One of the biggest misunderstood passages of the Bible about women is
1 Corinthians 11:3. Submissiveness by women and the superiority of men…. (or so some think)
1 Corinthians 11:3
3 But I would have you know that the head of the woman is the man, the head of every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God.
This verse has been used as a defining moment for the male control freaks. “See the Bible says I am your lord and master….” Or “See I’m the boss!”
The principle behind Paul’s words is submission, (not what you think guys!). Submission is a key element in the smooth functioning of any business, government, or family (still not it guys).
God ordained submission in certain relationships to prevent chaos. It is essential to understand that submission (here it is girls!) is not surrender, withdrawal, or apathy. It does not mean inferiority, because God created all people in His image and all have equal value.
Here it comes!….Submission is a mutual commitment and cooperation.
God calls for submission among equals. He did not make man superior; He made a way for man and woman to work together. Jesus although equal with God the Father, submitted to Him to carry out the plan for salvation.
Although equal to man under God, the wife should submit to her husband for the sake of their marriage and family. Submission between equals is submission by choice, not by force. We serve God in these relationships by willing submission to others in our church, to our spouses, and to our government.
1 Corinthians 11:9-11
9 The man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a veil of authority over her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord.
God created lines of authority in order for His created world to function smoothly. Although there must be lines of authority, even in marriage, there should NOT be lines of superiority.
God created men and women with unique and complementary characteristics. One sex is not better that the other. We must not let the issue of authority and submission become a wedge to destroy oneness in marriage. Instead we should use our unique gifts to strengthen our marriages and glorify God.
Marriage is a partnership. A partnership where both are equal. Raising the family is where the partnership should be the strongest.
1 Corinthians 7:3-4
3 Let the husband render to the wife due affection, and likewise the wife to the husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer. Then come together again, so that Satan does not tempt you for lack of self-control.
Spiritually, our bodies belong to God when we become Christians, because Jesus bought us by paying the price to release us from sin. Physically, our bodies belong to our spouses, because God designed marriage so that through the union of husband and wife, the two become one. Paul stressed complete equality in relationships. Neither male nor female should seek dominance or sovereignty.
Married couples have the responsibility to care for each other. Therefore, husbands and wives should not withhold themselves from one another, but should fulfill each other’s needs and desires.
8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Here it shows the child the partnership his mother and father have. Our actions speak louder than words. This is especially true in the home. Children learn values, morals, and priorities by observing how their parents act and react every day.
So if you show a divided partnership in running the household then the child could be the same way when they get married.
But if you show how bonded you both are to each other and to Jesus Christ then he can grow to be a strong Christian with strong beliefs of equality of the spouses.
Show reverence for God and teach them right living by giving worship and important place in your family life and by reading the Bible together. This is no guarantee that the children will follow you, but it stands a better chance than not doing it at all.
1 Corinthians 3:23 “ and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
1 Peter 3:7
7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
When Peter calls women the “weaker vessel” he does not imply moral or intellectual inferiority, but recognizing women’s physical limitations.
If a man does not treat his wife kindly, his prayers become ineffective, because a living relationship with God depends on right relationships with others. Jesus said that if you have a problem with a fellow believer, you must make it right with that person before coming to worship. This practice carries over into family relationships. If men use their position to mistreat their wives, their relationship with God will suffer.
So guys, if you dishonor your wife, beware…God is looking….