The Role of the Wife
To fully understand the role of the wife in a Godly marriage, we have to go back to the Creation account. Most people, even Christians and perhaps especially Christians, when they think about submission, think this means the woman is somehow less than, not as important, to function like a servant to her husband. I hope last week’s blog on the role of a husband helped to disintegrate that unBiblical teaching. Today, I want to go further into the teaching of Scripture that continues to break down that line of thought. Let’s go back to Genesis:
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Genesis 2:18 (ESV)
Well, some might look at this and say that it actually confirms the thought that a wife is to be some kind of servant to the man. She is his helper. But we need to fully understand this word ‘helper.’ The King James Version uses the word ‘helpmeet.’ And in the original language, we see the meaning to include another word that most have never heard: “succour.” The original word is translated into help, helper, helpmeet and it is defined as support, to surround, to aid. It is related to another word that means ‘treasure.’ We render from this that a wife is to be a support that is treasured.
The same word used here for wife comes from an original word used of God over and over again as our help.
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Psalms 121:2 (ESV)
In the New Testament, our helper is the Holy Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
John 14:16-17 (ESV)
God never intended for wives to be servants
So when God gives us a helper, being a servant is not the meaning. It is to help us find the Lord and follow the Lord through all of the difficulties of this life. Sometimes, that help comes from comfort, sometimes it is power to accomplish things, and sometimes it is wisdom to see the full picture of a situation. But it is also important to note that God never helps us by forcing us nor manipulating us to do anything.
A wife, a woman, is designed to fit this role. She is a comforter, she is a force to get things done, and she is designed to see the full picture of a situation. This is different from a man who is designed to make decisions. (I covered this previously. Read the other Concept of Submission posts.) A woman should never be quiet. She has been designed to advise. A woman should never be excluded. She has been designed to help get things done. She is not to be a servant, but a partner.
But the Bible calls for women to respect their husbands. A husband is called to love his wife but a wife to respect her husband (Ephesians 5:33). A good wife is a partner, a helper, an advisor, but not the boss. Wives, if the old saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life” can be applied to how you interact with your husband, this is not good. Don’t get me wrong. As I discussed last week, a husband is called to romance his wife and continually give to her in ways that make her heart go pitter-patter, but as soon as a husband begins to live to please his wife more than pleasing God, he has been emasculated. He has lost your respect and men crave respect as much as women crave love.
Many wives want to love on their husbands and this is good, but they also need to understand that God’s design of a man is to crave respect. When a woman attempts to be the boss and the husband is expected to please her, the divine plan God has for marriage has been turned upside down and it will not produce the bliss God intended.
A woman must help, support, and partner with her husband without ruling over him. In fact, this was the curse in the garden.
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
Genesis 3:16 (ESV)
Because of sin, God had to set one above the other and since woman was designed to be a helper, Adam was placed as authority over Eve, but Eve would desire this position of authority. It is a real temptation for a woman to not take authority over her husband. But she has to remember that He is better designed to make better decisions because God reduced the level of emotion in a man, and a man must realize that his wife is the greatest treasure he has for wisdom and information that he should gather more information. Because men have been designed to make decisions, they are designed to focus on one thing, maybe two or three. Women, designed as advisors think of hundreds of things. This is also what cause women to feel more and that makes decisions harder.
We have to operate within God’s system of marriage to see the fruit of marriage
But now, God has set the system. A wife must live within that system the same as a man. A man must love His wife with the same love as Jesus gives to the church and the wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5).
When both are operating in their role, they bond together in friendship and passion. They make better decisions than they would individually. The quality of their life exceeds what it could be individually. They help one another through the hard times and they have someone to celebrate with in the victories.
The design of marriage that God has given us is beautiful and if we work it as He designed it, it will work in the most beautiful way.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!