The Lord Himself in His wise and wonderful purpose has ordained the place of each member of the Christian family. This was a creation ordinance and not one that is subject to change as culture and tradition among men changes. This will work for the good and blessing of the Christian home. That this is also the case for the role of the wife and mother in the home is abundantly clear from what Paul tells us in passages such as I Corinthians 11 and I Corinthians 14 and I Timothy 2. Repeatedly the apostle grounds his exhortations to women in God’s creation ordinance. The apostle does not speak merely as a man of his times, much less as some sort of male chauvinist or unsympathetic bachelor as many today claim. He speaks by the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord and gives timeless principles which apply to every age.
The Lord created the woman after His own image even as He created the man after His own image (Genesis 1:27). She is therefore in no sense a lower form of being than the man. God created woman a very glorious and wonderful creature, as the account of Genesis 2 also suggests. He carefully formed and made her with His own hands as His beautiful handiwork.
The Lord created woman in a certain order in relationship to the man. He created man first and He formed woman out of the man. Modern man and woman may scoff at and ridicule this story of creation. As Christian we believe that this is the literal, historical record of the creation of woman. Furthermore we believe that it is of the greatest significance for the place of the woman in the Christian home today.
When the Lord created man and woman and united them together in the first and most beautiful marriage of history, He bound them together as one flesh. He commanded that the husband and wife should love one another and live with one another in faithfulness in their respective roles as husband and wife. The love which unites the Christian husband and wife together is much deeper than mere physical and romantic attraction. It is the love of God in Christ which He works in their hearts through His Holy Spirit.
So also in marriage and the home the Lord commands the woman to love her husband and her children (Titus 2:4). This is basic. Without that, Christian marriage and home are impossible. True Christian love is in essence selfless giving of oneself to another. Our Lord is the supreme example of this. He gave Himself to the death of the cross for the salvation of His people. In Ephesians 5 the apostle Paul commands the husband to love his wife with such love. The husband must give himself for his wife. It is not true as some imagine that marriage for the man requires, ideally, less self-sacrifice than for the woman simply because he is the head of the woman. It is also fundamental that the woman as wife and mother sacrifice herself in love, for her husband and family. It is very obvious that the fundamental reason of all the rebellion of modern-day women is because of their refusal to give themselves in selfless love as God commands. This is due to the woman’s fallen and corrupt nature. We ought not to call this women’s liberation but rather women’s rebellion. It is very obvious that the modern-day woman of the world seeks only herself, her own vain glory, and the satisfaction of her depraved lusts. The Christian woman who loves the Lord must be radically different from the world in this fundamental way: that she loves her husband and family with the love of God in Christ.
God created the woman to be the helpmeet of the man. This is a very beautiful truth. God created woman in such a way that she is able in every way to complement the man. She is able to help him in a most wonderful way and to fulfill his deepest needs. This does not mean that God made her simply the servant and slave of man who must kowtow to his every whim and fancy and every selfish demand. It does mean however that she must, in love, voluntarily and obediently from the heart serve her husband. The husband and wife in marriage have one calling before the Lord. The wife must serve her husband to assist him in fulfilling that calling. She must be his close companion, living with him in the covenant of marriage to encourage and support him in the whole of life.
Everywhere the Word of God commands the wife in marriage to live in submission and obedience to her husband. It is simply a fact that this is the chief admonition that scripture gives to the woman. (See Ephesians 5, Colossians 3:18, I Timothy 2:11, Titus 2:5,I Peter 3:1-6, and I Corinthians 11.) It takes a lot of twisting of the scriptures to get rid of this teaching, as many women (and men) who call themselves Christians attempt to do. The Bible very plainly teaches that God created the man to be the head of the woman. He has God-given authority over her; and the woman must be subject to that authority with obedience from the heart.
Scripture also urges the woman to live in godly sobriety, meekness, and chastity. The Lord emphasizes this especially in commanding the woman—not because this is not also important for the man, but rather because it is true that the world is full of unchaste rebellious women who live in lust and pleasure, and who are the furthest thing imaginable from sobriety and meekness. The Christian woman knows the seriousness of her calling before the Lord and does not make herself drunk with the world’s ungodly philosophy and manner of living. She seeks not herself but the glory of God and the welfare of her husband and family.
The Lord in His providence has given to the woman in marriage a special role in child bearing and a special calling to raise the children the Lord gives to her and her husband in the love and fear of the Lord. It remains a fact that this is the most amazing and wonderful role imaginable. How true this is especially when we remember how God realizes His gracious covenant in the line of continued generations. What can be more wonderful for any human being than to bring forth the children of God? Who can ascend to greater heights in God’s purpose than to be used of Him as the woman was even to bring forth the Lord Jesus Christ into the world.
The apostle Paul speaking by the inspiration of the Lord and as the servant of the Lord says in I Timothy 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” And again he says in Titus 2:4, 5, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” These are plain words—so plain that even a child can understand them. It does not take a committee of professional theologians to discover the hermeneutical principles before these words can be properly understood. In these and similar passages of scripture the Word of God emphasizes that the role of woman is especially in the home. There especially she serves as the helpmeet of her husband. There especially she cares for her children. She has no greater and more glorious role than this. There is none.
The raising of children absolutely requires that the woman is full time in the home. We want to address this question further in a later article. The reasoning of the world on this is foolish wickedness. The suggestion that all that matters is quality of time and not quantity is ridiculous nonsense. Children need the full-time loving care and concern of mother in the home. God made it that way. Not all the fabricated and slanted studies of the world’s psychologists and family counselors will disprove this. Those mothers who imagine that they can have their own careers outside of the home and juggle this with trying to raise a family will some day reap the consequences. These consequences will be most serious for the Christian home, especially if it is in terms of the spiritual welfare of the children and the decline of the future generations of the church of Jesus Christ.
The role that God has given to the woman as wife and mother is a rich and fulfilling one. Here again we have to oppose the modern-day teaching that suggests that the God-ordained role of woman relegates her to menial labor and drudgery where it will be forever impossible for her to realize her full potential. If God Himself gave woman her role in the family we can be sure that it is not one in which she can find no fulfillment and joy. We challenge any man to come forward to name one gift and talent that God has given to woman which cannot be properly used in the home and for the family. In fulfilling her role, the godly woman has a very significant place in the kingdom and church of God. Surely the classic passage of scripture that proves this is the beautiful passage on the virtuous woman found in Proverbs 31. Both women and men ought to read this passage several times each year and meditate on its meaning. That would help a great deal to drive out of their minds any imagination that the role of woman as God has ordained it is a lowly and unfulfilling one. The chief requirements for fulfillment for the Christian woman in the home and family are loving devotion, self sacrifice, and obedience to the Lord in her God-given role.
Everywhere the scriptures honor the godly woman in the role God has given her. It is not the glamorous career woman that is the honorable woman in God’s sight. It is not the vain adulterous Hollywood and Broadway star. It is the truly virtuous woman. She is precious in the sight of the Lord. Let all Christian women know that. What can be more wonderful than to be precious in the sight of the Lord? “Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:28-30). What wonderful words these are! What woman can ask for a greater reward than this?
Let us conclude this article with a word to husbands. Godly wives and mothers need to be properly honored in our day. The whole world is despising and demeaning them, ridiculing them and calling them to free themselves from bondage and go out into the world to find a “meaningful and honorable career.” Do we as husbands realize the barrage from the worldly media that our wives have to face on every hand that propagates this kind of thing? We must truly honor and respect and love our wives and mothers. They need a lot of encouragement and support in our day. How urgent it is that we not neglect our wives and suggest by our actions and attitudes that we consider them to be very unworthy and nothing but domestic servants. We must not make their role drudgery by being unloving and unsupportive. We must not leave them with the very difficult task of bringing up the children without our leadership and support. If we do these things we are contributing to the breakdown of our Christian home. Love and honor your faithful wife and the mother of your children as the word of the Lord commands you to do.