One of the major social influences over the past 50 years has been feminism. Feminism has been striving to achieve equality between men and women and one point of emphasis has been eliminating headship in marriage. How should followers of the God of the Bible respond to feminism? Should husbands and wives have equal authority? What does the Bible say? The answer to this starts in Genesis 3.
Genesis 2 & 3 tell us that there was a tree in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from. However, a serpent deceived Eve and both she and Adam ate from the tree. Yahweh confronted them and handed out some consequences for their disobedience. What are the two consequences for the woman?
Gen. 3:16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”
The first consequence is pain during childbirth. The second consequence is that her husband would rule over her. Notice that at this point God did not command the woman to submit to her husband. Instead, God stated it as a fact that the woman’s husband would rule over her. In other words, her husband would rule over her whether she liked it or not.
Think about the broad scope of human history. Both of these have always been true. It is extremely rare for a woman to give birth without pain, and throughout history men have had most of the authority in the home and in society. This will continue to be true. Despite all the feminist efforts to overturn male headship, and despite some success in gaining equality, over the long term males will continue to hold most of the power because God said this is the way it is going to be.
Ladies, here is something for you to think about. Do you resent the fact that “it is a man’s world” and do you fight to gain equal power? If so, have you considered that you are not merely fighting male authority, you are fighting God Himself? God gave husbands their authority and rebellion against that authority is rebellion against God.
Here’s another way to think about this. As human beings, we constantly submit to authority. Whether it is the government, our employer, our church, or a civic organization, there is a leadership structure we need to submit to. If you are a married female who desires to follow Yahweh (the God of the Bible), then part of following Yahweh is accepting the reality that God has placed your husband in authority over you. Submitting to authority is not always easy, but it is the right thing to do.
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