Shades of rebellion

We’ve talked about this before, but I realized that I didn’t codify it into a simply post. There’s 3 different shades of rebellion which are overt, covert, and the twisted. While most of the egalitarian Christians favor overt rebellion, you will find that most of the complementarian Christians favor covert or twisted rebellion.

Overt: Overt rebellion brings out the “equal” card as a defense against husband and wife roles and responsibilities not understanding that they are two separate and distinct things. Human dignity or Biblical “honor” is imbued within all humans, although on earth there is no equality with regard to many things including beauty, talent, intelligence, and many other facets of human life. The fact that there is headship and submission, love and respect, and many other different forms of roles and responsibilities is different from honor.

Covert: Covert rebellion is shown in the wording used, and it is personified by those who don’t truly trust. For example, much of the advice on complementarian websites to wives is to “let their husbands lead.” Unfortunately, we don’t “let” anyone do anything. We either follow or we don’t. Christians don’t “let” Christ lead them… they follow him or they don’t. This type of covert rebellion signifies that the person is lukewarm. Typically, they may believe it in their head that it is true, but they do not fully believe with their heart. They may have good intentions — unlike the other forms of rebellion — but they still have not come to understand what it means to truly be a follower of Christ and/or their husbands.

edit: from the comments here are a couple of other examples from seriouslyserving: “The flipside of this is ‘why won’t my husband lead?’ or ‘how do I get my husband to lead?'” The vast majority of the time the husband is already leading, but it is simply not the way the wife wants. The question is a form of rebellion aimed at finding a way to get the husband to lead the way the wife wants instead of submitting to the husband’s way of leading. The answer is simply to follow the husband’s lead and root out the selfish desires.

Twisted: Twisted rebellion is what Dalrock has been covering with the example of the Kellers. This type of rebellion is where you call good evil and evil good. As it says in Isaiah 5 woe to those who do this. For example, the Kellers story is that his wife took out the fine China and destroyed it with a hammer, and that it was calculated. This caused her husband to listen to her and change. Obviously, this is against actual Scriptural advice from 1 Peter 3, but it is being taught in many churches that there is such thing as a “godly tantrum” that should be employed against husbands to get them to realized (see: cave into) their wives feelings.

In general, Twisted Rebellion is the most dangerous because it masquerades good as evil and evil as good. Covert rebellion is the rebellion that most women struggle with who actually want to obey God and the Scriptures. Overt rebellion of the egalitarian “Christians” is simply giving into cultural mores (see: the spirit of Jezebel) at the expense of following what God speaks in the Scriptures.

Most evil to the least evil in terms of intentions of the heart: Twisted then Overt then Covert

Note that all of these different forms of rebellion also apply to the relationship between Christians and Christ and other authority structures not just wives and husbands.

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23 Responses to Shades of rebellion

  1. Pingback: Shades of rebellion | Manosphere.com

  2. Robyn says:

    Excellent post! I have found with myself it is a maturing process: As you mature you are able to see the WHYs and HOWs of why you think the way you do. Most believing women do fall under the caption of Covert, but it isn’t where we statically live. Knowledge is not enough, yes the truth does set you free, but you must still flesh it out … and that process takes a strong husband.

    Unlearning to relearn is always a more difficult process than just learning it right the first time!

    “but they still have not come to understand what it means to truly be a follower of Christ and/or their husbands.” (I stared at this for a very long time to ponder what you were really saying here. I’m not sure if I have grabbed it correctly or not)

    -following Christ is not the same as following my husband; there is a simple reason. Jesus Christ will never, ever, ever let me down; He is no longer human as He walks with me. He is perfect. He will never EVER sin against me: His grace is TO me; following Christ is EASY, He has secured my soul for eternity. My husband, on the other hand, is human and will falter in his leadership, just like me being human will falter in my following. He WILL sin against me as I WILL sin against him: our grace is FOR each other from Christ. Receiving grace [following Christ] is easy; Christ did all the work. Giving grace [following a human being] is not; we do all the work.

    I consider myself a strong believer and have a strong desire to submit to my husband [in all things] and as good of a man as my husband is, he is still human and will falter as Christ heals him. As he falters in his leadership it is reflected in followership. <— (I realize I might take heat for that last sentence)

  3. @ Robyn

    “but they still have not come to understand what it means to truly be a follower of Christ and/or their husbands.”

    (I stared at this for a very long time to ponder what you were really saying here. I’m not sure if I have grabbed it correctly or not)

    Have you ever wondered why Jesus left the earth after his life, death, and resurrection and then left imperfect followers to carry out His will?

    Here’s another clue: Why is the 2nd commandment “like” the 1st?

    If you can understand this then you can understand why I wrote:

    “but they still have not come to understand what it means to truly be a follower of Christ and/or their husbands.”

  4. Robyn says:

    I must be poor at Socratic debating because I cannot make the connection with your questions. It seems to me that you are saying that if a wife doesn’t demonstrate the same level of faith in her husband that she does in God then she doesn’t know, […what it means to truly be a follower of Christ …]

  5. Correct, to some extent.

    As is laid out in Ephesians wives are to submit to husbands, as to the Lord. As the 1st commandment is incomplete without the 2nd, so too the 2nd commandment is incomplete without the 1st.

    Likewise, we cannot truly understand what it means to follow Christ without dealing with loving and/or submitting to imperfect people. Jesus, after all, trusts imperfect Christians to carry out His will in the earth.

    Although they are different, the fulfillment is demonstrated even more in our ability to live righteously in weakness.

  6. “Covert rebellion is shown in the wording used, and it is personified by those who don’t truly trust. For example, much of the advice on complementarian websites to wives is to “let their husbands lead.”

    The flipside of this is “why won’t my husband lead?” or “how do I get my husband to lead?” – questions I used to ask a lot (with God, and sometimes to other women).
    I can’t remember the source, but a turning point for me was reading somewhere that the Bible says the husband is the head of the wife – he is the head automatically, he doesn’t need to jump through any “leadership hoops” to be the head. So wives need to follow their husbands, however they are leading, not wait for them to do whatever they deem to be leadership.
    That was huge for me, because I realised that my husband actually was leading, it just wasn’t in the ways I wanted, therefore I wasn’t following him.
    (Admittedly, there may be genuinely passive husbands out there, but I think a wife can always take steps towards following him…)

    Also, one type of rebellion I see come up quite a bit in “submission literature” (even in the manosphere), is the idea that a woman should use sex and “feminine wiles” to basically get her husband to do what she wants.
    Would you say this falls under the twisted category, or is it a whole separate kind of rebellion?

  7. Elspeth says:

    one type of rebellion I see come up quite a bit in “submission literature” (even in the manosphere), is the idea that a woman should use sex and “feminine wiles” to basically get her husband to do what she wants.
    No. It does not, unless said man is inclined to say “yes” after sex to what he would have said “no” to before.

    There is something to be said for helping a man to relax, and gaining his full attention. This need not be manipulative, cunning or deceitful in any way.

    I suppose one could argue that if you need sex to gain your man’s full attention than the relationship is somehow flawed or broken. I see the point but I disagree with it.

  8. Hi Elspeth 🙂

    I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with – that this behaviour happens, or that it is manipulative?

    If you look at this comment from Dalrock the other day, here you can see two men advocating this behaviour: https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/she-only-acted-crazy-to-get-her-own-way/#comment-197623

  9. Elspeth says:

    Was Esther manipulative?

  10. Elspeth says:

    If you look at this comment from Dalrock the other day, here you can see two men advocating this behaviour: https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/she-only-acted-crazy-to-get-her-own-way/#comment-197623

    Okay SS, just took a minute to read the comment you linked. And as I said, if the point is to sway a husband’s view in your favor to get what you want, then yes, it is wrong. But if such behavior is able to produce such a result, then I’d argue that the man is as weak as his wife is cunning.

    What I have a problem with is the idea that there is something inherently wrong with a wife doing pleasant things for her husband to set a tone to approach certain things with him. My husband works a lot and there are lots of times that (no matter how much he would like to be give me his undivided attention), he is distracted by the cares of leading and providing. I fully admit that there are times I won’t even attempt to have a deep conversation with him about some things until…because he’s relaxed and I have his undivided attention.

    It’s not about asking for things. That’s a POS system akin to prostitution and no wife should have to resort to that. But marriage is a very earthy institution in addition to being a spiritual one. Sometimes I wonder why people want to suck all the fun out of marriage, LOL.

    Okay, I’m done. If you want to talk further SS, you can reach me at elspeth.breathinggrace@hotmail.com, because I think it’s a discussion worth having.

  11. donalgraeme says:

    There is a difference between tricking a man, and making him more… “pliable” to one’s suggestions. The word manipulative is often used too broadly, so can include both acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

  12. Well, for starters, Esther wasn’t using her feminine wiles to get her own way.
    Personally, we have plenty of sex and flirting going on in our marriage, and I find that this lubricates the relationship (pardon the pun) – all communication seems to go more smoothly and feel more natural. So I get how that might make a man more “agreeable”.
    But for a wife to set out to have sex with her husband for the purpose of getting her way, either on a specific subject or more generally, reeks of rebellion to me.
    1. That is not the purpose of sex in marriage.
    2. Submission means a wife should be trying to mold herself to fit her husband, not the other way around.

  13. @ seriouslyserving

    The flipside of this is “why won’t my husband lead?” or “how do I get my husband to lead?” – questions I used to ask a lot (with God, and sometimes to other women).

    Good point on this. I’ll add that to the OP. It’s covert, generally.

    As Cane says wives can always duck lower.

    Also, one type of rebellion I see come up quite a bit in “submission literature” (even in the manosphere), is the idea that a woman should use sex and “feminine wiles” to basically get her husband to do what she wants.
    Would you say this falls under the twisted category, or is it a whole separate kind of rebellion?

    If it’s done with the intention to get something out of it sure.

    That’s performance mentality and not of the freedom that we have in Christ. Our freedom is, namely, to be able to love as He loved us. Freely without expectation because we desire to.

    Now, there is something to be said of positive behavioral cycles… in that having sex with your husband will bring about unity with him which will make him more loving. The husband being more loving will make his wife want to have more sex with him and so on. This is definitely a good thing.

    However, the thing that separates the two things you’re thinking of is avoiding “selfish ambition” but rather to act “for the good of the the other.”

    That type of manipulation is more of a covert contract than it is rebellion:

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/covert-contracts-overt-contracts-and-women/

  14. Sorry, Elspeth, your comment didn’t show up until after I wrote mine (perhaps because of the link).

    Didn’t you know, my middle name is fun-sucker? 😉

  15. Robyn says:

    ” But marriage is a very earthy institution in addition to being a spiritual one. ” very much a key to understanding the duality of The One Flesh of it all.

    Nicely done, thanks Elspeth!

  16. donalgraeme says:

    Thinking on it more, “receptive” fits my point where “pliable” does not. The latter *would* be wrong, the former, not so much.

    Intention also matters, as Elspeth points to. If a woman does something positive for her husband, and it happens to make him more receptive, that is ok. But if a woman does something positive for him for the purpose of swaying him then I would think that would be wrong.

  17. @ Donal

    Yeah, it’s the heart difference between:

    1. Selfish ambition (get what you want)
    2. For the good of others (love/agape)

  18. Elspeth says:

    Thanks and you’re welcome Robyn. I hesitated to comment but Hearth’s Dominant Men thread sort of revived many of these issues in my mind, and the thoughts started flowing, :).

    Happy New Year, dear sister in Christ!

  19. Looking Glass says:

    Kindness, or the complete lack therein.

    Regardless of the level Rebellion, the “axis” upon which it operates is the display of a lack of Kindness. [ “With the believer, 5544 /xrēstótēs (“divine kindness”) is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need and avoids human harshness (cruelty).” ] This is something I had been reflecting upon separately, but it fits aptly with this discussion.

    It fits here because it is the actual result of the Rebellion against God. Most interactions between people can operate, as long as there is even a modicum of Kindness involved. That’s really what leaves the “blind” Christian Man aghast when it comes to dealing with the “Egalitarians”: they are both hypocrites and pathological liars. These people claim all of the trappings of being a Christian, yet there’s not an actual ounce of Kindness coming from them. (They also, sadly, are a reminder why it’s normally a lot easier to deal with an honest Pagan than a dishonest Christian.)

    On the issue of sex & discussions, let us not forget the massive destressor aspect. Men (and Women) are much more able to deal with subtle discussions when they’re relaxed. So the time period in question is actually a good time to bring up plenty of topics, as both parties will be in a better place to deal with them.

    But, as always, your *actual* intentions matter to the Lord, as he can judge your Heart in the matter.

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