Lifelines: Giving the gift of love
by By BETTIE MARLOWE Banner Staff Writer
Jun 14, 2013 | 427 views | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sunday will be “Father’s Day,” and for several weeks, we have perused advertisements with varied offerings as gifts for Dad — everything from the traditional necktie to an outdoor grill. But on Father’s Day, the giving goes both ways.

The greatest gift a child can give his father is honor. “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6).

The Bible tells us this from the beginning: “Children, obey our parents in the Lord; or this is right. Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise)” (Ephesians 6:1, 2). God created this relationship — and it works.

The Bible exalts the family — it is God ordained as is marriage. And the best way to keep order in our lives is to go by His plan.

There is no more comprehensive set of guidelines or a more simplified “how-to” book than the Holy Bible. The Bible is basic, and if we don’t start with it, all the other books — and there are some good ones — are simply lacking.

Society depends on the family. But the institution God set in order is constantly bombarded — in every way that could destroy the very thing that is the world’s salvation.

The model home has God as the head. Visualize a triangle — God is at the apex with the husband and wife at the other two angles. What is so wonderful is that the closer they get to God, the closer they get to each other, and the closer they get to each other, the closer they are to God. That’s the ideal.

According to the Scripture, husband and wife are equally spiritually, but different functionally. Paul calls it a great mystery — this husband-wife relationship — but we accept and understand the example he gives of Christ and the Church.

When a couple cannot submit to the Lord’s plan, the problem is not with the plan, it’s with the earthly players.

Look at these points:

— The husband is not a dictator. When a husband is truly “head of the wife,” he doesn’t have to talk about it. The harmony will broadcast it.

— The husband is not superior. The equation is not 1 plus 1 = 2, but 1 X 1 = 1. Where there is mutual condescension and submission in the family, the duties of all will be better performed.

— The husband is not the exclusive decision maker. But he is responsible for the decision, however it is arrived at.

— The husband is not always right. (Surprised?) The marriage is built on strengths. Sometimes the wife may be the better financial manager; sometimes the husband may be the best launderer or the best cook. Couples can delight in their differences.

By virtue of the Scripture, the husband is head. But the wife is not the neck turning the head wherever she wants. Headship is authority; the wife’s role is rooted in the heart. But authority without love is autocratic; and love without leadership is just sentimentalism. It takes it all.

The formula is in Ephesians 5:25, 28: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

The conclusion of the matter: The greatest gift a child can give to his father is honor. The greatest gift a father can give his child is “to love his mother.”