Ephesians 5:20 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord”.
In my last posting, I wrote about man’s role in marriage. In this article, I want to talk about the role of women in marriage. In today’s culture, it’s politically incorrect to talk about women and their role in marriage.
It seems like we can correct and give advice to the men, but it’s not acceptable to do the same to women. Sometimes the things that we try to avoid are the things that we need to hear the most.
What does God have to say about the role of women in marriage?
Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife…Now as the Church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Here we see the Lord talking to women. There are several things here that need our attention. The Lord is not talking to the men and saying to make their wives submit to them.
He is directly speaking to the women and asking them to submit to their husbands. The Lord is asking the wives to place themselves under the leadership of their husband. But why?
Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is the head of the wife…”
This is a God ordained arrangement in marriage. This headship is not absolute, it is to be exercised under God and according to his ways.
The Lord goes on to say that this submission is as to the Lord. This phrase “as to the Lord” does not mean that wives are to treat their husbands the same way as they treat the Lord, rather their submission to their husbands is their service to the Lord.
One of the primary ways for a Christian woman to serve the Lord is for her to submit to her husband’s leadership.
Over the years I have seen many Christian women who were involved in many activities thinking they are serving the Lord. All of those activities were good things, but sometimes the good things become the enemy of the best things. Here the Lord says to the married women, if you want to serve me submit yourself to the leadership of your husband. We could go on and do many other things and miss what the Lord would have us do.
In today’s society, we reject this idea because we assume it makes the woman to become inferior to the man. Even in our churches, we feel hesitant to really proclaim what God has said. Here are some common objections that I have heard regarding the idea of headship.
- Would I lose my identity if I submit to my husband’s leadership?
I think to the contrary. When a wife under normal circumstances places herself under the leadership of her husband she actually may discover her true identity. For the bible informs us in 1 Corinthian 11:8-9 that the woman was made for the man.
- Would this arrangement make me inferior to my husband?
Absolutely not. It simply means that the woman recognizes that God placed her husband in leadership, and when she acts in accordance to that she is simply obeying God and that does not make anyone inferior.
- Ultimately, would I become more fulfilled this way or the way the society tells me to be?
Over the years, especially in Christian circles, some of the most contented women that I have ever seen were these types of wives. By their behavior and conduct they were able to win the affection and admiration of their husbands and were able to make them to become better men and husbands.
- What if my husband begins to take advantage of this arrangement?
This is definitely a possibility. Once again this headship is not absolute. She should never summit to her husband if he wants her to do something that is illegal or contrary to the word of God. This headship principal needs to be understood in light of what the Lord has commanded the husband to do and be.
- If I submit to him would I become a doormat and see my wishes and desires unfulfilled?
Under normal circumstances, most men desire to please their wives. By them submitting to their leadership it would enhance their willingness to fulfill their wives wishes and desires. Submitting to leadership does not mean that we would not have our own opinions or don’t express our desires. What it means is that we allow him to lead with our opinion and wishes.
Obviously there needs to be a healthy balance in this leadership. I personally reject men who treat their wives in an unloving way. Men need to learn how to be a good leader. Having said that, I think they become better men if they are pointed in this direction.
Ultimately, it comes down to the woman’s choice. Whether she would try to go in this direction or not. In our culture today the women are stronger than our men. The choice before us is one of who should take the lead in the family.
Sometimes when we have a strong woman, she could break her husband’s spirit. When that happens, usually the men withdraw themselves. They become uninterested in their home life and they leave all the decisions to their wives. The sad part is when this happens women will not like a spouse like this. They begin to lose respect for them, and they end up with a husband that they don’t like.
When a strong woman helps her husband’s masculinity and helps him to become more comfortable with his role at home she will end up with a husband that she will like.
In the upcoming articles, we will try to look into the husbands and wives needs’ within marriage.
May the Lord be with you all