Desperate House Lives 02 - Who's the Boss

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Desperate House Lives

Who’s the Boss?

Text: Ephesians 5:22-6:3

I.        Introduction

Illustration: A few days before their anniversary a wife has a dream and she tells her husband the next morning, “I had the strangest dream. I dreamed of the most beautiful gold necklace. What do you think that means?” The husband responded, “Just wait in a few days you will know.” The next night she has another dream and she tells her husband, “I dreamt about a pearl necklace. What do think it means?” “Just wait a day and you will find out what it means.” The night before their anniversary she dreams again and wakes him up telling him how she dreamt about a diamond necklace. “What do you think it means?” she asks. He says wait a few hours and you will know what it means. They get up the next morning and he gives her an anniversary present. She opens it to discover his present is a book entitled: The Meaning of Dreams.

Read Ephesians 5:22-6:3

II.      Christ is in charge.

Christ has all authority. Matthew 28:18 tells us that Christ informed us that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to” Him.

Hebrews 2:8 says that God “put everything under his feet. {Psalm 8:4-6} In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to Him.” The man and the woman, the husband, the wife and the children must submit to Christ first and foremost. The reason this is so important is that unless there is submission to Christ it will not matter whether there is submission in the family.  If there is not submission to Christ it does not matter whether students submit to teachers. If we do not submit to Christ there is no true foundation for submitting to authority.

Everything we do should have this principle at its core - what I do I do under the authority of Christ. Paul put it this way in Colossians 3:23-24 - Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving… 

This is a vital truth for every individual and every organization, especially the church. Submission to Christ requires that we are open to whatever He directs. Sometimes, in order for the church to become what it is supposed to be, hard and tough things are required.  For the healthy life of the whole, there are some difficult decisions must be made. They may not be popular, but they may be required. Submission to Christ means Christ working in us and through us grow the Church by His design.

Illustration: Trimming of the crepe myrtle. Some very healthy shoots and branches were cut off or trimmed back. Principle is this: In order for the plant to be its healthiest, even some of the healthy growth needs to be pruned back.

It is extremely difficult to accept this idea. We do not like the idea, especially when it comes to ministry. Yet, if we are submitted to Christ we must accept the reality that not all healthy ministry in the church is prescribed for a particular portion of the Body of Christ. While most churches have yet to realize this, many companies have figured this out. They are passing up on great opportunities that they can do well, but will not allow these “good” things to distract them from the things they know they are called to do. In the church, submission to Christ means that just because we can do something, does not necessarily mean we should. Submission in the Body of Christ ultimately boils down to willingly following Christ who has all authority, even if we disagree with what He wants us to do or where He directs us corporately or individually where to go.

Now let’s take this biblical concept of submission and apply it to the family.

III.   Submission in the family

A.      What is submission as it relates to husband and wife and children?

Illustration: One evening little Ruthie and her daddy were on the couch chatting. "Daddy, you're the boss of the house, right?" she asked sweetly. Her daddy proudly replied, "Yes, I'm the boss of the house." Ruthie quickly burst his bubble when she added, "Cause Mommy put you in charge, huh?"

  Submission is willingly placing yourself under the authority of and in the care of another. Submission does not mean lesser or unequal. This is a much different picture of submission than we normally see.

Illustration: Ticket from a policeman. We accept the ticket not because the police are any better than the rest of society, but because of the role and responsibility they fullfill. The policeman is equal to me under the law but has the responsibility to enforce it. Therefore, we willingly submit ourselves to their authority.

Men and women are equal. In Genesis when God is creating man He says let us make man in our own image, in the image of God he created them – male and female. Male and female are both created in the image of God equally. Even our understanding of the helper made in Genesis 2:18 is influenced by our culture and the patriarchal culture of the Middle East. The Hebrew records that Lord God literally says He will “make a helper like him” (referring to man.) The word means quantitatively to express exact or approximate equality. The difference is not in their value but in their roles.

Men and women are equal but one has delegated authority over the other because that is his role. The role of the wife is different. It is not of lesser value, but it requires that wives place themselves under the responsibility of their husbands.  

Illustration: Let's say you came to my house for a party and the cars were lined up along the street and you pulled in the empty driveway. A little girl came out and said, "Pastor has asked you not to park in the driveway because a caterer is coming later, and he wants the driveway free. Would you park in the street?" Even though physically you could overpower that girl, I suspect you would park in the street because of your respect for me. She is a delegated authority. Wives show their respect for God by being obedient to his delegated authority.

There is a critical distinction to be made here. Women are told to submit to their husbands but the New Testament never commands them to be obedient to their husbands.

What this means is that husbands cannot force submission on their wives, it is something wives must do for themselves. It is a choice the wife makes, not the husband.

Forced submission is not submission, it is servitude. And wives were not given for that reason.

Transition: Now, while wives are not commanded to be obedient to their husbands, children are commanded to be obedient to their parents. In fact, Colossians 3:20 says, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

This means that when children disobey their parents, they not only break a command but specifically displease God in that regard.

Illustration: Little Ruthie….while listening to the song "Train Up a Child," little Ruthie asked her mommy what "train up" means. Her mother explained that it means to teach children about God and the difference between right and wrong. "Are you and Daddy training me up?" she asked. "We’re trying to," her mother said. Ruthie turned back to the stereo and muttered, "We’ll see about that."

 Obedience is the source of harmony in the household. It is disobedience that causes strife and tribulations for the family. Kids you must obey your parents for the sake of peace in the home. And for the success of the family or the organization.

Illustration: Roger Staubach who led the Dallas Cowboys to the Super Bowl in 71’ & 78’ admitted that his position as a quarterback who didn’t call his own signals was a source of trial for him. Coach Landry sent in every play. He told Roger when to pass, when to run and only in emergency situations could he change the play (and he had better be right!).  Even though Roger considered coach Landry to have a “genius mind” when it came to football strategy, but pride said that he should be able to run his own team.  Roger later said, “I faced up to the issue of obedience. Once I learned to obey there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory."

IV.    Conclusion

Illustration: Let me close with this story from Rick Labate King Henry III grew tired of court life and the pressures of being the king so he applied to a monastery to be accepted for a life of contemplation. The religious superior said to him, “Your Majesty, do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.” Henry replied, “I understand. The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.” “Then I will tell you what to do. Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has placed you.”

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