Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" Please visit www.wanetadawn.com to read chapter one.
Wives submit no matter what. It does not matter if your husband is kind or mean and demanding, if he beats you or calls you names and demeans you in every way he can think of. You are still required to submit to him. Or so the teaching of some groups says. Some, like Bruce Ware, even go so far as to say that domestic violence is caused by the refusal of the wife to submit. If all this isn’t bad enough, folks with this belief also think the wife who refuses to obey her husband’s ridiculous demands is rebelling against none other than God, Himself.
Yet, when a husband demands that his wife submit, in most cases she does everything she can to please him, and he still is not satisfied, increases his demands, and gets angrier and angrier until he lashes out at her and hits her with words, putdowns, threats, intimidation, or physical pain. That marriage does not symbolize Christ and the church in any way. In fact, it is more like Satan turning his evil attacks against the church.
So what is the answer? Did you notice the directive for husbands from that same passage is not stressed by the wife submit group? If it was, it would sound like this. Husbands, love your wives self-sacrificially no matter what. It does not matter if she shirks her responsibilities, calls you names, belittles you, beats you, does not submit to you, or is unfaithful to you. God does not say you are to sacrifice yourself for her only if she meets your expectations. You must always love her unconditionally. The bottom line is that you must sacrifice your own desires for hers. You must give your wife and her desires and needs preference over your own, no matter what. If she is hurtful to you, turn the other cheek. If she is demanding, give her what she asks for and walk the second mile, giving her more of what she wants than she asked for. Always be kind and tender toward her, set aside your sexual preferences to fulfill hers, and bend yourself to fit with her goals and aspirations.
Indeed, if churches taught this one-sided doctrine that implied wives had the blessing of the church to take advantage of their husbands, men would walk out, and cringe at the word ‘love’ just as wives currently cringe at the word ‘submission.’ If every time marriages got embroiled in conflict and husbands went to their pastors for help, and the pastors advised the husbands to sacrifice and give in to their wives, men, too, would believe themselves to be oppressed. If pastors focused their preaching and teaching on requiring sacrificial behavior from the husbands, and had done so for hundreds of years, with only a brief overview of wife submission, perhaps men too would feel that the balance of power between the genders is very unequal.
Or would they? Oddly, focus on the husband’s part is closer to the Bible’s teaching than the one-sided wife submit teaching many churches currently promote. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.” If we get the order right and make the sacrificial love of husbands the center of attention, the wife’s love and submission are very likely to follow. Indeed, some groups are emphasizing to abusive husbands that they practice self-sacrifice toward their wives, without any expectation of return. And when the husband follows through, the couple ends up with a very happy marriage. (see http://www.unchainedhearts.com/ The page for men is especially helpful.)
Why does this work? As God prophesied to Eve in Genesis 3:16, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband.” Women have a built in desire to please their husbands. So if the church would emphasize the husband’s role of leading out in loving self-sacrifice, servanthood, and nurturance, and the husband would follow through, the wife would respond with a return of the same. The result would be a reality of what is described in Ephesians 5 and other similar passages. Everyone would submit to everyone—including husbands and wives submitting to one another. Then, indeed, our churches would have achieved marriages that truly resemble Christ and the church,(instead of Satan and the church) and as a by-product, a highly reduced divorce rate.
Chronically Self-Centered Spouse Series - Nope, I'm not doing this series. Nope, Visionary Womanhood is not doing this series. But I do thank Natalie for linking to it over there a couple years back...
4 months ago