In the last post I was sharing on what the whole authority and headship thing means, and the qualifications. This time I want to look at why God put it there and some of the things it takes for us wives to put this difficult stuff into practice!
Why did God put this in place?
- God is a God of order – John Macarthur said ‘An employee may be more intelligent and more skilled than his boss, but a company cannot be run without submission to proper authority, even if some of those in authority are not as capable as they ought to be.’
- Protection for us – When our husbands realise that we are submitted to their authority, they will often see more of the weight of the decision that lies with them, and take more care over making it. It also protects us from a lot of the worry that we would otherwise be prone to as the responsibility lies with him.
- Women are more easily deceived – And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 2 Tim 2:14 We don’t like reading this verse mainly because of pride and the world’s teaching. But this doesn’t mean that women are less valuable or less intelligent, or inferior. ‘It does mean that God has restricted women’s role in the local church partially because she could be more easily deceived.’ (John Macarthur) And in practice we are more easily deceived, I think primarily because the emotions that God has put in us to help us care for children also have the tendency to mislead us. If I want my 3 year old daughter Hope to kiss me after she has already refused, all I have to do is to pretend to cry like a baby, ‘Waah, waaah, waaaaah!’ and she immediately gives me a kiss! There’s no chance of that with my two boys! That is a bit scary for me because it shows how easily she can be manipulated by being made to feel guilty, just as I know I can be.
What it takes on our part
- An understanding of who God is – God is compassionate and understanding, and knows what we are going through, and knows what we can cope with – He has promised to not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear 1 Cor 10:13
- Faith in God – God has also promised that He will work everything for the good of those who love Him Rom 8:28. This is key in submission, as if we trust that, and know that God’s will is that we submit to our husbands, then we can trust that God will work it for our good whether our husbands make the right decision or not, because ultimately God is in control, and we are doing God’s will so we don’t need to be afraid.
- Humility – We have to get past our pride that tells us we are right and they are wrong, and that we know more than they do so we should be making the decisions. That may be true, but just as Christ humbled himself and became obedient, so must we!
- Obedience – if we obey God we will be blessed, and if we disobey we will reap the consequences. Ultimately we have to remember, this is a clear command in the Bible, which is God’s word.
If you want to know more, Alistair Begg has an excellent sermon called ‘Being a Wife God’s Way’ that you can listen to online, as well as many other sermons on marriage and womanhood that are free to download and listen to.