Written by: Wilma Luimes
…because love imparts value and doesn’t seek to control.
For generations in many churches, patriarchy has been passed off as the divine order of things. Its foundation lay in a quest for power and the legitimization of male leadership. But a divine order must produce godly fruit and blind, unqualified submission to an ungodly man, produces destruction and death. How can that be God’s plan for women’s lives in the context of marriage? Simply put. It’s not; for death and destruction are not of God. Loving someone means to impart a value to someone else equivalent to one’s own and give them what they need; [not necessarily what they want] and love shows up when needed. The pursuit of power instead of love, justified at women’s expense, the fruit produced in an imbalanced relationship, and inability of patriarchy to meet the needs of millions of women and children around the world should have sounded the alarm of its fallacy and illuminated the reality that its roots are a result of sin (Genesis 3:16), not godly hierarchy as so many would like us to believe; a deception that has become a widely accepted societal norm. For loving someone as God requires is to take into account their well-being and ensure their needs are met; for they are neither worthless nor worth less than anyone else. That seems contrary to a worldly view of love that sells love as free, easily accessible, a form of self-gratification and a means to meets one’s own needs often at someone else’s expense. It is however an accurate reflection of Jesus’ life which illustrates true love as an empathy and compassion for the needs of people that generated action. This is apparent as during his ministry, Jesus met the need for:
- Healing (woman with bleeding; Matthew 9:20 & Mark 5:29, Peter’s mother-in-law; Matthew 8, paralysed man; John 5, man with the withered hand; Matthew 12:10, the royal official’s son, a leper; Matthew 8, 10 lepers; Luke 17, the Centurion’s servant; Matthew 8, Bartimaeus of blindness; Mark 10:46, restoring the severed; ear Matthew 26, etc.)
- Counsel (Samaritan woman; John 4, Zacchaeus; Luke 19, Mary and Martha; Luke 10:38, disciples, little children; Matthew 19:13, the rich man; Matthew 19)
- Grace, compassion and protection (Samaritan woman; John 4, woman accused of adultery; John 8:4, etc.)
- Food (the feeding of the five thousand; Matthew 14 & Mark 6, four thousand; Mark 8)
- Life by raising up the dead (Lazarus; John 11, the widow’s son; Luke 7, Jairus’ daughter; Mark 5:35)
- Peace (healing from demonic spirits – man from Capernaum , Gerasene man possessed by demons; Mark 5, etc.).
- Justice. “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations” Matthew 12: 18.
- Truth – “I am the truth, the way and the life. No one comes to the father but through me” John 14:6.
- Salvation – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. That who so ever believes in him shall have everlasting life” John 3:16.
The life and ministry of Jesus Christ demonstrates God’s equal value for humanity; men, women and children alike. His response to those in need shows us his heart.(Incidentally Jesus also met the need for wine… John 2; but that’s a story for another blog… ☺ ) Patriarchy, in contrast, seeks to accumulate power and dominate women. God’s plan for marriage was not that. Men do not ‘need’ blind submission and women should not be blindly submitting. God’s plan for marriage requires mutual submission and accountability; “submit to one another out of reference for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Marriage was intended to be a relationship where needs are met and where love shows up when needed and where both parties hold each other as valuable; a relationship of love and protection. Patriarchy teaches and produces something else altogether…