The roles of husband and wife in marriage Jan 31, 2013
This article is the seventh of a series. It should not be read until the first six are read as they are in a sequential order of thought.
John M Johnson (31 Jan 2013)
“RE: Jezebel Spirit Part 7“
This is the last part of this article. The first 6 parts can be found at the links below:
The original message to which I responded was written by Steve Coerper and can be found at the link below:
I kept the original title in my articles in order to keep a consistency as to why I was writing.
If then we are all sons and there is neither male nor female what does that mean? Does it mean that in the husband/wife relationship that there is no longer a headship or guide?
If it were true that there being neither male nor female meant that the roles of male/female were eliminated than it would also hold true that our children would have their roles eliminated as well. Do not children also fall into the category of male and female? Thus children would be on equal footing with their parents and in essence would not have to obey…but rather would be part of all decision making with veto power.
God is not trying to lift one above another. The true meaning of headship would be one of helping the other person learn the ways of Jesus and helping them to walk in those truths. The true purpose of submission is taking to heart that God is the one who has established the roles and it is unto him that we do all things.
In 1 Cor 11:8-14 Paul makes a statement that is most true:
For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? ESV
First of all the head uncovered is a natural thing speaking to a spiritual truth, first the natural than the spiritual. Notice that verse 10 is saying that the symbol of authority is for the angel’s sake. The angels understand authority. Jesus himself was under authority, the authority of his father. Only the father himself is not under authority. Jesus is under the Father’s authority, man is under Jesus authority, woman is under man’s authority and children are under their parent’s authority.
This authority is not to dominate but to guide and care for the other. True authority learns to guide with wisdom and kindness. It may not always do what it is proper and true (because of human frailty) but it will recognize its mistakes and apologize. The authority from God will love those for whom they are responsible. This authority will lay down its life for others.
Laying down one’s life for others however does not mean that it gives to those for whom one is responsible all that they request. Rather, it means that it will bear under the frailties and weaknesses of the other in order to help them obtain their fullness in Jesus. We see this principle in Rom 15:1-4:
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” ESV
Thus, the husband must bear with the weakness of the wife, this is part of laying down his life. This also seen in 1 Peter 1 Peter 3:7 where we read once again:
7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ESV
The husband is also to love his wife as Christ loves the church. This to does not mean that the husband is to give the wife all that she request anymore than Jesus gives us all that we request. Rather it means he is to follow the constrains of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. ESV
Thus, submission does not mean blind obedience, for if that were true the disciples would never have said in Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men”. Likewise, Daniel in Daniel 6 would not have disobeyed the king’s command not to pray if submission was merely blind obedience.
Submission is of the heart. It is not independent or seeking independence rather it is always seeking the will of the Father. Submission is meek and gentle always entreating. Remember Moses? He was the meekest of all men at his time (Num. 12:3) yet he was mighty before God and when Aaron and Miriam challenged his place God defended him.
God also defended Sarah when Abraham asked her to say she was his sister when they went into the land of Egypt and the scriptures say that Sarah was gentle and quiet in spirit.
1 Peter 3:4-6 – 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. ESV
Submission, gentleness, meekness and quietness go hand in hand. This is what the Lord is asking of women and of the church both men and women (first the natural and than the spiritual). He is not asking them to do that which is evil or sinful but rather to entreat their husband with all meekness should something be asked of them that is not of God. The husband should never ask the wife to do anything that is sinful, evil or ungodly for that is not the way of Jesus and the Father. That is not love.
It was previously mentioned (in another post) about Acts 5 regarding Ananias and Sapphira who sold a piece of land. At the time others were doing the same and giving the sum to the local church. They determined among themselves to only give a part and yet say they had given all. They could have done this and been blessed of God if they were to tell the truth. However, they chose to lie saying they gave all when they kept a portion. Now, if Ananias had told Sapphira to lie, he would have been asking her to sin and do evil. She then was not obligated to tell such a lie and God would have defended her in the process.
What happened though is that the two agreed to lie as we see in Acts 5:8-10. This is the portion that comes after Peter had asked Ananias if it was the full price and now was asking Sapphira:
8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. ESV
What happened here was not because Sapphira submitted to the evil of her husband against her will but rather that she agreed with her husband to withhold a portion of the money and say that they were giving all the money. God knowing the hearts of all knew whether or not Sapphira was doing so out of submission in meekness or out of agreement in greed.
The way we act and live amongst those who do not believe is the testimony of the church. As a husband loves his wife so the world sees the love of Jesus for them for it is first the natural and than the spiritual. Also, when the wife is submissive and respectful towards her husband the world sees the church’s love and respect for Jesus for it is first the natural and than the spiritual. This is seen in Titus 2:4-5:
…teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. KJV
Also in Eph 5:29-33:
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. ESV
There should be no war of the sexes in the church of God. There should be no desire for independence from the woman or independence from the man in the church of God. There should be a respect for God’s desired roles for both male and female. There should be a longing to show forth the beauty of Jesus’ ways to all mankind through a fulfillment of those ways by the man fulfilling his role and the woman hers. In so doing the mystery of Christ and his Church will be revealed to all around and the word of God will not be blasphemed.
For as the man loves the woman and the woman honors the man a peace is created and a place of safety and strength for both. This is a spiritual truth that pertains most fully to Jesus and his church. If the church of God were to focus on Jesus and not ourselves we would see all that God has for us and we would not be anxious for anything but we would be at peace resting in his safety and strength.
What then is the church showing the world regarding Jesus love for the church and the churches love for Jesus? What is the church showing the next generation regarding Jesus love for the church and the churches love for Jesus? The way men and women interact in the church is manifesting the attitudes we have towards Jesus.
The scriptures tell us that if we cannot love those who are brethren whom we see than how can we love God whom we cannot see (1 John 4:20)? So, if we love him we keep his commandments and this is his commandment that we love one another. Are the men helping protect their wife and family from the ways of the world? Are the men guiding their families in the ways of the Lord? Are the women learning from the older women the things they need to know in order that the word of God is not blasphemed? Are the women seeking their husband’s and families welfare and not their own? These are only a few things that Jesus asks of us in order to present to the world the “mystery of Christ and His church”.
Are we willing?