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Obedient wives

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#41
Interesting point.


In my experience that verse doesn't get left out. It gets emphasized a lot and misinterpreted.

Paul says to submit to one another in the fear of Christ. Then he gives specific examples of who is to submit to whom.
If you're saying that v. 21 does not include husbands submitting to wives ("be subject to one another") then I have to stop you right there and disagree strongly with you. There is no misinterpretation in including husbands submitting to wives in areas non-spiritual but in which she possesses greater gifting and talent than does he.

Revelation talks about men killing one another. Does that mean that if one man kills another, his victim always kills him?
Straw man argument. One cannot use the Revelation passage to "prove" the Ephesians passage to be like it. Their structure in the Greek is completely different, and therefore not at all alike as they appear to be in English.

If one believes in 'mutual submission' he should at least acknowledge that the passage really emphasizes wives submitting to husbands and doesn't say anything specific about husbands submitting to wives. Men are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church.
And again, v. 21 is not irrelevant to the following passages, and in fact, follows Paul's pattern of repeating key words when he is tying thoughts together. The words "subject" and "submit" in English are both translated from the same Greek word, hupotasso. In the context of both vv. 21 and 22, the meaning is to yield to admonition or advice. In the comparison of man's responsibility to Christ's for the church, Paul establishes the spiritual aspect of v. 22. In v. 21, he is establishing the day to day responsibilities of Christians to one another in helping each stay on track. One cannot legitimately exclude the marital relationship from that aspect of Christian life without raising serious questions about the merits of the following passage. If the marital relationship is excluded in the v. 21 instruction -- and it can't legitimately be excluded because of the marital relationship being the follow-up subject to Christian interaction in day-to-day lfie -- then the exclusion of other Christian relationships is also left on the table relative to that verse, and you would leave no available challenge to any argument that would attempt to exclude those instructions to help others remain focused on Christ in other Christian relationships.

The Bible also tells wives to submit to their husbands, following the example of Sarah who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. It doesn't say anything about husbands obeying wives.
An you make the primary gaff in exegeting these passages that everyone else makes: Assuming "submission" and "obedience" are synonymous. They are not.

If Paul is secretly telling husbands to submit to their wives ...
There is nothing secret about it. He most assuredly is saying exactly that, but again, not in the spiritual sense, but in the day-to-day activities that occur in all Christian relationships.

... do parents have to submit to their children?
What a ridiculous leap to a conclusion! Are children mature and included in the instructions about submission in the rest of the passage? Another straw man, an invalid argument.
 
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#42
If you're saying that v. 21 does not include husbands submitting to wives ("be subject to one another") then I have to stop you right there and disagree strongly with you. There is no misinterpretation in including husbands submitting to wives in areas non-spiritual but in which she possesses greater gifting and talent than does he.

Straw man argument. One cannot use the Revelation passage to "prove" the Ephesians passage to be like it. Their structure in the Greek is completely different, and therefore not at all alike as they appear to be in English.
I think you need to look up 'straw man.' I have not created a fake argument that can be beaten down easily that lacks essential components of the actual argument.

I don't know Greek. Do you? How do you know what passage in Revelation I have in mind? What are the differences in the Greek you speak of.

I had in mind a passage I read in an article attributed to Wayne Grundem, http://www.rockvalleybiblechurch.org/ResourceLibrary/MythOfMutualSubmission.htm

For example, in Revelation 6:4, "so that men should slay one another" means "so that some would kill others" (not "so that every person would kill every other person," or "so that every persons being killed would ‘mutually' kill those who were killing them," which would make no sense!). In Galatians 6:2, "Bear one another's burdens" means not "everyone should exchange burdens with everyone else," but "some who are more able should help bear the burdens of others who are less able." In 1 Corinthians 11:33, "when you come together to eat, wait for one another" means "some who are ready early should wait for others who are late."



There are many other examples where the word simply cannot mean that "everyone does something to everyone else," because the sense of the context simply won't allow that meaning (see Matt. 24:10; Luke 2:15; 12:1; 24:32; etc.). In these verses allelous means, "some to others." (The KJV often translated these passages, "one to another" or "one for another," as in 1 Corinthians 11:33, "When ye come together to eat, tarry one for another." Following this pattern, the KJV translated Ephesians 5:21, "submitting yourselves one to another.")


I also have in mind a conversation I had with a retired man with a doctoral degree in theology, one whose dissertation was very much about details of the Greek New Testament. He believed in this case 'submit to one another' as a reciprocal thing on an individual level was a nonsensical interpretation because hupotasso is not the kind of thing two individuals to to each other. He pointed out that it means to come in order under, and is used in reference to military ranks. Submit to one another in a military context would mean the soldier submits to the centurion, and the centurion submits to the general. The general does not submit to the soldier.

I'm not sure I'm completely sold on his hupotasso argument. But in context, it does make sense to not take 'one another' as referring to two individuals submitting equally to one another. In the context, you'd have masters submitting to slaves, and that doesn't seem to fit with what he says in chapter 5. He then tells children to obey parents. Since children are in the audience, your interpretation of submitting to one another would lead one to conclude that parents should submit to children. (I don't see how you can argue your way out of that conclusion.)

And again, v. 21 is not irrelevant to the following passages, and in fact, follows Paul's pattern of repeating key words when he is tying thoughts together. The words "subject" and "submit" in English are both translated from the same Greek word, hupotasso. In the context of both vv. 21 and 22, the meaning is to yield to admonition or advice.
What is your basis for saying in context the word means to yield to admonition or advice? I don't see how you get to that conclusion from the literal meaning of the word in Greek.

In the comparison of man's responsibility to Christ's for the church, Paul establishes the spiritual aspect of v. 22. In v. 21, he is establishing the day to day responsibilities of Christians to one another in helping each stay on track. One cannot legitimately exclude the marital relationship from that aspect of Christian life without raising serious questions about the merits of the following passage. If the marital relationship is excluded in the v. 21 instruction -- and it can't legitimately be excluded because of the marital relationship being the follow-up subject to Christian interaction in day-to-day lfie -- then the exclusion of other Christian relationships is also left on the table relative to that verse, and you would leave no available challenge to any argument that would attempt to exclude those instructions to help others remain focused on Christ in other Christian relationships.
Whose excluding the marriage relationship? The issue is whether Paul is saying for every individual to submit to every other individually, or whether he is telling people to each submit to the appropriate individual(s). There is an argument to be made based on the meaning of hupotasso and the context that he is referring to the latter.

An you make the primary gaff in exegeting these passages that everyone else makes: Assuming "submission" and "obedience" are synonymous. They are not.
I suspect you may be making the gaffe of not looking up I Peter 3 and carefully considering it before commenting.

<sup class="versenum">5 </sup>For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, <sup class="versenum">6 </sup>like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
(NIV)

This is in a passage where Peter has just told wives to submit to their husbands. He points them to the example of holy women of old. He illustrates how Sarah submitted to Abraham--by obeying him. Then he encourages emulation of Sarah by telling the women they are her daughters if they do well and do not give way to fear.

Notice that obedience to Abraham is given as an example of godly submissive behavior of a wife to her husband.

What a ridiculous leap to a conclusion! Are children mature and included in the instructions about submission in the rest of the passage? Another straw man, an invalid argument.
Again, there is no 'straw man' here. Actually read Ephesians 5 through 6 through carefully first while considering this issue. Paul tells the believers to submit to one another and then says who is supposed to submit to one another.

Submit to one another.
- wives submit to your own husbands.
- slaves submit to your masters
- children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.

He tells who is supposed to submit to whom. And if children are among the 'ye' that the epistle is addressing, then a command to submit to one another applies to adults and children as well. If 'submit to one another' means each person must submit to each other individual, then the implication is that parents should submit to their children as well. If the command to submit to one another means for everyone to submit to the appropriate person, this is not an issue.

If you find a problem with the argument, address the problem. Calling an argument a strawman does not make it go away.
 
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#43
You make good points here numbers. Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. This means never lording his authority over her. being ever forgiving, ever understanding, and always receive them and their actions in a loving way. Like how us men would want and expect Jesus to be to us when we mess up.

Men who think that submissive wives are for insecure men do not understand this and are likely insecure themselves or prideful in that they could even to think to say such a thing. Perhaps an unconscious desire to justify their disobedient wives behavior by chalking it up to insecurity and their unwillingness to lead her as they should. The strong willed woman is justified rather than confronted with loving leadership and make themselves feel better by saying no weak man could handle her like they when in fact the reality is that they are too weak or insecure to lead the strong willed woman properly. These men will keep the peace, but not her respect. ;)
There is a lot of truth there in that second paragraph, truth it took me way too long to learn as a husband. Some men have a kind of martyr complex, thinking if they put up with disrespect, etc. without confronting it is a noble thing to do. I think a lot of men do that with their wives because of cultural conditioning these days, but realize it's wrong to do with their children. They realize they have to set out some boundaries with the kids or with employees at the office, but don't apply the same reasoning when it comes to their wives. With children, we have a serious responsibility to teach them to respect and obey us. It will be bad down the road for them if we don't, and we stand before God for it. If you manage employees, letting them get away with disrespect or insubordination is bad for your career, but, IMO, not as bad for a man to do as letting his kids get away with that kind of stuff without confronting it.

When it comes to our wives, we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church. When Christ's church was disobedient in the book of Revelation, He verbally corrected, and even threatened (with genuine credible threats) some sinful behavior with his impending judgment. As a husband, he didn't just turn a blind eye to sin and pretend the churches were okay when they weren't.
 
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#44
I was reading early in the thread about a husband 'disciplining' his wife for being unsubmissive. I wouldn't say a husband was necessarily sinning if he stopped giving his wife shopping money because of unruly behavior. But there are a lot of things a husband can do that are consequences to disrespectful or unsubmissive behavior that might not fall into the 'discipline' category.

You see some men who obey their wives, who are scared to answer their wives when they ask about their new haircuts or if their jeans make them look fat. How did the man get this way? Probably his wife has an emotional reaction if he says something she doesn't like, and he just acts in such a way as not to get an emotional outburst. A man in this situation can stop allowing his behavior to be controlled by his wife's emotional outbursts, and he can also provide some consequences that make it unpleasant for her to be disrespectful, etc.

One simple thing a man can do is reprove his wife when she sins. A wife being disprespectful to her husband is sinful behavior because wives are told to respect/reverence/'fear' their husbands. Unsubmissive behavior toward her husband is also sinful. If a wife does this, the husband can point it out when she does it. If the wife does not like being corrected, she may watch her behavior. If she fears the Lord and wants to do what is right, that can serve as her motivation to do what is right.

If she yells or starts calling names or insulting him, he can disengage in conversation or even leave the house. He can tell her, "When you are able to talk to me like a reasonable adult, we can continue this conversation, but not before." She no longer has the satisfaction of having someone to yell at.

A husband having a bit of a backbone and confronting can help some wives monitor their own behavior better.
 
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#46
Some of these threads are really great for getting to know a person. They show the heart and in some cases the lack of one. They show how insecure folks react ... yup good threads!
 

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#47
While thinking about authority, my mind goes to an often used analogy: That of a Captain whose hand is upon the rudder of a boat, embarking on a long voyage.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Families is available as a free online e-book. In the first chapter, author Steven Covey changes the model for the analogy from that of a seafaring captain to an analogy of the Flight Plan of a modern aircraft. I highly recommend it.

Here is a preview to click on: You're going to be "Off Track" 90% of the time, so what? In the preview we may read the Airplane analogy. It's just 5 paragraphs but it makes the point that adjustments are to be expected and feedback is needed. Seems to me to be a very apt analogy for the need of prayer in our lives and families.

  • Review the Airplane Illustration on pages 9-10.
    Ask: When do you feel that our family is off course? When do you feel it is on track?​
  • Review the story found on pages 13-14, "I found my son again."
    Ask: How do we get back on track again?​
  • Consider the "miracle" of the Chinese Bamboo tree on pages 22-23.
 
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#48
This was a very helpful thread so thanks. I have heard mention of "submission" from our pastor and didn't know how to interpret it, even asking my wife beside me if she was offended by the term at all (she wasn't). This is exactly why I joined this forum, to get outside perspectives and multiple points of view to paint a full picture of God's word. Thanks again!
 
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#49
I think you need to give up. I'm not changing my mind. The approach I've outlined is solidly biblical. You're arguing for male dominance, and that is not what the Bible teaches. We're done here.
I had a friend who used to close his ears with his hands and say, "I've made up my mind. Don't confuse me with the facts."

Male dominance? Now we might call that a straw man. I'm in favor of male headship.

You seem a bit miffed. I wonder why. I asked you to support your definition of submission and pointed out you used 'straw man' wrongly. If you don't want to discuss something, that's up to you.
 
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#50
I had a friend who used to close his ears with his hands and say, "I've made up my mind. Don't confuse me with the facts."
Since I've not just "made up my mind" but have studied the word closely and have not reached this conclusion without solid information and biblical understanding, your rebuke is meaningless.

Male dominance? Now we might call that a straw man. I'm in favor of male headship.
So am I. But not at the expense of discounting the intellect and insight of my wife.

You seem a bit miffed. I wonder why.
I could be because you appear -- and if I'm wrong, please correct me -- to be attempting to place the wife under subjection in all aspects of the marriage, not just the spiritual aspects. Clearly, Ephesians 5:21 is not referring to the spiritual aspect, but the practical aspect, of Christian living, and cannot be rendered accurate if you wish to except the marital relationship form its teaching.

I asked you to support your definition of submission and pointed out you used 'straw man' wrongly. If you don't want to discuss something, that's up to you.
I already did. Perhaps you should reread the post to which your originally replied.
 
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#51
TY President. I learned early on how to treat women, just got lucky I guess, or perhaps it was that one of the things that I found fascinating when I was young was psychology and the fact the my dad set a good example for us by treating our mother well. This is probably why my marriage lasted so long (26 yrs) instead of the typical 2 or 3 years.
My dad was a bit traditional in terms of labor around the house and would occasionally do stuff like shake the ice in his glass as a sign for my mom to refill his drink, and I think I reacted too far the other way when it came to gender roles when I grew up. I believed in wives submitting to husbands theoretically, and my wife said she believed in that, but I didn't really make any effort as head of my wife to hold her accountable in that area, and eventually I'd defer to her too much and wouldn't confront her if she got disrespectful, and placated her. She was still a good wife. It was just she'd lose her temper.

I started really praying about it, and soon the Lord convicted her on it. So it wasn't so much my behavior that changed her for the most part, and not 'disciplining' her. But since then I've tried to be consistent about things like her speaking to me in a respectful tone of voice and things like that. If she lacks sleep or has some hormonal issues, she's messed up before, but she'll apologize. I think I was a bit too ready to take all the blame in the past if we had an argument when it wasn't even right to do so. I'll point it out now if she's acting wrongly. Sometimes she doesn't like that, but overall, it's better for our marriage. After the Lord dealt with her and she decided to be more submissive, she told me how much more peace she had. I think it's better for women, emotionally, if they don't feel like they have to carry the decision-making burden for the household and give that up to their husbands. She used to always get her way in the past. Now, she gets her way a lot of the time anyway. Since I love her, I want to please her, but on those rare instances we disagree, I haven't noticed the wars we used to have. She also defers on decisions. I don't give her lists of things to do and a bunch of orders to follow or anything like that, but things have turned around and I believe I can say I operate as the head of the home now much more than in the past.

The main way that I would discipline my wife when she was testy was to simply withhold compliments from her. This did two things for me; it made my compliments mean more to her than to most women whose husbands flood them with compliments all the time to the point that they hardly mean anything anymore, and it made her try harder to be good and start getting compliments again. Many men may sit there and laugh at this, but it actually worked rather well. It's much preferable than getting red faced and arguing and bickering all the time or being spiteful and disabling her car or whatever. All that type of behavior can do is to make things worse.
I don't know if I'd call that 'discipline', especially since when you hear discipline you think of grounding or even spanking. And that's not the sort of thing you are talking about. I've heard of men withholding spending money from their wives and things like that. That only would work if the man is the breadwinner and the wife spends money for personal entertainment. It's not the type of thing I'd do. My wife is frugal and doesn't do recreational shopping, anyway.

I wouldn't say I discipline my wife. I just hold my ground if I perceive she's not doing right, and point it out. Just saying what is and what is not acceptable and sticking to it can work pretty well with a reasonable person. I wouldn't call that 'discipline' because it's the kind of thing you could do with a co-worker whose not your employee who starts acting rudely.

In our culture, men need to learn the skill of being a husband. I haven't heard this sort of thing taught on in church, certainly not the idea of being firm with your wife sometimes. Of course, I don't go to one of those churches that preaches hard on the subject or the type of church where the preacher spanks kids up front. I won't name any denominations or independent church movements in this post. :) Usually, it seems like preachers read Ephesians 5, get to the verse about wives submitting and say, "We've all heard a lot of sermons on that" and skip over that topic and hammer the guys and throws in a bunch of Dr. Phil stuff about communication or whatever the most recent psychological relationship issue is. That's what I've seen. The problem is, the audience wasn't raised in the '50's and hasn't heard teaching on that. A lot of guys grew up in so-called 'egalitarian' homes where mom called all the shots. Dad was either not present, not engaged, or just said 'yes dear.' A lot of the men did not grow up with a strong male leader in the home who had a sense of responsibility for the family, who led in spiritual things like prayer and study of the word, and who was the decision-maker for the family. Even discussing topics like this will make people conditioned by the culture, even on a Christian forum, think you are an ogre or something like that.
 
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#52
Well, many husband's fall away from their intended role as well... would you be OK with a wife disciplining him?

Didn't think so...
I'm not arguing in favor of 'disciplining' as you see in my other posts. But there is a chain of command issue. Children don't discipline parents. Servants don't discipline masters (or in our context employees don't discipline bosses.) It's not the wife's role to discipline her husband. He's the head and she is to reverence/respect him and to submit to him. He is to love her as Christ loves the church.
 
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#53
I got to tell you, anymore I really believe in demonic possession. It's the only way I can explain some of the self destructive acts I have witnessed.

And Lilith is a true female demon who is mentioned in scripture.
The verse you quoted doesn't prove the whole Lilith mythology or the idea that Lilith is 'female.' Other translations don't translate the word 'Lilith.' I haven't done a word study, but it's conceivable that Lilith just happened to be named after the word for night creatures. In the legend, she was a human being, Adam's first wife, who insisted on being on top, who later attacked babies at night as some kind of monster or ghost. But that probably came into Judaistic thought through contact with paganism.

You do present more evidence for a 'spirit of Lilith' than I've seen for a 'spirit of Jezebel', however. The passage in Revelation does not call 'that woman Jezebel' a 'spirit.' Jezebel really was an actual woman.
 
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#54
Since I've not just "made up my mind" but have studied the word closely and have not reached this conclusion without solid information and biblical understanding, your rebuke is meaningless.
What I saw is I asked for what you based your conclusions on, and shut down the conversation. A quick search of commentaries online for example about 'hupotasso' mention the literal meaning and military usage. Where does the idea that it means to listen to other people's advice come from?


So am I. But not at the expense of discounting the intellect and insight of my wife.
Now that's a straw man. I've said nothing that indicates the idea that headship and submission mean discounting the intellect and insight of my wife. If you post something in a secular forum about wives submitting, people will respond with posts about wives thinking and having opinions, which has little or nothing to do with the concept of submission. Honestly, I don't see the connection. Employees should submit to bosses. That doesn't mean employees have no intellect or insight or that their bosses don't value them. The same is true in the military and in a number of relationships where submission comes into play.

My wife has a lot of intelligence and insight and I value it. She may want to do things one way, and I may want to do them another. A lot of times I'll go with her way, but I know I am responsible before God for deciding to do that. If I disagree strongly, which I rarely do, I may insist on doing things a different way, and I'm responsible before God for that.

I could be because you appear -- and if I'm wrong, please correct me -- to be attempting to place the wife under subjection in all aspects of the marriage, not just the spiritual aspects. Clearly, Ephesians 5:21 is not referring to the spiritual aspect, but the practical aspect, of Christian living, and cannot be rendered accurate if you wish to except the marital relationship form its teaching.
I think you said the opposite of what you meant in the first sentence.

If that were my intent-- whichever intent you have in mind-- why would that cause you to be miffed? Do opposing viewpoints bother you that much?

I haven't even touched on the issue of spiritual leadership in this thread that I recall. The Bible does say a wife is supposed to submit to her husband 'in everything.' Does that mean that the husband will always lead his wife spiritually? I Peter 3 tells wives to submit to their husbands, even those who do not obey the word. I do not believe an unbeliever is going to be able to offer his wife spiritual leadership. Ephesians 5 seems to be geared more to Christian couples, and it tells husbands to follow the example of Christ washing the church with the water of the word. This and other passages like the one about wives asking their husbands at home indicate a husband should have a spiritual role in teaching and exhorting his wife. Also, the fact that male headship is to reflect the relationship of Christ to the church implies a spiritual component to the headship relationship of the husband to the wife. But this would only function properly, IMO, if the husband is a believer.
 

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#55
Since this is a general conversation about issues and not specific that much, may I introduce a thread that I posted in Humor and Jokes:

The "riddle" of Samson's mommy

We could discuss the implications and meanings that could be dug from that particular gold mine, yes?
 

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#56
I think wise old King Solomon, first, wasn't all that old when he wrote this.
Also, it was written by the Holy Spirit and yes, it speaks of the love that the King has for his bride, but also speaks of the Love that Jesus has for his bride, the church. Psalms 31 does this as well as other startling passages about the love of God for you and me.

THE PSALMS OF DAVID (IN METRE)

Chapter 128


  • Verse 1. "The man is blest who fears the Lord, And walketh in his
    ways; For of thy labor thou shalt eat, And prosper all thy
    days."
  • Verse 2. "Thy wife shall as a fruitful vine By thy house sides be
    found; Thy children like to olive-plants Thy table shall
    surround."
  • Verse 3. "Behold, the man that fears the Lord, Thus blessed shall he
    be The Lord shall out of Zion give His blessing unto thee."
  • Verse 4. "Thou shalt Jerus'lem's good behold, Whilst thou on earth
    dost dwell. thou shalt thy children's children see, And
    peace on Israel."
THE PSALMS OF DAVID (IN METRE)

Chapter 131

  • Verse 1. "My heart's not haughty, Lord, Nor lofty is mine eye; I
    meddle not in matters great, In things for me too high."
  • Verse 2. "I surely have composed And soothed myself to rest, Yea, l
    even as a weaned child Upon its mother's breast,"
  • Verse 3. "My soul is like a child Weaned and submissive grown; O
    Isr'el, now and evermore Trust in the Lord alone. "
He has set his heart on the pearl.
 
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