God’s Message to Wives
And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him . . . Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh . . . To the woman He said: I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you. Genesis 2:18, 24; 3:16 NKJV
Like husbands, wives too, as a member within the family structure has a place, role and responsibility. So, what is God saying to wives?
God has ordained that wives be helpers and partners to their husbands. A “helper” or “partner” means that a wife will surround her husband with aid and assistance. But it does not mean that a wife will unilaterally submit to an autocratic godless husband who doesn’t cleave to or join himself to his wife.
God clearly said in Genesis 2:24 that, “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined [cleave] to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” It is impossible or highly improbable that any wife can clearly hear God say to “be a helper and partner” to any man who has stopped, or never started, cleaving to his wife. To cleave or join oneself to your wife means to never stop chasing her with your love in a spirit of equality and mutuality.
But aren’t wives supposed to be submitted to their husbands? Yes, in the same way their husbands should also be submitted to them. The Bible teaches mutual submission and respect in the fear of God on the part of both husbands and wives (Eph. 5:21). God is calling for wives to submit to their husbands—not to be suppressed by them. Submission can be a good and cooperative thing in any relationship when the submission is healthy, mutual, and advances the oneness of the marriage relationship. A healthy submission is when the wife yields to and defers to her husband’s authority—not out of suppression of her own authority—out of a recognition that God has placed the husband as the head governmentally in the relationship.
God is first and foremost saying to husbands, “love your wives”, and then “wives respect your husbands, i.e., honor and reverence him” (Eph. 5:33; 1 Peter 3:6). Wives are to respect their husbands, love their families, manage their homes, and be discreet and Godly obedient to their husbands (Titus 2:3-5).