Wives, Submit To Your Husbands Part 1
In today's society, there are times when we think that the bible is archaic in how it tells us about how things should be done. One of those things seems to be directed at women, and I can say that every time a certain topic comes up, the tension in the air is so thick, one could cut it with a knife, to use a cliche.
It is the verse from Ephesians 5:22 which says, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
I hit a nerve, didn't I? However, before you start getting upset at me for mentioning the word, "submit", let me explain from the beginning, literally. It all began in Genesis 2:18 when the Lord God said,
"It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him an help meet for him."
The word, "help meet" is ezer kenegdo in the original Hebrew. But before I go on to explain what it means in the context of this verse, I will talk about what it does not mean.
Helpmeet does not mean "assistant" or "maid". Yes, please do exhale and let out the breath you have been holding in.
To a majority of people, the word, "assistant" conjures up images of a secretary doing everything the boss doesn't want to do, and in the same vein, many believe erroneously that the wife is an assistant to her husband, merely there to do all the things he finds unpleasant.
In order to have an assistant, there has to be a boss. The boss is considered superior while the other, inferior. Therefore, some people have the idea that the man is superior to the woman who they think was created to be his assistant.
A leader, on the other hand, is different from a boss. A boss pays his workers to do the work and may feel he is superior because he pays them. As such, a worker is only as loyal as the pay he or she receives. On the other hand, a leader serves in love and considers those who are under him without thinking of himself as being superior to them. Because he first loves, his followers love him and follow him in return.
Let's have a look at what ezer kenegdo means.
Ezer means "strong rescue" and its use is connected to military strength, especially the kind of strength and help that God is to Israel. Kenegdo means "equal and similar to that which is in front (of you)". What this means is God created the woman to be a warrior, a source of strength and help to the man, face to face.
Man and woman were created to work together on an equal level, side by side, both destined to battle together against the enemy. The man is not the woman's enemy, nor is woman man's enemy. There is a mutual enemy who works to rob, kill and destroy all that God has said is good, and that enemy is Satan.
As we can see, the woman was never created to be inferior to the man, nor as an assistant to do all that he does not want to do.
But unfortunately, sin entered the Garden of Eden, and with it, came a curse; a curse that would have the woman living her life trying to please the man, and the man to govern over her.
Abuse, control, and male chauvinism began to rear their ugly heads. All that God had said was good became corrupted and tainted with sin, and even though everything changed and started decaying and dying including the relationship between the man and the woman, God remained the same along with His original purpose for them which was this:
Man and woman were meant to work together to further what God had called good, lending their strength one to another, while taking care of and yielding to each other, protecting all that God had given them to steward as they fought against a mutual enemy.
This is the foundation and basis of the family.
Now that we have explored the reason why God created the woman, in the next post, I will explore what it means to submit in the context of Ephesians 5.