In the great plan of happiness, both husband and wife have equally powerful
and equally important roles
When God placed Adam upon the earth he gave unto Adam “an help meet”.
Genesis 2:18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
We have come to understand the meaning of the help meet reference by looking into the original Hebrew translation, which means: “adequate for” or “equal to” Adam. Eve was not subordinate or inferior to Adam. She was equal to Adam. Her role held an equal import in God’s plan.
This same principle is true today — husband and wife have an equally important roles.
Elder Bruce C. Hafen, wrote, “In an equal-partner marriage, “love is not possession but participation … part of that co-creation which is our human calling.” With true participation, husband and wife merge into the synergistic oneness of an “everlasting dominion” that “without compulsory means” will flow with spiritual life to them and their posterity “forever and ever” (D&C 121:46). In the little kingdom of a family, each spouse freely gives something the other does not have and without which neither can be complete and return to God’s presence. Spouses are not a soloist with an accompanist, nor are they two solos. They are the interdependent parts of a duet, singing together in harmony at a level where no solo can go” ( Ensign, Aug. 2007).
In the gospel of Jesus Christ, and within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we teach that the father is to preside in the home.
The Latin definition of the word “preside” means to guard. Other definitions also teachus about this powerful word: to watch over, to govern, to direct.
In an Ensign article in February 2004 Elder Yasuo Niiyama , Area Authority Seventy Asia North Area, wrote a lovely article about presiding righteously.
“In order to preside righteously in the home, a husband and father must first come to know the doctrines and principles of the restored gospel. Without the gospel, some men refuse to accept the responsibility of being a husband or of becoming a father” (Niiyama, 2004)
A husband and father is the patriarch of the family, but that does not give him authority to order or control. The scriptures are clear on this point:
That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—” D&C 121:36 ,41,42
Just as every husband and father is a patriarch of the family unit, so every wife and mother is matriarch. These two roles should complement, support, and sustain one another. Each role is unique and divine and part of God’s great plan.
We can order our families like the world, where were fight among one another to be right, to be hear, to be in control. Or we can learn to pattern our families and our marriages after the doctrines and principles God has set forth.
In June 2012 Randy Keys wrote a great instructional article about counseling in families. These are his closing remarks,
Couples who struggle with control issues or disagreements over how to handle time, money, children, in-laws, or anything else should consider reassessing the foundational principles they have chosen to follow in their marriage. Can they improve their marriage by establishing a pattern where they counsel together with love unfeigned?
The principles of unity, participation, and presiding in righteousness allow us to reach a proper consensus with our spouse and invite the Spirit into our lives. Applying the virtues of love and kindness will soften many arguments, lead to deeper satisfaction in marriage, and build a relationship that can last through eternity.
There are so many blessings that can come to each member of the family we follow the Lord’s plan for equality in the marriage relationship.