Monday, June 8, 2009

Man and Woman/Husband and Wife

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.


treee said...

I forgot to add...for both to lead in different areas, the husband and wife will be supporting each other. To me that's what a relationship is...especially since it's marriage.

Katie said...

I would also be really interested to hear some answers to this. I have an issue with the word 'submit' as well - it implies that the woman is naturally underneath - less - than the man, and that they do not interact as equals, but as on different heights in a heirachy. My question is - although this might work if the guy can think about everything clearly and make a decision that is unselfish and sensible and godly - but nobody's perfect, and maybe he doesn't see something, or doesn't know about something, or is caught up in other things. Can't the woman lead in these situations? What if it's something that will affect her life in enormous proportions? In that case, not even necessarily to lead, but to have an equal say. If there was something like where you're going to live, or whether you should work, or whether to have children or whatever, and if the husband thought really strongly about something, but the wife also thinks strongly about it in the opposite way, wouldn't it be wrong to go with what suits the man? Even if it's what he feels God's asking him to do. Maybe God's asking the wife to do something else.


Someone help us D:

Joshi said...

1. Pray muchly

2. In the end, I think if the wife and the husband have discussed it all properly, and the wife is able to trust the husband's decision knowing he is grounded in Christ, then the wife should trust the husband's final call. If the husband's call causes disobedience to God, then the wife should submit to God, because the husband should be acting in a manner striving to be like Christ.

3. Why would you marry a husband that you won't agree with the 'something that will affect her life in massive proportions' ? That's why people date and court and get engaged :P

4. I think the english language has a negative connatation with the word 'submit'. In the scriptures, man and woman are created equal, but with different roles. A man's role is a call to be the head and the leader (read my blog for more info) and the man is ultimately accountable to God for his leadership. In a marriage both the husband and wife should be able to discuss issues on equal terms, but the husband should be calling the shots (with an understanding, humble and servant-hearted approach) and the wife ultimately trust the husband's final verdict. In the end, men get called accountable for their leadership of their sisters in Christ and the Church they lead.

I'm sleepy, might continue later, or msn me :)

Elaine said...

Yeah, I pretty much agree with everything Josh has said - basically, the man is the head of the house and responsible for both himself and his wife; if the wife screws up, God holds the man accountable (eg. Adam and Eve). That doesn't mean the wife doesn't have a say; however, it does mean that the man has the final say, as he is the one to whom God has entrusted the responsibility.

I thought I'd link two videos by Pastor Mark Driscoll that he did on Marriage and Men/Women. I haven't watched the Women one, but the Men one's definitely good (if you're watching, start it at about the 7min mark).



arliddian said...

So I started writing an epic comment but it turned into a mini essay.


It's in four parts; the first part is here:

Um... yeah. I got carried away by the topic. XD

treee said...

I think I'm satisfied now. Thankyou all so much for giving your time and effort to elucidate this! <3

I knew someone would comment, but I didn't expect the response to be so well defined and explained. Heh, I thought I got carried away with my writing but XD.