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Discovery Magazine 5/1/1999

The Christian Home

 One day I was talking to someone who did not believe in God. He could not understand why anyone would want to be a Christian. "Just look at how Paul hated women," he said. This idea is very common. Usually it comes from people who do not know or understand Scripture. They might have heard that Paul instructed wives to be in submission or subjection to their husbands. But this does not mean that a husband can abuse or mistreat his wife. It means that the husband is the leader of his family, just as an army officer is the leader of the soldiers under his command. And just as an officer must take care of his men, so a husband must take care of his wife and children.

But the apostle Paul went further. He commanded husbands to love their wives, "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." So much for Paul’s "hatred" of women! Also, he told husbands to love their wives as they love their own bodies. Why? Because a man and woman become as "one flesh" when they get married. If a husband hurts his wife, then that is the same as hurting himself.

And what about children? Paul commanded fathers to not provoke their children to wrath. This means that fathers should avoid saying or doing something unwise that will make them lose respect in the eyes of their children. Of course, dads are only human; they make mistakes. But dads who do not live as Christ would have them live, or dads who criticize their children and never say an encouraging word, are not doing what is right.

Speaking of which, Paul commanded children to obey their "parents in the Lord, for this is right." Of course, we should not disobey God in order to obey our parents. This can be difficult for Christians who have unbelieving parents. But as much as we can, we are to obey our parents in all things (Colossians 4:20). God expects parents to raise obedient children, and He expects children to obey their parents.



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