When I was growing up in church, I found great and unfortunate discrimination against women. Women were not allowed to stand in the pulpit, she was not allowed to teach or have authority over men, and she was supposed to submit to her husband at home, which meant she was supposed to be obedient to her husband. I’d like to share with you a concept that is very much overlooked many times. That basic concept is that women, and therefore wives, are not inferior to men.
The Husband Perception of His Wife
When a man looks at his wife (or any woman for that matter), he should not perceive her as being weak and inferior to him because of her gender. If a man sees his wife as being inferior to him because of her gender, then that paradigm will seep into the marriage relationship and possibly sabotage it from the inside out.
Men. Your wife can do anything she sets her mind to do because she is human just like you. She is not limited by her gender, but instead by her knowledge, experience, or capabilities in a certain area like any other person, male or female. For example, it is possible that a woman can fix things around the house more than her husband if she has been trained or does it more than him. So, a man should see his wife as an equal partner in the sense that she can accomplish great things if given the opportunity.
A common misconception is that the husband’s headship over his wife means that he is superior to her and that her submission means that she has to become inferior to him. Both of those are very wrong. First, headship does not mean superiority. It means that the husband is first in position, being ahead of. This headship is compared to the headship of Christ to the church, which is not one of domination, but rather of love and sacrifice. Therefore, we must examine the relationship of Jesus Christ to His church to get a proper perspective of what headship means in a marriage (See Ephesians 5:21-24).
I should also note that the Bible reveals to us that a husband should love his wife in the way that Christ loves the church (See Ephesians 5;25-28). This love is not romantic love, even though a husband may love his wife that way, but rather a love of care. Christ cared for the church and demonstrated that love by dying for it, i.e., us. That is the kind of love that a husband should have for his wife and why it is expedient for the wife to allow her husband to go ahead of her and submit to him.
A wife submits to her own husband the way the church submits to Christ. The church does not submit to a dominating king, but rather a loving savior. Therefore, submission is not merely to obey as one would a tyrant king. It is to place oneself under the covering of the one who loves you and would die for you. That is the type of love that the husband has for the wife and why she would submit herself to him. She knows that he has her best interest in mind and that he would do all he can for her. Who wouldn’t submit to that? She also knows that she is not inferior to him and can indeed speak up and cover him if she believes he has made a mistake or is headed for danger. Submission does not mean that the wife blindly follows the husband.
Something that you should know is that the idea of man being superior to a woman comes from sin, not from God (see Genesis 3:16). It was after the fall (the original sin of Adam and Eve) that it was said that the man would rule over the wife and be responsible for her. Before that, they were under the direct headship of God, but now they submitted to the voice of Satan making him their head. Therefore, we might say that the perverted version of headship where the man rules the woman and she submits to him, comes originates from the results of sin against God and not God’s original plan for the man and woman.
Women can be industrious, wise, and a provider for her family (See Proverbs 31 in the Bible). She makes money, provides food, takes care of her family, is well thought of, and brings honor to her husband. This is not the image of a weak and inferior woman. This is instead, an image of a woman with strength, abilities, honor, respect, and much value to her husband and family.
The abilities of a woman are as much as they are for any human being. Remember also that the woman was the crown of God’s creation. A woman can do anything she sets her mind to do and a smart husband would do well to not be a hindrance to that. Her efforts would benefit herself, her family, and her husband, along with others around her through altruism.
In the Marriage
Women are not inferior to men. They are only inferior to God, and through the power of God and the abilities that He gives all humans, she can accomplish great things for herself, her husband, and the world around her. God bless the wife! A man who finds a wife as this has indeed found a good thing!
A husband and wife working together in a marriage relationship where the wife is not hindered because of her gender, will accomplish great things and develop a great relationship. They respect each other, love each other, work hard for each other, and helps others.
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