Men and women are called to different roles in a marriage. Let’s look at how the bible describes the different roles in Eph 5, which is where I have a spent a LOT of time over the past months…
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. – Eph 5:21
Paul says clearly “submit to one another”. Then he goes on to describe what submission to one another means to men and women. And yes, we have different role.
Let’s take a look at wives first…
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. – Eph 5:24
Did you see the “so also”? That means that AS the church submits to Jesus Christ, wives should submit to their husbands.
I don’t know if/how your church submits, but take a moment to think about how churches SHOULD BE submitting to Jesus Christ. Submission means putting him first. It means to honour and respect him. (I will go into this in more detail in my next post.)
I remember a mentor, Roma, once glaring sternly at me and she made her point with great intensity… that if a woman chooses to permit a man to lead her, then there is great pressure on the man to GET IT RIGHT.
Back then I don’t think I really grasped what she was saying. I instinctively knew it was important… but I didn’t get it. Now I get it. And it’s a bit scary. (A good kind of scary.)
Now let’s take a look at men…
For men, submitting to your wife means to lay down your life for her and to love her…
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. – Eph 5:28
That statement “in this same way” means… AS Jesus Christ loved the church… husbands ought to love their wives. It’s a bit mind boggling what Jesus Christ went through for the church, so it should be quite a splash of cold water in the face to think of what Jesus Christ expects of you and I in marriage!
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church – Eph 5:23
Did you see that last verse? We men are to lead AS Jesus Christ leads the church. If you aren’t feeling inadequate after reading that, then you didn’t get it. 🙂
We submit to one another, but our roles are different. I think that there is great flexibility in the practical details of how this all works out. There has to be! It’s a love-based relationship between two consenting, intelligent, feeling adults.
It’s not a dictatorship. It’s not an adult-child relationship where one is in charge. It’s about two people who have chosen each other, and they want to live a Godly life, not because their parents TOLD them to, but because they truly believe that God designed each of them and He knows how marriage works best.
Men, God has designed you for this. He put testosterone in you for a reason. It causes you to act! To take initiative! To lead.
Women can act, take initiative and lead too. Some of the biggest companies in the world are led by women. I’m not saying for one second that women can’t do these things. Australia is currently being led by a woman.
But God is saying to you and I (men) that He wants us to lead. It’s a big responsibility. Until she met you, Jesus Christ was her “head” or more commonly, her pastor at the church was her head, perhaps her dad or mom or both were her head, or maybe her cell/group leader was her head.
But now God is saying – if she is willing – that she is to let you be her “head”. That means she will transfer many expectations across to you. And you will have to go to God and find the answers, find the direction for you guys, find His provision for your family… if you are willing to be her head.
And as Roma made it so abundantly clear to me, DONT MESS IT UP! 🙂