Friday, January 20, 2006

More on that...

Thanks Donna, Spunky, and Elaine, and anyone else who chooses to weigh in on this.


I was not asking the question below so that I could get out of anything or because I think I can choose what to submit to and what not to.


I think I am looking for something that explains what God's word means when it says "submission" and what it means to you because there are a whole lot of different views on the subject out there.


I suppose I didn't phrase my question correctly - I really would like to know how it works in your home when you and your husband do not agree at all on something huge and potentially life-changing for your children. How much of your thoughts/wishes/desires come into play when you are really at odds with your husband?


I am not at odds with my own, but reading what I did recently brought up all sorts of thoughts for me. My own home is not difficult to live in. But what if I had a husband who did not regard my thoughts about anything? How then are we to live as women? Are we to have no say in things that affect our lives? Does Biblical submission mean that we just do what he says even when it is clearly foolish or even wrong for our families? Thank God I have a good and solid husband and I am not faced with these choices, but I have had friends who have been. How am I to counsel them correctly if I don't know what God's word clearly says?


Obviously, I am not only going to the blogosphere for this answer, but I want to understand what my sisters in Christ think about this. There have been a whole host of answers to the questions posed on the board I read and I don't see any Greek exegesis for the word anywhere. Even in my search I am finding it hard to find good answers.


I guess I don't think the Bible talks about submission being something that is done on its own - separate for its own sake. I don't know that I think the Bible speaks about the women submitting for anything and everything because if you look at Proverbs 31 - she is not at all the doormat that I see some people advocating for women within the church in some places. How can the definition be so different for so many people? And what about submitting to one another in love and the husband loving the wife as Christ loves the church? Where does submission fit into that and what is the wife's role in all of it?


I am asking these questions because I think they are important to think about as women for ourselves and for our friends and daughters. What if my daughter married a horrible man who was nothing like a Biblical man should be? God, please forbid that that should happen! What if it does though? What do I counsel her? Just submit to everything he asks and it will all be OK? Is that really what God's word says?


It is easy for me to say that when I have a loving and godly husband - because I do. What about those women who don't? What does God's word really say to them? What does it say to us?


That is at the heart of it for me and I would love your thoughts or links on the net to some solid information. I love my dear husband and wish to be the kind of wife that he finds joy in - we have a loving and precious relationship and I am not looking to usurp him in any way. I just want some answers to questions that seem to be difficult for many.






Anonymous said...

My ideas on this subject are in too much of a formative stage to post in a public place. The question you asked about a husband deciding to put kids into school is interesting. I think it's never quite that simple. You'd have to back up several steps and tell me where their communication broke down prior to this. I can imagine circumstances where one parent would need to force the other to face reality in some way. Ideally, though, a marriage is not characterized by these types of confrontations. How about tender, mutual care and deference instead?

UndertheSky said...

Your words are always filled with grace and wisdom. "How about tender, mutual care and deference instead?" I agree completely. I also agree about there always being more to a situation - what came before. I don't think anything is as cut and dry as it seems.



thewestiecrew said...

I guess the way that I see it is that,in a perfect situation a man would be actively and clearly seeking God's will for his family, which would be loving his wife as Christ loved the church, and also that he wld be washing herin the water of the word for all of his counsel to her. It certainly makes things easy when it is this way, but when it is not, I think that we are required to live by example as mandated in 1 Corinthians 7 in the hopes of winning him to the Lord. I think that this is played out in our submission which shows him the respect that he deserves as our head. If he abuses this power by lording over his wife, then the wife (who is submitting in obedience to the Lord) should put her trust in the most Sovereign God for the results. These are just my thoughts on the subject. :)


thewestiecrew said...

Good grief, Kate, sorry for all of those typo's!

Gayle :)

Anonymous said...

I wish I had chapter-and-verse to point you to, but I have a few general thoughts. (Sorry this is so long.)

The Bible seems to address submission in two different ways. One is the idea that "decently and in order" and self-sacrifice are good things in themselves that will make for a better community. So, the long passages in Ephesians about *mutual* submission (and this is key--submission is ordered for EVERYONE, not just the woman toward the husband) are about having a well-ordered, Christ-like community. Everybody in the church is supposed to submit to everyone else, and disagreement is never supposed to lead to division. (This is what Paul is getting at in ALL of Galatians, and in Romans 14.)

But there's also the idea that someone who is in a weak position, who has the potential to be abused/persecuted by someone in a more powerful position, should also be obedient/submissive to the person in more power, even though this person is a pagan/wrong/unjust. This is what's going on in 1 Peter, in Hebrews, and some of what's going on in Paul's writings. The idea is that your purity of life, your refusal to do wrong in order to get out of suffering, will either 1) work, and the oppressor will repent and convert to Christ, or 2) it won't "work," but (and this is key) something will be won anyway. You will be more like Christ, or others will see and repent, or . . . God will take care of it in the end. Something will be won, although we may not see what it is. This doesn't AT ALL preclude non-violent resistance. (The idea of violent self-defense was roundly rejected in the early church, up until the time of Constantine.)

In the Bible, this is clearly both political and interpersonal. The New Testament was written in its entirety while Christians were still a persecuted minority. So when they talk about submitting to unjust authority, they know *exactly* what this means, and how dangerous it is.

Hope this helps.

Cornflower said...

chapter Three is up!

esperanzavallero said...

I think that although husbands are commanded to love us we also have to cast ourselves on the mercy of God. We as wives can always respectfully make requests but when we are put into an uncomfortable situation through our husbands leadership or in some cases lack of it, it is not often productive to fight our way out of it. Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord, whose daughters we are if we continue...

When we try to fight for our rights or way we often lose, and certainly our children lose by seeing the strife at home. Better to cheerfully submit and fervently pray that God would work out each situation for his glory.

Moms4Psalms said...

Hi Kate!

My favorite theologian has written an unpublished book that deals with this subject. I could send it to you when I find it --it is fabulous and so sound theologically (Reformed, of course). ;o) We are packing the house for our big move so I am sure it will turn up soon.

Quick answer-- the wife has the FULL SAY--she should respectfully express all of her thoughts about a given subject of debate to her husband. He then has the FINAL SAY and once he says the decision is made it should be over--no nagging allowed. (Of course, she should be praying and continue to pray especially if she still feels unsettled about it). NOW--this does not apply where the man tells the wife to sin--NO WAY! In such a case she may need to bring the issue before the elders and seek counseling from the elders of her church--church discipline may be in order!

More later! I'll be hunting for that book. I have cassette tapes from the seminar as well...just need to find them.



homeskoolmom said...

I really appreciate your thoughts. I'm a newbie, and will reading your blog regularly.

Sumbission is such a hard thing. And one argued about so often. I believe many women want to submit, but don't because of the sin that began in the garden. And many others, that just plain don't want to give up control to their husbands.

As far as homeschooling, my beloved would never want to put children in PS. He was homeschool grad, and saw his parents fight hard for the right to HS. If he ever did have a thought, it was dispelled after he spent a year working in a local high school. There are however, fleeting moments when I'd like to send them to private school. Only on the really, really bad days though :), But never to gov't school.

Believe me, there are many other areas where I struggle to submit. As great as my desire, my flesh still fights it. I have a wonderful husband. He wants my input and thoughts, even on many small decisions. It is very rare that he make a decision without me being on board with him. He would not move forward on something as big as how to educate the children without me being in 100% agreement with him. Going to bed now... goodnight.

God bless,