Bible-Reading-With-Wife-e1342526885201     The undeniable basic truth of creation: God produced two distinct types of people, male and female. Both are equally important to God, yet each has differing roles. The best way to begin a new job is to have a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities. But too many enter into marriage with no such knowledge and this is the reason why they wreck their marriage. What are the roles of husband and wife?

1. THE HUSBAND’S ROLE: A CHRIST-LIKE LEADER: There is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership is not being the decision-maker all the time. Leadership is not being the boss who barks out orders. A business school’s definition of leadership: “Leadership is motivating people to develop their skills to the fullest of their potential for the good of the organization.” A leader is a person who knows where he is going and is able to persuade others to come along. Abraham knew he was following God’s will and was able to persuade Sarah to come along, although he was unsure of the destination. There are some definite responsibilities that men need to pursue in their homes:

a) They are to lead spiritually: God designated the husband to be the priest of the family. He is primarily responsible and accountable to lead his family in a spiritual way through his personal testimony.

b) They are to lead positively: The role of a husband is to meet  the spiritual and material needs of his family. Passive involvement doesn’t cut it. What did Jesus command? “Follow me.” It is too easy to put our mind in neutral and let everyone else handle things.

c) They are to lead sacrificially: Our Saviour set an example of leadership through His sacrificial life and death. As Jesus did not demand his own way, every husband should be sacrificial to lead his family.

d) They are to lead tenderly: Every husband must understand that his wife is weak and fragile. Yet he must regard her as valuable and lead her tenderly, gently and with admiration. “Husbands, be considerate with your wives, and treat them as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life” (1 Peter 3:7)

e) They are to lead lovingly: Christ’s unconditional and proved love did not hate us in our sins. A husband’s role is to deeply love his wife unconditionally. “True love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4: 8). A perfect husband is the one who does not expect his wife to be perfect.

II. THE WIFE’S ROLE: A CHRIST-LIKE RESPONDER: The word “subjection” in 1 Peter 3: 1 does not mean that the wife is to be a doormat. Sarah was a strong capable woman who stood up to Abraham and challenged him to do things differently. To submit also means to contribute. It is acknowledging and respecting God’s plan in marriage. Just as how Christ submitted, a wife also should submit. How did Christ respond and submit in Philippians 2?

1) She must subject Voluntarily: The Lord Jesus Christ was equal with God. Yet He chose to humble Himself and became obedient to His Father’s wishes. When a wife is submissive to her husband, it does not mean being inferior but fulfilling God’s will.

2) She must subject Joyfully: “Looking unto Jesus …. who for the joy that was set before him endured the Cross” (Hebrews 12:2). He did not endure the Cross grudgingly or with a bitter spirit but with joyful willingness.

3) She must subject with Honor: We honor Christ because of His submissiveness. He washed the feet of His disciples. He endured. He even allowed those He created to beat Him. He subjected Himself even to bearing the Cross. A wife’s role is to subject herself with honour.

4) She must subject with Respect: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord”( Ephesians 5: 33). Please note that she does it to her husband as unto the Lord. This indicates that she indirectly respects the Lord. God knew what He was doing when He designed marriage.

So every husband and wife should understand this in order to lead a happy married life. The goal of marriage is not to wrestle over authority, but for two people to submit and become obedient to God.