(originally posted on October 6, 2016)
Equality at the Cross
This is going to come as a real shock to some of you, but in the majority of ways considered, my wife and I are not equal.
For example, she is superior to me when it comes to giving birth to children, being a woman, being a mom, cooking, being cooperative, having a very sweet personality, and just generally looking gorgeous.
I, on the other hand, am fat, rather ugly, and have a nasty personality disorder that God gave me so I could survive the extreme rigors and difficulties of being a pastor.
We are, however, equal in terms of our legal rights as U.S. citizens under the Constitution, and equal as sinners saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We are both joint-heirs with Christ, and the ground is level at the foot of the cross.
But, alas, in most practical and functional ways, we are not equal. Men are better than women at being male, and women are better than men at being female. It is what it is!
Different by Design
Men and women–husbands and wives–are different by God’s design.
They are not intended to be identical, and it is impossible for them to be so. The differences in their physical bodies demonstrate this fact to be true.
It is also correct that those differences can be generally detected mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For example, my wife and I will often reason through a particular issue together and come to the same conclusion, but the thought processes we go through to get to that point might be totally different.
Also, my wife is much more emotionally sensitive than I am, which is why our kids want their mommy when they get hurt.
Spiritually speaking, God says in His Word, that Eve was “deceived” in the fall, but Adam was not (2 Cor. 11:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:11-14). In other words, Eve sincerely thought what she was doing would be all right, but it was not.
Adam, on the other hand, knew full well he was sinning and doing wrong.
The implication of this is that women, generally speaking, are more susceptible to spiritual deception than men are. This does not mean that men cannot be deceived, for indeed they can be. We are talking here about “degree” of susceptibility in general. The degree for a woman is greater according to scripture.
Also, we are not talking about IQ, but spiritual discernment. A number of religious cults in history can be traced back to women. Therefore, men–especially husbands–have the added responsibility of protecting their wives spiritually and doing what is best for them in this regard.
In fact, if a wife has spiritual questions,
she should be able to ask her husband
at home and get a correct
biblical and theological answer (1 Cor. 14:35).
These differences do not mean that one gender is better than another, only different and complementary to one another’s strengths and weaknesses, based on their God-appointed roles.
Therefore, men, please do not place an unnecessary burden on your dear wife and expect her to respond like a man in every situation, for she is not male. Ladies, please do not expect your husband to communicate, emote, and engage to the degree you do, for he is not female. If you do not understand this difference by design principle, you will both end up being very frustrated with each other.