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.