God created men and women equal, and women should be treated as equals—not as inferiors. Men who ridicule and belittle women probably do it to reassure their own manhood. If they can convince themselves that all men are superior to all women, then they feel superior to their wives no matter how weak or irresponsible they themselves might be!
Being a “man” does does not mean you can destroy your wife’s personality or will, nor does it reduce her to slave status. Actually it does just the opposite. Jesus Christ is the supreme example of a “real man” and ministers to it. In this capacity Christ actually serves the church—a fact which you husbands need to think about! Some men have the false notion that being the head of the house means “I’m the boss and you’ll do as I say whether you like it or not. Now get me my slippers.”
Other men have the ridiculous idea that this includes bullying rights. They get bullied at work by their bosses, so they come home and bully their wives and children to prove their masculinity. But brutality doesn’t show masculinity. On the contrary, it shows weakness. The man who hits someone weaker than himself is demonstrating uncertainty about his actual strength. If he pushes his wife, drags her around, or strikes her, he is displaying his insecurity, immaturity, and incompetence as a husband. This kind of treatment puts wives in mental institutions. The man who thinks he can order his wife around like a slave is cheating her of a very wonderful privilege that God wants her to have.
On the positive side, men can give loving leadership. There is a universal need for leadership in every sphere of human experience. We have it in government—local, state, and federal. Our mayor, governor, and president are not necessarily superior to us, but as our duly chosen leaders they have delegated positional authority. We have authority in our schools, on our jobs, and in our churches. We need to have it in our homes, too. The greatest example of leadership to which we could point is that of God the Father as Head over God the Son. Christ has been equal with His Father from eternity past, yet He subjected Himself to the authority of the Father.
Unfortunately, some men shy away from their leadership role. With authority goes responsibility, demands, decisions, pressures, and much time. They have enough of these problems at work, and don’t want to be bothered with more of them at home. Because they are more interested in their own convenience than in their biblical responsibilities, they force their wives into the leadership role—with chaotic results. This situation is contrary to the very nature of both man and woman as God made them. It brings friction, frustration, dissatisfaction, dissension, and discord. Gentlemen, take charge! Be the leader in your home. Take the initiative in making decisions, training the children, and establishing family worship.
This is exactly how a Christian marriage should work. It could be described as a democracy with male leadership. Each mate should be concerned for the other, and for the best interests of the marriage. There should be a mutual sharing in the making of decisions and the resolving of problems. Because each partner displays a genuine love for the other, irresolvable problems should be rare. But in those rare cases, God says that the husband lovingly leads and the wife lovingly follows.