Privilege, Responsibility, and Influence in Marriage

Women who think submission makes them less of a person haven't understood the responsibilities of leadership and the power of their influence.

Before doing this Bible study, please read:

Many women who object to submission focus on the leadership of the husband and overlook the responsibility it carries with it. 

The Responsibility of Leadership

Women who think submission makes them less of a person haven't understood the responsibilities of leadership and the power of their influence.
Note this sequence of events:

Genesis 3:6: "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."

Adam was standing next to Eve when she ate the fruit, but he didn't stop her. He joined her. I encourage you to read all of Genesis 3 to fully understand the context.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22: "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

Romans 5:14: "Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come."

Women who think submission makes them less of a person haven't understood the responsibilities of leadership and the power of their influence.

Even though Eve was the first to sin and she tempted Adam to sin, Adam is always designated as the one through whom sin and death entered the world. 

He tried to blame Eve, but God held Adam responsible because he was the leader of his family and he failed to lead. For more perspective on Adam's blame game, see The Fourth Oldest Sin: It's Your Fault.

Don't misunderstand: Eve was fully responsible for her personal sin, but Adam carries the responsibility for the fall of mankind because he failed to lead. 

A good explanation from Answers in Genesis:

“As the leader it was Adam’s responsibility to protect and provide for his family. This leadership role was clearly demonstrated when God talked with Adam and Eve following their sin. Even though Eve sinned before Adam, God questioned Adam first (Genesis 3:9). This was because of the leadership role God ordained for husbands in marriage. Adam, as the leader of the family, was held responsible, not only for his own sin of eating from the tree, but also because he did not provide adequate protection for his wife, allowing her to sin. In the New Testament, Adam is clearly presented as both progenitor and representative of all mankind…Just as sin and death came through one man, Adam, it is also through one man, Jesus Christ, that grace and righteousness are given as free gifts to sinners. The naming of Christ as the Last Adam and the multiple comparisons of Adam to Christ would be invalid and nonsensical if original sin came through Eve…Interestingly, although Eve was the first to sin, the solution to sin came through “her Seed” (Genesis 3:15). The Seed, Jesus Christ, was born of a virgin named Mary. He paid the price for sin and will redeem those who receive the salvation He offers…Scripture makes it clear that that sin and death entered this world through Adam, and thus he is to blame for original sin.”

A Military Analogy

My husband was in the military for 22 years. When he was a company commander, each soldier in his company was held responsible for violating orders or breaking the law. However, if a soldier's actions affected a mission of the company, my husband was also held responsible. 

There's an acronym used in the military: RHIP, Rank has its privilege. But there's an acronym not used that is just as true: RHIR. Rank (leadership) has its responsibilities.

Personal Application

My husband and I recently made some important decisions about our future. We discussed these issues as equals. We debated different aspects, we prayed, and sought counsel. But in the end, my husband made the final decision, and he will bear the responsibility for that decision in a way I will not. 

I consider that a privilege and a protection husbands don't have. Adam was held responsible for the sin of mankind in a way Eve was not. And our husbands are held responsible for our families in a way we are not.

In addition, women are given an incredible position of influence with our children and husband, and that influence is every bit as important as the husband's leadership. Eve used it for evil, but we can use it for good. To read more, see For the Love of a Woman.

Copyright, Gail Burton Purath 2021, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com 

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Acting Maturely

Dear Christians, we need to deal with childish behaviors like pouting if we want to grow up in our faith and bless our relationships.

Before doing this study, please read the 1-minute Bible Love Note Pouting is Childish

Instead of behaving like adults, we sometimes revert to childish ways. It’s easy to recognize this childishness in others but not as easy to admit we sometimes do the same. 

Do you ever give your parents, children, spouse, or siblings the silent treatment? Do you huff off in the middle of a conversation? Do you yell, wallow in self-pity, or refuse to discuss things? 

1. When we act immaturely in our relationships, we are acting worldly. 

The passage below is addressing factions in the church in Corinth, but the principle applies to all relationships. 

1 Corinthians 3:1-3: "Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?" 

2. Our behavior reveals whether we are interested in growing up in our faith. 

Hebrews 5:12-14: "Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

3. We should be transforming. 

When we become Christians, God’s Spirit works in us to transform our patterns of behavior. 

2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

Dear Christians, we need to deal with childish behaviors like pouting if we want to grow up in our faith and bless our relationships.
4. If we aren’t transforming, we’re not yielding to God’s Spirit.

Paul’s instructions below are a concise explanation of growing in Christ. We work hard (“with fear and trembling”) at conforming to His will and His ways, but we don’t do it on our own. He is working in us. But there’s an important condition: if we are not seriously yielding our old selfish ways to Him and seeking His ways, we will not grow up in our faith. 

Philippians 2:12-13: "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."

Colossians 3:12: "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

So next time you start pouting, yelling, or acting in some other childish way, stop and ask God’s help to act like a grown-up Christian. 

For additional study, I recommend these collections of 1-minute devotions:

Overcoming Bitterness

Scriptures and Resources for Conquering Anger 

Relationships 


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The Modern "Joash Movement"

We can learn two important truths from the wicked King Joash...truths that help us deal with persecution.

As an introduction to this devotion, please read the Bible Love Note Joash: Good King, Bad King.

We find the story of Joash in 2 Chronicles 23-24. His early life was tragic: His evil grandmother killed her family members in order to take the throne. She wanted to kill one-year-old Joash.

But Joash's life also included incredible favor and protection. His aunt secretly hid him. She and the priest Jehoiada raised him in the Lord, reestablished his position as king, and helped him restore Israel to God. 

Joash became an incredibly good king. He tore down the pagan altars, restored the temple, and reinstated worship in the temple of God.

"Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years of Jehoiada the priest." 2 Chronicles 24:2

Then Johoiada died, and Joash became an evil king, abandoning the temple of the Lord and leading Israel back into pagan worship. When Jehoiada's son prophesied against these ungodly practices, Joash had him killed. 

We are shocked to read his story. But I have seen similar situations in the lives of modern Christians when friends or family members walk away from their Christian roots and bitterly criticize the faith they once embraced. 

The ex-vangelical movement is our modern "Joash movement." Despite the fact that ex-vangelicals claim to believe in a more loving and gracious Jesus than Bible-believing Christians, they turn against Christian family members, bitterly stereotyping, slandering and mistreating them. And they reject clear teachings of Scripture in order to fit in with modern culture.

What we can learn from the story of Joash:

1. Don't let the "Joashes" in life derail your faith. 

When family members turn from their faith, it can be devastating, especially when they criticize, mistreat, or cut off relationships with those who love them. 

When respected Bible teachers and preachers fall away, it can be confusing and disappointing.  

God warns us in Scripture that this will happen. He wants us to understand that people may fall away and times of persecution may come, but in His power and love we can stand firm.

Matthew 24:9-14: “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

These situations test our faith and let us know that we love God more than anyone or anything else.

Luke 14:26: "If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple." 

No matter what happens in our lives we have this wonderful assurance: 

Hebrews 13:5: [God] has said, "I WILL NEVER [under any circumstances] DESERT YOU [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], NOR WILL I FORSAKE or LET YOU DOWN or RELAX MY HOLD ON YOU [assuredly not]!" Amplified Bible

As Moses assured Joshua:

Deuteronomy 31:8: "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

We can learn two important truths from the wicked King Joash...truths that help us deal with persecution.

2. Prepare your heart and mind to stand firm in God's truth.

We must not underestimate, ignore, excuse, or explain away God's commands.

Romans 1:16: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes."

Mark 8:38: "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

Prepare your hearts and minds, dear Christians. The time is coming when our words may be censored, but we must never be ashamed of God's Word and His loving commands. I believe that in the next few years, Christian blogs will be banned from social media platforms. That's one reason I am encouraging my readers who read Bible Love Notes devotions on social media to get a subscription to Bible Love Notes and Bite Size Bible Study.

copyright Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com, 2021

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