Xrlq pointed me to a thread at Hugo Schwyzer's blog about Bible versions and submission as commanded in Ephesians 5. The comment thread is very interesting, but they get stuck because the only options they consider are that the passage is misconstrued and that it doesn't really mean that wives should submit to their husbands, or that the passage is nonsense and demonstrates that the Bible is stupid and sexist. However, as I wrote regarding marriage and submission previously, the reason secularists and politically correct Christians don't understand the passage is because they don't see how it can be both "sexist" and good at the same time.

First, Xrlq argues that it's absurd for the Bible to say that a wife should worship her husband just as the church worships Christ. That would be absurd, so it's good the Bible doesn't say that. It only says that a wife is supposed to submit her husband as the church submits to Christ. That submission is based on the wife's reverence for Christ, not based on the magnificence of the husband. Further, the husband is commanded to live his wife just as Christ loved the church, not because the wife is super-fantastic, but because of the husband's reverence for Christ. Our worship of God dictates our relationships to our fellow human beings.

Second, the real controversy seems to be based on the belief that the one who submits is somehow "less" than the one in authority. As I quoted in my previous post, that's just not the case. Jesus himself taught on the matter of authority and said:

Luke 22:24-27

24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves."

Jesus came to earth to submit to evil men and be killed, not to rule as a king. Anyone who worries about being in charge and having earthly authority reveals that they care more for worldly things than spiritual. Humility should guide both husbands and wives in everything. Each should love the other, and each should submit to the other, but special instruction is given here to each partner to teach them what manner of behavior is pleasing to God. Anyone who knows both men and women can attest that we are different, so it should be no surprise that God treats us differently in marriage.

Finally, perhaps more husbands should strive to be worthy of submission, and perhaps more wives should strive to be worth dying for.



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