No Order...No Peace

by Sam Maglaris

Scripture says, “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Cor 14:33). Peace, here, is synonymous with order. If we desire true, biblical peace in our homes, we must have order that comes from God. The Apostle Paul had much to say to the church in Corinth about the way they assembled. In 1 Corinthians 14, he presented solutions for the disorderly nature of their congregational gatherings. Believers were exercising the gifts of the Spirit in a chaotic fashion; there was no order. After Paul offered practical advice for doing things in an orderly way, he reminded the Corinthians of what God is like…a God of order (1 Cor 14:33). This means that God is particular about the way things are done…church gatherings, relationships, our personal life, and even our own homes! The New Testament authors had plenty to say about order in the home (Eph 5:22–6:9; Col 3:18–21; 1 Pet 3:1–7; 1 Cor 11:3), not only because it was relevant to the cultural context of their time, but that it reflected the very nature of God—a God of order. Order matters to God, so it should matter to us.

Our homes, for most of us, are a place of comfort, rest, and safety. Have you ever been on a vacation a little too long and all you can think about is being back home in your bed? Home is a place of familiarity, and for some of us, this could be detrimental. N.T. Wright says, “the home is where, for better or worse, we are most like ourselves.” Our homes are where the “Gospel rubber” meets the road. It is the location where our faith should be most actively put into practice; sadly, for some, it is the least. For faith to be put into action in our homes, it must operate within the parameters of order.

So what does it mean to have a home “in order” according to God? While the Scriptures don’t provide us with answers for every possible situation, I believe the basic instructions for order in the home provide us with a framework in which we can operate and give us the best possible chance to have a Gospel-centered home. This basic framework is three-pronged: submission, love, and obedience. Let’s lay out the framework.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands” (Eph 5:22–24). Wait a minute! Paul, a single man, is telling wives how they should live? The audacity! How could a man with no idea about what it was like being a wife, let alone a woman, tell a wife she needed to submit to her husband? Well, because on the road to Damascus, Paul encountered the one that lived a life of submission like no other. Paul remembered that Jesus was completely submitted to the will of the Father (Matt 26:39; John 6:38). Paul, and Peter for that matter, had the confidence to instruct wives to submit to their husbands because Jesus was the model (Eph 5:22; Col 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1).

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Eph 5:25–28). Paul instructed husbands to love their wives in the same sacrificial way that Christ loved the church. This love is characterized by understanding (1 Pet 3:7), honor (1 Pet 3:7), and gentleness (Col 3:19). The New Testament authors address the other half of the married couple to live out something that Jesus exemplified as well…love (John 3:16).

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise),” (Eph 6:1–2). Paul finishes his instructions for the family unit by addressing children. Once again, his instructions are calling members of a family to mirror the life of Jesus. Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father (Phil 2:8; Rom 5:19; Heb 5:8).

A life of submission, love, and obedience is not only for the wife, husband, or child, but for the single person as well. Singles, when you are at home, are you fully submitted to Jesus? Does what you engage yourself in at home reflect a life of love, submission, and obedience? When you are in the place (home) where you are the “rule-maker”, do you allow Jesus to take that title from you?

Maybe today you are realizing the lack of peace in your home. Perhaps there is a sense of confusion or a lack of purpose and direction. I urge you to look at the order in your home. Husbands, love your wives. Care for her, nurture her, cherish her, be gentle with her, live in such a way that she knows you would lay down your life for her and your family. Wives, submit to your husbands. Have his back, be there for him when times are tough, prefer him over yourself, live in such a way that he knows you will be right there next to him no matter what decision he makes. Children, obey your parents. Honor them with your words, obey them with your actions, live in such a way that they would be overfilled with joy as they think upon your life. Brothers and sisters, submit to Jesus when no one is around, obey Him even when no one can see, love Him when you’re home alone as if you were in a Sunday gathering. Over the years I’ve heard countless preachers allude to the idea of the church needing to live the gospel “outside the four walls of the church”. While this is true, many forget that we need to live the gospel WITHIN the four walls of our homes. Submission, love, and obedience…this is what should permeate from our homes, whether we are married or single. This is the kingdom blueprint for the home. This is the Jesus way.