There is a word that young women my age seemed to be trained to hate.
I remember as a young lady just hearing it would put a foul taste in my mouth. It was something I didn’t want to hear from the pulpit or from my family.
As a woman who happened to be married, it was even worse. I don’t even know where this very negative idea came from.
Truth be told, I don’t know why it mattered so much.
What the World Says
I grew up in a different world than my parents.
My Granny grew up post-first wave feminism. It was a time when women could vote in elections but were still expected to work at home, marry young, and raise children. Though she had her permit as a teenager, she never went on to have her license. She was a caregiver and a homemaker until dementia took her mind and old-age took her body.
My Mom grew up post-second wave feminism. She was pressured to be a homemaker and also have a career.
I grew up amid third and fourth-wave feminism in which women were celebrated, challenged as individuals, and empowered.
I like to think my generation of women grew up in the sweet spot, when the biggest expectations are the ones we place on ourselves. Unlike Granny who grew up with some rights and still heavy expectations, and my mom who felt pulled between the family and the workplace, I grew up at a time when I could be whatever I wanted.
Third and fourth-wave feminism celebrates individuality. So young, female Millennials can live however they want to live.
In actuality, if a woman my age finds that submitting to the leadership of her husband is her role, she is often considered a “bad feminist”.
What the Bible Says
The Bible starts with the story of the first family. God’s family.
Genesis 1:1 says “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In this text, the first text of the Bible, the word for God is Elohim, which is a plural word meaning “the living God”.
Still in Genesis, we meet the world’s second family: Adam and Eve. Adam was made after God’s image, and Eve was made from his rib, specifically to be his helper (Genesis 2:20). Together they lived in harmony together, caring for the animals and communing with nature and with God.
The family unit of Adam and Eve changed after the first sin, however. As soon as God found them in the garden after their transgression, discord occurred. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake.
Because of their sin, God doled out humanity’s first punishment. Specifically, God told Eve that her desire would be contrary to her husband, but he would rule over her (Genesis 3:16). Women still struggle with this curse today. Though women strive to have the authority and role of men, it’s still men that historically maintain the authority–in marriage, in the workforce, in the military, etc.
What Your Family Says
Do you find that your roles are confused in your family? As a wife, do you often seek the role of authority in your home? As a husband, do you wield your authority over your wife and children?
Though it is often a recurring problem in marriages, it is a problem for both males and females, husbands and wives, Christians and non-believers.
It’s as if the media and culture we live in has pit us against each other, when God himself put us together. Yes, God punished Adam and Eve with curses in the garden, but in doing so, he still required something of them both.
While the world says that submission is not, it’s nothing more or less than a supreme gesture of love.
God’s family says so.
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. (Ephesians 5:23 ESV)
The relationship between the husband and the wife is the same as Christ and His church. It’s not sheeple and cult leader–it’s lover and beloved.
So whatever you do in your home, do it in love.
Look for a post all about “Leading with Love” coming soon.