But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor 11:3 NKJV)
Let's look at some of the facts about man, as found in Genesis 1 and 2:
Headship was established in the Garden of Eden. It is not a result of the Fall. However, due to sin, men now "naturally" struggle to lead while women struggle to submit.
Adam was to start his own household and to be the head of his wife. Nowadays, men could lead their wives in love and in wisdom, while women could humbly and in meekness follow their husbands' guidance. But, you see, that day, when Eve took of the forbidden fruit, she decided to go her own way. And Adam listened to her and followed her lead instead of obeying God's command.
Now, because of our fallen nature, leading and submitting have turned into something unpleasant, something we want to deny and escape. Men either do not want to rule their own households, or, if they do, they do so in a more or less selfish and abusive way. Women, on the other side, do not want to be told what to do and often take over the lead to rule over their husbands.
If she submits, will she not admit that she is worth less (than her husband)?
Think of different roles: Whenever men of different ranks are sent to war, are the lives of the men with the lowest rank worth less than the ones who have achieved higher ranks? Of course not!
Think of different ages: Is a twenty-year-old mother of less value than the one who is in her forties? Of course not!
Think of different sexes: Is a 4-year-old girl worthless compared to a 4-year-old boy? Of course not!
We, the women, have not been made to be trampled upon by men, nor have we been made to rule over them.
I love what Matthew Henry says in his commentary:
That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her... (Proverbs 31:11 NKJV)
One of the good things mentioned in Titus 2 is love, namely that the older women teach the younger women to love their husbands and to love their children.
When I was a teenager I asked two older women (my grandaunts) how I would know that I love a man enough to get married to him. "Love has nothing to do with it," they replied and that it must always be a marriage of convenience. The two ladies grew up during WWI. Since then, opinions have changed dramatically, and so did the reasons for getting married and staying married. Now, by what standard shall we choose our spouse? We will leave that question open for another day's post. Today I want to introduce what it means to love our husbands.
One grandaunt's husband went to war after their wedding and died, the other never did get married. I often wondered: How would they know what loving a husband really means? Say, is it possible to find out just by reading the Bible? Yes, I think so. But it takes time, good listening (to God's Word) skills and the effort to study the Word of God. After getting the big picture of it, though, more or less unanswered questions might remain especially in regard to what this love should like when the marriage life is getting tough. I couldn't possibly go into all details today. That would be going beyond the scope of this post. However, I will pick up sensitive topics in the near future and I will write about them. So please stay tuned.
Overall: What does loving your husband mean?
Praying for him.
Submitting to him (as long as he doesn't demand of you to go against God's will, of course).
Doing him good all the days of your life.
She is a good wife that is fit to be trusted, and he is a good husband that will leave it to such a wife to manage for him. (Matthew Henry's commentary on Proverbs 31:10-31)
Have you ever wished that someone would have told you the truth about how hard and painful it can be to become pregnant, give birth and raise children in this world? Or, have you ever wondered why, in a more or less civilized world, men and women are still fighting in a competition of who is worth more than the other? Why are people still struggling to find meaning and purpose in their lives?
I didn't grow up in a Christian home and I regret that I didn't have any older women around who would teach me the principles about biblical womanhood and Christian homemaking. Now older isn't necessarily relating to age here. The women could have been much younger than I but more mature in their walk with Christ.
True, nowadays we will find an abundance of advice available to us – online and offline. So why bother writing more on that topic? Let me explain what kind of studies I have found so far and what it is that I'm really looking for.
There are studies for women arranged by topics. Often enough these teachings will talk about a specific topic that is of more or less interest to us. Throwing in Bible verses doesn't make these teachings Rock-solid, though. They are usually created to be women-ish and all about us and how we will succeed in life.
On the other side, there are studies for women that go through certain books of the Bible. Often enough I don't find any “female” aspect in them.
What I'm looking for is a study for women that would guide us through God's Word, stopping us each time the verses are specifically addressed to women, and then helping us to read them again and to study what God is telling us – so we can apply the principles in our own lives.
Twenty years ago, while still in my 30s, I started writing a book about The Christian Homemaker. That time God had other plans for me, though. Surely I needed to grow a lot more before I could even start thinking of teaching other women. Now, twenty years later, I feel a strong desire to pick up this work again and – by God's Grace – to finish it before my time on earth is up.
I want to share the pleasure with you that comes through digging deeper into God's Word. I want to encourage you to read and study along. You will be amazed, how much God cares for us and how much He has to say to and about us.