But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor. 11:3)
Not only is patriarchy commanded in specific scripture verses such as the quote above, but the overall picture in scripture is one of male leadership and patriarchy. The men and husbands were the people to meet at the city gates, lead in battles, become the king, become elders and speak in churches, and so on. This is because of God’s established order; God created the man first. God created the woman to be man’s specific helper (Genesis 2:18-23).
Many Christian families give the appearance of being a Biblical, patriarchal family. The husband goes to work to earn the paycheck. The wife stays home and takes care of the house and the children. They may even home school. The man does all the “manly” things, and the wife does all the “wifely” things around the home. The outward distinctions show the ideal godly family. But behind the scenes is a different story–just like the president of the United States and other politicians are controlled like puppets by big corporations and international bankers. Well, maybe not that bad (the intentions of the wife may not be evil), but the overall results are the same. Most Christian families are matriarchal in nature, even the ones that appear to be the exact opposite.
Christians have completely falsified the idea of who Jezebel was and what “the spirit of Jezebel” is today. Christians will constantly talk about women who are “Jezebels” as simply rebellious women; women who do not obey their husbands and who do not submit in their roles as the wives. This is not what a Jezebel is.
In the scriptures, Jezebel was a women who led the charge. She made the decisions. She was the main initiator. She did not rebel against Ahab. Ahab did not disapprove of her actions. He supported her. He gave the stamp of approval. There was no resistance from him of what she was doing. He didn’t have the guts to take action that needed to be taken, so his wife did it for him. Jezebel gave the commands. He gave no protest. He enjoyed the fruit of what she accomplished for him; what she had done in his name. She was the true leader. He simply was following along and giving his approval of her actions.
There are two types of situations (or faults if you will) which cause or contribute to a family being matriarchal instead of patriarchal. The first cause is the fault of the man. He is not a true leader in his home, so the wife leads because he refuses to lead. The second cause is when the wife, through manipulation, controls the home behind the scenes.
Men need to be genuine leaders. Men, you are not a leader if you delegate your leadership role to your wives to make all the decisions, and then you come along later to give your stamp of approval upon what she has done. That is not what leadership is.
There is nothing wrong with your wife giving you advice and her opinion. There is nothing wrong with her coming up with a good idea for what needs to be done. But the main initiator, the one giving the commands, the orders, the lead, is to be the man.
A few weeks ago our family was invited to a gathering by another Christian couple. The husband of the household did not appear to be the leader of this household. The more I got to know him, the more apparent this became. He hid off in the corner with some buddies from the beginning and did not introduce himself. It was like an immature high school party. Finally, toward the end, we had about an hour of conversation with him and his wife. He asked us why we home school our children. I explained how the family should not be segregated, and gave other reasons why the parents should never send away their children for someone else to teach. His response said it all: a careless or puzzled look (I could not tell) and no further questions asked. He was indifferent to the subject, really. I asked him about whether his family was into natural living, eating healthy, using natural products, etc. Somehow his reply did not shock me a bit: “Well, I just let her [his wife] take care of that. Whatever she wants to do, I don’t care.” A bit later he went on to talk about his great knowledge and interest in bike drag racing.
The problem was not that he cared about racing. I tried to find common ground with him by talking about sports, since I enjoy watching them every now and then. But it is not right that all of the important things in life are decided by the wife. The husband should not blow off these things as unimportant. Now, I’m not expecting the men to be the ones cooking and preparing the food, and writing out the recipes, but at least take interest in what kind of food is served to your children; make sure that your family is getting what is best for them.
The kind of attitude and approach the average American Christian father takes in regards to leadership is unacceptable and ungodly. He wants to only go to work and collect the paycheck (thinking he has done his sole duty) and then leave off everything else to his wife. He may do all the “manly things” around the house, the things that require physical strength, things that need fixing, and so on; but this does not make him a leader, nor is he by default doing what a man should do just because he does such things while his wife does the rest (cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc.).
It is not the role of the man to simply delegate all the important duties in the household to his wife. She might be still under his authority and not disobeying him, but she is the real leader if this is happening. Men ought to be directly involved in every decision that is happening with his family.
Men should not be ignorant of the important subjects either. He should be knowledgeable and know what type of lifestyle, diet, and entertainment is good for his family. He should know whether it is a good idea to make certain major and minor purchases. He should be heavily involved in every decision-making process. And even if his wife has more knowledge on an individual subject, he should obtain this information from her and from other sources and make the proper judgment. This is the man’s duty. Weak men who are afraid of failure and run from responsibility love to delegate these roles to their wives so they don’t have to come under pressure and man up to the consequences of their decisions.
There are also situations in which a man tries to take on their God-demanded leadership role, but the nagging complaints of his wife hinder him or alter his decisions. Women can easily learn to manipulate situations to get what they want without outright, loud-mouthed rebellion. And if the husband falls for this trap, he can end up creating a household where the wife is the leader rather than him.
The results of this kind of house is disastrous. Men are naturally more logical than women; that is, women have a strong tendency to be led by emotions. They will look at a situation and think about the fears: “What if we make this decision and something really bad happens?” Many a courageous man would have failed to make amazing discoveries or conquer incredible obstacles if he had not put aside his emotions and taken the risk. He had to risk failure in order to succeed.
Jesus would have failed to confront the Pharisees and religious establishment of his day, the apostle Paul would have refused to stand up and preach the gospel in the face of death among the Jews, Peter and James would have bowed to the wishes of the state authorities and quit preaching the name of Jesus, and so on, if these men were to allow fear to dictate their decisions.
This doesn’t mean that husbands should be insensitive to the needs of their wives. They indeed ought to care for their wife even as their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28). They ought to love their wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). But these passages of scripture quickly become an excuse verse to constantly cater to every whim and murmuring his wife offers. You are not loving your wife, men, if you give your wife everything she wants. You are turning her into a selfish, self-centered, spoiled brat (or, worse, she already is one and you are encouraging the behavior even more).
I personally have experienced several occasions in churches which I belonged to, where it was manifest that the wife ran the home. There would be a church meeting, prayer meeting, street preaching event, or a time of helping a brother with a need in their life. The wives of certain individuals would murmur to their husbands that they wanted to leave. It was clear the husband wanted to stay. He even believed it was his duty to stay. But he would surely, every time, put aside what he believed to be the right thing, in order to silence his wife’s bickering.
But obviously the men in these scenarios would talk about how they loved and sacrificed for their wives and quote the verses mentioned previously from Ephesians. They have to in order to justify themselves before men. But know this: if these wives did this publicly, it becomes interesting to ask oneself what they do privately in the home. Keep in mind, these are not loud and boisterous protests of rebellion; these are quiet, subtle murmurings that influence the husband. And while there is nothing wrong with an occasional pandering of one’s wife, or consideration that she just might not be comfortable from time to time, to let it become habitual is a huge mistake.
In other instances, men in the church believed that they had to receive their wife’s permission to make any decision or to take any action. I recall various situations with a certain Christian brother.
“Hey Mark, could you stop by after work for a few minutes and help me with something?”
“I’m not sure; I have to ask my wife.”
“Do you guys want to come over for dinner sometime this week?”
“Let me see what my wife says. I’ll get back with you.”
“Are you coming to the conference this weekend Mark?”
“Well, I have to see what my wife says first.”
I even had a Christian man tell me not to mention that I was friends with certain individuals on Facebook in front of his wife. Even though he was okay with them, his wife was not. It was “hush hush” in front of her because if she found out, then he wouldn’t be allowed to be friends with me anymore. Shortly after our meeting, likely after reading several posts of mine, I was deleted from his friend’s list. I wonder who initiated that? Hmm?
Don’t get me wrong. The position I am taking is not that your wife’s opinion should be brushed aside, without any regard to her feelings. A husband should know his wife well enough to be able to judge and gauge whether certain actions need to be examined before committing to activities. He doesn’t need to ask his wife for permission before making minor and sometimes even major family decisions. A man is at liberty, and oftentimes ought to, make decisions without asking his wife, and simply tell her of the action he has decided on. A man who consistently has to receive permission from his wife before being able to make a decision is a man whom his wife will not trust as a leader. And at the same time, the perception given off will influence her to get her way in every situation. In such relationships no action is ever done, no decision is ever made without the wife’s permission. This ought not to be so; this establishes who the real leader of the home is: the woman.
Who is to blame? Jezebel? No doubt, she is not staying in her God-demanded role as being a helper to her husband. It is the opposite; her husband is being the helper to her lead, her goals. Do we blame her? No. Ahab is to blame; because he is not a leader. He is a coward. He has no courage; he has no testicular fortitude. If he were the man he should be, then Jezebel would not have to do what she is doing. If Ahab becomes a leader and takes up his role as a man, only then is Jezebel in rebellion if she continues this behavior. If that happens, don’t call her a Jezebel; find a more fitting name. In such situations, a godly man will stamp out such rebellion and not give in to the whims and complaints of his wife. This is increasingly tough in our generation where women are bred and raised to take on a man’s roles. Even in the Christian camp, it is ingrained in them.
We need a complete change in our course. We must repent of our rebellion to God’s established roles. We need to put away the lies that the feminists have instilled in us and our children. Many of us carry these attitudes and ideas and don’t even realize it. Our families must repent, and men must lead the way in this repentance.