Torch, Summer 1978

The wife's tendency, because she is affected by sin, is to be sullen and disrespectful in her submission, complying as little as possible . But the New Testament says that the wife shou Id " ... see to it that she respect her husband" (Eph. 5:33 NASB). MUTUAL SUBMISSION There is an even wider context in which to consider the husband and wife relationship . That is the context of mutual submission. All Christians are to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Eph. 5:21). Paul even extends the concept of mutual submission to the most intimate facets of marriage (I Car. 7:3-5). Mutual submission, as the · setting for all role relationships, indicates that we all belong to, need, and must submit to one another as joint-heirs of the grace of life. Even in exercising headship, the husband must submit to and honor his wife as an equal in both creation and redemption. In the New Testament, submission on the part of wives does not imply inferiority. The Bible does not teach that women are second-class citizens. The momentous words of Galatians 3:28 declare this clearly. There is no ethnic, national, racial, social, or sexual discrimination in regard to spiritual standing. All are coequal in Jesus Christ (I Pet . 3:7). CONOUSION The Bible presents a balanced view of husband and wife relationships . Those who would emphasize only the wife's responsibility to place herself under the authority of the husband must think further. It must also be remembered that the authority which is delegated to the husband depends solely upon the position which God has given to the husband in the overall hierarchy of human society. Authority in marriage is not founded upon male superiority, but rather the position or"office" God has given to the man . His authority is given for the smooth functioning of the home. It is to be exercised in understanding and love as an example of Christ's selfless giving of himself for His bride, the Church (Eph. 5:25-30) . Those who advocate the dismissal of biblical roles for husbands and wives must also think further. Equality and role difference are not mutually exclusive concepts. They are merely two sides of God's plan in regard to a crucial human relationship. Properly evaluated, the roles that God has ordained for marriage provide a wide range of opportunities for husbands and wives to reach their full potential in the image of God. Stanley Ballard is a professor of psy– chology at Cedarville College. He is an alumnus of Moody Bible Institute and Bap– tist Bible Institute (PA), and has earned a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary as well as a Ph.D. from North Texas State U. In addition to his teaching respon– sibilities, Dr. Ballard is associated with the Agape Counselling Center in Kettering, Ohio. He lives with his wife, Marilyn, in Cedarville, and was named the 1978 "Faculty Member of the Year" by the stu– dents of Cedarville College. The Home For further study in regard to the Christian Home, we suggest the following books : FOR HUSBANDS What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women by James Dobson (Tyndale, 1975) A sensitive treatment concerning the unique needs of women and corresponding characteristics for husbands. FOR WIVES A Woman For All Seasons by Jeanne Hendricks (Nelson, 1977) A view of the Christian woman making use of examples from the lives of Bible characters. FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES How To Be Happy Though Married by Tim LaHaye (Tyndale, 1968) A helpful discussion of unity in marriage based upon Dr. LaHaye's analysis of human temperament. Maximum Marriage by Tim Timmons (Revell, 1976) A delightful presentation of God's game-plan for a Christian husband / wife relationship. FOR PARENTS Christian Child-Rearing And Per– sonality Development by Paul D. Meier (Baker, 1977) A Christian psychiatrist provides an excellent blend of psychological insight and Biblical truth. The Strong-Willed Child by James Dobson (Tyndale, 1978) Along with Dare to Discipline and Hide and Seek, an extremely help– fu l presentation of God's principals for practical problems. FOR SINGLES Single by Marilyn McGinnis (Revell, 1974) One of the few books which give a balanced Christian approach to life for the unmarried. THE BEST OF THE HOLY LAND AND JORDAN DR. & MRS. JAMES T. JEREMIAH TOUR HOSTS For tour information write to : Dr. James T. Jeremiah Cedarville College Cedarville, OH 45314