Tony Evans - The Home of a Kingdom Man
The kingdom man and his family. We've looked at the kingdom man personally. He fears God. The first group that ought to know that you take God seriously isn't the church house. It's your house. The first group that ought to know you're a kingdom man is your own, if they don't know it, then it doesn't matter what everybody else thinks about it. You are to be a kingdom man at home first. The saga of a nation is the saga of its families written large. As we've already said, the first concern should not be the White House; it should be your house and what you are doing to make your home a kingdom place. Let's look at how the home was established. Let's start there. God before he ever created Adam or Eve said, "Let us make man in our own image and let us," the Trinitarian God, "let us bless them and give them dominion over the whole earth".
So before he created man, he said, "We're going to create male and female and we're going to set them up to subdue the earth, have dominion, or to rule with authority". That's what dominion is. It is to have rule with authority. "We're going to give it to them, but here's how we going to give it to them. We're going to give it to them male and female. The man is going to be the lead," because there was an order in creation. He created Adam before Eve. "He is to lead, but he's not to do it alone". Dominion must happen with male and female once the man is married. God structured it so that he put Adam to sleep and performed surgery on him by taking out his rib and fashioned a woman. The Bible says he made man, but he like took time and fashioned a woman, and we all are glad he did. But that man Adam lost something in order to have a woman. He had to give up something. He became half the man he used to be. He gave up a side.
So in order to get a woman or let me say it another way. In order to get his rib back, he had to be willing to take on more than the rib he lost. He lost a rib. So if you want your rest of you that you lost back, you're going to get other ingredients that have been added to the rib that you didn't have when you lost your rib. So when a man gets a wife, he's not just supposed to have what he had. He's supposed to have what he did not have, which is why she's called in Genesis a helper because she was supposed to bring to the table that which the man did not have of his own but also complete what man lost. So whenever a woman is left out of the kingdom equation, you limit or even cancel God's involvement with you. What most men don't understand is when she is not a collaborator but is merely viewed as a companion, a cook, a dishwasher, a cleaner, and a child bearer but not a collaborator, then the purpose for establishing marriage and the family has been lost because the purpose of a woman was to collaborate; that is, become a helper in the dominion covenant, to become a helper in the expansion of God's kingdom in history.
God created the family, listen to this, not first of all for you to be happy, not first of all for you not to live alone. Those are bonuses. He created a family in order to expand his rule in history. When you lose sight of the kingdom and you're only thinking about, well, happiness and feeling good and all of that," then you have dumbed down the reason for why he started it in the first place. God is a trinity. He's a triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and guess what? These three are one. So he takes the rib out of the man, creates a woman, tells them they should become one flesh, then he creates a process by which the woman can bear a child that has the DNA of the mother and father and he brings them together as a trinitarian unit: man, woman, and child so that he can have on earth a trinity. So what God was creating in family was creating a trinity so that a trinity could operate on earth like he operates in heaven in order to expand his purposes in history.
So guess what you get to oversee as a man? You get to oversee the role of the Father in bringing the members of the trinity together in order to demonstrate heaven in the midst of hell. You are to expand God's kingdom. That's why Satan went to the woman. He wanted to reverse the roles. He wanted to put her in charge, make her the lead and create chaos in the relationship. The first persons who ought to know that you are a kingdom man is your family, starting with your wife. He says in verse 3 of Psalm 128, "Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house". Why? Because you fulfill verses 1 and 2. You fear God, and because you fear God, your wife is going to flourish in your house. We're talking about fixing the foundation. And to fix the foundation of a family, you've got to fix the marriage. And to fix the foundation of a family, you've got to fix the marriage.
Marriage in the Bible is called, in Malachi 2:14, a covenant. It is not merely a social contract. A covenant was a spiritually-binding relationship brought about by God, over which God rules. That's why God created man, God created woman, and then God brought the woman to the man 'cause he was going to oversee this whole process. People get married in church because they want God to get it started, even though they want to leave him in church while they go on the honeymoon. What he says is I want the fear of God to be part of the marriage covenant. But we live in a day when marriage is taken lightly. It's thrown away easily. One man said marriage for him was like a three-ring circus. You know, there was the engagement ring, there was the wedding ring, and now there's the suffering. He just thought it was, you know, one man said, "I was looking for the ideal and it be came an ordeal and so I want a new deal". And so men have become dissatisfied with marriage. They've become dissatisfied with the relationship, and that shows up in so many different kinds of ways.
One man was on an airplane and he was flying, and as he was flying, he noticed the guy sitting next to him had his wedding ring on his right hand. He said, "Sir, are you married"? He said, "Well, yeah, I'm married". He says, "Well, you have your wedding ring on the wrong hand". He said, "Uh-uh, I married the wrong woman". See, many people feel like they married the wrong woman when what we have to understand is he says, "Your wife shall become a fruitful vine". In other words, she may not be that right now. She may be sour grapes right now. But he says, "When a man becomes a kingdom man and he fears God, changes will begin to occur in his wife". She will become something she was not.
So if your wife is not what she should be, what you wanted her to be, assuming what you wanted her to be is legitimate, then the problem may be, see, you are a thermostat, she is the thermometer. You're supposed to set the temperature, she's supposed to show you to reading. So she's supposed to let, see, if you want a summer wife, you can't bring home winter weather. You've got to create an environment in which she can flourish. It says she shall become a fruitful vine within your house. Now that's a grape vineyard, a fruitful vine. A grape vineyard becomes fruitful when three things happen. First of all, it must cling. If you go to Napa Valley, California, you go to all the great vineyards, you will see the vines tied up on post because if they're not, they'll drag on the ground. And if they drag on the ground, they won't get full sunlight and won't get the benefit of the nourishment of the vine.
So they lift them up. They elevate them so that they are high so they cling and are made secure on the post. When they are secured on the post by clinging, then they're free to climb. That is they spread on the post. Because they are stable and secure clinging on the post, they're free to climb along the post. When they climb along the post, then they begin to cluster on the post. So once they are secure to cling, they begin to climb so that they now cluster and you got bunches of grapes. These grapes are squeezed to become grape juice. Grape juice is fermented to become wine, and you know what wine will do. It'll make a sad man glad. See, what he is saying is when you create a stable environment based on your fear of God, your wife becomes secure, she will begin to flourish so that she begins to cluster so you can become intoxicated on her love.
What he is suggesting to you today is that she can be turned into something she is now not because of your fear of God being applied in the home, because you're a kingdom man at home. You're not just a kingdom man at church, you're a kingdom man in the house and she becomes, Paul talks about this whole concept of the role of a husband and he says, "A man should be his wife's savior". He says in Ephesians 5 that just as Christ died and sacrificed for the church, we are to love our wives that way. We are to love them as a savior. Now the last time I checked, you only need a savior if you got to help a sinner. In other words, you don't need a savior unless somebody needs saving. So if your wife is not all she supposed to be, she has a savior. We're not all we're supposed to be. We have a Savior. And what does the Savior do? He sacrificed. Jesus Christ died on the cross. He gave up something to gain us.
If you make a list of all you do for your wife and you make a list of all she does for you, if her list is longer than your list, she the savior. You should be out serving her 'cause you're the savior. Last time I checked, if you have a savior, you have a cross. Jesus Christ died on the cross. I had a man say to me one day, "My wife's killing me". I said to him, "You said you wanted to be like Jesus, didn't you"? In other words, there is a cost to being a savior. There's a cost to being a savior. A man is to love his wife like Christ loved the church who gave himself up for her. And then he goes on and says, "He has to be her sanctifier". You are to sanctify her, Ephesians 5 says.
Sanctification is taking somebody from where they are and turning them into what they ought to be. It is the process of change that takes place. When you are converted, you entered into a process of spiritual development to change you. God wants to change you. That process is called sanctification. He says a man is to sanctify his wife or he is to oversee her change. Sanctifications involves investment so that a person becomes, see, when you met your wife, you did not see all that was there to be seen 'cause she didn't tell you everything about her. And even though you've learned a lot, you didn't learn everything 'cause if you knew then what you know now, you might not have married her. So she's not going to let you see everything. But over time you said, "I didn't know she was like this. I didn't know you were like this". No, she was always like that. She just hid that from you while you were dating.
Your process is to see that change takes place, and that change takes place by a kingdom man using kingdom principles with God at the top investing in his wife, in his marriage, and in that relationship. Then he says, "You are to be your wife's satisfier". He says a man ought to love his wife like he loves his own body. The principle is simple. Everything you do for you, see if you can do two of them. In other words, you're thinking about her every time you're thinking about you so that it's never only about you. When she discovers she's that valuable, when she discovers she's that meaningful, when she discovers you don't just ask her to cook; you ask her for her ideas on your direction, when she discovers you don't just ask her to clean but you ask her for her input on a major decision that has to be made about the family, you get to make the final decision because you're the head, but you are to never make the final decision without full input.
Why? Because when God brought you back your rib, he brought you back some other ingredients that he wants to be put into equation: her intuition, her feelings about things. "You're so emotional". Well, that was supposed to be value add for the man because we may not feel it. We may just think it and logic our way through it, but he said, "Don't ignore the feelings 'cause the feelings may have information that you don't pick up naturally that is critical to the decision". When she discovers that she is necessary and not just an add-on, an addendum, a sexual partner, but she is critical for her mind, her feelings, her thought, and her contribution, guess what you get to have? Dominion. That means you get to take things over. You get to see God move. He will not operate independently of her.
In addition to that, Peter says in 1 Peter 3:7 that if a man is in conflict with his wife, tell the man don't pray. God's not listening. That if a man is in conflict with his wife, tell the man don't pray. God's not listening. So if you are operating not as a kingdom man, God says, "I am not listening if your wife is not part of the equation". So this marriage thing isn't just about being happy, it's about God paying attention to you because the two were made one. He then goes on from marriage and he goes to the children. He says, "Your children will be like olive plants around your table". Not olive trees, olive plants. It takes 15 years for an olive plant to become an olive tree. It takes 15 years. But if you nurture it right, it will produce olives for 2.000 years.
If you go over to Israel, you can go to the Garden of Gethsemane and they have 2.000-year-old olive trees still popping out olives 'cause their roots run deep. We have a crisis with our children today and that is because their roots don't run deep because nobody's overseeing them. They're acting like they're acting because their roots are not running deep. You say, "But how do you do this as a man and as a father in a world where fatherlessness is the norm"? He tells you in this verse. He says at the end of verse 3, "Your children will be like olive plants," here it is, here it is, here it is, "around your table". The way a man leads his family in the Bible is around the table. The table is the place for kingdom men to take charge. That is when you sit down with the family and the leader takes over. This is where you sit down with the family and you train the children.
You make sure the homework's being done. You make sure the housework is being done. You ask the wife, "Are there any issues with any of the kids that I need to address"? And you do that at the table, which means that you don't need extra time to lead your house, but you do have to be at the table. See, a Jewish father was at the table because the table wasn't just for eating. The table was for leading. It was where he led. He just did it around food. So he gathered at the table in order to provide leadership for the family. At the table is where you review the sermon from Sunday. At the table is where you pray for each child and pray God's protection and blessing. At the table is where you provide disciplinary, corrective instruction for the child.
Now, your job may not allow you to be at the table every single day, but you should be at the table every time you can so that it is clear who the head of this house is. It's one thing to say, "I'm the main head of my house," but how are you going to be the head of your house and never be at the table? That creates resentment, that creates animosity because you come in spewing an order but you're not there to provide spiritual leadership, personal leadership, directional leadership, practical leadership because you're not at the table. He says, "Your children will become olive plants," which means they're on their way to become olive trees. And over in Israel, olive trees, they're used for everything. They're used for medicine. They're used for eating. They're used for massages. They're used for everything because they're designed to show what it looks like when boys have been raised up to become men who are impacting their world.
He says the family is the key, and that is why it is so important what Joshua says in Joshua chapter 24, verse 15. He says, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". See, that's what a kingdom man says 'cause there is no vote when it comes to the kingdom because the king has already voted. He says, "As for me and my house, this is how we roll". He says, "I can't tell you and your house what to do, but as for me and my house, this is how we roll". And you bring your presence to bear on the family because whoever owns the family owns the future. Satan is not trying to destroy the family just to make people unhappy; Satan is trying to destroy the family because he's trying to kill the future.
Our future is being destroyed because our families are being destroyed, but our families are being destroyed because kingdom men aren't leading them anymore. We leaving them to raise themselves or mothers who do the best they can with what they have. But a mother on her best day still can't be a father. There are some things that only a man can bring to a boy, and there are awesome things our daughters need to hear from you so that they're not believing some smooth-talking fool who whispers in her ear and lies to her and destroys her life. That means your presence must be felt. "As for me and my house, this is not a negotiation. As for me and my house, this is not something that we're taking carelessly. As for me and my house, God rules here". Why? Because we want to see his dominion. We want to see what happens with a whole family praise about a matter.
I remember one time we went took our kids to the Grand Canyon on vacation. I'm still trying to figure out why we go across the country to see a hole in the ground, but we went to the Grand Canyon. And when we went to the Grand Canyon, I had forgotten to make a hotel reservation. That is not good because if you don't get one of the hotels at the Grand Canyon, at least then, then you have to drive 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour to get a hotel. I forgot to make a reservation. And so we're sitting there, I arrived at midnight. No reservations. I stand in line with a whole lot of other people who were trying to get reservations. No rooms are available.
So they're mad at me. I'm telling them, "Don't talk to me," 'cause I'm mad at me because I forgot to make reservation. So the dining room was still open. So we wanted to get something to eat before we went to search for a hotel and now it's close to midnight. We're sitting around the table eating. My daughter, Priscilla, looks up and she says, "Dad, we're all here at the table and you taught us when we have an issue we should pray about it as a family, and we haven't prayed about our hotel situation". I didn't want to hear that. "I don't need you telling me to pray. You're going to be telling me what to do," you know? So I say, "You pray," 'cause you know, I wasn't in the mood for praying, okay? She said, "Okay".
And so Priscilla, my daughter, she said, "Lord, we're here all together as a family, and we've been taught to call on you when we're in emergency and we've got this emergency, Lord. And we don't have a place to stay, and we just pray that you protect us, but that you provide us a place to stay. In Jesus's name, amen". As she said amen, I said, "Okay, now let's get practical. All right, what are we going to do 'cause we're in the real world and we don't have a hotel room"? The man behind the desk comes over our table and he says, "Were you one of the families looking for a room"?
We said, "Well, yeah". "Well, one of our folks just had an emergency. A room just came open. The people that were ahead of you are no longer here. You're the first ones that I ran into. Do you still want to a room"? I don't them, "Don't y'all look at me. Don't look at me. Don't look at me". What the table does is give you dominion. It gives you the right to rule, to call things into being, to reshape things, and that's why he wants to divide the marriage and bring you in conflict with the kids because he wants to see the family destroyed so he can kill the future.
A kingdom man's first responsibility after he submits to God is his home, his family, his leadership with the people who know him best and see him most. The Bible makes it clear that when a kingdom man comes home, he comes home to his other job. In fact, his first job because you come home to cause your wife to flourish and your children to be olive plants around your table, growing them up to become responsible adults because you're teaching them principles of responsibility, of Godliness, of integrity, of leadership. You're teaching your boys what it means to become a man, and you're teaching your girls the kind of man they should look for in the male that they identify with.
They're seeing you model that with their mother, your wife. They're seeing you provide loving correction and discipline for their failures, but more importantly, encouragement and you're building them up for their success. They're seeing that you are taking the lead to raise the children. That this is not something you've just delegated to mother, that this is something you own. "Fathers, raise your children," the Scripture says. In other words, you should be saying like Joshua 24:15, "As for me and my house, we are going to serve the Lord". "This is not a vote. God told me to take this position. I own it, I accept it because I'm going to make my home God's home.