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 Sermons on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper

I just listened to this series by Dr. Piper on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It's a really good series on the topic, and although the messages are about twenty years old...they're even more relevant for today. Now I'm listening to his recent series on Sexual Complementarity. I noticed there is a discussion going on right now about women and teaching...so I thought I'd post these articles for anyone interested in that subject. I really like the way Dr. Piper sticks to the authority of the Scriptures on this issue. There's been a lot of compromise in the church in this area...so it's refreshing to hear the truth boldly preached.

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[url=http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TopicIndex/49_Biblical_Manhood_and_Womanhood/685_Affirming_the_Goodness_of_Manhood_and_Womanhood_in_All_of_Life/][b]Affirming the Goodness of Manhood and Womanhood in All of Life[/b][/url]

[i]By John Piper June 25, 1989[/i]



[b] 1 Timothy 2:13-14[/b]

I promised last Sunday that I would pick up today where we left off in 1 Timothy 2:13. You recall that in verses 11–12 Paul said, "Let a woman learn in quietness with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; but to be in quietness." After studying the words "quietness" and "teach" and "authority," we came to the conclusion that the kind of teaching which is inappropriate for women is the teaching that is part of expressing the authority spoken of here in verse 12.

What authority is being spoken of here? The clue was found in this: the two things that are mentioned here as inappropriate for women (teaching and exercising authority over men) are the very two things that define the job of an elder in the church—to govern and to teach. This is most easily seen in 1 Timothy 5:17. Elders (=pastors, overseers) are charged with two spheres of responsibility: governance and the guardianship (or stewardship) of doctrine.

Therefore the authority of 1 Timothy 2:12 is most probably the governing authority of the eldership, and the simplest way to describe what is inappropriate for women from this verse is to say that Paul did not think it was appropriate for women to be elders in the local church.

[b]God's Gracious Design for Women and Men [/b]

We summed it up with two definitions: of authority (v. 12) and submission (v. 11).


* "Authority" refers to the divine calling of spiritual, gifted men to take primary responsibility as elders for Christ-like servant leadership and teaching in the church.

* "Submission" refers to the divine calling of the rest of the church, both men and women, to honor and affirm the leadership and teaching of the elders and to be equipped by them for the hundreds of various ministries available to men and women in the service of Christ.


These definitions are intentionally parallel to the definitions of headship and submission and marriage which we learned from Ephesians 5:


* Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.
* Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.


The reason this is important to see is that both in the case of church order and family order Paul is basing his teaching on God's original order in creation. Paul is not arbitrarily choosing roles for men and women, nor is he simply adapting to the cultural expectations of the day. He is saying that there is something about the way God set things up in the beginning that makes this kind of order good. In other words true manhood and true womanhood mesh more effectively in ministry—they are better preserved and better nurtured and more fulfilled and more fruitful—in this pattern of home and church than in any other pattern—because God made it to be this way. It is part of his gracious design for the good of men and women.

[b]Two Reasons for Affirming This Design [/b]

Now that brings us to verses 13 and 14 of 1 Timothy 2. In these verses Paul gives two reasons for saying that men, and not women, should bear the primary responsibility for leading and teaching the church.

For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

[b]"Adam Was Formed First, Then Eve"[/b]

There are two reasons given here. Let's take them one at a time. First in verse 13, "Adam was formed first, then Eve." The point here is very simple, and we dealt with it already in the message from Genesis 2 and 3 (and handled objections there). Paul sees in God's order of creation a teaching concerning the responsibility of man to be a leader in relationship to woman. God created man first, put him in the garden, gave him the responsibility over the garden and the moral pattern for life in the garden, and then created woman as his partner and assistant to help him carry that responsibility into action.

In other words when Paul teaches that men should bear the primary responsibility for governance and teaching in the church, he is basing it not on any culturally temporary situation at Ephesus but on something woven into the fabric of manhood and womanhood by virtue of our creation. Not on the basis of sin, but on the basis of how God wanted it to be before there was any sin—for the good of his people, both women and men.

The second point from verse 14 is this: "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor." Now most commentators in the history of the church have taken this very simply to mean that women are more vulnerable to deception, and therefore should not be given the responsibility of leading and teaching the church. My guess is, from what I have read and experienced, that women are more vulnerable to deception in some kinds of situations and men are more vulnerable to deception in other kinds of situations.


[b]A Parenthesis About So-Called "Weaknesses" [/b]

Let me insert a parenthesis here that I think will really help us in talking about the differences of manhood and womanhood. Whenever anyone asks me if I think women are, say, weaker than men, or smarter than men, or more easily frightened than men, or something like that, I almost always answer like this: I think women are weaker in some ways and men are weaker in some ways; and women are smarter in some ways and men are smarter in some ways; and women are more easily frightened in some kinds of circumstances and men are more easily frightened in other kinds of circumstances.

It's real dangerous to put negative values on the so-called weaknesses that each of us has. Because God intends for all the "weaknesses" that characteristically belong to man to call forth and highlight woman's strengths. And God intends for all the "weaknesses" that characteristically belong to woman to call forth and highlight man's strengths.

So even if this verse means that in some situations women are characteristically more vulnerable to deception, that would not settle anything about the quality or worth of manhood and womanhood.

Statistics I just read say that six times more men than women are arrested for drug abuse. Ten times more men than women are arrested for drunkenness. Eighty-three percent of serious crimes in America are committed by men. Twenty-five times more men than women are in jail. Virtually all rape is committed by men.

I point that out to show that boasting in either sex as superior to the other is a folly. Men and women as God created them are different in hundreds of ways. And I believe that being created equally in the image of God means this: that when the so-called weakness and strength columns for manhood and for womanhood are added up, the value at the bottom is going to be the same for each. And when you take those two columns from each side and lay them on top of each other, God intends them to be the perfect complement to each other, so that when life together is considered (and I don't just mean married life), the so-called weaknesses of manhood and the so-called weaknesses of womanhood don't make the whole weaker but stronger.

Is the eye of a needle really nothing but air? Or is it the indispensable "nothing" that makes the needle work? Is hunger nothing but a pitiful need and an empty stomach? Or is it the messenger of health and the seasoning of our food? If you believe that manhood and womanhood are to complement rather than duplicate each other, and if you believe that the way God made us is good, then you will be very slow to gather a list of typical male weaknesses or a list of typical female weaknesses and draw a conclusion that either is of less value than the other.

End parenthesis.


[b]Three Things to Notice About Genesis 3 [/b]

Now having said all of that, let me take you back to Genesis 3 to show you what I think 1 Timothy 2:14 means when it says, "Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

[b]1. Satan Spoke to the Woman, Not the Man[/b]

The first thing to notice in Genesis 3:1 is that Satan in the form of a serpent spoke to the woman and not the man. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman . . . " Paul saw this, and believed it had significance.

[b]2. Adam Is Evidently with Eve at the Time[/b]

The second thing to notice is that Adam is evidently with Eve while Satan is talking to her. When we come to verse 6 and the woman is about to eat of the forbidden fruit, the verse says (most literally from the NASB), "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her [NIV: who was with her] and he ate." It does not say that she went to get him. It does not say that he arrived on the scene after the serpent was gone. It moves directly from the words of temptation to the act of eating and says that the man was with her.

[b]3. God's Disapproval[/b]

The third thing to notice is that God disapproves not only of the eating of the fruit but of the way the man and woman related to each other here. In Genesis 3:17 God reprimands man like this: "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you." The words, "You listened to the voice of your wife," are very significant. There is no record in chapter 3 that she said anything to Adam directly. But there is good reason to believe that Adam was there listening to her interchange with the serpent, and falling into line with her.

So what we saw several weeks ago was that God's reprimand is not merely a reprimand that Adam ate the forbidden fruit but also that he forsook his responsibility to be the leader and the moral guardian of the home. Satan's subtlety is that he knew the created order God had ordained for the good of the family, and he deliberately defied it by ignoring the man and taking up his dealings with the woman. Satan put her in the position of spokesman and leader and defender. And at that moment both the man and the woman slipped from their innocence and let themselves be drawn into a pattern of relating that to this day is destructive.

[b]What Paul Means in 1 Timothy 2:14[/b]

I think this is what Paul means in 1 Timothy 2:14. Let me try to paraphrase it to bring this out. "Adam was not deceived [that is, Adam was not approached by the deceiver and did not carry on direct dealings with the deceiver] but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor [that is, she was the one who took up dealings with the deceiver and was led through her direct interaction with him into deception and transgression]."

If this is right, then the main point is not that the man is undeceivable or that the woman is more deceivable; the point is that when God's order of leadership is repudiated, it brings damage and ruin. Men and women are both more vulnerable to error and sin when they forsake the order that God has intended.

So Paul's argumentation in 1 Timothy 2:11–14 is that men ought to bear primary responsibility for leadership and teaching in the church (that is, be the elders):

1. because in creating man first, God taught that men should take responsibility for leadership in relation to woman; and
2. because the fall of Adam and Eve shows that the neglect of this divine pattern puts men and women in a more vulnerable position and leads to transgression.


[b]The Relationship Between Men and Women in General[/b]

Let me close by saying a few words about the relationships between men and women in general apart from marriage and church order. The fact that the meaning of manhood and womanhood is rooted in creation shows that it is relevant in all of life, not just marriage and church. Books could be written on this. So I am taking a big risk in a few minutes of very selective application.


[b]1. To Single Men Relating to Single Women[/b]

A word to single men in personal relationships with single women. First, let's not pity ourselves too much over the fact that most young men grew up in homes where dad was not a great model for how to be a strong spiritual servant-leader. Let's grow up and stop shifting responsibility. Here we are with all our male weaknesses and insecurities and we have some things to learn and they can be learned. We can do what God expects of us, if we trust him.

Namely, he expects that single men in relationship to single women will bear primary responsibility for a pattern of initiative. I say pattern because a man's responsibility is not compromised by occasional initiatives of women, for example, to get some guys together. But I can say with complete confidence that almost no women want that to be the pattern. And God doesn't.

I think the reason many guys do not take this kind of initiative is that they are afraid of rejection. That certainly was true for me. Things haven't changed much. I think the only reason I am married today is because of an accident that God made happen. Noël and I found ourselves in a fine arts room in the basement of Fischer Hall with several common friends and accidentally talked for two hours. And that was that.

From nine years of watching the single scene at Bethlehem I'll tell you what I see and what I hear: there are a lot of intelligent, attractive, spiritual single women in this church who are not church-hopping to find husbands and who trust God enough to be a happy single person if that is God's will. But 99% of these women would not mind it if a group of guys in this church took the initiative to get together with a group of them. (Twins game. Picnic in the park. Rent a good video and have pizza. Visit an old-folks' home. Take some inner city kids to the zoo.)

I stress the group approach just because the emotional stakes of being rejected are so much higher when you go it alone. It seems far more natural and helpful to me to let individual relationships grow out of a lot of group gatherings. And in both kinds of relationships it is the men who bear the responsibility for the pattern of initiative.

(And don't let your fears and inadequacies hinder you. The first time I ever tried to put my arm on the seat behind Noël I elbowed her in the eye. And look at us! Twenty years of marriage and I can hardly wait for her to get back from Guatemala.)

[b]2. Women in the Workplace[/b]

The one other thing I have time to say is something very brief about the issue of women in the workplace. What about leadership of men there?

My answer is probably going to be dissatisfyingly general rather than specific. But that's because the Bible does not address this as clearly as marriage and the church and because the nature of leadership in many jobs is so fuzzy.

I give my answer in the form of a principle. Leadership can be measured on two scales or continuums: on a scale of directive to non-directive and on a scale of personal to impersonal. Let me illustrate.

[b] 1. Personal-Impersonal:[/b]

A woman who designs the traffic patterns of city streets exerts remarkable leadership over all the drivers in that she determines how they drive. But this leadership is very impersonal. On the other hand the relationship between a husband and a wife is very personal. All leadership falls somewhere on the scale between very impersonal (little personal contact) and very personal (a lot of personal contact).

[b] 2. Directive-Nondirective:[/b]

A drill sergeant is the essence of directive leadership. On the other hand non-directive leadership is much closer to entreaty and suggestion. A good example of non-directive leadership is when Abigail talked David out of killing Nabal (1 Samuel 25:23–35). She was totally successful in guiding David's behavior but did it in a very non-directive way.

My principle, then, is this: To the degree that a woman's leadership of man is personal it needs to be non-directive. And to the degree that it is directive it needs to be impersonal. To the degree that a woman consistently offers directive, personal leadership to a man, to that degree will his God-given manhood—his sense of responsibility in the relationship—be compromised. What's at stake every time a man and a woman relate to each other is not merely competence (that is very naïve), but also whether God-given manhood and womanhood are affirmed in the dynamics of the relationship.


[b]Closing Challenge [/b]

I feel like what I have done in this series is simply show you that there is a beautiful ballet to learn and an exciting drama to be a part of. It's more beautiful and more exciting because we are so different as male and female. My challenge to you is that you now take up the script of God's Word and ask him to help you learn your personal part. The world is in desperate need to see what the true drama of manhood and womanhood really looks like.


[i]© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org [/i]

 2008/6/23 23:30









 Re: Sermons on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Hmmm....Sounds like another [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=23026&forum=45&100]Revive Our Hearts Thread.[/url] :-)

 2008/6/24 1:11









 Re:

Quote:

Rebecca_LF wrote:
Hmmm....Sounds like another [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=23026&forum=45&100]Revive Our Hearts Thread.[/url] :-)



Maybe so, sister... ;-)

 2008/6/24 11:32









 Re:

Quote:

Roniya wrote:
Quote:

Rebecca_LF wrote:
Hmmm....Sounds like another [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=23026&forum=45&100]Revive Our Hearts Thread.[/url] :-)



Maybe so, sister... ;-)




lol... I knew it... O.K. Let's bring the other one back and post on there...Just kidding! ;-)

 2008/6/24 11:40









 Re:

Quote:

Rebecca_LF wrote:
Quote:

Roniya wrote:
Quote:

Rebecca_LF wrote:
Hmmm....Sounds like another [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=23026&forum=45&100]Revive Our Hearts Thread.[/url] :-)



Maybe so, sister... ;-)




lol... I knew it... O.K. Let's bring the other one back and post on there...Just kidding! ;-)



I could post the link to my thread in your thread... :-P

Well...maybe this will just help spark more interest in this topic and increase the revival of the Christian home that is slowly happening right now. :)

That's a great signature you have right now:

"And if men say, “What is this? A woman playeth the housewife, she spinneth on her distaff, and this is all that women can do.” As in deed there are a number of fools that when they speak of women’s distaffs, of seeing to their children, will make a scorn of it, and despise it. But what then? [b]What saith the heavenly Judge? That he is well pleased with it, and accepteth of it, and putteth it in his reckoning. So then let women learn to rejoice when they do their duty, and though the world despise it, let this comfort sweeten all respect they might have that way, and say, “God seeth me here, and his Angels, who are sufficient witnesses of my doings, although the world do not allow of them.”[/b]

~John Calvin

 2008/6/24 11:45









 Re: Number 2

[url=http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TopicIndex/49_Biblical_Manhood_and_Womanhood/683_Husbands_Who_Love_Like_Christ_and_the_Wives_Who_Submit_to_Them/][b]Husbands Who Love Like Christ and the Wives Who Submit to Them[/b][/url]
By John Piper June 11, 1989


[b]Ephesians 5:21-23; 1 Peter 3:1-7[/b]

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, when they see your reverent and chaste behavior. Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of fine clothing, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you. Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.

Let's jump into this text at verse 31. It's a quote from Genesis 2:24, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one." In the next verse (v. 32) Paul looks back on this quote and says, "This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church."


[b]The Mystery of Marriage [/b]

Now why is the coming together of a man and woman to form one flesh in marriage a mystery? Paul's answer in verse 32 is this: the marriage union is a mystery because its deepest meaning has been partially concealed, but is now being openly revealed by the apostle, namely, that marriage is an image of Christ and the church. Verse 32: "I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church."
So marriage is like a metaphor or an image or a picture or parable that stands for something more than a man and a woman becoming one flesh. It stands for the relationship between Christ and the church. That's the deepest meaning of marriage. It's meant to be a living drama of how Christ and the church relate to each other.

Notice how verses 28–30 describe the parallel between Christ and the church being one body and the husband and wife being one flesh. "Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it." In other words, the one-flesh union between man and wife means that in a sense they are now one body so that the care a husband has for his wife he has for himself. They are one. What he does to her he does to himself. Then he compares this to Christ's care for the church. Picking up near the end of verse 29, he says the husband nourishes and cherishes his own flesh, " . . . as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body." In other words, just as the husband is one flesh with his wife, so the church is one body with Christ. When the husband cherishes and nourishes his wife, he cherishes and nourishes himself; and when Christ cherishes and nourishes the church, he cherishes and nourishes himself.

If you want to understand God's meaning for marriage, you have to grasp that we are dealing with a copy and an original, a metaphor and a reality, and parable and a truth. And the original, the reality, the truth is God's marriage to his people, or Christ's marriage to the church. While the copy, the metaphor, the parable is a husband's marriage to his wife. Geoffrey Bromiley says, "As God made man in His own image, so He made earthly marriage in the image of His own eternal marriage with His people" (God and Marriage, p. 43).


[b]The Roles of Husbands and Wives [/b]

One of the things to learn from this mystery is the roles of husband and wife in marriage. One of Paul's points in this passage is that the roles of husband and wife in marriage are not arbitrarily assigned and they are not reversible without obscuring God's purpose for marriage. The roles of husband and wife are rooted in the distinctive roles of Christ and his church. God means (by marriage) to say something about his Son and his church by the way husbands and wives relate to each other.

We see this in verses 23–25. Verse 24 speaks to the wife about her half of the metaphor and verses 23 and 25 speak about the husband's half of the metaphor. Wives, find your distinctive role as a wife in keying off the way the church relates to Christ. Verse 24: "As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands." Then to husbands: find your distinctive role as a husband in keying off the way Christ relates to the church. First verse 23: "The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior." Then verse 25: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."


[b]The Redeeming of Headship and Submission [/b]

Think about this for a moment in relation to what we have seen so far in this series. I tried to show from Genesis 1–3 that the when sin entered the world, it ruined the harmony of marriage NOT because it brought headship and submission into existence, but because it twisted man's humble, loving headship into hostile domination in some men and lazy indifference in others. And it twisted woman's intelligent, willing submission into manipulative obsequiousness in some women and brazen insubordination in others. Sin didn't create headship and submission; it ruined them and distorted them and made them ugly and destructive.
Now if this is true, then the redemption we anticipate with the coming of Christ is not the dismantling of the original, created order of loving headship and willing submission but a recovery of it from the ravages of sin. And that's just what we find in Ephesians 5:21–33. Wives, let your fallen submission be redeemed by modeling it after God's intention for the church! Husbands, let your fallen headship be redeemed by modeling it after God's intention for Christ!

Therefore, headship is not a right to command and control. It's a responsibility to love like Christ: to lay down your life for your wife in servant leadership. And submission is not slavish or coerced or cowering. That's not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership: he wants it to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening.

In other words what this passage of Scripture does is two things: it guards against the abuses of headship by telling husbands to love like Jesus; and it guards against the debasing of submission by telling wives to respond the way the church does to Christ.


[b]Defining Headship and Submission [/b]

Maybe what would be most helpful here would be to give a crisp definition of headship and submission as I understand them from this text, and then raise an objection or two and close with some practical implications.

• Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

• Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.
I'll come back to some practical implications of those definitions in a moment. But first let me say a word about a couple common objections.


[b]What About Mutual Submission in Ephesians 5:21? [/b]

The ideas of headship and submission are not popular today. The spirit of our society makes it very hard for people to even hear texts like this in a positive way. The most common objection to the picture I just painted of loving leadership and willing submission is that verse 21 teaches us to be mutually submissive to each other. "Be subject to one another out of reverence for
Christ."

So one writer says, "By definition, mutual submission rules out hierarchical differences" (Gilbert Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles, p. 154). In other words if mutual submission is a reality between husband and wife, then it's a contradiction to say the husband has a special responsibility to lead and the wife a special responsibility to support that leadership and help carry it through.

What shall we say to this? I would say that it is simply not true. In fact the writer who said that mutual submission rules out all hierarchical relationships shows that it's not true a page later when he says, "The church thrives on mutual subjection. In a Spirit-led church, the elders submit to the congregation in being accountable for their watch-care, and the congregation submits to the elders in accepting their guidance" (p. 155, on p. 251 he even says, "the congregations submit to their leaders by obeying . . . "). In other words, when it comes to the church, he has no trouble seeing how mutual submission is possible between two groups, one of whom has the specially responsibility to guide and the other of whom has the special responsibility to accept guidance.

And that's right. There is no contradiction between mutual submission and a relationship of leadership and response. Mutual submission doesn't mean that both partners must submit in exactly the same ways. Christ submitted himself to the church in one way, by a kind of servant-leadership that cost him his life. And the church submits herself to Christ in another way by honoring his leadership and following him on the Calvary road.
So it is not true that mutual submission rules out the family pattern of Christ-like leadership and church-like submission. Mutual submission doesn't obliterate those roles; it transforms them.


[b]Does the Term "Head" Even Refer to Leadership? [/b]

One other common objection to the pattern of leadership and submission is that the term "head" does not carry the meaning of leadership at all. Instead it means "source," somewhat like we use the word "fountainhead" or the "head of a river" (Bilezikian, pp. 157–162). So to call a husband the head of his wife wouldn't mean that he is to be a leader, but that he is in some sense her "source" or her "fountainhead."

Now there are long studies to show that this is not a normal meaning for the word "head" in Paul's day. But you'll never read these articles because they are too technical. So let me try to show you something from these verses that everyone can see.
The husband is pictured as the head of his wife as Christ is pictured as the head of the church, his body (see vv. 29–30). Now if the head means "source," then what is the husband the source of? What does the body get from the head? It gets nourishment (that's mentioned in verse 29). And we can understand that because the mouth is in the head, and nourishment comes through the mouth to the body. But that's not all the body gets from the head. It gets guidance because the eyes are in the head. And it gets alertness and protection because the ears are in the head.

In other words, if the husband as head is one flesh with his wife, his body, and if he is therefore her source of guidance and food and alertness, then the natural conclusion is that the head, the husband, has a primary responsibility for leadership and provision and protection.
So even if you give "head" the meaning "source" the most natural interpretation of these verses is that husbands are called by God to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership and protection and provision in the home. And wives are called to honor and affirm the husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.


[b]Practical Implications [/b]

Now I said I would come back to some practical implications.

[b]1. The Transformation of Leading[/b]
The call in verse 25 for husbands to "love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her" revolutionizes the way he leads. This is where we ended last week in Luke 22:26 where Jesus says, "Let the leader become as one who serves." In other words, husbands, don't stop leading, but turn all your leading into serving. The responsibility of leadership is given not to puff yourself up, but to build your family up.

[b]2. The Transformation of Submission [/b]
Submission does not mean putting the husband in the place of Christ. Verse 21 says you submit out of reverence for Christ. Submission does not mean that the husband's word is absolute. Only Christ's word is absolute. No wife should follow a husband into sin. You can't do that in reverence to Christ. Submission does not mean surrendering thought. It does not mean no input on decisions or no influence on her husband. It does not come from ignorance or incompetence. It comes from what is fitting and appropriate (Colossians 3:18) in God's created order.

Submission is an inclination of the will to say yes to the husband's leadership and a disposition of the spirit to support his initiatives. The reason I say it's a disposition and an inclination is because there will be times when the most submissive wife will hesitate at a husband's decision. It may look unwise to her. Suppose it's Noël and I. I am about to decide something foolish for the family. At that moment Noël could express her submission something like this: "Johnny, I know you've thought a lot about this, and I love it when you take the initiative to plan for us and take the responsibility like this, but I really don't have peace about this decision and I think we need to talk about it some more. Could we? Maybe tonight sometime?"

The reason that is a kind of biblical submission is because

1. Husbands, unlike Christ, are fallible and ought to admit it.

2. Husbands ought to want their wives to be excited about the family decisions, because Christ wants us to be excited about following his decisions and not just follow begrudgingly.

3. The way Noël expressed her misgivings communicated clearly that she endorses my leadership and affirms me in my role as head.

When a man senses a primary God-given responsibility for the spiritual life of the family, gathering the family for devotions, taking them to church, calling for prayer at meals—when he senses a primary God-given responsibility for the discipline and education of the children, the stewardship of money, the provision of food, the safety of the home, the healing of discord, that special sense of responsibility is not authoritarian or autocratic or domineering or bossy or oppressive or abusive. It is simply servant-leadership. And I have never met a wife who is sorry she is married to a man like that. Because when God designs a thing (like marriage), he designs it for his glory and our good.


________________________________________
[i]© Desiring God
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org [/i]

 2008/6/24 11:45









 Re:

Quote:

Roniya wrote:
Quote:


I could post the link to my thread in your thread... :-P




 2008/6/24 12:39









 Re: Part 3

[url=http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TopicIndex/49_Biblical_Manhood_and_Womanhood/682_Jesus_Women_and_Men/][b]Jesus, Women, and Men[/b][/url]

[i]By John Piper June 4, 1989 [/i]


[b]Luke 13:10-17[/b]

And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day." Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

Jesus has done more than anyone has ever done to bring purity and harmony between men and women. I want to illustrate this truth beginning with our text and then showing the same thing from other parts of his teaching as well.

[b]The Situation in Luke 13:10–17 [/b]

A woman was in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. She was bent over and could not stand up. She had been this way for 18 years. Jesus was in the synagogue too. He was the teacher that day. Now what happens here is quite amazing. Jesus does not ask her about her disease. She does not ask Jesus to heal her. Verses 12–13 simply say, "And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, 'Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.' And he laid hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and praised God."

She asked for nothing. She promised nothing. She had not cornered Jesus. She had not forced his hand. He could have finished his lesson and gone home and no one would have even thought about this woman. But he stopped. He called her. He took the initiative and made an issue of this woman.

[b]Jesus on the Offensive [/b]
So Jesus is on the offensive here. He has something he wants to say. He wants to say something about the Sabbath day and what it means to keep it holy. He has something he wants to say about the hypocrisy of the synagogue leaders who water their oxen on the Sabbath but get ticked at Jesus' healing. And he has something he wants to say about women and men.
It's the last one we are concerned with today. Verse 16 is the key verse on this point: "And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?" If the only point Jesus wanted to make was the point about doing good on the Sabbath or the point about the hypocrisy of the leaders, he could have simply said, "Ought not this woman whom Satan bound for eighteen years be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?" But that is not all he said. He called her a "daughter of Abraham." "Ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham . . . be loosed from this bond?"

[b]"Daughter of Abraham" [/b]
Those words, "daughter of Abraham" are intended to carry a message to the synagogue leaders. The message goes something like this: On top of all the other reasons why you should care more about a suffering person than a thirsty ox is the fact that this woman is a fellow heir of the blessing promised to Abraham. You pride yourselves in saying, "We are the children of Abraham." Well, she too is a child of Abraham. You hide from the warnings of John the Baptist by saying, "We have Abraham as our father." Well, she too has Abraham as her father.

And so the message of Jesus to the synagogue leaders was a message not only about their Sabbath keeping, and not only about their hypocrisy, but also about how men and women ought to relate to each other as fellow heirs of God's promises. He was saying to men in the synagogue then, and he is saying to men in the church today, "The believing women in your midst are heirs of the promises of God. They too are the meek who will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). They too are the righteous who will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43)."

[b]Looking at Each Other Through the Lens of the Word [/b]

Do you see what this means for us men and women today? Husbands and wives. Brothers and sisters. Boyfriends and girlfriends. All of us as we relate to each other as men and women. It means we should learn to look at each other through the lens of God's Word. Here's what I mean.

This woman in the synagogue has been bent over for 18 years. What's that like? It's horrible. That's what it's like. People stare. People think you've committed some terrible sin. Kids laugh and make jokes. You can't look anyone in the eye. People don't know how to make conversation. You can't have normal sexual relations with your husband. You feel like you're an embarrassment to everyone you're with.

So what do you see when you look at this woman? If you were her husband, what would you see? Husbands (let's just bring it right up to date), what do you see when you look at your wife? The answer to that, of course, depends on what lens you're using. What you see will be very different depending on whether you look through the lens of Playboy magazine or the lens of the Word of God. If you look through the lens of God's Word, you will see a daughter of Abraham. If we learn to see Christian women the way Jesus saw this woman in the synagogue, we will see them as heirs of the King of glory. And that will have a deep effect on our relationships.

Of course this cuts both ways. Women are just as likely to be disappointed with their husbands as men are to be disappointed with their wives. Women are just as prone to speak negatively of their husbands. Women are just as prone to try to get their husbands to be all the things that they dreamed they would be. And therefore it probably needs to be said that women too must learn to look at him through the lens of the Word of God. He is a son of Abraham as a believer in Christ. He will one day shine like the sun in the kingdom of his Father. With all his imperfections he will be changed in the twinkling of an eye: every sin will be gone forever; and he will receive a body like Christ's glorious body.

We will, I think, in the age to come be dumbfounded as we look back at how poorly we were able to treat each other on the way to glory. There is an honor and respect and even reverence that we should show to each other as men and women. How much happier would be our homes if they were filled with expressions of this honor! And they WILL be filled with these expressions to the degree that we learn to look at each other through the lens of God's Word—as daughters and sons of Abraham; heirs of all God's promises; destined together for unspeakable glory.

[b]Other Illustrations of Jesus' Work [/b]

Now that is the sort of thing Jesus did to help us recover what God created us to be as male and female in the image of God. And he did it again and again. So what I want to do in the time that remains is to give a few more illustrations of how Jesus helps us recover the purity and harmony of how men and women relate to each other. There is much more that could be said than can fit here.

[b]1. Condemning the Objectification of Women [/b]

In Matthew 5:28–29 Jesus says, "Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell."

With that one word Jesus condemned in the most forceful way possible (the threat of hell) all forms of pornography and the entire enterprise of commercializing the female body in advertising and entertainment. Can you imagine how much wrath is being stored up in heaven against the billion dollar business of doing precisely what the Son of God prohibits—namely, enticing men to look upon women with sexual desire—not as persons, mind you, but as objects of sexual pleasure alone! And what is clear from Matthew 5:28f. is that Jesus Christ means to rescue women from this attack on their personhood. Men who follow Jesus guard their eyes for the good of women and for the glory of God. And women who follow Jesus look to Jesus for how to use their bodies, not to the world.

[b]2. Applying the Golden Rule [/b]

In Matthew 7:12 Jesus said, "Whatever you wish that people would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." You don't think, do you, that Jesus meant for the relationships between men and women to be excluded here—as though men and women should not treat each other according to the golden rule? No. We ought to treat each other the way we'd want to be treated in somebody else's shoes.

It's hard to say something more radical than this. Relationships are revolutionized when two people live by the golden rule. The reason it is so revolutionary is because you and I by nature have an all-consuming desire to be treated well by other people. Nobody in this room likes to be made fun of. Nobody here wants to be ignored and treated like a useless person. Nobody wants to be exploited or taken advantage of. That means that if everybody in this room lived by the golden rule of Jesus, nobody would make fun of any other person here. Nobody here would treat another like he or she were useless. Nobody here would take advantage of someone else. The measure of our love for our own happiness would be the measure of how eagerly we pursued the happiness of each other. It would be utterly revolutionary, especially in marriages and relationships between men and women in general. And that is just what Jesus commands.

[b]3. Pursuing Genuine Childlikeness and Humility [/b]

The most devastating thing Jesus ever said against characteristic male and female sins was the word in Matthew 18:3, "Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Men who act like backyard bullies and women who play the helpless coquette are not child-like. They are childish. Genuine childlikeness and humility, like everything else Jesus taught, is revolutionary for the relationships between men and women.

[b]Christian Leadership as Servant Leadership[/b]

Now how does this relate to our conclusion last week—that God has called men to bear the primary responsibility for leadership in relationship to women—that men are held accountable first by God for taking the initiative to do what can be done to make things the way they should be in the relationship?

The answer is: Jesus purges Christian leadership of everything that makes it ugly and builds into Christian leadership what makes it beautiful. He purges it of self-exaltation; and he builds into it the reality of servanthood. He says, "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled" (Matthew 23:12). That's the end of arrogance and self-exaltation in Christian leadership. And he says, "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant" (Matthew 20:26). That's the key to beautiful leadership that builds up others.

But what a mistake it would be to say that because Jesus elevated the concept of servanthood he cancelled out the concept of leadership. We know from what he said and what he did that this is not true.

What he said was this: "Let the leader become as one who serves" (Luke 22:26). But he never said, "Let the leader stop being leader." Nor did he say, "Serving makes leaders less than leaders." He simply said, "When leadership is appropriate, let it be a servant leadership."

And what he did was to give himself as an example of what he said: at his lowest point of servanthood, with the towel wrapped around him washing his disciples' feet like a slave, no one in that room doubted who the leader was. He was the one they would follow. On his knees—and, if they understood, they would be on theirs! Servanthood does not nullify or cancel out leadership; it transforms leadership. When Jesus hung on the cross seemingly weak and utterly helpless, he was leading a great host into glory.

So what Jesus does for us is this: he shows us and he teaches us that if a man takes up the mantle of leadership according to Genesis 2, he must not seize it as a right for himself; he must accept it as a responsibility given by God. The language of leadership is the language of responsibilities not the language of rights. It's the responsibility of servant leadership, not the right of lordly domination.

This is exactly where Paul takes us in Ephesians 5 when he speaks of husbands loving and leading like Christ. And that is where we will turn next week.
________________________________________
[i]© Desiring God
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org [/i]

 2008/6/25 16:08









 Re:

Quote:

Roniya wrote:

That's a great signature you have right now:

"And if men say, “What is this? A woman playeth the housewife, she spinneth on her distaff, and this is all that women can do.” As in deed there are a number of fools that when they speak of women’s distaffs, of seeing to their children, will make a scorn of it, and despise it. But what then? [b]What saith the heavenly Judge? That he is well pleased with it, and accepteth of it, and putteth it in his reckoning. So then let women learn to rejoice when they do their duty, and though the world despise it, let this comfort sweeten all respect they might have that way, and say, “God seeth me here, and his Angels, who are sufficient witnesses of my doings, although the world do not allow of them.”[/b]

~John Calvin





As the scripture says:

[b]Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. [/b]


This verse shows that what the above quote says is true--women have always been treated this way. I beleive it goes all the way back to the garden.

 2008/6/26 16:06









 Re:

Quote:

Rebecca_LF wrote:
Quote:

Roniya wrote:

That's a great signature you have right now:

"And if men say, “What is this? A woman playeth the housewife, she spinneth on her distaff, and this is all that women can do.” As in deed there are a number of fools that when they speak of women’s distaffs, of seeing to their children, will make a scorn of it, and despise it. But what then? [b]What saith the heavenly Judge? That he is well pleased with it, and accepteth of it, and putteth it in his reckoning. So then let women learn to rejoice when they do their duty, and though the world despise it, let this comfort sweeten all respect they might have that way, and say, “God seeth me here, and his Angels, who are sufficient witnesses of my doings, although the world do not allow of them.”[/b]

~John Calvin





As the scripture says:

[b]Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. [/b]


This verse shows that what the above quote says is true--women have always been treated this way. I beleive it goes all the way back to the garden.




Edit... :-)

 2008/6/26 16:50





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