Hi. I'm Jeff's wife. I'm sure everyone is eager to hear my opinion on the note he wrote "Man of the House". I will say what comes to mind now, i know that this article is directed towards men, so it does intentionally leave out info on the woman's role in marriage, which is fine, its for men. Here's a little of my opinion.
I, as a woman, and a Christian woman , really struggled with the idea of becoming "submissive" and had several panic-attacks about what would be expected of me when Jeff & I got married. But actually Jeff forbade me from acting brainless, and like a slave. He loves me for my independent, often stubborn, opinionated, free-spirited, artistic, character. If he wanted to marry a bashful, blushing, bride, he would of, but he wanted Me. Just me. At the same time, i must make sure that in my independent, often stubborn, opinionated, free-spirited, artistic, character, that i am not being “bossy-bitch wife”, that i am respecting my husband, and not emasculating him. As women , at least for myself, its easy for me to be controlling, over-bearing, naggy, & think i have to right way of doing things, which may in some (most) cases be true, but i can easily crush my husband’s self-esteem. And marriage is about building each other up.
That being said: Knowledge & Understanding come hand and hand.
First: If you are to love your wife as Christ loved the church, don`t you first have to understand who Christ is and how he loves the church? This is where men fail. Christ wasn't some domineering, wife-beater wearing, and commander-type figure. Let’s face it, no woman is going to willingly, lovingly, submit to that guy!! But a man who is honourable, respectful, integral, humble, gentle, loving, patient, & above all a servant – just as Christ was? – well maybe.
The second part of Knowledge & Understanding comes with marriage; being married i am definitely learning what behaviour, roles, attitudes, and actions work best in strengthening my relationship, than hindering it.
A note on this word “submissive” – it does not have a welcoming tone to it in our every-man-for-himself kind of world. It actually is a poor translation. The best description i got of it was in a sermon my pastor did on Ephesians 5:22-23 “22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.” My pastor said that to “submit” in this context is “to give the best of who you are”.
Why wouldn’t i want to give my best of who i am to my husband? The best of my love, my attention, my care, my forgiveness, my patience, my day, my ideas? You have to understand that Submitting is Giving and Giving is Sharing!
Lets then look at what women get in return: Ephesians 5: 25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her” – Willing to give his LIFE up for her? Can you imagine such LOVE?! It’s about sacrifice. Verse 28 reads: “28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.”
Now clearly there are different roles in marriage, different for husbands and wives, because we are different. But different, does not mean unequal. This part of Ephesians begins with “21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” And then ends with: “33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
( Another verse i like is in Proverbs 31: “10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”)
You also have to understand that from a Christian perspective: God created us, God created marriage, so doesn’t he know best about how we work & how marriage works? Wouldn’t this world be different if men choose to simply LOVE their wives and be willing to sacrifice themselves in love for them? And if women showed respect towards their husbands, giving everything good to them? Both equally giving of themselves in servitude & honour?
Here is the link to Jeff's "Man of the House" http://jeffreybaker.blogspot.com/2009/02/man-of-house.html