Robert Jeffress - Does Your Home Work? - Part 2
Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress, and welcome again to "Pathway to Victory". It's been said that for better or for worse, our homes are the proving ground for what we really believe. So what does your family reveal about your commitment to Christian values? Well, whatever your home life looks like, today, I'm going to share with you some biblically based habits that will not only strengthen your family, but also grow your faith. My message is titled, "Does Your Home Work", on today's edition of "Pathway to Victory".
The reason you and I have the opportunity to be saved today is because Jesus submitted his will to the will of God the Father. Philippians 2 is the central passage that teaches that. And Philippians 2:5-9, Paul writes: have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although he existed in the form of God, he did not regard his equality with God a thing to be grasped, but he emptied himself, taking the form of a bond servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient, obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted him and bestowed upon him the name which is above every name. Do you get the picture, Jesus and God, one God in three persons, I don't understand that either, but that's what you have. You have God the Father, God the son, equal in every way. But the son willingly places himself under the father's authority, and obeys his command to go to the cross.
You say, "What does that have to do with wives submitting to their husbands"? Everything. Jot down 1 Corinthians 11:3, because Paul is going to make the parallel between Jesus' submission to God, and a wife's submission to her husband. In 1 Corinthians 11:3, Paul says, "For Christ is the head of every man. And the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ". Now notice those last two relationships, just as the husband is the head of the wife, so God is the head of Christ. Now is God the Father superior to Jesus the son? No, man, the church councils fought for hundreds of years over that issue. They got that settled. No, Jesus Christ is equal to God. But even though equal, the son willingly submitted to the father. And in the same way, listen to this ladies, and especially those of you in day one, who are single and maybe thinking about getting married, before you are married, ladies, you and your prospective husband are absolute equals in every way. You're equal even in position.
There's nothing that says in the dating relationship that a girl submits to the boy, it just doesn't work that way. You're absolutely equal. But when you choose to get married, ladies, you are voluntary placing yourself under the leadership of your husband. Now hear me on this, there's nobody that holds a gun to your head, ladies, that says you have to get married, okay? There's nothing that says you have to get married. And if this idea of submitting yourself to a man makes you want to throw up, don't get married, okay? Or certainly don't get married to the person you're thinking about. I mean, if you're considering marrying somebody whom you have no respect for, who you don't trust in their relationship with God, that God can speak through that person, if you have no confidence that this guy you're thinking about marrying is willing to put your interests above his own, then you don't want to submit to somebody like that.
Don't get married. But if you choose to get married, you are choosing on your own, voluntarily, to place yourself under his authority, just like Jesus voluntarily placed himself under the father's authority. That's what he is saying here. And the Bible says when we learn to submit to that governing authority, whatever it is, we also are learning obedience to God.
Here's the second benefit of submission. Submitting to authority provides orderliness in society. It provides orderliness in society. In Judges 21:25, there is a well-known description of what was going on in Israel before there was a king. It was a period known as the period of the Judges. And Judges 21:25 says, "In those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes". Everyone doing what is right in his own eyes, that is the prescription for chaos in any organization, whether it is the church, the nation, or the home. I mean, just think about what it would be like in a world where there were no policeman, everybody was just trusted to do the right thing. Or a society, a business where there was no supervisor. Everybody would just come and leave as he wished. Or thinking about a nation where there was no internal revenue service, everybody just sent into the government what they felt like they could afford.
Now that's all appealing for a while. But ultimately it would sow the seeds of disintegration for that organization. God has created every organism, and every organization, in such a way that it needs a head to give direction. The late Adrian Rogers used to say, "Anything in nature with two heads is a freak, and anything with no head is dead". That is true for any home, any church, any business, listen to this, this applies to some of you all who are trying to run everything by consensus, or you don't want to have any clear authority lines in your home or your business. Some of you from another church listening to this, we're all just kinda all feel led by the spirit, and all come to consensus. That is chaos. "Anything in nature with two heads is a freak, and anything with no head is dead". God has created authority structures to maintain order in society.
Number three, submitting to authority frees us from unnecessary worry. Submitting to authority frees us from unnecessary worry. Someone defined worry one time as, "Assuming responsibility God never intended you to have. Worry is assuming responsibility that God never intended for you to have". Man came to see me one time, he was all worked up about what was going on in his business. He said, "My employer is engaged in some unethical, and I believe illegal practices, and I just can't sleep at night. I'm so worked up about that, I'm so worried about it. What am I going to do"? And I said, "Well, have you told your employer about it? Have you pointed out that what he's doing is unethical, and perhaps illegal"? He said, "Yeah, but he won't listen to me". I said, "Relax then, that's not your problem. You're taking on a responsibility that God didn't intend for you to have. If you don't like it there, you can leave and go to another organization. But if you choose to stay there, you do what you're supposed to do, and God will take care of it, he'll take care of you. He'll take care of your employer".
And that's true, when we obey the God-given authority that he has placed over us, we can be freed from unnecessary worry. You see authority and responsibility go hand in hand. Men, employers, parents, if God has given you the authority over someone, he's also given you the responsibility for that person and the outcome. You can't have authority without responsibility. You can't have responsibility without authority. The two go hand in hand. And wives, when it comes to you obeying your husband, you may disagree with what your husband is proposing to do. As long as it's not against God's laws, if you do what he asked you to do, you don't have to worry. You don't have to be afraid, you're not responsible. And there are a lot of people running around today, they're just buckling under the load of concern because they're assuming responsibility for something they're not ultimately responsible for.
The great illustration of this in scripture is found in 1 Peter 3:1, and then verses 5-6. Peter writes, "In the same way, you wives be submissive to your own husbands, so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives". Verse 5, "For in this way, in former times, the holy women also who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord. And you have become her children if you do what is right," and underline this, "Without being frightened by any fear". Now, if you know the Old Testament, you know the story to which Peter is referring. Remember Sarah and Abraham were going through some dangerous territory, and Abraham was fearful for his own life. He said, "If king Abimelech sees my wife, Sarah, and how beautiful she is, he will take her for his own wife and kill me". So he said this to his wife, Sarah, "Sarah, if we get captured by king Abimelech, this is what I want you to do. Don't tell the king you're my wife. Just say, you're my sister. And that way, if he takes you, at least he won't kill me".
Now, let's just go ahead and admit right here, Abraham is not candidate for husband of the year, okay. Probably would never be interviewed on "Focus on the Family". He just, you know, he isn't the model of a godly husband. I mean, he is more interested in saving his own skin than caring for his wife. So he says to her, "You just tell Abimelech you're my sister, not my wife". Now that was a half truth, because Sarah was his half sister. So you know, the rest of the story, they were captured by Abimelech, and he wanted Sarah for his own wife. And Sarah said that Abraham was her brother, and so he spared Abraham's life. But you also know the rest of the story. He took, Abimelech took Sarah into his court, and God supernaturally protected her through the night. She obeyed what her husband said to do, and God protected her.
Now, we can talk all day and all night about whether Sarah should have told the half truth or not. That's not the point. What Peter is saying is she did what she knew to be right. She followed her husband's command, and God protected her. And the Bible is saying, "Ladies, if you will follow what your husband asks you to do, God is going to protect you". Now, let me give you a good example of that. Let's just say your husband is considering a promotion that would take you and your family to another city. And you don't think it's a good idea. You have every right, and the responsibility to voice that to your husband. You know, it's not automatic, "Oh yes, dear, whatever you say". That's not what we're suggesting. The fact is you may have a lot more insights than your husband has.
You may know, for example, that your children, what it would do to them to uproot them and move them to another city. You may point out to him that housing prices are so low right now, you'd take a beating on your home. There are all kind of things that you could share, and if your husband is wise, he will listen to your counsel. But in the final analysis, if he says, "I believe we should go," the Bible says you can go, and know that God is going to protect you. Now, I want to say this about submission, and this'll save me a lot of emails this week, okay. Submission is not unconditional. There are two qualifications for submission, two limits to a wife's submission to her husband. Submission is limited in sphere and in scope, write that down. It's limited in sphere and scope.
What do I mean by that? By sphere, I'm talking about simply this, not every woman is to submit to every man. It is wives who are to submit to their own husbands, just like 1 Peter 3:1 says. In fact, Paul says that repeatedly too. He says, "Wives, be submissive to your own husbands". That simply means women, you don't have to go around submitting yourself to every man in society. The submission is only to your own husband. So it's limited in sphere.
There is nothing in the Bible that keeps a woman from being the CEO of a company, a colonel in the military, or president of the United States. He's not saying that every woman is to be submissive to every man. But in the home relationship, that is where submission is to be lived out. Scope, it's limited in scope, and by that I mean there are times you are to refuse to do what your husband says. And that is if he asks you to do anything that violates the Word of God. Peter said very clearly, "We ought to obey God, rather than man". If your husband asks you to do something that is illegal, or immoral, or in some way violates the clear teaching of the Word of God, there is no choice in that situation. We are to obey God rather than man.
The fourth benefit of submission, submitting to authority gives us direction in life. It gives us direction in life. When I was youth minister here, the most popular question teenagers would ask would be this, you know, "Robert, how do I know where I'm supposed to go to school? How do I know God's will about the person I'm supposed to marry"? And many times I would say, "Well, have you asked her parents"? And they would look like, "Well, what planet did you just step off of? Ask my parents, why would I ask them? They don't have a clue about anything". So I would kinda play along for a while, I'd say, "Well, okay, how do you think you're going to discover God's will about where to go to college, for example"? They said, "Well, I'll read my Bible". "Well, you can read all through Genesis, to the maps and probably not find the university you're supposed to attend in there, unless it's baylor maybe, but I don't know".
Now that's another story, no. "You're not going to find it in there. You're not gonn find the name of your mate in here. The fact is you're not". They say, "Well, I'm going to pray about it". "Oh really, well good, we oughta pray about everything. But now exactly how does that work? How does God actually speak to you? How does he reveal it to you? Is he going to write in the sky? How is God going to actually tell you his will"? See, one way God speaks to us is through the authority figures he's set over us, whether it's our husbands, or it's our employers, or whether it's the pastor, or whoever it is that God has placed over us. He does that to communicate his will. And this is something and I'm going to say this more next week for teenagers and children listening.
Even if your parent is not a Christian, God can still work through that parent to provide you direction. Because in most cases, parents, whether they're Christians or not Christians, they know their children very well, and they love their children. They want the best for their children. And many times they can provide good counsel. That's the same way for a wife and a husband. Many times wives, God will communicate his will to you, and for your family, through your husband.
Now again, that doesn't mean that you can't offer suggestions. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't share your insights. A wise husband is one who will always solicit the insights of his wife. I mean, just think about Pontius Pilate, and how much trouble he could have saved himself had he listened to his wife's advice to have nothing to do with condemning Jesus Christ. He could have been spared an eternity of separation from God, if only he had listened to his wife. And husbands, hopefully you love your wife in such a sacrificial way, as such we'll talk about next week. You love her in such a sacrificial way that she is more than happy to follow your direction.
You know the reason most wives won't submit to their husbands, is because they really believe their husbands are more interested in themselves, than in the wellbeing of the wife and the children. Now I know some of you have had your guard up through this entire message about submission. Let's be honest, all of us resist the idea of submitting to anyone. But the fact is, if you cannot submit to the visible authority figures God has placed in your life, when they ask you to do something uncomfortable, something you don't understand, something you don't agree with, if you can't submit to them, you'll find it very difficult to submit to God. See, the bottom line in our relationship with God is our obedience to God. A freely submitted will is the best expression of love. As Gary Moon writes, "At the heart of our communion with God is the whisper that comes from our heart, 'Lord, whatever you will'".