This is a continuation of Tuesday’s article, a short overview of some of the differences between men and women. When we last left off, we were discussing how the tendency of men is to want to build, create, and fix things.
As a man, it doesn’t just end with creating things. I’m called to be a leader in our family – sans kids at the moment – as noted in various passages, including , . I’m called to lead her, both spiritually () and in all other means (), and that can be difficult. It’s easy for me to want to just be ‘alone’ – not without her around (because there’s not much I enjoy more than having a wife!), so much as alone in my responsibilities – life’s so much easier when I don’t have to be responsible for the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of another person!
Biblical womanhood, just like manhood, has it’s own challenges. The Biblical woman must ‘submit to her husband’ () and respect him as well (). Humanity, in it’s brokenness, tends to define this as ‘being ruled under an iron fist,’ leading to ideas of quiet servitude, instead of the more appropriate analogy of a partnership where the wife is supportive and uplifting of her husband.
We are broken, and that brokenness leads to disagreements and strife. While we were created to live in harmony with each other, as the embodiment of the relationship with God, we pull against the spiritual, and run towards the flesh. It’s only through a lifetime of prayer, supplication, and humility (sometimes forced!) that we begin to fall more clearly in the roles that God has for us, and it’s not until we have our ‘new’ bodies that that full sanctification will be revealed.
3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (ESV)
3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, (ESV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (ESV)
3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. (ESV)
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (ESV)
23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. (ESV)