Good family relationships are important to God and for the well-being of every family member. God himself set the order amongst his intelligent creation. “I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (I Cor. 11:3)
After God created Adam, he knew that Adam would need companionship, so he created Eve to be “a helper suitable for him.” (Gen. 2:18) God gave marriage as a gift to Adam and Eve to enjoy in their perfection. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the perfect relationship they had enjoyed changed. To Eve, God stated: “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing…Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16) Since this curse upon Eve, every woman has, to a greater or lesser degree, been inclined to look to a head and to seek and obey what she recognizes to be a righteous authority. This was also a prophetic declaration of the misuse of physical and mental strength on the part of some husbands and fathers, which has injured instead of helped many wives and children. The responsibilities that accompany true Christian headship will honor God when carried out with love and respect for every family member!
The apostle Paul had good advice to give on the subject in Eph. 5:22-33: “You wives must learn to adapt yourselves to your husbands, as you submit yourselves to the Lord, for the husband is the “head” of the wife in the same way that Christ is head of the Church and savior of the body. The willing subjection of the Church to Christ should be reproduced in the submission of wives to their husbands in everything. The husband must give his wife the same sort of love that Christ gave to the Church, when he sacrificed himself for her…So men ought to give their wives the love they naturally have for their own bodies. The love a man gives his wife is the extending of his love for himself to enfold her. Nobody ever hated his own body; he feeds it and looks after it. And that is what Christ does for his Body, the Church…The marriage relationship is a great mystery, but I see it as a symbol of the marriage of Christ and his Church.” (Phillips) A good husband should want to protect and care for his wife! Likewise, a good wife should want to help her husband and be supportive of his efforts!
If and when children come along, so do additional responsibilities. Paul’s advice is to “Bring them up with Christian teaching in Christian discipline.” (Eph. 6:4) Solomon’s advice was “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Paul wrote in I Timothy 5:8 that “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Christian headship in the home encompasses many things such as being a good example, giving helpful instruction, proper discipline, and wise decision making. Being a good provider goes far beyond providing the physical needs of food, clothing, and shelter, but also includes emotional and spiritual support. A wife and mother should certainly contribute to filling these needs in her family as well!