Authority in the Family
We spoke about leadership, about headship, and what we did w as stir up a heap of stuff in both men and women.
Women, it's okay, it'll all settle down after a while. We've only just given part of the picture. Today I want to talk about
the man's leadership. This is the last thing we'll do related to the man, the man 's leadership and I've called this
message Loving Leadership. We want to just pick up this macho man, aggressive man, dominant man thing today,
and really show a man how you can lead your wife in such a way that she will love to follow you. It'll probably be
different. I want to share with you today five principles, that will empower your leadership in your marriage. The ways
they're outworked vary from person to person, but as you take the principles and begin to effectively work with them,
then you'll find your marriage will change.
Not only that, these five principles will give any single women something to look at, in terms of when you're looking for
a prospective man; if some of these things aren't there, you've got a problem coming up, big time. Okay, so we'll both
get something out of it. So I want to first of all look in Jeremiah 31:3. We need to understand that when God says that
there's an order in the family, the purpose He has is to bless us and protect us, so we'll be benefited from that order;
so when God says that the man is the head of the woman, He's not saying he's more important, or that he's always
right. He's just saying: there's an order to get the function in the family working right. One of the things you
understand about God, God never uses His power to get His way in our life. God always influences us through His
love. Never ever did Jesus use His power to dominate, control or direct people; He always used His love to influence
them. So we spoke of headship, we're going to describe it and touch in on it briefly, but let me just read this in verses
here, because you need to get the heart of God, if you're going to be an effective leader in the home.
The Lord has appeared to me of old, saying I have loved you with an everlasting love; the refore with loving kindness
have I drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built up, O virgin of Israel. You shall be adorned, and you
shall go forth with the dances of them that make merry. Now does that sound as though God's going to do some good
things to His people? It says the result of His leadership of them, is they will dance and they'll be happy, so when we
want to see the effect of God's work in a person's life - happy! Jo yful! Dancing! So think about that. Husband, your
wife is your glory, so if she's happy and smiling and dancing, you're doing a fantastic job; but if she's sad and
depressed and gloomy and withdrawn, you really need to step up. Okay then, so let's have a look, and we're going to
go through this verse, and I'll give you these principles. Are you ready? Oka y, it says: I ha ve loved you with an
everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you. That word 'loving kindness' means this, I'm going to
explain it a little. It means literally: for someone who's in an elevated position, to stoop down, and bend down, to
someone in a lower position, and lift them up, and treat them like an equal. How about that?
It means literally: to bend over, and lift someone up, so you treat them like an equal; so God says: I have loved you
with an everlasting love, with loving kindness have I attracted you, or drawn you; so in other words, He says: I don't
display My power, and My greatness, and My might, but I reach down, and I place such value on you, that I lift you up
and I look into your eyes, I treat you like an equal. Now we're not actually equals, but His heart is to lift us up, as
someone of great value to Him. Then He says: with loving kindness I have drawn you; or literally: I have drawn you
along, I have handled you, I have touched you, or I've opened up your life - so how does God open up our life? How
does God lead us or draw us or attract us? Oh, it's not with His power. His power gets our attention, but it is His
loving kindness that attracts us to follow Him. It's the demonstration of God's loving kindness that draws us out of
ourself, and we are attracted to it like a magnet, like bees to honey. We are drawn to the loving kindness of God.
No one is drawn to the judgements of God, they scare you. People are drawn to the loving kindness of God. That
word 'loving kindness' is these kinds of things. It's very hard to get that word, in the original language, into English
language, because there's no word describes it. You've got to use several words to try and get what th ey meant, so
let me give you the several words, that when God says: with loving kindness I've drawn you. One of the meanings of
it, means generosity. Generosity is very attractive. I've found people like generous people, and they hate misers.
Have you noticed that? Generosity attracts us, so He says: with great generosity, have I attracted you. It means also
personal involvement, and commitment in relationship, beyond any legal requirements. In other words, He said: it's a
heart involvement in relationship. It draws you out, because I get personally involved in your life, with an interest in
what's happening. It also means steadfast love or devotion, that never fails or stops. Now that's what attracts people
to the Lord - His steadfast love and devotion, His personal involvement in how our life is getting on, and His
willingness to build relationship with us, His generosity.
It also means His mercy, His willingness to overlook, or to put aside the faults and failures, and lift us up into a place
of great value. Now who wouldn't be attracted by that? That's how God attracts people. Now if that's how God attracts
people; men, guess how we want you to attract your wife? This is what He wants to use. I'm going to show you that
very clearly in scripture. I'll give you a scripture just related to that, in 1 John 4:19. You know what the Bible tells us? It
says: we love Him because - can anyone finish it? [He first loved us.] We love Him because He first? [Loved us.] So
what response does God's love bring in our heart? [Love.] We love Him. So He never uses His power, He uses His