When it is raining outside to stay dry and protected from the elements we usually grab for our trusty umbrella. About 26 years ago in a Bible study at the then Williams Air Force Base in Arizona we learned from our leader about staying under God's protective umbrella. Picture if you will God having a huge umbrella. If you are married the next umbrella is slightly smaller than God's and is beneath His then there is the wife whose umbrella is a slight bit smaller than the husbands. After this the children have smaller umbrellas underneath the mom. Now this does not imply that man is better and greater and more important than his wife. It also does not mean that children are not important. What this illustrated was the submission of authority that works best. We are to stay under God's protection by reading His word , the Bible, and following what it says. By doing this we are protected from evil. Next is the husband who is given authority by God as the head of the home. He is to stay in tune with God and stay under God's umbrella as God will guide him and give him wisdom as he seeks to be the leader God intended him to be. Then the wife is to submit to the husbands' authority and stay under her husbands umbrella. This does not give the man authority to act like her dad or boss her around. But if a decision has to be made the final authority would rest with the man. The man and woman should consult in what they do as they are 'joint heirs' of the gift of life. 1 Peter 3:7 says "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." See right there if you want to have your prayers heard you better be treating the little lady nice. But just like in the Army there can not be all Generals leading the troops but there have to be privates as well. In a home we have to have a head. But everyone is important. The wife who rebels is not pleasing to God just like the husband who is mean to his wife and treats her like a worker bee. The children should obey their parents by staying under their parents 'umbrella' of authority. This same Bible study teacher also reminded women to be respectful and kind and pointed out a scripture about rebellion in 1 Samuel 15:23 it says "For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king."
I believe it was the Travelers Insurance Company that used an umbrella in their logo. Actually it is a good 'word picture' to illustrate protection. I wish I knew who to give credit for in this Bible study lesson back in 1984. The fact is that it makes sense. My husband would occasionally say, "You can stay under my umbrella or do things your own way." Usually if the man is led by the Lord he will have the woman's best interest at heart. Men are not to trample and abuse their wives but love them like Christ loved the church. Ephesians 5:25-27 says "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." Think of that men, loving your wife that way. Never saying a harsh unkind word to her and loving her so much you would give your life for her. Marriages start off that way but they should finish that way too and they can if the couple puts the Lord firmly and sincerely in the center of the relationship. And wives out there whose husband may not be doing what it says in scripture 1 Peter 3:1 says "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives". In other words pray and let God do the changing of hearts.
Gods' umbrella is there to protect us from the storms of life. First and foremost you need to stay under it for his guidance and protection. Proverbs 3:5-6 says to us " Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Whose umbrella are you standing under?
PRAYER: Thank you for the authority that is set up in your word. Lord for those reading this who may single help them to stay under your umbrella. Enable those of us who are married to stay under the umbrella God intended in order to have a smooth family life. Help us never 'lord over' those under us. Father I pray for those reading this who may be in abusive relationships that you would give them wisdom and help them seek help if in danger. Father I pray for men who say they are Christian Lord to hunger for the word so that they may truly know how to lead their families now and into the future.Father thank you for your word which gives me direction. In Jesus Name, Amen!