Sermons. Authority in family

When love begins parasitizing on something, it ceases to be love. The relationship becomes a pragmatic account: if you give something to me, I give something to you. Such relationship will very soon destroy a family.

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Pavel Zhelnovakov


Let’s continue our discussion about authority and faith. This question has a vital importance for us. I’ve told you that a man who does not recognize authority cannot grow up in his faith. It doesn’t mean that he won’t be in Heaven; neither will he become a worthless person. That means he won’t be able to grow in his faith and his life will always be far from being perfect. He will be unable to get great blessings of the Spirit, nor to experience God in a deep way, nor to know a multitude of His answers. In order to prove it I would like to read LUKE 7:2-10 (KJVS)

"And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, that he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth [it]. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick".


The Roman centurion realized the core of authority as well as he realized what it means to obey. Realizing Jesus’ authority, he said: "A single word of Yours is sufficient". He said nothing about faith. But Jesus noted: "I have not found such great faith even in Israel"! So the growth of our faith and our attitude to authority are mysteriously bound with each other. Today we are going to talk about authority in marriage and authority of marriage. There is a considerable difference between them: authority in marriage and authority through marriage,i.e. through family.

After listening to the series of sermons about authority, we willperhaps have to repent in some mistakes of ours, because this is our life. It is no secret that the concept of authority has been vulgarized in our society. Not only by old ladies, but also by mass media. And what makes me most disappointed is when the Christians do it quite often. God, have mercy on us! Let’s address the Bible, is there a concept of authority in marriage? Let’s turn our hearts and minds to the well-known texts.

1 CORINTHIANS 11: 1-3

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you. Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God".

I see that nowadays many people disagree with it. The reason is not that God values men incredibly highly and doesn’t appreciate women. This doesn’t mean that Paul or God are antagonistic to women, otherwise God would not have made a woman. Is it worth making something that does not please Him and then saying that it is "Very good"? No. The only reason for that is the concept of God’s order and authority established by the Lord.

The disrespect of this order exerts a grave pressure on our family life, on the State functioning and the relations in church. In this case we cannot believe in a proper way. And this will lead us to a wrong belief and our life will be filled with superstitions. We will not be able to get lots of blessings which our families need so much to resist a great number of crises striking families. If you take a close look you will see a real persecution of family. Families are under the threat of attacks from all spheres of life.No wonder that families do break up! It is true in spite of all our attempts to present it in a positive way.

So, there is an institution of authority in family established by the Creator which goes back to the institution of the authority between Christ and the Father. We could certainly protest this statement unless the conditions of Christ are the same: the head of Christ is God. Nobody doubts that relationship between Christ and Father was not sullied at all with something wrong. It is this very Relationship in Trinity, that is right.

The head of every woman is man, the head of a man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God. This is the structure of authority. This is so-called "spine" of the family firmness which ensures all the ensuing blessings. It would not be a surprise if somebody did not like it. But the matter is different. The question is whether we accept it or not without any dependence on our likings. A husband and a wife both are in equal conditions: the wife has her own head; the husband has his own head. Both are under authority. Spouses must not forget about it, for if they break the structure of authority in family grievous crises happen. Then it becomes hard for them to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. It becomes difficult to live and respect each other. As a result it eventually becomes hard to believe that God sends His blessings. I’d like you to read some portions of the Holy Scriptures concerning an attitude to uthority.

1 PETER 3:1-2
"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of hem do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives".


EPHESIANS 5:22-23
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which He is the Savior".

1 PETER 3:7
"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing willhinder your prayers".

COLOSSIANS 3:18-19
"Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them".

Husbands, when was the last time you smiled at your wives not because of delicious dinner, but just as a token of friendship? Friends, the structure of relationship is established by the Lord. But it is necessary to note that obedience is a creative process. Obedience does not include unhealthy demands on the husband’s side. Dear women, when your husbands demand your obedience in some sinful things of a destructive character, you may refer to the Bible or to me telling you that you can not rightfully submit to your husbands in these cases.

Moreover, the submission to the sinful things means you also sin. Then you will have to answer for that before God, because in that case you are not submissive to God, but to sin. In this case that implies pride, i.e. lack of recognition of God’s authority. The Bible says: "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble". If we don’t recognize the authority of God that means we don’t recognize Him as the Head. Having such an attitude, how can we grow in the acknowledgement of this Authority? If we ignore the authority of God’s commandments we cannot understand the Lord. The acknowledgement of the power established by God is a blessed key to spiritual growth.

Men’s love for their wives in the same way must be creative.It is no secret there is manipulative love. Let’s take, for example, a wife who has found her husband’s weak point - tears - and begins to use it. She says ’You don’t love me because you don’t buy me this and that and so on:’ Husbands, never be led by wives-beggars, wives-cadgers! Do have courage to refuse them unless it is something essential. It might be difficult but only refusal to the extortion will bring the blessing of God.

Beloved, remember, when love begins parasitizing on something, it ceases to be love. The relationship becomes a pragmatic account: if you give something to me, I give something to you. Such relationship will very soon destroy a family. When signs of a crack in the relation appear that will bring a spouse to unfaithfulness where one of the spouses can get "unconditional" love. In such a case don’t complain, you provided for a cause. So, the attitude to authority is absolutely clear: "wives, be submissive to your husbands" in a creative sphere of family relationship. Husbands, love your wives, JUST AS CHRIST loved the church. According to this structure of relationship, don’t be harsh with them. Husbands and wives are both in equal respectful state towards authority established by God.

Dear women, I don’t advise you to read that cheap literary production calling to feminism. There is no care about your future family life, its aim is to empty your purse. God will not maintain the purposes which are not of His will; and, anyway, everything will be destroyed that doesn’t has His blessing, sooner or later.

You should respect that simple biblical admonition mentioned by the apostle Peter calling you to win your husbands over by the purity and reverence of your lives and not by the braided hair. Nowadays women are proposed to win their husbands over "through the stomach". I can assure you there always will be a woman who cooks better than you. Sophisticated sex? There always will be a woman who is better than you. But win your husbands over by the purity and reverence of your lives in Christ Jesus. No one will be able to surpass you in this. Because when we start living in purity and reverence, all sorts of unhealthy rivalry cease to take place.

"If any of husbands do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of the lives in Christ Jesus".

Now I’d like to tell you about your authority over children. Perhaps you may ask why, does it affect children? You will see.

COLOSSIANS 3:20-21
"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged".

For some reasons, the Holy Scriptures ask fathers only and exactly not to embitter their children. Mothers don’t seem to make this mistake:

EPHESIANS 6:1-4
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honour your father and mother" - which is the first commandment with a promise - "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord".

Friends, we all know that when we break up the commandment of child instruction, our children don’t grow up good. If they cannot honor their father and mother they will not get God’s blessings. There is a great number of people condemned to misfortune in the world, because they have got accustomed to the lack of respect for their parents. Sometimes we say that school is supposed to bring our children up. Let’s do it! But the Bible says nothing about school education. Of course, schools will contribute to the instruction. But the Lord makes parents, and fathers in particular, responsible for that. So, God seriously advises us to bring our children up in the training and instruction of the Lord, and not exasperate our children, and remember that the child who grew up without love, when he becomes an adult and has his own children, will not give them love, because he did not get it himself. He has got nothing to give. And the next generation will also grow up without love, because its parents did not respect their father and mother. The children of the fourth generation can be just "fiends"! I compare it to a swallowing whirlpool. There is only one reason for that: children don’t respect their parents as God commanded in His Word.

It is sad that some parents not only exasperate their children, but do everything to make the children not to respect them and to have an unhealthy life. Beloved, only the Christian principle of the institution of authority can allow you to get out of the "exclusive circle", of the chain of curses. The generation which understands that it must live according to the biblical rule of the family order, will get out of misfortunes, and its children will grow up in a better way, with many God’s blessings. The order of God must be established in family, and then family life will change.

Talking about children I mean people up to twenty years old. Till this time children are under the authority of their parents in a spiritual sphere, that’s why they must be obedient. If a young man marries before he is twenty, he is out of the authority of his parents. After twenty, the man bears his own responsibility for himself. That’s why, dear mothers and fathers, do not cry a lot about the behavior of your overgrown children. You are not responsible for them any more! They are responsible for themselves in the Spiritual world. You may mourn the faults of your instruction and pray for correction, but no more. Do not hoist somebody else’s responsibility on your shoulders.

I know some mothers who have already bent under the weight of the burden of someone else’s responsibility. They carry some parasites on their shoulders till the end of their lives; parasites who do not want to work, nor to study, but like misbehaving. Parents redeem them from certain places, treat them from all illnesses, help them, but they are a burden to their mothers.

This unhealthy situation is not biblical and it must be ceased. Dear mothers, do not sin with a wrong attitude to your adult children! They must learn to carry the responsibility in the structure of God’s authority.Or they will never learn anything. They will become half-educated fellows who will aggravate the condition of our society, including yours. Does the authority of family exist? What is it like? Family has a right to proclaim the powerful protection of God over its children’s lives, even if one of the family members is a believer. Why does the devil hate family so much? Because he knows the great spiritual strength family possesses. Family is an institution made first, when there was no sin on the earth.

It has been thousands years, but the devil could not defeat family. Dear parents, it means that you do have the right to proclaim your ability as you bring your children up or discipline them. But especially as you protect them in the Spiritual world! But do not be complaining before God about your troubles. He knows everything. Use your power! The wise man Solomon once said: "Blessings of the Father build houses of sons, but a mother’s curse can ruin it down to foundation". Mothers, don’t curse your children, because a curse is similar to a boomerang.

I’m telling you the parents’ words do have power. Solomon talks about the parents’ power over their children. Fathers and mothers, bless your children! Lay your hands on their heads and destroy the power of evil in the Spiritual world! Destroy the power of lies and the occult influence on your children’s mind. You have a right to proclaim parental power in the Spiritual realm. God knows that. He has given it to you. The devil also knows that, therefore he proposes a lot of TV programs for you to watch all day long and to forget about your children.

Proclaim your power in the Spiritual realm! Because this is God’s promise and is real for our lives. Of course, if you want it. Let’s take the example of Moses. His mother brought him up in the training and instruction of the Lord. As a result, this man, well brought up, changed the world. His name is well known all over the world. He brought God’s law to humanity. Many people know Moses, not so many know his mother (but God knows her which is the most important). The power was realized in a proper way and the result is the influence of this family on the world history.

Let’s look at Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel, who cried before God because was childless. She said once: "Lord, if You give me a child he will belong to You". So this family began to influence human history. Many believers and non-believers know the name of the prophet Samuel. I can enumerate names of many good and worthy kings and the New Testament people as representatives of family dignity and happiness. Family is a real spiritual power. Christ says: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Where can we find a firmer cooperation than family is? A husband and a wife are one in the Spiritual realm. Now let’s imagine what family of believers can really do? It has a great power! Especially if people stop fighting, disputing, picking somebody to pieces and so on. We can only imagine the threat family presents to the demonic world! Several families united in the Holy Spirit, can confirm the power of God’s kingdom on the earth.

Beloved, God desires for us to have right attitude toward authority, that’s what confirms the power of family itself in the world. The neglect of the power in family cannot lead to the power of family in the world. Denial of God’s order raises a multitude of consulting institutions for families to help them survive, not come to divorce and so on. Friends, we should understand that families break up because of loss of authority according to God’s order! We can only establish a fact that nowadays divorce is more and more popular. How miserable we become in the passed centuries! God have mercy on us! Dear ones, if you notice disrespect of authority in your family, repent before God or you cannot grow up in your faith. This is God’s law. Our attitude to the power defines the beauty of our faith. Will our faith attract the Lord Christ’s attention or not? Indeed, this very question is not very simple. God help us live not only honestly, but according to your Gospel!

Amen.