In Genesis 3 we see where God lays out the roles for both sexes.
Men -Vs. 17-19 “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.” God’s judgment on men – they’ll have to work and work to feed their families. They will also struggle in not allowing their work to become their priority in life.
Women -Vs. 16 “In pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” God’s judgment on women - we see that this will be an area we struggle with all our lives. We devote our time to our children. Our desire is for our husband, but God has now given him work that will take up a lot of his time, and he will rule over us. Not only do we yearn for more time with our spouse, but we also have to find the balance in allowing him to “rule over us”. We all fight that, and we all have misconceptions about what it means.
The world would like to see our roles now as the same – no differences - with women working and everyone pulling their weight at home to help around the house…in a perfect world. How many of you are STILL picking up underwear and socks and shirts off the bedroom floor and doing all the dishes? Surveys show that most women who work will come home and do the majority of the work around the house even though they work outside of the home as many hours as their husbands.
Although our society clearly refutes these responsibilities as being gender specific, I personally believe that these roles run deep in our veins (God commanded them in Genesis), and if we are honest with ourselves, most of us long for the days where women were the homemakers and men the breadwinners. That is how God made us to be and that is our deep-down desire. There are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, a majority of women feel this way. It doesn’t mean we’re lesser people, it just means that men were made different from us; they were made to take the lead. Somebody has to and God chose men to do it! (Thanks Eve)
What I believe to be the core of the marital relationship, Paul speaks about in the fifth chapter of Ephesians. Vs. 22-24 talk about the wives. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Submit is a word that many women struggle with, but I believe that’s only because the world has distorted its meaning. Submit here is not talking about an act of obedience, where the husband barks out orders and you do it, but more of submitting to your husband as an act of submission to the Lord. It means to put his needs ahead of your own. Submitting is showing your respect
The previous verse, v. 21, says to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” That is how we should treat everyone, men and women. We all should put others ahead of ourselves. That is the key to our Christian walk, part of the reason God put us here. That is also one of the major keys for a successful marriage. How do we submit best to our husbands? By getting rid of “SELF” in our marriage. When you finesse that, you are well on your way to a heavenly vision of a healthy marriage.
Stay tuned as I talk about how Paul tells the husband to treat his wife – the key for a wife to want to submit and come to turns with the “rule over us” command.