Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Wife's Role in The Marriage

Genesis 2:18 “The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Since I already explained about the husband’s role in the Christian marriage, I now wanted to take the time to define exactly what the wife’s role in the marriage is.  There have been contradictions on just what this role wife in a Christian marriage with many believing the wife is a subordinate who allows her husband have the final authority in the home.   I don’t agree with this theory.  As I stated before, I believe marriage is a partnership between two equals with neither having a lessor or subordinate role even though.   I also don’t agree with the complete roleless gender-neutral marriage either as the more progressive side supports.  Only the man can be the husband and the father and only a woman can be the wife and mother in the home.  

However, just as the bible said the husband was the head, it also states that the wife is the helper or better known as the help meet.  Many view helper as an assistant like a personal assistant or secretary in an office implying a secondary role.  However, the word helper in the bible means something different.  The Hebrew translation of helper is ezer.  This word means to give aid, to rescue, lifesaver and strength.  Ezer/help is used over twenty times in the Old Testament sometimes referring to god as our help.  A few examples are Psalm 20:2 -“May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion” Psalm 33:20 -“We put our hope in the Lord.  He is our help and our shield.”  Finally, Exodus 18:4- “The other was named Eliezer, for he said, The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh."  The word suitable in Hebrew is kenegdo which means alongside, facing, opposite, corresponding to, and counterpart. 

In other words, god created woman as counterpart for the man to rescue him from a life of lonliness, give aid or be a source of strength to him in life.  She is to be his companion equal in status not a subservient.  The wife can be these things in various ways.  She is a supporter who supports her husband in everyway, examples include offering him wisdom, counsel, input, building him up and encouraging him in his spiritual gifts and callings and to be what god designs him to be.  To always strive to motivate him in spirituality, in his goals in god given talents, in improving in areas he’s lacking.  Don’t do it by nagging, criticizing or yelling, but by being, humble, patient, caring, compassionate and understanding.  Be willing to share some of the burdens of everyday life, rather than just expect the husbands to shoulder all the burdens.  This can include a variety of things, such as including herself in making major decisions with her husband, be willing to work outside the home if you all can’t afford to just live off his income alone or take over the role of the sole breadwinner if for whatever reason he is unable to work. 

The wife should also serve his needs just as he serves hers, and see to it that his needs are met be it a romantic way, emotional, spiritual or domestic way etc.   Another way, is to simply listen to him as tells her what he needs from her.  The wife too, has the responsibility not to neglect her husband but put him first or foremost in the marriage.  Most importantly, the wife is to respect her husband.  Ephesians 5: 33- “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband”.   A wife should respect her husband even if he isn’t the best provider, doesn’t do enough around the house, or make the best decisions etc.   She shouldn’t belittle or condemn him by always pointing out his faults but appreci-ate what he does do and try to help him improve in other areas.  Mostly respect him as a man since men’s needs of respect may slightly differ than that of women.   On average, men need to feel needed, to feel like good provider and the protector of the home even if the wife is a co-provider or earning more, he still needs to feel like useful as the man of house.   He also needs to have his wife not constantly second-guess what he does or decides by be in his corner.  Also, rather endless competing with him for control, allow him to sometimes take the lead or take charge of a situation(not in a controlling  or domineering way) which is another basic need of most men.  

In today’s society, where many women are taught to be independent, many have taking it too far.   Many women get caught up proving they don’ need their husbands to take care of them, protect them etc in order to take care of themselves.   Sometimes, they emasculate them, make them feel not needed or criticize them for not doing things in the home the way they would, can’t understand that men are not hardwired like women or constantly feel the need to compete with them to feel equal.  That concludes another duty of the wife to submit.  There are few scriptures in the bible instructing wives to submit to her husbands.  Ephesians 5: 22 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord”.   Ephesians 5: 24 “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything”.  1Peter 3:1 “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives”.  Titus 2:5 “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed”. 

 Although, I will do a later post on what submission means, I will point out that that submission doesn’t mean subservience, being a slave, an inferior or a doormat or blind obedience.  It also doesn’t imply not having a voice or your own opinions or never being allowed to disagree with your husband.   It does mirror the church’s submission to Christ.  It does involve a cooperating attitude, casting aside your own pride, self-sacrifice, and act of love.  The acts of submission will differ in marriages but regardless, and it won’t always be perfect but regardless a wife should submit always strive to submit to her husband.  Finally, the wife is to be complete her husband just as the husband completes her.  They are source of unity, where they mutually depend on another growing oneness in Christ as each other’s other half.   Instead of just a “she”, they are now a “we”, a team. 

I conclusion, the wife is a companion, aid, a strength, a completer to her husband as they grow together in Christ.

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