We have discussed that the responsibility for the state of the family lies fully at the feet of the husband; all problems in the family are a result of not leading and/or loving its members in some way. He is totally accountable to his Head, Jesus Christ, for it’s condition (1 Corinthians 11:3). This does not mean he will have a model family with everything running smoothly; all husbands, including himself, are sinners. But if he is loving and leading, he is living as God has called him to live, although imperfectly.
For example, the Bible teaches “… in Adam all die,” not “in Eve,” (1 Corinthians 15:22). even though she was the first one to eat of the forbidden fruit. Adam, as the leader, has been seen down through the ages, as a man who failed to lead his family, and the world fell into sin. On the other hand, when the family functions properly with the husband as its head, it is a beautiful demonstration of the kingdom of God. The husband has full responsibility for the family, authority over the family, and is accountable to God for its well being.
The previous paragraphs represent ideas that drive the leaders of our feminist culture absolutely crazy! Condemnation, vitriol, and hatred immediately totally engulf those who propose them publicly. Cries of “hate speech,” “the denigration of women,” “tyrant,” and “despot” always are the result.
However, wherever “Thy kingdom comes on the earth as it is in Heaven,” whether that be in the family, the marketplace, the civil government or in the church, these same three characteristics are always there—responsibility, authority, and accountability.
Our example of this “kingdom-coming” is none other than Jesus Himself. He came to earth as a man to show us all how to live in the kingdom—by being responsible for the mission God had given Him (to die for the sins of the world), with the authority to fulfill that responsibility (by ruling over His “family,” His disciples), and finally, He was under the authority of His Father Himself and was accountable directly to Him for accomplishing His mission. Daniel 7:13, 14 is that spine-tingling scene when Jesus returns to Heaven from His time on the earth at the Ascension and reports to the Ancient of Days: ”Mission accomplished!”
At this point, I have totally lost the feminists. They are convinced I am a misogynist bigot, completely ignoring the importance of women and their leadership abilities, but I am doing nothing of the sort. In Jesus “there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
We are all of equal worth and value to the Lord. Jesus died for us all, and our sins are all equally forgiven, but men and women have distinctly different functions in His kingdom. We are constructed differently in every way, ways that far exceed simply external, obvious physical differences. I want to discuss what some of those differences are and how they fit perfectly with the job God has given women to do in His kingdom.
The most famous passage that has to do with a woman’s role in the biblical family are first, Ephesians 5:22-24: “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.”
A wife is to submit herself to her husband in everything, in just the same way the church submits itself to Jesus. The husband has responsibility for the vision for the direction the family needs to go, i.e., education of the children, church involvement, finances, recreation, protection, etc. Jesus is not the head of the family—Jesus is the head of the man, who is then the head of his family (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Because of this immense responsibility in His kingdom, God has given husband the internal equipment to think in terms of the long term, overall “big picture,” and not be side-tracked by temporary emotional concerns. This visionary characteristic, naturally a part of a man’s make-up, is necessary for leaders if their families are going to arrive at the destination which they desire to reach.
Women are created to have much more immediate concerns, supplying to the family what her husband is lacking: compassion, understanding, empathy, an intuition about personal relationships, etc. These are all the missing components a “helper” would naturally want to supply when she sees they are woefully lacking in the one-flesh relationship she has with her husband!
Why should both husband and wife be visionary leaders? Why should they both naturally be tenderhearted, mercy extenders? Would that not lead to competition rather than complementation? Couples God puts together will vary in the degree these characteristics are present, and there is obviously some mutual sharing of them in all marriages. But God’s purpose in making man and woman different was that they would be naturally complementary, not competitive: “And the Lord God said, ‘It isn’t good for man to be alone; I will make a companion for him, a helper suited to his needs’” (Genesis 2:18). “Suited for his needs,” i.e., to give him what he lacks, the job of a helper.
So, as men and women come into the world, they are different, with different natural characteristics, natural tendencies that are spontaneous responses to the world around them. They are completely equal in worth or value, each making a unique contribution to the family that is vitally necessary—but wonderfully different! What a tragedy when one spouse decides to follow the culture and strives to be, act and look like the opposite gender. We are shaking our fists at God and saying “You will not rule over me! I refuse to be as You made me.”
And we are all that way in some measure. We are not satisfied. There is a restlessness to change or be different. The only way in to a life of peace (which is really only me being satisfied with myself and the life God has given me) is to cry out to Him in repentance, confessing that I think I know better than He does who I should be and what I should do. “Oh Lord, thank you for Your forgiveness! You change my heart. I cannot do so myself.”