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Marraige and Family : The Role of Womanhood: Part 1 (Oct. 4, 2002)

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Learn about Islam from the Quran: Christianity & Islam Compared

The Role of Womanhood (Part 1)

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“Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord,
she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…” (Proverbs 12:4a)

“For the man is not of the woman, but the woman [is of] the man. Neither
was the man created for the woman, but the woman [was created]for the
man.” (1 Corinthians 11:8-9)

There is often a very great difference between God’s analysis of human behavior and how man sees himself. What God considers worthy of praise man often rejects as unattractive and even beneath the dignity of man. How man treats his fellow man is often in contradiction to what God requires of his creation. The contrasts between how man functions and looks at life and God’s perspective of human behavior seldom are in agreement. Fallen men think they are wiser than God and know more than man’s Creator about what is best for man. The way a man treats a woman in society, and how a woman responds to her husband or father or men in general tells a great deal about her priorities in life.

In considering the role of the woman in God’s creation, we will look at what Scripture tells us as to how a woman is to conduct her life in her relationship with her Maker and in her relationship with husband. God has given us necessary revelation as to what He requires of womanhood and what is required of men and women, in their interrelated roles in life, to gain His approval and blessing upon their lives.

While some significant changes have occurred that have improved the lot of women, especially in western society, in this modern era, with a highly industrialized society, hostility to the Divine arrangement as to how men and women are to function in life has continued to increase. Many of both sexes live their lives in rejection of the counsel of the Almighty and have crowded God out of their lives. For most of the people of the world, the Word of God as the foundation stone of life is ignored. For many who have some acquaintance with the commandments of God, they consider them as impractical or too restrictive. Educated man considers that he is able to decide what is best for man in his relationships. As a result, in recent decades the ways of God for man have been ousted and replaced by humanistic thinking and lifestyles which are destructive to the ordering and preservation of the human race—in respect of God’s purposes for mankind and the very survival of the race of Adam.

The moral foundations of societies that were once considered Christian have been crumbling. Single women in today’s society are under a lot of pressure to obtain and maintain employment outside the home in order to provide for their own upkeep and to gain and maintain the respect of both men and women in society. But more than that, a majority of women want a career, a good paying job, and the independence that career and finances support. Many women now see themselves as undeniably equal with men—in that they believe they have an equal right to the exercise of power and authority wherever women are involved in society.

Thus many women now see the role of the woman in the workplace as normal for them and welcome the independence that a career brings. Of course, some are by no means enthusiastic about this situation. There are still young women who would choose the traditional role of housewife first and do not want a career in business. Many do not have a desire to make incursion into the business world of men. The present generation of educated women in the more advanced societies, strongly influenced by a humanistic philosophy of life, have little reason to doubt that it is important for women to gain a degree or certificate of some kind from a place of higher learning in order to obtain a good paying job that offers the potential for advancement in the work place. They recognize this makes them more intellectually and socially attractive to men, better able to compete with men for leadership roles in business and society, and makes them a better prospect as a mate. It is widely held that an uneducated woman is likely to be a hindrance to the success her family might hope to achieve in life.

If a woman is unwilling to prepare herself for a career and spend some years in the workplace, many women see such a woman as being viewed by many men as not measuring up to what is expected of womanhood. Consequently, not a few women feel they are forced to accept a role in life they do not desire. This can certainly lead to frustration and a feeling of being a failure as a woman. There can be no doubt that the dual role that is now equated with mature womanhood—to care for the home and to be active in the work place—is undermining of the true worth of a woman in the sight of God and is the cause of much stress for them as well as for many of the men in society. This expectation of women can place a lot of pressure on a marriage. It often leads to an abnormal delay of marriage, live-in relationships, and is a major contributor to the moral breakdown of the home and society.

Many men are unhappy with this situation with women. However, because of the projected financial returns promised from a working wife, coupled with the widespread perception and approach of management that having a successful wife makes a man a more attractive candidate for promotion, men have bought into this added role of the woman continuing in the work place as being an important benefit in marriage. Thus the majority of men in modern society choose to have a working wife rather than a non-working one.

It really is an unscriptural compromise for both; nevertheless, the desire for things and the enjoyment of the pleasures that life has to offer have become so paramount that, to most married couples and young adults, having material abundance and being better able to travel and do things in life that bring pleasure is considered more important than making spiritual progress in life.

Another negative side to this dual role for women is that if the wife works, many of their husbands feel obliged to share in the housework, recognizing that in the tradeoff, they have a moral responsibility to be more involved in helping to care for their young children and to aid in the chores around the house. The increase in two family incomes has led to the multiplication of day care centers to handle the care of children when parents are at work. When both husband and wife have jobs, quality time with each other during the workweek may take a severe hit.

For many, having a wife committed to a full-time job remains a source of not a little frustration. A divorce rate of approximately fifty percent speaks to the conflict that exists in the home. And the affect this has on the perception and feeling of abandonment on the part of many children has being reflected in increased rebellion of children in the home, in school, in a greater demand by them for things, and the decline of morality in society— including the increase in drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, teenage crime, and a host of other problems in society. Lack of fulfillment in relationships and in meaning in life is reflected in a lusting after things that do not profit the spirit of man. Covetousness, love of money, an inordinate love of pleasure, rejection of authority, and indifference to what constitutes godliness in society are products of spiritual decay in society. Scripture speaks of this as a characteristic of the last days of this age of grace.

“This know, also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men
shall be lovers of their own selves, lovers of money, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural
affection (towards their children), trucebreakers, false accusers, lacking
in self restraint, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, pushy,
lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

As a result of what has taken place in modern society, many women go head to head with men in competition to gain suitable well-paying jobs and have become increasing accepted as equal to men in filling leadership roles in society. For those of you who sense that something is amiss in what has taken place in the altered role of women in society, we purpose to examine carefully the role that God has assigned to women—in their relation to Him, the home, and society.

In order to fulfill God’s purposes for man on earth, it is necessary to understand the role God has appointed to men and women, and to be willing to submit to His will. The natural result of both men and women rejecting God’s role for both the man and the woman is disruption in the home, an undermining of effective leadership of men in the home as well as outside of it, the manifestation and acceptance of more open and blatant sin in society, and an undermining of godly homes and of living to righteousness in society. Be knowledgeable of what has been taking place in society and where your society is headed. Every society that rejects God’s rule over it will eventually experience the wrath of God and the destruction of that society. This has always been so!

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat of the good of the land. But if
ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth
of the Lord has spoken it.” (Isaiah 1:19-20)

The fact that women, for much of history, and in many societies today, have been treated as the property of their husbands, or other men in their lives, has led to a strong movement in the last century to emancipate women from enslavement to men. There are positive and negative aspects to this trend to liberate women from the domination of men—in regard to both the home and society.

The emancipation certain women’s organizations seek for women is not to a true freedom of spirit, but is from one form of bondage to another—with no spiritual benefit to women or to society. Women who have taken a front line position in this present movement seek a role for women in society that, in many ways, places them in greater bondage to the enemy of their souls. This is because the role these organizations espouse for women serves primarily to strengthen the self life in women and to further undermine the God given role of both men and women in society. The desire of women to share an equal role with men in the decision-making process in the home, in the work place, in the military, at the top levels in corporations and in government, and in certain areas of education has led to more and more situations where women sit in authority over men—and this is a destructive dynamic. Stay with us and we will show why this is so.

Is the demand of many women to be recognized and treated as equal with men in all areas of society and all aspects of life a righteous demand? Do women have an inalienable right to equal authority with men in domestic life and in all other institutions or professions of society? Does the perspective of women with liberal views coincide with what God has revealed is His will for womanhood? Has God authorized that women may be leaders in society? Is it acceptable before God for women to sit shoulder to shoulder with men as members on corporate boards, in all the various departments in government, on the boards of education, or as leaders in religious matters? Are women truly equal with men? Is it Scriptural that the role of womanhood should be related to work outside the home?

What is the God ordained responsibility of the woman in respect of her husband and her children? Who should have the deciding voice in the home? Is it just that men should lay claim to headship in the home and that the wife should be expected to submit to her husband and follow his lead? What is the place in life that God has ordained for women?

• As the home goes, so goes the nation. The state of a nation reflects
the state of the home—in every society.

Does the state of society directly reflect the strength, weaknesses, or failures of the home? Absolutely! What was the first institution established by God for man on this earth? It was the institution of the family. The basic unit of authority in society is the family. And it was from a violation within this institution that sin entered the world and brought death unto all members of the human race.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,
so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

Why is it that the failure rate for marriages is around fifty percent? How is it that there now exists, in what was once a Christian nation, some outspoken groups that have gained prominence in their demands that live-in partnerships and homosexual and lesbian relationships be accepted as valid lifestyles, that such couples have a legal and moral right to not suffer any reproach or bias in the workplace or anywhere for their (deviant) sexual preference, and should be readily accepted into leadership roles in society? Is it valid that marriage should be limited to only heterosexual couples? Should a gay couple be permitted to adopt children? Is it being intolerant of the moral rights of others to oppose live-in relationships between adults, where sexual play or other sexual activity is involved, as being a morally acceptable lifestyle?

Our subject is directly related to what makes for a successful home, the inherent weakness that must necessarily exist with one-parent families, and most especially the role of the woman in relationship to the man in society. It is important to every human being to understand what the sacred Scriptures reveal to us in regard to these issues that society faces today, for the survival of all societies is at risk—and great judgments of God against the rampant evil that has been unleashed all over this globe are surely going to catch many unprepared. The Lord Himself is soon to return to earth, set up His kingdom rule, and bring to an end the rule of man. We know this will be necessary to prevent the annihilation of all living things from the face of the earth.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of
the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (again). And unless those days
should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…”(Matthew 24:21-22a)

Since this is God’s universe, it is vital to understand what God requires of women in order that they may gain His approval of their behavior before Him.

This is God’s world. He orders in it that which fits His purposes. It is only as men and women submit to being what God has purposed for each in creation, that they can experience that which truly fulfills and satisfies. God created the woman to just that—to be a woman! When Eve was tempted to disobey the command of the Lord and seek for an experience not directly promised by her Creator, she gained something she had not counted on—she became a rebel against God. And when she offered the fruit to her husband, and he cast his lot with her in also becoming a rebel against God, both recognized they were naked (exposed) and were afraid and hid themselves (Genesis 3:6-10). Their innocence was stripped from them, and they became sinners and rebels against God.

All who would be born of Adam and Eve would experience hardship and much suffering in life. The very ground men and women would walk on would be under a curse. Thorns and thistles would come forth from the ground and would inflict pain upon man. Man would struggle in “tilling the ground” in order to gain the food he needed for his survival. And the bodies of men and women would be subject to sickness and death. Understand this truth! When men and women seek to conduct their lives in ways that are contrary to God’s will for them, their rebellion will serve to increase the pain and suffering and disappointment they experience in life.

• God has purposed firstly that the woman is to be filled with the desire
to carry out His will for her in her personal relationship to Him as His
child, next in her responsibilities to her family, and then in regard to
all other relationships.

If a woman’s priority in life is not centered in giving first place to the will of God for her, she will fall short in carrying out her responsibilities to her family, and, as in a domino effect, this will introduce confusion into all her other relationships. The ones who will suffer the most will be herself, her husband, and children. No one can know true peace and contentment in life apart from living to obey the commands of the Lord. Outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ, true fulfillment and peace of heart and mind cannot be experienced. Thus what we have to offer in this article must, of necessity, be based on the revelation of Scripture—for it is in the existing revelation of truth that God has given to us in Scripture that the foundation principles of life may be understood and each individual know and experience what the will of the Lord is for his or her life.

Whether a man or woman is willing to acknowledge it or not, man is not on this earth to live to himself, nor to judge God or His revealed will to man, but to accept His judgment and evaluation of all actions of man, so that man might submit himself to those purposes that honors the will of the Lord for the life of men, women, and children. What we are saying is this:

Ø It is only as a person and the members of society submit to the
authority and rule of God and His word that the person and the
society can live a prosperous life before Him.

In order to please the Father, men, women, and children need to know what His will for each is in a matter and to be willing to obey Him as He unfolds to the mind and heart the revelation of what He requires This is not to say that it will always be easy, because of the resistance of the flesh in man; but as you grow in your relationship with Him, the doing of His will should become more natural and easy.

Ø As your desires become more focused on pleasing Him, you will be
more readily attuned to deny the self-life its lusts; and it will be
easier for the Lord to reveal to you what it is He would have you do.

See the truth in this from the sacred Scriptures:

“For where envying and strife are, there is confusion and every evil
work. But the wisdom that is from above is first peaceable, gentle,
and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without
partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is
sown in peace by them that make peace.” (James 3:16-18)

The peace that comes from God, “never starts quarrels, strife, dissension, and turbulence” (R.C. H. Lenski, Epistle to the Hebrews and the Epistle of James 618). The peace that comes from God does not insist on its own rights but is gracious towards all. It is merciful towards those who are stressed out and have need of help and deliverance from evil. Thus when a person looks to the word of God for guidance, and does what he is instructed to do, this serves to bring peace and harmony in relationships; for peace is a fruit of living to righteousness. Where disharmony is manifested in a relationship, it usually comes from an unwillingness of one or both parties to yield to, or agree with, the other in a matter. Yet what should matter most is seeking to discover what God requires or commands in a situation and obeying his will in regard to it.

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of
righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)

“There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22)

In order for any woman to understand what her role is in life, there is only one perspective that can lead to an appreciation of the truth about a matter. It is a perspective that desires to know and do the will of God. If a person is not willing to accept God’s pronouncements in a matter, there is little reason to discuss it any further with him or her. Nothing is to be gained from time spent with a person who is firmly set upon a certain course of action and in any discussion of an issue only wishes to be argumentative—being unwilling to learn truth so as to profit from it. If, therefore, you are sincere in your desire to know and do what is right before God, you will be willing to obey the counsel of God. If you are not willing to be in full submission to our Creator, it is likely you will not approve of all that we are going to show in this article—and this should make clear to you just where you stand in your relationship to Him.

In order for a woman to fulfill the role God has created for her in life, it is necessary that she have a desire to please God. This means she is willing to hear what the word of God declares is the way a woman is to live before Him, that she desires to gain understanding of what constitutes a woman of godly character, and that she is willing to apply the knowledge and wisdom that God presents to her, in her life. To know and do the will of God, a person must be willing to accept the authority of Scripture and, with God’s necessary help, to give place to it. When a person holds God’s word in honor, then she (or he) will be willing to abide by its instructions for righteous living. It is necessary to understand this because there is so much disobedience in the world today; and this has led to a rapid decline in the morality of culture and a rejection of God’s ownership—by all the nations of the earth.

That there is a Creator is evident to all men and women on this planet. There is no mystery about this. God’s existence is made evident in creation. Only a person who deceives himself and is a rebel against God is unwilling to admit what is readily apparent. From what is easily observable in creation—supported by what man has discovered through his understanding of laws of thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, and astronomy, as well as numerous studies in the world of nature relating to plant, insect, animal, and marine life—in regards to the vastness and complexity of creation, through sane and sober thought it cannot be truthfully denied that there is a Creator of vast intelligence and power.

“For the invisible things regarding Him, perceived from the creation of
the world, are made manifest, being understood by the things that are
created, both His eternal power and Divinity, so that they are without
excuse. Because, when they knew God, (recognized He exists], they
glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their
reasonings, and their foolish heart became darkened. Professing
themselves to be wise, they became fools…Who exchanged the truth of
God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the
Creator, Who is blessed forever.” (Romans 1:1`9-21,25)

It is indisputable that there is order in everything in nature, and order in anything demands an intelligent being who ordered it. An automobile or a computer or a human being did not order the design nor make and assemble the components that make each up. Design, assembly, order in movement, and interdependent functioning declares intelligence behind the existence of anything. Moreover, it is observable that nothing happens by accident. Behind every action or event that takes place in the universe there is a cause. There being order in everything, and everything that takes place having a cause behind it, is it not to be recognized and accepted that there is a Creator Who has given these things existence and has ordered how all things are to function?

In openly acknowledging there is a Creator, a person is also declaring that he has a responsibility to discover what the Creator requires of him and that he should submit to what is commanded, in order that his life may be lived out in an acceptable manner before Him. Some of you may ask, “If God is, then where can the revelation of His will, as to how man is to behave, be found?”

God’s basic requirements for man, as to how man is to live before Him, are to be found in the revealed word of God—the sacred Scriptures of mainstream Christianity. Below is a God-inspired declaration regarding this body of sacred Scripture:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
That the man [and woman] of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished for every good work.” (2 Timothy 32:16-17)

We have sought to make it clear that, in order to gain God’s blessings and enjoy true success in your life, you must be willing to acknowledge the existence of God and your accountability to Him. In order to abide in His will, prosper in life, and attain to the destiny He has purposed for your life, it is important to not only know what He requires but to submit to those requirements. It is critical in this hour of human history to be abiding in a state of peace with Him through seeking to live as He commands; for with the great amount of evil-mindedness and wicked living that is prevalent upon this planet, and man’s rebellion against our Creator peaking, we can know for certain, from the testimony of Scripture, that there is soon to be another great conflagration in the world.

The root of all conflict and war in the world is that man does not want to be told how he is to live and what he must do to gain God’s approval of his behavior. In order for societies to survive and flourish, there are rules that God has laid down that men must follow. When men and women are not willing to abide under God’s rule, chaos reigns, and God’s judgments are eventually sent upon the wicked. All modern societies have been, in increasing degree, resisting and rejecting God’s standards of morality. It is disastrous when most men in society think they know better than God how best to conduct their personal and corporate affairs in life. Wars are the by-product of societies in which the majority of their citizenry have chosen to live in unrighteousness and strife and in defiance of the commandments of God.

Above all else, it is necessary to accept that this is God’s universe and that God rules in the affairs of men and nations. He owns us all, and He has a right to expect our obedience. Next it is necessary to accept that all people, everywhere, have an obligation to obey man’s Creator. Then our godly response to His requirements is necessary to escape damnation and ruin and to truly prosper in life. The enjoyment of His blessing only comes to God’s child and His people when His child and His people do the will of God. Let us not be deceiving ourselves in thinking God will bless us when we are not doing His will or do not will to obey His full counsel.

• Peace and happiness and true prosperity come as a fruit of obedience.
These are obtained in no other way.

In order to know what the will of the Lord is, in any area of life, we should look first to the revealed will of God in seeking for guidance in how man is to behave on this planet. In accepting this is His world, we must also accept that what He has commanded of us is for our benefit. He had man’s good in mind when He gave us His rule of law to live by, and He had our deliverance in mind when He sent His Son to deliver us from the law of sin and death.

Man has no basis to argue with those rules of conduct or commandments that God has given to guide us, to show us how to obtain His blessing on our lives, and that are designed to enable us to experience His best for us. There is a hymn that relates this truth: “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.” In order to experience God’s blessing on your life you must consent to obey His will—by doing it. This means that whenever God opens to your understanding errors in your thinking and believing and in your outward behavior, and what changes He commands you to make in your conduct before Him, at that moment you are charged with the responsibility to obey Him in what He has shown you.

“For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light,
lest His deeds should be reproved. But he that does [obeys] truth comes
to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought
in God.” (John 3:20)

“For the Lord gives wisdom; out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous; He is a shield
to those who walk uprightly. He keeps the paths of justice and preserves
the way of His saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and
justice, and equity, yes, every good path. When wisdom enters into thine
heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve
thee, and understanding shall keep thee.” Proverbs 2:6-11)

“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man
is peace.” (Psalms 37:37)

Those who will not accept the authority of God over their lives live as rebels before Him. They resist obeying His will because they love their sinful ways. Except they turn from their rebellion they will perish. On the other hand, the right application of the knowledge and wisdom that comes from Divine revelation of applicable truth will bring God’s approval and blessing—and will make for peace in life.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise
wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor
stands in the way of sinners [i.e. – He does not companion with them.],
nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the
Lord; and in His law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be
like a tree planted by the rivers [conjoining streams] of water, that brings
forth its fruit in its season; it leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever
he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so…” (Psalm 1:1-4a)

We have endeavored to be gentle in laying necessary groundwork in beginning this article because of what is likely to be the “natural” response of many women (and not a few men) to the material that we purpose to present. Ever keep this in mind, that “self dies hard.” What God requires of man to enter into life is that man dies to the self-life. Self in you and self in me must be taken to the cross continually if we are to enjoy God’s uninterrupted favor on our lives. Self in man is man’s greatest enemy. That is why Jesus has said to “kill the proud self.” Self opposes God’s rule. Self can never be redeemed. Self must die that the new creation may come forth in the love of the Lord. In explaining the cost of discipleship, Jesus gave this instruction to His disciples:

“And He said to them all, If anyone will come after Me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whosoever
would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for My
sake, the same shall save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

We desire that what is to follow will find a receptive welcome in your heart. Whenever God’s word is received into a human heart and welcomed there, it has the power to liberate from any bondage to evil that has been associated with unbelief and ungodly living in that area of conduct. And in every area where the Holy Spirit is able to liberate God’s child from bondage to unrighteous living, increased power to live to the praise and testimony of God’s love is gained.

In the next part of this article we will consider the question: Does a woman have a right to live independent of a man?

…… be continued

James 3:16-18
James 3:16-18
Matthew 24:21
Matthew 24:21
Isaiah 32:17
Isaiah 32:17
John 3:20
John 3:20
He Loves You
He Loves You
John 3:20
2 Timothy 32:16-17
2 Timothy 32:16-17