Hmmm . . . the traditional wedding vows. Did you know that many women are opting to leave out the word obey these days?
I admit that I don’t much like the idea of applying that word to my marriage relationship. After all, we taught our children that obedience means to obey cheerfully, completely, and immediately. “Obey” makes me feel like a child who is, as my father used to say, “supposed to jump when I say and ask ‘how high?’ on the way up” (obviously not one of my favorite sayings of his 😛 )!
However, the Bible does say that a woman is supposed to submit to her husband (Ephesians 5:22).
Honestly, I like the concept of submitting a lot more than obeying.
“Submit” in the Bible is a military term. Rather than how a child is supposed to obey his parents, it’s more like how a sergeant is supposed to respond to a captain. Yes, the captain is in authority over the sergeant. If he issues a command, the sergeant needs to submit. However, the relationship is different; the officers are more peers than a child is with her father.
It’s a smart captain who recognizes when his sergeant has expertise in an area and gets his input before making important decisions or even delegates those things to the sergeant to handle. He’s still responsible to his superior officers for the decision, but he trusts his sergeant to handle those areas of his expertise.
God is a God of order. He knew that his created human beings would need to have the authority chain laid out for them. He knew we would run into trouble if He didn’t spell out who He was going to hold responsible in families.
The man being the head of the woman is a picture of Christ and His bride, the Church. Ephesians 5:23-24 says, “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
Finally, have you ever thought about what a protection this is for women? Really, ladies, our husbands being the head of the family really takes the pressure off of us!
Unfortunately, our society tells women that because they are as capable as men (which may be true in any given situation), they should be the ones making the decisions and being the heads of their families as much as (and often even more so than) any men.
However, God made us. He laid out in HIs Word what He knew would work best for us sinful human beings. Whether we like it or not, if God says it, we need to obey it. (I use the word “obey” on purpose here.)
Let us be careful to measure our thoughts and actions against the Word of God, not against what our culture is currently teaching. God wonderfully gave us His Word that is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword . . . (Hebrew 4:12). We need to know what He says in it and be willing to obey.