Monday, 30 August 2021
“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” -Ephesians 5:33
When God created man and woman, He designed them for different roles. God assigned Adam to be the keeper of the garden and Eve to be his helper. Despite their different roles, God created both in His own image. Their roles differed in function but were equally important. When Adam and Eve sinned and hid themselves, it was Adam that God called first as he was the one clearly chosen by God to be the leader and therefor responsible. After the Fall from the Garden of Eden, their roles did not change— Adam continued to provide for his family and Eve continued caring for the needs of the family.
The biblical roles within marriage is the same throughout the Old and New Testament. As mentioned in Galatians 3:28, both male and female are still equal in the eyes of God, although their functions are different within the home and church. In the New Testament, the roles of husband and wife are symbolic of Christ and His church.
Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…” Husbands are called to love their wives just as much as they love and care for themselves. They are still called to be the leaders of their families but this must be through servant-leadership, following the example of Jesus. As spiritual head of the home, the husband must humbly guide his wife and children in godly ways attending to their physical and spiritual welfare. 1Peter 3:7 directs a husband to be considerate of his wife, the weaker partner and to treat her with respect, acknowledging that they are both heirs to the gift of life. The role for man throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament is to lead lovingly.
The Bible lauds godly womanhood in the home, and places great value on it. The woman’s role has not changed from creation—“a suitable companion” (Genesis 2: 18 GNT) for man. In Titus 2, Paul exhorts women to love their husbands and children. The older women are to teach the younger women in the church how to better take care of their families, including taking care of the home. Women are to follow their husband’s leadership with respect, choosing to submit to his leadership. They are to submit themselves to their husbands so that, if any of them does not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the godly behaviour of their wives (1 Peter 3:1-2).
The godly woman is not to focus on the outward beauty, being “superficially preoccupied” with the externals, but rather focus on the inner beauty: “…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:4). A Woman who submits to her husband’s leadership is indeed doing it as service to God. Thus a woman can be a great blessing and help to her husband. The Word of God does not forbid a woman working outside of the home, but a woman’s first priority is to her husband, family, and the home.
Today we see many distortions in the roles of man, woman, marriage, etc. The Christian is to make a difference with the godly union of a husband and wife with Christ at the centre of their marriage. A husband and wife who have a Christ-centred life, will be content in discharging their respective roles and enjoy the blessing of a godly home.
Let us pray: LORD Jesus, show us as husband and wife to follow Your example and set aside all selfishness and pride and help us humbly serve each other. Help us to be of one spirit and of one mind, looking out for each other’s interest. Help us to love each other just as You love us and to show forth Your light in and through our marriage. Amen!