Monday, January 22, 2018

Husband, Love Your Wife


This is one of my favorite chapters because it generates so much discussion – and division - over what is meant by:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22 KJV)

I promise that if you have questions about that verse, I will address in the future, just leave a comment – but during a discussion last night about stewardship and budgeting, Ephesians 5:25 was deemed applicable as the discussion applied to families.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25 KJV)

It is good to research what Christ gives His church (what it needs), as this verse requests husband’s to emulate Christ in loving the church – that’s how a husband should love the wife he chooses for a lifetime.

The “church” is often applied to the physical plant that is used as a place for gathering to worship. It also applies to the people – those who love Jesus as savior, serve in His ministries, and follow His doctrine. That includes stewardship.

Biblical stewardship is often conceived as meaning organized church finances. Since an internet definition says:
Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources.
… it has become to include an environmental definition to responsibly manage our world, as it was created by and belongs to God.

But I want to bring this to a family scene – family budgets and spending habits. We are to be responsible in the planning and management of our family’s resources. As a unit, husband and wife are responsible as financial stewards for their family unit and their children.

I know my Beloved Husband’s tendencies to love me dearly and respond positively to my requests for funding my hobbies and home. I know he would literally give his life to save mine, thus a few pieces of paper money are small in comparison. It becomes my responsibility – as a helpmeet, and loving him in the same way – not to make requests that impact our financial stewardship.

I have done so in the past and learned about consequences. I counted luxuries as necessities, which impacted our budget. I needed to be a good steward to help my husband be a good steward of our resources. That prepares us for times when our resources are limited – and I assure you, there is no promise that resources will always be available.

Strong’s G3623 –οἰκονόμος - is translated in the KJV as both governor and steward. G2012 –ἐπίτροπος is also translated as steward. Becoming a good manager/steward requires planning and acting. For families, budget planning looks ahead and budget managing puts those plans into action – both part of being a good steward of what God has given us.

As a wife, it is important to me to be a helper, not to be an impediment, to his planning and budgeting. Not following the budget means I’m not following his leadership. Let’s go back a couple of verses:

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (Ephesians 5:23-24 KJV)

Our husband’s have tremendous responsibilities as the head of our families. Why would a loving wife want to make his fulfilling those responsibilities harder by breaking their budget? Financial difficulties in a family damage everyone.

When a husband gives in to the wife’s over-budget purchases, there is a hole in their budget and something goes unpaid or there’s a dip in the savings. There is also a hit to a father’s leadership position. When a wife requires more material purchases than their income allows, she is denying him his leadership role. That also impacts children.

Thus far I’ve assumed the family has a budget under the husband’s leadership, and the husband is working to keep it within their income level. If that is not the case, he has ignored the opportunity to provide direction for his family. His leadership - and their respect for it - is lessened. How will his children learn stewardship?

Assuming also this is a Christian family, it also impacts their witness by lessening the leadership role the Bible provides for the family.

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