This proved an interesting conversation when we talked about this verse during devotions today. Some people shared their struggles with this verse, and admitted they don’t fully understand it because it seems unfair to say that just because someone is a man, that means he is in charge, that he has the responsibility to make the final decisions, and so forth, that it seems like it is saying that men are better decision makers, more capable, etc. As the married people started sharing to try and shed some light on a different way of looking at it, some beautiful pictures and ideas came out. It is about the process, not the final decision, and men have more than just the responsibility and authority to make the final decision, but they are supposed to lay down their needs, wants and desires to do what’s best for their wives and families. As Christ is to “present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless, ” men are to follow this example and are entrusted with the job of bringing their wife, spotless and blameless before the throne. The times that men do make the final decision, it should be out of love for their wives, as they are called to love their wives. I love that my husband pointed out that it does not mean that men are more capable decision makers, but that God has given them this role, and they are to be the head of their family, emulating Christ as he is the head of the church. I think if both husband and wife are seeking to follow after Christ, then as they wrestle with different life issues and try to make decisions together, God will bring them to a place of understanding that it is out of love for one another that they lay down their lives for each other, lay down their desires, their pride. And I know God helps us to deal with this issue as we seek after him in our decision making, so even if they disagree and the husband does make the final decision, in the process the wife recognizes that her husband is genuinely seeking God, and trying to lay himself down to do what’s best for her, and she trusts him enough to let him make that decision for her, for them as a family, because she knows it is what he feels God calling him to do. After all Christ is the head of every man, so Christ should be who he is seeking to live under the authority of.
It is an issue I still struggle with because I am strong-willed, stubborn and often not wanting to submit to Nathan’s authority and what he thinks is best for us. This is partly I’m sure because I am part of a culture that is constantly telling women they are equal to men in every way, that they are able to do all and more than men can do, and that we shouldn’t let any man do things for us or make our decisions, that all of that is weakness. But Christ in his ultimate sovereignty made us both very different, with different roles and responsibilities, in the body of Christ, in the home, and in life in general. When will our culture stop to realize that instead of trying always to equalize the playing field, we should be celebrating our differences and figuring out how we best compliment one another with our different skill sets, and helping each other in the ways that we are not gifted ourselves?