Many skeptics attempt to dismantle the Bible or God in a variety of ways. One common attack is that Christianity devalues women. If we are honest with Scripture, this is not true. Often these attacks come from those who do not understand or haven’t taken time to look into Scripture as a whole.
Let’s consider one specific attack. The claim that Christian marriage as is given in Scripture, skeptics say, devalues women. If God set up marriage for husbands to lead their homes this devalues women.
God Calls Husbands to be Leaders
First, let’s lay out that Scripture does call men to lead their homes. They are called to be the leader in their marriage. Ephesians 5:23a, “for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.”
Modern society would find it offensive that we would see men as leaders of the home. We should not apologize for what Scripture states. There are very good reasons for this model. In the end, it actually shows more value to women, not less.
Leading in Sacrificial Love
Second, before the secular, hyper-feminist gets out the protest signs, , we must understand what this leadership does and does not look like. It does not look like a man dominating his wife or being demanding of her. In fact, it’s actually the opposite. In this passage we see the call for “husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (25).”
What does that look like practically? Our example as husbands is that Christ gave His life for the church. He sacrificed Himself on the cross to pay for our sins. He bore the responsibility for what we messed up.
A husband leading his wife doesn’t look anything like demanding, damaging, or dominating. In fact, Scripture teaches that if we are harsh with our wives, demeaning, or not understanding, God will punish us by not listening to our prayers. You can read about that here in our previous article, 3 Times God Doesn’t Answer Prayer.
Practically leading and loving your wife should look like sacrifice for every Christian husband. It doesn’t look like always taking, but rather like giving things up. We put aside our desires and wants for hers. It’s giving of yourself, even to the point of death. Would any woman in a relationship like that believe that she was being oppressed or devalued?
The Trinity, Roles, And Values
Another way to consider if Biblically-mandated marriages devalue women is to understand that roles do not equal personal value in a relationship. The Trinity is an excellent example of this to us. We read in Mark 14:32-36 that Jesus Himself submitted His will to the will of God the Father. He says, “not what I will, but what You will.”
Jesus “submitted” His will to the Father. Would anyone say that Jesus was of any lesser value than God the Father, because He had a different role in the relationship? No, in fact the opposite is true. We see Jesus exalted throughout Scripture, and eternity. In fact, “God [the Father] exalted Him [Jesus].”
Marriage, Different Roles, Same Value
What does this mean for Biblical marriage roles? It means that just because a husband is called by God to lead his wife, it doesn’t mean that she is of any lesser value than the husband. It just means they have different jobs within the relationship. In fact, as we have previously pointed out, it is not a devaluing of women, but an honoring of them. They are to be loved, and sacrificed for, even unto death.
Do you have any different option on Scripture’s view on how God values women now that you have seen how wives are to be treated by their husbands? Do you see how just because there are different roles, doesn’t mean that there are different values to each person in the Biblical marriage relationship? How are you practicing these roles in your marriage?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.