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Keep thinking. smile Still looking for one single verse that says the husband has authority over his wife.

My point with this post is that there has to be more than rules and submission. I am not aware of anyone who teaches it, but this requirement blows legalism out of the water.

Yeah, I don’t believe this is Biblical either.

Chris, I agree. Debbie Pearl in her book teaches that submission is the key to a happy marriage, christian or not, because that’s the way God made it. From my experience, those who have happy marriages have been people who are both emotionally healthy and put the other person about themselves. I’ve know people who both submit to each other who are happy. I’ve known people who one submits to the other who are happy. I have met happy couples where the dad stays home and mom works, and visa versa. When I first went to college and my professors said they submitted to their wife, I thought, “My goodness, they can’t be happy.” But the reality is—my Greek teacher is such an amazing servant and has an incredible marriage regardless of the fact that he and his wife practice mutual submission.

Likewise, I’ve met people who had bad marriages who practiced mutual submission; and those who had mad marriages where one submitted to each other.

Submission… isn’t that the thing brought about by brute force? :D Seriously though, you can’t make anyone be submissive unless you use force. If your wide isn’t submissive, you really shouldn’t try to make her that way, even through claiming that the bible says so. However, in a relationship there needs to be respect for the husband… that’s kinda bibical. :D Just read the Bible… and eat chocolate.

What’s your reading of Eph. 5:22-24?

I take submission in Eph. 5:22,24 to be kind of generic, and I agree that it certainly does take more than rules and submission. I think this submission is more like the husband being the leader (not dictator) of the family—and of course, a good leader can choose to delegate or act on another’s advice, but he would provide overall direction.

I haven’t thought this through very thoroughly—hopefully it’s not too obvious. wink

Paul had just finished telling all the Christians to submit to each other, and then tells wives to submit to their husbands in verse 22.

Somehow people imagine that there is a disconnect between these two ideas. The problem is that both men and women make up the congregation of Christians. The men were just told to submit themselves mutually to their wives. Why?

We know that in other areas of the Roman empire, there were religious teachings that woman was the mother and originator of mankind (Zoroastrianism). I am inclined to read Paul’s statements as addresses to people who have come out of those religions.

If someone can prove differently, I’m open to consider other ideas. grin

That’s good, Chris. I tend to agree with you!

But God never said for men to submit to their wives. There has to be a reason why He only says “WIVES submit to their husbands”
Also, Eve was made from Adam.  “WOman= from Man. Eve was created to be a helpmeet to Adam. Wives should be helpmeets to their husbands. Supporting him as the leader of the family. God’s holy order ordains this. It is my joy to be submissive, loving and supportive! Building up my man, praying for him etc…

Hey SR,

You make a couple of good points, but I have disagree with your conclusion. When you read 1st Peter 3:1, pay attention to the use of “Likewise” (KJV, ESV) or “In the same way” (NASB). Peter is building on the concept in chapter 2 where we (all Christians) are to submit to earthly authorities and that Christ submitted, being an example for us. Now turn back to chapter 3 and skim down to verse 7. Likewise, you husbands. Husbands and wives are both being brought into this idea of submitting to others. This is made clear by the summation in verse 8, and Peter’s reasoning follows—including verses 13-16. There is a broad stroke in this passage that is often overlooked while attempting to outline specific roles for men vs. women.

With that said, the Hebrew word for “woman” in Genesis 2 does signify that she is for man. This is demonstrated in that the word can also be rendered as “wife.” Greek can operate the same way. So, yes, woman was made for marriage. But men were also not created to be alone therefore it follows that they were made for marriage. The word for “man” in Genesis 2:23 can also be rendered as “husband.”

That article makes a few mis-statements. For instance, Eve was not named until after they were cast out of the garden. If you follow strictly what the text says, she was called “woman” (or “wife”) until then. The author also says that Eve usurped Adam’s authority, but a closer interpretation of Scripture from the author’s perspective should be that Adam shirked his responsibility since Genesis 3 records that Adam was punished for listening to his wife on this matter. From there, the author makes several leaps of logic that I don’t intend to debunk in this comment. I hope that this is enough to show some of the issues I have with his reasoning.

Thanks for the comment though, and I pray that your marriage is a good one.

Through-out the Bible, God talks about wives submitting to their husbands. Sarah even calls Abraham, “Lord”. God never says the same for Husbands to submit to their wives. If He intended it that way, He would have made it plain and clear. He doesn’t.
Verse 1- wives are to be in subjection- that is “Submit”.
Husbands are to honor their wives (verse 7). (Wives are the weaker vessel!) It never says submit. They have different roles; it’s plain and clear to me. I think God intended for the Scriptures to be plain and clear. When people want to make more out of it and change it up to fit their ideals… that is where we go astray. We read more into it than need be.

1st Peter 3:
1 ¶  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

As far as Adam goes, he shouldn’t have listened and “obeyed” his wife. He shirked his duties and didn’t stand up for what he knew was right. This is one instance where it shows that husbands shouldn’t always go along with what their wives want. Adam wasn’t being a leader, a wise man. He was being a follower and giving in to Eve. He shirked his responsibility for sure and I agree with you on that.
I grew up in a family where the father/husband was the head of the household. The leader, the main bread winner and yes, the final decision maker on most things. I believe that is the way it should be. 1st Corinthians 11:3 lays it out there quite plainly and straightforward.

Hey SR,

What does “submit” mean to you? I have heard some people teach that the woman is never to say “no” to her husband. Some border on teaching that the woman has no right to an opinion of her own. Some teach that the “weakness” of a woman is a propensity toward moral failure so she should not ever be free of male oversight (even of her own 6 year old son). A handful go on to say that a woman who becomes a widow must move back into her parents’ house until her parents choose another husband for her—but this blatantly contradicts Paul (1st Corinthians 7:39), doesn’t it?

Let’s go back to Sarah and her calling Abraham “Lord.” Do you remember that she was rebuked for obeying her husband? It was not only Abraham who was reproved for her half-lie that she was his sister. The Hebrew is somewhat obscure but see Genesis 20:16. I find it interesting that this was recorded.

There are separate abilities (and yes, roles) that men have versus women. Men are not typically as good at nurturing a child as women, especially for the first few months. Nevertheless, the maintenance of the individual conscience belongs to both ‘roles,’ and there is no clear teaching in the Scripture about a lot of areas which are pontificated upon at great length. On the contrary, Proverbs 31 shows a lot of activities that are completely banned in practice by many patriarchal teachers.

In short, you are right that it is possible to read too much into these passages and that can happen at either extreme—when we try to make men the same as women, and when we try to clearly delineate everything. I would even go so far as to say that the “perfect line” to walk between these extremes varies from marriage to marriage, and person to person.

Let’s define a few terms if we are going to discuss this further (not that I mind, though I apologize that I am fairly busy right now). A lot of the teachers that I have come across sound the same until you start to look at what they mean by certain words and phrases.

Submitting to my father or my husband means that I listen to them and obey them so long as it doesn’t go against the Word of God. But my father has never “forced” me to obey him. I have my own opinions. I have spoken up “against” him when I thought he was in the wrong. Sometimes, I was right and sometimes I was wrong. But using Scripture to determine this always helps! smile
I firmly believe that there is a spiritual advantage for a young woman to have a “head”. Think of it like a protective umbrella. Satan will and does attack those who are out from under their authority.

As far as widows go, I don’t believe they need to move back in with their parents. They have already done the “leaving and cleaving” to their husband and no where does it say they should go back.

I agree with you on roles. I am pretty much against men staying home to raise the children while the women work outside the home. I’m fine with men and women both working outside the home if absolutely necessary. But children need to be nurtured; they need their mothers if at all possible. And they need their fathers too! But fathers should be the providers, the main bread-winners, the ones who protect their children and the final authority in the house.

Concerning the case of Sarah and Abraham, Sarah shouldn’t have gone along with Abraham and lied. She was sinning against God in that case.

Hey SR, sorry for the delay in my reply. I am glad that you qualify that obedience by saying that it cannot contradict the Word of God, and that your understanding allows you to say that Sarah should not have obeyed Abraham in lying. I also like that you speak of *young* women having someone over them, although I would qualify that to say young men probably should as well (as a general rule).

Isn’t that the literal reading of Genesis 2 about a young man leaving his father and mother? Another interesting thought: the passage does not say anything about the woman leaving & cleaving.

On a further point, Numbers 30:26 has long amused me on this topic because it plainly says that men are over their wives, and that fathers are over their young daughters while they are in his house—even if it was a law for Israel and not necessarily applicable in every circumstance under our laws here.

If you look at the distinctions between young men & woman and adult men and women in the OT, the age breaks are the same (20). Paul seems to hold to the general guidance of the OT laws regarding ages in his recommendations for Timothy (1st Timothy 5:9). So… my understanding is that we should be raising our kids (whether male or female) to be able to stand on their own.

I do not know what you think about pacifism, but one of my major qualms about the headship teachings before I married was what it meant for men who were off at war (or on a business trip, or anywhere else). Is every woman expected to behave like Bathsheba? That is certainly the impression that I got, whether intended or not.

Bill Gothard, who I believe originated the “Umbrella of Authority” teaching, teaches that women are to use petitions to change the mind of their “heads” in cases where it contradicts the Scriptures. One of the Gothardite pastors that I know says that if she learns to use her petitions wisely that she will never have to make a choice between obeying her head and obeying God (I do not know if this is his alone or if Gothard used to teach this—Gothard seems not to now). He goes on to add that women have a superior power to man’s headship because of this ability to influence. My wife calls that manipulation, and would rather have things out in the open. I very much appreciate her attitude on this. grin

Where are you finding the age breaks to be “20”? I’ve never heard of there being an age break. It doesn’t matter what age I am, I should still honor and respect my parents and be obedient if I’m under their roof. I should never ever bring them shame or embarrassment etc…

I’m totally against pacifism! Of course, I want peace but we should always fight for what is right and if that means death, so be it. I’d rather be dead in Heaven than being wishy-washy and a pansy type Christian who will do anything to have “peace”. I stand to defend my family and our rights.

I’m totally not for Gothard and never have been. smile I’m like your wife- Manipulation is terrible and open honesty is far more appreciated. I find that many Christians would rather not offend or hurt people feelings so they go about things in a covert, dishonest, round-a-bout way that often leads to far more issues in the long run. In my case, I’ve had people do this to me and it has totally ended our relationships because I could no longer trust them to be who they said they were. They proved to me to be dishonest, untrustworthy people because their actions spoke louder than their words.

Fighting when it is necessary and not liking manipulation. +2. For the age of 20, most have never heard it taught. It was something that I picked up on during one of the reads through the Torah. Most of the references are to the men in Israel, but women were counted the same way. As I pointed out, Paul used the same ages. Anyway, here are some examples in the OT:

Leviticus 27 places a value on vows to God. The age breaks are 1mo-4yr, 5-19, 20-59, 60+. The amounts are not the same per-gender, but the age breaks are.

Numbers 1 (and many other places), the men of Israel who go to war are aged 20 and up (who are able to go).

Numbers 14 (and other places), everyone over the age of 20 when Israel left Egypt were not going to enter Canaan (Joshua and Caleb were the two exceptions).

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