Gender Roles Discussion Part Two

I get the impression that maybe the title of the other part put some of you off of the subject, so I titled this one simply, lol. Or maybe you were waiting for the conclusion. So, without further ado, where we left off…

The biggest impediment to establishing roles is trust. I don’t trust you to do it like I would like it done. I don’t trust you not to forget to do it. I don’t trust you to make the right decision for both of us & not just you. I can’t say I will obey you because I don’t trust that whatever you ask will be something I both can do & agree is the best thing to do. I don’t trust you can do what I ask. I don’t trust you not to go against what we agreed to & “do you.”

There’s also communication. Do you agree on what the words used to describe your role mean? Is submission to him brainless devotion & no opinions? Is provider to her someone who works so I can shop, go to the spa, & spend money without working? Sometimes we assume all words mean the same thing to all people, but this isn’t the case. Communication is key in every aspect of a relationship.

Finally, there’s the Independent Woman/Commitment-Phobe Man syndromes. Women are getting so independent, they don’t need a man for anything–and spend so much time trying to proe it, they destroy good relationships. They berate & belittle men who make less than them. They impress so forcefully upon men that they aren’t needed, the men begin to feel they aren’t wanted, either. They feel they have so much in wealth, career, etc. to safeguard and protect they can’t be as open in the relationship as they should be. Their lists of things they can’t accept begins to outweigh the things they can. They’ve been doing it all alone so long, they can’t seem to do it with anyone else. They are not merely independent–they are impenetrable (Note: This is not true of all women with careers or who consider themselves independent; these are characteristics of a syndrome.)

Then you have mens so scared of being trapped, of not being able to be with a diffrent person every night if he wanted ( which he may very well NOT want), they can’t commit. They say they will commit, but they will only commit when Perfection in a size two comes along. They can say this because they know she’s probably not coming. Any sign of permanence from a forgotten hairbrush to a question on where this relationship is going is an appeal for a ring and sounds like prison bars closing. *Clink* They can’t settle down with you because there is always something better that they have to hold out for. After all, with so many more women than men, they should be able to find exactly what they are looking for, and they shouldn’t settle; settle is a bad word, no matter what it’s attached to, except maybe court settlements.

Once you get past all of this, you have to acknowledge that marriage is an institution, a business. It worlks like any other business. I, like many, have a boss. Even if you own your own business, you are subject to government fair business practices. Everyone has someone to answer to and no one is above the law. This structure, this hierarchy of position & responsibility is important and should be maintained. This is where the roles come into play for me.

God is the head. Our marriage relationship must mirror Christ’s relationship to the church. The man is like Christ and the woman is like the Church in this model. The man is answerable to Christ, as is the woman, but the woman is subject to her husband. Wives are exhorted to submit to their husbands and men are exhorted to love their wives as the church (Ephesians 5:21-32).  Here’s what the Bible reads in Ephesians 5:21-32, the New International Version (Via Bible Gateway):

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Here’s where we get into those tricky words: submission & love.

Submission is not the mindless follow of a lemming right over the cliff’s edge. It has more to do with my relationship with God than to a husband: God said it, I will do it. But let’s explain what it means.

This definition of submit gives a full picture of what I think the Bible means:

 : to present or propose to another for review, consideration, or decision;
3 : to put forward as an opinion or contention  1 a : to yield oneself to the authority or will of another : surrender b : to permit oneself to be subjected to something
2 : to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another

You can still have an opinion and be submissive. A loving husband will seek your opinion. Just like your boss has authority but listens to your suggestions, so your husband should listen to you. He ultimately makes the final call, but he should do so while fulfilling his role to love you as Christ loves the church. Submission is not forced; you have to consent to submit. You are showing your submission to God’s will by submitting to your husband.

The man is supposed to love his wife as himself and as Christ loves the Church. Christ gave His life for the Church, and we all know how we love ourselves. We would never make decisions that aren’t in our best interests. We would belittle ourselves or not adequately provide for ourselves. We listen to ourselves. We hurt when any part of our body hurts. We treat ourselves with gentleness and respect. By taking such loving care of your wife, you are showing your submission to the will of God.

None of that says that the man has to write the checks and the woman has to cook. None of this says men have to make more money or be smarter than their wives. None of this says woman should have no say in what kind of car they have or how to disipline the children. None of this is easy.

God addressed things it would be hard for us to do. Women are supposed to be better at loving; it supposedly comes more naturally to our nature. We don’t have to be told to be loving (most of us). Eve was always intended to be a helpmate for Adam, but she took charge when she ate the fruit and gave some to Adam. She was seduced into believing she could be like God (Genesis 3). She didn’t want to help; she wanted to take charge.

Many of us have the same idea today that we know better than any man (and, consequently, God) how it should be and that no man is going to tell us to do anything. But God set the order/positions and doled out the responsibilities! Disobedience costs mankind greatly.

And that’s how I feel about it. You can (respectfully) disagree, agree, or whatever else strikes you as (respectfully) appropriate after the beep…

*Beep*

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