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Scripture Reading:  Mark 10:42-45

Marriage Roles and Responses (1)

Intro.
1.  “The Bible sets forth specific and distinct roles for a husband and wife that must be accurately understood and practically fulfilled.” (p. 163)

2.  Identifying roles in marriage is rejected by the “enlightened” ones of our culture. They speak of marriage as a 50/50 relationship.

  a.  Marriage is a 100%/100% relationship: Each w/ distinct roles.

  b.  There are no “roleless” marriages; every marriage settles into some kind of social and organizational relationship.

3.  When roles are confused, marriage is weakened and destroyed.

  a.  Culture portrays wife as the Leader, the Brain, even Desperate.

  b.  Culture portrays husband as Incompetent, the Brawn, the Tyrant.

4.  God-given roles of husband and wife; and God-given responses to each one’s role. Biblical roles and responses are essential for marriage to be what God wants it to be (Heb. 13:4).

 

I.  GOD’S CORE ROLE OF THE HUSBAND: HEAD OF THE WIFE, Eph. 5:23.

  A.  His Essential Function is to be the Servant Leader of the Home.

    1.  Christ is the leader of his body, the church (Eph. 1:22).  He loves the church supremely, Eph. 5:25-29.

    2.  Husband is the leader of the wife; love his wife supremely.

    3.  The role of head is not a “position” that denotes superiority, but a function that demands work!

    4.  Head functions out of love for the body, Eph. 5:25-29; 5:33.

  B.   The Husband Must Pattern His Leadership after the Leadership of Christ, Mk. 10:42-45.  Jesus was a Servant-Leader.

    1.  Jesus’ leadership (rule):  Service–Sacrifice–Salvation (unselfish, not pleasing himself, Rom. 15:3; Phil. 2:5-8).

    2.  Gentiles’ leadership: Lord it over–Wield power–Be served.

    3.  Husband’s leadership:  (Not the, “Woman, do what I say!” approach)

      a.  Be “great” (megas): Be a servant (diakonos, attendant, waiter)

      b.  Be “first” (protos: first in rank, influence, honor): Be a slave (one who gives himself up to another’s will; disregard of self, devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests).

  C.   Being a Servant-Leader does not Mean…  (Prov. 11:29)

    1.  Becoming a lording leader, making all decisions himself or selfishly controlling others so he can meet his own needs.

    2.  A man must have an outgoing personality (“rally-the-troops”).

    3.  The wife never gives him advice and counsel, etc.

  D.   Being a Servant-Leader Means…

    1.  Taking overall responsibility for the direction of the family (physical & spiritual, moral & material, 1 Tim. 5:8; Eph. 6:4).

    2.  Serving the needs of his wife & family (takes consideration, unselfishness, diligent attention).

    3.  Cherishing his wife so she can become all God wants her to be.

    4.  Husband denies himself and gives himself to his wife & family.

    5.  Husband takes the initiative in the home:

      a.  To be the spiritual leader: To pray, worship, teach God’s word, discipline, Eph. 6:4; Heb. 12:9.

      b.  To see that finances are in order, needs met, family is secure.

      c.  To ask forgiveness, resolve conflict and enhance godliness.

    6.  Making it easier for your wife to follow your lead, Psa. 128:1-4.

  -[Ultimately, his headship is an issue between husband and the Lord.]

 

II.  GOD’S CORE RESPONSE OF THE WIFE TO THE HUSBAND’S ROLE: SUBMISSION, Eph. 5:22-24; 1 Pet. 3:1-2, 5-6.

  A.  She Willingly Puts Herself Under His Leadership.

    1.  Action of the will; respectful and holy and good conduct (3:2, 5-6).

    2.  Obey his leadership, 1 Pet. 3:6; Tit. 2:5. “A voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.”

    3.  Submission is not her role; it is her response to the husband’s role as a servant-leader.

    4.  Submission encourages your husband to fulfill his role as your servant-leader, cf. Prov. 21:9; 27:15-16; 31:10-12, 28-29.

  B.  Her Submission (like the Husband’s Leadership) is Ultimately an Issue between the Wife and the Lord, Eph. 5:22; 1 Pet. 3:3-5.

    1.  Matter of the heart that the Lord sees; adorn yourself with the “gentle & quiet spirit” (essence of “submission,” 1 Tim. 2:11-12)

    2.  Respect in practice, Eph. 5:33.

      a.  “But he won’t lead” – Then he will answer to God.

      b.  God didn’t say, in that case, wife can lead! (1 Pet. 3:1-2)

 

Conclusion

1.  Role of servant-leader (headship) never means asking your wife to disobey God.

2.  Response of submission never means putting husband before God.

3.  Each role and response is intended to fulfill Scripture, honor God and bless your marriage.

4. Continued in Part 2.

 

-Adapted from Preparing for Marriage, Dennis Rainey, editor, pp. 163-173