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pictures   THE ROLE OF THE WIFE

The role of the wife has drastically changed in the last 50 years in this nation. A wife was to primarily fulfill the role of helpmate to her husband and mother to her children, only venturing out of the bounds of the household to be involved in charity work. Essentially the only careers that were acceptable for a young lady in the fifties to pursue were those of teaching or nursing. The idealic roles of wife and mother, portrayed in the TV series like Ozzie and Harriet and The Donna Reed Show are humorously interpreted by our modern day society. Certainly "it is a shame to waste a good mind" as many of our brightest and best women today excel in the fields of accounting, architecture, engineering, law and medicine. I submit though that many women have allowed undue stress to be placed upon themselves as they attempt to balance their very jealous careers with their role as wife and mother.

In Genesis 2:18 God states that it is not good that man is to be alone and He makes a helper suitable, or comparable to him. A woman takes on the role of a helper when she marries. Susan Hunt has stated:

    "Being appointed as a helper is not a second class assignment. Throughout the Old Testament God often describes Himself as a helper."
Submission has almost become a dirty word in today's society when applied to marriage. We will discuss in the Bible study what God says about this important principle in Ephesians and in first Peter. The Greek word for submission is upotasso: upo (under) + tasso (arrange or organize) which essentially means to organize or arrange yourself under the person to whom you are submitting. This is a Biblical imperative statement - in other words not optional, but a command. Frank Barker has defined this as "to yield in surrender, in compliance to one who is in control of the other". Submission is NOT obedience; obey does not appear in the Bible in relation to wives as it does relating to children and slaves. God has ordered who is to be in authority in the secular world (that is: president, senators, representatives, etc.) and in the church (pastors, elders, deacons); even our Lord Jesus Christ submitted to His Heavenly Father. A wife is to submit to her husband NOT because she is inferior in an inferior role BUT because she is in a DIFFERENT Role. Who is more important, the husband or the wife? The answer is that neither is because both are as important because both are completing their roles that have been assigned by God. They are both fulfilling different responsibilities as they together make a COMPLETE unit.

In our Bible study we will also examine two key scriptures, Titus 2:3-4 and 1 Timothy 5:14 that I believe sets the priorities of the role of the wife. There can be several temptations or traps that the woman may be susceptible to. The financial trap has become increasingly common as couples depend on that dual income to maintain their lifestyle. Where in the Bible does it say that the woman is to be the breadwinner, the provider, the protector? She is NOT to be an equivalent breadwinner. If you can not live on what your husband makes then you are living beyond your God given means. Harley, in his book, His Needs/Her Needs, How to Affair Proof a Marriage, chronicles affairs that stem from what I call the sexual temptation trap. We will discuss this issue further in the series under sex and marriage. And lastly there is an authority trap. Who should the wife in a challenging job submit to, her boss or her husband? In the work force there are other responsibilities, other time constraints that will pull you away from your family. God intends that you only be under your husband. There are no easy answers to some of these questions.

BIBLE STUDY

  1. Who are we to submit to according to what Paul says in Ephesians 5:21?
  2. Why should wives submit to their husbands? (Ephesians 5:22-24)
  3. In 1 Peter 3:1, "In the same way, you wives", where are we being referred back to? (hint: look in 1 Peter 2)
  4. What kind of wife will win her unbelieving husband to Christ? (1 Peter 3:3-4)
  5. How would you define the role of the wife as outlined in Titus 2:3-5?
Look up 1 Timothy 5:14 in the Living Bible:

LEARNING EXERCISE

Husbands and wives, during your communication times this week read Proverbs 31:10-31 to each other.

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