It isn’t generally a topic I would look at (since I’m not married), but since a similar topic came up at a Christian Forum I am a member of, I did a little study on the relationships between male and female.
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.
He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.
So God created male and female in His own image, equally important to Him and named them man. When God created male and female, he made them:
1) Harmonious interpersonal relationships
2) Equal in personhood and importance
3) Different in role and authority
The relationship between Adam and Eve were as man and wife Genesis 2:19-25
After the fall, the role of husband and wife, along with creation was corrupted:
Ge 3:16 Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”
The common understanding of the word ‘desire’ is in the lines of ‘sexually desire’, however Susan Foh effectively argues that the word ‘desire’ (Strong GK #9592) means to desire to dominate, that fits in well with Genesis 4:7.
On the flip side, God said the man would rule over the woman. Many take this as a command of God, but infact, this too is a result of the fall of Adam, just as pain in childbearing is a result of the fall. The word ‘rule’ (H5440) is not generally used as a word that relates to family, it is more related to dictatorship or uncaring use of authority (Deut 15:6, Prov 22:7) So this rule is not of the thoughtful or considering kind.
So as a result of the fall, the woman will seek to conquer the man, and the man will seek to dominate the woman. This is the brokenness in the relationship between husband and wife as a result of the fall.
The relationship God intended for man (man and wife) is that man should be the head of his wife (or family) just as Christ is head of the Church and God is head of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:4
When we look at the relationship between Christ and the Church, and God and Christ, we see what the relationship between husband and wife should be. What we generally see (and possibly why we react – us women especially) is an abuse of the roles that God gave both husband and wife.
Man will try and dominate his wife by misusing the authority he was given, and his wife will try to conquer her husband.
However, once we are made new in Christ, the reaffirming of how the relationship should be between husband and wife is again established:
Col 3:18–19 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
Cross reference: Eph 5:22–24
Wives, be subject to your *own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
* notice it does not say all women should be subject to all men.
Eph 5:28–29 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
When a husband acts selfishly, harsh, domineering or abusive towards his wife he is acting as a result of the fall which will bring destruction into his relationship, he is abusing his role as the head of the woman. Likewise, when the wife rebels against her husband and is resentful of him and competes for leadership, she too is acting as a result of the fall. Neither are acting as God intended.
Husbands have been given great responsibility over his wife. Adam was head of Eve, yet when Eve sinned, God held Adam account. Romans 5:2 – In a relationship that is godly, a woman will have no problem submitting to her husband because she knows he will be acting in her best interest out of love rather than out of abusing the role God placed him in. Just as Christ submitted to God, a wife in a godly relationship will willingly submit to her husband, and just as God acts only out of love for his Son, should a husband act out of love for his wife.