Created to Rule and Lead
By Pastor Dan Gayman
The God Who created heaven and earth, hung the planets in their orbits, filled the oceans with water, heaped up the great mountains, and covered the earth with pristine beauty also created as the crowing achievement of His universe men and women of Adam kind. Our Living God vested in man the lordship of His earth and charged him with the responsibility of taking dominion of the earth and all things therein. He vested in woman the sacred trust of being the man’s helpmeet, to nourish and join the man as one flesh, sharing the same genetic heritage and life vision. The man and woman were ordained to take the power of two and become “one” in Jesus Christ.
Man was created to rule and to lead the woman and all children born to this union. Under the headship of Jesus Christ (I Cor. 11:3), man was ordained to love and cherish the woman and to be her provider, protector, and defender. This man was to place his love and loyalty in her alone all the days of her life. In marriage, the woman vows to take the name and identity of her husband, assist in his life vision, become his helpmeet, bear his children, become a mother, and guide the house. The woman is charged to reverence her husband alone all the days of his life.
Both the man and the woman in a monogamous union are committed to life-long sacrifices. The covenant of marriage is a life-long commitment and ends only when one of the partners dies. The man and woman are mutually committed to a life of conjugal relations; neither should use this duty as a bargaining chip to gain or withhold favors. The husband must love and cherish his wife. Likewise, she must revere, respect, and honor her husband as the head of the union. The mutual sharing of their lives as the power of two join as one provides them the opportunity to seize dominion, multiply children, and enlarge the Kingdom of God and ensure blessings for all their future posterity.
This vision of marriage once shined across America and the entire western world. Men and women joined in the covenant of marriage turned this pristine wilderness called America into the single greatest nation to ever exist. From Jamestown (1607) until about 1971, divorce in America was rare. If it did occur, it was frowned upon, very difficult to obtain, and culturally unacceptable. No-fault divorce was one of the results of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and turned marriage and the family upside down. The feminization of America took root in the latter part of the 1800s and was greatly exacerbated by the cultural revolution of the 1960s. It assaulted the very foundations of manhood. Essentially, men have surrendered much of their responsibility to rule and lead and by default have lost their headship.
America today stands precisely in the place where the nation of Judah found themselves prior to the invasion of their country—first by the Assyrians later by the Chaldean armies of King Nebuchadnezzar. Jehovah commissioned Isaiah to preach repentance to Israel and a warning of impending judgment to the nation of Judah. Isaiah catalogued the multiple sins of ancient Israel, one of which in particular stands out: “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12). The narrative of Isaiah 3 closes with a startling end to the feminization of the culture of ancient Israel in the land of Judea. As the headship of men faded and elsewhere in the nation of Judah the entire moral and social fabric of the nation was in free fall with no repentance in sight, the nation sank all the way to the bottom. What was the end result? In ancient Israel, men and women of that society, along with the children, suffered horrific consequences, including foreign invasion. But that is not all. In such a feminized culture, life became so difficult for the women that they were willing to share one man if only he would give them a name and cover their reproach: “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach” (Isaiah 4:1).
Not unlike today, the ancient nation of Judah had become totally feminized. The men had failed to rule and lead, leading the nation to complete feminization. Isaiah delivered a stinging rebuke to the nation and in the absence of male leadership chastened the people for the fact that women ruled over them. He delivered a strong rebuke to the women recorded in Isaiah 3:16-26. From the beginning, Jehovah created men to rule and lead women and children. The Old Testament is replete with this call.
Men alone were to fill the office of leadership in the home, in the Tabernacle, in the Temple, and in civil government. The positions of leadership in the priestly tribe of Levi were exclusively male. Judges, military officers, and all other positions of authority were exclusively male. Only on rare occasions did a woman exercise authority—and then it was not without warning. Deborah warned Barak, Israel’s military leader, that he should take the lead in waging war against Sisera, who was leading the armies of Jabin, king of Canaan. When Barak declined to lead the armies of Israel without the aid of Deborah, consider what Deborah told him: “I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (Judges 4:9). Deborah was willing to lead, but only because there was not a man to head the armies of Israel. Men, not women, were created in the original design of the Creator to rule and lead the family, the church, and civil government.
The call of God for men to rule and lead continued into the New Testament. All twelve apostles were men. In all positions in the Jerusalem church, later in Antioch and even elsewhere, men alone were called to rule and lead. The qualifications for serving as bishops, elders, and deacons in the New Testament church include being male (Acts of the Apostles, I Tim. 3, Titus 1, etc). Men exclusively served in positions in government as per the New Testament record. I Timothy 3:2 and 12 requires that the offices of bishops, elders, and deacons be the husband of one wife. There simply is no biblical sanction for the ordination of women.
Moreover, to return to a basic text in Genesis 3:16, note that the Creator of heaven and earth ordained that the woman should be under the rule of the man. God ordained men originally to rule and lead. Speaking to the woman, God said, “And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” This truth runs like a scarlet thread through the corpus of the entire Bible. Consider this documentation from the New Testament.
That men were to rule and lead their wives and children is the clear teaching of Scripture: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (I Cor. 11:3). The man is under the headship of Christ, and the woman under the headship of the man. As Christ rules and leads, so should the man lead the woman and children of his household.
Ephesians 5:21-33 contains classic instruction for the husband and wife. In the spirit of Christian love and virtue, both the man and wife are to submit to each other in the fear of God. “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord…For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church…Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
Colossians 3:18-21 contains the model that God desires in the marriage and family: “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” I Peter 1:1-6 confirms God’s original intent of God in Genesis 3:16. “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives” (verse 1). “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands” (verse 5). “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (verse 7).
When the first seven deacons were chosen to serve in the apostolic age of the Jerusalem church, this is what Scripture records in Acts 6:3: “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” Not a single case in the New Testament is any woman called and ordained to serve in the church. America is becoming more feminized today as men abandon their responsibility to God and His church and leave it in the hands of women. Not only were the women not to hold offices in the church, but also they were not to teach or preach: “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law” (I Corinthians 14:33-34). This refers to a woman teaching and preaching. God declares in I Timothy 2:12, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
In Titus 2:3-4, the aged women are assigned this role in the church: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
When men fail to rule and lead in the church, a vacuum is created—one which women will fill. When women are allowed to run the home, serious consequences result. One of the fruits of a feminine dominated home is the propensity for sons to turn away from women. You know where that leads! In an age of feminism, male homosexuality is on the rise. A church dominated by women is a feminist church. Confusion and chaos are the bitter of harvest of this serious violation of God’s original intent for men to rule and lead.
Consider some classic examples of what the consequences are when women are allowed to replace men as the rulers and leaders of the home. These examples will only highlight each case. An individual sermon could follow each example. There are equally strong examples in Scripture when men did rule and lead and where great blessings flowed. Our goal here is to accentuate those examples which demonstrate the compelling need for men to rule and lead their wives and children. This lesson opened with the biblical case of Adam and Eve, the first classic case of failure of the man to rule and lead. We all suffer from the consequences of our fallen and broken world as confirmation of this first failure.
Abraham and Sarah waited for many long years for a son, a child to inherit the unconditional covenant of promise between Jehovah and His servant Abraham. After years of patient waiting, Sarah took the matter into her own hands: “The LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai” (Genesis 16:2). Abram quickly hearkened to the voice of Sarah. In short order a male child, Ishmael by name, was born from the womb of Hagar. Ishmael became the father of the Arabs, the wild people of history. “His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him…” (Genesis 16:12).
Abraham allowed his wife to make a decision that has had enormous consequences for all the children descended from Isaac. The Arab world has been a perpetual thorn in the side of the Anglo, Saxon, Germanic peoples for millennia. Later, when strife broke out between Sarah and Hagar, Abram became the target of Sarah’s anger: “And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee:. . .” (Gen. 16:5). Sarah could rightly charge her husband with this mistake. After all, Abram failed to lead by not over-ruling Sarah’s plan to conceive a child through a surrogate. Allowing Sarah to make this decision regarding Hagar would haunt Abraham all the days of his life. In fact, it continues to haunt his children today.
The unconditional covenant of promise between Abraham and our sovereign God could not be canceled by Abraham’s bad performance. Abraham paid for his mistake, and we continue to pay for this mistake. The armies of Isaac have been battling the Arab offspring of Ishmael throughout their history, and our 21st Century world pulses with the age-old animosity all over Central Asia, North Africa, and elsewhere. The U. S. has sustained about 10,000 dead, another 50,000 wounded and mutilated, and more than one trillion dollars fighting Ishmael in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere since 9/11/01.
Isaac and Rebekah began their marriage in a fairy tale romance. Never having seen each other, they accepted the wisdom, testimony, and encouragement of their elders and came together as husband and wife. As first cousins, they were pedigreed stock and represented certified, unadulterated racial Caucasian stock. After twenty years of childless marriage, Isaac made serious supplication for a child. Soon Rebekah conceived and gave birth to twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Trouble began at the onset with these twins. Scripture tells us that Esau was an outdoor man, rugged, a cunning hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents and leading a more pastoral life. The Bible declares, “Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Gen. 25:28).
The partiality shown to these two sons was to have enormous consequences. We must view this in the context of God’s over-arching sovereignty and the prophetic announcement made while these two sons were still in the womb. Jehovah had told Rebekah, “two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23). For this and perhaps other reasons, the partiality shown to these two sons was a major mistake on the part of their parents. The rift and animosity surfaced in a major way when they were grown and Esau sold his birthright to Jacob.
As the years passed, Rebekah heard Isaac, now advancing in age with impaired vision, commission Esau to find some venison, prepare a meal, and receive the patriarchal blessing from his father. Rebekah quickly commissioned Jacob to fetch two kids of the goats and make a savory meal such as Isaac liked. Reluctant to go along with this plan, Jacob was afraid his father would discover this subterfuge, and he certainly feared what might follow. Rebekah cunningly set out to find Esau’s clothing and ordered Jacob to wear it. Rebekah then proceeded to place the skins of the kid goats upon his arms, hands, and the smooth of his neck. Jacob was thus prepared to steal the patriarchal blessing from his brother.
Rebekah’s plot almost failed. When Jacob appeared to his father seeking to impersonate Esau, Isaac made this now famous statement: “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau” (Genesis 27:22). However, upon hearing Jacob’s assertion that he indeed was Esau, Isaac proceeded to give Jacob the patriarchal blessing. Jacob now possessed both the birthright and the patriarchal blessing. When Esau later appeared and Isaac discovered the treachery of Rebekah and Jacob, it was too late! He had already conferred the blessing upon Jacob. In tears, Esau begged his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing” (Genesis 27: 35). In the end, Esau did receive a much lesser blessing. However, the birthright continued to remain with Jacob, including the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth, while Esau was to live by the sword and with one major caveat. At a given point, Esau was to gain the dominion and break Jacob’s yoke of oppression. This is now occurring as the Edomites (descended from Esau) are in charge of the large banking cartels, entertainment, cinema, television, and financial strongholds in the lands settled by Jacob’s offspring.
` The rift between Jacob and Esau was accentuated by deep and bitter hospitality between Esau and Jacob. Esau and his offspring became perpetual enemies of Jacob’s children. The root of this problem can be traced back to Isaac, who, showing partiality to Esau, failed to seek the face of Jehovah and carefully guard his relationship with these two sons. Isaac’s failure to rule properly afforded Rebekah the opportunity to fill the void and strategize to defend Jacob’s access to the birthright and patriarchal blessing.
Sadly for Rebekah, this episode in deceiving her husband through her son Jacob did not fare well. Rebekah paid dearly for circumventing her husband in the blessing of the patriarchal blessing. We do not hear of her again in Scripture. The Bible does not even record the account of her passing. We only know from the testimony of Jacob that Rebekah was buried by her husband Isaac, in the same burial place with Abraham and Sarah, the same place of Leah’s burial (Genesis 49:31).
The failure of men to rule and lead their wives, the home, and other venues can be followed throughout the Bible in the examples of Jacob and Rachel, Ahab and Jezebel, Nabal and Abigail, Herod and Herodias, Ananias and Sapphira, and many others. The failure of men to rule and lead is clearly marked in the history of our people. Remnant Christians live in a culture pulsating with feminization. Today women dominate the world. Who must bear the blame? Not the women! They have become the head and men the tail because the men for far too long have simply failed to rule and lead.
The solution should not be the knee jerk reaction of men rising up in anger and aggressive arrogance and an abundance of male chauvinism. The far better solution is for the husband to gather his wife and children together and humbly admit his failure, assume the responsibility for failure, ask the forgiveness of his wife and children, and beg their prayers and blessing as he endeavors to lead in the fear of God.
The first step in becoming successful as the ruler and leader of his wife and children and elsewhere is for the man to find his own place under the headship of Jesus Christ. This effort will be greatly accelerated if the men work through their pastors. It is hard to imagine how a man can be under the headship of Jesus Christ and not be in a church or at least have a church that he considers his spiritual cover. Christ is the head of the church and the Savior of the body. For a man to be under the headship of Christ, there must be the church of which Christ is the head. Every man will be better served if he has a spiritual mentor to help hold him accountable.
Christians, let us resolve to do better in our homes and revisit the old ways designed by our Creator God. Let us each esteem the other better than ourselves and do our best to fulfill our God-given roles established in Scripture.