Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Role of the Wife

During the month of September, I am preaching through a short series on the family. I believe our world continually offers lies to the modern family as to its purpose and function. We have been duped into thinking wrong things about the family. To uncover these lies, we must turn to the One who created the family. It is only when we are willing to learn and submit to what God has designed that the family will be what it was meant to be.

Over Labor Day weekend, I preached on the role of the wife. But I did not post it here on the blog because I wanted to post about the husband first (there are many reasons why I preached on the role of the wife first, but this is not the place to explain that). Here are four lies that are being told to women these days concerning their role as a wife. 

Lie #1: Gender Roles Are Not Important In A Marriage
The lie goes something like this: "God created man and woman equal. They have equal footing in the marriage relationship. The only thing different between men and woman is biological. In fact, it is demeaning to a woman to infer that she is less than the husband in the marriage relationship." How should we respond to something like this? The only thing we can do is to dig deep into the Scriptures to see that God's design or purpose in the creation of man and woman is different.

In Genesis 2:18-25, we are told that God created woman to be man's helper. It is that she was created to  give aid or support. The man in the marriage relationship would not be able to accomplish what he is called to accomplish without the help of his wife. He would not be able to fulfill the Creation mandate to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth.

Lie #2: Submission Means You Are Inferior
God created the wife to be the helper to the husband. But many women think this means the the wife is now inferior to the husband. Not true. Equality before God does not mean there should never be a spirit of submission in the relationship. All we have to do is to look at the Trinity for an example. Christians would not say that Jesus is less than God than the Father is God simply because He lived in submission to the Father. In the same way, the wife is called to submit to her husband. But this does not mean inferiority.

Submission means to be subordinate or to put yourself under. It is a willful choice of the woman to put herself under the authority of her husband in that relationship. And by the way, every place in the NT that states this, makes it clear that it is to her "own" husband. She is not to submit to men in general, but to her man.

Lie #3: Your Marriage Is About You
This lie goes something like this: "Your life is about your happiness. It is about you getting yours." Not true. Neither the husband or the wife should find themselves at the center of their own little universe. If her life is not about her, then what are her priorities?

First, her priority is Jesus Christ. She should love Jesus with all that she has. She should run to Him and cling to Him. Jesus will be the only man who will never let her down. But this loving of Christ is not separate from her other priorities. It is seen in and through the others. Her second priority is her husband. Proverbs 21:12 says that the wife does him good and not harm, all the days of her life. What does it mean to do her husband good? It means that she helps him be the man he was created to be.

Third, her priority is her children. The children for the wife should take a precedence over every other earthly thing, other than her husband. Children are not a hassle that keeps her from her career, but a joy and special gift (Ps. 127:3). And lastly, her priority is her career, church, and so on. Everything else falls after those first three. God has called wife to think differently about hopes and dreams. Or maybe I should say that the world has warped the hopes and dreams of most women.

Lie #4: Your Husband Needs To Earn Your Respect
I have talked to ladies in the past that have said something like this: "I will submit to him, but he is going to have to earn my respect." I can only suppose that this flows from a heart of anger or bitterness towards their husband because of something he has done to her. The only problem with this thought is that consistently we are told that the wife is to respect her husband (Eph. 5:33; 1 Peter 3:1-2).

What does this mean? She should not talk about the shortcomings of her husband to her friends. She should speak well of him in public. She should go to her husband for advice. She should not hide things from her husband. She should not be critical of him. And the list can keep going. She is to respect him because she is her husband.

There was much more that I have to say about this issue. If you wanted to listen to the sermon, you can find it HERE. Or if you wanted to read my notes, you can find them HERE.

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