The word “Patriarchy” has very bad connotations these days. The word simply means “the male head of a family or tribe” but feminists have fought hard to get rid of Patriarchy because of the “cruelness” and “unfairness” of it. I asked the women in the chat room this question: “Can you all share with me the pain and misery you are suffering under Patriarchy? I need to make a blog post about this to warn women of God’s ways.”
Verna: “A happy marriage. It’s dreadful.”
Nicole: “On the contrary, I’m suffering from being OUT from under Patriarchy! I anxiously await the day my husband will be restored to his rightful place in our home as head over our family.”
Diane: “I am suffering terribly with this man who gets up every morning at 4:30 am and works from 5:00 am until anywhere from 4:00 to 6:00 pm every day building machines. He also leaves me on Saturdays from 4:00 am until noon. Then he comes home and does things like cutting out a wall to put in a new sliding glass door for me. Then he takes me to church every Sunday morning. He says he loves me. He gives me a nice vehicle to drive and a credit card to buy all the gas I want. He pays all the bills and gives me more grocery money than I need. He takes me away on trips now and then and always remembers my birthday and our anniversary. I get to stay home, homeschool, keep house, and cook everyday. I have had the joy of raising three daughters, and now I get to enjoy grandchildren. Someone rescue me from this pain and misery!”
Taylor: “Yeah I never have to work a ‘real job’ another day in my life and I don’t have to trust strangers with my children. It’s the WORST 😜.”
Candis: “I don’t have cable or dish/tv, can you believe it? He makes me live without it. He makes me go on cruise ships, stay at home with my twin girls, drive a brand new mini-van. And I didn’t get anything for Christmas but a brand new bathroom! He only asks that the bed be made and ice tea…Save Me! lol”
Kylene: “I get to stay home with my children and homeschool them. I get to teach them, influence them, cook nutritious meals for my family, etc. When my husband is off work, I get to be with him instead of at work (and so do my children because they’re here, too). We’re all so oppressed. 🙄”
Christine: “When I’ve been so scared I couldn’t talk, he was there with words.
When I couldn’t see straight because of tears, he lead me.
When I couldn’t find the time, he made time
When I didn’t have the energy, he lifted me.
When I thought I couldn’t love enough, he showed me how!
He loves me just like Jesus loves his church.”
Patricia: “We had a terrible hail storm last April. It destroyed our vinyl siding, roof, and screens on the house. Because of patriarchy, I didn’t have to deal with insurance adjusters, roofers, and contractors. I was able to be in the house making my husband his favorite rice pudding during the final inspections. It’s rough, Lori Alexander ❤”
Carlee: “It’s so hard to get to be around my child all day and not have to worry about him being in someone else’s care. It is the worst when he’s sick and I don’t get to go to work and hope someone else notices his symptoms the way I do. And my husband is so controlling – he insists I take time to care for myself and will occasionally force me to rest while he picks up dinner on his way home. I get to have a clean house at my leisure and home-cooked meals daily! I never get to experience the heartbreak and confusion of casual sex or wondering where I stand with this guy I hooked up with. I get to have the same man all the time and he comes with a legally binding commitment to me. How boring! 😫”
Molly: “I have received more blessings than I ever deserve because of my father and husband. I’ve been loved, cared for, and valued by both. I can’t stand the disdain our culture seems to have for men in general. It’s so dumb and no different than old-fashioned bigotry of hating entire groups of people just because. I thank God everyday for my husband, who is humble and hard-working. Last week, he took off time from work to go with me to a doctor appointment because I was scared. He drives me wherever I need to go and is much calmer and wiser than I am. It’s clear that God wants me to look up to my husband and listen to him, and I regret that I didn’t always treat him that way. Thank you, Lori and friends on this page, for showing me the light! I feel badly for my friends who never married because they are missing out on that provision and love.”
Libby: “The cruel Patriarchy I grew up with is a loving father who is to this day affectionate and kind to myself and my daughters. And I have a wicked, wicked husband who provides a comfy life and works his booty off for me. It’s so difficult when he helps me around the house even when I don’t ask him, and he goes out of his way to bless my day with happiness.”
Chelsea: “I’m provided for, I have a kitchen full of food without ever needing to make a paycheck. My children have never gone without yet I never have to leave their side. I have a doting, loving husband who kisses my forehead and cuddles me all night. I’m able to fulfill all of my dreams with his help and support and I have the freedom to do everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m living out my purpose every single day and get to go to sleep at night feeling fulfilled knowing I have healthy, intelligent children because of my ability to spend undivided time with them. It’s terrible.”
Nicole: “I get so tired, I take a nap most days after we are done homeschooling and the little ones are napping. It’s awful. 😴😂”
Sonja: “No pain and suffering here. I’m so thankful that I am protected from the world by a man who is happy to have me at home.”
Here are some thoughts on Patriarchy by Ken:
“One hears a great deal today about ‘the end of hierarchy… This is blatant nonsense. In any institution there has to be a final authority, that is, a ‘boss’—someone who can make the final decisions and who can expect them to be obeyed.” (Peter Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century). If the greatest mind we have had on management and organizational structure clearly says that we need “someone who can make the final decision” in every organization, why not the family and marriage?
As we were walking tonight Lori told me she posted a tongue-in-cheek question in her chat room asking “How are you doing under Patriarchy?” I am not a big fan of the word Patriarchy as I don’t see the word in the Bible and it carries with it a mix of false connotations and some real sins committed by false religion under the guise of Christianity. If Patriarchy means a father is the head of his home and he rules it with servant leadership, I am all in. If it means a father is in any way unloving or unChristian towards his wife and family I want nothing to do with it and neither should you.
The Patriarchy of the Old Testament was necessary for tribal leadership. Imagine that we had all our four kids and soon to be seven grandkids all living under one roof or compound and issues came up that needed to be decided. The idea that we would all get together in a room and talk it out is a great American ideal, but so impractical, as not only does “decision by committee” take a lot of time, but what do you do when you cannot get consensus?
“We are running out of grazing land and food for the family and animals and need to move on, Dad. Should I call everyone together to decide when and where we should go now?”
“The Amorites are attacking from the south and will be here before dusk! Should we have a family meeting to decide what to do?”
Patriarchy in the Old Testament was the result of a necessity that God addressed by making the men of the family the leaders, and the oldest of the men, the elders, the final decision makers. It was a necessary model of organization that served the tribe well and kept disputes and conflict under control while providing direction and leadership. Remember, much of the family in these days worked within the family business too, and that business was owned and operated by Dad.
I do not see the OT model of Patriarchy in the New Testament, nor do I see the necessity or benefit of a father making decisions for his grown sons and their families who are not living under the same roof. For that matter, a Christian father should be trying to distance his influence over his sons and daughters as they become adults and allow them to create and govern their own family units. My job of being Patriarch ended the day that my child left home for good, and now they must make their own way in life, hopefully God’s way. I certainly am available to them for counsel if they choose to use me as their sounding board, but I have no intention of making any family decisions for them.
So what does the New Testament teach? It teaches that a husband is to be the head of his wife and rule his house well, with love, joy, peace, goodness and all of the fruit of the Spirit flowing through him. He is to be the leader of his home, yet his leadership depends mainly on a wife who loves, respects and willfully submits to his leadership. The husband as leader of his home is to be the final decision maker that is necessary for a healthy organization and family, but his decisions should not be self-serving, but rather focused on the family as a whole and the well being of each of its members.
I much prefer the word leader to Patriarch for our NT times, and I can’t over-emphasize that a Christian wife following her husband is voluntary and cannot be forced. If a wife chooses to be difficult and disobedient to God’s Word, a godly husband’s recourse is limited to conversation, prayer, and perhaps allowing her to suffer the natural consequences of her rebellion to his leadership. Just like Christ does not appear to be zapping us for our disobedience towards Him and His Word, so, too, a husband must be patient to wait upon the Lord to work on his wife’s heart to bring her to a desire to be Christian in her behavior.
“All things Christian” must be the motto of our homes, and when one or the other spouse goes away from what is clearly taught in God’s Word the family suffers. But what does it look like when a wife accepts her husband’s leadership in her life and marriage? Hear it from the words of those who are experiencing God’s blessings by doing things God’s ways. God’s ways can’t be put into a word like Patriarchy, or even leadership.
When the Spirit of Christ is flowing in and through two of his children who want to make for themselves a fabulous marriage and family, the results can be spectacular as the women shared above. I was not Patriarch, but I was a faithful servant of my God and I lead my family well, even when my difficult wife at times refused to follow, then became the best wife I could have ever imagined. The result of God’s work is now four other families who love doing things God’s ways and are extending God’s promises down to another generation of God’s family.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.