Christ is the head of this house, the unseen guest at every meal, the silent listener to every conversation.
“Next time you get a new album, imagine Jesus sitting there with you listening to it in your room. Does he like the lyrics?”
My friends and I laughed out loud. Are you actually really serious right now?
I had just bought Michael Jackson’s Thriller on cassette tape at my local K-Mart. I tried for a split second to imagine Jesus reading the lyric insert with me. I couldn’t even do it. It felt SO weird. We were sitting on the floor at Junior High Youth Group. I must have been about 13 years old. I had accepted Christ at Winter Camp a few months earlier and was anxious to grow in my relationship with Him. The speaker that night was talking to us about living every day for Christ and about learning to acknowledge God’s presence with us all the time in every situation. In that context, he posed this challenge.
I remember being both amused and confused by the thought. I pretty much dismissed it except for the fact that, nearly 35 years later, I still remember it like it was yesterday. The thought of Jesus being that involved in my day-to-day, moment-by-moment life was foreign to me. It felt unspiritual and utterly beneath the creator of the universe to invite Him to listen to Michael Jackson with me. I wondered, ‘Did He even like that style of music? Doesn’t
What I didn’t understand then but what I am learning now is that the speaker that night was on to something. Something deep. Something important. Something profound. He was challenging me to become a disciple and embrace the truth that God is with me all the time in every situation. He was reminding me that He is interested in everything about me and that His promises and prescriptions for my life are relevant and applicable all the time. He wanted me to remember I am never out of God’s sight and never out of His care. Furthermore, by remembering His presence, learning his promises and heeding his prescriptions for my life, I will grow in my relationship with Him and become more like Him. Finally, this speaker knew something else – one of the first proving grounds for this transformation is the family home.
The twin processes of growing in our knowledge of and love for God (discipleship) and being transformed to become like Christ (sanctification) require time and practice. They are, first and foremost, processes, not instantaneous occurrences. This is evidenced by the way the Bible talks about them. It uses phrases like “study to show yourself approved” (2 Timothy 2:15), “be diligent” in these matters (I Timothy 4:15), and “commit yourself to God” (Job 11:13). – definitely something that happens choice by choice, day by day, not all at once.
It takes only a cursory glance at the world around us to recognize that it is becoming an increasingly inhospitable environment for those seeking to grow as disciples of Christ. This is not to say that it can’t happen “out there” but only to acknowledge that it is far more difficult. The family home, by way of contrast, is (or should be) a unique environment, away from the opinions and expectations of others, and away from the pressures of culture. It should be a place where God’s presence is honored, where His promises are applied and where His prescriptions for our lives are practiced. This brings me to the topic I really want to delve in to: What does it mean to say (and live out the truth) that Christ is the head of my home?
Headship. It’s not a term we use that often, if at all… so I looked it up (hint: sometimes we have to start by defining what we’re talking about before we try to figure out how to do it). Here’s what my Bible Dictionary says: Headship is “the quality of being in a position of leadership or guidance. Headship has to do with God’s relation to this created world, and to his ordering of relationships within it. Headship among human beings does not necessarily signify superior status, but rather a role of leadership and care. Scripture sees it as involving servanthood, and views Jesus Christ as the supreme model of this.” When the Bible talks about Christ as the head, it is usually in the context of the church. For example, Ephesians 1:22 says, “And He (God) put all thing in subjection under His (Jesus’) feet, and gave Him (Jesus) as head over all things to the church.” There are other places in Scripture that prescribe an order for Biblical leadership, but that is a topic for another day. What I want to focus on, here, is a model for all of us… married or not…as followers of Jesus.
Each of us has been called to grow as disciples of Jesus and to allow our lives to be sanctified through the work of the Holy Spirit. Think back to that definition for a minute. The Bible is clear that followers of Christ are to submit to the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to surrender to his care for us and to follow his example of servanthood. The Bible is also unwavering on the fact that God is always with us and His ways are always best for us. We just have to learn to trust Him. This is where time and practice come in and this is where that speaker was trying to direct me so many years ago. I grow in my awareness of God’s constant presence with me when I practice remembering it. I remember it when I’m at home doing chores, talking with my friends, surfing the internet, taking care of my family and even as a 13-year-old, inviting Jesus to listen to my new album with me. I grow in my confidence and subsequent reliance on God’s prescriptions for my life when I practice applying them in the small situations that characterize my day-to-day. I learn to believe and lean on His promises when I pause to see what His Word has to say on whatever issues I’m dealing with on a given day (instead of checking with friends first or just doing what “feels right).”
With each choice to practice these things in my home, I become stronger, more confident and more able to make these kinds of choices as I move about in the world. When Christ is truly the head of my home, He ultimately becomes the head of my life and that headship flows through my life, transforming me day by day, as a testimony in the world. In closing, I want to just ask one question…
Thinking about your home-life right now, whatever it looks like: Where do you need to practice remembering God’s presence? or leaning on His promises? or applying His prescriptions for life? If you’re like me, several things come to mind all at once. Pick one. Write it down and commit it to the Lord today. It is your first step towards making Christ the head of your home.