Over at Reflections of a Mirror blog was a man that did a piece call the The Submissive Wife? I had to giggle because his introduction the article included making sure you paid attention the question mark at the end of the title, "The Submissive wife???"
He did poke fun at some that believe that Ephesians 5:22 seems to be the only sentence with any true meaning in that entire passage. We have all heard it ourselves - Wifes Submit to your husbands! I could tell he was off to a good start with a bit of sarcasm:
There you have it, wives- do whatever your husband says. Guys, wouldn’t that be awesome? To have slaves that have to do what we tell them to do? I mean, how incredibly boring would that be? Never fight, never argue, never have a complicated discussion. Never be interrupted while the NFL is on. Never have to worry about her feelings or her opinions. Never wonder if she will make you breakfast, lunch and dinner, because, well, she has too right? It’s in the Bible.
(giggles) I loved that!
There’s a lot more in that passage than a submissive wife. First, we are told to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. Out of a Holy respect for Jesus, we should not rule each other, no one should seek to dominate the other. We should both give ourselves to each other. Later in the passage it says the two become one, which is a great mystery. I can’t fathom the depth of this but I believe this ties in with the first verse telling us to submit to each other. We are both on equal footing with God. Neither is higher and neither is lower. Equality before God.
Ah yes - the GREAT mystery! What is a mystery to me is that people don't try to slow down, and read the entire passage?! I don't think he is the only that struggles with the depth of this passage, and there are a few of us (me included).
I don't know how many articles, forum questions, etc I have come upon that questioned how far do you let your husband go? How far do you bend? To me they need to sit down, and truly look at what is being asked of them. I mean some things in life are worth bending a bit, and others? They just AREN'T! Something is wrong if you are questioning things.
The message you get from alot of women is SUBMIT to EVERYTHING, and use this as a hammer to hit you with.
I had to giggle at one quick article questioning if she needed to submit to husband's wishes, and give her son his first haircut. She loved his curls, and wasn't ready for the big boy look! I'm not so sure that was a case of submitting myself. It seemed like a compromise and decision - she did bend. She still thinks he is cute, and I figure she still has those pictures she posted. I don't know, but that just didn't seem like submitting to me. Its just part a relationship.
Then you have the extreme we tend to heard about here when people encourage women to submit to domestic violence. It clearly goes against the rest of the passage that others don't seem to read.
Its strange to me, because you hear about how men are wired to lead. They are the take charge type of gender, and aggression is just with them! Don't make them feel threaten, and don't question them. Why? That wouldn't show honor and respect - know your place SUBMIT!
Then you have the other side of the coin. Loads of articles, books, threads on forums, etc all about how it is hard to submit. God I guess didn't wire us the way he did men for some reason. We have to work our part, and well the men? They pretty much don't if you believe the JUNK they put out there!
Now that we have established that neither one should dominate the other lets dissect the submissive wife part. This act of submission is voluntary. The wife does not have to submit, she can refuse. Also, submitting does not imply becoming a slave. You do not give up your rights when you submit although you do allow someone else to lead you. We do this all the time. We submit to God, we submit to bosses at work. We submit to teachers in school. We submit daily to others. But, when that person abuses that submission, we have the right to stop submitting.
I also want to look further in this passage to gain some perspective on submission, in the last verse after the last comma is a phrase that I think puts a new light on this issue, “and the wife must respect her husband.” All of this submitting stuff is done out of respect. But respect is earned. Respect is only kept when the husband is worthy of respect. Why is that so hard to understand? Men, if we earn and keep our wives respect she will not have nearly as hard a time allowing us to lead in our relationship.
Is he saying we might be 'wired' as well? OH MY GOODNESS! What a thought he has there! Respect of the role is earned by treating and loving your wife as Christ would have you do. YEP - it may take some effort on his part! Pretty cool concept huh? NOW that just might WORK! (Yes my sarcasm this time!)
Scenario time. You, your husband and your 9 month old child are in a gas station and a guy with a gun comes in to the store and starts making threats. He aims the gun at you and the baby. Do you a) want your husband to let you take the leadership role and take a bullet or do you b) want him to lead and protect his wife and child by throwing himself in front of the guy with the gun? I think in your heart of hearts at that moment you would want the man in your life to stand up and be a man and protect his family at any cost. And men, if you aren’t willing to do that, how can you honestly expect her to respect you and allow you to lead.
Ladies, if your man is worthy, let him lead. Don’t follow blindly, but don’t destroy him when he makes a mistake.
I think we can all agree you don't destroy people for making mistakes. An abusive person does the destroying most of the time when mistakes happen - or just LIFE in general happens. That doesn't earn love and respect does it?
I can hear it now! SOMEONE HAS TO BE IN CHARGE! When you approach a relationship like that is that respectful? It seems to me it gives a sense of 'seeking to dominate the other'. Its the spirit behind that comment that truly bothers me. Shawn I felt did a good job on the other side of this coin. The Sacrificing Husband! Matter of fact I enjoyed his whole series called, "The Marriage Conundrum"
Give a read, and tell me what you think!
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