Monday, November 21, 2011

Understanding The Role Of Male And Female In The Kingdom Of God

In our modern view of things the Church may be throwing out the baby with the bath water. There are certain attitudes in the past that led to great abuses in the Church and our society. These came from the nature we have to sin, to be self-centered and controlling. Women were often treated as second class citizens and there was great social injustice. This had to be corrected and it is shameful for us as Christians that this change came through society instead of the Church.

However, I think we have allowed that pendulum to swing too far and we are losing the spiritual significance of the roles God set up for male and female. In our desire to correct the injustice we are throwing out the spiritual authority that God has put in place without taking the time to understand its significance. This is also a matter of maturity because it takes some maturity to look past the surface of this issue to get to the necessary depth of understanding. I can't get into all of it in this simple format but perhaps I can nudge you in that direction so you will seek greater understanding.

First of all, we know in the Lord we have equality, there is no one greater than anyone else:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

We must have love and respect for each other as brothers and sisters belonging to one family, regardless of sex or nationality. Specifically concerning male and female the Bible says:

In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. (1 Corinthians 11:11-12)

It doesn't matter that Eve came from Adam because after Adam the rest of us came from woman. So from Scripture we can see we have a pretty healthy and loving relationship here. Husband and wife are made for each other and fit well together as two pieces designed for each other. Yet, in the Kingdom there is a thing of spiritual authority that has been established and that needs to be respected in order for the blessings of the Lord to flow properly in healthy relationships. This is hard for some people to handle these days but stick with me until we come to the end of the matter:

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

Spiritually I am the head of my family and provide spiritual covering for my wife. It means I am responsible to serve my family in the sense of Jesus' service or leadership. It is not an authority as understood in this world because it is the Kingdom authority that Jesus demonstrated to us. It is a servant-leadership, not where the man dominants over his wife but instead where he serves her in the same sense that Jesus served us. I am to sacrifice for my wife, pray over her, fight for her, defend her, help her, strengthen her and long for her success. I am to take the spiritual lead by setting an example in devotion and dedication to Jesus. My prayers over my wife are the most significant and have the greater power for everything necessary.

A husband and wife are a team and both bring something different to the table. In some cases the wife may be the more intelligent and the husband more skilled. In other cases the husband is more intelligent and the wife more talented. One could have people skills and the other one lack it. The wife may have a better job and better pay but this does not take away from the spiritual authority and responsibility of the husband to be the covering of his wife. In some cases the wife may have better leadership skills but this does not give her the right to rob her husband of his responsibility. In fact, it is an act of love for the wife to allow her husband to take this leadership as God has given it to him.

This does not make the husband better than his wife but instead recognizes his responsibility in the family. The Bible makes it clear that in Jesus there are no differences and in a good marriage it can be clearly seen that the husband and wife have great love and respect for each other. This is a simple matter of obedience to the order that God has put in place, the same order that finds the Son submitting to the the Father's authority. I hope this is something you will take the time to look into further so that we are not throwing away the will of the Father for the traditions of man. We have been wrong in the past but that does not give us the right to be wrong in our future.

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