I recently read with great interest the well- articulated op-ed by Rebecca Theodore prompting my following response: The plight of Caribbean women is not unique but probably felt more since it has now “hit home”.
Women’s equality in America has made great gains in the past few decades through social and legislative reforms as evidenced by the number of women now holding political office and being the CEOs of large corporations. However, the problem is far from being over since the foundation of our society is neither political nor associated with business.
It starts in the home. God designed it that way. Healthy homes are the genesis of security, love, cooperation, peace, confidence, self- esteem, self-worth and the launching pad for a prosperous and successful life. What happened to God’s plan? Historically, we can readily see that man has once again attempted to do things his way and has appeared to have foiled God’s plan; but our Creator of the Family is far from finished! He wants us to get back to the blueprint and reassess it through the grid of His greatest attribute, that of love. The blueprint is His Word.
Let’s look at Ephesians Chapter 5 verses 22- 29: 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does to the church.
There are many who refuse today to properly, hermeneutically and linguistically define the words “submit” and “head” in verses 22 and 23. Whether it’s in Greek or Aramaic, submit means to “obey” and head means “one in authority”. (don’t ditch me yet ladies, I’ve “only just begun”) The current problem is that we emphasize these two words without placing them in context with the verses that follow!
Vs 25: Men love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. If a man wants to be the boss or the head of the home then he needs to heed what the Word is saying to him FIRST just as the head of a business is responsible to follow the rules of the business to insure proper functioning. As the head goes so goes the family.
Love is primarily not an emotion but an action. I am sure that Christ has feelings for His church but that was not as important as dying for her! Husbands are you willing to give yourself for her? Are you willing to die to your self- centered pursuits? Your video games? Ball games? Time with the guys (or the girls)? The “me” list goes on and on.
Vs 28: Husbands, love your wives as you love your own bodies. Is your wife more important than your “6 pack” abs. Remember who is feeding that belly underneath the abs. Do you love your wife by spending quality time with her? “Time is the stage on which the play of life is performed; no time, no play; no play, no life.”(Huba)
Plainly the teaching here is that the man is to be to his wife as Christ is to the church.
In the words of Martin Lloyd- Jones: “What then is the doctrine? It is clearly this. The wife is the one who is kept, preserved, guarded, shielded, and provided for by the husband. That is the relationship- as Christ nourishes and cherishes the church, so the husband nourishes and cherishes the wife- and the wife should realize that that is her position in this relationship.
Husbands need to become the men that God has designed them to be. Let’s all “man up”.
Dr. Al Huba
Psychologist, Family Christian Counselor & Author of six published books