June 23, 2021

Who’s In Charge In Your Home?

I, for one, think that this is an interesting and more involved question than you would expect.  On the surface, this is mostly an academic question.  The Bible gives a clear order of authority for the home.  But is that the real life reality?

First, look at the Proverbs 31 woman.  She’s far from a simple housewife– she’s a marketer, a producer, a realtor, and compared to her the man looks like he sits around all day playing board games (or whatever he does when he sits around with the elders of the land).

When it comes to the palace of King David– it was run by his wives and concubines.  Now it is also true that there were many wives and concubines and you probably only have one woman in your home, but you get the idea.

And yet this is not that inconsistent with the picture of Christ and His bride.  He is in charge completely, but there are things that He gives His bride to do, and she’s expected to manage them and do them well.

So, should we be surprised when Live Science comes out to say that women are in charge at home?

A study, which was just released, finds that wives have more power than their husbands in making decisions and dominating discussions.

“The study at least suggests that the marriage is a place where women can exert some power,” said lead author David Vogel, a psychologist at Iowa State University (ISU). “Whether or not it’s because of changing societal roles, we don’t know.”

I guess that I would argue that this article only is interesting if it is implicitly implied that the man should be the one that runs the household.  With that in mind, I have two comments.

1. Feminism has altered the family landscape.

It’s no secret that one of the goals of feminism was to create equality between men and women wherever man was in charge.  To that end, women have tried to prove themselves equals in the workforce and in the home.

I believe that is was more than a paycheck that made man the authority in the home– it was a positional, cultural and natural position.  There was a patriarchal order to things, and women were treated as less than men as far as education and the right to vote.

However, women have always had power over the men in matters of raising children and the home.  She completes the man, and the man tries to please her.  He had to win her, and it’s in his best interest to make sure that she is satisfied.

2. Men should defer to the wife in matters of the home because she’s “always there”.

I think it’s not only Biblical but practical that the man gives the wife not only what she needs, but what she wants if it is within reason, the budget, and there’s no law against it.  She’s the one that is raising the family.  She knows the needs around the house.  She is the one that takes care of the man.

In business terms I would say that the man should be the VP of Family Affairs and the woman the Director of Family Affairs.  The woman carries out the tasks, gets what she needs, and runs the house.  The man paints the vision, provides for the family, and takes action when necessary.

The man and the woman are peers, but they have different offices.  It’s not a matter of who is better, it is a matter of function.

So yes, the woman can be in charge in the home– with the exception that she can be overruled when absolutely necessary.

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5 thoughts on “Who’s In Charge In Your Home?

  1. The first few years of my marriage were spent in confusion and inadequacy because I was not taught the Biblical roles of the family.

    Even now that I understand and submit I find it very difficult to live the Proverb 31 woman life b/c it hasn’t been practical.

    Good example is yesterday. I had to work 2 hours more at work plus meet at church for a meeting and pass by the grocery store before going home. My husband didn’t wait for me to get home and get dinner started. By the time I got home he had everything ready, even more he waited for me to get home, almost at 8pm which is late for us, we had dinner together.

    “In business terms I would say that the man should be the VP of Family Affairs”

    This always isn’t the case. For example, I had to make all the decisions on the insurance coverage we took because he wasn’t insurance savvy (I worked for an insurance company) and he just didn’t want to deal with it.

    My point is we cannot follow set roles always we must be flexible.

  2. I think you make an extremely valid point here, Diana. Each of us is gifted in different areas and have different tastes. Trying to make each person fit the stereotype isn’t going to work. However, there has to be a unified chain of command– if you will– that says who is ultimately responsible.

    It’s my opinion that it’s extremely practical to sit down and figure out what responsibilities each person will have in upkeeping the house and family– but there has to be someone that is responsible ultimately. I believe that God ordained that to be man– not because men are any better, but for His own sovereign reasons.

  3. I’ve never liked people who talked about biblical roles of husband and wives because it’s either too spiritchal to be of any practical use or the person doesn’t practice what he preaches. This was the case of my brother in law who had a great sermon about how the Husband is the head of the wife blah blah (he wasn’t a pastor but very involved in church) but had (past tense) a family that hated him. Thankfully for him God got ahold of him literally took a UPS truck to force him to deal with his family issues. So lucky he’s still married and his kids talk to him.

    Besides that I’ve often said a marriage is like a partnership with each person bringing different strengths. The idea that someone is the boss is quaint but not practical.

  4. Rob, there ultimately needs to be someone responsible for the home. God declared whom He selected– it’s not me making the call.
    However, I think that some have taken the responsibility and mistaken that for authority to rule like a boss. I view it more as team members that have different functions, but at the end of the day someone is responsible. Someone has to have the final say. That’s not to say that the husband should declare constantly what should be done, but as Jesus taught, the leader should be the servant.

  5. I loved this post, and as I read it your viewpoint coming through would be much like my husbands. He trusts me to make the right decisions in his absence and he never questions what I think we need to buy for the household, or our homeschooling. It’s a great feeling, a mutual respect. I’m so glad he’s the “responsible” one b/c even though I handle most of the “household” decisions, he has the greater burden, imo, of going out there and bringing home the income so that we can have and do the things that are important to us.

    I can’t see what’s to disagree with in this post, and would love more on the subject!

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