Women and Authority: Authority (Part 18)
Women! Where would we be without them? Some would jokingly say that we would be better off without them, but then again, I am sure some women feel the same way about men! Ah, the fun involved in the battle of the sexes!
Truth is, neither men, nor women can get along without the other. Both are needed for life to continue. That should be self-evident.
Before we leave the topic of authority, I need to address what some of you may have noticed; that is, throughout the entire series I paid scant attention to women and authority. Lest I be accused of being misogynistic or of having a negative view of women, let me attempt to explain as best I can how women and authority work together, focusing on the jurisdiction of the family.
To start, if the Bible is trustworthy, and I personally believe it is, Eve was actually created from Adam. Therefore, when God created man, He also created woman. Man and woman are one and the same creation. Just look at the titles, only a “wo” separates them.
Jesus told us that in heaven there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage. In fact, the Apostle Paul states that in heaven there is neither male, nor female. That would explain why there is no marriage. Again, man and woman are one creation.
The authority given to man is therefore an authority given to both the man and woman. Women are not relegated to second class citizens as we sometimes see.
Those of you who know your history will know, and the rest of you should know, that women and children were not much better off than slaves until Jesus came. He is the One who elevated women to equal status with men, not the modern feminist!
Children also came to have value through Jesus and His followers. Before that, it was accepted practice to simply leave them on the manure pile to die if they were an inconvenience. I sometimes wonder if we are regressing to those days, but then I digress.
This may be a bit challenging for some, but if there is neither male nor female nor marriage in heaven, is God male or female? Neither. Both. Why then is He called “father”? Could it be that the term is more a description of authority or job description than of gender? Who knows? Whatever the case, I believe that when God bestows authority to a man, He also does so to the woman.
Women are therefore equal partners in authority. Not lessers. Both bear the responsibility. However, there is usually a bit of confusion over what role both should play and over who is actually “the boss.”
Considering that anything with more than one head is a freak, we should understand that someone has to be that head. God has designed the man to be that head, but this does not mean the woman is the tail! One lady describes the woman’s part as the neck that turns the head. There may be some truth to that!
Remembering that submission is freely given and not forced, if the man submits to God’s leading, he will love his wife as God loves her. Similarly, as the woman willingly submits to the man, she is loving her husband and by extension, the God he is submitted to. No one is in second place. Both have a very important role to play and neither can play the other’s part.
Neither a man nor a woman can properly function if either does not honour and respect the other and if God is not central in their lives. When authority is understood and respected (and I mean for both the man and woman), the children will be protected within the safest, most caring environment possible. It is called the family.
There is no doubt there will be stronger women and weaker men, but that does not change the order. Women can be the main administrators of the family and take most of the responsibility for the training of children, but the authority and responsibility rests with the man.
As a consequence, both the man who is to lead his family and the woman who helps the man meet that responsibility will answer to God for how they did.
In the end, men and women are one and the same creation. Both are equally valued and loved by God. Both are equally forgiven by Jesus. Both are equally important in that central jurisdiction of the family. Only the roles are different, yet in the battle of the sexes, one would think they are in opposition rather than in cooperation.
All in fun, of course, because the raising of children is the most serious undertaking in life. It works best when both the father and the mother are fulfilling their respective roles in their collaborative effort to raise Godly children. Again, this is best accomplished when it is done full time at home, by loving parents who love each other and God, as the father of all authority.
Previous Post: Authority as it Applies to Education: Authority (Part 17)