Lesson Fourteen--A Wife's Understanding of Her Role
God's Perfect Plan
The following is a summary adaptation of material from "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace.
It is my earnest prayer that by now all of us have come to the realization and proper understanding of what the number one goal of a Christian woman should be--that of bringing honor and glory to God in all that we do and say. In order for us, as Christian wives, to fulfill that goal, we have a very important foundational lesson to learn. We must learn to see things from God's perspective. This week we will look together at God's design and plan for the role of husbands and wives. Let us consider these five issues:
1. Men and women are created in the image of God.
Because we were created in the image of God we have certain responsibilities to fulfill. First, God has put us in charge of His creation and intends for us to glorify Him.
Also, as God's creation you are accountable to God to make responsible choices. Joshua 24:15 tells us to "choose for yourselves today whom you will serve." And, Romans 3:19 says, "..that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be accountable to God. Even though God created male and female with very obvious physical anatomies (both body and mind), He still however, created both men and women of the same basic nature--that of His image.
2. In the order of creation, man was created first.
Can you see the significance in the order in which God created male and female? Adam was created first and given dominion to rule over all the earth. Eve was later created in order to be a "helper" for Adam. Although God did indeed create both male and female in His image, all throughout the Bible He makes it extremely clear that men and women are to have very distinct roles.
3. Woman was created for the man, not man for the woman.
So you see, dear sister, God's original intention was for man to glorify God and for woman to glorify the man. On pages 49-51, Mr. Buck Hatch, retired professor from Columbia Bible College explains by using the Trinity as the role-model. Within the Trinity, there are three distinct roles :
"In the Trinity, of course, there is perfect harmony. All are satisfied with their roles. There are no "power plays" or role confusion."
Please read the following verses carefully:
In using the Trinity as our role-role model for marriage you will find some interesting things in the verses above. First, the Holy Spirit (representative of the wife) never seeks to draw attention or glory to Himself. Rather, He seeks to honor the Lord Jesus (our picture of the husband). In addition, Jesus had no desire to bring attention to Himself but to God the Father. His desire was to be obedient to God, bring honor and glory to His name and to do the works that God had sent Him to do. What a beautiful picture of a biblical wife--one who's heart's desire is to glorify her husband because she understands that she was created for just that purpose.
4. The effects of the fall of man.
As we noted earlier God created male and female with specific roles. The man was to rule over the earth, the woman was to be a "helper suitable" for the man. Because God is a just God He was forced to pass judgment upon them when they sinned. Male and female were both cursed that day and that curse has been passed down to all mankind. The man would now have to work by the sweat of his brow to provide for his physical needs, there would be pain in childbirth for the woman, but most significant of all there would now be a power struggle within all marriage relationships. Please note:
Mrs. Peace states on page 52, " Whereas before the fall there was harmony between Adam and Eve in fulfilling their roles, now there would be a power-play as they both sought to dominate the other. It soon resulted in much grief, turmoil, bitterness and misery. Indeed, one of the impacts of the fall was the beginning of sinful conflict. Subsequently, Christ came to redeem us from the curse and if you are "in Christ" (as Christians), you and your husband have the potential to regain much of what was lost at the fall of man. Therefore you do have the capacity to have the harmony in your marriage that God intended....Certainly, the deep unity and intimacy that God intended between husband and wife has been marred by the fall of man. This is but one area that God intends to set right through His plan of redemption."
5. The husband was and still is to be the head of his wife.
What does it mean to be for a man to be the "head" of his wife? Does it mean that he is to boss and bully his wife and children? By no means. What it does mean, however, is that he is responsible for managing his home. This includes delegating responsibilities not only to his children, but also to you, his wife. We will learn more about this principle next week as we study our God-intended roles through the analogy of Christ and His Bride, the Church.
Taken from "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace, pp 47-52. Copyright 1999, Focus Publishing, Bemidji, Minnesota. Used with permission for the purposes of this devotional series only. May not be reproduced or forwarded without the express consent of the publisher.