Roles, Responsibilities, and Decision Making in Marriage: Part 1

roles in marriage

Over the next few blogs let’s bring some clarity to what many times can be a foggy issue in marriages. Are roles in marriage different for the husband and wife. Does that carry over into the responsibilities in marriage? Does one spouse ultimately have the last word in decision making? What is the biblical framework as God originally intended?

While we don’t pretend to have all the answers, we do hope to share biblical and practical insight that will help you experience oneness and genuine companionship in marriage.

Preconceived Ideas of Roles in Marriage

Sadly, preconceived ideas or strict expectations of doing what was modeled for each individual spouse can sabotage the relationship. If you grew up in a traditional home where mom and dad had specific roles and responsibilities with dad pretty much having the last word, then you enter marriage thinking you want to fully embrace that same model.

Although, in many cases, you may also be repulsed by that model and want to stay as far away from that as possible. We must recognize the effect of relationship models we have experienced. Some influence for good while others have a detrimental effect on how we view our own marriage relationship.

We (Roland & Tammy) have shared many times how very different each of our models were regarding marriage. Tammy grew up with her mom and dad and three brothers. Tammy’s mom stayed home for the most part, and her dad worked. He asked for cafecito (Cuban coffee) and it was brought to him. This was very endearing to me (Roland). I’d hope Tammy would do that for me. 🙂 Though thankful for the stability of being raised by my grandparents, divorce and dysfunction in relationships was part of an ugly pattern with which I had to wrestle.

Fortunately, over the years Tammy and I have processed together, and worked through much of what we and the team will share with you over the next few blogs. God has done and is doing an amazing work in our own marriage. We mutually love one another, and we submit to one another, we serve each other, and value one another immensely!

What does God Say about Roles?

We pray you will seek God’s best and pursue His original intent regarding your roles as husband and wife.

Let’s start with roles. We believe there are distinct roles for the husband and wife. We see in Genesis 2 that God gave Adam a role that was different from Eve’s. These God-given roles were given before the fall. Now, let’s be clear, we are not talking about value.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:28

God being three distinct persons as one trinitarian God also has specific roles within the Godhead. God the Father has a role, God the Son has a role, and God the Spirit has its unique role. One God, equal value, different roles. This model is what God created when he said, “Let’s make man in our image and our likeness.” He created male and female equal value, different roles, to be one together.

Let’s establish that each human is created in the imago dei. Whether male or female and whatever race or nationality, we are created in the image and likeness of God.

What you can expect to find over the next few blogs:

  1. Just because it’s traditional does not mean it’s biblical.
  2. Biblical principles will bring freedom and fulfillment to your relationship, not bondage.
  3. Male and female not only have equal value, but each a high value in God’s economy.
  4. Roles are clearly defined in Scripture while responsibilities in the home can be assigned. You get to decide how responsibilities will get done.
  5. Don’t let preconceived ideas or wounds from your past hinder you from embracing biblical femininity and masculinity.
  6. Avoid the 50-50 trap.
  7. Cultivate trust by valuing each other.
  8. Believe in each other.
  9. Be selfless in your approach towards one another
  10. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s transforming power to influence your perspective on marital roles, responsibilities, and decision making in marriage.

Don’t worry, if neither one of you like to cook, do the finances, do the dishes, make the bed, clean the toilet, change diapers, get the oil changed in the car, and any other required tasks in marriage, the conversation this week should help you find a resolution. At the very least we hope you’ll do more laughing and getting along than arguing and crying.

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Christian Family Life is a marriage discipleship ministry. We are here to offer resources and support no matter what condition your marriage is in. Our passion is to Build, Enrich, and Reconcile Marriages.

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