The year 2018 has been dubbed “The Year of the Woman.” We’ve seen countless marches, protests, and speeches on the greatness and equality of women. (My husband and I tried to watch 30 minutes of the Golden Globes and couldn’t handle it with all the propaganda for women.) While there is nothing inherently wrong with these things, if we’re not careful, we could lose focus. Jared and I often joke that he is more of a “feminist” than I am. I do think that women should be treated fairly. I believe that we should have equal pay, equal opportunity, and celebrated for our accomplishments just as much as men are; however, there are some roles that women simply cannot fulfill. Men and women are NOT created equal.
Hear me out before you attack! I’m not saying that women are any less than men. But I think we can all agree that men and women physically are not created equal. Also, emotionally, women were created to be nurtures. Men were created to be more logical. Biblically speaking, there are certain things that men are called to that women are not. There are certain things that women are called to that men are not. There is a balance that God ordained and created for a reason.
Let’s go back to the beginning shall we. Genesis 2:18-25 says, “18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; nI will make him a helper fit for5 him.” 19 oNow out of the ground the LORD God had formed6 every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam7 there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”9 24 tTherefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (ESV)
Here, we see the first introduction to woman. Eve came on the scene when it was made evident that Adam needed a helper. Adam had been given a job, and it was a pretty big one. Eve came in to be a partner, a help mate, someone he could rely on. (Notice God didn’t give Adam another male to help with the work… but not a message for now.) We see God clearly expecting both the male and female to complete the task given. Equal work. We also see the first picture of marriage here. While Adam didn’t have physical parents to leave, it was God’s message here saying that in marriage, your spouse is your top priority. You and your spouse become one flesh. One. That means you work together for the same goals with the same mindset. It is a picture of having a perfect relationship with God. Working together as one.
Now jump with me to Genesis 3:16. This is right after Eve and Adam had sinned and God is delivering the consequences for their sins. “16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be toward your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (ESV) This consequence we see after sin entered the world, where man has now been given dominion over woman.
“Woah, no man has dominion over me. I am a strong, independent woman and don’t answer to nobody.”
First, you have a double negative… Second, let’s look in the New Testament to see what God meant with this word “rule.” Look to Ephesians 5. This whole passage in this book is speaking about walking in love. Paul starts out by saying “1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (ESV) Christ loved us so much to sacrifice Himself for us to fix that sin problem we talked about in Genesis. Paul goes on to talk about walking in light as wise children of God. Then he immediately jumps to marriage. Why? Because the home is the first and most important institution created to point to our relationship with the Father. This is why God started with Adam and Eve and not a governmental system or monarchy, not even the church. He started with the family for a purpose. It is meant to create a picture for us. And what is that picture supposed to look like? I’m so glad you asked.
“22 zWives, asubmit to your own husbands, bas to the Lord. 23 For cthe husband is the head of the wife even as dChrist is the head of the church, his body, and is ehimself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit fin everything to their husbands.” (ESV)
Wives are to submit to their husbands. Do you know what the word “submit” means in the original Greek language? It means submit. To submit to one’s control. I know, this is not popular, but hear me out. Women are asked to submit to their husbands because their husbands have been given this command:
Ephesians 5:25-33 “25 gHusbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and hgave himself up for her,26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by ithe washing of water jwith the word, 27 so kthat he might present the church to himself in splendor, lwithout spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.1 28 In the same way mhusbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because nwe are members of his body. 31 o“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and pthe two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.33 However, qlet each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that sherrespects her husband.” (ESV)
Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church. And what did Christ do for the church? He died for us. Christ loves the church with an unconditional, gracious, unrelenting, sacrificial love that cannot be changed or torn away from His bride. This is the kind of authority wives are asked to submit themselves to. This is the heart of the home. Wives are loving their husbands and trusting their leadership. Husbands are loving their wives and looking out for the best interests of the family. He is kind and gracious to his bride while leading her as Christ is leading him.
This commandment, my friends, this picture that God gave us is why I say that 2018 does not need to be dubbed “The Year of the Woman.” Rather, 2018 needs to be dubbed “The Year of the Family.” The year men love their wives and women in their lives sacrificially. The year women devote themselves to their husbands and children and look to the interests of others. Only when we follow the structure the Bible has laid out for us will it all work, because when we follow the biblical structure, women are not belittled. Women are not trampled on and overlooked. Women are cared for and protected. But also, men are not ridiculed or put down either. Rather, they are cherished and looked to for leadership. This is the beautiful picture that God gave us to see His love and devotion to us. Ephesians 5:21 “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”