Dan Popp
Lawless families
By Dan Popp
March 22, 2012

Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6b, NASB)

We've looked at lawlessness as it's expressed in our government, our churches and in some individuals. That leaves one important societal building block unexamined. I'll conclude this series with some thoughts about lawless families.

At first this may seem like an absurd category. What eternal laws apply to family relationships? Many would say, "None" — or maybe one: "Respect each other." Nothing wrong with that. But those of us who believe in divine revelation are going to add a few more. There's the timeworn command to honor our fathers and mothers. Even when we're grown, our parents are to be treated as more-than- peers. We can already see that, in God's family plan, there is a blessed inequality.

We're all equal in God's sight, it's true — and just as truly we are all unequal. On the one hand Christians can say, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28) This refers to our identical position before God: "accepted in the Beloved." On the other hand, "Husbands, love your wives... and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." (Ephesians 5:25, 33, 6:1) This points out our differing responsibilities. We have the same worth, but not the same roles. Only someone willing to discard his reason could miss the elementary distinction between "equal" and "identical." Yet the left's sexual agenda is built on exactly that muddle.

The Christian view upholding male headship of the family (and of the church) has been so caricatured that I almost despair of getting a fair hearing for it. It would take me many articles to talk about what this biblical view really is, versus what it is lampooned to be; about the heartbreaking disasters that the "egalitarian" view has wrought on our society; about the common root of Marxism, feminism and homosexual politics; about the flight of men from the church, and from their families; and about the beauty of the view that celebrates men and women as complementary expressions of the image of God. For those interested in this, I recommend the fine work of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, at www.cbmw.org.

I'll content myself with saying this: Feminism presents a false choice for family leadership patterns. It says that we can choose either "equality" (by which feminists mean sameness; undifferentiated roles), or "male domination." But there is a third pattern, which is repeated often in the Bible: loving, humble guidance from the husband, reciprocated by respectful support from the wife. As John Piper wrote, "Biblical headship for the husband is the divine calling to take primary responsibility for Christlike, servant-leadership, protection and provision in the home. Biblical submission for the wife is the divine calling to honor and affirm her husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts."

In the New Testament, marriage is a symbol of Christ's relationship to the church. In that relationship Christ leads, and the church joyfully yields to His headship because she recognizes His sacrificial love for her. That's far from both equality and oppression. Male domination and the feminist "sameness" model really spring from the same fallacy: that authority determines worth. That is an explicitly un-Christian view.
    Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:42-45)
Why does this matter? Shouldn't a family be a democracy? — or if not, shouldn't it be led by the person most competent to lead, whoever he or she might be?

Not if we were made by a Creator. If we were, we would expect deviation from His loving instructions for the family to be accompanied by all sorts of strife, dysfunction and tragedy. The loss of the paradigm of Dad as provider, protector and pathfinder has caused women to seek those things from government instead. The loss of the idea of Mom as the life-bringer, supporter and nurturer has caused men to abdicate their leadership responsibilities and turn inward. The loss of both has caused children to grow up scarred and broken — if they are allowed to be born at all.

I saw a TV special on the recent sinking of the cruise liner Costa Concordia. Did you know that "women and children first" is no longer the rule in emergencies at sea? The new rule, according to this documentary, is to keep families together for the sake of smoother evacuation. Everything in me as a man says that that is wrong. Men know at the level of our DNA that being a man means protecting women and children.

Once we've said "families first" into the lifeboats, there's no reason not to ask, "What is a family, really? Isn't everyone a part of someone's family? Why should I be penalized if, through no fault of my own, my loved ones are not on board? What makes your life more valuable than mine?" Apparently, egalitarianism is Latin for "everybody dies arguing."

The biblical view is that all people are equally valuable. But some are called by God to be givers of life, and some are called to be protectors of life.

I believe it's no coincidence that, as women have assumed more authority in our culture, 50 million children have been murdered in the name of "Women's Rights." This is what happens when the protector of the family is told that his services are no longer required. We've been told that women civilize men via marriage. It should also be clear that men are needed to keep women and children from their own distinct and dangerous brands of lawlessness.

Merv Griffin: What's happened to our country? What's wrong with our children? Why are our families falling apart? What's missing?

Lucille Ball: Papa's missing. Things are falling apart because Papa's gone. If Papa were here, he would fix it.

© Dan Popp


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