Over the years, the battle of the sexes has raged, and in Christian circles even more so. So many fights have broken out in marriages and families over what role males and females should take and what type of work each should do within those roles. For example housework and raising children is traditionally thought of as “women’s work.” Providing income, working on vehicles, home repairs and yard work is traditionally thought of as “men’s work.” But in reality is that what the Bible specifically says and how life actually works? In a corporation and even in the church, the people who are hired or volunteer for different positions are the ones who are really good and are gifted at that type of job, regardless of gender. There are different gifts that God gives us as Christians, regardless of gender as stated in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Why should running a home be any different than how the Church is run? Why does the woman have to cook, even though her husband might love it and be a better cook? Why does the man have to do yard work, when his wife might love making the yard look beautiful? What if neither one is good at making vehicle repairs or deep cleaning the house? Why not outsource some things that it’s hard for either one of them to do? If one prefers mayonnaise and the other likes salad dressing, why not buy both? If one likes the toothpaste pushed from the bottom of the tube and one could care less, why not just buy 2 tubes of toothpaste and keep the harmony in the home? Why fight and become bitter over these things that can eventually break down a marriage and a family?
1 Cor. 12:24-26 But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
Why not be prepared when there’s illnesses, injuries, or even the death of a spouse to take over certain aspects of daily living? The reality is that there’s always the possibility of the need for having other family members take over running the house for one reason or another. Dads need to know how to take care of the kids when mom can’t. Moms need to know what to do when Dad can’t work. The kids need to know how to clean the house or call for help. When one part of the family becomes weak, sick or injured the whole family feels it.
1Cor. 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
So let’s imagine we all actually did what the marriage chapter says, Ephesians 5:21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”. Imagine a home, where the husband and wife do things based on their gifts and talents and take out the gender roles equation. Imagine growing in Christ together and. “being very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil (Eph 5:15-16).” And instead of throwing our hands up in the air because our spouse disappointed us in their lack of traditional gender roles and going to the local bar to drown our sorrows, we would follow Ephesians 5:17-20.
Eph 5:17-20 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And while we are encouraging one another so beautifully as we go about our work and daily lives, we become what Christ intended us to be: witnesses and examples of the oneness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, working together for the Kingdom of God.
Ephesians 5:31-32 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
What are some ideas you can share for intensifying cooperation within the family setting?