Monday, August 4, 2008

Formed from his rib

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DISCLAIMER: If you are a Conservative Christian who thinks Ephesians 5 verse 24 is the be all and end all then stop reading. I will offend you. If you are a feminist, stop cheering, I will offend you too.
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I am often irritated by women who would rather let their whole lives go to pieces than stand up to their husbands. I have found that in this life men are not looking for their wives to be "yes men" but to serve a supporting role as they were created to do. I know, I know, men are the head of the household. I get it, I have no beef with that. Here's the thing though, ALL, let me say that again, ALL, great leaders are only as good as those they have around them to support them. Those people are not yes men but rather often the voices of reason that help keep them grounded. Those are the voices that give them additional perspectives so that they can make the best decisions possible. I didn't say overrule your husband, I didn't say disrespect your husband, I didn't say ignore him either. I said support him, give him good counsel and in his areas of weakness (I know, you're hubby's perfect, right, stop reading, this isn't the blog for you) help him, because no one is perfect. If he won't accept your help then maybe it's time to work on that and work through that. You are the person closet to him (or at least you should be). That is not to say that some men don't like to appear vulnerable before their wives, that is a whole other thing entirely. But as a wife you know your husband and you know how best to communicate things to him.

For men I want to say this, if you want a marriage to work then you must grow together. If you always keep it bottled up then don't be surprised when she hasn't changed and you have. Life changes people, experiences change views, you are not supposed to have to do it all on your own. I don't care if you've got a housewife who's never graduated high school who can barely read a recipe. (no offense intended to said housewife). She's got her strengths and if those are areas you need help in then lean on her and let her lean on you for the things she needs help with. Marriage is a give and take and it is our job to help each other get to heaven.

Ephesians 5: 22 - 33
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV)

To look at this passage in context, you will note that there is an inherent give and take that must happen. Marriage is not about fulfilling your husbands dreams and neglecting your own, a loving husband will work to help his wife fulfill hers too. We (men and women) may relate to each other in different ways and the same actions could have vastly different meanings, but the key is to work together and love and respect each other. I am always amused that respect for a man is more important but it makes sense I guess, a man's pride/ego is often quite fragile and it is important that their wives (if no one else) respect them. Women aren't as caught up in the trappings of that, we really just want to be and feel loved. (Quit yelling at me, didn't I send you feminists away?) Respect is a natural part of love and a husband that loves his wife would also respect her.

Alright, it's your turn, tell me what you think. I cannot be the only person irritated by this, rephrase, I cannot be the only one willing to admit my irritation :) I am very interested in both the male and female perspective on this. Let's start a dialogue :)

1 comment:

margaret said...

I have to say I'm with you on your interpretation. It takes a fine balance of love and respect and I believe true loyalty will learn what that means in their specific marriage. i'm big on loyalty and honesty.