I’m guessing that some of you out there may be a little bothered about my thoughts on the roles of men and women. That would be, honestly, my first reaction also. In this age, we have been taught to think quite differently than what the Bible says about our gender responsibilities. We’ve been instilled with what the world tells us to do and don’t even realize it.
For example, I was doing something in the kitchen while Rick watched television (our usual roles when we are at home – pretty typical for men and women regardless of how modern we’ve become, don’t you think?). A commercial came on for Dr. Pepper and its thirty-two new flavors (?!?!), and it ended with, “This is not for women.” (Or something to that affect.)
I immediately responded with an emphatic, “What! What do they mean??” Rick laughed and we agreed it was a brilliant ad campaign. I wanted to run right out and buy some of this new Dr. Pepper. Don’t tell me I can’t do something!
We as women long for the same opportunities, respect, pay, etc. as men. I get that, and I feel the same way. Is that because the world has programmed us to feel this way, or do we truly desire to walk the same path men walk in this world?
I struggled greatly when my children were small because the world told me I should go to work, NOT stay at home with my babies. That would be unfulfilling (so we were told). I chose to stay at home because I couldn’t ignore my inner feelings about raising my children, regardless of what society said. I wrestled internally for years over that decision. I am so grateful, now, that I followed my heart.
I still believe most women inwardly desire to be the homemaker, wife and mother. That is how God made us. I believe many of our struggles come from ignoring that deep rooted longing by trying to live a life meant for men, not for women, while still upholding our roles as wives and mothers. It’s very hard to do it all. Please feel free to make any comments if you think I’m totally out in left field. I’d like to know how others feel about this. (If you love your life as a full-time working woman, good for you! I just don’t know too many who do.)
Now back to another gender responsibility: what the Bible says about the husband “ruling” over the wife (Genesis 3:16) and his obligation for this command.
It is absolutely necessary for the husband to be a godly leader in order for a wife to want to submit to him. I no longer have issues with this directive because my husband is an amazing spiritual leader between the two of us. I completely respect him and desire to put his needs ahead of my own. I’m often grateful for his lead because I sometimes flounder at decision making, and I know he will choose according to God’s plan for us. My husband treats me as Paul recommends in the following verses.
Ephesians 5, verses 25 -31 talks about the comparison of the marriage relationship to Christ and the church.
“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. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church, for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
Paul tells the husband, numerous times, to love his wife. Even more, he equates it to Christ loving the church, the most precious, sacred relationship in the Bible, next to God and His Son Jesus.
Our husband needs to take us to the same level as Christ loving the church, or we will be unable to totally submit to him or completely desire to put his needs ahead of our own. You see, that is the most important lead the husband will ever take in a marriage. In demonstrating this love for his wife, as Christ loved the church, he places her ahead of himself as we are all told to do in verse 21. “Submit to one another out of reverence for God.” She, in turn, wholeheartedly desires to put her husband’s needs above her own.
Until a husband can love his wife as Christ loved the church, the wife will only be able to submit out of duty, not as a loving act from her heart. So you see, it is the actions of the husband that initiate the desire for the wife to submit.