God, as always, has a perfect plan for our marriages. We are beginning to understand that being a “helper” is the task that God has assigned to us in our marriages. Our goal is to glorify God. Now is the time when we will get into God’s perspective of what this means.
Martha Peace gives us some ideas in her book The Excellent Wife:
1. Men and women are created in the image of God.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 ESV.
We agree that we are created in God’s image, don’t we? So each of us have certain tasks we must complete. For example, we are to be in charge of God’s creation to glorify God in all we do.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26 ESV.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
We are also accountable to God by making responsible choices. The right choices putting God first.
“Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.” Romans 3:19 ESV.
Every moment of every day, we have a big decision to make …Will I serve God? Will I follow Christ? When we make the decision to serve God, we also make the decision to come to Him and let the Holy Spirit guide us in our decisions. In that way, we learn to make responsible choices.
“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
2. In the order of creation, man was created first.
“For Adam was formed first, then Eve;” 1 Timothy 2:13 ESV
The order of creation is important and not something that should just be cast aside. Adam (man) was created to rule over the earth. Eve (woman) was created to help Adam in the role that God gave to him. Though both were created in God’s image we each have different roles and duties to do for God.
3. Woman was created for the man, not man for the woman.
“For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” 1 Corinthians 11:7-9. ESV.
Paul is telling us about God’s original intent ~ man is to glorify God and the woman is glorify the man.
Martha elaborates by using the Trinity, in which there is perfect harmony, as the example. “Within the Trinity there are three distinct roles:
The planner who makes the plans – God the Father.
The one who carries out the plans – God the Son.
The who also carries out the plans as well as keeps and empowers Christians – God the Spirit.”
All are satisfied with their roles, there are no “power plays”. Also, look who gets the glory? God! Jesus glorified the Father by doing the Father’s work. We are to also glorify the Father by glorifying our husbands. We were created for him.
4. The effects of the fall of man.
God created man (husbands) as the rulers over the earth. God created woman (wives) to be their helpers. (Yes, I need to keep repeating it because it’s important!) There was harmony between them, each were fulfilling their roles as God intended them to be fulfilled. Life was sweet! Then Eve ate that apple (shaking my head) so God pronounced judgment on both of them. Part of this judgment was a power struggle between them. Both, Adam and Eve, wanted to be the one in charge (that control issue again).
“To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 ESV.
“Rule over” are you kidding? That’s just what I thought when I read that! I’m sure many other women feel the same way (go ahead admit it). Now, let’s just take a deep breath and think about this for a minute. If we were not Christians, if we did not love our husbands, if we did not want to glorify God then “rule over” would be a huge deal! I’ll give you that! But we are Christians, we do love our husbands, we do want to glorify God “rule over” isn’t quite as scary as we first thought, is it?
5. The husband was and still is to be the head of his wife (and his home).
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”1 Corinthians 11:3 ESV.
“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Ephesians 5:23 ESV.
God tells us in His word that our husbands are to the ones in charge. Being in charge isn’t being dictatorial, condescending, or patronizing because Christ was not. Martha takes this a bit further…
a. The Model of Christ and the Church. Wives are to model (“act out”) the church being submissive to and glorifying Christ.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:22,24,32 ESV.
Our role is a model of the church’s relationship to Christ. Therefore, we should submit to our husband’s authority and use our talents and energies to glorify him.
b. Christ’s Response to the Church. Our husband’s role is to model (“act out”) Christ’s response to the church.
1. Christ die for the church, a sacrifice of self.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25 ESV.
2. Christ loves, nourishes, and cherishes the church.
“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:28, 29, 33 ESV.
It is only by living and fulfilling our roles as God intended that our marriages will consist of unity and harmony. What was lost when Eve ate the apple can now be regained through Christ.
QUESTION: It’s easy to see Eve’s role, but what about your role? How, can you carry out your God-given role in your marriage? How can you be a helper to your husband? How can you glorify your husband and Christ?
Til we meet again… In Love!