Have you ever argued with someone about gender equality or gender restrictions? Many people believe that chauvinism is dead, but given the lyrical content of many of today’s pop songs, I’d say it’s actually thriving. The Bible has a lot to say about gender and is often misquoted to argue the extreme sides of this sensitive topic.
I’m here to say that, based on Scripture, husbands are not meant to treat their wives as equals.
We live in a world where everyone wants to be treated fairly and in a society that says happiness comes from being at the top of the ladder. I would say that truly being happy in a marriage is to love your spouse, not as another person who is your equal, but as the better half of your own person. If my wife is my equal, then what do we do when I want pizza for supper and she wants spaghetti? Do we fight over it? Maybe arm wrestle or play paper-rock-scissors? Either way, one of us comes out as winner and the other as loser.
How much more honored would my wife be if instead of treating her like an equal I treated her as the best part of my humanity? How much better would my marriage be as a result? How much better off would our children be by my example of self-sacrifice? How much better would our world be if instead of treating everyone as equals, we esteemed them as having greater value? That’s the teaching of Jesus.
Anyone who has been married longer than a week knows that this is not easy. This kind of Christ-like attitude is impossible without divine assistance. Thankfully, we are not only told to just to act like Christ, but given the very strength to do it through Christ.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.”
Ephesians 5: 25-29
Just some thoughts from a sanctified sinner,
*Inspired by a song by Lecrae and Lester.