Marriage in God's Hands 7

Establishing Our Roles In Marriage

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When the roles of husband and wife are established in marriage according to God’s plan, happiness and harmony in the home results. When this is not the case, conflict and imbalance occurs.


This can be a hot topic because there has been a real misunderstanding and erosion today not just of women’s rolls in marriage, but the real place that God designed for man to take.

In Genesis 2:18 we are told that God made for man a suitable helper. God created man and woman equal. Eve was taken from Adam’s side, meaning that she was not to rule over him, nor to be trampled upon by him.

Because of what happened in the fall into sin of humanity, we see now a difference in the rolls of women and men to what has been originally. Women are to be content with the roll God has given them in the home, and not become disillusioned or dissatisfied, looking for something else. In Genesis 3:16 is revealed that woman was to be ruled by man. Which woman likes the idea to be “ruled over”, if she understands that this means that she is not to have any choice of her own, to be controlled by somebody else. But this is not what it says. The closer we follow the real positions God has for us in marriage, the happier we are going to be as individuals, and the happier and more blended in our marriages.

In 1 Corinthians 11:3 we are told that the head of Christ is God, and the head of man is Christ, and the head of woman is man. Jesus was equal with the Father. However, in order to carry out the plan of salvation, He chose willingly to be subservient to God the Father. Husband and wife are to work as a team, just as the Father and Jesus worked as a team. The husband is to be the leader, and the wife his helper, as it has been in the beginning when God created man and woman. This does not mean that she is not to contribute to the decision making.

We are talking about the rolls of men and women in marriage. We want to see the man to take up his responsibilities. If the man takes up his responsibilities as priest and leader in the home, it makes it easier for the wife to take up her responsibilities.

In Ephesians 5:22 wives are asked to submit to their husbands. Unless wives learn how to really submit or surrender to God, it will be impossible for them to understand how to submit to their husbands. Submission to God is to trust Him with our happiness and life. And when we trust God, it makes it easy to trust our husbands.

It is ideal for the husband to work and the wife to fulfil her roles in nurturing the children in the home. This does not mean that the wife should not be prepared when there is a genuine need, such as when there is sickness or when she is a single mum. However if both are in the workforce or the wife can earn more money than the husband, if the husband is not working to change that scenario, imbalances in the marriage occur. As woman has left her role of nurturing the children in the home, and being a home maker providing a little haven on earth for the family, and her carrier becomes her life focus, deterioration in the family can be seen, and this all over the world.

We are told in Ephesians 5:25 that husbands are to love their wives as Christ has loved the church and gave Himself for it. The first key here is the husband giving himself for his wife. True leadership is service. There is a blend of both roles that God has appointed which bring perfect harmony, unity and balance. As wives learn to be submissive to their husband’s leadership and cooperate with that leadership, and husbands learn to love their wives, we have a marriage truly hear to hear. But when either one is refusing to enter into the role that God has clearly marked out, conflict results. If a wife is submissive, and the husband does not love her, there is conflict. And if the husband loves his wife, but the wife refuses to be in subjection to her husband (not to be dominated, but to be led), conflict again occurs.

One thing that frustrates women that are desirous to have their husbands lead, is when the husband refuses to lead. Leadership means giving ourselves to do what we need to do for the family as the head, priest of the family. If the husband is not supporting his wife, if he is not really leading the way, it makes it difficult for the wife to follow as she looses confidence in him.

God promises that He will never leave us, nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). And we know that we can count on Him. This is one thing that the husband should be to the wife – give her the security that he will never leave or forsake her; that she can count on him in every situation of life; to protect and provide for his wife.

What we are trying to do here is not to put “this restless woman into her place”, but let God put each of us (husband and wife) in our rightful place. As we are the husband and wife that God wants us to be, as the wife is truly submissive to the Lord she find the greatest ability to be submissive to her husband and serve him, and as the husband is surrendered to the Lord, he find the greatest ability to love his wife as Christ loved the church and to give himself for her.

Women have strengths which men do not, such as the special bond and love with the children; and men have their own, such as to face the harsh world out there. The distinct differences of their roles blend together to complement each other beautifully. We find answers how to fulfil our roles as husbands and wives in God’s word.

A personal challenge: if we are going to understand our roles, than we need as husbands to love our wives even as Christ loved the church and have Himself for it, and make it easier for the wives to fulfil the role God gave them. We cannot love as Christ unless we are willing to surrender to God. And as wives we need to encourage our husbands to take up their role, and cooperate with them and allow them to lead us in our family. With God these are possible.
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