Losing Your Head: The Role of Man's Leadership in Marriage
Welcome. Today we are going to go over a man's role within his family. There are two reasons I am writing this;
- To help men understand their role in their household.
- To also help them understand what they are not to do and to address the idea that men have total dominance over their wife and can mistreat them according to some doctrines.
With that being said, let's get into the scriptures.
A Man's Role
What was Adam's punishment when he fell?
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall [a]bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”— Genesis 3:17-20
He is supposed to work for his food. He is the provider for his family. Whereas once Adam had everything he needed, he must earn his food for a living. 1 Timothy 5 condemns a man who does not provide for his family. He is also the head of the family as we see in 1 Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:23. I will go ahead and say that just because the husband is the head does not mean she is supposed to do everything he says and that he can command whatever he wants. Both the husband and wife have to follow God's example of right and wrong. Colossians 3 18 says the wife must submit to her husband, but in the next verse, it says the husband must love them. 1 Peter 3 5-7 it says;
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
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.
A man is the provider and ruler of his household, but he must also love his wife and his children the same way everyone in a position of authority should treat their subordinates. For example, in this biblical family tree, the child would be under the father and mother, meaning the child is under the authority of the mother. Does that mean the mother can do as she pleases or is there certain things she cannot do to her child? Does God go about destroying the lives of his believers? No. He treats them according to how he thinks they should be treated. He loves them. A husband and wife should love one another. And just because the man is the head does not mean his wife has no say in what he does and can't listen to her. Proverbs 31 symbolically describes wisdom as being like a woman, so this in and of itself proves that women have the same capacity for knowledge.
A Bad Husband
Let's go back to 1 Peter 3 5-7. Notice how Abraham is given as an example of a righteous husband. Where does it ever show him abusing her? Nowhere in the Bible does it ever support physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, and we will cover the verses used to say that it does. Because the man is the head he has certain responsibilities. Ephesians 5 24 says wives must submit to everything their husband says, so they take it out of context and forget that a godly husband is the one mentioned here, not just a husband. Would you say that the wife must comply if the husband tells her to worship Ba'al? Would she have to submit if her husband became an unbeliever and tried to sacrifice their children? Should she comply? How could this be justified in the scripture when know that marrying people from other religions is against the commandments? Deuteronomy 7 3-6 says to not marry them, and when 1 Corinthians 7 addressed when one is already married to an unbeliever nowhere does it suggest that you are to comply with their form of worship whatever it is. So by this logic there are things that a man can and cannot do to his wife. This egotistical doctrine is the source of all forms of abuse.
First, we will look at the false idea that a man can rape a woman and she is know supposed to be his wife.
"If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;"
"Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days."— Deuteronomy 22:28-29
First, verses 25-27 give a clear instance in which rape is being discussed. In that case, a man raped a woman, she "cried out" (27), but she was in the country and no one was there to help her. The text says that the man who committed the crime "shall die" (25), but "to do nothing to the young woman" since she did nothing wrong according to the law(26). When we take verse 25-27 and compare them to 28-29, we can see two different events happening.
Secondly, different words are used. In verse 25, "forces her" is the word chazaq and yet in verse 28, the verb has been intentionally changed to tapas. That is a major indication that this is not about rape.
And finally, verses 28-29 make it clear that both parties are guilty of something. Notice that at the end of verse 28 the text says, "and they are found out." When the passage discusses the obvious case of rape, the text specifically only mentions the man in verse 25 when it says "then only the man who lay with her," and conspicuously leaves out any indication of "they" being involved in the sin.
So what is this passage about? Compare it to Exodus 22:16, which reads,
- "And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife."
- "If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins."
This was about premarital sex. Rape is a crime punishable by death according to the Torah. (Source: Evil Doctrines Debunked). Now we will look into marital rape. This goes with the idea that if the man is the head of the household, he gets what he wants. They also use 1 Corinthians 7 4, which says the wife does not have power over her own body. But let's read it in context.
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
By this logic they should also give in every time the wife says she wants to have sex. See how it says that they must both submit their bodies to one another? Also, notice how if they are to separate themselves there must be consent. Logically speaking that would imply that sex also requires consent. This does not mean they must get it up whenever the other spouse asks for it every time. A man provides the food for his woman, but that does not mean she must eat everything he brings or that she must eat whenever he says so. She eats when she is hungry.
Now that we have that out of the way, we will cover the other forms of abuse. Just like sexual abuse men will use the idea that because he is the head then he deserves whatever he asks from his wife and he can do however he pleases with her. There are various examples in the movement known as Christian Domestic Discipline (or CDD). One of their doctrines is that the man may punish his wife if she does something wrong, although the degrees of how this can be done varies. I will say this; both the husband and wife cannot let the other run over them, so it is right to defend yourselves and to take away certain liberties should this persist. One of the most popular forms of punishment in the CDD movement is spanking, which I believe to be more of a fetish than actual discipline between the two. The Bible never shows one case in where a wife is to be spanked.
- The provider for their family.
- The head of the household.
- To love their wives.
- Choose not to work.
- Abuse their power in any way.
I hope this has helped you understand the relationship between a husband and wife. Peace and blessings, and all praises to the Most High.