In the past few articles we have been considering the truth that God’s people are the servants of the Lord. The Lord is pleased to use His people for the realization of His purpose: the advancement of His kingdom and the glory of His own name. We have been made the servants of the Lord through the wonder of the grace of God. No man by nature is the servant of the Lord. By nature men are rebels against the Lord. They seek only themselves, to live in lust and wickedness for their own vain glory. We are to be the servants of the Lord in every single area of our life. The most important area in which we are to serve the Lord is in the church of God. But it is definitely not the only area where we are to serve the Lord. The second most important sphere in which we are to serve the Lord is the Christian home.
In our modern age men hardly serve the Lord in the home. They have rebelled against the Lord and sought to overturn all the ordinances of the Lord for marriage and the home. They have sought to revise all of these ordinances according to their own vain human philosophy in order that they can use marriage for sin and wickedness. They seek in marriage only the lust of the flesh and the pride of life and the glory of man. They justify themselves in making and breaking marriage as they will. Ungodly women do not want to serve in the role which God has given to them in subjection to the Lord. Many even refuse to get married at all. They refuse the Lord’s calling to bring forth and raise children in the fear of the Lord. If they have children at all they only train them to be as evil as themselves according to the standards of greatness and glory of the world. Professing themselves to be wise in marriage they have become fools because they refuse to acknowledge and serve the Lord. As a result the curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked and there is confusion, strife, enmity, and conflict. Many of the world’s marriages end in divorce and misery.
The Christian recognizes and acknowledges that marriage is the institution of the Lord. Therefore those who enter into marriage must serve the Lord in it. Because marriage is the Lord’s institution the Lord determines everything about the marriage of the Christian. The Lord has ordained whom we should marry and if we follow His guidance as His servants He will bring to us the partner He has chosen for us. The Lord has ordained what the role of each partner should be in marriage. He has ordained that the husband should be the head of the wife and that the wife should be subject unto her husband. The Lord has ordained that father and mother should rule over their children and that children should obey their parents. The Lord has ordained that marriage should be a lifelong relationship of love and faithfulness between one man and one woman. He has ordained that marriage should be a relationship in which a man and woman become one flesh, living in union and communion with one another in all of their life. All of these things are absolutes for the Christian in his marriage. We serve the Lord in marriage when we submit ourselves to all of the ordinances of the Lord. Though the world may ridicule all of these ordinances and set them aside for human philosophy, the Christian abides by them for the Lord’s sake. In this way the Christian obtains the blessing and favor of the Lord upon his marriage. God has ordained that marriage should be a reflection of the love and faithfulness of Christ for His church. We serve the Lord in our marriages when we strive by the grace of God to reflect that wonderful love and faithfulness in all of its rich aspects. God has been pleased to make the Christian home the sphere where He especially realizes His covenant with believers and their children. We serve the Lord in our marriages when we seek faithfully to fulfill our covenant obligations for the glory of the Lord.
Do we consider marriage from the view point of serving the Lord? Marriage is not only for the advantage and pleasure of man. Surely God has made marriage for man’s good. There are great joys and blessings in marriage for man. When God gives to man a godly wife of His choosing He gives to him perhaps the most precious earthly gift imaginable. But there is a higher purpose for marriage. God is the ultimate purpose of all our life as Christians. To serve Him, to do His will and to please Him, to bring glory to His name, this is the great desire and calling of the Christian. Together husband and wife must serve the Lord in marriage, each assisting the other.
This perspective on marriage will have great consequences. The great desire of young people should be to set up godly Christian covenant homes. This is the Lord’s purpose for man. Though God has ordained for some in His wise and good providence that they should remain single, and He also has a wonderful calling for such to serve Him in a special way, in most cases to refuse to marry, as many in our day are doing, is to rebel against God. When the Christian seeks a marriage partner he does not merely look for the most handsome or pretty, the most popular, or the one who can provide great material wealth and honor among men in the future. The chief consideration of the Christian from the beginning is to find a Christian partner with whom he can serve the Lord together in a Christian home. All the rest is secondary. This implies careful evaluation of prospective partners according to the standard of the Word of God. The Christian always asks, will such a man or-woman make a good Christian husband or wife who can assist me in the service of the Lord.
God has ordained that in marriage husband and wife should serve one another. When they do that according to the God-ordained order they also serve the Lord. God gave to man a woman to be his help meet. The Lord created woman suitable for this role. This means the woman’s great calling in marriage is to serve her husband in subjection unto him. She does not do this as man’s slave, but willfully and joyfully and in love. In doing this she also serves the Lord. That is what the apostle Paul means when he says in Ephesians, “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord.” This requires humble service. It requires self-sacrifice and meekness. This is exactly the opposite of the modern, 20th century woman of the world who is often egotistical, self-seeking and rebellious. They seek only their own glory, and their own wicked lusts and cravings. The Christian woman with a sober and quiet spirit serves her husband. She is in the sight of God of great price. Her glory and honor is of the Lord and not of men. She is a tremendous testimony in the midst of a wicked age. God has said that it is not good for man to be alone. He needs a companion and partner to help him in his great calling to serve the Lord. The godly woman serves as such for the glory of the Lord and the welfare of her husband.
The husband must also serve the Lord in marriage. Though he has been made to be the head of his wife he must serve her. That may sound contradictory but in fact it is not. We see this especially in our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He is the Lord of His people He became their servant in order to save them. So also it must be with the Christian husband. God made woman in such a way that she needs a head to rule over her. That is inherent in her nature. The husband serves the Lord when he rules over his wife for her advantage. He is a rebel against God when he is a cruel tyrant over his wife and when he rules over his wife for his own advantage and glory and for her misery and destruction. The woman has a unique and wonderful calling before the Lord in marriage. She needs her husband to help her in fulfilling that calling. Her calling in marriage is far too great for her to fulfill by herself. She is constantly in need of her husband’s assistance. Also on the part of the husband this requires self-sacrifice and humility. In Ephesians 5 Paul says that the husband must give himself for his wife. That involves complete self-sacrifice. One cannot possibly give more than himself. The husband serves his wife and the Lord when he nourishes, cherishes, supports, and provides for his wife. If he does not do this he is a worthless infidel. The godly husband serves the Lord when he rules over her in order to lead her in the way of sanctification according to the Word of God.
Man and wife have the great calling to serve the Lord in marriage by bringing forth children. When those of the world refuse to do this they are rebels against God and they again seek themselves and not the Lord. The godly woman recognizes that she is the handmaid of the Lord. Perhaps- the most beautiful example of this is one of the greatest women of the Bible called Hannah. She greatly desired to have children. She prayed unto the Lord and confessed that she was the handmaid of the Lord. Her desire was not carnal. If the men and women of this world do have children it is usually for carnal and selfish reasons. They look at children as an extension of their own pride. They raise them for the glory of men. Hannah, the handmaid of the Lord, desired to have a son that she might give him to the Lord to serve in His house. When godly men and women seek to have children they seek to fulfill the mandate of the Lord from creation to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. When a godly couple seeks to have children their highest motives are to bring forth the children of God’s covenant. This takes tremendous sacrifice on the part of the godly couple. For the woman it involves great suffering and hardship. But the godly couple confesses that they are the servants of the Lord, and they humbly offer such sacrifices and willingly bear such suffering and hardship. And the Lord greatly blesses His servants with Christian families. These families are the source of great joy and satisfaction for the godly couple.
Godly parents are servants of the Lord in the home when they raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord so that they too will grow up to be servants of the Lord in His church and kingdom. There is no other institution in the world that can do this. Though the Christian school can assist the parents in this great task, it still remains chiefly the home where this is to be done. The Lord intended that it should be so. Certainly no worldly institution can in any way perform this great task. Parents as servants of the Lord must teach their children the truth of God’s Word. They must teach their children by precept and by true godly example what it means to fear and serve the Lord. All of this takes a lot of work. It requires great sacrifices on the part of the parents. But all these things faithful and devoted servants will do for their beloved Lord and master. Many of the greatest leaders in the church and kingdom of God are a legacy of Christian homes in which they were raised. The majority of the people of God in the church today can testify to their training in Christian homes. I myself thank the Lord daily for the training which I received from my faithful parents.
There are a number of other areas in which Christians serve the Lord in their homes. Perhaps we can mention just one more in closing. The truly Christian home is a house of hospitality. It is open to fellow Christians and members of the church. Christians serve the Lord by receiving their fellow saints into their homes in order to befriend them and encourage them and share with them the blessings which the Lord has given to their home. The Christian home is a wonderful sphere of Christian hospitality also for non-Christians or new people that might visit the church worship services. How many have been added to the church of God in part because of the Christian hospitality shown to them in the homes of the members of the church? Who can measure the blessed Christian fellowship and the joy of the Lord that is communicated to others through the Christian home? Surely the Christian home is one of the greatest areas in which we can serve the Lord. May the Lord in His grace make us His faithful servants in our homes.