Thoughts of a Dad of Future Husbands: Take 2
Let’s try this post one more time without any over the top hyperbole.
Our time has seen the near disappearance of biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. The bible tells us that God made man first and he made woman after man to be his wife, compliment, helper.
Also note, Father made woman for man to help in the creation mandate. Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that mankind’s job is to subdue the whole earth! We understand that this mandate has not gone away practically nor in salvation history. The subduing of the earth is the mission of every follower of Jesus. We seek the management of the earth properly and we seek proper dominion over the domains of society and we seek the rescue of souls from all nations through the gospel. This job is given to men and women.
When a man takes a wife, the two don’t all of a sudden lose the global scope of their vocations. There are not two classes of couples. You know, the super missionary couple that lives in hard places making disciples and the consumer church attending couple who is amazed at the work of the super couple. We have striven to teach the concept of “glocal” at our church in which the local vocation has global implications, and that we are all called to the nations in our “glocal” vocations to subdue creation and to rescue the perishing and care for the dying, as the old hymn states.
When we then seek to apply this reality to young men and young women today, there seems to be a double standard. That double standard is hinted at when the threat exists for a young man to have to face a gun at the hands of a daddy when he goes to call on the daddy’s girl. The boy is supposed to be a perfect gentleman, sharp, no intentions beyond to know her better and build a relationship if possible, working on a strong career, able to provide much stability, safety and security and never take the young girl, if they marry, to dangerous places, particularly if there are grandkids involved. I’M TALKING ABOUT OBSERVANCES INSIDE AN AMERICAN CHRISTIAN SUBCULTURE.
However, and this is where the rub is, what are the standards for the young ladies that have prepared her to be a subduer of the world? It’s interesting that our ladies, in general, are allowed to dress in a manner that leaves nothing to the imagination yet the boy is to have to face daddy’s gun. Why? Why must the boy be sharp and the girls look like all manner of revealed? Why is the expectation that the boy is to lead well but the girl is not taught to properly submit to biblical headship? Why does the boy have to temper his global aspirations because the girl is afraid? Why does the boy have to work multiple jobs while the girl is allowed to be lazy? Not that he shouldn’t work multiple jobs. I had three jobs at one point. I’ve worked a job since I was 10. I worked at Morgan Buildings in Stilesboro, GA when I was 10 during the summers picking up scrap lumber etc. for 12 hour shifts. But it seems the same work ethic is lacking in some young ladies while it is expected in the boys.
There is a double standard that has crept in.
Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the worthy woman of a “glocal”, earth subduing, nation discipling young man, that does not need to be threatened with a gun: (See comments embedded in the text below)
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. (The implication is that she is a provider, along with the husband, of resources, not simply a consumer of what he brings home)
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life. (This woman is seeking to be benefit added not a subtraction.)
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands. (She is a worker, willingly, not reluctantly.)
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar. (Again, she is out and about working, and bringing in gain. Hear this, don’t misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with the “stay home mom”. However, some have used this as a cover for laziness and it causes the husband unecessary difficulty and can inhibit the global work of their combined ministry together. We have been asked by some to talk about “mommy wars” in which some outspoken moms talk about their particular ways of doing things that cause other moms to feel inferior. This is one of those issues that cause some moms to lament and struggle because the economics require them to work. I want those moms to hear and relax. It’s not unbiblical to have to go out and work hard to help provide a living. If that mom does not have to do that, then great, but that should not become a vehicle for laziness. This passage implies the Genesis 1:26-28 fact that she and he are to be engaging in the domains of society, with children in tow, to subdue and make disciples together. There is no way around that fact biblically.)
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens. (This woman is not only supplying for her husband and kids, but others helping her in the work.)
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. (This woman is a real estate agent and farmer.)
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong. (In Hebrew, this is literally “she girds up her loins. This is the action necessary to get ready to do serious physical labor. This takes effort and training. This is also the action the man takes to labor and go to war. The idea is that she is a worker, laborer.)
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. (She has some business savvy. She sees that she has something to offer. This takes creativity and a measure of risk.)
Her lamp does not go out at night. (This woman stays up late to see that the work is done.)
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy. (This woman is obeying Deuteronomy’s command to leave enough for the poor to glean.)
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple. (She is not ruled by fear. Rather, she goes to work to proactively take care of what may cause hardship later.)
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land. (It seems that this man is known and honored because of the work of this worthy woman. That’s ok.)
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant. (This woman is operating a business.)
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come. (This woman is strong and full of dignity. She is not weak and she does not pop off at the mouth or give off the vibe that she is in any way other than what she’s supposed to be. Her preparation allows her to not fret over the future.)
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (This woman is kind and wise. She is not a mean girl.)
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness. (There is no idleness.)
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.” (This man has no reason to be silent about the amazingness of his wife. She’s the wife of Genesis 1:26-28, making the global work of the two a reality.)
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (This woman is not deceived by the vaporous charm of temporal and external beauty. This woman is operating for her audience, the King, the Lord. This is the wife of Song of Solomon whose skin is dark but lovely due to working out in the vineyard. This is Rachel, Jacob’s beloved, who shepherded he father’s flocks. No doubt toughened by the harsh conditions of shepherding. Jacob was attracted to her in spite of her not being all spiffed up. Maybe it’s because beauty is deeper than the skin level.)
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates. (This woman deserves to be praised in public.)
I believe what becomes clear in this passage is that the standards for performance between the man and woman are similar, but their functions are different. The man is to be the head, the leader. The woman is to be the helper and submit to godly leadership, but she is truly to be a co-laborer with the man in subduing created order.
By the way, this creation mandate to subdue the whole earth is pre-fall. Meaning, the mandate does not change (this is why the Lord sent them from the garden) and that due to the fall, this work is going to be harder now. There will be sin to deal with. Boys will not want to lead and girls will want to take their headship (see Genesis 3). Boys will become workaholics and girls will be lazy. Boys will be lazy and girls will be workaholics. Safety and security will become values. Unbiblical and world system ideas will creep in and hijack biblical terminology. Unbiblical terminology will begin to define biblical roles. We will have to work at unraveling such things, which is messy and difficult.
Let me put it this way. Rather than threatening to shoot boys who come to call on girls why not train young ladies to be Proverbs 31 women and perhaps they’ll only attract boys to whom we would be glad to give our daughters. Maybe parents of boys don’t want their young men to be threatened by dads nor seduced by things not right when the biblical standards for girls are culturally ignored. I understand not all fall into this trap. But it’s a real challenge.