Wife to Husband Part 3


This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Five Functions of a Faithful Family

The Rosenthals had an outstandingly happy and successful marriage, and Mr. Rosenthal was once asked to what he attributed this remarkable situation.
“It’s simple,” he said. “Division of labor. My wife makes all the small, routine decisions. She decides what house we buy, where we go on vacation, whether the kids go to private schools, if I should change my job, and so on.”
“And you?”
“I make the big, fundamental decisions. I decide if the United States should declare war on China, if Congress should appropriate money for a manned expedition to Mars, and so on.”

I think the secret to a happy marriage is anything but a man abdicating his responsibilities at home.  It is quite the opposite.  Being fully engaged at home is the answer to the problems most of us face in our marriages.

Having established what Godly leadership in the home really means for men, Last week we started with Submission – or “Lovingly and willingly Yielding to an authority established by God.”  Far from being demeaning it is a tremendous offering of faith and faithfulness to the Father.

In addition to Submission then, a wife faithful to God will….

Support Your Husband.

Briefly I’d summarize that as affirming and strengthening his leadership.[1]

If we look at Genesis 2:18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him. you’ll discover that you were designed, ladies, to be complimentarian to your husband.  You weren’t created to be behind him or in front of him, you were created both to be at his side as his equal.  And you were created to be beneficially different. [2]

It’s not about the song, “Anything he can do, I can do better… I can do anything better than you…”  The differences between male and female both physical, emotional, and capable should be celebrated not blurred and ignored.  I’d wager that it’s a misunderstanding here that has lead to general discontent.

So what are some of the ways you can support his authority?

Here’s one that works quite well for today.  While once upon a time it used to be culturally problematic for a woman to work outside of the home – that’s no longer the case.  In fact it’s very nearly expected for a woman to have a so called “real Job” (Though personally I take offense at the concept that taking care of the home is somehow less than a real job.)

I suppose the question someone might raise is something like, “How biblical is it – for a woman to work outside of the home?”    I’d say with some caveat’s that it’s plenty biblical.

Every woman is at least moderately familiar with the proverbs 31 woman.  Every Mother’s day she is exalted as the standard of feminine perfection.  Some of you rejoice to hear it, and other’s cringe inside because you feel like you’ll not only never be her, but you really don’t want to be.  Though I’d wonder if the latter was for a lack of understanding perhaps?

But listen to Proverbs 31:10-31 and listen for how frequently this excellent wife is described as a business woman!

“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.” (Pr 31:10-31, NASB95)

Depending on your definition of Business- no less than 12 times in this very brief text she is described in terms of business transactions benefiting not only her family but also her customers and even the poor.  She’s described in terms of a fortune 500 company.  Nothing demeaning there or so I would think.

So what guidelines are given in the scriptures for supporting your husband in the work you do?  Numbers chapter 30:6-16 represents the answer to this question in the realm of vows.  And if you think of business dealings in light of a vow being made to another – than the lesson we gain here is one of

Yielding your work to your husband.

<read Numbers 30:6-16>.  Business deals would only constitute a portion of making vows but the principle is consistent with scripture.

Stepping away from the work-a-day world there are ways to support your husband at home.  Let me just briefly mention two, and then we’ll move on.

Meet his physical needs 1 Corinthians 7:2-6

If 1 Corinthians 7:2-6 describes part of being a godly husband as meeting his wife’s intimate needs than the same is also true of being a godly wife.

Thirdly ladies you support your husband when you

Take supremacy over every other human relationship in his life.

Genesis 2:24 is too often over looked.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife…

Now if you look closely you can see that the burden here lies upon the men (as it does everywhere else in a faithful family.  But the fact is ladies, once the marriage vows are made, you are supposed to have the supreme position to your husband rather than his father and mother.   The burden rests upon the husband and yet I mention it here rather than elsewhere for two reasons.

1) Too many women are frustrated by “momma’s boys”.

2) It demonstrates some dignity for you ladies by elevating you to where you belong.

 

In terms of relationships there is no human relationship which is supposed to take precedent over a man and his wife.  Not work, not Children.  Only God takes supremacy here, for this is the relationship that He created.  And he alone is worthy of being first above everything.

For this week let us close with this prayer, That God will be first in our families, and that we in turn might live and function towards one another as faithful men and women of God.

AMEN.

“and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” (Eph 5:21-33, NASB95)

 


[1] [1] Piper, John. And Wayne Grudem. “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response To Evangelical Feminism.” Crossway Books. WheatonIllinois. 1991. p. 36.

[2] Piper, John. And Wayne Grudem. “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response To Evangelical Feminism.” Crossway Books. WheatonIllinois. 1991. p. iv.

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