Page 6 - Amish Voice - July 2013

The Amish Voice 6
With so many modern families affected
by divorce, unhealthy marriages and
relationships, it is good to look again briefly
at the Biblical model of a family. Due to our
sinful natures, we still have disagreements
and we still get irritated and even angry at
times, but our goal ought to be to become
more like Jesus every day—leaving the sin
behind and becoming a loving, forgiving,
happy, healthy, godly family.
Let us look first at the husband/wife
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ also loved the church, and
gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and
cleanse it with the washing of water by the
word, that he might present it to himself a
glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle,
or any such thing; but that it should be holy
and without blemish. So ought men to love
their wives as their own bodies. He that
loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man
ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth
and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the
Ephesians 5:25-29).
Husbands, love
your wives, and be not bitter against them
Colossians 3:19).
What a great responsibility is given to the
husband! The husband is to love his wife as
much as Jesus loves His church. How much
does Jesus love His church, His bride? Jesus
cares for her, nourishes her, loves her, helps
her, encourages her, protects her, and
certainly would never treat her in a mean
way. He is patient, loving, kind, honorable,
sacrificial, and wonderful toward His bride.
He would never hurt her. He would never
ridicule her or speak in a way that would hurt
her feelings. In fact, we know that Jesus
loved His bride so much that He gave His
own life for her. What a joy it will be for
Jesus to present the church, His bride, to His
Father. He loves her. He adores her. He is
proud of her and is looking forward to
presenting her to God. How much then
should we love our wives? We should protect
help, encourage, love patiently, understand,
and adore her—treating her as a queen,
boasting of her, thanking God for her, gladly
introducing her to others as the wonderful
bride given to us as a gift from God!
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own
husbands, as it is fit in the Lord
Wives, submit yourselves unto your
own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the
husband is the head of the wife, even as
Christ is the head of the church: and he is
the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the
church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives
be to their own husbands in everything
Ephesians 5:22-24). What an honor it is for
the bride of Christ to submit to Jesus! How
happy we ought to be to have been chosen by
the Savior who loves, protects, nourishes,
encourages, and cares for us. What a joy it is
to be his bride. This is how it ought to be
with husbands and wives. If the husband
loved his wife as Christ loved His church,
what an honor it would be for the wife to be
his. Jesus does not treat us as slaves, and
husbands should certainly not treat their
wives in such a way.
Often men try to justify their anger,
abuse, or neglect of their wives because she
is not all that he wants her to be or she does
not do all that he expects her to do. (He does
this without recognizing his own faults,
shortcomings and sins, however). What does
the Bible say? Jesus loves us despite our sins
and shortcomings. We would not like it if
Jesus mocked us or beat us or got angry at us
every time we messed up. Husbands, too,
ought to love their wives unconditionally, as
Jesus loves His bride. May all husbands who
treat their wives poorly, hurt them, or
ridicule them repent of their sin. May they
seek forgiveness from God, their wives, and
even their children, and become men of God,
following the example of Jesus. How great it
would be for husbands to help their wives do
their work at times rather than get angry at
the wives for not getting all the work done.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord:
for this is right. Honour thy father and
mother; which is the first commandment with
promise; that it may be well with thee, and
thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye
fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:
but bring them up in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord
Ephesians 6:1-4).
Certainly children ought to honor and obey
their parents. Children ought to respect them
and love them. Children should not talk back
or rebel against their parents. Again, think of
a Christian’s relationship with his or her
heavenly Father. The more a parent has
Christ-like qualities, the easier it is for a
child to obey these Scriptures, for the
obedience would be out of love rather than
out of mere obligation. May parents,
especially fathers, never give a reason for
their children to turn from God. May parents
be godly examples to their children. When a
parent loses his temper, it is refreshing and
healing to see the parent humble himself and
ask forgiveness from the child who was hurt.
Perhaps that is why the Scriptures
specifically tell fathers not to provoke their
children to wrath, but to bring them up in
the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Fathers—are you bringing up your children
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? I
do not mean by having strict rules and harsh
discipline and language, for that is not how
God is with us. Rather, I mean fathers
being an example of love and forgiveness
and patience, leading the family in knowing
and following God. When was the last time
The Family
Paul Miller
Illustrations by Lydia Chorpening
continued on next page