Role Distinction in Marriage

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Major Points

There is a difference between a husband and a wife—physically and emotionally, among all other aspects—which cuts across time and cultures. This is why the requirement of the wife’s submission and the husband’s considerate leadership is applicable today as it was in the Old Testament. As much as the requirement transcends time and culture, its beauty and influence likewise transcends all types of people in different circumstances that even an unbeliever will learn faith, not by word, but through example.

The role distinction in marriage is equally beautiful to one’s self who exercises it. It is beautiful to the wife, who shares Sarah’s dignity and honor. It is also beautiful to the husband whose prayers will be favored and not hindered. Together, with a harmonious partnership filled with respect and understanding, they will share the joy of pleasing God and giving Him honor.

Lastly, “[t]o take the time to maintain a good marriage is God’s will; it is serving God; is it a spiritual activity pleasing in His sight” (Grudem 208). Ultimately, the role distinction between the wife who submits to her husband and the husband who exercises considerate leadership is rightful and beautiful to God Himself.

Insights

Role distinction is indeed something that is still prevalent in today’s world. Indeed, this is a manifestation of how transcendent Peter’s words are. As a general pattern of behavior (as opposed to being an exact replica of Sarah and Abraham), today’s married couple in my community can also experience the righteousness and beauty of role distinction, be it through one’s self, through one’s family or through one’s faith and worship in God.

For example, there seems to be a growing number of couples with a working wife and a stay-at-home husband. But even in this case, the consideration and understanding of the husband plays a big role in not letting his own ego get in the way of a harmonious relationship. On the other hand, the wife’s love and respect also has a big part in ensuring that the husband is not degraded in any way because of their (largely considered to be) unconventional relationship. If they both faithfully accede to these roles, both of them can enjoy a spiritually rich and enjoyable life together.

Their harmonious relationship will, in turn, be an example to others. In a time when divorce rates may be high and lovers are turned to cynics, the contemporary married couple will serve as a beacon of hope to those around them. Beauty and rightfulness will shine through such that even the unbelieving in Christ will be won through behavior.

Lastly, with a loving and prayerful relationship, the husband and the wife can share their faith together and the pleasure of receiving God’s favor.

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