Yesterday, I stated my opinion that God’s design for marriage was for men and women (both made in the image of God) to leave their parents and be joined together in order to multiply. Once married, men are to love their wives as Christ loves the church and be the head of their households; women are to love their husbands as the church loves Christ and submit to them.
We covered the first three points yesterday (click HERE to read now), so today we will start to cover the most controversial points yet (Men are the heads of the households and women are to submit).
Again, let me remind you that:
God’s design for marriage is perfect. It works if you work it.
I know most of my readers are women and they don’t like to here the word submit. Somehow the world has convinced most Christian women that submitting to their husbands makes them a week female. I don’t even think most moms know that this is the message they are sending to their kids. I grew up in a very female-dominated family. Most of the time it was out of necessity because our women don’t have the best track record when it comes to picking honorable men, but nevertheless, I grew up not knowing God’s design for marriage. It wasn’t until I was like 10 years into my marriage I began to see that maybe I was wrong and by then I had (and have) some serious strongholds to overcome. Anyway, my point here is that most people don’t understand biblical submission. We always here “submit, submit, submit,” but we rarely hear the flip side, so I would like to begin there.
4. Men are to love their wives as Christ loves the church and be the head of their households.
Let me just say that while women think they have it bad when it comes to submission, the men don’t have it any easier and may, in fact, have it a little bit harder.
Ephesians 5:23 (NKJ): For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church;
Okay, so what does this mean? What are the practicalities of this?
Ephesians 5:25-30 (NKJ): Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
In terms we can better understand…..
As the head of the church, He is to give everything he has for the good and betterment of the church. You know, the whole dying for us thing. All joking aside, just as Christ takes responsibility for the beauty, spirituality, and well-being of His bride-the church and lays down his rights and life as God, men too must do so for their wives.
As a biblical leader, a man is lay his life for his bride. That doesn’t just mean that a man should be willing to die for his wife, but also that he would be willing to lay down his wants, wishes, and desires for those of his bride. Now, of course, the biblical plan does not call for this to be one-sided mind you, and wants we talk about submission, the full picture will become clear.
This is no easy task. The responsibility and accountability here is great. Women are to be held accountable for their own actions, their own relationship with the Lord, but I believe the men will not only be held accountable for their own actions, but those of their wives as well. Why? Because they are the head of the household and their wives spirituality is on them. Now, I believe this is to the extent that the men are faithful to their responsibility (some women may go astray no matter how hard a man tries to lead biblically).
I know some think just because men are to be the head that gives them the right to treat their women like a second-rate citizens. That is biblically incorrect.
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19).
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).
Next time we will look at biblical submission and how the two roles of husband and wife come together to form a perfect biblical union.