On Mother's Day we talked about the role of men in society. How that role is hated, misunderstood and ridiculed in society today. And how we as men have abandoned that role in many ways, causing great harm to our families and society as a whole. And today, as a gift to fathers on Father's Day, we are going to be looking at the other side of the relationship which God has created: God's role for women, as told by the very One who designed and manufactured them.
We've simply chosen these two special days as convenient times in which we might study one of the most serious problems we face as Christians today—aside from rejecting God completely—and that is totally misconstruing the very purpose and plan for which He created us. When we talk about roles for gender in any sense, most people today immediately cringe. Seeing gender roles as outdated, constricting and unneeded. But when you talk about gender roles for women specifically, not only does it sound outdated, but most people suddenly get this horrible notion of a suppressed, abused housewife slaving alone at home, unappreciated and missing life. Improper views of Christianity have caused non-biblical and unfair treatment of women in this country at times, but those have been unfair and unbiblical views; not the True and Awesome Plan that God has for us. And in our own wisdom, thinking God's Plan to be so outdated and somehow second best (even if you don't say it out loud). The world, and pride, have caused many Christian women to live completely defiant of God's plan today, causing so much pain and damage with a system that has already shown its failure in our world today, and missing the ultimate plan for true happiness, intimacy, purpose and success. So today, we are not going to focus on a bunch of detailed rules and conformities to follow, rather, we are going to look at the true purpose and beauty of the big picture in what God is accomplishing in His Design. If we can grasp what He has created, then there will be no worry about rules to follow—just an excitement to be a part of His Creation.
Erase everything you think you know about God's Plan for men and women, and let's start from the beginning: Genesis 2:18: This word used for, "Helper", or "Helpmeet" is 'Ezer. “Helper” has been used even to de-emphasize women, saying they are to be man's assistant; servant, but those people have no idea how this word is used in Scriptures. In a Scripture search, this word was found 21 times in the Old Testament; 15 times it was used to illustrate God's help to men (not a servant). Once, to describe a warrior king chosen of God. And every time, it was used in an almost military fashion. In each use, it describes standing alongside another in protection, defense, uplifting, strengthening, fighting the battles with them” Psalm 33:20; Deuteronomy 33:26: so women are to stand beside their man, equal in the battle. No problems so far, but then, we come to statements like this one: Ephesians 5:22-24, and we wonder what God is thinking. We get annoyed. Outdate Scriptures and say they were for another time, rather than feel threatened or judging God for discrimination. How about we start with the notion that He is God? That He sees us all as equal? That He has a plan that is better than anything the world has taught in opposition? Even if it seems strange in our culture, and that we try and figure out that plan, in all its reason and glory? So, wives are to be under the leadership of their husbands: first of all—why are we even so threatened by this statement? Simply, and only, because our culture tells us we should be. Are we all under leadership and authority at work? On the streets of society? In classrooms? In sports? And nowhere else does this structure of authority cause issues. It is seen as needed and good, until we get to God's plan. Let's get the bigger picture and then we will delve into wisdom that we may have missed in our tainted world-view. First, for those that have never heard this before: Is Jesus God? Equal to the Father in every way? Philippians 2:5-8. Jesus was obedient to Whom? The Father: His Equal. As a matter of fact, the relationship between the Father and Jesus Christ ss set up exactly the same as husband and wife: 1 Corinthians 11:3. Jesus' willful and purposeful subjection to the Father is not just stated here, but over and over. There is absolutely no question that Jesus is equal to God, and there is absolutely no question that Jesus gives Himself to the authority of God the Father anyway, and there is absolutely no question the husband and wife are to model the same relationship. The only clear question then simply becomes, "Why?" John 4:34; John 5:30; 1 Corinthians 15:27-28: Jesus places Himself under authority of God the Father in love and in perfect unity with one completely shared direction and purpose together. How can there be intimate and complete abandonment towards one shared goal of the heart if one does not accept and strive towards the desires of another, in unison? If one vision is not accepted in trust of leadership, as the goal for all? How would warfare go if many people did not give their purpose and strength to the leadership vision of one person as their own? How would productivity go at work? How would community exist? If two supposedly intimate people have separate desires, and simply lean upon one another as they seek their own goals, is that shared, focused intimacy together? Or is that using one another for their separate benefit? The purpose of joining in marriage—the true intimacy and beauty of marriage—has never been about sharing a home and a paycheck while chasing separate lives—the intimacy is in two people struggling for one goal, one life, one purpose, one family, above self. And if Jesus Christ, Savior of the world—most honored and loved of all of God's creatures—understood and enveloped that Truth as His life, showing perfect love, joy and commitment: Why do we doubt the wisdom? How do we feel we are better? This is so completely opposite from the world view in action and in heart. The goal of a man and woman coming together as one in Christ is to first, share in a unique intimacy designed for only the two of them. Secondly, to share vision and purpose in oneness as they serve Him in a unified force. And thirdly, to raise, protect and train up children in the love of Christ! Selfless, loving and serving. This can only be accomplished in harmony and love if one direction is taken together. One leadership is followed in trust and total devotion.
This does not paint the picture of a mindless, obedient slave that many try to paste to a woman following the leadership of her man. As a matter of fact, if you read what God expects out of a Godly woman, the exact opposite is true. God portrays the woman who is, "Far more precious than jewels" as an intelligent, hard-working, in-control, resourceful lady, who happens to care so much for her family that all of her energy, skill and allegiance goes to caring for them above all else in life. She is shown as decisive, independently working and making decisions—but all for the shared goal and benefit of her husband and family: Proverbs 31:10-31. A woman of God can work outside the home, but that work never takes away or divides her from the primary calling of her life—family—it only adds to it. Does, "strength and dignity", "wisdom and teaching of kindness" sound like a mindless servant? Or does it sound like one who gives her all in skill and knowledge to serve for the cause of another? She makes herself invaluable to her husband and children in skill and strength, but all in submission to one goal and direction under her husband's leadership—just like Christ to God the Father. There is no greater purpose and calling than to care for, educate and serve those we love. It was designed to take more than one to accomplish; designed to take the commitment of full devotion. This is a calling greater in value and difficulty, than any other job or calling, and the world tries to completely change that Truth to a lie. As with many other truths of right and wrong, good and bad, when will we put our effort and devotion into what we know is the greatest treasure entrusted to us?
We talked on Mother's Day about how many, many men leave their calling as a husband and father. Well, each man will stand or fall before His Creator for His own actions. But you have got to understand that most Christian women have adapted the attitude of the world towards men. An attitude so hard-pressed to show independence and even superiority from men in many ways, that men have been regularly emasculated, being told their masculinity and strength are an undesirable fault. They are constantly ridiculed as dumb, one-track minded, and unneeded for support, provision or even affection. And they surely had better not be naive enough to think they are equipped to lead and direct the life of this woman. Then, we are all so amazed in society when men by the masses abandon their positions in a society that says they are ineffectual and unneeded. Even psychology has caught up with one major fact about men, that differs greatly from women. Ephesians 5:33. Women in general, desire love above all—being treasured and cherished. Men in general, absolutely desire respect and admiration. We must know that you feel we are capable of taking care of things—they must feel admired by who they are—or love means nothing, and self-esteem is gone. If your man is not as loving as he should be—if he is not the man you would like for him to be—you are very possibly a part of the problem. Because he needs to see, hear and feel that you respect him, admire him, and want to follow his lead. Or he may very well do as many are doing today: abandon the part of his role that you criticize or control, out of exasperation and defeat, and he will surely lose his affection and passion. If you want a Godly man to follow, then genuinely set the environment to respect and follow him. Genuinely show that you respect and admire him in words and actions. Genuinely trust his abilities and decisions, rather than patronizing him; rather than thinking in your own mind how much smarter you are, as you let him make a decision in life. Help him grow through example and encouragement and especially prayer, not through control, griping, or condemnation—understanding it is God's job to change him—you are not his mother, teacher, police officer or judge. You are his help-meet, his partner of support, his battle-buddy. His authority is from God, so follow him only as far as he follows Christ: Ephesians 5:22. Meaning you follow him out of respect for the authority and righteousness of Christ. Meaning you follow his leadership whether he’s worthy or not. His only qualification is following Christ. Some of you work hard at home, remain faithful, act righteous, but refuse to follow his lead. Don’t tell me you follow God if you are not following the lead of a godly husband. But it also means if he is against that righteousness, you follow Christ first. Many a wife and mother have hurt themselves and their children by making a god out of their husband.
Speak to him in respect and kindness, not condescension and control. Not only is it Scripturally wrong to do otherwise, the very nature of a man will resist you when attacked or disrespected. And use your respect and admiration for your husband's position in Christ as a teaching tool for the entire family, in how to respect authority; give honor to others; and how to give sacrificially to a cause greater than self—rather than to prove your intellect and control. The world has taught us the complete and exact opposite of everything you just heard, and they replaced it with a system that has destroyed our society in a generation: “He doesn't deserve respect. I do not need anyone to lead me. Or especially to help support me. I'm not sharing anyone else's goals—I am my own person. I don't want to be slowed down by a man, or especially a child.” Do you think this complete and opposite teaching has been by accident? God's plan shows Christ's example of beautiful submission and sacrifice, to create one shared life and purpose over self—which is the key to the ultimate intimacy and oneness. It requires that we break all of the world's crazy rules to meet the well proven needs of one another: Love and Respect. Trusting God is all or nothing. Join your man in complete unity by following his lead; by respecting and trusting him—as his equal partner, totally committed in life to one direction, and watch intimacy come alive in shared direction and struggles; watch him love and cherish you like never before; watch the turmoil and strife stop. God’s been doing this a long time, and He put us together Himself. I think we can trust His Plan.
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