Equal, Yet Different

The modern world has created quite a bit of confusion when it comes to the roles of men and women in marriage. Society has blurred marriage roles so much that we aren’t quite sure what to expect when we make that covenant. This confusion has led many Christian couples to seek out what the Bible says about the husband’s and wife’s marriage roles. Thankfully, God is faithful, and He does not to leave us in the dark. He gives us a model to follow in scripture.

Each spouse is equal in value, yet have distinct marriage roles. In 1 Corinthians 11:3, God describes the design and order we are to follow. God’s intent is for a marriage to reflect the relationship and oneness of the Trinity. (John 17:21-23)

Each part of God (Trinity) is distinct, yet intimately connected with the other. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal in value, yet have distinctly different roles. It is this model that God designed for marriage. Husbands and wives are equal in value, yet have distinct marriage roles.  

The Differences Complement Each Other

The marriage roles of a husband and wife are designed to complement each other; one is incomplete without the other. When we look to the Bible to define marriage roles, we find some specific scripture. For example, in Ephesians 5:22, God’s word tells the wife to submit to her husband as she does the Lord. Women and men alike have misinterpreted this part of scripture. However, if we go on to read the rest of Ephesians 5, we see the entire model.  

Ephesians Model for Marriage Roles

Ephesians 5:25-33 (The Message) further explains the model for marriage. Scripture instructs wives to respect, understand, and support their husbands in the same way they do for Christ. Likewise, husbands are to provide leadership in a way that is not domineering but cherishes their wife. Jesus never led the church out of dominance, but servant leadership.

It goes on in verses 25-28 to explain how husbands should “go all out in love” for their wives and give, not get. A husband should love his wife in such a way that she too feels whole, beautiful, and treasured. He should bring out the best in his wife. Ephesians is not at all about male dominance over his wife.

The Reciprocal Marriage

God intended marriage to be a continuous flow. Since we are one flesh after marriage, each spouse has a role to play to complement the other. Where one is weak, the other is strong. Wives can submit to their husbands more easily when husbands love their wives with the self-sacrificing love that Christ exemplified on earth. Likewise, husbands more naturally show love and affection toward their wives when the husbands feel respected and valued.  

The Truth Revealed

There are many other revealing principles revealed about God’s design for marriage roles in scripture. Praying together and looking to God’s word sorts out the confusion for Christian couples. Marriage roles may be distinctly different. However, neither is better or more important than the other. Mutual love, honor, and respect make for a great marriage.

It’s easy to critique how well you feel your spouse is doing in these areas. However, each husband and wife should focus their attention on how they are doing concerning respect, honor, and submission to one another.

If you find that you need help in this area, seek out a Christian counselor to help your marriage find its way back to God’s original marriage roles design.

 marriage roles, husband, wife, Biblical marriage, marriage help