A Husband’s Leadership – NOT Ruling Over His Wife!

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Last week we looked at the first foundation stone of what I believe to be the Bible’s plan for a successful marriage and the training ground for us to learn how to rule over the earth for God. That foundation stone was loving our wives, our assistants in our ruling task, with agape love. This week we will begin to look at foundation stone #2

2. Lead your wife with strong, firm, decisive, decision-making.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).

Good grief! The words “submit,” “head,” and “subject to” describing a wife’s relationship with her husband in the above Bible verses, immediately ignites the most emotional, violent, anger-induced response that anyone could possibly imagine. The meaning of the Greek word for “submit” in verse 22, hupotassō, reflects the same tone as all three words, i.e., to “to obey or subject one’s self.” Not a popular idea these days!

And, in a husband-wife relationship, those words actually mean, horror of all horrors, that a biblical marriage is actually, as we mentioned last week, a “patriarchy,” and the father is a “patriarch” (“The father and ruler of a family; one who governs by paternal right” – Webster’s dictionary)

Let’s first look at what this does not mean. It does not mean that the husband “rules” over his wife individually, as would a slave-owner over a slave, who can be forced to comply with his owner’s every wish. Instead, a patriarch rules over the whole family as an institution. 

His wife is his assistant as he rules, retaining the right to choose to follow his leadership or not, as they rule together in the family. Human beings are not included in the list of items which God has given man to rule over (Genesis 1:26), because all humans are to be rulers together, including wives.

After the Fall, God put ”curses” on the futures of Satan, Adam, and Eve. The curse on Eve is a very significant event, not only for both Adam and Eve, but also for us. We are all born under the same curse because we are their direct descendants. Here is the curse: “To the woman He said: ‘…Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you’” (Genesis 3:16).

My speculation (entirely that!) is that a sovereign God, who loves us, knew that we fallen, depraved creatures could now, post-fall, only find a successful marriage relationship through learning to think like God thinks and walk by faith in Him. 

Therefore, this curse God put on Eve affected both men and women, and spring-loaded us to certain failure in our families, without God. The world today is testimony to the fact that God’s curse on Eve is working perfectly! As we have turned away from God and His ways, the families in our nation are in shambles.

Here’s how God’s plan through His curse on Eve is designed to work, and is working, just as God intended. The first phase of His curse on Eve is,”Your desire shall be for your husband.” This would seem to be a blessing and not a curse to both Adam and Eve, for it appears to add to Eve’s desire for a “more intimate and better” relationship, including sex, with her husband. This is in spite of increased pain in childbirth, as is mentioned in the first part of the curse. 

However, on closer inspection, this is not the way that this same Hebrew word is used in the very next chapter of Genesis. In 4:7, God rejected Cain’s sacrifice of fruit to Him after accepting Abel’s blood-sacrifice of a first-born lamb. Cain is said to be “very angry,” and God says to him, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

The same Hebrew word for “desire,” tesuqatek, is used in God’s curse on Eve’s relationship with Adam in the previous chapter. Here, it is used to signify sin’s attempt to capture or control Cain!

Bingo! This makes perfect sense. An increase in Eve’s “desire for her husband” certainly seems to be more like a blessing than a curse. However, if used as a propensity to capture or control her husband, who is to be her leader, it would be a curse, and that makes perfect sense. That is exactly what has happened! 

We can see its effects, not only in the family, but all through society today. Women, more and more, are exerting leadership and control—as politicians, entertainers, industry CEOs, church and education leaders, and literally in all walks of life. The “helpers” are universally becoming the “bosses!”

Some men are recognizing this trend for men to docilely surrender their leadership. So, some men are overreacting to women desiring to control “those beta males” in exactly the way the second half of God’s curse on Eve in Genesis 3:16 prepared them to react: “…And he shall rule over you.’’ 

In the ancient Roman Empire, husbands literally had the power of life and death over their wives. Today, in all other forms of slavery around the world, women are formally and officially enslaved. For example, God’s curse empowers Islam wherever this satanic religion is in control. Today, I saw this headline in the news: “Iran’s Islamic Regime Whips Young Woman 74 Times For Not Covering Her Hair In Public.” 

Women become nothing more than property for men to own. This, in no way, is related to biblical, patriarchal, male leadership in the family! What that IS, we will discuss next week.

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