Headship is authority in marriage Part 4

Ballista will enjoy this post, although I still disagree with some of his arguments.

I wrote previously on the argument that kephale in particular is not exousia in marriage: Headship is not authority in marriage, Headship is not authority in marriage Part 2, Headship is not authority in marriage Part 3.

Having done more research on all of the instances used on kephale in the Scriptures (of which there are 76 times it is used), I conclude that headship is authority in marriage.

God brought to mind a clarification on the argument I was discussing. The “ability to punish” which is an innate part of the authority-obedience relationship of parents and children is quite different from the authority-submission and kephale-submission relationships. This is where I disagreed with ballista’s use of paideuo which I still do regarding the authority-submission and kephale-submission relationships.

However, having already understood that authority is good, the fact that authority may be abused is not a rational reason to dismiss authority. Though, my argument was not based on dismissing authority but rather clarifying the intent, even though you can make the argument that Christ does the same thing with His humility toward us in Phil 2. Hence, why I still believe it to be a sin for a husband to directly punish his wife**.

Thus, understanding where the line or boundary of a specific position is drawn does not change whether something is good or bad as that has already been determined by the heart and actions. For example, I could say that the position of sales clerk has X, Y, and Z responsibilities. That changes nothing with the fact that the clerk would never be permitted to steal which is a moral issue unrelated to such responsibilities. The two actions are unrelated to each other and relating them to one another is implying a relationship where there is none. Therefore, understanding the nature of headship and all of that entails is directly related to understanding the nature of God irrespective of any actions.

Thus, headship and authority are one in the same, and they are both good.

Additionally, regardless of whether a husband weilds the authority to punish or not in marriage or even whether it is a sin itself, the wife is still to submit to her husband as the head. This is why it does not matter in regard to the relationship if the husband weilds such authority or not; the duty of the wife is to be in submission to her husband out of respect for God and her husband.

This is why sovereignty of the husband means nothing in marriage: you can’t force someone to submit. Which is why it is of supreme importance that a man vet a woman thoroughly prior to marriage.

** Note: there is a difference between consequences and punishment. Consequences are directly proportional to the actions. Authorities have the right to impose consequences. For example, the government imposes speeding tickets for speeding. Elspeth provides the example below in the comments about husbands removing credit cards because of the fiscal responsibility that is placed on the husband. On the other hand, punishment is unproportional to the act, and often done out of spite. Obviously, doing things out of spite is not what the Father is about nor should Christians be about.

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11 Responses to Headship is authority in marriage Part 4

  1. Elspeth says:

    Hence, why I still believe it to be a sin for a husband to directly punish his wife.

    Define punishment. For example, many years ago (17 or 18 years I suppose) I was careless with my spending when using my debit card so my husband confiscated it from me. Are you saying he sinned?

  2. @ Elspeth

    I’ve already covered that on this blog but I’ll type out the gist of it again.

    Fiscal responsibility falls onto the husband unless he specifically delegates it to the wife. Thus, ensuring fiscal responsibility and solvency of the household by cutting up/confiscating a credit card is a just action.

    It may seem like a direct punishment to the wife, but it isn’t as there are other reasons even though it affects her.

    Direct punishment is in essence “spite” punishment. If that clarifies things better. Obviously, Christians aren’t to act out of spite for one another.

  3. Elspeth says:

    Oh, well no one advocates punishing wives then. Not even sites where there is a clear directive towards a husband having the authority to issue consequences.

    I got the impression that you were against husbands meting out consequences. The other problem wit all of this is that most women will automatically equate consequences and punishment. I did.

  4. @ Elspeth

    I have clarified that in the OP.

  5. Don Quixote says:

    Many years ago [about 1997] I read the Koran out of interest, I was working with some Muslim guys for the first time and I wanted to have a basic understanding of what was in their holy book. I made a few notes at that time [long since lost] but I remember some of them still. One in particular was that Mohammed told [commanded?] his followers to beat their wives if they misbehaved. This struck me as odd because I wouldn’t have thought it would be there in black and white, anyway this probably explains why the Muslims have such control over their wives. If the husband decides his wife is out of line, he is obligated [commanded] to beat her into line.
    I must admit this does sound appealing, no game required, no special skills required, no B/S marriage counselling, problem solved in seconds! joy!
    Anyway since the events of 9/11 and the way Islam has been demonised in the press, the feminists love to make a point that women in Islam are oppressed, etc, etc,
    But it comes as no surprise that in the Futurist’s The Misandry Bubble http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.html the author points that men are converting to Islam [in England] to get a better deal in the sharia family courts. What a disgrace that Islam does a better job of family law than the west.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I read this with interest, and am commenting anonymously for my privacy, since this is dealing with such a sensitive subject, but I wanted to add my two cents as a wife who is also subject to loving consequences. I also debated as to whether it was prudent to even mention this, but considering the subject, I decided it was. So here goes.

    My husband has put me across his lap on several occasions, and each time it was something I deserved in plenty. But this has been very rare, and when it is obvious that a verbal warning to stop whatever I’m doing isn’t working (he’s very patient, but when he has hit the limit, he takes care of the problem quickly and then it is over – DQ is right in that the problem is solved in seconds, for both of us). He also has removed credit/debit card privileges. However, in reference to the somewhat painful trips (for me) over his knee, I would never use the term “beat” because I am NOT “beaten”. I get exactly what I deserve, even if I don’t agree at the moment, but afterward thinking about it I see how I was headed in precisely that direction, and I chose to go there. So I got the consequences of that choice. He won’t tolerate that behavior, he always warns me, and if I choose to not pay attention — well — then he will take care of it quickly, firmly and swiftly. Over in minutes. It’s really all up to me, as you can see. I could have made a better decision, and I didn’t. End of story.

    Maybe not right for everybody, but it works wonders around here. He is in charge. He loves me to pieces. And I am happy.

    I can’t wait to see who jumps on this and starts howling about how I’m abused. 🙂

  7. Looking Glass says:

    There’s a pretty committed group, of Women, that claim spanking a wife doesn’t work, as it’s really foreplay. So, there is leeway in utility.

  8. Don Quixote says:

    Anonymous says:
    January 14, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    My husband has put me across his lap on several occasions, and each time it was something I deserved in plenty. But this has been very rare, and when it is obvious that a verbal warning to stop whatever I’m doing isn’t working (he’s very patient, but when he has hit the limit, he takes care of the problem quickly and then it is over – DQ is right in that the problem is solved in seconds, for both of us). He also has removed credit/debit card privileges. However, in reference to the somewhat painful trips (for me) over his knee, I would never use the term “beat” because I am NOT “beaten”. I get exactly what I deserve, even if I don’t agree at the moment, but afterward thinking about it I see how I was headed in precisely that direction, and I chose to go there. So I got the consequences of that choice. He won’t tolerate that behavior, he always warns me, and if I choose to not pay attention — well — then he will take care of it quickly, firmly and swiftly. Over in minutes. It’s really all up to me, as you can see. I could have made a better decision, and I didn’t. End of story.

    Maybe not right for everybody, but it works wonders around here. He is in charge. He loves me to pieces. And I am happy.

    I can’t wait to see who jumps on this and starts howling about how I’m abused.

    I think this is a delicate topic to say the least. Always remember that nobody is really anonymous online. This raises a number of issues:
    A) Should a loving husband meet out instant justice via a spanking?
    B) Is this another type of sexual expression or actual correction, and is it possible to draw a line/differentiate here?
    C) As a christian I’m not aware of any scripture that could apply here. Any suggestions? Perhaps this is a topic for another forum?
    D) Often in older movies it was not uncommon to see a man give an out-of-control woman an open handed slap across the face, i.e. Sean Connery aka James Bond. Nowadays he would have his ass sued for all his worth.

    @ Deep Strength: If this is getting too off topic just delete these comments.

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