The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother Having previously looked at: The Importance of Making God the Priority of Our Families, Implementing God as the Priority Choice of Our Families, Understanding How Priority Choices Affect Our Families, and Husbands/Fathers in the Christian Family, Let’s spend a few minutes on this vitally important aspect of the Christian Family. The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother As was emphasized last time regarding husbands/fathers, the order of these separate but potentially related roles is important, Gen.2:18-24 > 4:1-2. When counseling a young couple regarding marriage, I typically recommend that they wait a few years before having children. The reason is simple: It takes a couple of years to learn to be a husband and a wife according to biblical directives. Having children immediately (or previously) usually complicates the process unnecessarily. So, learn to be husbands & wives first, then becoming fathers and mothers is easier., Heb.13:4. The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother As husbands should learn proper “headship” through sacrificial love, physical & spiritual provision and protection for his wife first (before fatherhood), so too wives must learn to be a biblical wife (preferably) before becoming “mothers.” She must learn submission, Eph.5:22-24. This is literally arranging oneself under the control of another. (Greek hupo + tasso) Such underscores the importance of a proper choice of a husband who is worthy of her love, trust, honor, respect, and commitment, vv.25-31. The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother As husbands should learn proper “headship” through sacrificial love, physical & spiritual provision and protection for his wife first (before fatherhood), so too wives must learn to be a biblical “wife” (preferably) before becoming “mothers.” She must also learn biblical love, Titus 2:4. This is neither immature “gooey” infatuation nor lust- but is instead mature appreciation of his true character, and a lifetime commitment of dedication to him, Matt.19:3-6; Rom.7:2-3; Gen.2:18 > 1Cor.11:8-9. Such again emphasizes the importance of the choice of a “right” husband. No other decision, save our commitment to Christ, is so important. The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother Once the wife has learned biblical submission to and biblical love of her husband (and he of course has likewise learned his biblical role and responsibilities), she is ready to be a biblical “mother.” Like with her husband, she must learn to love her children, Titus 2:4. Such is not always “natural” – Rom.1:31 (Greek astorgo is “without natural affection”- stergo is to “cherish affectionately) This learned love is the one that permits the wife/mother to still feel and act biblically toward a husband or children who are being or acting decidedly “unlovable”! cf. 1Pet.3:1-2 The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother Another role (in addition to love and submission) of the biblical wife is that of a teacher. Although hers is not the primary responsibility, Eph.6:4; she still has an important part to play. She may have to teach her husband, 1Cor.7:1314,16; 1Pet.3:1-2. And she certainly must take part in teaching her children, Titus 2:4ff! However, she is not required to be the public instructor of the assembly- in fact, she is clearly prohibited from this role, 1Tim.2:11ff. The man is given the public responsibility of teaching, and she is given a more private role, cf. 1Tim.2:8 > 11-12. The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother So, what is the biblical wife/mother to be/teach? Look closely at Titus 2:4-5: Love of family, v.4- as already discussed; but also what she has learned and developed as she has matured as a wife & mother so that Prov.31:28-31 comes to pass. Sensibility, v.5- Greek word is sophron and means to be “of sound mind, self-controlled.” Translated as “prudent” in 1Tim.3:2. It seems to suggest “having good sense” and capable of reasonableness. The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother So, what is the biblical wife/mother to be/teach? Look closely at Titus 2:4-5: Purity, v.5. Greek word here is hagnos and means “clean, innocent, modest, perfect, chaste, pure.” Obviously sexual purity is the primary application. Mothers, are you teaching your daughters to dress, speak and socialize with purity? If not, such could lead to sexual impurity. Workers at Home, v.5- Literally, oikourgos is the combination of oikos (home, household) and ergon (worker). Understand that oikos refers not only to the house itself, but also the occupants, Prov.31:27. She is not home-bound as Prov.31:16,24 make clear; but does have this primary responsibility. The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother So, what is the biblical wife/mother to be/teach? Look closely at Titus 2:4-5: Kindness, v.5. This is typically, and unfortunately thought of as inherited rather than taught. Agathos is also rendered “good”- Matt.7:18; 1Pet.2:18. Surely such is also part of 1Pet.3:4. Subjection, v.5- Obviously, this has been previously covered in this lesson. Let’s add that it is the same word as in Rom.13:5, and the same concept as 1Cor.11:3. Such does not require slavery, nor forbids independent thought. It does require one to humbly submit and arrange themselves under the control of another. 1Pet.3:1-6. The Christian Family: The Role of Wife/Mother What about it, wives and mothers? Are these things being lived, demonstrated, and taught in your home? Ladies, I know some of you are doing simply terrific jobs in your homes of being godly wives and mothers. Trust me, it shows and is much appreciated. And it will bear fruit to the Lord for generations to come!