by Jarrod M. Jacobs
God created man and woman (Genesis 2:7, 18-25; Matthew 19:4). He also made them to fulfill specific roles on this earth. In Genesis 2:18-25, God states that man and woman have certain roles and responsibilities. These roles have transcended the years and the confines of countries and are with us to this day. For example, God says the husband has the role of headship or leadership in the family (Ephesians 5:23-24). At the same time, neither the husband’s nor the wife’s father is the head of that home. These two must “leave” their parents and “cleave” to one another (Matthew 19:4-6), just as their parents and grandparents did before them. What was stated as fact beginning in Genesis 2 has not changed. These roles must be fulfilled on earth today by men and women who are married.
Within the roles of male and female, we find God assigning to the man such responsibilities as public teaching (I Timothy 2:12), being an elder or a deacon in a local congregation (I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9), and other roles of leadership in a congregation (I Timothy 2:12). The woman is not permitted to usurp authority over the man in her position or work (I Timothy 2:12).
Even more basic than these roles within families and within the Lord’s church, we find the male’s role as protector and provider and the female’s role as nurturer and caregiver to be God-given as well. This is seen as we study Ephesians 5:22-33; Titus 2:3-5; Proverbs 31; and many other passages. In truth, what seems “innate” to us has, in fact, been explained by God in the Bible.
More can be said about this. These roles are fundamental to our relationships on earth. Yet, I am sorry to say that we live in a world where people try to “deprogram” us from our roles. At times, the attempt is made because some have an agenda to produce a society that is “tolerant” of homosexual sins, bisexual sins, and the like. After all, if the God-given roles of males and females are, in fact, not “God-given” but based upon men’s thoughts and experiences, then males and females can act outside of these roles and not feel ashamed in so doing.
Attempts at destroying the God-given roles of men and women are not new. It is a tool of Satan that he uses to attempt to dethrone God. As proof that this war has been waged for a while, I am reminded of a newspaper article written almost ten years ago!
In the Messenger-Inquirer on Sunday, July 3, 2011. On page E4, A.P. writer Jennifer Soffel wrote about a preschool in Stockholm, Sweden, that made a name for itself by not using “gender terms” when speaking to the preschoolers. They hired “gender pedagogues” to train the staff to avoid using gender terms such as “he,” “she,” “boy,” “girl,” and the like in front of the little children. (Remember, this is ten years ago! These preschoolers in the article are now in Jr. High!) They trained children to use the word “hen” (a word not extant in proper Swedish language but used in the homosexual community of Sweden) when referring to males and females instead of “han” or “hon” (him or her in the Swedish language). In fact, the toys and books used in this preschool were specifically chosen to not “confuse” children into thinking about boys’ and girls’ toys or books which “reinforce stereotypes.”
How ridiculous! One person interviewed in the article said that such an approach actually emasculates the males. I believe this is the case. It is not so much that these people wish for “neutrality” of genders, but an elimination of the male role from society.
Remember, this article was written ten years ago! How much more “progress” has been made since that time? One can also observe how folks are working hard in our country to try to reverse and eliminate the roles of men and women. This is wrong! God gave men and women certain responsibilities and roles within the church, the home, and society. When these are respected, good can come from it. When these are ignored, we have chaos.
For example, how many heads in a family can we have? Can we have 1? 2? More? Would some suggest that none should be the head? Allowing men to answer these questions results in chaos because men might respond in a multitude of ways.
In contrast, the Bible says headship is the man’s role (Ephesians 5:23). He must step up and take responsibility. He must not leave it for others to do! At the same time, the wife must be in submission, taking her role just as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:24). This does not mean one gender is better or worse than the other. This means we have different roles to fulfill in life. This is God’s orderly manner (I Corinthians 14:33).
When thinking about roles, consider the role Christ fulfills. The Bible declares that just as the man is the head of the woman, so also God is the head of Christ (I Corinthians 11:3). Does such a statement make Christ inferior? Does this mean Christ is not deity, or He is “lesser” in some way? By no means! It speaks to a role or work He has done. It is the same way between man and woman. Our job, however, is not to deny this, hide this, eliminate it, etc., but to embrace our God-given roles. Truly, God’s ways are best, and His ways are for our good.
Teaching little children that they ought not to say “him,” “her,” etc., is to deny the obvious! Those who are taught there are no genders or no gender roles are growing up confused and frustrated people.
Let us go back to the Bible and let us respect the Lord’s plan for the home and the roles He has given men and women! Just as His ways are best in salvation, worship, and spiritual matters, so are they the best with earthly relationships!