Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Perfect Roles

God's plan for marriage is found in Ephesians 5. This is the most revelatory text in the Bible about marriage and the roles of husbands and wives. But I've found that, while most people like what it has to say about their spouses, they don't necessarily like what it says about them.

Here's the text. To wives, Paul writes this: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord" (Eph. 5:22). To husbands, Paul writes "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Eph. 5:25).

Every woman loves the idea of having a sacrificial, sensitive husband who nourishes and cherishes her. And men? If a man knows one scripture in the Bible, he knows the one about submission. We might joke about sensitive men and submissive wives, but I want you to know that this is God's plan for marriage. It's perfect.

Why? One reason is because it makes us more attractive to our spouse.

Submission, for a woman, is about respect and honor. It's not about domination. It's not about being mousy or being a doormat. But it is about showing gentleness and a godly spirit instead of aggression or negativity. The Bible says a gentle and quiet spirit is precious and attractive in the sight of God.

It's also attractive to men. The number-one need that a man has is the need to be honored. Submission by respecting and honoring your husband gives a woman the key to a man's heart.

Likewise, the number-one need for women is security. For husbands, loving their wives with a Christlike love means being committed to meeting her needs and making her feel secure.

One way to do this--and this is what Paul mentions in Eph. 5:25--is to love her sacrificially. A man who sacrifices for his wife and serves her becomes much more attractive to her. God wired women to respond that way. Not based on exterior appearance, but based on how we help around the house or spend time with the kids.

When we do these things, we are not just fulfilling the marital roles God has for us, but we are making ourselves more attractive to our spouse. Any man will not be attracted to a dishonoring woman. Any woman will not be attracted to a self-interested man.

That attraction isn't just physical or sexual, either. When we fulfill the roles in Ephesians 5, we become more willing to open our hearts to each other. We experience deeper intimacy. We move forward along the path to a strong, godly, indestructible marriage.

1 comment:

Mrs. Lady Sofia said...

What a lovely, but also true post!

I think many wives feel that submission to their husbands equals being a doormat or wet mop. In turn, there are some husbands who feel that cherishing and taking care of a wife means to be overly authoritarian and domineering. The key is balance, and unless there is balance in a marital relationship, these wonderful biblical principles will seem like a burden to one spouse or the other.

I guess this is why it is so important for married couples to be grounded in their desire and love for the Lord so that a balanced and healthy marital relationship can take place.