It has often been said that a man is the head of the household, but a woman is the neck—turning the head whichever way he needs to go!
This can certainly be done in a positive manner: a good wife should have discussions with her husband about their plans, provide insight and wise counsel, and, above all, should pray for her husband, asking God to lead him in the way they should go. The Scripture indicates that the male head of the household will answer to God for the decisions made in his home, and thus bears the responsibility of leadership. But submission to his leadership on the part of the wife doesn't mean that she is forced to an inactive role. A good wife knows how to guide her husband when needed. And both her submission and his headship should be done out of mutual love and respect for one another.
Rebekah knows how to be the neck, moving the head of her household wherever she pleases, but she doesn’t do it in a way that is worthy of emulation. She doesn't have love and respect for her husband. When we read how Rebekah treats her husband, we understand what it means to win an argument while losing a relationship.
Please read Genesis 27:46-28:5.
After Rebekah pleas with her husband, he obeys her wishes and gives her exactly what she wants. But Rebekah doesn’t achieve her goals by reasoning with Isaac, she doesn’t pray with him, she doesn’t negotiate with her husband. Rebekah just manipulates Isaac.
She insists that her life is miserable because of her daughters-in-law and she will have to kill herself if her only single son marries a woman like Esau’s wives. When Isaac hears the dismay of his wife, he immediately grants her wish and orders his son to go to Rebekah’s relatives to find his wife, blesses him, and sends him on his way.
Isaac is a poor father. He plays favorites with his sons, which pits them against each other and ultimately leads to one ready to murder the other. But Isaac is not a poor husband. In the few verses we read about his relationship with Rebekah, we are told that Isaac loved her (24:67), he prayed for her (25:21), and he laughed with her (26:8). But Rebekah does not respond in kind. Rebekah does not submit to Isaac’s leadership and respect her husband. Instead, she spies on him (27:5), she forces her son to manipulate his father (27:8, 13), and she herself manipulates Isaac (27:46). And she does all this while he is blind and believes he’s on his death bed!
They say that behind every great man is a great woman. But Rebekah shows us that this isn’t always the case. Isaac, one of the great Patriarchs of Israel, is married to a woman who doesn’t respect him, and who’s only interactions with him are filled with manipulation.
Please use her example as a warning: it’s possible to get your way using nefarious means, but it’s not worth it. A good husband should serve as the head of the household in submission to God, and a good wife should serve as the neck in the same manner.
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