Family and Servants

The family home should be a place of joy and nurturing for everyone in the family. Everyone in the home should feel that it is a place of safety. It is also a place where children become adults, and adults become mature. It is also a place where servants (including repairmen and home remodelers) should feel comfortable, welcomed, and do their best work.

The father is the most important person in setting up and nurturing a strong family cohesion. His importance is measured by the results of what men are contributing to our society. For some it is close to nothing. Some are a danger to their wife and children. The man may be very successful and have a well known status outside his home. But if he doesn’t love his wife or spend time with his children, then he’s failed the very people that are on God’s list of people he should be putting first in his life. Other men do give their lives to their families first. And if they also are wise and spiritual, their children will be the same when they have their own families.

This doesn’t always work well. And it often doesn’t work well for preachers. They allow themselves to be considered impeccable. The major problem with this is that the family knows better. And the preacher prioritizes his congregation more than his family, especially when it comes to his time. One preacher we had at our church always prioritized his time with his family. He was a child of a preacher, and all of his four children went on to ministry. It can be done.

And it can be done also if the preacher is not standing alone, but has male friends and accountability partners around him. James Dobson (Focus on the Family) and Billy Graham were examples of this. All Christian men need friends who will see past the façade that is often a persona of men. I’m reminded of two men on a bus to “Stand in the Gap”. One was a man who helped the man who was his groom, deal with a failing marriage. Often at large Christian gatherings you meet other people that you know. The two of them didn’t run into anyone. It was like God decided they just needed one-on-one. The other were two men who had never met before our bus trip. The one was divorced and the other helped him see how he could put his marriage back together.

The bus I was on was one of two buses that traveled to Washington DC a day earlier. There were people from several different churches riding together.

Paul has some succinct advice for the family and the household that will serve our families well.

(Colossians 3:18-21 WEB) 18Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them. 20Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.

Smiling Family With Parents Giving Children Piggyback Rides In Garden At Home

The first verse is one that men like. BUT as it agrees with the Lord. The husband is not a dictator and is well served to rely on his wife’s counsel and intuition. If the wife is bitter, it may be the husband is at fault; which he could correct if he asked. Children need to be obedient. But will respond more so if the father is engaged and is able to listen without being judgmental. This is where the father should not needlessly provoke his children. Even so, I’ve known men who were estranged from their father. But they still desired his time and attention.

In the Bible the “servants” were mostly slaves. But Paul asks them to work as unto the Lord. For slave or free, we should always work for the benefit of our master or employer.

(Colossians 3:22-25 WEB) 22Servants, obey in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23And whatever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men; 24Knowing that from the Lord ye will receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25But he that doeth wrong, will receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

We have choices in our lives. And our choice should be to put God first in our lives. Until Jesus returns, there will continue to be iniquities in our lives and random events that create lifelong injuries. But as Christians we can echo two important scriptures when we pray.

(Philippians 4:6-7 WEB) 6Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 WEB) 16Rejoice evermore. 17Pray without ceasing. 18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

And regardless of our background or standard of living we have opportunities for good or bad. Everyone benefits from the good; so why is there so much that isn’t good? Even in the church there is strife. Our society is divided into factions whose only communications are vilifying everyone who doesn’t pass their litmus tests.

Men were not created to be idle. Nor were they created to dislike their work. Men have failed to look for what they enjoy doing and to take the steps to get there. Men have also failed to get their lives together in terms of finances and feelings of self-worth. Then they look to the “Man Box” to gain their self-worth, which is really the path to quicksand.

It’s better to seek the Lord Jesus first rather than depending on the people around us to find our self-worth. And the foundation that men and their sons will start with is their own families. Fathers/Husbands are the key to establishing the security and confidence that their children need as they mature and start families of their own.


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