Every time I open the pages to this book, I am flooded with Scripture and godly wisdom which leads to conviction. This weeks is no exception. The topics covered in this weeks chapters are the biblical roles of both men and women. Before jumping in to specifics, Piper reminds us that marriage’s primary goal is to glorify God and be an example to the world of Christ’s relationship with His church. “Staying in love isn’t the first task of marriage. It is the happy overflow of covenant-keeping for Christ’s sake.” With this foundation, the expectations of both men and women surface to unique and capable identities.
Piper spends twice as much time discussing the man’s role. I love the title of the chapters: Lionhearted & Lamblike. As a picture of Jesus who was both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God, Piper gives this description: strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and brokenhearted. These qualities should be what each husband strives for in his personal life.
The husband’s role can be characterized by one word: headship. The definition given for headship is: “the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christlike, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.” Protection and provision are the primary expressions of the husband’s leadership and express themselves in both the physical and spiritual realm.
Spiritual Provision: Husband’s should go hard after God. If men are feeding themselves with God’s word, they will be more drawn to feed their wives and children. This does not mean that the man necessarily has more background or knowledge about the Bible, but it does mean that he will take initiative to have family devotions, go to church, and grow in knowledge. The wife can be supportive and helping, but the husband holds the primary responsibility.
Physical Provision: Husband’s bear the primary responsibility to put bread on the table. He is sending the wrong message if he does not lay down his life to work to provide the physical needs of his family. If a situation arises where he is unable to do this for a time, both his heart and body should be working and moving to the time when he can do this again.
Spiritual Protection: Be a valiant warrior with biblical discernment and courage. Pray for the family everyday. Work with your wife to set standards for your children. Take initiative when deciding what will be allowed on tv, movies, music, and clothing. Another huge area for husbands is to take the lead in reconciliation. Eph. 4:26-27 teaches to not let the sun go down on your anger. Be a husband who, even as Christ did, first seeks forgiveness and healing with your wife and children, regardless of who committed the sin first.
Leadership in Physical Protection: As obvious as this sounds, it still needs to be said. Husbands, protect your wife. Be the first to check out a scary noise in the middle of the night. Don’t cower behind your wife!!
When a husband is doing his best to live as God called him and to follow the principles listed above, the wife is much more likely to follow her main role of submission. Submission is: the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and carry it through according to her gifts.
In 1 Peter 3:1, Peter tells wife that they are to submit to their own husbands. Ladies, understand that every man is not your husband. The command is to submit only to your own husband. We ladies must also remember that our husbands are not the answer to everything for which we long and seek. 1 Peter 3:5 states that holy women “hoped in God.” He must be the ultimate hope in which our biblical roots are planted. When we are focused on Christ and beautifying our inner person, submission becomes easier.
Piper next outlines six things, based on 1 Peter 3:1-6, that submission is NOT:
- Submission is not agreeing with everything your husband says.
- Submission does not mean leaving your brain or your will at the wedding altar.
- Submission does not mean avoiding every effort to change a husband.
- Submission does not mean putting the will of the husband before the will of Christ.
- Submission does not mean that a wife gets her personal, spiritual strength primarily through her husband.
- Submission does not mean that a wife is to act out of fear.
Again, the definition of submission is: the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and carry it through according to her gifts. It is a disposition and inclination to follow a husband’s lead.
What happens when husband’s don’t lead? We women must be cautious to demand leadership from our husband’s. This will just lead to frustration. We want our husband’s to lead because God is stirring up in them, not because we are demanding it. We must pray that God would awaken true manhood in our husband. We can also look for a time when we are neither angry or tired, and we can ask to talk with our husband about our heart’s desire. Express thankfulness in ways that he is leading, but humbly share your desire for him to be a leader in other areas. It also may help to ask another, more godly man to take your husband under his care to disciple your husband on being the godly leader. Be careful to be respectful to your husband as you discuss these areas.
I hope this was an encouragement to you! Remember that this book is free online. Check it out!
To read week one’s review, click here.