Bible accounts of Isaac-Rebekah interactions provide a lesson on transparent husband-wife honor and support for family leadership. Rebekah honored and supported Isaac’s overall leadership but did not expect him to honor her occasional leadership of specific family affairs. Therefore, she relied on bridging over potential disputes to perform her family leadership responsibilities. In one example, she took advantage of Isaac’s failing sight to redirect him to bless their younger son Jacob instead of older son Esau for family inheritance. In another example, she presented a concern they shared regarding marriage to convince Isaac to relocate Jacob but did not present her other concern that Esau was planning to kill Jacob. Their interactions highlight the need for a husband-wife union to expect and receive honor and support for each other’s contribution to family leadership. The accounts provide additional evidence that God uses the family leadership structure to communicate his will to the family.
This discussion of Isaac-Rebekah interactions continues the bible study series on understanding the individual responsibility regarding family leadership. The series is based on bible examples of husband-wife interactions and relationships. Previous studies in the series led to understanding a family leadership structure with the husband as overall leader and the wife as spiritual gateway and occasional leader in specific matters. Also, the previous studies led to understanding that God uses the family leadership structure to communicate his will to the family and calls on the husband-wife union to honor and support each other’s contributions to family leadership. He blesses those that do.
The bible account of the separation of Ishmael from Isaac provides four lessons toward understanding the individual responsibility in family leadership. First, after recognizing the need for the separation, Sarah honored Abraham’s overall leadership by asking him to send Ishmael and his mother away. Abraham honored Sarah’s leadership of the specific matter by taking her demand seriously and seeking God’s guidance toward resolving his personal conflict regarding the demand. Second, God’s guidance to Abraham provides a conflict resolution strategy of focusing on the underlying concerns regarding a dispute. Third, Abraham’s response illustrates quick and permanent resolution of a potentially dividing husband-wife disagreement, to preserve their unity before God. Fourth, the separation highlights selective development of family opportunities: based on selecting the opportunities to develop and those to abandon, delay, or de-emphasize; in order to focus better on the selected opportunities.
We continue the bible study series toward understanding the individual responsibility regarding family leadership, based on bible examples of husband-wife interactions and relationships. Previous studies in the series led to understanding the husband as overall leader of the household and the wife as spiritual gateway of the family and occasional leader in specific matters. Both husband and wife are individually responsible to honor and support family leadership. The family will benefit greatly if they do.
Banking Blessings Ministry welcomes you to 2020. We pray for husband-wife interactions and relationships based on understanding God’s intentions for husband-wife leadership. We discuss our understanding based on biblical accounts of family interactions, with more detail regarding the Shunammite couple that illustrate honor and support of family leadership. The Shunammites illustrate effective management of family affairs based on seeking solutions instead of fault, apportioning responsibilities instead of blame, and establishing methods instead of guilt. This approach helped the Shunammites’ union to be harmonious and effective and will work equally well for any modern-day husband-wife union.
For the year 2020 and beyond, we pray for husband-wife interactions and relationships based on deeper understanding of God’s intentions for family leadership. Therefore, we begin our studies this year with a discussion of leadership of husband-wife union: to share understanding and inspire positive husband-wife interactions. We use examples from the bible to explain that God created marriage to combine man and woman in a union of seamless complements, channels overall leadership of the union through the husband, and often assigns the wife leader and custodian of critical information in specific matters. We focus on accounts from the Shunammite couple to illustrate that a husband-wife union will be harmonious and effective if it honors and supports (1) husband’s overall leadership of the union and (2) wife’s potential leadership and custodianship of critical information in specific matters. In contrast, the union will be disharmonious and ineffective when honor or support for family leadership is lacking.
Interactions at the call of Abraham illustrate God considers husband and wife as one and relies on husband’s leadership and effective communication with his wife to guide them toward his purpose. He spoke to Abraham alone about a mission and promise for his family and relied on him to share the information with wife Sarah to lead their unity of purpose and obedience to God toward accomplishing the mission.
We continue our study of God’s purpose for husband-wife interactions through a mini series on Abraham and Sarah. The biblical accounts of Abraham and Sarah are more often about God’s interactions with Abraham, which intertwine with Abraham-Sarah interactions to tell us about God’s view of their relationship, thus adding to understanding his purpose and expectations for husband-wife interactions and relationships. In a previous study on Adam and Eve (Union of Seamless Complements), we saw that God considers a husband and wife to be one and inseparable. We see more evidence through Abraham-Sarah interactions, based on God speaking to Abraham alone during most encounters when he provided instructions and promises directed at Abraham-Sarah family.
Our study of Abraham-Sarah interactions is divided into four parts in order to focus enough on some of the details. We learn through the four-part series that God considered Abraham leader and representative of the Abraham-Sarah union (therefore, family). Secondly, he considered them as “one in God” such that his promise to one is a promise to the union and any commitment from one is a commitment from the union. Although subtle and at times easy to overlook, the lesson about God relating to Abraham-Sarah as one appears central to his relationship with them. He spoke promises to Abraham that were really promises to Abraham-Sarah and got commitments from him that really were commitments from the husband-wife union.
He gave directions to Abraham, spoke promises to him, and received commitments from him: all on behalf of Abraham-Sarah union. His communications with Abraham applied equally to Sarah as if he spoke to Abraham-Sarah when he spoke to Abraham. For example, when he instructed Abraham to relocate to “a land I will show you” [Genesis 12:1], he was calling Abraham-Sarah to a mission. Abraham’s responsibility to obey God included effective communication with his wife so they could work seamlessly together to accomplish the mission.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS We discuss the responsibilities of leaders and followers through a study of Christ’s rebuke of the teachers of the law in the Seven Woes. He advised the people to honor and heed the teachers but to abhor their lifestyle. He recognized the authority of the teachers but rebuked them for not living according to their interpretations and teaching.
We discuss the responsibilities of leaders and followers based on Christ’s rebuke of teachers of the law in the “Seven Woes” [Matthew 23:1–36]. He rebuked the teachers for not living according to their interpretations and teaching of the law but did not question their authority. He rebuked them for interpreting the law and scriptures for others but making no effort to follow their own teaching. He also rebuked them for focusing on displaying for others to win honor and respect for themselves; and, as a result, misleading people that looked up to them.
Though he rebuked them for such behavior, he did not try to undermine their authority in any way. Instead, he emphasized to his disciples and others that they have to respect and obey the teachers of the law because they represented the authority of Moses among Israelites [Matthew 23:2–3]: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you.” Therefore, in this interaction with his disciples, teachers of the law, and others, Christ taught about our responsibilities to respect and obey our leaders and the responsibilities of leaders to practice what they teach so that others may learn through their living.