God's word in today's world

Roles in the home

Ever heard the joke about the long queue at the pearly gates at the sign saying, “Husbands of wives who wore the pants at home”? At the sign saying, “Husbands whose wives did not wear the pants”, there was only one man. Peter was fascinated by how this guy succeeded in doing this and went over to ask him. His response: “My wife said I must come and stand here!”

There are many, many jokes about who really wears the pants at home. However, the results of unclear roles are not funny. One of the reasons why there are so many dysfunctional families today is because it is so difficult to determine how we must react when conflict and misunderstanding arise and who must take the final decision when there is disagreement about an issue. Paul gave us a guideline, or is it an instruction? 18Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.

Immediately there is some resistance, while some husbands probably want to say: I told you so! The reason for that, I think, is because we do not understand exactly what Paul wanted to say. Nowadays the words authority and submission are not so easy on the ear. A Greek/English translation caught my eye: There it is described as submitting voluntarily in love …

But many women actually no longer have any respect for men because their husbands do not handle them with respect and love. And that makes it difficult for some women to submit to their husbands’ authority. Some men use authority in marriage as a weapon of attack. Others use it as the final push to satisfy their own selfish needs.

That is not what authority or submission means.

To have authority is a major task with significant responsibility. In a marriage there must be sufficient space where both can feel safe, where both will know that each will be treated with responsibility and humanity, and where they will know that only the best will be offered to them. But it doesn’t always work that way. In the past, some husbands have misused their authority, which now causes wives to rebel when authority and submission are mentioned.

Authority does not mean that one is more important or that one enjoys more benefits than the other. When a wife submits to her husband who takes the lead according to God’s standards, it is beneficial for the good order in the marriage.

God made man first. The woman was made to help him. A partner by his side and not being trampled underfoot. We men must comply with this responsibility and do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. We need to earn the authority of our spouse so that they will submit voluntarily to our loving guidance

How do you get this authority thing right? 19Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. When you do this, your wife will accept your authority. When you act with love and compassion, you will never be able to misuse your position as head of the house. Then your wife will want to accept it, because she will feel safe and not afraid of anything.

A friend of mine is having his third affair. His wife knows it. Does she want to submit to him and accept his authority? Certainly not! He is misusing his authority and as a result, he is losing all authority. Soon, he will have lost his marriage and children as well. What a mess we make of the beauty that God gives us.

Wives, please help your husbands, because they don’t always know how to use their authority.

Husbands, make an effort with your wives. In the beginning, no distance or effort was too great to prevent you from seeing your beloved.  Try again to make her feel special and safe, even though you both look different from the way you did in the beginning. God commands it!

Go and make a plan and be creative. Build up what has fallen down.


Colossians 3:18-25


Is it difficult to submit to your partner?

What do you understand by submission?

Is there something you can change to bring about harmony?


Father, it is not always easy to be the least and to submit to someone else. Thank you for the guidelines in your Word. Please help us to obey so that love can conquer all. Amen.

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