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Biblical Interpretation
 Shovel Shack : Biblical Interpretation
Subject Topic: Submitting wives
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Joyce
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Posted: Sep-05-06 at 1:47pm | IP Logged  

Have been in various institutions where the "wives, submit to your husbands" is preached and in some, even dwelt on.  I had very heavy teaching on this. Now I'm in another arena where I am working for a rape crisis hotline and will soon be working with battered women and the classes that I had to take brought out some things that were really opposite of my prior ic teaching.  In the classes they were saying that one of the hurdles for women getting out of abusive situations (whether physical, mental, verbal, financial, etc.) can be their religious affiliations where they are taught they are to submit and stay.  They also have brought up the term 'marital rape' which also would go against the teaching since it says that our bodies are not our own, but our spouses.  The classes I attend repeat at different times and give out written information to all... whether single or married... that your body is your own in all situations.  So, wondered if there would be any input to this.  I will be giving out info that is the opposite of past teaching.  It seems maybe to be a question of degree or something.  It also seems that the scripture can't mean to be giving one spouse total control over another... that can and does lead to abuse.  Anyway, any thoughts to help me sort this out?  Wonder why the scriptures are written in such a way that seems to give control of one part of humanity over the other.

Joyce



Edited by Joyce on Sep-05-06 at 1:50pm
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_Jason_
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Posted: Sep-05-06 at 2:30pm | IP Logged  

To have any relevancy at all, the whole "submission" thing MUST be tempered with the fact that the same guy who wrote the "submission" part also wrote "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, & gave himself for it."

For a wife to submit to a husband who loves her as much as Christ loved the church would be a true blessing, IMO.

Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the way the "submission" message is taught in the I.C., & it's certainly not how it is applied out there in the real world.


      

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luvin
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Posted: Sep-05-06 at 2:54pm | IP Logged  

Joyce ..

just thinking it through aloud here>>>but maybye being submitted is really only "acting" in a way that represents what you already are.Let me explain what i mean.If we are "joined together" and as "one" then living that out might often look like we are then submitting to oneanother as if joined.

Now though there might be alot of things in life that have several applications and various ways to aply truths or "wisdom" to multiple situations..im not totally sure myself that in the bible Paul was referring to non-beleiver/believer relationships that had absolutly NO IDEA of there inheritance in Jesus Christ.I mean think about that for a minute.How can someone concieve of something that they dont even know?[unless insticntively of course]Though Chirst is God over all things..not all know Him or aware of Him..hence the eyes beeing opened or hearts still hard/blind..etc...So i guess he must have been speaking to a reality that was as solid as a rock![Paul]Meaning he was talking to people who knew the Lord probably and knew there inheritance and how that impacted there relationships..and was simply stating the obvious.

Now if we go "applying" this as if 3rd party to the rest of the world in various states of mind/beleifs etc...we ARE going to have all sorts of crazy things happen woudlnt you think?I mean we do live in a dying world right???I dont know if any of what i am saying is valid but it does seem to me that if ya get the word out that "everybody is sopposed to submit to their husband cuz God says so"-that is going to have its repracusions becuase of the audience it reaches...thoughts????

 



      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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the shovel
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Posted: Sep-05-06 at 4:07pm | IP Logged  

I thought it might be helpful to consider the whole passage in question (Ephesians 5:21-33), making note of some often missed context. It puts a new light on the matter, don't you think?  :)

Jim

And submit to one another from reverence for him.
Wives should submit to their husbands as submitting to the Lord. For a man is the Head of his wife, as the Christ is the Head of the Church--being indeed himself the Savior of his Body. But as the Church submits to the Christ, so also should wives submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as the Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for her, To make her holy, after purifying her by the Washing with the Water, according to his promise;So that he might himself bring the Church, in all her beauty, into his own presence, with no spot or wrinkle or blemish of any kind, but that she might be holy and faultless. That is how husbands ought to love their wives--as if they were their own bodies. A man who loves his wife is really loving himself;For no one ever yet hated his own body. But every one feeds his body and cares for it, just as the Christ for the Church; For we are members of his Body. 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife; and the man and his wife shall become one.' In this there is a profound truth--I am speaking of Christ and his Church. However, for you individually, let each love his wife as if she were himself; and the wife be careful to respect her husband.

      

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luvin
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Posted: Sep-05-06 at 5:17pm | IP Logged  

For a man is the Head of his wife, as the Christ is the Head of the Church--being indeed himself the Savior of his Body. But as the Church submits to the Christ, so also should wives submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as the Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for her, To make her holy, after purifying her by the Washing with the Water, according to his promise;So that he might himself bring the Church, in all her beauty, into his own presence, with no spot or wrinkle or blemish of any kind, but that she might be holy and faultless. That is how husbands ought to love their wives--as if they were their own bodies. A man who loves his wife is really loving himself;For no one ever yet hated his own body. But every one feeds his body and cares for it, just as the Christ for the Church; For we are members of his Body. 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife; and the man and his wife shall become one.' In this there is a profound truth--I am speaking of Christ and his Church. However, for you individually

 

so it would seem to me that the anology of ChRIST AND hIS CHURCH STARTS ABOUT WERE THE ABOVE STARTS AND ENDS ABOUT WERE IT ENDS [ABOVE]

SO Jim is your point that he was speaking all along about the church?if so,he still does a tad of instructing at the very end and also at the top in his intial statment...wouldn't you say?or do you think Paul was simply stating things as they already were being practiced and that christ[and the church] was to be viewed this way as well??



Edited by luvin on Sep-05-06 at 5:19pm


      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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gene
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Posted: Sep-05-06 at 6:34pm | IP Logged  

Jim, thank you for bringing balance to the discussion.

The passage you quoted from Ephesians has great meaning to me as a man who wants his wife to know security in the relationship. Personally, I think what Christ lived through ... the entire crucifixion experience ... is far more difficult than dying. Dying for any man is a pretty easy thing to do ... just step out in front of a speeding truck!

I believe the "profound truth" Paul spoke of can be found earlier on in Ephesians. In verse 3:11 he speaks of God's eternal purpose, which is actually revealed in 1:10 which is to eventually sum all things up as one in Christ.

As a man with spouse, I must realize that as I become less ... in my own mind ... I find Cindy becoming more united as one before Him to me and we together are, in turn, becoming less in relation to Christ who is to have everything both in this world ... and the world to come ... summed up in Him.

As we, both as individuals, and "one" as husband and wife are one in Him and know that His Fathers eternal purpose is to make Him manifest as head in everything, it's okay with us to become less so that he may become more.

Personally, I have no problem submitting self to her in order that we, in daily life, act as what we are rather than two separate individuals.

love,

gene



      

"Whut, me worry?"

~~The Book of Redneck Wisdom~~
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the shovel
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Posted: Sep-05-06 at 7:39pm | IP Logged  

Hi Adam,

From the very beginning there has been an overriding truth found in the joining of a man and a woman: UNION ... and specifically the union of God and man in Christ. Despite the overwhelming history of misguided, misformed, tragic marriages in this world there somehow lingers the concept of that which is pure and holy, a joining that transcends anything else called or known as love.

Paul merely spoke of the reality that has been embedded in the marriage of a man and a woman from the beginning. Having disclosed the truth of what he really spoke of (Christ and his bride), which has profound implications for all in Christ, he made sure to encourage husbands and wives specifically in their own marriage relationships. And when you consider all the conditional requirements added in to most wedding ceremonies what Paul wrote was pure simplicity because it was founded upon a premise of union.

Jim


      

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Dignz
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Posted: Sep-06-06 at 10:07am | IP Logged  

Very much enjoying the posts to this topic!  It could be a 'scary' topic to some. 

I am stimulated to extend and expand a little, not meaning at all to 'take away' from anything anyone has said, but if I do, please tell me. 

I am thinking of the 'pictures':

One Body with many parts, and only one Head = the Church and Christ

Female body with man's head = husband and wife, two made one.

Husband and wife = picture of Christ and Church.

All are pictures of a Union of two into One.

I found that most of Ephesians is talking about the mystery of a Union which was never known by man before.  It was the mystery revealed that even Gentiles would be fellow-heirs, fellow-members and fellow-partakers with Christ.  Before this was revealed, it was only thought that Jews could have this privilege.  Because of Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile could be fellow- everything with Christ together as One.  A union of two ... man united with Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, man or woman, slave or free.

If the union of marriage could be viewed as 2 lives becoming one ... an organic life that lives and loves as one, as opposed to this 'thing' we have to 'do', then maybe that 'union-life' can be more freed-up to function as meant.

The problem with 'pictures' and 'examples' is that we can pick them apart and they break down and no longer function as a whole picture.

Would anyone argue that the apostle Paul was using a marital relationship as a license for condoning misuse, abuse, torture, and ... fill in the blank between spouses? 

He encouraged the 'building up of the Body' ... 'nourishing and cherishing' the Body, not tearing it down.  How do we build up, nourish and cherish the Body?  With love, rooted and grounded.  We build each other up, which in reality is not just the building, nourishing and cherishing of 'individuals' so much as it is actually whatever part of the Body as a Whole needs built up, etc. You've heard of WHOLISTIC medicine?   

How do we tear down the Body?  Law!  Not having Christ as our focus, turning back to the weak and beggarly things of the world and the flesh ... turning back to 'idols' and the practices of idol worship, etc. as if we were not still miraculously joined and part of Another ... forgetting how much we are truly LOVED ... going back to darkness as if we are not Light ... living as those who are ashamed and unholy and unrighteous and unloved and .... fill in the blank.

The Body needs care just about 24-7! 

If the husband (head) loves, nourishes and cherishes the wife, (rest of the body) then it would seem to follow that the rest of the body (wife) would function accordingly with the head (husband).  And if the head was respected by the rest of the body and it cooperated with it, then there would be a healthy functioning body as a whole.  (personally, my own body is not in-sync with itself, and this is havoc somedays more or less than others)  <--   I dunno ... maybe thinking of it in an even better than an "if you this, then I will that" or "if I that, then you this" kinda thing.  For instance, the body can not function without the head, nor can the head without the body ... they are inseparably one 'united' being of parts?

I do not think that ANY kind of 'rape' is a function of love, whether it be in a 'relationship' or not.    And I am pretty derned sure that an attitude of 'license' permitting such things was not at all what the apostle Paul had ANYwhere in his mind as he was building up, nourishing and cherishing the Body at Ephesus.   

Great thread-topic, Joyce!!   Very important, I think!!  I want to hear/read more! 


Edited by Dignz on Sep-07-06 at 9:19am


      

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gene
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Posted: Sep-06-06 at 3:08pm | IP Logged  

I was just thinking ... you CAN smell the smoke, can't you?

The scriptures ... someone said has layers of Truth upon Truth.

While Paul was writing about husbands and wives, he was also speaking (as Jim pointed out) union = the bride of Christ = layer of Truth.

In my original post what I was trying to say is that there is perhaps yet another layer of Truth underlying that one ... His eternal purpose being to eventually subject everything under His Son ... all in all  ... us and all of creation unified into one.

We certainly don't see the reality of Him being Lord above every name now, do we? Yet, because we're believers we know that to be true.

Even though we know it's true, we look around and not everybody acts that way.

Perhaps Paul was speaking of a mystery such as this?

Enigmas wrapped in mysteries!

love,

gene



      

"Whut, me worry?"

~~The Book of Redneck Wisdom~~
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Joyce
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Posted: Sep-07-06 at 9:00am | IP Logged  

I was just thinking here about the relation between how the marriage thing is an analogy type of thing with regard to Christ and the church.  I guess I even saw the submission of the church to Christ differently in former days... more along the lines of "laboring in obedience" type of way.  Now I see it differently and am able to relate more with regard to the predominant thing about it being union.  Makes me think then as I am seeing Christ and the church type of thing differently, then I should be able to see the husband and wife thing also along those lines differently.... not so much master/slave way, but more in terms of love and oneness.

Joyce 

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Joyce
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Posted: Sep-07-06 at 9:07am | IP Logged  

Oh, and forgot to say.... Yes, Gene, it does seem that in the very end it is all about union as well.  Not sure just how that will be, but true.  I've heard it said that it might be like a radiating of God, Christ and us... altogether.  However, I doubt that we can even fathom it at this point.  Perhaps these other examples here on earth are a prepartation for the ultimate.

Joyce

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luvin
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Posted: Sep-07-06 at 11:26am | IP Logged  

i like that Joyce.

      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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gene
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Posted: Sep-07-06 at 6:53pm | IP Logged  

Joyce, you sure do seem to have a great handle on these things. It's obvious you've spent much thought and prayer in seeking truth concerning this and how it might relate to one's life.

Another thought might be that, prior to anyone's being able to see salvation through His actions, Jesus "labored" as husband by His willingness to live through what He did and His eventual death on the cross ... the spiritual separation being the major part ... in order to become Husband.

As a man who is married, that speaks volumes to me.

I'm so looking forward to Home and spending an eternity discovering and experiencing the endless facets of our Father's (I call Him Daddy) glory.

Wow, just thinking about it is awesome!

love,

gene



      

"Whut, me worry?"

~~The Book of Redneck Wisdom~~
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luvin
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Posted: Jul-05-10 at 3:35pm | IP Logged  

Dignz wrote:
Very much enjoying the posts to this topic!  It could be a 'scary' topic to some. 

I am stimulated to extend and expand a little, not meaning at all to 'take away' from anything anyone has said, but if I do, please tell me. 

I am thinking of the 'pictures':

One Body with many parts, and only one Head = the Church and Christ

Female body with man's head = husband and wife, two made one.

Husband and wife = picture of Christ and Church.

All are pictures of a Union of two into One.

I found that most of Ephesians is talking about the mystery of a Union which was never known by man before.  It was the mystery revealed that even Gentiles would be fellow-heirs, fellow-members and fellow-partakers with Christ.  Before this was revealed, it was only thought that Jews could have this privilege.  Because of Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile could be fellow- everything with Christ together as One.  A union of two ... man united with Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, man or woman, slave or free.

If the union of marriage could be viewed as 2 lives becoming one ... an organic life that lives and loves as one, as opposed to this 'thing' we have to 'do', then maybe that 'union-life' can be more freed-up to function as meant.

The problem with 'pictures' and 'examples' is that we can pick them apart and they break down and no longer function as a whole picture.

Would anyone argue that the apostle Paul was using a marital relationship as a license for condoning misuse, abuse, torture, and ... fill in the blank between spouses? 

He encouraged the 'building up of the Body' ... 'nourishing and cherishing' the Body, not tearing it down.  How do we build up, nourish and cherish the Body?  With love, rooted and grounded.  We build each other up, which in reality is not just the building, nourishing and cherishing of 'individuals' so much as it is actually whatever part of the Body as a Whole needs built up, etc. You've heard of WHOLISTIC medicine?   

How do we tear down the Body?  Law!  Not having Christ as our focus, turning back to the weak and beggarly things of the world and the flesh ... turning back to 'idols' and the practices of idol worship, etc. as if we were not still miraculously joined and part of Another ... forgetting how much we are truly LOVED ... going back to darkness as if we are not Light ... living as those who are ashamed and unholy and unrighteous and unloved and .... fill in the blank.

The Body needs care just about 24-7! 

If the husband (head) loves, nourishes and cherishes the wife, (rest of the body) then it would seem to follow that the rest of the body (wife) would function accordingly with the head (husband).  And if the head was respected by the rest of the body and it cooperated with it, then there would be a healthy functioning body as a whole.  (personally, my own body is not in-sync with itself, and this is havoc somedays more or less than others)  <--   I dunno ... maybe thinking of it in an even better than an "if you this, then I will that" or "if I that, then you this" kinda thing.  For instance, the body can not function without the head, nor can the head without the body ... they are inseparably one 'united' being of parts?

I do not think that ANY kind of 'rape' is a function of love, whether it be in a 'relationship' or not.    And I am pretty derned sure that an attitude of 'license' permitting such things was not at all what the apostle Paul had ANYwhere in his mind as he was building up, nourishing and cherishing the Body at Ephesus.   

Great thread-topic, Joyce!!   Very important, I think!!  I want to hear/read more! 


Excellent, excellent insight on union!!!
Made it to my "saves"!

Adam


      

It is peace[the kind we long for] to know that my life patterns do not distract or derail the Living God"-Adam

http:newthatsliving.blogspot.com
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