By Laura Vandercook
I was watching an episode of Fixer Upper on Netflix the other day when the husband described a house in this way: “It is in our budget, works for our family, and makes my wife happy.” You wouldn’t think that a little comment like that would catch much of anyone’s attention. It is such an ordinary way of looking at things, perhaps even too simple for television. However, it is in a statement like this that we see the male headship of the family working well. The husband cared so much for his family that he made sure that they were both well taken care of and that his wife was happy.
Feminism has been a prominent conversation in my household lately. It is from these conversations that I continue to see the importance of teaching both my son and my daughters the importance of male-headship. As I explain to my children how a woman respects and honors her husband and how a husband cares for his wife, my children look at society and see that this isn’t how it works. They point out instances that they’ve seen and wonder how the biblical view of marriage works in a culture that ignores it.
My eldest daughter came home from school one day asking her little sister what she wants to be when she grows up. It is such a typical question to ask children, but it is one that comes with more baggage than we often recognize. When my youngest child answered that she wants to grow up to be a mom, the older daughter asked what else she wants to do. Here we see that feminism has ingrained in us the idea that being a mother and wife isn’t good enough, that these vocations are beneath us. The implication is that if the different jobs of a husband and wife are placed on a scale, and if they do not equal each other, that somehow someone is less human or less important to the family and even to society.
We seem to think that women can and should do everything that men can do, and that men can and should do everything that women can do, but this is just not the case. Men and women were created to be different. Man is not given headship over woman to dominate her. No, he is placed over her to love, care for, and to protect her, even at risk of his own life. Woman is not placed under the man to be overshadowed or ignored, belittled, or hurt, but she is placed there for protection and to be the recipient of the love and care of her husband.
And so my husband and I continue to talk to our daughters and our son. We help them to see that it is good to be married, to raise children, for the wife to honor and respect her husband and for the husband to care for and to protect his wife.
While much of the world looks at children and sees them as a burden, we can look at marriage and see that God has given us a wonderful place to raise up children. It is a place where a mother is free to love and care for her husband and children under the protection and care of her husband. It is a place where a husband protects and cares for his family as he provides a safe and caring environment for his family to bloom and grow.
Laura Vandercook and her husband David have three kids, Allyssa, David, Jr., and Kaytlin. Laura enjoys talking about classical education and theology with her friends over freshly baked cookies.