God Creates Marriage and the Gender Roles Within It
Passage: Genesis 2:4–2:25
Point 1: Eve was created by God for Adam, to be Adam’s helper.
Point 2 Eve was taken from Adam: bone of Adam’s bones, flesh of his flesh.
Point 3 The “one flesh” marriage relationship between husband and wife is a picture of the union of Christ and his church.
- Leave and Cleave: While still honouring one’s parents, husband and wife shift their allegiance to each other.
- Naked and not ashamed: There is a symbol-laden depth to the pronouncement. It is a way of saying that there was no guilt; there was nothing to be ashamed of. This happy innocence meant openness, utter candour. There was nothing to hide, whether from God or from each other. But after the Fall, everything changes.
Definition of Biblical headship: in the partnership of two spiritually equal human beings, man and woman, man bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God glorifying direction. In other words, it is the man’s responsibility to see that the partnership serves the purposes of God, not the sinful desires of either member of the partnership.
Husbandly headship does not consist in a series of directives to the wife. Leadership is not synonymous with unilateral decision-making. Headship bears the primary responsibility for the moral design and planning in the home, but the development of that design and plan will include the wife. A good husband will take responsibility to establish a pattern of interaction that honours both husband and wife (and children) as a store of varied wisdom for family life.
Q: What is wifely submission?
A: A wife’s divine calling to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts. It is not an absolute surrender of her will. It is her disposition to yield to her husband’s guidance and her inclination to follow his leadership. Christ is her absolute authority, not the husband. She submits “out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21) and “for the Lord’s sake” (1 Peter 2:13).