This is part 3 in the series. I do not recommend starting here without reading the context of the previous 2 posts first.
“God just doesn’t understand…or does He?”
The human body can survive about 3 weeks without food. That same body can only survive 3 to 4 days without water. Does that mean we believe water is more important than food? When you’re craving that big juicy burger, I bet you would be deeply disappointed by a big glass of water instead. Food and water are different but not equal in how long we can survive without them. However, without putting both into your body, you will still die because they are both necessary and important.
The feminist movement began as a way to empower women with the goal of making them equal to men. If you look at scripture, you will see that trying to be the same as men is against God’s plan for women. We were created after man and to fill in the weak spots of man. It is clear from the pejoration or worsening of the meaning of some words used to describe women that the feminist movement has not achieved its goal. For easy examples, look at the following words once used to describe male & female counterparts of the same power, wealth, and social status.
Master and mistress; sir and madam; governor and governess; bachelor and spinster; courtier and courtesan. The meanings of the female words in the list have changed to describe a woman’s sexual status or moved her to a socially subordinate status.
Most little girls come into the world sassy, outspoken, and naturally pretty bold. We were created with our own strength and many of us think that if we are not equal to boys/men that it somehow makes us inferior. Why do we believe such lies? Why would stinky feet and the inability to throw clothes actually into the hamper be our standard to strive for? (I’m being sarcastic to make a point.) Boys, and later many men who don’t understand God’s design, perpetuate this lie of inferiority. Nothing could be further from the truth though. We are different, not less than. Our responsibilities are different. Our experiences are different. Our biblical roles are different.
Paul writes, “For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.”
1 Corinthians 11:8-11 NIV
Many spiritually immature men want to feel superior and enjoy the perks of leadership until it’s time to be sacrificial and stand up to protect those put into their care. Those men aren’t interested in the heavy responsibility and huge burden of being a real leader. “That guy” doesn’t want to consider how his actions or words will affect your feelings, your life, or your faith walk. Unfortunately, we see this poor leadership based on selfishness in all aspects of society – at work, in church, and in families.
Christian women should agree that we were not created to lead our family. That should allow a little sigh of relief because that is a very heavy burden. But, like it or not, we need to also accept that the sin in the Garden of Eden led us further into submission to our husbands.
To the woman he (God) said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
Genesis 3:16 NIV
Once sin entered our world, we women became naggy, bossy, and a lot like “Karen” in our worst moments. Being the heart of the relationship, we can easily be led by our feelings and the desire to control others, especially our husbands. Submission to our spouse is not easy because of our sinful nature and theirs.
Not only do we struggle to trust our husbands with leading us and our children, but we get offended by the scripture that tells us not to share in all of the spiritual responsibilities with men.
I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
1 Timothy 2:12 NIV
I didn’t write the Bible. Don’t get mad at me. If you believe the Bible is the living word of God, you can’t pick and choose the verses you like. If you choose to believe anything less, God won’t smite you or turn His heart away from you because He allows free will. But there are always consequences to pay for putting distance between you and God.
Men should lead saying, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV
For women, the message is Christ first and “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:22 NIV
Women, our role in marriage and in the kingdom is different, not less than. Without us and our support, godly masculinity is continuing to die a very painful death. Christian husbands cannot be fully successful without us but we all, men and women, need to stop fighting what we were created to be. It WILL NOT be easy in a world where sin runs rampant.
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:27 NIV
As men and women, our crosses inside a Christ-centered marriage are different. God gets the most glory when we follow His guidance into difficult assignments. Why do we all, men and women, try to shirk the responsibilities of the roles He placed us into? We sound like our teen selves trying to justify why God surely doesn’t understand how times have changed and those old rules shouldn’t apply to us anymore.
“I mean, everybody is doing it, God.” “You want me to be happy, right Jesus?” “Lord, its her fault I don’t step into my role. She makes me so mad/makes me feel inadequate.” “Father God, you know I don’t mean to mother him but he doesn’t do things my way.. he’s incompetent.” “Jesus, I can’t lead her because she won’t do as I say and I’m tired of fighting. I’m out.” “Lord, if you could see how weak my husband’s walk with Jesus is you’d understand why I have to take over.”
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11 NIV
I know I’ve likely ruffled some feathers with my words. But the bottom line is you will either follow God in all things or you won’t. God does not change. It is us humans who are tossed about like the waves of the ocean. We create distance between us and our creator. It is us who try to rationalize our choices and create reasons why we’re right and scripture may not mean exactly what it says.
(A final side note: Jesus came and fulfilled many of the old testament laws which is why I intentionally picked verses almost entirely from the new testament.
As well, the role of a spouse does not mean God wants us to accept abuse. If you’re in that kind of toxic relationship, the type of love God wants you to show that person includes some tough boundaries. Please email me if you need more information.)