*** A blog from July 29th, 2012 by my wife Teresa
I am amazed at how many Christians I chat with that believe our roles in marriage are as a result of the fall when sin entered the world. I do not believe this. Gen 2:20-22 clearly states that woman was created as a helper for man. Not less than him, but different. “But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept, he took one of his ribs and closed up his place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God has taken from the man he made into a woman an d brought her to the man.”
I believe our sin today is in not recognizing the authority of Christ, and not submitting to the roles He created for us, male and female. (Eph. 5:23) I think so often we confuse our identity in Christ with our roles in Christ.
What does it mean to be a godly wife? As a Christian I am called to put Christ first, and as a Christian wife I am called to put my husband before myself – to submit to him as I do to Christ. (Eph. 5:22) The dictionary definition of ‘submit’ is to “give over or yield to the power or authority of another”. When we as Christians submit to the authority of Christ we yield our very lives to Him trusting in Him to guide us. In this we are free to walk in His love, not influenced by the pressures of those around us. As a wife I am called to submit to the authority of my husband. Is this then for me to lose myself and become weak? And for him to be as an overseer to lord his authority over me? No, his calling is to love me as Christ loved the church, (Eph 5:25) To love me to the point of dying for me, with a sacrificial, unselfish love. And I am to respect him, his leadership in our marriage and our family. (Eph 5:33) This only can work by the power of Christ through the Holy Spirit, with both the husband and the wife submitted to the authority of Christ. (1 Cor 11:3) I believe that to often these roles created by God for marriage are misunderstood or taken out of context today. In a culture where your own self is said to be the most important person in your life, this concept of sacrificial love in marriage is incomprehensible. If I, as a wife and mom put myself above all, where does that leave my husband, my children? My responsibility as a wife is to honor my husband, and I have found that also brings honor to me. When I in my selfishness put myself as more important, I disrespect my husband and his role in our marriage. And in doing so I disrespect Christ.
I believe that we as women have such a huge responsibility in this. What would happen in our marriages if we lived our lives submitted to the authority of Christ? To mirror His relationship with the Father in our relationship with our husbands? Our husbands are called to by Christ to lead us and love us. (Eph 5:28) In not allowing ourselves to be led and loved by our husbands, I believe that we are not allowing ourselves to be led and loved by Christ. We were created to be our husbands helper, taken from his rib. (Gen 2:22) He is our defender, protector and encourager, precious to him. We in turn also have the ability to encourage, defend and honor him. In not doing so, we have the ability to destroy him, and possibly destroy our marriage too. What a responsibility.
O Jesus, continue to teach me what it means to live a life fully submitted to You. Help me be the woman, the wife and mother You have created me to be so that I may bring honour to You, to my husband and raise my children to Your glory.