What I believe regarding marriage

Gabriella brought up some common refutations to “complementarianism” and “patriarchy” in A Christian understanding of attraction which signify to her that “egalitarianism” is correct. The comment is here if you want to read it, but it is too long to quote.

She brings up several points in regard to “patriarchy” or “complementarianism” which I do find fault with; however, I also find fault with her reverse assumptions of what that should look like under “egalitarianism.”

I would say the view that I most likely fall under is some form of complementarianism, but I don’t like using the terms because they are loaded. They also don’t signify my actual views about marriage, which are based on the Scriptures. Therefore, I’d like to actually lay out what I believe with supporting Scriptures as to what I currently believe about marriage.

Before I start I must make something clear. I am not “for” complementarianism, nor am I “for” patriarchy, nor am I “for” “egalitarianism” or whatever else there is.

I am “for” God and his Scriptures.

Recognize that I am not about compromising between any of these viewpoints — complementarianism, egalitarianism, patriarchy, etc — trying to find the “best” parts of each and harmonizing them. I am about first looking to Scripture for the Truth, and then finding the best possible scenario under which the husband and wife can grow in unity.

The main way I will do this is examine the Scriptures first, and then refute the common “traditional” viewpoints — e.g. sins — of egalitarianism, complementarianism, and patriarchy. Then I will expound the freedom that is afforded to us in such interpretation of the Scriptures focused on unity between the husband and wife.


 

  • There is no way to get around submission of wives to husbands and/or authority of the husband to the wife.

Even selectively refuting Ephesians 5 (v21 vs v22-24, “omission” of hupotasso from the Greek in v21 even though it is present in some interlinear versions) or 1 Corinthians 11 (disputing “kephale”) there is still Colossians 3, Titus 2, and 1 Peter 3. The Scripture are consistent on this. Church teaching has been consistent on this until recently. Have the Scriptures or the Church magically changed? No. But society has, and we see the rot of feminism that has infested society.

The main sin that egalitarians have is that they believe that authority is bad. Authority is good. This leads them to discard God appointed authority in human institutions which is rebellion against God.

The main sin that many complementarians and patriarchal supporters believe is that authority makes men superior to women. Authority does not signify qualities of superiority or inferiority contrary to popular belief. It signifies a duty to subordinates as modeled by God. God is love, and God uses His authority to love: by sending Jesus to die for us. Likewise, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. So too husbands have a duty to love their wives not to lord over them.

Women take an incorrect view of Scriptural authority when they think that a husband’s authority is about them serving the husband. If Jesus’ authority over the Church is to love the Church, then why do wives believe different about the authority of husbands over wives?

The reason is that they “fear” an imaginary situation of “abuse.” I know of zero men who call themselves Christians and actually read their Bible and pray that don’t want the best for their wives even at cost of their own expense. Yet, most wives would rather rebel against their husbands and thus God — especially by taking an egalitarian stance — rather than trust in them. It’s very sad.

Authority, as exemplified by God and Christ, is given to love His creation: people. As such, authority is given to husband to love their wives as shown in Ephesians 5. Authority is given to the government or rulers to love their people (Proverbs 29). Authority is given to parents to love their children (Matthew 7, Luke 11).

  • Authority is able to be delegated.

I have a post coming on this in the future, but let me discuss this concept now.

John 17:10 So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority [c]over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

Luke 10:1 Now after this the Lord appointed [a]seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
[…]
10 But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet [f]be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’
[…]
16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

In these Scriptures, Jesus acknowledges that authority is able to be delegated. Additionally, we know that from the Scriptures that God also delegates authority on several occasions to human institutions. Namely, Husbands-wives, government-Christians, parents-children, pastors-flock, masters-slaves, etc.

If a husband has a job that has him deployed overseas or away for extended periods of time is it feasible for the wife to be calling him up over every little decision? No, of course not! Like the delegated authority that God gives to human institutions, authority can be delegated from those who hold it to those they are responsible for. This is often seen in the military where in-field commanders have freedom to operate even though the general has the ultimate authority.

A husband would be wise to choose a competent, resourceful, wise, and knowledgeable wife who is as proficient or has even more expertise in matters especially where his weaknesses are. That way he can trust in her to give him godly advice, and if he is somehow incapacitated he can trust in her to do what is right in all areas in which he was responsible.

The sin that egalitarians fall to is they think authority is bad, and that the wife will never be able to make any decisions. This is simply not the case. Authority can be delegated as necessary so that the wife if she has expertise or talents so she can make decisions for the household (like via Proverbs 31). This is a common theme in the next few points.

The sin that complementarians and patriarchal advocates fall into is that they will never consider delegating authority their wives because they don’t trust them. This is not consistent with Proverbs 31 and many other Scriptures.

  • Husbands are wise to listen to their wives in their talents and expertise.

This is an extension of the above point regarding delegated authority.

The sin most egalitarians fall prey to here is that they take a results oriented approach at the expense of rebellion and distortion of the Scriptures. They argue that “what if a woman has expertise that a man doesn’t have and the man ignores her expertise?” My reply to this is that such a man is foolish.

A wise husband should and does delegate authority to the wife to act on family matters in areas she has talents or expertise in to where the wife can make decisions for the entire household.

 

Likewise, if my wife was an expert in business, or web design, or other areas that would help me or my family I would certainly listen and act on her advice given her expertise and talents. However, I would make the final decision, and I would take responsibility for the decision. This is a win-win for wives because it is their advice that is being followed, and they will not have to worry about taking responsibility for the decision if something goes horribly wrong. They will also be praised if it goes well.

Now, some wives are find with handling responsibility and consequences. A husband would be wise to trust in a wife who wants such responsibility as in this she is his helpmeet. But to those wives that do not want to worry about decision making and responsibilities, the authority structure is put in place to protect them not to harm them.

Obviously, as stated in the above, most complementarians and patriarchal advocates fall into the trap of not listening to wise advice from their wives.

  • There is considerable freedom in the roles and responsibilities of a wife.

The sin most egalitarians fall into is that they believe staying at home or other such things are about serving the husband or limiting the freedom of the wife. This is far from the case.

The sin that most complementarians and patriarchal advocates fall is that they arbitrarily constrain women for their own means. Proverbs 31 is fairly clear that a wife is able to (1) have the trust of her husband, (2) work in business, (3) work outside the house, (4) provide food for her household, (5) purchase property, (6) do physical labor, (7) can be wise in her business and other dealings, (8) make clothing, (9) is generous to the poor, (10) sells anything she makes, (11) is wise/kind/does well to her household, (12) is blessed by her children, and (13) her husband praises her.

Scripturally, I am neither for or against women who desire to choose to be in the home or be a stay at home mom. This is quite admirable. However, I am also not against women who desire to work outside the home either. This is also quite admirable.

What I do believe is that this must be an decision that should ideally be agreed upon by the husband and wife prior to marriage so that there will be no unrealistic expectations or conflicts pre- and post- children. The conflicts are both sides of the coin: the husband wants to the wife to work and the wife wants to stay at home, and the husband wants the wife to stay at home and the wife wants to work.

Currently, in my church I know of two couples among others. In one couple both wanted the wife to work after having children, but after having prayed about it God changed both their minds and the wife stays at home now and they are both happy and in unity with the decision. The other couple, if I remember correctly, both wanted the wife to stay at home after children, but the wife ended up going back to work after prayer. They are both happy and in unity with the decision.

 

These are both couples who are walking in godly marriage contrary to the typical traditional egalitarian, complementarian, and patriarchal viewpoints.

If you were unwise to marry a spouse to whom you didn’t discuss such important topics prior to marriage so you knew what you were getting into, then 1 Corinthians 7 and 1 Peter 3 have answers for both spouses. You are walking a difficult road. Pray that God allows you to love your spouse through any conflict.

  • My church takes the position that women are allowed in “leadership” positions in the church as long as the head pastor is a man.

In this instance, teaching of the flock may be delegated to women, which is via explicit or implicit endorsement of the Church as all decisions and material run through the head pastor.

This delegated authority, like in marriage, and it fulfills the verses from 1 Timothy. Indeed, it also utilizes the talents, experience, and wisdom from women and wives to impart to those in the Church just as wives are also called upon to teach their children. This also conforms with the nature that both men and women are to be disciples of Jesus and make disciples.

This may actually be a point of contention with my Catholic brothers in Christ, but I cannot deny that I have learned a great deal from both men and women outside and inside the Church (obviously filtered through the Scriptures).

However, I do recognize that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have stayed more consistent to the Scriptures than the majority of Protestant ones. This does lend evidence that there is something to be said for a more strict interpretation to God’s Scriptures. This is not only in a stricter interpretation of 1 Timothy but also in the sacraments and willingness to excommunicate those who willingly sin and are unwilling to repent of it.

Conclusions

It should be clear by now that my position on the roles and responsibilities of marriage is in direct alignment with the Scriptures (although point 5 is arguable), and it allows considerable freedom to both the husband and wife.

This is why I state that my current position is neither what is traditionally viewed as “complementarian” or “patriarchal” or “egalitarian” or whatever. It is a position that is pro God and the concepts that God stands for.

In summary, these are the main points:

  • Authority in the marriage relationship of the husband-wife is consistent with the rest of the instituted hierarchies that God and Jesus have made here on earth. Authority is given to people or institutions you are responsible for to love them. Of course it an be abused, but Christians are called not to abuse it.
  • Authority is able to be delegated in any of these institutions, especially in the marriage relationship
  • Husbands are wise to listen to their wives who have considerably talents and expertise in any decision they make, and would also be wise to delegate authority to their wives where she has talents and expertise where she wants to take responsibility for her decisions.
  • There is considerable freedom in the roles and responsibilities of wives in marriage via an understanding of Proverbs 31. Potential husbands and wives would be wise to discuss major life decisions prior to marriage both in the scenarios of pre- and post- children with extensive prayer.
  • Delegated authority in the Church is allowed as women do have considerable talents, expertise, and wisdom that men can learn from. While I agree with my church’s stance that the head pastor is able to delegate this authority to women to teach, if a man feels uncomfortable with this via passages in 1 Corinthians where it causes him to stumble then it would be wise for him not to attend any such teachings from women or to go to a church without any women teaching.

These are all points that can be substantiated by Scriptural unlike most of the traditional understandings of “egalitiarianism”, complementarianism”, and “patriarchy” which often have bad feelings or connotations with them. I am not about compromising between any of these points trying to find the “best” parts of each and harmonizing them. I am about first looking to Scripture, and then finding the best possible scenario where the husband and wife can grow in unity.

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31 Responses to What I believe regarding marriage

  1. donalgraeme says:

    Lot to cover here. Addressing the last bullet point first. There is a difference between teaching and exercising authority. The Catholic Church generally reserves the exercising of authority to men. However, women can and do teach, including teaching men. It is always supposed to be under the authority (and supervision) of male leadership( but in practice that doesn’t always work out). I should also point out that historically convents were composed of women and lead by women (the Mother Superior). They answered to the local bishop. So you had several levels of hierarchy with female leaders, exercising authority over other women. Which is fully consistent with Scripture.

    One thing that I found interesting is that you assigned a lot of views to complimentarians/patriarchy supporters which I can’t say I’ve seen many of them espouse. Kinda seemed to me like you were taking a “balance” approach and tried to hit both sides equally.

  2. Robin Munn says:

    On the subject of delegating authority, there’s another passage that speaks to the concept: Luke 7:1-10, where Jesus heals the centurion’s servant. Note the message the centurion sends to Jesus in verses 6-8:

    “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

    And Jesus’ response? “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” This centurion understood authority, and how Jesus’ authority had been delegated to Him from the Father, better than anyone in Israel did — and Jesus praised him highly for it.

  3. @ Donal

    One thing that I found interesting is that you assigned a lot of views to complimentarians/patriarchy supporters which I can’t say I’ve seen many of them espouse. Kinda seemed to me like you were taking a “balance” approach and tried to hit both sides equally.

    Yes and no. I’ve seen very disparate views argued between these sides even in the ‘sphere. I’m arguing against what is “commonly called” as complementarian/patriarchal even though those that are complementarian/patriarchal may not believe those things.

    Regarding the last point, 1 Timothy 2 as read straight forward the Greek is didasko which is to teach (e.g. as Jesus did in the temple) and authenteo which is from the root “auto” (self) and “hentes” (worker). Given that the word is used only once in Scriptures the meaning seems to be debatable though commonly translated as “usurp authority” though Strong’s also says “act of oneself.” If you apply a strict interpretation you could say that women can’t teach even under the authority/supervision of men.

    Ideally, via Titus 2 men should be teaching other men and women should be teaching other women. When both are together ideally men should be teaching the whole congregation.

  4. @ Robin Munn

    Yep, I have a post on the Centurion’s faith too where I talk about faith and authority structures.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/the-centurions-faith/

  5. Robyn says:

    “I am not about compromising between any of these points trying to find the “best” parts of each and harmonizing them. I am about first looking to Scripture, and then finding the best possible scenario where the husband and wife can grow in unity.” Great attitude. Unity is the key.

    For years I struggled with this perfect wife in Pro 31. Until I learned that this women is in the latter part of her life and that’s why she’s so accomplished in EVERY area of her life. I could be wrong, but what I understand is that this person is not what we as wives should strive to be – she’s too perfect and gets it right EVERY time – Jesus is our mentor for that kind of view in perfection. The Pro 31 wife’s traits are what God promises to shape us into if we trust Him and allow Him His way, when we are closer to the end of our marriage rather than the beginning of it.

  6. Gabriella says:

    Robyn, Proverbs 31 is an acrostic poem. When it speaks about a woman of valor (the more accurate translation), there are 22 verses for the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Valor is more indicative of a heart attitude of strength and courage where virtue is more of actions and principles which may subtly lead women to think it more about what they do rather than how they do it =)

    Deep Strength, I really appreciate your heart and agree a lot with you for the most part especially where you say the most important thing is unity and that you are for God’s word and thus the correct interpretation of scriptures over theoretical positions and traditions. Love it, glad to hear, we are in the same boat there just maybe seeing different details on the horizon. I just am not completely sure if there is more to the equation than meets the eye at first glance. God’s word brings manifold wisdom, it’s soooo deep! So when one looks deeper into the word they get a fuller and therefore somewhat different understanding than originally thought most of the time. It’s like adding adjectives to a noun, it totally changes the originally perceived picture and draws a clearer more accurate one. I think there’s more to explore and see than what has been so far. I think specifically to the topic at hand, people need to get a fuller understanding of what submission is and what actually are women’s “roles” on the earth ect.

    Also, I never said I was an egalitarian, although I may be classified as such, idk, nor do I think that there should be no authority or that authority is bad, which was majority of your post. I just think that in marriage, when two become one, they make decisions as just that, as one, both exercising authority or dominion as equals in every way, yet still different (as genesis says, comparable and corresponding:a more accurate translation to suitable). These words indicate difference but equality, which makes sense if they are two halves that become one. It’s here where we have a divergence, but I hold this view because of the understanding I have on genesis before the fall and the studying I’ve done on all the other scriptures that are used for this issue. I know I have a lot more studying and rightly dividing of the word to do, as we all do.

    Interesting, I just had a thought in the form of a little vision, I will share… so Eve was deceived because she was misinformed, isn’t that how we get deceived these day? We all know she wasn’t out of Adam yet when God gave the command, that’s why Adam had to eat of the tree too for sin to enter in because he was the one God told and would be directly disobeying and turning his back on God and also they were one unit. As we know she seemed a bit confused and unsure of what was really said, she did not have a clear message and she in her lack of knowing what the details were, her lack of knowing the truth and the confusion that followed that said she couldn’t touch the fruit either. What stands out to me now though is that she was out about doing her thing, didn’t think to ask Adam even though she was confused about the matter and therefore able to be persuaded by and deceived by the author of confusion. She was clearly an independent person, ruling over herself, but she let her trust in her own ability and wisdom, which I believe they were a lot wiser before the fall, cause her to not think to still ask her husband for advice before making such a big decision.

    That was probably because she was in a state of confusion maybe due to miscommunication or God knows what, but still she forgot to involve her spouse on the decision and Adam knowing exactly what God had said, would not have been deceived and could have guided her out of her wrong thinking. Also, he fell into the same trap by not asking God what to do and took matters into his own hands and without wise counsel made a wrong decision just as Eve had. God probably could have helped, but he put too much trust in his own feelings and judgement and left God out of the decision. Proverbs says there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, neither Adam nor Eve counseled with anyone including God before making such a big decision (although Adam already heard what God had said and knew for sure his stance; satan said to Eve “has God indeed said…” and she replied with a “lest you die” meaning in may be possible to die and then satan replied, “You will not surely die…” and then filled in the blanks that she had with lies, for if you know the truth a lie is exposed as a lie and you are not deceived)

    May I also add that I’m not 100% sold in either direction, as I said before I shared, I need to really study more to be fully persuaded and let God confirm everything even though I know He has led me in a certain direction with things that I know He out of the blue revealed to me, just like what happened just now except it was actually more random and didn’t happen when it was something I was discussing or anything like that. I also feel that what you’re implying, although in word seems different than what I’ve been advocating, is in practice the same thing if one really thinks about all the possible scenarios thoroughly, just with a different understandings. If I have a heart of submission and my husbands loves me with the love of Christ, He will compromise (die to his desires/take up his cross; lay down his life) for me at times when we make decisions.

    This to me is the same as submission, just in a more descriptive, multifaceted and full word, love. Love submits to others by considering them and putting them before themselves and not seeking it’s own, but love was the word needed to be said to the men in culture of that time. People rarely want to submit or honor those who don’t show love to them, they actually lose all respect for them, that’s why it was said in such a way. Paul also brought everything back to Christ’s life for example, but when asked about marriage issues, Jesus brought it back to the beginning and God’s original design. Jesus said things like divorce were allowed because of the hardness of their hearts and pointed once after the other about how it was in the beginning and was saying to let that show God’s true will above the scriptures that the pharisees were trying to bring confusion or misunderstanding to.

    Furthermore, unlike Christ, the perfect leader, a man still has growing to do and he will sometimes need to change His mind or be persuaded one way and he may not always be the one who knows the best course of action, but God doesn’t need to change and never will and therefore doesn’t need to take our advice although He did reason with his friend Abraham and He even gives us free will to exercise authority over ourselves because He is love is our choice to live in obedience, (not implying your saying a woman shouldn’t have free will). Submission is willful yeilding to someone else’s way and both parties of marriage should do that no? I hope you get what I’m trying to say here… I know you say a man can delegate authority to his wife, but she, in the beginning was given free reign and dominion/authority by God. By the way, have you study what an ezer k’negdo is? The words that helpmeet is derived from? It makes it quite clear to me that a woman is not under (in any sense, even authority wise) her husband.

    (edited by DS to make paragraphs)

  7. Gabriella says:

    Oh so another big distinction and point is that there is only one worthy to be an ultimate authority, God… outside of traditional thinking we can have something called co-leading, something that actually does exist that people don’t realize does, it’s hard to do though, have you every worked with a peer on project and had such a unity that you both contributed equally but in different areas? It’s right in front of our faces sometimes and we don’t see it. Fallible people would need this and actually benefit from it unlike an infallible God. And if God is three-in-one and husband and wife are two that become one flesh, why can we not exhibit the same sort of different parts working together that God does? This issue comes from the underlying ingrained idea where people think that oh it’s God the Father, then the Son and then the Spirit., but I don’t see biblical backing for such, quite the contrary. That was man putting God in a way they could understand Him and twisting scripture at times to support such claims, but His ways are higher than ours and beyond our small thinking. They are foolishness to the ways of this world which is there has to be one head honcho, it’s different though in marraige as they are originally one and suppose to be one as God is 3 in 1

  8. Robyn says:

    “Robyn, Proverbs 31 is an acrostic poem. ” TY G. yes, I know.

  9. Robin Munn says:

    Gabriella,

    First, I want to say that your stream-of-consciousness writing style is very hard to read. That 8:29 PM comment of yours had a single paragraph that took two full pages (and about a quarter of the third page) on my screen. Could you do us the favor of putting in paragraph breaks from time to time? Otherwise some of the points you’re trying to make will get lost in the rush of words. I’m sure there are some things you said that I’m not going to address here, just because I missed them in your hard-to-read comment.

    Your redefinition of submission, when you say “Submission is willful yeilding to someone else’s way and both parties of marriage should do that no?”, is incorrect. There’s a word missing: submission is willful yielding to someone else’s authority. You cannot have submission between two people who are equal in authority; that’s not what the word means. There are other words for that: cooperation, compromise… These are perfectly good words, and they should be used. But both the English word “submission” and the Greek word “hupotasso” carry the meaning of submitting to someone else’s authority. It doesn’t have to be a harsh authority — in fact, if your husband is following Christ, it won’t be. But there does have to be someone who has the final say.

    Now, you mentioned “co-leading” in the context of, for example, working with peers on projects at school or at work. This approach works just fine whenever there’s no disagreement, or when the disagreement is easily resolved: one person or the other says, “Well, I thought we should do it this way, but you make a good point about the benefits of doing it that way instead. So we’ll go with your idea.” But what about the situation when the differences aren’t easily resolved? What about the time when both people are quite convinced that their idea is the right way to do it? There are only three possibilities:

    1) There was a pre-existing agreement that when there are irreconcilable differences of opinion, person A will get to make the final decision. Person A exercises that option now, person B goes along (maybe grudgingly, but they do go along), a decision gets made, and the project goes forward.
    2) There was a pre-existing agreement that when there are irreconcilable differences of opinion, person B will get to make the final decision. Person B exercises that option now, person A goes along (maybe grudgingly, but they do go along), a decision gets made, and the project goes forward.
    3) There was no pre-existing agreement about who will make the final decision when there are irreconcilable differences of opinion. It is now impossible to reach one, because both person A and person B are quite aware that reaching such an agreement now is tantamount to saying “All right, we’ll do it your way on this decision” — and that is something neither one has been willing to do so far, or they wouldn’t have reached this impasse in the first place. Result: either nothing gets done and the project suffers for it (and probably fails), or the partnership splits up.

    On the “A Christian Understanding of Attraction” thread, femininebutnotfeminist asked you a question about who would have the final say in your marraige if you were at an impasse. Note that in a Christian marriage, option #3 is not available: many times a decision must be made (doing nothing is not an option), and the marriage splitting up over the inability to decide is just not an option, period. So option #3 is off the table when it comes to Christian marriage, and the only choices are #1 and #2. Which one is it going to be in your marriage?

    1) When we cannot agree on the best thing to do, the husband will make the final decision.
    2) When we cannot agree on the best thing to do, the wife will make the final decision.

    This is not a false dichotomy. There are plenty of times when a decision must be made, and choosing to do nothing is not an option available, yet neither spouse is in agreement with the other one’s preferred solution. The only choice available is either 1 or 2, and there is no way around that, much as you might like there to be one.

    So which one will you choose? And a different question, but one that should have the same answer: which one do the Scriptures tell you you should choose?

  10. Robin Munn says:

    @Robyn –

    I’m glad our names are spelled differently, or it could become very unclear whom Gabriella is responding to! 🙂

  11. Robyn says:

    Too true! 🙂

  12. @ Gabriella

    1. All of the articles on this site are run through Hebrew and Greek word study referenced against Strong’s dictionary.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/hebrew-and-greek-resources/

    2.

    I just think that in marriage, when two become one, they make decisions as just that, as one, both exercising authority or dominion as equals in every way, yet still different (as genesis says, comparable and corresponding:a more accurate translation to suitable).

    God is 3 in 1 but has a hierarchy of authority within Himself (Father>Son>Holy Spirit).

    The Church is one body, but has a hierarchy of authority within itself (pastors/elders>congregation).

    Jesus will be united with the Church at His second return (Jesus > Church). I’ve never seen anyone argue that Jesus = Church even though they are one.

    Even though they are one in unity, there is not equality “in authority” and hence role in these situations. The one in authority has greater responsibility to love.

    3.

    If I have a heart of submission and my husbands loves me with the love of Christ, He will compromise (die to his desires/take up his cross; lay down his life) for me at times when we make decisions.

    This to me is the same as submission, just in a more descriptive, multifaceted and full word, love. Love submits to others by considering them and putting them before themselves and not seeking it’s own, but love was the word needed to be said to the men in culture of that time.

    So Jesus “submits” to the Church by dying for it? That makes no logical sense.

    Instead, Jesus has authority over the Church, and in His great love for the Church is willing to sacrifice Himself for the Church.

    An action of love is not submission (e.g under the authority of another), but rather an extension of authority which is caring for those you are responsible for.

    4.

    Furthermore, unlike Christ, the perfect leader, a man still has growing to do and he will sometimes need to change His mind or be persuaded one way and he may not always be the one who knows the best course of action,

    That is why a husband, who has been given authority in marriage, is commanded to love his wife. If he was given authority without a command for love then it’s unquestioned that due to our sinful nature that many would abuse it.

    However, we are called to a higher standard:

    Matthew 5:48 Therefore [a]you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Husbands should love their wives because they love God. A husband making a decision from his wife’s actions, words, talents, and expertise is not submission (putting himself under her authority) rather heeding wise counsel.

  13. Gabriella says:

    Hey guys, as there are many people that I as one person am talking to so I may not cover all my ends.. Robin, hi, sorry I write too much… I’m a very meticulous person so it surely takes a very patient person to bear with me and grasp every detail. I have many questions myself, but okay, I will tend to yours. One thing I noticed and this will eventually also go with some of the point you pose DeepStrength, is this refutation doesn’t seem to line up with truth…

    “There’s a word missing: submission is willful yielding to someone else’s authority. You cannot have submission between two people who are equal in authority”-Robin

    Okay, if your second sentence is true then how may I ask can verse 21 of Eph. 3 be carried out “submitting to one another in the fear of God”? You cannot have submission between two equals who are too prideful to submit and who thus refuse to submit to each other and are not operating in love. Let’s get the greek definition of hupotasso:

    1. to arrange under, to subordinate
    2. to subject, put in subjection
    3. to subject one’s self, obey
    4. to submit to one’s control
    5. to yield to one’s admonition or advice
    6. to obey, be subject
    A Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in amilitary fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.

    So as we see there are two contexts in which the word was used, a military and a non-military context. The context is clearly, non-military, thus it means a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden. Only in military usage is a leader or authority mentioned, so definition 5 (to yield to one’s admonition or advice) corresponds as well to the context of mutual submission to an equal. One is not necessarily given the right away in the convergence, but mutual respect and consideration is to be given to each party. However it seems most people only have a shallow understanding of the word and use it out of context and that’s where all the confusion comes from.

    DS, the word submit is more than you think and doesn’t mean the one acting in submission is under the other’s authority, that’s what Robin thought too and is, as shown above, not always the case. Love has aspects of submission in it. How is this a logical conclusion you ask. Well, Anything that is of God, any characteristic, can be found in love. God is love and therefore exhibits every aspect of love and every good thing is from him. Therefore Love, or God, shows submissiveness as that is a godly quality. No, God is not under our authority because He is love and loves us, but rather submission is found in love and all His actions. And God did exhibit “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden” towards us throughout scripture (this is how one should treat or submit to equals or those they are above). He even reasoned with Moses who couldn’t speak well and worked with him to say his brother could be a prophet for him.. He especially exhibited hupotasso in every way when He came and lowered Himself, putting Himself under God as a man, willfully making a decision to come under God’s authority, as He, Jesus, was an **equal*** to God (no hierarchy), but put Himself under God by becoming a man. How is hierarchy in the Godhead scripturally justified anyway? This passage shows how Christ was equal to God, but how He Himself, placed Himself, under for us.

    Phil 2:6 Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [[b]possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not [c]think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped [d]or retained, 7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [e]rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. 8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! 9 Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has [f]freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,” (AMP)

    This is where you and Robin think that when someone chooses to yield to someone else they were already under their authority, but that’s not the case, it when you decide to humble or lower your self under their authority and co-operate. Robin, I was willing to accept your additional word authority to the definition before I looked for the original definition, as I saw it as an option too and according to Genesis 1:26-28 woman was made an equal authority.

    26 Then God said, “Let Us make man (hebrew word “adam” lit mankind, gender inclusive) in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man(adam=humankind) in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
    (This is an older, widely used and accepted translation like KJV (which isn’t our language anymore it’s Shakespearean) and is tricky with the now an incorrect or out of date translation of adam to man instead of people or mankind. New Revised Standard correctly translates the hebrew word adam to humankind as do many other translations)

    Deep Strength, this is where it shows that God gave *them* male and female, those who were able to be fruitful and multiple, dominion over all the animals and earth. It’s a clear command of authority to both genders. Women were not included in what Adam had dominion over, but rather women were established as co-leaders with men being that they were made to function as one unit (they become one flesh). It wasn’t the fact that Adam gave the creatures names that gave him dominion over them, but that God said let them (women included in ruling, not being ruled) to have dominion. Also, if you look at creation from a scientific view, you see it becomes more complex and “evolved” every day, leaving man and woman last as the most complex and superior part of creation. So woman being made second, was not a sign of “being second”. This is God’s original design before sin entered and mankind chose to make their own rules. I’ve addressed this in my other comments as well so please make sure guys that you read them before asking questions I may have already discussed. Thanks…

    Okay, so FBNF and Robin, my response is already very long. So, instead of explaining the whole “impasse situation” why don’t you give me one and we’ll take it from there =)

    Okay, for all comments, at the bottom of this comment is a link to a biblically based and very sound teaching that explains why I believe what I believe.. here’s a link for the ministry and the man who is doing the teaching in the video to read up on their expertise and experience
    http://godswordtowomen.org/about_us.htm

    …and yes I welcome any discussion and further questioning as I care about God’s word and His people and desire to grow together… If you care to and have the time to invest in this discussion, by all means, but please do not engage without having an open heart and mind and being willing to listen and understand what I make great effort to communicate, as that will come to nothing but time spent in vain and would be rather inconsiderate. Do not simply look for me to understand you without first looking to understand me, as I would not want to come to an impasse, but an understanding. And the only way to do that is by each party sincerely looking to see what the other sees. This has been a very edifying and profitable discussion for me as I have discovered new truths, I hope you all find it edifying too =)


    or
    http://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=FTBnbbVW15Q&u=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DKpQQ_ORtFRo%26feature%3Dshare

  14. Gabriella says:

    ooooopsss… please disregard all writing before the link as it will be repeated… sorryyyy :/

    (DS — edited comment to remove redundancies)

  15. Pingback: Authority, submission, obedience, and servanthood | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  16. @ Gabriella

    I posted my reply in my new post exploring these concepts further.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/authority-submission-obedience-and-servanthood/

    Thanks for the continued thought provoking posts.

  17. deti says:

    Interesting posts and comments.

    As a man who has been married for 18 years, I can tell everyone here that the situation FBNF and one of the Robins posed does come up.

    There is an important decision which must be made. As a married couple, we had to choose among at least two options, which were mutually exclusive. Once the decision was made it would be very, very difficult and costly to reverse or change. Not deciding is not an option – we MUST choose one of them, and then walk the decision all the way to a conclusion.

    We don’t agree on how to proceed. I am leaning toward option A, and have good reasons for doing so. Mrs. Deti is leaning toward option B and has good reasons for doing so. We MUST choose either option A or option B.

    The only biblical resolution is that the husband makes the final decision after listening carefully and prayerfully to his wife, and considering her prayerful (not emotional, not thoughtful, not histrionic, not fearful) counsel. The wife must choose to submit to the decision her husband makes.

    Where the disagreements are is where the wife’s prayerful counsel is important. If W sees something that H doesn’t see, then W has a duty to make that known. After W gives her godly and prayerful counsel, then H must make the decision and W must be at peace – CHOOSE to be at peace- – with that. W can be at peace with that, because biblically, she has been obedient and has done all she can do. She leaves it in her husband’s hands, and ultimately God’s hands.

    People can and do choose to have different marriages. People can and do choose to have the wife make some major decisions with the H submitting to them. That often leads to resentment and lack of attraction. It’s not a natural hierarchy for a wife to make major decisions with her husband submitting. (Note that that isn’t the same as H delegating to W the authority to make the decision.)

    In my experience, godly wives do not like being put in the position of having to make final decisions on weighty matters. They do not want to be “coequal leaders”. They want to look to a H to make the final decisions for their families on weighty, difficult matters. One thing that most married women HATE is when their husbands throw up their hands in apparent defeat and say words to the effect of “I don’t know what to do. You decide” or “I don’t really care – YOU decide”. It looks to a W as if the H is giving up, giving in, and abdicating his responsibility to her when he should be bearing that burden himself.

    People can choose not to decide, but that usually leads to problems because a failure to decide will lead to circumstances making the choice for them.

    People can choose to split up, too. That in itself is unbiblical.

  18. Robin Munn says:

    Deti,

    Whenever I think about the situation you’re describing, where the husband and wife have different opinions about what should be done, I keep thinking of the scene in Lewis’s Prince Caspian where Prince Caspian (actually, King Caspian by that point) is going to blow Susan’s Horn, hoping it will summon the four great Kings and Queens of old to come back and help Narnia. But he needs to send off one or two of his soldiers to meet them at the couple of places they’re likely to arrive. Trumpkin tells his king that he (Trumpkin) doesn’t believe it will help, and that it will be a waste of a good soldier to send him off on a wild goose chase, when every man (and dwarf and talking animal) is needed for the coming fight against the Telmarines. But when Caspian tells Trumpkin that he’s going to do it anyway, Trumpkin volunteers to be one of the ones to go. Caspian asks him why, as Trumpkin doesn’t believe the horn will do any good, and Trumpkin says this (emphasis added):

    “I might as well die on a wild goose chase as die here. You are my King. I know the difference between giving advice and taking orders. You’ve had my advice, and now it’s time for orders.

    That’s the sort of distinction any person under any kind of authority would be wise to learn. There will be times when the wife knows more about the situation than her husband, and he would be wise to take her advice and say, “Okay, here’s my decision. We’re going to do it your way.” (Which is totally different from the “I don’t really care — YOU decide” scenario. The latter is a lack of leadership, whereas the former is good leadership.) But if he doesn’t — if he decides that they’re going to do it his way, and he turns out to be wrong… the Biblical thing for the wife to do is to follow his decision even though she disagrees, and to do her best to implement it anyway (and most especially not to subtly sabotage it through giving it less than her best effort).

    Gabriella,

    There are a couple things in your comment that I want to address, but I don’t have time right this instant as I need to head to work in just a couple minutes, and I don’t want to give you a rushed answer. I’m not ignoring your comment, and I’ll get back to it in a few hours.

  19. Robyn Gibson says:

    “and he turns out to be wrong… the Biblical thing for the wife to do is to follow his decision even though she disagrees, and to do her best to implement it anyway (and most especially not to subtly sabotage it through giving it less than her best effort).”

    Can I say that again?

    “and he turns out to be wrong… the Biblical thing for the wife to do is to follow his decision even though she disagrees, and to do her best to implement it anyway (and most especially not to subtly sabotage it through giving it less than her best effort).”

    The ‘Robi/yns’ agree on this point.

  20. Gabriella says:

    DS, Thanks for fixing that for me!! That was so nice =) And thanks for having such a great attitude and open heart! =) I read the post in the link, it was a little confusing, I’ll try again later as I haven’t been feeling well today and maybe that’s why I’m having a hard time understanding you… Did you listen to Dr. Hyatt is the video by chance? If you did, what do you think?

    Deti, just out of curiosity, I would like to know some of these situations… I wonder what I would do… Can you throw me some? =) And yeah, a guy who has no sense of direction or doesn’t know what he wants isn’t very attractive and kind of annoying. But a guy who is stubborn and inflexible is even more unbearable… Ah, to know the beautiful balance in the middle of two extremes… Do you think though it may get tiring though or too stressful if the man always has to be the brains and make all the decisions.. Although immense pressure can make diamonds or broken things…

  21. Robyn Gibson says:

    Hey Gabriella, I know you addressed Deti, but before he answers – I’m curious about something. You asked, “just out of curiosity, I would like to know some of these situations” … aside from the argument in dialogue that could start over particulars – what difference would that make? I thought Deti explained clearly that one spouse wants the A and the other wants B.

    Why is it that you want particulars for “what if its this way” or “what if it’s that way”??

  22. Robyn Gibson says:

    Deti: I’ve been reading and re-reading your comment off and on for the last hour or so. Well said.

    “People can choose to split up, too. That in itself is unbiblical.” When spouse A splits with spouse B they are throwing away a whole life just because it’s banged up; their actions are saying spouse B is not worth the work of my life. Jesus never threw anyone away; even a bruised reed.

  23. Gabriella says:

    Hey ladies, Robin and Robyn, I’m almost 100% with you, because I do that all the time (give in even though I know he’s wrong). I eventually will say ok, that’s your choice and I respect that, as I don’t like to force myself on people and respect their free will. So at a certain point I feel submitting is the right thing to do, but it should be for anyone at times. That’s how God leads no? He’s like “I don’t think you should do that”, but we may be like “I really want to! Want want want want…” and then God is like “……” and then He let’s us learn from our mistakes and is like, “Sorry you had to go through all that, I tried to warn you….”. Although it depends on how important a situation is…. If I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God is telling me to do something and the other person, after making every effort to get them on board won’t come into agreement, then I will go alone if I can. It always depends on the situation though. Like for example, my mom didn’t want me going on vacation with my fiancees family for very silly reasons this last past saturday. I didn’t have to comply with her, I could have asserted my independence, but I felt I would be leaving in a bad state and I would have to directly disobey her and might be leaving in an attitude of rebellion, ( I’m 25 btw). So I decided unity with her was more important, as well as her heart. I couldn’t bear to leave my mom all upset, her heart as a person and especially my mother is very important and I felt God after prayer God nudging me to work it out and find a common ground, but I was frustrated and was like “Should I go, yes or no God, whatever you say…”. So I stayed and made a compromise after much working things out respectfully. I feel that’s something that has to be done with your heart sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the other person. So, I’m leaving thurs and only making half the vaca going down to wildwood (I’m from NJ). I was a little sad I had to miss out on the first more adventurous half, it was a sacrifice and my mom technically had no right to demand I stay, but I wanted to do what was best for both of us. I normally would just comply with things I didn’t think were worth the struggle, but she does that too often. I think she gets a little jealous when I do things with his family, as well as lonely and I know she gets scared to loose me, especially as I am the youngest of six. She also doesn’t think my fiance is up to par for her special child, but didn’t have the bar so high for her other kids. So I’m leaving thursday and only going down the shore…. I missed a great experience and opportunity to get away and bond with his family, especially his cousin Anna Maria. So it’s not like I’m saying husbands should submit to their wives, but that BOTH should submit to each other. And if they both have an attitude of submission it’ll be the same thing as following the wife’s advice when you realize it’s good advice except that when it’s not clear or there’s a strong disagreement, both parties humbly seek out together the right decision as we all see in part. idk guys… I probably don’t have the life experience you all have so if that doesn’t cut it, give me a situation that’s “not so simple”.

  24. Robin Munn says:

    Gabriella,

    I’ll start off by mentioning that yes, my name could easily be female, and that was a perfectly reasonable assumption to make (especially since I chose to use an avatar image that’s a visual pun on my name, rather than a photo). BUT… I’m actually a man, not a woman. I mention this because at some point in these discussions I’m probably going to talk about my girlfriend, or at some point in the future I may talk about my fiancée or my wife. And when I do, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. 🙂

    You do seem to have a good, humble attitude towards other people, being willing to let them have their way when other things like maintaining unity are more important. That’s excellent; well done. Keep that up and it will serve you well in your future marriage.

    I think the problem I have with sentences like “it’s not like I’m saying husbands should submit to their wives, but that BOTH should submit to each other” is that you’re using a different meaning of submission in both halves of the sentence. Actually, that’s my problem with your use of the word submission in general. Its normal meaning is in the context of authority. And you’re right that it does get used in contexts lacking a permanent authority (e.g., usage #5 in the definition you cited), but there is a temporary kind of authority (maybe leadership is a better word) implied even in those uses. Let me give an example. My college had a program where incoming freshmen could do a wilderness trip for three weeks, in a small group. Mine was eight guys, including me. Every evening when we set up camp after hiking all day, a different one of us would rotate through the leadership position of telling the other guys what to do to set up camp. When it was my turn, I handed out assignments: “John, go down to the stream and get the water for us to boil to make soup. Andy, Mark, go find us firewood. Phil, Dan, you set up the tents while it’s still light.” (I also gave myself an assignment too; being the leader for a day wasn’t a “kick back and relax” job.) Did I have permanent authority over the other guys? No. But I did have a temporary, agreed-on, authority for the day. And they submitted to what I asked them to do because of that agreement.

    Now, what if we hadn’t agreed ahead of time to rotate the leadership position? What if we had just, each evening, milled about until someone decided (on his own) to organize everyone and start handing out assignments — but once that guy did decide to tell everyone what to do, everyone obeyed him? Would he also have authority in that situation? My answer is yes: the others in the group have voluntarily granted him authority by submitting to him in this situation. Doesn’t mean his authority extends to areas outside that situation — if he’d said “Oh, and Phil, carry my backpack for me tomorrow while I carry nothing,” Phil would have refused. But the act of submitting creates authority; it says “I will let you be in authority over me in this situation.” Or, as I said that maybe leadership is a better word, it says “I will follow your lead in this situation.”

    With this understanding of submission, that it creates (by its nature) a temporary acceptance of the other person having a certain amount of authority (of limited scope and duration, but authority nonetheless), suddenly Ephesians 5:21 isn’t hard to understand at all. All Christians will be called, at times, to submit to brothers and sisters in Christ in one area or another. Deep Strength listed some of them in his most recent post, Authority, Submission, Obedience and Servanthood: for example, when one Christian is in sin, those close to him (or her, but I’ll use “him” for the rest of this sentence) are commanded to tell him of his sin (Matthew 18), first of all in private, and then bringing in one or two others who agree that he’s in sin, so that he’ll have multiple people to listen to. (He might resent you for some reason or think you’re being nitpicky, but if multiple people come to him and tell him the same thing — “Dude, you’re sinning in this area” — then he doesn’t have the “Well, only one person thinks it’s sin” excuse any longer.) And his responsibility when rebuked by his fellow believers is to submit to their judgment. This is one case where a husband should submit to his wife — I’m in complete agreement with DS here — if he’s sinning and she comes to him to tell him, “Dear, this is an area in your life where you’re sinning.” It’s those closest to the sinning person who are going to be aware of it first most of the time, and who else is closest to him but his wife? Here in this interaction, they are not playing the roles of husband and wife, but of sinner and rebuker — and the sinner must submit to the rebuker. Then he confesses to God and to the one(s) he’s hurt — for the sake of the example, let’s assume it’s his wife that he’s hurt with his sin — and the roles of sinner and rebuker can be gratefully discarded to resume the normal roles of husband and wife again.

    So Ephesians 5:21 doesn’t mean “all Christians are to be submitting to each other all the time”, but rather “in the various situations — husband and wife, sinner and rebuker, etc. — in which you need to submit to your fellow believers, do so out of reverence for Christ.” If taken on its own, it can be easy to misunderstand it as “always submit to each other all the time”, but the Bible gives lots of examples of when certain Christians should submit to other Christians (and those other Christians, in that one context, are not submitting. The rebuker is not submitting to the sinner in that moment. Or in 1 Corinthians 6, if two Christians go to a third to settle a dispute between them, the third is for the moment exercising authority over the two. The two are submitting to him, and in that moment he is not submitting to them).

    In other words, you keep using the word “submit”, and I keep saying, “No, that’s not what it means.” Heh — I’m practically quoting The Princess Bride here. “You keep using that word. I do no think it means what you think it means.”

    There was more I wanted to say, like how the fact that both men and women were given dominion over the earth does not imply that they are equals in authority in all things (in particular, it does not preclude a husband having a measure of authority over his wife). In a company, both the president and the vice-president have authority over everyone else in the company. As far as the janitor, or the mid-level manager, is concerned, their authority over him is equal. But the president has authority over the vice-president; within the relationship of those two people, their authority is not equal. But I’m going to leave it at a brief mention, because I’ve already gotten VERY lengthy here and I want to give you an opportunity to respond. Just know that if/when you do respond, I may not get around to addressing your new response right away, because there are several more things I still want to talk about from the comments you’ve already posted so far.

  25. deti says:

    Gabriella:

    I’ve skimmed your response comment to me and your followups. All I can say is that you don’t really have a good understanding of biblical submission; or if you do, you don’t agree with it. You’re not ready for biblical marriage. I strongly encourage you not to marry at this point.

    Best of luck to you.

  26. Robin Munn says:

    Gabriella,

    I just remembered there was something else I wanted to say about your statements about leadership and authority before the Fall:

    Women were not included in what Adam had dominion over, but rather women were established as co-leaders with men being that they were made to function as one unit (they become one flesh).

    You are correct that dominion over the earth was given to both men and women; I do take issue with the word “co-leaders”, because to most people it would tend to imply that neither has authority over the other. But both have the same authority over the rest of God’s creation; in that much, you are entirely correct and in line with the Scriptures. However, a few sentences later, you make a serious mistake:

    Also, if you look at creation from a scientific view, you see it becomes more complex and “evolved” every day, leaving man and woman last as the most complex and superior part of creation. So woman being made second, was not a sign of “being second”.

    This would seem to make sense if you look at this passage alone, but in fact it’s in direct contradiction to 1 Corinthians 11:7-10: “7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.”

    Many years ago, when I first started thinking about issues of men and women in the church, authority, and started looking into all the Scriptures that touched on this, this passage bothered me. “That’s not how logic works,” I thought. “From the creation order you conclude something about authority? What? That doesn’t make sense.” But then I realized what I was doing. I didn’t like something in Scripture, and I was demanding that Scripture change to accommodate my beliefs. Which is exactly backwards. When something in Scripture is plain — and Paul’s argument (“woman was made from man, and was created for man, therefore a wife is under her husband’s authority”) is plain here — then if it offends my beliefs, tough. I have no right to change Scripture to fit my beliefs; I have to change my beliefs to fit Scripture.

    Paul then goes on to add verses 11-12: “11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.” Men aren’t supposed to get puffed chests either: humanity was made male and female for a reason, and we are stronger together than apart. Both sexes depend on each other, and fill gaps in each others’ abilities: men’s strengths complement women’s weaknesses, and women’s strengths complement men’s weaknesses. It should not be a war, but a cooperation, where both are on the same team. Since the World Cup is going on right now, let me use a soccer analogy: any soccer team has a captain, who gives direction and leadership to the rest of the team. (The manager can also give direction, and his authority is higher than the captain’s, which also fits with the analogy — but I’ll talk only about the captain’s role). If you watch a captain on a soccer team, you’ll occasionally see him yelling to the other players and pointing at the field, or players on the other team, as he picks strategy. (“Watch #3 more closely, he’s breaking past you a lot,” and so on.) The other players voluntarily follow his lead during the game, because a team whose captain doesn’t lead them will do poorly and is likely to lose against a team of equal skill with a good captain. The rules of soccer don’t give the captain any right to force his teammates to follow his lead, but any team where the players rebel against their captain is a dysfunctional team that isn’t going to winning any games. However, this is an authority relationship of “small distance”: the captain is also a player on the team. He is not independent of the other players, nor they of him. By cooperating, and having one person provide clear leadership and decisions instead of eleven people arguing over it, the team is more effective.

    But that point, while important, is secondary to the point I’m making, which is that 1 Corinthians 11 clearly states, on the grounds of creation order, that a husband was placed in authority over his wife. And this was put in place before the Fall.

    So: you have just discovered that one of your beliefs is contradicted by Scripture. What will you do? Will you change Scripture to fit your beliefs? Or will you change your beliefs to fit Scripture?

  27. Gabriella says:

    Hey everyone, I just realized I left this post unanswered.. Been so busy, sorry about that Robin. I had went on my little vacation down the shore and never got back around to it. I normally spend quite a bit of time researching and studying to make sure my answers are sound and not just thoughts or traditional view points that I’ve heard from others, but I don’t know if I have the time anymore. Anyway, please pray for my father, he is in the ICU. We’re believing for complete healing in Jesus name as was promised by the Lord, but some under-girding in prayer would still be a blessing =) I just ask that you all ponder something… How was Deborah, a married woman, able to be a judge and prophetess over all Israel? Also, consider that a judge and/or prophet is what God had established to lead His people before the Israelites insisted on having a king and hierarchal system like the heathen nations had.

    1Sam. 8:6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

    God’s people chose to separate further and further from God’s original design of His leadership. We see this progression from the garden. At the time of Moses, the people told Moses they did not want to have God talk to and direct them personally anymore (Exodus 20). So instead of hearing God for themselves and being restored to personal relationship and intimacy with God, they chose to have a middle-man. Btw, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be authority I’m just saying their should be one who is over them all and above all. God should be listened to above all others just like Peter said in Acts. But lets just stick to the original question about how a woman named Deborah, who had a husband, was chosen by God to lead His people. How she was the God ordained authority over them all, men included. Why not her husband? Was God instructing her through her husband? No… we don’t see his involvement in that chapter at all. The only person leading Deborah was God Himself. She was accountable to God and heard from God about what to do and so forth. There was no male authority over her, not even her husband. Although we can be confident such a godly woman would deeply love and respect her husband.

  28. Robin Munn says:

    Gabriella,

    Could you go back and re-read my comment from July 3rd, which you may have missed when you went on vacation? I asked a question at the end of that comment, and I’d really like to hear your answer.

    Now to talk about Deborah. First, I want to say that as a general rule, I would refrain from assuming that anything in the book of Judges is a good model to follow. Certainly Samson’s womanizing isn’t something to emulate, nor the behavior of Micah the Ephraimite in Judges 17, nor the polygamy of Gideon (Judges 8:30) or Ibzan of Bethlehem (Judges 12:8-9) or Abdon the son of Hillel (Judges 12:13-14). Not to mention the terrible things that happen in Judges 19-21!

    Thankfully, Deborah does indeed appear to be a good example, at least from what little we see of her in the text. She was a prophetess, so she clearly honored God (while He did sometimes send prophecies to people who didn’t honor Him, like Balaam, the text of Deborah’s song in chapter 5 makes it quite plain that she did honor God.) And He gave her messages for his people, including for Barak, the man He had chosen to lead Israel. No, Deborah wasn’t His chosen leader — you’re making a common mistake in reading the text this way. To see why I say that, let’s step back to chapter 3 for a second.

    In Judges 3, there’s a pattern. The people of the Lord fall into sin, He allows one of the surrounding nations to oppress them, and then they cry out to Him for deliverance and He raises up someone to rescue them. (Judges 3:9 – “But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.” And Judges 3:15 – “Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man.”) Shamgar the son of Anath is mentioned at the end of the chapter, but it doesn’t specifically say “The Lord raised up Shamgar the son of Anath.” But since he only gets one verse, I don’t want to draw any conclusions over whether God had specifically chosen him or not.

    So the pattern is that God chooses a deliverer, and empowers him in battle, and he saves Israel from their enemies. Now we arrive at chapter 4, where the same pattern can be seen. The people of Israel fall into sin (4:1), God allows them to be oppressed by their enemies (4:2), and they finally call to the Lord for help (4:3). The next event in the pattern is God choosing a leader, and this time we get to see the person He chose to deliver His message to his leader. That messenger was Deborah the prophetess, who calls Barak to her and delivers God’s message to him: “The Lord has chosen you to save His people. Now go gather an army of ten thousand men and lead them into battle, and you will win.” Barak lacks faith — in his own abilities? in God’s calling? The text doesn’t tell us — and doesn’t want to lead the army alone. So Deborah goes with him, but she makes it plain to him that this was not God’s original intent: “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” (Judges 4:9). To a military man like Barak, in that culture, the rebuke inherent in this comment would be obvious.

    The mistake that most people make when reading the story of Deborah is to assume that because Deborah was a judge, that means that she fits the pattern of Judges 2:16-19 (“Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. […] Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge.”) But the pattern of Judges 2 and Judges 3 is the one I just mentioned: the people pray, God relents and brings up someone to save them from their enemies (called a “judge” in chapter 2 and a “deliverer” in chapter 3), and then that someone, after delivering Israel militarily, acts as a judge to lead them. And the person who fits that pattern in chapter 4 is Barak, not Deborah. To assume that Deborah was God’s chosen ruler over Israel, simply on the basis of her being a judge (Judges 4:4-5), is a reading that the text does not actually support. It’s an extremely common mistake — in fact, I was making it myself until you asked your question, which led me to dive more deeply into the text and see the pattern. So thanks for that question: I learned something new about the Bible that I hadn’t realized before.

    In closing, I want to let you know that I just prayed for your father, and I’ll continue to pray for him if I remember. (I can’t promise that I’ll remember — I’m quite absent-minded). Please let us know how his health is doing. And please do let me know how you’d answer my question from July 3rd.

  29. Gabriella says:

    Thank you for your prayers Rob, my father however, went home to be with the Lord. My mom said that was what he wanted. If your referring to the question of if my beliefs contradicted God’s word would I change them then the answer is yes. However, I find your opinion and case quite unconvincing and faulty, no offense. I have no time now though for a rebuttal or to challenge your thoughts and claims so I leave you all my peace. School is starting soon and my destiny awaits. I need to stay focused so I’m ending my contribution on this forum. It was nice chatting with you brethren, wishing you all the best… God bless and keep you all and may His Holy Spirit lead and guide us into all truth. Amen =)

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