I remember taking acting lessons when I was younger. I used to love learning and being placed in an imaginary world was thrilling. One phrase that people in the theater realm always say is “There is no such thing as small parts, only small actors.” I was reflecting on this saying this afternoon when thinking about womanhood and being a wife one day. As a woman, I can testify, the word submission makes our skin crawl and the hairs on our backs stand up. It is not in our nature to desire this term. We view it as weakness and we see ourselves as losers when this is attached in front of our gender. Although, not all of the male population have done it justice by their definitions. It has been a team effort to make the term helper and submissive carry on such negative connotations. But, why? As a woman, I know for me it feels like a slap in the face, like I am less than, as if I am some kind of employee with no benefits, or just plain unimportant and undervalued. These are COMPLETE lies. When we do that, we completely are disagreeing with the famous saying in the theater world. We are saying that there are small roles.
Think about it, if a theater is putting on the show “Snow White” and one of the dwarfs decides to stay home, there would be important moments missing from the show. Or what about “The Phantom of the Opera?” What if the man who was supposed to drop the chandelier, takes a nap and does not do his part. A huge part of the storyline would not exist. Or perhaps in “Peter Pan” the woman who connects the harness for Peter forgets to do her role and he ends up jumping in the audience and breaking his leg. We as humans live in a world with fallen thoughts and twisted views. We mights say we believe that we are equal, but do we really? I remember a Gatorade commercial that used to come on tv where Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm are rivaling in a battle of the sexes. http://youtu.be/liKnJ-ejztw This is a prime example of how men and women seem to be competing against each other in their marriages instead of realizing that they are on the same team. Just like in basketball, there may be a point guard (team leader in the front), but you better believe he needs a great corner (person towards the back near the goal). If we desire marriages that score big time and make amazing goals against the enemy, we need to embrace our positions and stop fighting for the other.
This verse always sticks out to me in scripture when I am looking into Biblical roles. Genesis 3:6 says, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that is was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Which leads to Genesis 3:16 “To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Then, God responds to men in Genesis 3:17 “Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.”
In a perfect world the men would still be the heads of the households, but they would be loving and respectful gentlemen. They would be strong and secure for their wives. They would be loyal and trustworthy. They would be servant-leaders that obeyed God and always pointed their wives towards Him. Notice that first part of men sinning was not the temptation of the fruit, but the temptation to be passive and lazy by letting the wife take on a role that she was not created for. Adam was directly disobedient to the Father and did not heed His voice. This is why so many men struggle with either being overpowering and unloving husbands, or they are apathetic and, to be frank wimpy leaders of their homes.
On the other end, the woman was tempted by fruit, but the heart issue was taking on the role of the leader and being in control. Eve used manipulation to get what she desired. Due to this action, her punishment was to “desire her husband.” This is not sexual, this is a role issue. Woman’s flesh tells her that she needs to be playing the leader in order that be significant and to be in control. This is why there are power-hungry women that are insecure in their own skin and try to control their husband, and there are also the other extreme of women that are too afraid of their husbands to truly be helpers because they have taken the word submission into overdrive.
Today, I hope to challenge you. If you are married, which tendency do you have? Do you truly believe that you are valuable in the role that the Lord has given you? We were created equal, but different. We might have unique roles, but that is only for our good. God gives us blessings and we turn them into curses. I whole-heartedly believe that when both partners step into their positions and live them out, that the relationship will be successful and healthy. I know that it will not be easy, but if this is God’s way, I would not have it any other way. Please note that I am aware that there are different circumstances surrounding individual homes. I do not agree with abuse. Pray and ask the Lord how you can press into your role as a husband or wife best in this current season of life. Always know that there are no small parts, only small people. 🙂
Instructions for Christian Households
Ephesians 5:21-27 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 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.”