The Role & Responsibility of the Wife

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1 The Role & Responsibility of the Wife Key Verses: Genesis 2:18 - Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. Ephesians 5: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. v.23 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. v.24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Objective: The husband s divine calling is to take the primary responsibility for Christ-like, leadership, provision, and protection in the home. The wife s divine calling is to look beyond the obstacles of her life and put her unshakable trust in God as she embraces her calling of humble submission and powerful partnership with her husband in their Kingdom marriage. In this lesson, we will seek the biblical understanding of the God-ordained roles of the wife in a marriage that glorifies God. The Word Wife The word wife literally means a. The wife is the person who weaves. In the word itself is the image of the virtuous wife described in Proverbs 31: A virtuous wife is a woman of strength who is very industrious and creative as she provides for the needs of her children and husband. She is able to weave together the complexities of life inside and outside of the home for the good of the family. Proverbs 31 - The Virtuous Wife v NLT - Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. v.12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. v.13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.

2 v She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. v She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. v.26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. v.27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. v.28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her 1. The Wife is the Suitable Helper Genesis 2:18 NIV - The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. a. In the beginning, God decided to make a helper suitable (literally, a helper corresponding to him, or a corresponding helper ) for the man (v.18). b. The word helper is not a term. i. Caution: When it comes to the translation of helper, we need to be careful since in some languages the term may have the sense of servant, waiter, one who works under another. 1. Any definition of this word helper which suggests it to be a person who carries out menial tasks for a superior is a gross misinterpretation. 2. In many cases, it would be correct to use a phrase like: a companion, a partner, a mate, to work with him. ii. It is a word that is often used in Scripture to describe : 1. Psalm 33:20 - Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 2. Psalm 70:5 - But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay! 3. Psalm 115:9 - O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.

3 c. The word helper is also defined as an partner. i. The man and woman were both created in God s image (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, one is not better than the other! ii. Husbands must honor her as an equal. 1 Peter 3:7 NLT - In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. 2. The Wife is a Submitting Partner Ephesians 5:22 - Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 1 Peter 3:1-6 NAS - In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, v.2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. v.3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. v.4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God s sight. v.5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, v.6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband s leadership and help carry our Gods work for them as a couple by working together with him. a. Understanding Submission What Submission is NOT i. Submission is not with everything the husband says.

4 2. Therefore, submission must be more than a blind subservient attitude. 3. Submission does not mean that the husband s word is absolute. Only Christ s word is absolute. ii. Submission is not every effort to change a husband. The point of 1 Peter 3:1 is to tell a wife how to win her husband. In fact, sometimes submission causes a wife to go the extra mile in prayer, love, and honor so her husband can see his need to change. iii. Submission is not the will of Christ for the will of a husband. 1. The Christian wife is a disciple of Christ first and a helpmate to her husband secondly. Submission to Jesus supersedes her submission to any man. 2. Submission does not mean putting the husband in the place of Christ. 3. A Christian wife is grieved when her husband ventures into sinful acts and tries to take her with him. As much as she loves to honor his leadership in the marriage, she cannot compromise her faith. iv. Submission is not getting all her personal and spiritual needs met by her husband. 1. She puts her hope in God, not her husband (v.5). 2. She must learn how to draw her spiritual strength from a deep meaningful relationship with Christ. v. Submission is not living in Peter 3:6 tells the Christian wife to become like Sarah who did what was right while not giving into fear. 1 Peter 3:6 NIV -...like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

5 2. In other words, submission is the wife s choice and can never be coerced by fear. When a Christian woman submits to her husband, whether he is a believer or unbeliever, she does it in freedom, not out of fear. b. The Seven Elements of Submission i. Submission is an more than an action. 1. Holy women focus on the inner-self first (1 Peter 3:4). 2. A submissive attitude says, I delight for you to take the initiative in our family. I am glad when you take responsibility for things and lead with love. I don t flourish when you are passive and I have to make sure the family works. ii. Submission is. Refuse the temptation to deflate or discourage your husband for any reason. The ability to support and encourage her husband is the very reason why Eve was created. iii. Submission is. 1. Don t be disagreeable or competitive. You will flourish most when you respond creatively and joyfully to his lead. 2. Forgiveness is a necessary part of cooperation. An unforgiving wife will never enter into the joy of her destiny with her partner. iv. Submission is. 1. Discern the will of God. How can you, as a wife find out what would be pleasing to God in your day-to-day responses to your husband? 2. Discern the unspoken things that inspire and uplift your husband. Jesus promised a blessing to those who go the extra mile.

6 v. Submission is being responsive. 1 Corinthians 7:3, 4 - The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. v.4 The wife s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. vi. Submission is. Ephesians 5:33 says the wife must respect her husband. vii. Submission is a. 1. A godly woman does not put her hope in her husband, or in getting a husband. A godly woman does not put her hope in her looks or her intellect. A godly woman puts her hope in the promises of God. 2. The Christian wife is fearless in her trust about the future (v.6). 3. She knows the Word, she knows how to pray, and she knows God will never forsake her. Her personal fulfillment and destiny is rooted deeply in her absolute devotion to Christ, her King. 3. A Word to Husbands 1 Peter 3:7 - Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. a. Submission is not an action to be taken by Godly wives only. Ephesians 5:21 instructs all believers to have a spirit of submission out of our reverence to Christ. Jesus submitted even to the point of death for the sake of love. So, the godly husband should be sensitive enough to submit to his wife s needs, gifts, and wisdom.

7 b. Also husbands must learn how to love their wives with. Be gentle and considerate of her as you learn how to lead her spiritually and physically. c. Remember, your is affected in many ways, positively and negatively, according to the level of consideration you offer your wife. She is your partner a part of you honor her and give her preference above everyone else.

8 1. According to the lesson, the word wife can be correctly understood to mean a companion, a partner, mate, to work with him. If you are married, how is that working out practically in your own marriage? If single, how should it? 2. Since the man and woman were both created in God s image (Genesis 1:27), each are equal in God s sight with differing responsibilities in a marriage. Why is equality in a marriage best understood through the lens of God s design? 3. Choose one of The Seven Elements of Submission that stood out to you most and discuss it. 4. For married men: What in the A Word to Husbands section convicted, corrected, or encouraged you? Single men: Ask questions of your married group members for better understanding. If married, schedule a date during the marriage lesson series of the My Balanced Life module with your spouse and thoughtfully discuss. Avoid using it as an opportunity to point out each other s weaknesses. Rather, emphasize agreement and unity on how to partner together towards a more satisfying marriage. If single, consider what implications this lesson has for you as a single person. Since Christ is the Bridegroom for the Church, how can you celebrate submission to Him in holy fear in light of this lesson?

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