Each of us have a different role in the church and a different role in marriage. I believe that if we live our lives according to the teachings of God’s Word, God will bless our lives more abundantly, and we will live much happier lives. And if we step out of these roles, it will no doubt cause problems in our relationships with our church brothers and sisters, and the same with our spouses. The bible gives us a great example of this in God himself, and we will go over that at the end of this study.
Roles in the church
1 Corinthians 12 teaches us about how different people have different roles in the church. It is a great chapter for us to study how to obtain church harmony. In verses 4-6 it says “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” And it goes on to say what different gifts there were. In verse 11 it says “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” So God assigns and gifts each of us with what he wants for us to do. In verse 13 it says “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” So we have all been called by the same God and we are all equals. No one is superior to another. In verses 14-18 it says “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” So God has put people where it pleases him, and where it’s in our best interest to be, for the betterment of the church, and also for us as individuals. If we try to be a part of the body that God has not called us to be, we are disobeying him, and this will cause problems for the church and for us. Verses 19-23 say “And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.” So the church can’t be a complete body without all of it’s parts. If any are missing it’s not complete. Some parts, such as a Pastor may seem more flashy to the world and something people want to be, but we can’t all be Pastors. Be pleased with the role that God has given you and do that role to the best of your ability. Maybe God has called you to simply be an encourager to others. Shake somebody’s hand with a smile and say some encouraging words to build them up. This role may seem low or feeble as the text says, but there is much honor in this role if you do it because God asked you to, and it’s your gift he’s given you. What if your pastor is down, he’s been getting beat up, he’s depressed, and you go up to him, smile, and give him some encouraging words from God. Maybe his spirit will be lifted, he preaches a great message, and someone gets saved thru that message? Don’t you think you were important in that? Remember each role in the church is vital. Don’t be jealous of what you don’t have. Be pleased with what God has given you and use that gift for him. Verses 24-27 say “For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer , all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” So we are reminded that if we serve our roles correctly, we will be of one mind and one accord, as the Apostle Paul teaches us in Phillipians 2:2 “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
Roles in Marriage
The husband and wife each have a distinct role in marriage as outlined in the Word of God. Neither is superior to the other, however there is an order that we are to live by. Ephesians chapter 5 gives us a lesson of these roles. In verses 22-24 it says “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” So it is clear here that the husband is to be the leader of the household. He’s to be a leader, not a boss. A leader takes you where you need to go, and where you should go. A boss just takes you where he see’s fit. If your husband is being a true leader that God called him to be, you should follow him and support him as he follows God, as fully as you are able to, and helping him along the way. Be an encouragement to him. Tell him that you will go wherever God leads him. Verses 25-28 says “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” So it’s clear that men can’t do anything they want just because they are the leader. They are to love their wife as Christ loved the church. How much does that mean we should love our wife? We all know that Christ died a painful and gruesome death for the church, so that’s about as powerful of a love as we could ever imagine. Husband, don’t lead your wife into despair. Love her, cherish her, and lead her into paths of righteousness, and if you do that, more than likely she will follow you, and your marriage will be filled with love and happiness.
Our example from the Godhead
I believe that God gave us the perfect example of submitting ourselves and defining our roles. That example is himself, in the Godhead. God is 3 parts. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are all 100% God and are all co-equals. However each has a distinct role and they all submit to one another to make perfect harmony. Jesus Christ did not want to be crucified, but he accepted his role as savior because it was the will of the Father. Matthew 26:39 says “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will , but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26 53-54 says “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled , that thus it must be?” Jesus Christ could have not gone thru with this. He had all power, and was God in the flesh. But he submitted himself to his role that he was given, and thus we have the perfect plan of salvation. When we submit ourselves to God, and to others, in the roles that we are given, our lives will be richly blessed, and many problems that we face will go away. Even the Son of God himself accepted the role that he was given. Are we better than Jesus Christ, that we cannot accept our role that we’ve been given? Do we know better than Almighty God? If we take these scriptures to heart, I think this world would be a much more peaceful place. Try accepting the role that you’ve been given by God, instead of trying to be someone that you are not called to be. I believe you will be truly blessed if you do.