re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.

5.22.2007

Submission Part 3: Dispelling the Myths

So you've read about how I ended up becoming a submissive wife and how it was (and sometimes still is) a struggle for me to obey Scripture on this issue. I think part of that is because pretty much my entire life I've been fed the worldly ideas surrounding submission.

These ideas about submission weren't fed to me by family necessarily, but rather through television, school, friends, colleagues, etc... They were, for the most part wrong.

Before I go into the myths, let me be perfectly clear; I DO NOT, in any way, shape or form, endorse spousal abuse, lesser rights for women or anything like that. Men and women are simply different and have different roles within the family and within society. That does not give either gender the right to treat the other gender poorly. Both genders of of equal value.

So... What were/are some of the worldly myths out there surrounding biblical submission.

Myth 1: Submission = abuse. I completely understand that in the past (and still sometimes today) the idea of biblical submission was WRONGLY used to support wife abuse. I am fully aware where the “rule of thumb” came from and what it means. (For those of you who don't know, the “rule of thumb” said that you could beat your wife with anything as long as it was no bigger than your thumb.) However, I believe those who use the idea of biblical submission to support spousal abuse are incorrect in their understanding of interpretation of Scripture. Furthermore, I say that they are failing to live up to the standards God has called them to as husbands.

Scripture does NOT at all endorse spousal abuse. The husband is to love the wife as Christ loved the church. According to my understanding of Scripture, I'd say that means that the husband must be willing to lay down his life for his wife. He must be a servant leader, not a leader who forces his hand at every possible instance.

I don't want to get too sidetracked by the husband's role though. I am not a husband and I think it's important for us, as wives, to focus on our own roles and shortcomings rather than those of our husband.

Myth 2: Submission devalues women. Again, in light of Scripture's view of the wife (Proverbs 31, the husband's role, etc...) I don't see how someone could really argue that biblical submission devalues women.

Submission certainly does not devalue women any more than topless bars, pornographic magazines, trashy, immodest clothing, or the “sexual revolution”. You know... the things that women are now ”empowered” to do.

Myth 3: Submissive wives cease being their own person. I fell for this one hook, line and sinker. However, being a former liberal sort-of feminist who was going to conquer the world, I can say that if I've given up any part of my individuality, it's because I chose to, not because my husband forced me to.

I still make decisions (Ed certainly doesn't want to decide the menu for the week). I still offer my input, sometimes graciously, sometimes not so graciously. I still have my own friends and my own hobbies.

Look at the Proverbs 31 woman. She certainly was her own woman, dabbling in real estate and such.

Myth 4: Submissive wives stay at home, barefooted and pregnant for their entire lives. Now, I do stay at home and I am often barefooted and I am sometimes pregnant, but that's my choice. Shoes make my feet hot. :)

Submission does not require that a woman not work outside of the home. Submission simply says to seek your husband's blessing before deciding to work outside the home. Some submissive wives work outside of the home and never have children. Can you believe that!!!?

Those are just a few of the myths our culture feeds us. My point is that a secular culture cannot honestly comment on a biblical mandate without showing it's bias against Scripture. When determining how to set up a home/household it's best to seek Scripture, even if what Scripture says contradicts every single thing that our society says.

Scripture is to be our guide for the family, not Dr. Phil, not Oprah, not some feminist college professor.

4 Comments:

Blogger Charlene said...

I agree with you 150%. I choose to submit to Josh, but it's not too hard most of the time...not always, but mostly.
But I wanted to let you know that "rule of thumb" doesn't mean anything about wife-beating, thankfully :) http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/site/comments/rule_of_thumb/ talks about that "urban legend"

Thank you for so eloquently putting into words the things I believe but haven't taken the time to formulate!
:) Charlene

3:30 PM

 
Anonymous PinkJeweledCat said...

Another well thought out and well worded post on this topic. You've touched on so many great misunderstandings that face couples both in and outside the christian community. Bravo! Ta for now dahling!

11:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully written, check out

http://marriage-bliss.blogspot.com

I think you might enjoy it.

1:20 AM

 
Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

From a (hopefully)1 Peter 1:7 and Ephesians 5:25 husband, I think you got it together, lady. Good onya.

Does it work? Well, we've been married 48 years.....

4:18 PM

 

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