Genesis 3:16b “And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
A few weeks ago we looked at the first part of this verse where God tells Eve that she is going to bring forth children in sorrow and learned our responsibility as young women in the covenant to bring forth and raise the children God gives us. God’s word does not stop there though. He also gives Eve a duty toward her husband, a duty to respect and honor him as her head. Ephesians 5:22 puts the idea this way, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Sarah called Abraham her “lord,” the leader of her life, the one she respected and honored as a picture of Christ in her life. And this too is the way we need to view our husbands. They are the head of their wives, even as Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 5:23). So therefore, it is the duty of the wife to let her husband know that she respects his decisions for the family.
Does this mean that women are just a tool in the hands of their husbands? That a husband can “boss her around” so to speak or expect her to do whatever he tells her to? This is not the kind of relationship Christ has with His Bride, and this is not the kind of relationship husbands and wives should have either. Christ as the head, serves His bride, loves her, and in dying for her and saving her He showed how deep His love for her is! He is not a tyrant ruling over His church without meeting her needs. But, we shouldn’t focus on the way a husband treats his wife, because the focus of the passage is on the wife serving her husband and desiring to serve and respect him.
This can be applied to women who are not married as well, especially because Christ is our real Husband. We can learn especially in our single lives, when the cares of a household, children, and a husband are not taking up our time and energy, really to put Christ first in our lives, to love to learn more and more who our God, our Husband, is. 1 Cor. 7: 34 speaks of the unmarried woman caring for the things of the Lord, while a married woman is busy with pleasing her husband. The need for young women in the church is often looked past or not thought of, but young women can be such a help to the other members of the church. Single life is a great time to babysit, to visit the elderly, or to make cookies for a mom who just had a baby. I’ll admit that when I was single and even now that I’m dating, I often think of these things and then think I’m too busy or have other more important things to do. My excuse is that when I’m married and have my own house, then I’ll have time for those things. But really, I know that won’t be true either. So let’s get into the habit of doing these things now! Serving the other members of the church is a great way for us to learn to put others first in our lives. Then if the Lord wills that we marry someday, we will have a beginning in understanding what we will need to do as wives and mothers in a life of service to our husbands and families.