Those who will only choose a pastor who would declare that husbands have some leadership or authority role over the wife, thus satisfying their itching ears, insist that if the husband is to be the head of the wife, then he is to be her leader or guide. But in part 3 we saw that Jesus is our leader. His leadership involves going before us, being our example, sacrificing for us. If a husband is using submission abuse or any type of domestic violence against his wife, or is not doing Jesus's style of leadership, his directions will be in opposition to Christ’s directions. His wife cannot serve two masters. She will either serve Jesus, or serve her husband. Besides, Christ's type of leadership is not the leadership the itching ears crowd wants. These men want to be her coach, mentor, or guide, at the very least. And quite a few of them not only want to control as many of the details of her life as they can, they also want to threaten, demean, and harm her, while exalting themselves.
So let’s look at what the Bible says about “guide.” Paraphrase: For the husband is the guide of the wife, as Christ is the guide of the church.
Matt 23:24-25 “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” This actually sounds like a description of an abuser! Abusers make a big fuss about minor things, (gnats) but they ruin their own lives (swallow a camel) by allowing themselves many self-indulgent privileges and excesses while they keep demanding the most selfless behavior and labor from their wives—which is a type of extortion. Jesus pronounced "Woe" to people who act like that.
John 16:13 adds to the study. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.” It is the job of the Holy Spirit to be our leader and guide, but the church is telling husbands to fill that role. This looks like sheer arrogance to me. These men with itching ears are actually usurping God’s place in the lives of their wives!
Ouch! Romans 2:19-22 rebukes the Jews for thinking they know God’s will and are “confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?...Thou that abhorest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?” And the Itching Ears crowd would indeed abhor idols, yet set themselves up as the god of their families, thus committing sacrilege. Here again, the Bible does not look favorably on those who think they are so knowledgeable about God’s will, that they can teach others. (the context and tone suggests bossing others, or talking down to others.) It seems folks who boast of their own importance tend to not follow God’s will themselves. Sounds just like the abusers.
I Timothy 5:14 turns the whole guide/leader argument on its head. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” The WOMEN are told to guide their homes. (the NIV uses the word “manage”). For Paul to tell Timothy to instruct women to guide their homes, and then to tell men to overrule their wives, would be ludicrous. Why tell wives to guide their homes at all, if their decisions are to be shot down by their husbands?
But wait. Perhaps the concordance will shed some light on this verse and it will mean something different from what I think “guide” means. “Guide” in the New Testament has many different meanings. For example, in John 16:13 the Spirit of Truth guiding us means “to show the way.”
However, according to Strong’s Concordance, the “guide” in I Timothy 5:14 means “to be the head of (ie: rule) a family: --guide the house.” Wait a minute! This says the WIFE is to guide her family, and is to be the head of the house. This time, unlike the “head” in Ephesians 5, the “head of the house” is in our language, English, and it is spelled out to mean “rule.”
I am surprised by this. I had no idea I would find that wives are instructed to be the heads of their homes. If I ever heard of it, I totally forgot it. How could I have forgotten something so important??
Did the men with itching ears know this? How about the pastors they chose to tickle their ears? Do the pastors know about it but purposely keep silent? Surely in all their studies they ran across this. Are there other verses that support this one?
Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel," a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what.
Please visit www.wanetadawn.com
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...
6 months ago