Headship: The Place for Homebuilders
1 Peter 3:7—Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
A member of a church mission committee asked a couple who were being examined for possible support, “Do you pray together?” After an awkward pause, the husband replied, “We both pray, but we do not pray together.” They are not alone. Many Christian couples including pastors and veteran missionaries do not pray together. Nine out of ten Americans say they pray, but only about 14% pray together with their family, close friends, or their church.
Practicing the headship of Christ as a community starts at home. Our marriages especially are an outward illustration of the gospel (Ephesians 5:22-23). Nothing I’ve ever done in ministry has produced more lasting fruit than simply taking my wife by the hand and praying with her to begin our day. In my experience, the care of the emotional (giving honor), intellectual (with understanding), physical (dwell with them), and spiritual (being heirs together of the grace of life) needs of a wife begins when we take her hand and pray with her. Here again our Lead Pastor has established our priorities, starting at home. Public prayers and preaching are severely hindered when there is division at home.
For husbands it is easy to get bitter when the love and respect cycle becomes the crazy cycle. We are warned, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them” (Colossians 3:19). Everyone knows there are times when we must war against our feelings in order to surrender in the holy place.
The main reason we must pray together is to unite under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scripture is clear that God is the head of Jesus, Jesus is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman (I Corinthians 11:3). Clearly Jesus is the head of our homes and needs to be the constant consultant in all of our affairs.
God’s instruction to Israel about the home was definitive.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7—Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
A successful home starts with a covenant love relationship with God, is regulated by the truth of God’s Word, applied to every area of life, and nurtured by meaningful conversations during the natural pauses of home life.
When a couple or family meet for sincere prayer, here’s what they are saying:
“Lord, we love You and want to be with You.”
“Lord, we are totally dependent on You for everything.”
“Lord, we know preeminence belongs to You.”
“Lord, You are the Head of our home.”
“Lord, bring us into harmony with you and each other.”
Someone said, “Home is the place where life makes up its mind.” When parents pray together, kids get the idea and freedom to make prayer the way to live day by day.
From Belief to Behavior
Form a habit (time and place).
Facilitate the habit (tools).
Keep it simple.
Make it fun.
Start upward (Scripture).
Go inward (heart needs).
Then outward (hands at work).
Go rejoicing (hug).