Editor’s note: Bojidar Marinov is speaking about the minimizing of women’s roles in the church by patriarchy along with the petty tin-plated dictatorship by men over their wives that seems to be endemic to the Christian Patriarchy Movement. Andrea’s response? To try to explain management roles and job descriptions from the world being applied to the marriage relationship. Sort of like describing a pineapple and the listener drawing an apple instead. She describes a wife as a ‘useful reflection’ of her husband.
Marinov’s quote she is answering:
Most of what passes for “restoring male leadership in the church” these days is in fact suppressing female initiative and decreasing areas of legitimate action and involvement by women. It’s not difficult to predict that this won’t lead to more men leaders and more obedient wives but to more complacent and tyrannical men and more frustrated wives. You can’t make a leader out of a man by telling his wife what she shouldn’t do.1 ~Bojidar Marinov
Throughout history, philosophical ideas have had negative effects on family life. The Enlightenment, by demeaning woman’s role, set the stage for the reactionary feminist movement and the recent so-called patriarchy movement appears to be a hyper-reaction to feminism. Each movement skewed, exaggerated, undermined, and often ignored the Biblical perspective on the woman’s role as wife and mother. In fact, what is taught from the pulpit and in Bible studies contributes to the frustration women experience in our day. There needs to be a lot of work to recover a clear understanding on marriage and the role of marriage in reclaiming the culture.
Proverbs 31 talks about a wife looking well to the ways of her household. Thus, women are the managers of their homes. Some take exception to this assertion because they consider it a usurpation of the role of husbands as head of the household. However, the Scripture says that the man is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23); it does not instruct him to be the manager of the household. The real usurpation actually occurs when the wife is robbed of her area of dominion, thereby disregarding her co-vicegerency alongside her husband within her sphere—the home. If a woman is nothing more than her husband’s stand-in, rather than his full partner in all matters, not only is the dominion mandate lessened in the home, but the surrounding culture is affected, as well.
Business enterprises have owners, general managers, and department managers. Whether it is a restaurant, a hospital, a car dealership, or a sports team, there is a chain of authority that is defined, along with job descriptions outlining roles and responsibilities. When run well, those higher up in the chain of command allow those who are in subordinate positions to do their jobs without bypassing them or interfering.
Because we have lost the high view of women outlined in Scripture, we are left with women being much more akin to slaves than full partners with their husbands. This negates the statement by God in Genesis that it is not good that the man should be alone. As I argued in an earlier essay, “Loyal Opposition,”2 the woman’s role is to be a useful reflection of her husband, so that she can serve in a corrective capacity in the case of an intentional or inadvertent transgression by him of God’s law.