Summary: Discusses the different roles in marriage.
My Roles vs. Your Roles
Job descriptions are very common in the work place today. They make sure that the employees and supervisor understand the job requirements and expectations for each position. When the employee is evaluated at the end of the year, the evaluation is based on how they performed versus the job requirements. If they did over and above the requirements they would get a higher salary increase. If their performance was below standards for the position, they may get a lower salary increase if they kept their job and were not terminated.
We sometime view the different roles and responsibilities in the marriage as a job description that must be met or there will be trouble in the marriage. This morning we will look at our attitudes towards roles in the marriage and how they impact the relationship. I will cover the core foundation of what our attitudes should be based on our examples in Scripture. Understand that each marriage is different and the roles that each person takes on may be different in each marriage. However, there are some attitudes that must be addressed that tend to be central in the overall choosing of what roles we have in the marriage.
In our society there are many voices telling both men and women what their roles are in a relationship and what they should ultimately be like. Can one person tell you exactly what your marriage should be like and every thing you should do to make your marriage perfect? Is there one plan that is available that will guarantee you a 100% success rate if you do exactly as the plan says? I wish there were, but sadly all anyone can offer are guidelines and it is up to each individual person to decide what they are or are not willing to do in their situation. Marital roles today are not as clearly defined as they used to be.
When you came in this morning, you were given a sheet to fill out on your spouse. I hope that you have completed it and I will tell you later what to do with this sheet. Sixty years ago the chores on the sheet would have been divided up based on gender, or the man holding the supreme position of doing hardly anything related to household chores. That is not to say that men and women could not cross over, but society had roles that was acceptable, especially in marriage. There are some who still try to hold to these roles although it has become evident that in order to build strong marriages, we must stop looking at everything as a gender specific. If all things were equal and there were no pre-defined gender roles, would the responsibilities still be divided up the same? Everybody¡¦s situation is different, but there are some things that we have in common. My goal in this message is to address our attitudes in the choosing or assigning of roles in our marriages. Whatever you and your spouse have decided what works best for you is fine, as long as the attitude behind the decisions fosters the belief that equality exists between the different job roles.
Let¡¦s look at some Scriptures that address our attitudes despite what role we may choose to in our marriage. I will start with the men because we seem to like dictating what is what in some cases (when we have permission that is). ƒº Next week we will look examine the women.
Men¡¦s Biblical Responsibility
Ephesians 5:21, 25-29: ¡§And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it just as Christ also does the church.¡¨ (NAS)
Verse 21 in this chapter goes with verse 22, although in some bibles they are separated. The first point that is made is that each partner should submit to one another. One translation says that ¡§¡Kas you stand in awe of Christ, submit to the each other¡¦s rights.¡¨ (Knox) The premise is that both partners must have a conciliatory attitude that will help the relationship. This means that each person must seek, through their actions, forever, to win their partner over. This is not saying that you are trying to get your way, but that each partner may find delight in showing preference to his or her mate. Also keep in mind that each partner has rights that should be respected and not violated.