“Eschatology and Enjoying Your Mate”

Our relationships within our families and in the household of God bear witness to God’s mission to the world.

Beale points out in his last lecture of his Biblical theology series that every time a man leaves his father’s household to cling to his wife (Gen. 2:24), we have “a parable, a repeated parable, of what Christ would do as the husband of the church: leave his father, cleave to the church. He would initiate as the… preserver and leader, and be the instigator and source of unity and nourishment, and the church should respond in trust.” He continues that when a husband lavishly and sacrificially gives to his wife, providing her with what she desires, as long as it is not sinful, he is showing the fallen world something about what Christ has come to do.

In his first lecture on Biblical Theology (available for free download on iTunes U), Dr. Gregory Beale begins to build his case that eschatology is the key to our sanctification. He even half-jokingly suggests teaching one day on the topic, “Eschatology and How to Enjoy Your Mate.” Beale claims that we could all have better marriages if we understand this connection better

That’s worth pondering, isn’t it? And as I have seen all the insistence on carrying the “headship norm” established in Genesis 2 as a “creation norm” to inform one’s view on maleness and femaleness, I’m even more interested in this proposal by Beale.

In my last article, I made the case that headship is a household role. This is an important distinction as Christians discuss what is appropriate in the workforce and civil culture. While there are certainly innate and cultural differences between men and women that we consider in our vocations and in our relationships, headship does not extend beyond the household: all women are not under the authority of all men.

I also pointed to Ephesians 1:10, showing that as the household manager, Christ is working in both God’s household and family households as he is summing up all things in him. And I ended with some questions regarding what the head of a household does here in these last days; and when we are talking about elders in God’s household and husbands in family households, what is their responsibility in authority and leadership?

Before I get to the practical implications, I want to look at this household analogy closer as it is used by Paul in the pastoral epistles. He opens up his letter to Timothy:

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