“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord…” (Eph. 5:22).
Does that verse make you squirm? As I have spoken to women’s groups over the years on the subject of a woman’s role in marriage, I often have sensed a feeling of caution in the audience when the topic of submission comes up.
It is definitely a touchy subject, and many women have been hurt by men wielding their God-given authority without the sacrificial love of Christ. With that in mind, I want to make something clear: We are all equal in Christ.
Although wives are to submit to their husbands in marriage, husbands are to submit to the authorities in their lives. It is hypocritical for a woman to be treated with contempt for not submitting to her husband when he is rebelling against and resisting the authorities in his life.
In fact, the context of the verse above includes this statement, right before it: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21). Submit to one another. Don’t miss that.
One of the things I respect most about women is that they are more attuned to relationships than men. Did you know women are the foremost purchasers of self-help books on marriage? And in most cases, they are the first ones in troubled marriages to seek help.
This relational focus and the loving, nurturing instinct behind it are the glue that keeps our society together. It protects us from becoming relationally detached and uncaring. Women play an extremely important role within society, at every level.
In fact, a great dilemma facing women today is how they can most influence society without detaching from their domestic roles.
Women desire to be involved and important in every level of culture. Whether it is business, education, church or government, women need to be honored for their intelligence, equality and ability to give wise input.
But the more women detach from a domestically centered environment, the more unhealthy society becomes. It is certainly understandable why a woman would want more from life than domestic responsibilities, but caring for a home, husband and children are extremely important functions society can’t do without.
The degrading fashion in which motherhood and being a housewife are depicted today is shameful. A woman who is a good homemaker and mother is doing a great service to God, her husband, her children, her community, and society at large.
Over the next few weeks of Marriage Builders, we’ll be looking more at the vital roles women play in their marriage—and how they can avoid many of the problems that tend to tear marriages apart.
Until then, if you are a mother and housewife, be encouraged. Your work is important to God, important to your family, and important to the world around you.