The short answer is for the man to set the example of love for them to emulate. To love their Mamas in an obvious way! And for their Mamas to make it clear that she respects their Daddy as the head of the house. Why?
Paul said it so plainly:
The wife sets the example of submission.
The husband sets the example of loving.
Each makes it easier for the other by taking the lead in his or her own unique contribution to the Christian home. What’s hard to understand about that? Children need both examples of submission in order to grow up as healthy children who are respectful of God, and of love so they learn how to walk out their faith in love.
Here is what Paul, under the inspiration of The Holy Spirit said:
Eph 5:22-33 NIV
- 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.
- Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
- Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
- In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
- This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
What’s the hardest for women, ever since the Garden of Eden?
What is hardest for men who need respect first and foremost?
Loving unselfishly! Being a Servant!
I am sick to death of professing Christians twisting these scriptures in Ephesians to suit their own dysfunction. Men who need to dominate use this passage to prove it’s pleasing to God for the woman to be hammered by it. Women who do not understand what “headship” means surrender their hopes, talents, and even their identities in an effort to be obedient to what they think Scripture is teaching.These women are more likely to be manipulative, saying, “If you really loved me, you would…”
Paul likened loving your wife to as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy. Headship to Christ didn’t mean domination. It meant self-sacrifice! Headship didn’t mean “I’m your boss.” It meant, “How can I meet your needs?” Christ was a Servant!
Any husband who loves his wife in that way will put her needs beyond his own. He will do everything possible to help her reach her full potential as a person and as a Christian. He will love sacrificially, as Christ loved.
Women are by nature, responders. So when a husband loves her in this way, she will submit with joy. She will do it freely because she knows she can trust the love of this man! She feels secure and cherished by this self-sacrificing man!
Being the head of the home means accepting your responsibility – notice I did not say privilege – to take the lead in love.
Theodore M. Hesburgh is the man credited with saying, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” But he has been quoted by many since he said it. And it’s so true! For little kids to see Mama and Daddy being affectionate with each other, playing around, having fun in front of the kids… well, it shows the kids what marriage should be like, and can be. It’s a valuable, lasting gift for the kids, no matter how old they are!
©2009 April Lorier