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Husbands and Wives
















Today is a bit more serious than the usual geekery nonsense. I realize that this can be a sensitive subject, but understand that it's just my opinion, and you may not necessarily share it.

On Thursday evening, I led the discussion at our church's Young Careers cell group. The basis of our discussion was on Ephesians 5:21-33; in short, it dealt with the need for wives to submit to their husbands with respect, and for husbands to love their wives. In this passage, Paul compares the relationship between the husband and wife to Jesus and the church; specifically, Jesus' headship to the church, and comparatively, the husband's headship to the wife.

I brought up a scenario of a marriage where the wife takes on a more dominant role to the husband's more passive role. My question to the group was "is this right?" from a biblical standpoint. Should the man in the house take a backseat to the woman's leadership? It came down to two perspectives.

The first view was that just so long as the husband was okay and in agreeance with his role as well as her role, then it was fine. As long as they were both comfortable with what they were doing, then fine.

The second view was a bit more unpopular, although shared by a few including myself. Clearly, God has placed the husband with headship over his wife. It is God's commandment to lead his wife and to love her, while it is her duty to respect the husband.

My problem with the first view is that while, yes, I agree in today's society that this has been a more prominent scenario compared to decades ago, I don't think it's correct from a biblical standpoint. To society, it is okay and may even be considered great, but how can we as followers of Christ allow our societal values to trump our biblical ones.

Furthermore, with Christ's headship over the church established, and the husband's over the wife stated, wouldn't a passive husband be directly disobeying God's commandment? And if he is disobeying His commandment, then is he not sinning? I mean, in comparison, how would the church be if Christ were just a passive figure? Jesus led the church with wisdom and authority. He didn't take a backseat to the church. He spoke, they listened.

This not only has a negative affect in the marriage between the two partners, but as well to the children if they have any. Fathers are important role models to their children so it is essential to watch the way you carry yourselves out everyday. Are these the traits we want to pass off to our future generations?

In his book I Am America And So Can You, Stephen Colbert (a great man in his own right) writes,albeit with a sarcastic flair:

"The father has to be a provider, a teacher, a role model, but most importantly, a distant authority figure who can never be pleased. Otherwise, how will children ever understand the concept of God?"

To end off, all I can do is encourage you geeks out there who are fathers. Play an active role. Man up. Love your wife, love your children. That is all. Later geeks.

Comments

SkyCapitan said…
Through marriage counseling, this is an issue I struggled with quite a bit. The basic view I was presented with is that yes, a husband is head of the household, but spiritually. The wife may be more knowledgeable in certain areas like finances and the like, and she can take a lead role here. However, the husband should set an example and ensure he performs daily devotions and the household has a strong connection to Christ's church.

However, I'm very skeptical to the whole context of the passage. Only a few lines later in Ephesians 6:5 it reads "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ".

Few people would tell you that the bible is advocating slavery here. It's just telling the slaves and masters how they should treat their current situation.

Personally, I think that we need to be careful with these assumptions on the role of man and woman. I think that it's best to focus on a husband loving his wife "as Christ loved the church".

(Note also that I can see some possible arguments to the wording of "the husband is the head of the wife". Which seems to be more defined than "Slaves obey your master", but we need to be sure that this wording was intentional rather than a by-product of cultural assumptions.)

Good topic ;)

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