Do Kings Rule in the Castle?
A news item of interest reports on a recent study of 72 married couples, with an average age of 33 years and a marriage length of seven years. Sixty-six percent were Caucasian, 22 percent were Asian, five percent were Hispanic, four percent were African American, and three percent were of various nationalities. The couples discussed eleven subjects, with the scientists evaluating who was the dominant party in the communication and relationship.
The news article was entitled, Kings Dont Rule the CastleQueens Do. (This was a MSNBC.com article.) According to this study, Wives have more power than their husbands in making decisions and dominating discussions. The writer commented, Men might throw their weight around at the office, but at home, women are the bosses. Of note was this comment: Wives were more demandingasking for changes in the relationship or in their partnerand were more likely to get their way than the husbands. This held regardless of who had chosen the issue.
To the Biblically oriented follower of Christ, these results were dismaying, though not altogether surprising. According to David Vogel, a psychologist, Most of the research literature in psychology has suggested that women have less power. It is true that traditionally, men have had the authority in marriage and only in recent generations has there been a change. Vogel suggests that most research has shown that until recently women have been in a less powerful role; however, could it be that this new study is suggesting that the empowering and authority-seeking of modern women has been increasing? Could it reveal that present day factors have continued to erode femininity and emasculated the American male?
For several generations or more, the basic hierarchical arrangement of marriage has increasingly been altered by humanistic forces. This is true of Americans as well as many other societies of the world. At one time, the traditional headship pattern paralleled, albeit loosely, with the Scriptural pattern of male headship. Today that pattern has been largely supplanted by a humanistic egalitarian view that sees the male and female equal in nearly every respect. If the article has some truth to it, it appears that even egalitarianism is decreasing and a female headship pattern is developing. Some women jokingly remark, My husband is the head, but I am the neck that turns the head!
The Word of God is clear that the man is head of the woman (1 Corinthians 11:3). In addition, the husband is head of the wife (Ephesians 5:22-24). In response to the husbands sincere, self-giving, sacrificial love for his wife (5:25-33; Colossians 3:19), the wife is to submit to her husband (Ephesians 5:22,24,33; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:4-5; 1 Peter 3:1-6). The verb submit is from the Greek hupotasso, which means to rank under. The woman is ranked under her husband and is to submit to him, out of respect for his role and position (cf. Ephesians 5:33; 1 Peter 3:2). This pertains to both Christian, believing husbands (Ephesians 5) as well as unbelieving, disobedient husbands (1 Peter 3:1). The submission pattern even pertains to teaching contexts where Christian women are present (cf. 1 Timothy 2:11-15).
Is this submission absolute, without limitation? Does this mean that God expects a wife to sin and disobey Him if this is what the husband demands? Absolutely not! In such a case, the words of Peter must be our example: We must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). The submission of a wife to her husband is limited by the will of God. (See our articles, Is Biblical Submission Absolute or Limited and Absolute or Limited Submission?)
This shows how vital it is for a Christian young woman to choose her husband wisely and carefully! Make sure he is a man of God, one whose priority is to please God in every situation. He will never ask you to sin against the Lord!
The Christian home should be a prime example of Gods ideal will in a dark world that has departed from Gods arrangement. While the world has allowed humanistic, selfish, egalitarian views to shape the marriage and the home, true Christians can show the world a better waythe way of God!