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Marriage that Works - Is There a Woman in the Home?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 6, 2024 5:00 am

Marriage that Works - Is There a Woman in the Home?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 6, 2024 5:00 am

The role of women has been changing for the past several decades and here’s the question: “are women living more fulfilled lives today?”  Chip provides a fresh perspective on this issue and his findings may be surprising.

Main Points

Womanhood in our marriages and homes

  • It always begins with mutual submission.
  • A great dance/marriage requires clarity of roles.
  • Wives are to "step in" and support, affirm, and encourage their husbands with strength and respect to lead their families in righteousness.
Broadcast ResourceAdditional Resource MentionsAbout Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Ladies, whether you're married, single, or single again, you want a relationship that will last, that will bring joy, happiness, and fulfillment, right? Well, if the research is correct, most of you would not describe your current relationship that way. Well, today we're going to learn God's design for developing a great relationship that's not only great today, but for all your tomorrows.

Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We are a discipleship-driven ministry on a mission to encourage Christians everywhere to live like Christians. Today we're diving back into our series, Marriage That Works, based on Chip's study through Ephesians chapter 5. In the last couple of programs, he's talked about the responsibilities and roles of men in marriage. So in this program, he'll talk to wives. He'll consider the shifting cultural views towards women throughout history and the way those changes have affected how we define marriage, work, and family.

So with that, here's Chip with today's message. Is there a woman in the home? Women have been oppressed both currently and from ages past. And so what I want to do is as we start, I'm going to talk about the evolution of the American female. I'm going to go all the way back. I'm going to start all the way back during the time of Jesus and give you a picture of what it's been like to be a woman, move all the way into the 60s, the radical feminism of the 70s, sort of the disillusioned time of when women got these two jobs where they were full-time at home, full-time at work, and full-time everywhere, into the 90s where there was a shift where women are saying, you know something? I don't think I want that much.

And there was a return backward to home where the average woman is asking, what's it look like to be a woman? What's my role? When and how should I work?

How much energy goes at home? What does my husband need? What am I supposed to give? How am I to, quote, be fulfilled? And so let's start. Let me go all the way back to the time of Jesus. Three cultures were prevalent, the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans. And the Jewish, although the Old Testament did not teach this, the Jews had developed a very low view of woman by the time of Jesus. Women were viewed as servants. A Jewish man would get up every day and pray this. Imagine hearing your husband pray this outside the front door. God, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.

Amen. That is not a good view of woman. Jews basically pragmatically viewed women as slaves. The Greeks were worse, however. In the Greek world, there was no legal procedure for divorce because none was necessary. An Athenian orator of the time said, we have courtesians, prostitutes for pleasure, we have concubines for the sake of daily cohabitation, and we have wives for the purpose of having children legitimately and being faithful guardians of our household affairs. Because the Greek men found their pleasures outside of marriage, fornication, prostitution were rampant. And so a woman basically among the Greeks was just an object to be used for pleasure.

So imagine as a woman growing up in this situation, this is not pretty. The Jews, the Greeks, it gets worse. Among the Romans, divorce was not the exception but the rule. Jerome, a historian of the day and an ancient writer, tells of one Roman woman who was married for her 23rd time and she was married to a man and she was his 21st wife. Marriage in Rome became nothing more than legalized prostitution. You can go all over the world, you can go especially to the Middle East, but multiple countries around the world and women, women and the word injustice have gone together since antiquity. In fact, some things that you might not recognize that until 1920 a woman could not vote in the United States. In Switzerland, a woman did not get the vote until 1971. In the 1960s if you wanted to rent an apartment or get a credit, you had to have a man or a male relative sign. This is 1960s in America.

They didn't think women could be responsible enough to make sure they paid their bills. Today, more than a thousand women, actually this is statistics a little old so we'd probably double that, we have women in legislatures, we have over a hundred women are leading in terms of mayors of cities all over America, we have women, more women now in medical school than men, and so there's in this big huge huge transformation of the liberation of women. Feminism is not a dirty word. Feminism is a controversial word. In fact, let me give you the definition of feminism. Feminism merely states, it's the principle, this is Webster's, that women should have equal political, economic and social rights to men.

And then under that, Webster says, it's the movement to win those rights. But radical feminism and feminism are two different things. If you are a woman here in your 20s or 30s or even in early 40s, something happened in the 70s that tilted it from, I mean a slave, a servant, an object, you get the vote, oh boy now you get your own credit. Well now in the 70s it became the core of all evil in the world is men.

And so it is now time to fight back, no God, no master, no laws. Basically men are the problem behind everything. As that happened, the USA Today cited a study that was done asking women their values in certain things. So I want you to, ladies, get this feel of what's been going on in the culture because all these things lead up to this unconscious view of how you see yourself, what you're supposed to do, what you shouldn't do, or the confusion that you have. In the 1970s, according to this survey, there was a clear demarcation between a working woman and a stay-at-home woman and women said, you know something, I am now liberated.

This movement outside the home. In 1920, only one out of five women worked outside the home. By 1990, 75 to 80 percent of all women between the ages of 20 to 50 work outside the home. By the 80s, women in the survey felt like they had a full-time job working, full-time job, motherhood and felt stressed. By 1990, a groundbreaking study says women are less driven about career, much less concerned about the neighbors and are returning home in droves. It's a story of executive women who basically have said being a full-time mom and saying that quality time is equivalent to quantity time just doesn't play out. They feel overwhelmed, overstressed, and there's a movement to working part-time or what the study says, women are saying that motherhood and their families take precedence over work. With that said, and you'll notice in your notes, you have the evolution of the American female.

That's sort of what's created this culture. Second, you have a world between 1920 and today where we've had a mother absent in the family. The results were violence is up, divorce is up, SAT scores are down, teen suicide is up, and depression is up. The total impact of the changing roles, here's what happened to men. Men got two incomes. The affluence in America is off the charts because the two-income households. Women got two jobs. We all like to say women goes to work and there's equality and there was a lot of verbiage but at the end of the day, women know this.

I can go to work full-time and when I come home I get another full-time job. And maybe men help out a little bit but the average guy's not helping that much, according to ruthless surveys around the country. And finally what happens is children get too little attention. We have kids that are confused, kids that are at very young ages that are taking drugs we never heard of before. We have situations where kids aren't getting nurtured.

What we know for sure in the research is the first five to seven years of any child's life over 80% of their personality will be formed, their moral values and their self-identity. And it's at these times what we find is little kids have been shipped off at the ages shortly after they're born at times for the first six or seven years into daycare with women who've been brainwashed to believe that unless I have this career and this and that, I'm not really a valuable person. And so what's happening is a reaction to that is women are trying to reevaluate how does all that work. Which leads me to the fundamental question which is are women's lives, marriages and families better since the politically correct experiment or worse?

And what I want to talk about in our time today is how would God redefine womanhood in our marriages and in our homes? I mean think of all that you've been through ladies, all that you've been through. Is it any wonder that families are messed up, that divorce is everywhere, that kids are confused, that people are shipped back and forth to house to house, that financially a third of the people that get divorced live under the poverty level, that 40% of our people say they don't even believe in marriage anymore, that we have the age of people getting married growing older and older, almost 30 years old for men as they look and say, hey, you know what? I don't know if I ever want to do this.

It doesn't seem to work for anyone. We've totally missed God's roles and God's design that makes for deep, intimate marriages that stay married, that create homes where there's rich love and stability for kids. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and Chip will be back in just a minute to finish today's talk. But quickly, this program is only possible because of the generosity of listeners like you. Consider supporting us today by becoming a monthly partner. Learn more by going to livingontheedge.org.

That's livingontheedge.org. And thanks for doing whatever God leads you to do. Well, let's rejoin Chip now for the remainder of his message. And so what we learn is that it always begins with mutual submission. Okay, this isn't about, you know, the man's here and the woman's here and you're supposed to submit. Everything begins in God's economy with mutual submission. Ephesians chapter 5 verse 21 says, and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. It's this picture in a quick summary that there's this umbrella that a man lives under and a woman lives under. And the umbrella is the fear of God and the Word of God. And I say as a man, and a woman says as a woman, first and foremost, I will obey you and I want to do life your way according to your word.

And so it's not about my rights or what she's supposed to do or what he's supposed to do. First and foremost, I want to love God with my heart, my soul, my strength. And I want to pursue you. And then my question in my marriage is not so much who does what. How do I make you successful?

How do I love you more deeply? And how do I serve you? So all the commands about the roles are under that umbrella. And now we say that this dance, the first step we learn, men need to step up, starts with a man. Now we're going to learn that the dance requires clarity of roles. What a woman needs to understand is, well, what's my role? Okay, it's supposed to be beautiful and there's mutual submission.

So what is my role? God says this, wives, be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Where you underline the word subject and where you circle the word head where it comes up. The word subject or submit, it's not a dirty word.

We'll find out what it means in just a minute. It has nothing to do with inferiority, has nothing to do with inequality, has everything to do with function, structure, and role for a right relationship. He himself, speaking of Christ, is the savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be to their own husbands in everything.

And by way of review, it's not difficult to submit to, and we'll learn what that means in a minute, to a man who lives like this. Husband love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her. That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word. That he might present to himself the church in all of her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and blameless.

Application. So husbands ought to love their wives, how? 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 because we are members of his body. Nevertheless, let each individual among you love his own wife, how?

Even as himself and then ladies, and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband. Put a circle around the word respect. We get our word phobia.

The Greek word is phobia here. And it doesn't mean a fear of, it means a reverence. The greatest need a man has is to be honored and respected. The greatest need in the world.

A man feels loved. A man feels empowered when he's encouraged, informed when a wife steps into his life and communicates by her words and her actions, I believe in you. I believe God's put you in this position. I realize it's overwhelming and impossible to lead and guide and protect.

And I want you to know that I honor and respect the position God's given you and I want to help you be successful. The greatest fear men have is futility and failure. And so what we as men do out of our fear is we compensate. And the way we compensate is in our work and in things like sports and hobbies. Because guess what? We're good at that and we know what we're doing. But you ask the average guy, how do you feel about leading your family spiritually? Uh, never saw that one done before. How do you feel about being sensitive, warm, caring, and yet guiding each of your kids?

I don't know much about that either. And so women, out of your fear, because your greatest need is for security, will take the reins of the family and control, which sabotages the marriage. And men, out of your fear of failure, won't step up and lead your family because you feel like if you try and do it and fail, it's going to be really bad.

And so women, here's what God says. Here's what it means to submit. Here's what it means to step in.

Wives are to, here's the key word, step in and support, affirm, and encourage their husbands with strength and respect to lead their families in righteousness. Yeah, I want you to write the word step in, but I chose this, this is the definition of what it looks like when it says wives be subject to your husband. This isn't someone's bigger or more important.

Notice carefully, it's stepping in instead of stepping over. And notice, how do you do it? With affirmation, support and encouragement, but also notice this, it's with strength. This isn't passivity. This isn't whatever you say, dear. It's with strength and respect.

And notice the goal, it's to lead your family in righteousness. It's under the umbrella of mutual submission and it's that picture of those two people dancing where once there's rhythm and the music starts, you don't know who took the first or the second step, it's just a thing of beauty. So what I want to do now, I want to talk about what this means and what it doesn't mean and how it plays out very practically.

This is what it means. Wives must understand that marriage is not an egalitarian 50-50 proposition. This is not a, we're not co, as people talk about, there is a point in time in every organization, whether it's a company, whether it's a small group, whether it's a club, whether it's a rotary, whether it's the military, the buck in every organization stops somewhere. Ultimately, someone is responsible.

Great leaders who feel responsible take all the best gifts of all the people in any group, but there are those one to two to three percent of the times when everyone has put something together and someone's got their own responsibility of, what do we do about this? And at the end of the day, God says, just as Christ is the head of man, men, you are ultimately responsible for the outcomes of your family, spiritually, directionally, provisionally. And ladies, just so, I want you to know this has nothing to do with value, equality.

You might jot in your notes. I'll read it for you. It's 1 Corinthians, chapter 11, verse 3. I want to give you a picture of someone who submitted himself to someone else that we know with absolute certainty there was no diminishment in terms of equality or importance. He writes, you know, I want you to realize that the head, this is this idea of person who ultimately is the source and responsible for and has the authority to make it happen, the head of every man is Christ and that the head of every woman is man and that the head of Christ is God. Jesus submitted himself to the Father. We know that the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God the Son and God the Father are co-equal in essence, in value.

There is no higher or lower but in terms of function and structure. So that's the first thing, that's what it means to submit. The second thing is wives must voluntarily support their husbands from the heart as an act of obedience. It's voluntary. Submission is not a burden to bear. It's not a cross to bear. It's not, oh boy, I've got to do this. This is a real sense that from a joyful heart I am going to believe that God has put this person in my life for my good and ultimately he doesn't have the power to mess everything up because God is in control and is sovereignly working.

But this is a voluntary from the heart with a joyful attitude. I thought to myself, what's the picture? How does this play out into the mind and the emotions of a woman? And I thought, you know, I just don't qualify to answer that question because I don't know.

And so in just a few minutes I'll give you a picture I think that will be helpful. And third, wives must believe that submission, stepping in versus stepping over is a woman's greatest ally and the key to bringing about positive change. Now think about that.

Your greatest ally cooperating with God's design. And the reason I gave you that sort of that evolution of what's happened in women is, I mean, just honestly, let's just pretend you were like at the coffee shop at one of the corporations here or a job site and someone said, hey, what'd you do yesterday? You said, oh, I went to church yesterday.

Oh really? What'd they talk about? Oh, they're talking about like marriage and stuff. So what's going on? I mean, what are you learning? You're two women, you know, and you say, yeah, yes, my man's supposed to step up, provide, lead, make it happen, lay down his life for me, even physically die if he needs to. Hey, it's great.

What time does that thing meet? Oh, well, you better hear what they're saying about women first. What do they say? You know, it's the S word. Well, what do you mean?

Like there's this sort of submission thing that God has sort of this structure where he holds the man responsible to be the servant leader, but that, you know, like we talk and we dialogue and I'm supposed to bring all my strengths and all my gifts and share what I really believe, but when we get to an impasse, I'm really supposed to defer and like submit to him. No, you're kidding. That is so antiquated. I mean, he said that out loud in front of everybody.

Yeah. And I think he believes it and he reads from this book. He reads from this book like it's really true. Like, are you kidding me?

No, no. Now, could I just stop for a moment? If you think what I just read and stated is politically incorrect in our day, go back to the evolution of women. See, we read things through this tiny little context of 21st century and about the last 50 or 60 years.

Can you imagine, are you ready guys? Imagine being a man and you grew up in a culture, a Jewish man, a Roman man, or Greek man, and it's the first century and maybe you're a pretty new Christian and so you're nicer to your wife than most people and you really love her and you know, you got a decent relationship, but I mean, you do understand that you've grown up thinking women are slaves. You've grown up thinking women are just an object of pleasure and you're growing up thinking, I mean, everybody around you has been divorced 10, 20, 15 times if you're Roman and it's not a big deal. And now you receive Jesus as your Messiah and you're following him and you're in this church in Ephesus and God, through the apostle Paul, speaks and they open this scroll and they start talking about mutual submission.

You're going, whoa, whoa, a mutual what? Then she's a co-heir of the grace of God that she's not only equal, that she's your partner in life and you're supposed to lay down your life for her? Die for her? Do you understand that the greatest liberator on the face of the earth of women was Jesus and the apostle Paul?

The greatest liberator. And when they talk about submission or being subject to, it is in the context of a sovereign good God who created roles that when they fit together and each does their part, it's the healthiest, richest. You know what a woman wants? She wants to be secure. She wants to be protected. But out of your fear, you want to control. And the radical feminism pushed all the buttons into a place where we not only don't need men, we hate them.

And there's some vestiges of that planted in our culture and society. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, Is There a Woman in the Home? from our series, Marriage That Works. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. You know, it's no secret that the institution of marriage is in trouble.

What was once a foundational part of society is now becoming an irrelevant and outdated custom. But there is hope. Join Chip as he challenges this status quo through his study in Ephesians chapter five. Learn how in the face of cultural pressure you can raise godly kids, have a healthy home life, and build a lasting marriage. For more info about this series, visit LivingOnTheEdge.org.

That's LivingOnTheEdge.org. Well, Chip's back in studio with me now with a quick word for all of you. I'll be right back to talk about today's message. But before I do, I want to give you a picture that I got to witness as a young pastor. There was a man there who was a master craftsman. I mean, he was a cabinet maker par excellence. And I remember watching him literally painstakingly with a piece of wood, use a lathe, and little by little by little by little, he did all these things that I couldn't figure out what was happening. And then, you know, all those little moments led to this absolutely beautiful piece of cabinetry or furniture.

And you know, sometimes we think little things don't matter, even calling them little things. And one of the, quote, little things that is the backbone of Living on the Edge are those people who support the ministry monthly. You know, I don't know if you are a current supporter or you've been praying about being a supporter, but let me tell you this, when you give monthly, it provides the bedrock and the consistency and the stability of all that we do here at Living on the Edge.

So I want to thank you monthly partners for all that you do. And I would like you, if you're not a supporter, would you prayerfully today, ask God, do you want me to support Living on the Edge? Do you want me to help Christians live like Christians?

And if so, would you like me to do it on a regular monthly basis? And by the way, thanks in advance for whatever God leads you to do. Thanks Chip. As you prayerfully consider your role with this ministry, I want to remind you that every gift is significant, no matter the amount. When you partner with Living on the Edge, you support and multiply the ministry work we're doing all over the globe. Set up your monthly gift today by going to LivingOnTheEdge.org or by calling 888-333-6003.

That's 888-333-6003 or visit LivingOnTheEdge.org. App listeners, tap donate. You know, Chip, you touched on some ideas today about the roles of women in marriage that, you know, many people aren't used to hearing. So as we wrap up today, why don't you share a few insights you'd like to leave us with? Well, Dave, the first thing I would say is to listen to our next broadcast.

Today laid the foundation. We're going to cover the rest of it in the next program. And the rest of it has a lot more of very specific application about, okay, so what do I really do? Second is I'm going to speak really directly to women that are saying, I want help, but my husband's not on board or I want help and my husband's not on board because there's not one around. I'm a single mom. Let me encourage you to do this series with a group of women. Now, part of the series is going to be the role of a man, but a lot of you, you need to know what the role of a man is so you get the right one next time, okay? So get a group of women.

You'd be surprised. They'll be open. Do it together and see if God doesn't help you become the kind of woman and have the kind of family you really long for. Good word, Chip. And to help you and your spouse better understand God's design for marriage, let me encourage you to order a copy of Chip's book, Marriage That Works. This tool describes the roles of husbands and wives and what it means to be one in your marriage. No matter where your relationship is, this tool will encourage you. Place your order for Chip's book, Marriage That Works, by going to special offers on the Chip Ingram app or livingontheedge.org. Well, be sure to join us next time as Chip continues his series, Marriage That Works. Until then, I'm Dave Druey, saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-06 05:35:09 / 2024-03-06 05:46:05 / 11

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