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Old 11-04-2009, 01:57 PM
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Sam Sam is offline
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Submission per Ephesians 5:22-24

I received this today from Charisma Online and thought I would pass it on. The passage in Ephesians 5:22-24 has often been torn from its context and used to justify all kinds of ignorance, abuse and “male chauvinism.” I think it’s necessary to first read verse 21 which leads into the passage and tells husbands and wives to submit to one another. Then verses 25-33 expllain it more fully and teach that a man is to love his wife like Christ loves the church and to love his wife as much as he loves himself. If we love our wives like Jesus loves the church it would be a selfless and sacrificial love which does not insist on its own way, a love that is caring, unslefish, understanding, and compassionate and relenquishes personal agendas and some times even relenquishes the TV remote. Also, if we love our wife like we love ourselves, we would be no harder on her than we are on ourselves, we will pamper her like we pamper ourselves, and make the same excuses for her that we make for ourselves.

The Dark Side of Submission
by J. Lee Grady

Christian teaching on male headship is often used as a weapon against women. This abuse must be confronted.

Last week during a ministry trip to Hungary I heard a painfully familiar story. Through a translator, a tearful young woman living near Budapest explained that her Christian husband was angrily demanding her absolute submission. This included, among other things, that she clean their house according to his strict standards and that she engage in sexual acts with him that made her feel uncomfortable and dirty.

This lady was not demanding her rights or trying to be disrespectful. She was a godly, humble woman who obviously wanted to please the Lord. But she had been beaten to a pulp emotionally, and she was receiving little help from her pastor—who was either unwilling or unprepared to confront wife abuse.

I've heard so many sickening versions of this scenario. In Kenya recently, several women told me their AIDS-infected husbands often raped them—and then their pastors told them they must submit to this treatment. In some parts of India, even some pastors believe it is acceptable to beat their wives if they argue with them or show any form of disrespect. And in some conservative churches in the United States, women are told that obedience to God is measured by their wifely submission—even if their husbands are addicted to alcohol or pornography, or if they are involved in adulterous affairs.

This distortion of biblical teaching has plunged countless Christian women into depression and emotional trauma. I'm not sure which is worse: The harsh words they hear from their husbands, or the perverse way the Bible is wielded as a leather belt to justify domestic abuse. Here are three truths we must uncover in order to solve this problem:

1. Marriage is not a hierarchy. Traditionalists assume that a Christian marriage is defined as a dominant husband who makes all family decisions while the wife graciously obeys without input. Yet Scripture actually portrays marriage as a loving partnership and refers to the wife as a "fellow heir of the grace of life" (1 Peter 3:7, NASB). And the apostle Paul taught that in the realm of sexuality, husbands and wives share equal authority over each other's bodies (see 1 Cor. 7:4). In other words, submission in this most intimate part of a marriage covenant is mutual, and this same mutuality is the key to any happy marriage; it fosters respect, communication and an enduring bond.

2. Headship is not a license to control. Traditionalists also cite Ephesians 5:23 to remind wives that their husbands are their "heads"—and they believe this term requires some type of dictatorial control in marriage. Yet the Greek word used in this passage, kephale, does not have anything to do with heavy-handed authority and it cannot be used to enforce male domination. Neither does it imply male superiority. The word can either mean "source" (as in the source of a river) or "one who leads into battle" (as a protector).

Neither original definition of this word gives room for abuse. Headship, in its essence, is not about "who's the boss." Rather it refers to the Genesis account of Eve being taken from Adam's side. The husband is the "source" of the wife because she originated from him, and she is intimately connected to him in a mystical union that is unlike any other human relationship.

3. Men who abuse their wives are out of fellowship with God. 1 Peter 3:7 is clear: "You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so your prayers will not be hindered." Wife abuse is no trivial sin. Any man who berates his wife, treats her as inferior or engages in abusive behavior (including hitting, kicking, raping, cursing at or threatening punishment) will jeopardize his fellowship with the Lord. He will feel frustrated and convicted until he repents.

(And in the same way, I believe, pastors who silently support abusive husbands by refusing to confront the behavior—or by telling women to submit to the pain—participate in this sin and could find their own prayers hindered.)

Truly Christian marriages, according to the apostle Paul, involve a tender, servant-hearted and unselfish husband who (1) loves his wife "just as Christ also loved the church;" (2) loves her as his own body; and (3) loves her as himself (see Eph. 5:25, 28 33). He stands alongside his wife in faithfulness, and she joyfully respects her husband because he can be trusted. And the two become one.

If we are to uphold this golden standard, we must confront abuse, shelter its victims and provide the tough love and counseling necessary to heal troubled relationships. And we have no business telling women to stay in marriages that actually could put them or their children in danger.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:13 PM
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MissBrattified MissBrattified is offline

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Re: Submission per Ephesians 5:22-24

Good article. It's doubly abusive, IMO, when a man uses a woman's relationship with God to manipulate her into "submission."

Submission should be a voluntary act--if it's ever forced, it becomes subservience--not submission. God doesn't force us to submit to Him, so I don't know where some men get off thinking they have the right to force their wives to submit to them.
"God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours."
--David Livingstone

"To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
To see no possession but you may possess it—enjoying all without labor or purchase—
abstracting the feast, yet not abstracting one particle of it;…."

--Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Song of the Open Road
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:17 PM
NewWine NewWine is offline
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Re: Submission per Ephesians 5:22-24

This was quite interesting, yet it is true that this passage of scripture is taken out of context by people. However, I would say that this is not only done by men, but some women as well. The article mentioned places such as Kenya. It is a horrible situation that many Kenyan women find themselves in. I don't know that I would entirely attribute taking scripture out of context as a reason for this particular example. In many ways this could be attributed to their culture in that men "dominate" or "rule" over women; at least on the part of the husband. On the other hand the "Pastor" could hold that view for cultural reasons and then backs up that view by twisting the word of God.

Another side to this issue is what young males witness and experience growing up. If that is what they are taught in the home many will take on those same characteristics when they enter into marriage; save the Lord show them that behavior and mentality is not of God. I am submissive to my husband in that I respect him as the head of our household and the role that God has ordained for him in the family structure. In short, there is a HUGE difference between submission and being a slave.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:20 PM
NewWine NewWine is offline
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Re: Submission per Ephesians 5:22-24

Miss Bratt that is so true. God does not force so why do men? Hmm...I'd say lack of understanding the word of God; and the relationship between Christ and the church.

Last edited by NewWine; 11-04-2009 at 07:22 PM.
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