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Man, the Male Leadership Role as Directed by God - Part 9
Now that we have a background as to the way man might do things on his own, we will look at God’s standards. Our study will center on the following three (3) verses, though there are many more to be found that would support our position.
Genesis 3:16; Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
1 Corinthians 11:8; For the man is not of the woman ; but the woman of the man.
1 Timothy 2:11-14; (11) Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. (12) But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (13) For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (14) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
These verses are “set in stone” in the Bible. No proper manner of interpretation, interpolation, transliteration or transmogrification can change the meaning here. Why? Because it is the directive of God given to mankind as retribution for sin, as stated in the last three above.
As we launch into the subject, there are a couple of interesting items, interesting in that they are needful in understanding that the separation of the sexes is all in God’s plan. Each has a place and a duty. Each is unique. Each is important. Neither is to supplant the other. God made the separation noticeable in purpose not just physique.
Beginning with the first verse, above, and repeatedly through time, in His Word, God has defined the place and duties of man and woman in his plan. He has not changed this through the ages just reminded “mankind” of his options. No manner of study or redefinition or “new thinking” or “new manuscripts” can change this plan. And, by the way, the word “mankind” appears 6 times in the O.T. and NT. It never has a feminine connotation, though it has a variety of other meanings not associated with this study so we will not go further with this word.
Last, we do not find anywhere in the scriptures a verse or question or comment where God has sought the approval of mankind for His plan. Chauvinists and feminists alike have taken positions that are adverse to God’s plans simply because they each want their way. Like spoiled kids before a parent, they give God advice and excuses and reasons why they have a better idea.
In the world of today, many parents, time and again, take the child aside and explain why things must be done in the prescribed manner. This is proper instruction. But when the child challenges the instruction or ignores it, the parent is obliged to move to the second step.
In Hebrews 12:5-11, God makes a magnificent statement on following his directions. And we should point out that many believe this verse describe two forms of punishment. We have to firmly disagree here.
The words “chastening,” “chasteneth,” “chastisement,” “chastened” and “corrected” as found here have nothing whatsoever to do with corporal punishment. Each alludes to proper training a child or neophyte might receive from a father or instructor. The most basic level of this instruction is the most important and it is usually the mother who is doing the teaching.
With each conversation, the child is either schooled or emboldened. Proper instruction will save a world of heartache, but there is no formula for proper instruction. As God has made us each similar, whether male or female, He has also created individuals. So each child must be taught as an individual regardless of the number of siblings in the family.
When the day comes that the parent calls out to the child “Stop,” the child must know it is for his good and stop. If he continues on with a “why,” heartache may soon follow. Consider the child that will not stop. He looks over his shoulder and asks why as he continues on, unaware of the approaching car as he crosses the street.
The above verses speak to a father son relationship. The term “father,” when used here in content and context of the surrounding verses, as an analogy to God and men.
But hold on to your seat ladies. It does not mean that woman cannot or are not ever in the place of an instructor. On the contrary, Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 1:8, 6:20, 30:17, 31:1; Ephesians 6:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:5, all make it clear that woman is an instructor also, but in the home.
This becomes even more clear and applicable to the Christianity when we read Proverb 31:10-31.
We have preachers in the pulpit each Sunday in the Christian church telling us about our downfalls and need for repentance. It has been said that if more attention was paid to the women of Proverb 31by the father and children, there would be no need for a preacher on Sunday. So there is a proper Biblical place for the woman as much as the man in the instruction of the children.
And further, we must keep in mind that instruction and a proper format for its deliverance, though never too late, should be given early in life, before the important issues of life must be confronted. This business of “guiding the children until they are old enough to decide for themselves” is not in keeping with the Bible. Societies around the world are breaking down but there remain remnants of the proper structure in some cultures because the young child is instructed properly.
Instruction may entail direct situations, analogy, personal experience and so on. The “father” would be wise to start with little provable issues to build a certain credibility with the child while moving toward larger issues. As the writer says in Proverb 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
This is a great verse but it should not stand alone. Note the quote marks on the word “father” above. That is our word for brevity. In actuality, the beginning of verse 3 is very important. The Bible reads “ “A prudent man . . .”, but man is an added word. The verse in Hebrew begins “A prudent . . .” meaning a person, not necessarily a male.
And how is this done, prudently/properly? The basic primer for raising a child is the Bible. All other “academics” are secondary. The Bible has the total message with background to support both proper training and the effects of improper training.
But some children will not hear the words of instruction. Our verses from Hebrews 12 also define the other word so often made the same as “chastisement.” That word is “scourgeth,” and they are not the same as most would have them to be.
People of that day, when Hebrews was written, were punished by public whipping, among other ways. There were various tools used for this punishment. One of the manufactured tools used, probably the worst hand tool, was the scourge. It consisted of a handle topped with strands of leather in a mop-like fashion. Embedded in the leather strands were pieces of stone and other hard material. While the leather strands left welts and, after a while, cuts in the skin, the embedded materials dug out pieces of flesh.
So does the Bible give the father the right to use a scourge on his son or daughter? Absolutely not. It is a slap in the face to Christianity for folks to misinterpret scripture in any fashion either purposely or inadvertently, especially when dealing with children.
The scourge described about is the ultimate weapon of punishment. However, “scourgeth,” as used in Hebrews is only used this one time in the Bible. The base meaning (“masso” - Greek) means to handle or squeeze. From there, one can properly imply or apply meanings to a situational level. And, context is always an equally important item when dealing in a “dead” language, dead meaning obsolete.
In short, scourging as used here is corporal punishment. It’s when God applies the board of education to the seat of knowledge, Proverb 13:24. It is an inference that man should do the same.
Note, again, the whole verse and the last word “betimes.” The word means “early.” The verse says, common parlance, “teach the child beginning at an early age. If they do not respond through verbal instruction, get out the rod, but begin gently but don’t go overboard.”
And let’s address the current “time out” application as a continuing manner of “punishment.” It is probably a good thing for the moment, however life is not a play school. Pain is a part of life, whether physical or emotional. Do we really accomplish the purpose of “punishment” when we try to teach young ones only this type of “painless behavior modification.”
Our present prison system is analogous to this procedure. The child, similar to the inmate, is probably thinking “I got to sit here for a while, but no matter how bad I was, I will soon be free to resume doing things my way. And mommy will hug me and feed me.” God was “physical” at times in His manner of punishment when the “child” refused to obey.
Or again, a J. V. McGee anecdote about a young boy and his mother. A boy misbehaved and was told by his mother to got to his room and sit there, no toys, no games, just sit there. A short while later the mother calls through the door “Johnnie are you sitting down” and the boy answers “Yes, I am sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside.”
The “mom” is left to her own devices in the home while the “father” is away. But it would seem that the necessary “scrourging” of the child, corporal punishment, is and maybe should be left to the father. The softness of heart of the mother may then be better appreciated. In time the child might learn that the father would be the “last resort.” But more important, the child would see the shame and pain he brings upon his mom when he disobeys, Genesis 3:16.
Yes, the man is in the leadership/enforcer role, but the woman does the majority of instruction “in the home” where the most important learning takes place for the child. This is the standard of God.
More next time.