This entry is a follow up on what Josh posted up today…I think I might reiterate a few things too.
So, Jesus says that "at the beginning the Creator made them male and female" (Matthew 19:4). Therefore, Genesis should be what we should refer to first and foremost. From what I have read, it does say that woman is man's helper ("I will make a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18)), but it infers that although they have separate roles they are equal in God's sight.
I found a quote from Matthew Henry that explains this really well. He says, “"Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him." (This has been taken out of Genesis 2:21-23)
In terms of their different roles, man should be the leader as mentioned in Ephesians 5:22-33. Genesis also illustrates this since God created man first. However, although woman was made to help and nourish man, it's important to realise that we complement each other. That woman is supposed to submit to their husbands is not "mindless, joyless submission, but active participation and response to loving leadership" (Joshua Harris). Nevertheless, I still think it's important for a wife to play an active part in the values of the husband's leadership, so that they both can agree on it and live by it. This way there is harmony in both parties, as well as a balance.
Today Josh clarified this part for me, saying:
“The male is made to lead, but to lead in a humble, christlike and servant hearted manner. Biblical male leadership isn't saying that the guy is like a dictator or he acts selfishly and is not Christlike, and when it says that women/wives submit to the men/husband, it is saying that on the terms that the man is obedient to Christ and is leading in that manner.
The fact is that, like you say, a lot of men are incapable of leading, and that is why people around the world are having ideas such as 'feminism' and women ordination (female pastors and elders) because men aren't stepping up, so women are taking their places, and reversing the God-given roles for men and women."
It makes more sense now, but my confusion still lies as to why the roles in leading a family have to be done by the husband and to which areas this extends to. I’m also still uncomfortable with the idea of inequality. Take the idea of male being the head of the house. I think that this is a result of tradition and society. Could Paul have written what he wrote simply because at the time, only men held the power?
A woman’s role was not to think and especially not to lead, which makes sense as they were less educated/not educated at all and inexperienced in these areas. Now this is different. Now we have more understanding in such matters, and are capable of fulfilling such roles. Because of this, it makes more sense that there is an equal say by both husband and wife. Both will have their strengths and weaknesses, and depending on this, wouldn’t it make sense that each will lead in their own area, as is needed/appropriate?
Maybe I’m taking this too seriously…I am trying to understand both sides of it though.