Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Submission of a Woman to her Husband

Who's the Boss in This Marriage Anyhow?

1 Corinthians 11 is one of those passages in the Bible to which many, many women would like to take a pair of scissors. Most think it is an archaic, misinterpreted passage that somehow puts them in a position of subservience to men. Something which most emancipated women today do not like to be. The passage of which I speak is that one which deals with authority/submission and head-coverings. As these two subjects provide much material, even though they are within the same passage, I am going to cover them in two separate articles. The first one will deal with authority and submission, primarily in the marriage.

Beginning at verse 3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

First we have to decide whether or not these Scriptures are even applicable in this day and age. God has told us that “Jesus is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” Hebrews. 13:8. In Psalm 102:27 we read, “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” Malachi 3:6a tells us, ”For I am the LORD, I change not ...” James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  These verses have to do with Yeshua (Jesus) and God the Father not changing in character or in regards to their standards. In Matthew 5:18 and Luke 16:17 we are told that not one jot or tittle of the law of God will pass away until heaven and earth pass away. So it appears that neither God nor what His Word says will change or be irrelevant. At least until the heavens and earth have passed away, and to date I do not believe that has happened. :-)  God's Word is applicable yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That answers the question of whether the passage pertains to us today, or only was applicable to the churches of Paul's day.

The next problematic issue is the question of headship or rankings of authority. Does God have a system of authority or hierarchy in place in His government to maintain order? Let's first look to see if Yeshua, who is God Himself in the form of the Son, had to answer to anybody. In Isaiah 52:13, 53:11, and Zech. 3:8, God calls Yeshua His servant. “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.”, “He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.”, “....behold I bring forth my servant, the BRANCH.” We find more verses in the New Testament on this. Matthew 12:18, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased:....” According to God the Father, Yeshua is His servant. How did Yeshua feel about this? Did He accept this authority over Him?

The answer is very clear in Scripture. John 5:19, 30, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise......I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Hebrews 10:7, “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” John 4:34, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” These verses clearly indicate that Yeshua was here to follow the instructions and will of the Father, not to satisfy His own desires. In fact, Yeshua's will came into agonizing conflict with the Father's will when it came to His death.

Matthew 26:39, 42, 44, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” Mark 14:36, “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Luke 22:41-42, 44, “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Christ's fear and conflict over what He knew had to be done to redeem us was so great that the capillaries in his blood vessels broke and his blood mingled with his sweat and dropped from his body. He knew what was coming, and part of Him, the human part, did not want to suffer this incredibly agonizing torture that He knew He was about to undergo. If there was any other way, He wanted to take it, but even then, He submitted to the authority of His Father. Phil. 2:8-9, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” This says that Christ humbled himself, obeying God even to the point of death. He submitted to God's will, even when it meant a horrible, excruciatingly painful death. So Yeshua, who is God in the form of the Son, submits to the authority of the Father. If Yeshua can submit to a higher authority, with whom He is equal, Phil. 2:5-6 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” then we should be willing to submit to whatever authority God tell us to submit.

[As an aside, for those of you whose Bibles say in this verse that Christ did not aspire to grasp at equality with God,  I point you to my post on the KJV Version only controversy to see that your Bibles have it wrong. Christ is equal with God.  He is God in the form of the Son. What I quoted above is the correct theological premise.]

We have so far ascertained that God's Word still applies, and that He has a hierarchy of authority that must be followed for order to be maintained. We are told in 1 Cor. 11:3 that God is the head of Christ, (which we have shown in many verses) and the head of every man is Christ, or Yeshua. So God is at the top, Yeshua is next in line, and then men. Now comes the part against which most women rebel. It says that the head of the woman is the man.

Those who do not believe in women submitting to the male authority in their lives like to point to the verse in Galatians 3:28 as proof that submission is not necessary, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” If one were to just look at this one verse, out of context, one might come to that conclusion, but we do not use Scripture that way in this blog. This verse is talking about salvation, not about governmental authority. When it comes to salvation, all are equal. The Jew does not have an edge over a Gentile, just because he is a Jew and one of God's chosen race of people. Circumcision counts for nothing in this case. Romans 2:26, 28-3:1, “Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.” This is speaking of salvation, not of who has a higher authority in the government of God. The free man is not more entitled to salvation than the slave, and men are not more entitled than women. When it comes to salvation, all are equal. However, when it comes to government and authority, God likes order, and to maintain order, someone has to be in charge, and someone has to follow. A democracy does not work in God's world. We can see that more clearly in the government he set up for Israel, and for the church.

Before Yeshua came, God chose leaders from among men with whom He interacted directly. First it was a patriarchal society with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, and Joseph. Later after Israel had grown into a nation, Moses, Joshua, and then the Judges of Israel, followed by kings (David in particular) and the Prophets (when the kings the people insisted upon having turned from God.) were the ones through whom God led His people. When Moses was leading the people in the wilderness, there were too many people for whom he had to sit in judgment. God told him to appoint judges underneath him. Exodus 18:20-22, “And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rules of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: and let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.” So there was a line of order that people had to use.  There was a hierarchy for the sake of order.  The rulers of ten had to report to the ruler of fifties who had to report to the ruler of hundreds who had to report to the rule of thousands who had to report to Moses.

In 1 Timothy 3 and Titus, God gives an order for the church – elders, bishops and deacons. Also older men are to be over the younger men, and older women over the younger women. Parents are also over their children. God clearly expects that order will be maintained by having some form of hierarchy. Someone has to be at the top, and someone has to be underneath. Like it or not, God has clearly laid out how it is supposed to be. God is at the top. Yeshua is next, followed by men, and women, then the children. Ephesians 6:1-2 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise).” Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”

So, in the homes the women should acknowledge their husbands' headship. But does that mean that men should take advantage of that and turn the wives (or daughters) into servants and treat them as such? Absolutely not. This is where things start to break down, as some men tend to begin and stop at a certain point when reading the Scriptures in Ephesians and do not acknowledge the directive given by God to them. Let's start at Ephesians 5:21 (as opposed to verse 22) “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” This directive is not aimed at husbands and wives, but at Christians with regard to each other. As such it includes husbands and wives. So clearly husbands are in some respect supposed to submit to their wives, just as they would submit to any other Christian, if the case calls for it. Men tend to overlook this little verse. It does not negate the order within the home, but it indicates that there are times when the man must listen to the wife, as she may be the one hearing from God, or may have the knowledge, information, wisdom, or whatever to deal with whatever must be dealt with. A true servant of God would have the discernment to know when to listen, just as a president has advisers to whom he listens.  That is showing good leadership skills.

Women were not created to be man's servant or slave, but his equal helpmate.  Genesis 2:18, "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."  It is because of Eve's sin that women now have to submit to their husbands.  She was the one who fell first, and then got Adam to sin.  The punishment for this was not just pain in childbearing, but that the equality that she had, due to direct interaction with God up to that point, was taken away.  Man would not be directly interacting with God anymore, so there had to be developed a suitable system that would allow sinful man, who could no longer look upon the face of God, to interact with Him.  Thus was born the hierarchy system.  Genesis 3:16, "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."  Ladies, why do you think it is, that it is so important to us to please the man in our lives.  It is because God imposed that desire upon us.  With childbirth now being extremely painful, there would have to be some impetus for a woman to want to have children, otherwise the human race would have died out rather quickly.  Without that intense desire to have a husband and present him with children, a woman would not have cared.  Look at how today Satan has managed to corrupt that desire that God implanted by having so many women turn to lesbianism.  Also, notice that the curse is the reason that men rule over women.  It is stated right in this verse that this is how this submission rule came about.  Put the blame on Eve, girls.  Still men should remember that woman was created for the purpose of being an equal helper, not a subservient worker.  While men, over the ages, have considered a woman incapable of tasks outside the domestic arts of cooking, cleaning, washing, and sewing, Proverbs 31 tells us something quite different is expected by God.  Verses 10-31, "Who can find a virtuous woman?  For her price is far above rubiews.  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.   She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.  She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.  She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.  She girdeth her loins with strenght, and strengtheneth her arms.  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.  She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all the household are clothed with scarlet.  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.  She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.  Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.  give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."

Without covering every verse of this passage, it can be seen that this woman is no ignorant, unschooled, unskilled person whom the husband keeps barefoot and pregnant, as the saying goes.  She is wise and educated, as she has knowledge of many skills, as well as being a business woman that sells merchandise that is made or grown in her household.  She handles the financial books, carries on real estate transactions, oversees a staff, is community minded in helping the poor and needy,  not to mention that she dresses well, and is, pardon the expression, good in bed. Her children think the world of her, and her husband also thinks the world of her and praises her.  This is not some oppressed underling of which this speaks, but as a company has a president and vice-president, she is the vice-president to her husband's president, not the janitor.  So submission clearly has a very different meaning that being a slave type servant.  Yeshua was submissive to the Father, but never from the standpoint of being an unequal person.  It is a matter of authority for order, not a difference in worthiness.
Continuing with Ephesians 5: 22-24 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husband, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Colossians 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” These verses tell women that submitting to the husband is the same as submitting to the Lord. The husband has been appointed by God to be over her, and if he is doing his job correctly, there should not be a problem with her doing so. It is the same as the church submitting to Christ. The problem arises when the man, which is more often than not the case, is not listening to God, and does not have headship over her in the manner that God intends. So how does God intend this headship to be exercised? The next verses, which are so often ignored, tell us.

Ephesians 5:25-33 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man yet ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Colossians 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

1 Corinthians 7 has more on this subject. Beginning at verse 3 through 5, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. Continuing in verse 10, “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from the husband. But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: if any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean, but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife.”  Matthew 5:31-32, “It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery.” Matthew 19:3-11, “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and he said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commiteth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commiteth adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.”

These verses tell us first of all that marriage is an example of the relationship between Yeshua and the Church. If both are doing as they should and follow these directions, the marriage should be a happy one, and the woman should have no problem submitting to the husband's authority. I have no trouble submitting to Yeshua, because I know He loves me, blesses me with abundance, protects me, is there for me when I need help, comforts me when I am sad, rejoices with me when I am happy, answers those prayers and desires which He feels are good for me, and often gives me things that I know I do not deserve, but secretly yearn for, just to show me He loves me. He also chastises me when I need it, and I know when I need it. I am not oblivious to my own sins. I am grateful that he loves me enough to do so. Submission is easy for a woman when she knows she is the main concern of the individual to whom she is submitting, and that he wants only her happiness. For instance, I would have no trouble submitting to a husband making me breakfast in bed, (would he not like that for himself, and he is supposed to love his wife as himself) or doing the dishes, or the laundry, or giving me a gift, or a love letter. Submission is easy to acts of love. If a man did for his wife what he loves to have done for himself, as the Scriptures say he should (love her as he loves himself), there will be no problem maintaining the leadership of the household.  Therein lies the secret of getting a woman to submit.  Making sure that she is being treated with love.  If all these things are being done for me, and then I am asked to submit to something that is not to my preference, I am much more inclined to do so with a willing and happy spirit, as I like to return the favor for all the acts of love to which I have been a recipient. This is how it works. This is how it is with our relationship with Yeshua. He knows the desires of our hearts, (not just the material ones, but the spiritual as well) and works in our lives to give us as much as possible and as is good for us (again I am not referring to only material blessings, but to the spiritual ones which are far more important). Sometimes that means saying no, or allowing heartbreaking circumstances to come into our lives, but always His intentions are loving and for our good. We know He has no other agenda in mind. And in return, we find that we want to do things for Him. I often wish there were more tangible things I could do for Him. I feel, no, I know, that I do not do nearly enough in return to show Him my gratitude for all that He has done for me. This is the example men and women are to follow.

Continuing on, first we'll address the woman.(Do not worry men, your turn is coming.) It is our obligation to submit to our husbands unless that submission creates a conflict with our submission to God. If that is the case, one must always choose God. The fact that your husband is not observing the mandates in the above verses does not negate your obligation of obedience. When we stand before Yeshua, we cannot point to others and say that because they were doing wrong, it was an excuse for us to do wrong. He will simply tell us that we were to be obedient to Him and let Him handle the other person. In 1 Corinthians 7 we are told that women are not to seek to leave their husband, even if the husband is not a Christian, as he may be saved through the quiet witness of her life. An added incentive is that her children will be sanctified by her obedience. If an unbelieving husband chooses to leave, she is not obligated to try to stop him. However, in Matthew chapters 5 and 19, Mark 10, and Luke 16, Christ tells us that she is not free to remarry. The only viable excuse for divorce is fornication, or adultery, but that does not allow for remarriage. Some believe that if that is the reason for the divorce, that remarriage is allowed, but looking closely at the verse, if we were to put parentheses around the words “except it be for fornication”, which is merely the reason given for divorce, not for remarriage, the verse would read like this. “whosoever shall put away his wife, (except it be for fornication),and shall marry another commiteth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."  Now we can see that it reads that whoever divorces his wife and remarries commits adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Remarriage after a divorce by either party constitutes adultery. Even if the person marrying the divorced person is not divorced themselves, it is still adultery. This makes more sense than saying that a divorced man can remarry, but a divorced woman cannot. Neither is supposed to remarry.

Now, if a woman's or her children's lives are endangered by the behavior of the husband, I believe that God would not want her to stay in that circumstance. In that case, a woman needs to pray that God will protect her and help her get out of danger. I trust that God would provide in those circumstances for the woman to extricate herself from the danger and leave. However, she is not to remarry, and if possible, if he changes, she should try to reconcile. Also, women are to not deprive a man of sex. Nor is he the master of his own body, she is. ( 1 Corinthians 7 again) As such (being the master of the other's body) , both are obliged to not only satisfy each other's needs (men pay attention here, she does have needs in that department, it isn't all about your pleasure), but to observe the other's concerns about things such as attire (your appearance should be pleasing to your spouse, but do not dress to draw other's illicit attentions), and body image. Some women deliberately dress to attract other men's attentions. They should not. That sort of attire should remain at home between the two of you.  Pay attention to your looks so that your spouse (this goes both ways) is still attracted to you. This does not mean you have to look like a model or actress. IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO MEN HERE, DO NOT expect her to look like an emaciated model from some ad. In most cases that is an enhanced and airbrushed photo. Nobody really looks like that. Unless you want to pay for the plastic surgeon, the personal trainer, the personal hair stylist, the manicurist, the make-up artist, the designer clothes, and the nutritionist/chef who specializes in low-cal dishes, do not expect her to look like that actress on TV. Those people are a fantasy, not reality. And men, don't criticize her looks if you look like Buddha yourself. She is entitled to a person who cares about their looks also.  Some people are not overly concerned about their looks, and if that works for both of you, that is fine.  However our bodies are a temple, and we should try to take care of it.  Not everyone is going to be a size 8 (I'm certainly not) no matter what they do, as God has given us different sizes and shapes of bodies,  but we should try to eat healthfully and exercise somewhat to maintain a healthy body.

Now that the woman has been addressed, it is time to address the man. If you are a man, do not skip over this part, and do not shut down your brain as your eyes pass over the words. Read and learn. The man is to look upon his wife as the Lord looks upon the Church. As such, a man should take care to see how he treats his wife. First of all he is supposed to love her. This may seem like a given, but I see more cases of this not being the case than I do of it being the case. Men think they love their wives, but generally it is lust, not love. Love is sacrificial and wants the best for the object of that love. Remember you are to love her as you love yourself.  Men's love is often sexual (lust,) not emotional, and more about their physical needs (not just sex, but cooking, cleaning, etc.) being met, not meeting her needs. That is a selfish love, not a sacrificial one. You may ask, but what about her meeting my needs? She is not representing Christ in this relationship, you are. She is representing the church.  Most women respond in kind to the type of love given to them. They would be more than happy to spend their time pleasing their husbands and seeing to their needs, if they felt they were truly loved, cherished, and appreciated by their husbands, and their needs were being met. The trouble is, they do not feel that they are loved and cherished. They often feel like overworked and under-appreciated servants in their own homes. Their husbands put more importance on the job than they do on their wives and children. The wife is there to simply serve his needs while he works on his career. I realize this is a dog eat dog world, and the higher a man climbs up the ladder, the more he is expected to give of himself to the job in order to keep his employment. This shows the poor relationship that men are having with the Lord. If a man is truly trusting the Lord, instead of himself, to provide for his family, he can keep his priorities straight and give to the job what is appropriate, and give to his family what is necessary. Much of the time the family is not getting anything at all except the paycheck he brings home. Women and men are built much differently. Men need to feel that they are achievers and by achieving they believe they are doing well for their family by bringing pride and respect to themselves. Notice that even the achievement at work is about what it brings to them, pride and respect, not about what it brings to the family. Somehow men feel that by transference, this respect for them and their pride in themselves translates into them being good husbands and fathers, even if they spend no time with the family, as the world sees them as successes. Women (and children) see things differently. While a woman wants a man she can respect, and she knows the job is an important part of that for him, respect comes (at least from a Christian woman) from things other than his position at work. The state of his spiritual life is paramount to a godly woman. How he relates to her emotionally is also very important. She wants him to love her as Christ loves the Church - tenderly, sacrificially, thoughtfully, generously. Oh, wait, that's what the Scriptures say he is supposed to do. She does not want to be treated as a servant whose only job is to service his needs and revel in the outer edges of the glory he has made for himself. In the movie Hello Dolly, there is a song titled, “It Takes a Woman”. It is, unfortunately, a clear indication of how many men view women and the place they are supposed to hold in their lives.

It Takes a Woman

It takes a woman all powdered and pink
To joyously clean out the drain in the sink
And it takes an angel with long golden lashes
And soft Dresden fingers
For dumping the ashes
Yes it takes a woman
A dainty woman
A sweetheart, a mistress, a wife
O yes it takes a woman
A fragile woman
To bring you the sweet things in life

The frail young maiden who's constantly there
For washing, and blueing, and shoeing the mare,
And it takes a female for setting the table
And weaving the Guernsey
And cleaning the stable
O yes it takes a woman
A dainty woman
A sweetheart, a mistress, a wife
O yes it takes a woman
A fragile woman
To bring you the sweet things in life

And so she'll work until infinity
Three cheers for femininity
God bless femininity

And in the winter she'll shovel the ice
And lovingly set out the traps for the mice
She's a joy and treasure for practically speaking
To whom can you turn when the plumbing is leaking
To that dainty woman
That fragile woman
That sweetheart, that mistress, that wife
That womanly wife

O yes it takes a woman
A husky woman
To bring you the sweet things in life

Do men think that this is the way that Yeshua views his bride, the Church? I do not think so. Yes, we are expected to use our talents for the Lord (so a husband has a right to expect that we will cook, clean, and etc., although there is nothing wrong with him helping out), but no matter how good or bad we are at that, the Lord loves us with all His heart, and His love for us is not portioned out by how much we do for Him, or how well we do it. He loves us regardless. He appreciates what we do, and appreciates it even more when we do our best. We bless ourselves when we do our best, as it affects our spiritual life. He is there for us when things are bad, to comfort us and help us, and in many cases He bails us out of our dilemmas. He loves to bless us. In truth, he sometimes chastens us, but always for our own best interest, not with a selfish agenda of His own. Many husbands just get mad if a woman messes up, and then some get even. Instead of thinking of ways to make her life better, easier, and more joyful, many husbands are thinking of what she should (in their opinion) be doing to make their life better, easier, and more joyful, without any thought to what that may cost her in the way of sacrifice of time, pleasure, happiness, etc. And if they aren't getting what they think they should, they start looking elsewhere and even try to justify their looking.  There is a saying about women “When mamma's happy, everybody's happy.” and the opposite is understood to be true too, “when mamma's not happy, nobody is happy”. Yet, all too often the husband does not care if his wife is happy.  If they would only realize that the saying is true. When mamma is happy, she wants to make everyone around her happy by doing for and giving to them. It's a woman's nature to give. Women give to each other all the time, and because we give back to each other it propagates the circle of giving. The man will automatically benefit in exactly the way he wants if he makes her happy. Yet many are so consumed with their own needs and feelings, they never give a thought to hers. Take time to do an honest assessment of your relationship with your spouse if you are married.  Do you love her as Christ loves the Church?  Wife, do you submit to him?  Here is a test for husbands.  When you get her a gift, do you give her what she really likes or do you give her what you like? Do you even know what she likes ? I am guessing men know much less than they think they do about their wives.  Yeshua knows us better than we know ourselves, and He always gives us what He knows is best for us. He has us on His mind constantly and anxiously awaits for us to spend time with Him. How much time do you (or does your husband) spend with your wife (with you)? Yeshua can't get enough of our company. He's always waiting and hoping we will come to Him with our love, our joys, our sorrows, and our desires. How many men even want to hear about these things from their wives?  Wives, do you give him the space he needs after a hard day at work?  Men do not operate as women.  They need some alone "cave" time where they can move from the work box to the home box.  Don't start in on him the minute he gets home.  Men and women are so completely different from each other that they do not even speak the same language, literally.  While it is not a Christian book, I recommend to anyone the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  It is an eye opening book on how differently men and women think and act and can be very helpful in a marriage.  Of course the first and best thing though is to have a three way spiritual relationship between God and the husband and wife.  Without that there will be always be a problem. 

As for fidelity, there is no excuse for a man to cheat on his wife, nor for the wife to cheat on her husband. Nor to divorce for any other reason than infidelity. Even then, God would prefer that forgiveness be given and the marriage repaired. The man is blamed for a woman's committing adultery by divorcing her. Back then, because the only way a woman could survive was to have a husband, to divorce her was to condemn her to have to commit adultery just to survive. It was not like today where a woman can be in the man's world and work for a living. God still considers it the same sin, even if a woman can get a job today. A man is supposed to treat her like Yeshua treats the Church.  Is it easy to keep a marriage together and do this? Absolutely not. It is a lot of work, a lot of forgiveness, a lot of compromise, a lot of understanding on the part of both the husband and the wife. Marriage is not easy. A good marriage is almost impossible unless one follows the rules given in Scripture. The disciples even said to Yeshua that it was better for a man not to marry than to have to be restricted to these rules, and He agreed that a lot of men cannot accept this difficult rule, but only those to whom it is given. It has been given to you, if you are a Christian man. And submission is your difficult job, ladies.


  1. Dear Connie, this blogpost had me almost drowning in tears of hapiness; you perfectly describe how much God loves us and it makes me want to love Him more and more. Thank you.

    1. Dear Tetsje, just keep this in mind when things get tough or temptations come.