How an abused wife came to embrace biblical patriarchy

white book page on black textile

The Bible is a patriarchal book and thus biblical patriarchy–father rule–is a good thing and the way God meant for our world to function. Patriarchy has a bad name among many in the church but not because patriarchy itself is bad; rather, it has a bad name because it has been twisted, maligned, and misunderstood–often, intentionally.

When those who supposedly embrace patriarchy but intentionally twist God’s Word, it needs to be destroyed. We see this false patriarchy promoted in books like “Me? Obey Him?” by Elizabeth Rice Handford, daughter of the fundamentalist evangelist Dr. John R. Rice, “Created to be his Helpmeet” by the infamous Debbie Pearl and painfully lived out in families like the Duggars.

It was also lived out in my family. My husband, an abuser and a believer in a twisted and dangerous form of patriarchy, twisted Scripture to his own ends and used it against me.

This isn’t biblical patriarchy and I discovered that by simply reading and believing Scripture.

Scripture is clear as to the purpose, duties, and design of the man and of the woman and it’s teaching is at odds with our culture. Our world abhors the creation order. When we get this wrong, we get everything wrong and what we’re seeing in our culture is the fruit of this rotten tree.

What does Scripture teach?

Man was created first, and then woman.

Woman was created out of man; literally woman was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

Man had priority in creation and is the origin of woman; God could have chosen to create woman on her own as He did female animals; instead He chose to use man as her origin.

Woman was created for the man and not man for the woman.

God designed woman as a helpmeet, to be the helper to the man; Man isn’t created for the woman’s sake but woman for the man’s sake.

1 Corinthians 11: 2-16 testifies to the above; God, in these verses, commands a woman to wear a visible symbol on her head because of the headship of man. The covering testifies to God’s created order.

God gave us a visible sign concerning spiritual headship of man; He grounded it in our creation out of man and thus it is a lasting testimony of man’s headship. The command to cover is rooted in creation, in nature, and “because of the angels”.

Masculinity looks and acts and dresses differently than femininity.

Effeminate men are sinful as are masculinized women.

God gave men and women differing purposes.

Men were created to lead, protect, and defend his family; woman was created as a helpmeet, and to love and nurture her family.

Man’s sphere is from the home outward; the woman’s sphere is inward to her home and to her church and community.

Men were appointed by God to be leaders in the home, church, and in society.

When women rule over men, it is a sign of God’s judgement (including Deborah).

All of this is clear from a straight-forward reading of Scripture.

All of it was convincing and convicting to me.

My husband was unfaithful and abusive but his sinful actions and twisting of Scripture to try to justify his sin towards me in no way changes the teachings of God’s Word. Scripture is the Word of God. The Bible is a patriarchal book. And biblical patriarchy–explained defined through a straight-forward reading of God’s Word and interpreting Scripture by Scripture–is a true reflection of the heart and intent of God’s Word.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

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  1. Avril says:

    Good Evening ! Could you if you want (of course ) make a post what is biblical patriarchy, womanhood, and manhood and what isnt (especially adressing how it has been twisted patriarchy)

    1. Anna says:

      Yes, I will. I’m working on this. I’m sorry for the delay in answering. The comments disappeared and weren’t showing. Thanks for asking. SDG