Who Is the Boss Anyway?

Bubba Watson said: “Why do I want somebody to tell me what to do, or tell me what I’m doing wrong? I want to be the boss!” And, yes, we like power and the boss chair; even Jesus’ disciples had frequent disputes on who was to be the boss among them (Matthew 20:20-24; Mark 9:33-34; Luke 9:46)! So, when it comes to the family, many of us want to know who the real boss is.

“The Children Are the Boss!”

Some families operate as if this were the case. Babies use their cry to get the attention of their parents; they cry when they want a drink, a clean diaper, or a lullaby. While this is understandable and expected from babies, some parents let their growing children take their baby’s abilities to a higher level. Toddlers, older children, and even teens are allowed to make a disaster out of their homes, they throw a tantrum when they hear the word “no,” and they demand their rights as if they were kings over a palace of servants. God warns that “a child left to himself brings shame to his mother [and father]” (Proverbs 29:15). Children cannot be the “boss” since they have yet to learn authority, power, and self-control. They are to be taught to obey and honor their parents (Ephesians 6:1-2). Just as Jesus as a child was, they are to be subject to their parents (Luke 2:51). No, the children are not the boss!

“The Wife Is the Boss!”

We live in a feminist era when society does not understand the difference in gender. Basically, the cry is that women can do anything that men can, and if there is something women cannot do, then men should not do it either. This cry has entered the religious arena, as many more women are appointed as “preachers,” “deacons,” and “pastors.” The family has not been immune to this social malady, and now there are many homes where the boss is the woman. The Bible has a different perspective on the role of women—while it demands love, respect, and equal treatment to women (Matthew 7:12; 22:39; Galatians 3:28), it calls for a submissive role for them—whether in the church (1 Timothy 2:11-15) or in the home (Ephesians 5:22-24). No, the woman is not the boss!

“The Husband Is the Boss!”

I grew up in a society were the man was the boss. The father was a king-like figure who, when coming back from work, expected every attention from the “lower” members of his family. He demanded the TV remote control and something to eat. The woman would be the last person to sit at the table and the first to get up if the man wanted seconds. He would never clean a dish, sweep the floor, or change a diaper because that was a woman’s job. He would yell to confirm his authority, and would give account to no one but himself. There is no need to say that this is not a biblical picture of a real man. A husband is to love his wife, even to die for her (Ephesians 5:25-33), and he is to train his kids without exasperation (Ephesians 6:4). Although he is the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23), he is not the boss of the home!

“God Is the Boss!”

The main problem in our homes is that we frequently miss the fact that there is Someone else over the family. We love power and authority, giving orders, and when others obey what we say. This is not the case with the family. When it comes to it, God is the real boss! He commands in the home; He delegates authority; He makes the rules. Due to His perfect attributes (Psalm 119:137; 1 John 4:8), God is the only One suited for this role, since He is a “Boss” Who will never abuse authority, misuse power, or lead astray. When we let Him rule, our home is safe (Psalm 127:1). In fact, our homes will function well when each member understands his/her God-given role in the family unit (Ephesians 5:22-6:4). Although the wife is to be submissive to the husband’s headship, and both are over the children, they are more like managers of the home, making derivative rules and decisions to implement God’s sobering rule and will for the family. Yes, God is the boss!