation of the word of God and the Word of God. In the home where rebellion reigns, its fruit is not just personal in the character and sexual identities of the children, but it’s also corporate. It causes the world to blaspheme God’s truth and His Word Incarnate.

Fear God and bring your home under proper order. Wives, be subject to your husbands. Husbands, do not allow rebellion in your household.


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About The Author

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Tim has been senior pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Bloomington, Indiana since 1996. Married to Mary Lee, the Baylys have five children and twenty-something grandchildren. Tim's book on fatherhood is "Daddy Tried." Co-author of a book on homosexuality, "The Grace of Shame," his latest book on the Church is "Church Reformed."

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