• Julie Cabral

Is Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Really Biblical?

Tony Evans, chaplain of the Dallas Mavericks and the founder and president of The Urban Alternative has seen his fair share of broken inner city families, single struggling mothers, absentee fathers and kids growing up without positive male role models. In a recent article published in the Christian Post, he describes how his upcoming movie Kingdom Men Rising will help give more clarity for the need of men to recognize their role as a Kingdom man. He defines this man as one who is "consistently operating under the rule of God in his life.”

His message is clear and concise. Men need to learn how to submit properly to Christ so they can be proper, servant leaders at home. He also goes on to say: “If you're a lame man, you need a couple of men in your life to pick you up,” he emphasized. “If you're not a lame man, you need to be picking someone else up.”

Pastor Tony Evans is only half right. I think he is missing some very vital and key issues within marriage that God designed from the outset. Within most western, evangelical circles, the roles that men are expected to play within marriage and raising a family has consisted of very specific interpretations of certain scriptures to mean that the man is the leader, or head of his home, and that this role is a God given role that woman should encourage and follow.

Pastor Evans goes on to say that when men are absent from their home and their families, “then, you're on the precipice of disaster as a community,” he said. “Not because the women aren't great, but you've asked them to do more than what they were created to do. So, getting back to the right view of marriage and a right view of family is critical, and that starts with the right view of man.”

I find that to be a very interesting statement. Many, many examples of both the Old and New Testaments leave the child rearing responsibilities and household duties (which are considerable) solely to the woman. We should discuss the most popular and elevated wife of the bible; the Proverbs 31 Woman. She is quite a vision to behold. She runs a business, sells real estate, plants vineyards, handles the money related to the household and her very lucrative businesses, makes clothes for her and her household, she takes care of the needy, “girds herself with strength”, and last but not least, and more important than all these virtues is that she wisely “fears the Lord”. It doesn’t appear that she asks her husband for leadership and guidance when it pertains to these matters, although I am sure she did, for it is always wise to take counsel from other Godly men and women. What does it say about her husband’s leadership? He trusts her completely as he sits at the gates with his male companions and praises her amazing accomplishments; “strength and honor are her clothing”. This virtuous woman doesn’t appear to need a lot of guidance or leadership from her husband. But this is an Old Testament woman; something the New Testament woman is sadly unfamiliar with.

Why? Why does the New Testament woman not really understand her role as wife? I personally think it is because they have listened to thousands of years of sermons and teachings from theologians, pastors and clergy that have told them a skewed interpretation of the New Testament that benefits men greatly in maintaining complete control and autonomy within the home and family structure.

But is this what God wants for the marital relationship? Let’s forget for a moment the westernized, evangelical way of interpreting the New Testament when it comes to the roles of wife. Let’s look at what Gods original intent was when he created them together in the garden. Let’s look at Genesis where it all began. This may surprise many of you more than anything else you will read about the wife’s role. Many of you have been taught that it is the wife’s role to submit in all things. But this was the curse of the fall, not the blessing of creation. This is one of the many things Jesus died on the cross to reverse.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

The Hebrew word for “helper” used in this verse is “ezer” and is from the root word “azar”. The definition of this word is to “surround, protect or aid”. God uses this word often when talking about Himself and His relationship to those He loves. In the Strong’s Concordance it is #5828; “ezer”. This word is used many times throughout the Old Testament scripture and here are a few examples:

“There is none like the God of Jeshurun,

Who rides the heavens to your help (Hebrew word used here is ezer),

And through the skies in His majesty.” Deuteronomy 33:26

“Blessed are you, O Israel;

Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord,

Who is the shield of your help (Hebrew word used here again is ezer)

And the sword of your majesty!

So your enemies will cringe before you,

And you will tread upon their high places.” Deuteronomy 33:29

Our soul waits for the Lord;

He is our help and our shield. (Hebrew word used here again is ezer)

Psalm 33:20

But I am afflicted and needy;

Hasten to me, O God!

You are my help and my deliverer; (Hebrew word used here again is ezer)

O Lord, do not delay. Psalm 70:5

O Israel, trust in the Lord;

He is their help and their shield. (Hebrew word used here again is ezer)

Psalm 115:9

It is your destruction, O Israel,

That you are against Me, against your help. (Hebrew word used here again is ezer)

Hosea 13:9

There are too many examples here to list them all, but I think the point is made. The woman’s original purpose and design was not as a subservient helper, but as a strong ally. God, at no time when He identifies Himself as a helper, does He suggest that He is subservient in any way to those He is helping. Quite the opposite. So, before you get too puffed up in your new found freedom in Christ, God gives this “ezer” a more profound qualification. The next Hebrew word used in this text is “kenegdo”, which is translated in many cases as meet or suitable. This word, in all honesty, is not translated into English correctly in any version you may read.

Kenegdo is from the root word “nagad”. This word, according to the Strong’s Concordance, #5048, simply means “in front of, in sight of, or opposite to”. This word, in no way, connotates subservience.

So where did this subservience come from? It is a curse that comes from the fall…

To the woman He said,

“I will greatly multiply

Your pain in childbirth,

In pain you will bring forth children;

Yet your desire will be for your husband,

And he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16, emphasis mine

Man’s desire is to rule over us. That is not God’s best. If you are allowing your husband, or anyone for that matter, to rule over you then God is not in control of you or your life. And isn’t that what all of us who follow Christ want? Him in control. But with that said, He will never control you without your consent. He longs for the words and actions that show you are allowing Him to guide you and your life. Relinquishing control to anyone, or anything else, is serving Satan.

Of course, this is my interpretation of these scriptures and mine alone. I know there are those out there that agree with my conclusions but they are not the mainstream. You will have to take this journey on your own, and determine for yourself if what I say is accurate.

Any interpretation of scripture that anyone presents to you should always be compared to God’s word. Never, ever, take anyone’s word for it, not me, not your Pastor or any other clergymen or theologian that claims to have an interpretation of what they believe to be biblical truths. You need to check these things out for yourself. And don’t just look at one version of the bible, but look at many. Get a concordance. See what the intent of the original writings meant. Be a Berean. To be a Berean is to be of “noble character”.

Next time, I will address those verses in the New Testament that are translated into submission and shed some light on what it was Paul was really saying, if he actually said those things at all.

Kingdom Men Rising will be in theaters April 29th.

Sources: Tony Evans warns Satan attacking biblical manhood; society on 'precipice' of disaster (Christian Post)

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