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A fulfilling marriage is foundationless without first getting God’s family style of governance right. That
government is hierarchical, i.e. “a system of ranking according to authority”. This concept is distasteful
to many, because Satan perverted something God created for good. Our challenge is to understand and
apply it the way God intends it, rather than to dismiss the structure altogether because of human abuse.
Authority in God’s government is to serve. The husband’s authority and service in a family is to lead that
family into a relationship with the Father. Adam failed his wife by failing to lead her back to God after
she sinned; all creation was subjected to futility as a result. A husband is to rule his household by first
holding himself in obedience to Christ, and himself receiving correction. He teaches, corrects, exhorts in
the same Way God teaches each of us individually. The ministry, in the same way, is to lead in love with
family-style authority. The Apostles went to great lengths, not to compromise, but to settle the
brethren in the truth. So should husband’s. No member is inferior, but authority exists for the health
and growth of the group.
Husbands and wives have different roles. We may be zealous in our intentions, but without knowledge
the results of our efforts will be poor. Apart from God, men and women cannot fulfill one another. Men
need respect. Women need love. God’s way of life is the method by which these needs, which He
designed, can be fulfilled. Loving God, the greatest commandment, must come first. Love your
neighbor as yourself, the second commandment, defines the rest of the law. Godly love is not given in
response to love received. It is generously expressed without expectation of return. It is expressed in
terms that the recipient can receive and understand. Wives serve by providing a chaste, righteous
example, not by command and control. It is a dynamic and powerful role. A good wife can express love
according to her husband’s need by deferring to his role and actively respecting his decisions.
God’s government is a family, in which authority is the responsibility of serving and fulfilling others, in
order to produce a synergistic growth to a perfect relationship with God the Father. Living in that
government is a lifelong act of faith.