Do not Reverse The Roles
God gave specific roles to the husband and wife so that together, they can represent God in His heritage. When God said that He created man according to His image and likeness, He was referring to both the man and the woman. And since God has the characteristics of both the man and woman combined, He had to distribute these character traits to each of them respectively.
God's manly characteristics include strength, power, courage, protector, fighter, and provider, among others. His womanly characteristics include sensitivity, caring nature, nurturing nature, helper, caretaker, etc. These relevant character traits combine together in marriage, when the husband and wife live up to God's standards. Together, they represent the fullness of God, making them more effective in letting others know who God is.
God created the man first and brave him the command to tend the garden. He then created the woman to be the man's help-meet, his support, his assistant. These were the relative roles God has established and ordained from the beginning.
The Bible talks about the individual roles of the husband and wife. Proverbs 31 defines what is expected of a virtuous woman. She is an encourager who does only good to her husband all the days of her life. She does not run out of food for her household, meaning she knows how to budget and stretch their grocery money. She knows how to prepare meals that are good and healthy but at the same time within their budget. She is wise in investing money and does not just spend it on some luxuries. Her main objective is to make the money grow. The work that she does that was described in this chapter of the Bible reflect to house work such as sewing and cooking. Though some women will appeal that this was the olden days where every wife did all domestic work, I believe that this also refers to working from home or any work that will not sacrifice a wife's and mother's time with her husband and children. This also points out to the wife being the support and not the primary breadwinner of the family. In fact, verse 23 of this chapter says that "her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land". Obviously, this pertains to the husband being out there, working, and being responsive for it and for having a godly wife.
This is giving me an even fresher revelation about the wife's role.
If the husband's home is well-taken care of and if his wife is supporting him to the fullest, then he will be able to focus on his work and assigned task better. This rings about respect from other men.
Verse 27 talks about the wife as "watching over the affairs of her household." The wife's role is to manage her household, while the husband's is to provide for his household. This is an area where a lot of married couples have compromised their respective roles. I see a lot of wives who are the ones providing for their families, and as a result, they begin to lose respect for their husbands. Before I expound on this issue, let me bring you back again to the Word of God, which should be the only truth that we Christians should believe in and practice.
"But if any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5: 8)
This is God's order and if you do not follow it, you are not only disobeying Him but you are setting yourself up for misery and judgment. I have counseled several wives who have lost respect for their husbands because of this reversal of roles. Of course any wife will lose respect for a man who can not provide for his family. This is against the grain of God's order and so it will never work. It is a different story, however, if the husband becomes sick or disabled. Then the wife has to take over to provide for her family. But other than this reason, there is certainly no excuse to disobeying the Word of God concerning the relevant roles of the husband and the wife.
Wives, listen to me. If you take over the responsibility that God has to your husband, you are under God's authority. You are also weakening your husband and you are encouraging him to be less of the man that God called him to be. This is actually what the Jezebel spirit is all about. It is a controlling spirit.
If your husband's paycheck is not enough to feed you and your family, then it is your role to budget it wisely. Do not demand him to produce more; Instead, be the help-meet that God created you to be by being very economic. If you want to help him earn money, do it from home, unless your kids are all grown up. There are countless opportunities to make money without leaving your house. You can start a sewing business, cooking business, online business, etc.
The next Scripture I want to share with you is 1 Corinthians 11: 3.
But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Your husband was placed by God above you. This is His perfect order. If you try to reverse this, you will suffer in your marriage. This reflects not only to him being the main breadwinner but him being the spiritual head of the family. Again, this is another area where wives have taken over. Just because your husband is not doing his job as the spiritual head does not give you any right to take over his role. By doing so you are not only reversing the role but you are depriving him of the leadership role that he needs to fulfill.
If your husband is not saved and you married him when you were already a Christian, then you are just reaping the consequences of your disobedience for not having a husband who is your spiritual leader. However, this does not give you the liberty to be his spiritual head. Your role is to keep praying, maintain a quiet spirit, submit to him, and honor him, since his being unsaved. If you do your part, God will do His part. Occasionally, if you persevere, your husband will receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior and he will begin to lead you spiritually. But if you refuse to submit to him just because he is not saved, and if you continue to take the lead spiritually, then you are hindering God from working in him.
Now if your husband is saved but he is not doing his role in leading you and your family spiritually, then continue prayer. Do not ever make the mistake of taking over his responsibility. Never make the mistake also of making him feel less spiritual than you (this is where a lot of wives fail big time). Here are a few words of wisdom I can give you.
1. Let him pray for you over something. I do this all the time to my husband and it works.
2. Ask him about his opinion about certain Scriptures you read. Be careful though about sharing your own opinions as it may intimidate him.
3. Ask him to pray for your children, one at a time. For instance, if your child is having some problems in school, then ask your husband to pray for him / her with you.
4. Ask his opinion about certain church issues.
5. Praise him (do not overdo it though) for whatever spiritual leadership you see him exercising.
In short, let your husband feel that you highly value his prayers for you and your family, and his opinions on Scriptures and other related matters. Make him feel highly respected. This way you will help him fulfill his role as the spiritual leader of the family.
On the other side, avoid nagging him about his spiritual leadership. Do not threaten him with, "If you do not obey God" … Do not compare him with other men of God. Do not consult other men of God over your problems with him, except that man of God is your Dad or your brother. But you know what? If your Dad is a real man of God and you consult him with issues about your husband, he will point you back to what the Word of God says and will tell you that your spiritual leader is your husband and not him.
Submit, adapt to, subordinate to, admire, respect, honor, esteem, encourage … these are just some of the roles that God gave to us wives for our husbands. We are required to fulfill these roles either or not our husbands are fulfilling their roles.
Love, sanctify, understanding the wife as the winner vessel, being the wife's and children's spiritual leader, being the primary breadwinner … these are just some of the roles that God gave our husbands.
Let's stick to what God has called us to do with no "ifs" and "buts". Let's be the best we can be in fulfilling the roles that God has entrusted to us.
No reversal of roles, please.