Thursday, February 13, 2003
For the last two sessions of my weekly Bible Study, we've been discussing the role of men in society and in marriage. To begin, we discussed how modern American society views these roles. Women are expected to work full-time, be assertive, be the brains in the marriage, be responsible, and generally take charge and be in control. Men are viewed as less-intelligent and generally incapable. Under no circumstances should a man make all or most of the decisions.
We then looked at what the Bible had to say about this, and it turned out to be essentially the same as we discerned from talking to wimmins ourselves: that doesn't make women happy. Most of them, while they wanted a job, weren't really looking for a career and instead wanted to raise a family. (As a side note, it's interesting to see how any commandment/advice on how to live found in the Bible can be discerned from stopping for a few minutes and considering what you've seen with your own eyes.) Furthermore, these women didn't want to be the decision-makers. This isn't to say that they wanted to be slaves to their husbands, but rather that they were happy following a reasonable plan of action devised by their husband.
Husbands are to be servant-leaders. To lead is to serve. The man has the role of leading, but must respond to the wife's role of nurturing by encouraging and affirming her (and correcting, if need be). He must be willing to lay down his very life for his wife and children. However, he must also lead. This means making the decisions unless strongly opposed by his wife and not shirking the responsibility. He should consider his wife's input, but not let her rule.
While we were discussing this, an analogy, subsequently confirmed as good by another member, occurred to me: namely, that marriage is like being a Rank Captain in marching band. As a Rank Captain, I'm responsible for the people in my rank. If I tell them to do something, they're expected to do it. However, being an RC isn't just about ordering people around. I have to attend leadership meetings, collect, highlight, and distribute drill charts, maintain order, earn respect, and serve as a communications link between the band as a whole and the directors. It's a lot of work. My core role is to lead my rank in marching. My rank's core role is to be in the formations shown on the drill charts. Their core reaction to my core role is to submit to my will when I tell them to do something, while my core response to their core role is to affirm them when they're correct and make sure they have everything they need to fulfill their task.
[More later, I'm tired...]