Modern Romantics vs. God’s Design for Wifehood (Part 2)
Last week, we talked about how the Victorians felt about marriage and courtship along with one thing they got right!
Today I’m going to talk about God’s design for marriage. That’s a big subject for a seventeen-year-old with no formal intent to marry, but I’m gonna take it on anyway!
Also, we are so close to the New Year! Can’t wait to share my goals … and how 2018 went. 😅
As a woman, you’re probably not a huge fan of the commandment of God to submit to your husband.
I mean, the husband gets the good stuff, right? The obedience and the respect?
That’s what you want! I get that. I want it, too. In fact, I don’t even have a huge yearning to be loved as I’m told other women are, and I have a strong belief that I can take care of myself.
For years I’ve wondered … why does he get to be in charge? We’re God’s creations, too.
For a while, I decided to put it to rest because, well, it wasn’t doing me any good to question it. I’d think about it occasionally to process it, but I just needed to accept that God is good, His decisions are good, and that was His decision.
That worked for me for many years, but thankfully, He’s finally got me beyond head-knowledge and into heart-knowledge on the issue.
Here are a couple solutions I arrived at.
Reason 1: That Stupid Apple
Yes, it does tie back to the original sin in a way. You see, no matter how you slice it (pun partially intended even though I’m not talking about apples directly), women are different than men.
Not just physically, but spiritually and mentally. We are. There’s no way around it.
Now, I don’t fit the typical girl stereotype.
I’m not into shopping, I don’t generally obsess over boys or get constant crushes, I wouldn’t consider myself particularly feminine, I don’t struggle with body image or beauty envy, I love capturing and playing with frogs and insects, it’s rarely I find myself thinking something’s “gross,” my self-esteem levels border on narcissism, and I don’t think of things as a lot of women do.
In fact, oftentimes I find myself relating a lot more to a men’s thinking processes. I mean, jeez, lots of girls make things way too complicated!
But, other than physically, does that make me like men? Nope, it doesn’t!
Never mistake personality differences for a lack of difference in males and females. There are girls of all types and boys of all types, and they don’t always fit the stereotypes, but they’re still different.
Women are different from men, and one of those differences is, well, we want to be in charge more than anything.
And in us is the same urge that propelled Eve to take that apple and bite into it. Because, as Eve probably thought, “If I can eat that apple, if I can shake off God’s control, if I can be wise, if I have the knowledge of good and evil, I will be in control.”
However, when we decided that our need for control was greater than our need for God, we got this consequence thrown back at us … “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)
Now, this is a curse, yes, but it’s also a blessing. You see, even though God had to punish Eve, even though she’d allowed sin into the world, there is some good in that statement.
God was also saying, “You will love him more than you will need to be in control.” In essence, God took away what we want most but gave us the desire to want something more than what we want most.
Wow, God. Blessed again, and we didn’t even know it!
But, say you, I still want to be in control!
I know. And we always will! We’ll always be second-guessing and “nagging” our husbands.
But you know what? We’ll always be lying and cheating and stealing, too. Just like any other sin, disobeying and disrespecting our husbands is something we can fight out with Jesus’ help, which we can ask forgiveness for, and which we can overcome with a combination of grace, mercy, and God’s strength through us.
Reason 2: It’s In Your Nature
It’s in your nature! This ties back heavily to the first point, but I’ll go into more detail here (which may also help to highlight to you the true differences between men and women).
- Men want obedience and respect.
- Women want love and protection.
It’s simply who we are. It’s ingrained in our natures.
But wait, you may be thinking. I’m a woman, and I want obedience and respect more than love and protection!
I’m the same, but at the roots of our souls, if we really were to dig deep, you’d find that your nature is more to be loved than to be obeyed. God didn’t give us rules that are impossible for us to follow.
In the end, Christian women must accept the fact that the Victorians had two things right.
- It’s the man’s job to love, to pursue, and to protect.
- It’s the woman’s job to obey, to respect, and to honor.
Now, I’m not saying a man can’t respect and honor his wife. In fact, he absolutely should! But it’s ungodly for a man to obey his wife.
And that doesn’t mean a woman can’t love and protect her husband. In fact, that’s exactly what she should do.
But, especially in the beginning (e.g. while dating), she should not pursue him. That’s taking away his authority in an ungodly way.
Does that mean women must passively accept whatever man hits on her at the supermarket? Uh, no! Never. You still have the choice—reject him if you want to. But don’t chase down a man and take away his ability to come to you.
If he’s “Mr. Right,” God’s not going to let him wander away without noticing you. And if he doesn’t notice, well, he’s not worthy. I’m serious—don’t chase a guy down because a good guy will chase you down. You don’t want it any other way.
Now, don’t get me wrong on a couple points—I’m all for men seeking their wife’s council and wisdom, discussing all matters with her, treating her as an adult, and lovingly bending to her opinions and tastes … meeting her halfway.
Marriage is a partnership in which the man has the final decision.
(This is my excuse for the force-watching of Downton Abbey that will likely go on at some point if I ever get married.)
It’s important that a man love until they are easy to respect … and women respect until they are easy to love.
And if your spouse won’t cooperate?
You can’t change their heart or their actions, actually.
- A man can’t make his wife obey him.
- A woman can’t make her husband love her.
But you can teach by example. You can “cling and cleave.” You can be Godly—because your godliness is never reliant on another’s behavior.
It’s just between you and God. So worry about yourself and leave the rest to Him.
A Note On Physical Abuse
Anyone who physically abuses their wife or their children is perverting God’s ideal of husband and fatherhood.
It’s wrong. The same goes for a wife abusing her husband (which is probably rarer but indeed possible; however, it doesn’t so much apply to our discussion of submission).
I don’t believe by any means that it is a woman’s duty to submit to abuse or to the knowledge that her children are being abused. I think it’s important for women who are being physically abused by their husband to separate and seek haven elsewhere.
A truly godly man would never hurt his wife or children, but rather protect and love them.
I think there is a possibility for healing in everything; however, this is the one circumstance (besides adultery) in which separation is actually an option.
And That’s All I Have to Say!
*hides from the comment section*
Okay, I’m not going to hide. 😅 It’s hard not to want to hide when you publish a more controversial post, but oh well.
And that was how Kell lost half her followers …