Tom and I have really been digging deep into our life together and what God intended for us as husband and wife. I think so many times it is easy take the advice of our culture and "do whatever is good for you." What Tom and I have realized is that when we seek to feed our own selfish ambitions and we do not stay within the guidelines that God created for us we fail miserably personally. When I willfully choose the world over the plan that our creator has for me I find myself filled with more discontent than I started with. So I hope to share with you what we've learned along the way. By no means am I saying that we have it all together or we never disagree. We disagree and it is not pretty, but we do have the same goal and that is to serve the Lord together, side by side.
The Bible teaches that at creation God assigned differing roles to both man and woman. Man was created to work and keep the garden. Woman was designed to help man in his tasks. They each had two very distinct and differing roles. However, they were both created in God’s image, and therefore, their roles were equal in value, but differing in function. These roles were assigned before sin entered the picture. After the fall of man, Adam continued to provide for his family and Eve would be the bearer and nurturer of the children. The punishments because of the sin did not change their roles; it simply complicated the already existing roles. When Adam and Eve hid in the garden, Adam was called upon first by God, even though Eve had committed the sin first. Why? Clearly God placed Adam as the leader, but Adam chose to be passive. Eve had the role of helper, but had violated it, taking leadership. The roles were reversed during the fall of man, when the first sin occured. I think that it is interesting to note that the "original" sin occured when Adam and Eve did not stay within the marital guidelines God had laid out for them.
In the New Testament, the roles of husband and wife are symbolic of Christ and His church. In Ephesians 5 it says Christian men are to lovingly lay down their lives for their wives. They still maintain leadership, but this must be servant leadership. Husbands are not to demand obedience, but by their humility, guide their family. In 1 Peter it says husbands are to honor their wives. The biblical roles for men continue through the Old Testament and into the New Testament: man is meant to lead and lovingly serve his wife.
In Proverbs 31 God exalts womanhood in the home, and places great value on it. Woman’s role from creation has not changed. In Titus 2, Paul commends women to love their husbands and children. Women are to follow their husband’s leadership with respect, choosing to submit to that leadership. 1 Peter states that when wives submit to their husband’s leadership, they are doing it as service to God. A woman can be a great blessing and help to her husband, just as Eve was to Adam at the beginning of creation. For me I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy because I am not cut out to stay home. I. Just. Can't. Do. It. Period. I have wrestled with this because biblically a woman's first priority is to her husband, family, and home life. However, I have realized that I can have a career and still fulfill my role as a wife and mother. I may just need a little more help in the time management department. :)
I found more joy and contentment in my life when I seriously began to model my life through God's design for me. I have learned that there is such freedom in not being in control and not WANTING to be in control. There is so much freedom in not trying to steer our family in the direction I think we should go. There is so much freedom in simply respecting my husband and nurturing my child. It is my hope that God is doing the same work in your lives. Mariiage is such a beautiful thing and I am so thankful for the blessing of my husband, my friend, my protector.
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