Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Submissive Wife? Sacrificing Husband??

Posted by Hannah at 4:47 PM

submissive wife

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!

sacrificing husband

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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Alex on 12:18 PM said...

I like this article and i like the questions it raises. Where are the lines drawn? When is being kind and gentle interpreted as being submissive? Both good questions and both very hard to answer. I applaud this article and the conclusions that are drawn are accruate and expressed in a way that makes perfect sense.

Hannah on 2:14 PM said...

Thank you Alex. I appreciate your comment!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah, I have been out of touch for a while and just saw that you linked to my post. Glad you liked it. You spoke of ladies having to "work" to submit, I also think we men have to "work" to lead. Actually, I have found that we are both out of our comfort zone. Most women I meet don't like to submit and most men don't want to lead. (I am speaking spiritually here.) Maybe God did that to get us both out of our comfort zones. I may not have been clear in my post but I was speaking spiritual submission. In life we are equal partners, but spiritual leadership was given to the man (why God did this I still don't know).
Again, thanks for reading and showing me some link love!

Hannah on 8:04 AM said...

I think you have a point. Christians do have to work in order to fulfill the role that God wanted for us. I'm sure you have a point about going outside the comfort zone for everyone.

I was also speaking of stereotypical comments you tend to hear. They tend to use the 'wire to lead' as an excuse when they get aggressive, or to remind ladies that someone has to be the boss - and that would be ME! Personally at times? You can a very fine man, and if you pump that type of message up to much? You encourage pride and arrogance. They pretty much shot themselves in the foot. The ones that don't take their message to the next level? They tell him to 'man up' type of comments - that to me is MEAN and cruel thing to say to him.

Yes I agree people do have to go outside their comfort zones, but at times the strange versions and definitions of leadership and submission? I guess I don't understand why they don't see the contradictions to what is meant in the bible, and what they are telling others to do. It seems their definitions at times encourages despair, because you know you can't live up to what they had in mind. Strangely? I don't think they realize it.

Anonymous said...

Very true. My wife and I "play" like that all the time. But no matter what I say, we all know she's the boss of the house. I may make more decisions than her and bigger decisions but that's ONLY because her personality is more of an information gatherer and not a decision maker, so she tells me what she has learned and then I make the decision. Again, this is not some Biblical role thing, it's just our personalities complimenting each other.
She is becoming more independent (thankfully) the longer we are together and the safer and more secure she feels with me (thanks to a not so nice relationship she had in the past).
I know what you are talking about with the pride thing as well. I was counseling a gal about 6 months ago who had a husband that told her over and over that she was to submit to whatever he said because of that one little Bible Verse. It was funny (not funny haha) that he condemned her and forbid her to listen to country music but he could go to topless bars.
We humans are so screwed up that God had to die on a cross for us. That's pretty screwed up!

Hannah on 8:13 AM said...

Yes I know the type very well. They have a huge heart issue going on, and yet love to lord their authority over others. Unfortunately, those types tend to get worse instead of better in time unless they are confronted - and of course see the light. I hope you keep up with her, because those types can really zap your spirit. They tend to find ways of stripping your sense of worth away over time.

I guess Dad would have considered my Mother an information person as well. He would brag that his wife has a gift when it came to numbers. She handled the finances, and would sit him down to show him. He wasn't always interested, but he knew she did that so he wouldn't be lost if God forbid something happened to her. She also handled the grandparents stuff when it came their time, and I think she appreciated his praise over that. He could do it, but she was faster and I think she liked to do that as well. He would giggle that money would burn a hole in his pocket if she had him do it, and Mom would giggle at him, 'YOU WOULD NOT!" lol!

Some would say he allowed a woman to take his responsibility, but yet if you look closer he just appreciated her gift. She loved serving the family with her gift as well. It could be part of that mystery you spoke of. They had a healthy sense of respect for each other, and didn't get caught up in legalistic views of what his and her 'role' said they should do.

I think at times we humans tend to add to what is there, and life is hard enough at times. Its sad that others tend to criticize those factors that work so well for others, and just can't seem to appreciate the custom mold that works so well for some. YES we are certainly screwed up, and I think at times Christians don't appreciate the gift that God sent to us out his love.

JaneDoeThreads on 11:02 AM said...

I prefer not to even use the term 'submit' anymore because its been so abused, like many political cliches, its lost its true meaning. Same with headship, leadership, all of it.

I do want to mention though, something that I thought, in regards to 'leadership'. I know few men who are leaders, seriously. And so if I may, I will take another form of example, of 'leadership' to show something,

in All militaries, the 'leaders' of war, are the ones, who started out as the grunts. They don't become 'leaders' because they are placed there, they EARN their way to leadership, by first, being a SERVANT. And a SERVANT, who yes, is commanded, to OBEY and to lay down his-her life, with no retort. Would we really want to 'follow' someone in the military in a war zone, who had not known firsthand, how to fight? Would we want to follow someone in a dangerous situation who did not know firsthand, how to discern evil, how to protect his troops? Would we want to follow a leader who is stubborn, refusing to take wisdom from others, including maybe someone with a special gift in his unit?

Absolutely not, and it is for this reason, that the 'men' in their system of warfare have always demanded the ultimate sacrifices BEFORE THEY ALLOW ONE TO LEAD OTHER MEN. [excluding the administrative offices, that is, I'm focusing here on actual combat]

To be a leader, one must First, know what it is to actually be a Servant...the problem with the church's teachings, is that they omitted the 'have to be a servant' first which IS in the Bible, all over the Bible in fact, and put the emphasis on 'submit' on the woman. Men today aren't men, they are spoiled, immature, cowards, who most likely, no, Wouldn't step in front of a bullet to protect their wives. But they sure insist, on their 'rights' and 'entitlements' to lead and to assert their kingship.

Paul, himself, was an Example of true Leadership. And how, was he some softie who demanded respect as a Super Apostle, as a Shepard? NO, in fact, the other way around,

he worked around the full time [overtime] ministry he had so he would not be a burden to Anyone, he bore the marks of suffering in his own body, beatings, imprisonments, hunger, want...he gave his entire all to the betterment and the care of the flock, even to the point of his saying he was in distress until he knew, they were of good comfort and faith [Thel], THIS, was a LEADER.

He was a servant First, and foremost, and if Paul had of been married, I'm sure, he would not have been insistent on his 'rights' as he was totally devoted and had 'reverence' and 'fear' of the Lord [and he says so many times] and he would have treated his wife like a queen.

THAT, is what being a leader is, today, its the total opposite, today, its Iniquity that is celebrated, and manifested as the 'qualities' of leadership, in the perverse way that its taught in today's apostate church. This isn't just in marriage, its in the leadership in churches, in work, in parenting, you name it,

its so perverted today, that no wonder, there is so many problems today in relationships. The mystery of iniquity is running rampant, with total impunity, with the blessings of the 'false church teachings'. The issue isn't about 'roles' but about the perversion of what Service is, our Duty to serve the Lord with reverence and fear, no matter WHAT GENDER OR WHO WE ARE OR WHAT STATION IN LIFE WE ARE IN,

and THAT, THAT is what is truly lacking in our church and in our so called Christian marriages-families. Rather, today we have a 'secular' even 'pagan' interpretation of leadership-submission, with male as leader [undeserved and without merit] and woman as slave [undeserved and without glorifying the Kingdom of God because she is playing the role of Hagar, not Sarah], and this is why, I believe, we are having the problems, especially the passing down of iniquity,

to children and to their children. [see rest below]

JaneDoeThreads on 11:06 AM said...

[rest of comment] As a woman, who is yes, a radical feminist, who has grown and lived years with abuse [from childhood which was the root, of so much damage--the iniquity in our family that God has even shown me in what you would term a paranormal way, where I started asking Jesus, what is iniquity and how to break it], anyway, I have struggled with the iniquity within myself, both as a 'victim' of abuse [and living that continually in subconscious and that seed germinating in Me and being passed down] and with the iniquity in spouse that I was drawn to because it was what I knew, I married my childhood abuser time and time again. Why yes, one can be oppressed and be an oppressor too, and BOTH have to be broken.

Where we have to be careful, regarding submission, and something I am seeing a lot of today, is that we don't 'throw' service out the water with the baby, so to speak. Lately the teachings have been the blaming of women/abused of 'sin' for being complicit, for serving, loving, etc., this is wrong too, there is a very fine line, between 'enabling' and 'being a servant' or 'walking in that submissive love that Christ has worked in us', it is there that the enemy, can really do his dirty work, and walking out of that 'internalized abuse' yet remaining in Christ, is I think, where the test really comes in, and maybe this is why Paul stressed, submit 'AS UNTO THE LORD'. In the OT, in Chronicles, where it talks about the ruler of Syria, King Shis something or another, and God said to one of the prophets [don't have my Bible here, I'll get it in sec and put where] that He wouldnt' destroy Israel but that He would allow them to serve this evil king, so that they would 'learn service, as it is in the Kingdom of Heaven', etc.

If I have learned anything, this past year, struggling with these issues, it is on the issue of being a servant, what that really means, for All of us, and how it has been distorted and abused in the church [and in our world] against women,

on the other hand, how its also been ridiculed even by some who are rising up against abuse, in Christianity--here its very similar to the 'anti-feminine' beliefs within the far left, rather than hold Men accountable for their actions, instead, the feminine [or what is said to be] of nurture and caring is under attack, being told its complicit and now 'sin' because it feeds abuse,

both are incorrect. And I believe that is why Peter did mention about submission to those who are harsh--but here begs for wisdom, and God gave us Abigail, to show us, wisdom, she wasn't 'submissive' as in 'obeying no matter what', she quite frankly disobeyed her husband when she went to King David, and she struggled with those internalizations because when David asked her to marry [via his servants] she said, 'I'll be a servant to your servants', she had the mindset of an abused woman,

what did David do, he made her a WIFE, in those days, a WIFE, not a concubine, had more rights, in that patriarchal society....so basically, God said, 'this is how I see women, as Queens, not slaves', [something God showed me, about women and internalized abuse]. Abigail saw herself as a 'concubine', a woman with no worth, though she did Hear from the Lord and she did obey the LORD, not her brute beast of a husband...and because she Obeyed God, rather than submit to abuse-and others being abused, God saved her. And elevated her to the position that God ordained for her.

We could learn a lot from this, but its important to take notice, Abigail did not become elevated, by blind submission, to tyranny, to the point where evil was allowed to take reign, if she had of, she along with the entire family, would have been wiped out. She was a woman of wisdom--obviously, spending a lot of time in prayer because God used her, to prophesy to David and to keep David from doing 'evil'.

JaneDoeThreads on 11:07 AM said...

[sorry, word count here]

so, my point is, the teachings in the church today on submission and leadership, are so way off from the Bible, they are more about being a 'worker of iniquity' than about Christ, and its here that begs for discernment, and to close,

last night, was reading Thel where Paul talks about 'not having anything to do with the disorderly brother/or sister' so that they will feel ashamed, etc., repent, so forth,

we don't Have that in our churches today, there is no fear or reverence of God, of Jesus standing at the door, the true Judge, no, we have instead, the 'wives' submit and 'husbands lead' and

with no 'service?'. Paul says, we are 'appointed' to suffer, yet, I don't see a lot of Christians [other than abused women] in the West suffering, do you? Something, is really wrong, with the picture,

and I believe, it has something to do with iniquity. The problem isn't learning 'leadership' men, and the problem isn't learning 'submission' women,

the problem is, we are apostate, seriously, and we have no clue, as to what Serving Christ in fear and humility really is, because if we did,

we wouldn't have these ongoing debates within THE CHURCH, which is supposed to be the Body of Christ. We wouldn't have women leaving in droves, and children leaving in droves and going over to paganism and even satanism, because the church, like the OT times, the priests have become political, corrupt, followers of Molech, rather than followers of God.

And those Molech followers, always demanded, submission.

Gee, the apple really doesn't fall far from the 'tree' now does it? [tree, of iniquity]

Anyway, what I've been seeing of late...Peace, Jane

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