For many pastors, keeping Christ at the center of their families can be far more difficult than they imagine, said Israel Villalobos.
During his June 13 message at the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference in Anaheim Villalobos focused on the challenges pastors face in honoring the Lord in their homes.
Sometimes simply putting your family ahead of a night of football or another interest can be difficult, said Villalobos, Spanish service pastor for Plymouth Park Baptist Church in Irving, Texas.
Reading through Colossians 3:18–4:1, he noted that some people “cringe” with the verses that address wives submitting to their husbands. He noted some may view these verses as “chauvinistic” with Paul saying men are superior to women.
Context is key
“But, if you fully comprehend the culture when women were objects to be used and enjoyed simply for bearing children and for the man to have an heir, then you can see how Paul was presenting a view of marriage that actually elevated women to a level of equality and value they did not experience during that time — and perhaps had not even considered.”
Villalobos noted the concept of husbands loving their wives might have been a new concept at that time. He noted this might have been “new to those who were listening,” he said. “It wasn’t common for this type of instruction to take place.”
But even today, he said, husbands struggle to love their wives.
“Sadly even today that instruction is still even mind blowing,” he said. “How often do husbands in marital counseling need to be reminded to love their wife?
“Many husbands will gladly take the bullet [for their wives],” he said. But not many are “willing to let go of sports, hobbies, Tuesday night softball.”
He noted, “Remember, wifely submission and husbandly sacrificial love are God’s established rules. We must do these things so God the Father is glorified.”
Fathers and children
Another challenge, he said, focuses on fathers and their children. He shared how children should obey their parents, and fathers shouldn’t “exasperate their children so that they won’t become discouraged.”
“Incorporating discipline is very important,” he said, “but it must be administered with the right attitude in the right frame of mind.
“Non-stop criticism or harsh and constant punishments will definitely cause them to lose heart,” he said. “That’s not what we want. We want them to be encouraged, to feel loved, and have a healthy balance of sweetness and godly discipline as we raise them, learning to be firm and gentle at the same time.”
Villalobos noted too often pastors’ kids pull away from the church because they feel their father loves the church more than he loves them.
“Fathers, we must understand what Paul is doing here,” he said, “he’s wanting us to magnify Christ in practical ways in the home first. We are to encourage our children so that they love us, yes, but mainly that they love God.”
He concluded, “Regardless if you’re the wife, the husband, the parent, the child, the worker, the employer … do these godly things. Live this way. Have this mindset because this honors God.”
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