February 13, 2011

Marriage 101: Lesson 3

Biblical Absolutes: Roles and Responsibilities
If you know me (which, if you're reading this, you probably do) you know that I love absolutes. Yes or no, black and white answers, do it or don't; so I really liked this lesson. Not because it was anything new, but because it was a reminder of the clear cut roles we have as men and women in Christ.

We started with discussion of Piper (This Momentary Marriage) chapters 6-8, which outlines and defines the roles of husband and wife according to Ephesians 5:22-33. Husbands are called to loving headship, which he defines as "the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christlike, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home." He goes on to list four ways the husband is PRIMARILY responsible for the family: Spiritual protection, Physical protection, Spiritual provision and Physical provision. Wives, on the other hand, are called to respectful submission, which Piper defines as "the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts".

We then we to the scriptures to look at how men and women are compared and contrasted there.
First we looked at how we are alike in Genesis 1:27 and Galatians 3:26-29: We are all equal in creation, salvation and redemption. Then we looked at our differences in 1 Corinthians 11:3: Man is head of wife as God is the head of Christ. This was an interesting discussion in and of itself in how God the Father could be above Christ when they are both God. What we came to realize was that this is where the women could model themselves after Christ in His submission to God the Father's authority in coming and dying for us despite being equal in worth to God the Father.

We then looked at four passages describing the roles of husbands and wives, beginning with the passage Piper used in his book
Passage          Role of the husband        Role of the wife
Eph 5:22-33   Loving head as Christ   Submit as the church
                  nourishing & cherishing         respectful

Col 3:18-20      Love & don't be harsh           Submit

1 Pt 3:7         Considerate, respectful       Weaker partner
                            and kind                  & fellow heir

Titus 2:2-5     Worthy of respect,           Reverent, loving
                  self-controlled, teachers       self-controlled,
                    Sound in faith, love         pure, busy at home,
                      and endurance             kind & submissive

Here is the end summary of the day:
(1) The roles God is calling us to live out in our marriages are to reflect a picture of Christ and the church (Eph 5:22-33)
(2) Particular roles and responsibilities do not reflect value, but instead reflect purpose and order (1 Cor. 11:3). Value was established at creation (Gen 1:27) and validated in the Gospel (Gal 3:28)
    - Both are made in the image of God, relate directly to God, are equally redeemed by Christ and should follow Christ's example.
(3) Roles and responsibilities were ordained by God in creation before sin and apart from culture.
   - Eve was created to help Adam and Adam exercised authority over her, which have always been counter-cultural.
(4) Your focus is to be on yourself, not your spouse.
   - We answer first to God!
(5) God calls the husband to loving leadership (SIX TIMES)
   - Greek agape: unconditional and sacrificial love
   - Leadership that protects, cares, understands and serves
(6) God calls the wife to respectful submission
   - Greek hupotasso: to place oneself under the authority of
   - Submission is voluntary and communicates submission to God


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