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The Balanced Patriarch - Who is the High Priest of Your Family

By Michael Pearl


[intro music]

Michael Pearl:  Now we're going to talk a little bit about what it means to be a patriarch ‑‑ a dysfunctional patriarch, and then a functional patriarch. Now what do we mean by this thing, "patriarch"? Well, the Bible tells us that the husband is the head of the house and that he is in effect, the high priest of his family.

Now, we live in modern times when feminists are pushing the idea that men and women are equal. See, men and women are not equal. I'm taller than my wife is. I'm built, constructed different from her. My wife is smarter than I am.


Michael:  She's got a lot better memory than I do and she's a lot more emotional than I am. She's more gentle than I am and she's more irrational than I am. [laughter]

Michael:  Tell me illogical. Someone said, "When are you going to write that book to men?" I'm still trying to understand women. You know, the one thing I've learned about women is you'll never understand women. You just come to where you appreciate them. You can't live with them, you can't live without them. I'm enjoying living with her, and experiencing new things every day.

Men and women are not equal, they are different. When you have two people working together, one of them has got to call the shots. We do a lot of construction work, and that sort of thing. When you got two guys that are both bosses working together, one of them has to be the boss for the day.

If he's not, you'll never get anything done, because there's always different ways of doing things. Someone has to call the shots. The other one, even though he's a good boss and a smart boss, he has to voluntarily submit himself to the other boss and go along, act like he was a hired hand.

What he can do, and he will, is he will say, "Hey, what about this?" He'll offer a suggestion. The boss who's bossing will say, "No, I think we'll do it this way." So he shuts his mouth, if he's smart, and goes along with what the other guy says.

It may turn out, like it does in marriage, that second boss was right. First boss has to eat it. Second boss has to be gracious then, and just say, "Well, you know, sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't."

That's the way marriage is. Men are not more spiritual. They're not smarter. They're just bigger and they're tougher. Somewhere somebody's got to be in charge, don't they?

Throughout scripture, God has appointed that the man should be the final say, the final one who's in charge.

Now a lot of people, I don't know where they get the idea, but they think I'm some really bossy boss. You know, in the marriage. Because, like I say to my wife, "Sit down!", and she sits down. Or, "Stand up", and she stands up. That's the way I am, and she quickly responds.

Actually, I give in a whole lot to her. In other words, when her ideas are better, I listen. I go along with her ideas. I defer to her in a lot of decisions. We're really partners. We're really very close working together partners.

Now, there have been times that we've come up with differences. She stands firm, "This is the way I think it ought to be". I say, "Well, I don't think it ought to be that way, and so we're going to do it this way."

When we come down to that point, and I say "this is the way we're going," she shuts up and she supports my position. She tries to help me succeed in the decision I've made. If I turn out to be wrong, she doesn't rub it in. She knows she won [chuckle] . She knows I know she was right. It's just kind of quiet and it's settled. We go on from there.

Still, in the final analysis, somebody has to make decisions. The bible dictates that the husband should be the head of his house. That's what a patriarch is. He's the man who rules his house.

The alternative to a patriarchal family is a matriarchal family. That is, momma in control. That's where many marriages are. Many home schooled families are matriarchal. The kids are suffering as a result of that.

The two reasons they're matriarchal. Number one is that the father is not acting as the patriarch, and he creates a vacuum. Women are great at filling vacuums. They really are. They will tell you, "Well, he won't do it, somebody's got to."

Some women will jump up and go to work because he's not making enough money. They want to fill that vacuum. Other women will jump in and take the spiritual lead because he's not filling that vacuum. You know, men are sort of slow. They have been slowly sucked into a vacuum. Women jump in suddenly. Ladies, if you'll stay out, eventually that man will be drawn into the vacuum to fill it. Now, maybe not like you'd like for him to.

That's what a patriarchal family is, the man taking charge and taking rule. Some men rule rather casually, and laid back. Not quick enough for the ladies. But ladies, you need to just wait and let the man take the lead.


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3 comments on “The Balanced Patriarch - Who is the High Priest of Your Family”

  1. I agree that women should be careful not to fill the vacuum too quickly, but sadly, it is not true that just because you don't step in that he will step up. That is a very unfortunate position for a wife to be in and very difficult to know how long to wait on your man before humbly meeting the needs of your children to the best of your ability when he will not. Passivity and apathy from fathers and husbands is so painful to live with if you are a woman of God deeply desiring God's best for you marriage and family.

  2. I agree that the husband is the head...

    What should the wife do when a husband makes a decision that is financially ruining the family? I have sought counsel from other Christians and they agree that his decision isn't in the best interest of our childrens future and also financially. My husband saw a matriarchal family and the problems it causes during his growing up years. He now thinks that following a womans suggestion means she is 'running the show'.

    I want to be his best friend and queen but instead I feel like a concubine that belongs to a king...

  3. God did't instruct us to follow our husband's lead and submit to him only when we agreee with his decisions. God didn't tell us to submit to our husband's authority only when he makes financially correct decisions on behalf of our children. God didn't qualify his instructions or modify them in any way. We are to submit to the authority of our husbands. It is a preparation for our submission to God. It is an object lesson for our children. When they see our loving submission to our husbands it is a demonstration of our faith that God works all things for our good. All things. Even the whims and poor decisions of a foolish man with a wife convinced of her own superior wisdom. Love the man you married and treat him like the head of your family. He probably doesn't deserve it, but if we all got what we deserved we'd be in Hell right now. Instead, Jesus gave us that remarkable, undeserved gift of salvation.

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