Intelligent submission is not required

Wayne Grudem is a professor of theological and religious studies. He is also one of the general editors for the ESV translation of the Bible.

Wayne Grudem similarly portrays complementarian decision making as, in the vast majority of cases, an idealized version of the egalitarian version. He writes:

The biblical ideal is that the husband is to be both loving and humble in his leadership. The wife is to be both joyful and intelligent in her submission. Practically, this means that they will frequently talk about many decisions, both large and small. This also means that both the husband and the wife will listen to the other’s unique wisdom and insight related to the decision. Often one will defer to the other in the decision; rarely will they differ greatly in the decision (for the Lord has made them “one flesh”)

This is one of the insidious ways feminism has crept into the Church. In effect, what the complementarian Grudem is arguing for is egalitarianism. They’re both in effect mutually submitting to one another without using that term specifically. If he was actually talking about the model used in the Scripture he would have stated that the husband makes the decisions as the head and the wife offers her advice as the helpmeet.

This is what we call deception. You think you are doing the right thing but you are in fact doing the wrong thing. Complementarism is embroiled in deception. Dalrock has been exceptionally good at exposing this.

In marriage structures, I made the point that there is no such thing as “too much submission.” Complementarians often like to make the case that there can be “too much submission” or that wives need to be “intelligent” in their submission. They use feminist terminology such as doormat, servile, subservient, and other negative connotation words to tear down submission to men if it’s not according to their standards. However, this is incorrect. As I explained:

There is no such thing as submission taken too far. However, there is such thing as false humility in submission. There are quite a few examples of wives on various blogs who have taken submission into their own hands. Let me explain.

For example, a husband has a particular way to rule his own family and the wife is doing well in that structure. However, after she has talked with a mentor, read a book, or read a blog or two on the topic of submission, she now has the impression that she was “not submitting properly to her husband before.” Now, instead of working well within her husbands structure for the family she becomes a self proclaimed “doormat” in which she never expresses her opinions, does everything her husband wants, and even does some things that her husband doesn’t want under the guise of “being more submissive.”

What typically ends up happening is that this leaves the wife feeling poorly about everything and generally unfulfilled. Then the husband has to have some awkward conversation with his wife where he says he ‘just wants his wife back’ and that she was being weird about things.

Such examples are often used as an example to show that “being a doormat” or “subservience” in a marriage is bad thing. However, this is false.

In reality what happened is that the wife was embroiled in an example of the insidious nature of false humility. The wife decided unilaterally that she knew best what was the right way to be a helpmeet to husband. Although she had the right intentions of being submissive to her husband, she was actually being rebellious to how her husband wanted the marriage to be run in the first place. Thus, conflict came up between them which needed resolution.

Therefore, wives often get the impression that “being a doormat” or “subservient” is a bad thing from this experience. However, what they miss from this scenario is that they were actually being inadvertently rebellious. They were listening to other people, books, or blogs on how to be submissive to their own husbands instead of listening to their own husband on how to be submissive to him.

Hence, when a wife who has went through this experience sees a marriage with “more structure,” she often believes that the wife is in sin because she is being a “doormat” or “subservient.” This wrong impression causes wives to attempt to butt into other people’s marriages in order to correct this sin when in reality they may be introducing dysfunction or malcontent into an otherwise Godly and healthy relationship.

What the Scripture actually says in Ephesians 5 is that wives are to be respectful not intelligent.

In fact, we, as Christians, often do not need to be intelligent in our submission. When God tell us to do good works do we need to question why we need to do good works? Is it because God is good? Is it because it’s a shining light for others? Is it because these things are profitable for men? Is it because God planned them in advance for those who are called in Him? All of these things are true and why we do good works, but we don’t need to know why we need to do good works to do them.

For example, when I see someone suffering or homeless do I need to be intelligent in my compassion for them? Or do I need to only act on what God has put in my heart at the moment for those less fortunate. In fact, in many cases if you *think* about things you can often talk yourself out of being compassionate or doing what is good: “Eh, I don’t need to because someone else will help them or give them money.”

James 4:17 Therefore, to one who knows the [k]right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Obviously, it’s not a bad thing to understand why you need to do good works or to be submissive, but it is FAR from a biblical requirement or even the ideal. God’s commands to those in the Scripture are often with uncertainty because they are aimed at learning how to Trust Him. This is called faith. Faith walked out builds trust.

For instance, God told Abraham to go to a foreign land. God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son. It took faith to do both in the uncertainty. God didn’t tell Abraham why, but God did tell Abraham to do it. Hebrews 11 is one of the quintessential chapters on faith in the Scripture. It describes many Patriarchs and men of God trusting and obeying God. It’s often the case that they obey without knowing the reason for their submission to Him. They did it all on faith that God had good will and intentions for them.

Based on the examples in the Scriptures, I believe it would be fair to say that if a wife knows that her husband is a Christian and knows his good character that if she is “mindless” in her submission through trusting his decisions that is a good thing. She is literally one with her husband. That’s the goal. To be one in unity.

Proverbs 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.

This is not to say that a husband shouldn’t tell his wife why he is leading in a particular direction or that a wife shouldn’t ask. However, they should be growing toward a state where these things are unneeded. That is oneness. Respectful submission becomes respectful obedience.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

To model what Jesus says about Himself, it would be more accurate to say that faith and thus trust is required. Intelligence is not. The absurd example, of course, is can you ever be “too submissive” or “mindless” in your submission to Christ? Surely not. Obeying Christ on every matter is beneficial.

Conclusions

  • The complementarian ‘ideals’ such as examples of ‘too much submission’ or ‘intelligent submission’ are not supported by Scripture.
  • These complementarian ‘ideals’ are actually based in the feminist narrative that men are bad and authority is bad. Hence, you can be “too submissive” or “mindlessly submissive,” and these are supposed to be bad things.
  • Christianity is predicated on submission in ambiguous circumstances because that builds Faith and Trust in God.
  • “Mindless submission” and “too much submission” to do the right thing is in fact a very good thing. It is always good to do right.
  • Wives who are able to cultivate a strong bond of trust in their husbands where they obey without questions exemplify oneness. Oneness and unity are one of the standards to which Christians are held, both as a group and in marriage. Thus, we should be encouraging such a strong bond of trust for wives and husbands instead of tearing it down.

This is yet another example of the feminist narrative seeping into Christian theology.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Advice to Christian women, Godly mindset & lifestyle, Masculinity and women and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Intelligent submission is not required

  1. Pingback: Intelligent submission is not required – Manosphere.org

  2. thedeti says:

    “Intelligent” submission says the wife is to serve as a “court of review” over her man’s decisions. She has to evaluate the wisdom of his decision, and then evaluate whether she should submit to it.

    “Is this a good decision?” “should I submit to it?” “What will happen if he does X and it doesn’t work out?” “Is he Godly enough?” “Is he listening to God?” “What if he’s not in prayer?” “What if he’s not doing the things that make me secure in my submission to him?”

    And the big one, “I am supposed to submit to God without question or second-guessing because God is perfect. But my husband is NOT perfect, he is NOT God, he is NOT infallible. Therefore my husband needs me (or my pastor) to overrule him and refuse to submit to him if I determine that what he’s doing isn’t Godly or doesn’t line up with Scripture or if my pastor tells me not to submit. I am permitted to determine what I will submit to and what I won’t. I’m allowed to determine whether I will submit if I determine he’s wrong about something.”

    This post pretty much lays waste to that.

    It reminds me of the debates that used to be had at Sunshine’s old blog. “What if my husband tells me to do X (where X is something which directly contravenes Scripture)? Am I required to submit even to that?” The claim was that a wife had a moral, Christian duty to decline to submit to a husband who was unsaved, pagan, backslidden or apostasized. More to the point, the claim was, she had a duty to refuse to submit to a particular husbandly directive she determined was not Godly or otherwise against Scripture.

    The answer is yes, you have to submit. Couple of things. First, the wife picked him. She married him. The time to question hubby’s character is BEFORE you marry him, not after. The time to determine whether hubby is going to direct you to contravene scripture is BEFORE you marry him, not after. The time to determine whether hubby is a man of God is BEFORE you marry him, not after.

    Second, the husband provides the covering. Wife steps out from under that cover by refusing to submit to the husband. Cover from a bad, ungodly husband is better than no covering at all. Cover from a fallen, unsaved husband is better than no covering at all. Cover from a backslidden husband is better than no cover at all.

  3. theasdgamer says:

    There are a few exceptions to submission, such as when submitting would require breaking laws. Paul says that we are to obey laws, so there is a conflict between submission and lawkeeping, which requires discernment. Sometimes laws have to be broken, but generally not. And there are a very few situations where women are wise to not submit to husbands. Example: Abigail and Nabal. However, these are exceedingly rare and barely worthy of discussion because of their insignificance to most people.

  4. thedeti says:

    A Godly husband will generally not ask his wife to disobey laws except as an act of civil disobedience. A Godly husband will generally not ask his wife to do something that contravenes Scripture (usually, have an abortion or somesuch other thing). If a woman is married to a man who is asking her to become a criminal or murderer, then there were most likely red flags that she should have seen and heeded. The time to ascertain that was BEFORE she married him.

    Nabal was about to get himself and a lot of other people killed. But I don’t think Abigail’s disobedience of Nabal by going out and throwing herself on the mercy of a much more powerful man was an example of a permissible “exception” to the requirement of submission. When Abigail refused to submit herself to Nabal and instead submitted to David, her marriage to Nabal was over. He was killed, and David took Abigail as a wife. She in effect became David’s wife when she submitted to David.

  5. RICanuck says:

    Prof. Gudrem says, (for the Lord has made them “one flesh”).

    Does that mean that he calls out wives who might be in dead bedroom situations? Hmmmmm!

    A husband wants to be one, with his wife. He wants to admire her beauty, even if Donald Trump does not want her for his next trophy wife. Sex maintains the love goggles. I have known couples married (GI and Silent generation) 50 to 60 years, where the husband has died with a smile on his face, even in his 70’s and 80’s.

    For the Boomers and beyond, it seems that the only sexual sin, is married sex.

    I do not advise young Christian men to marry.

  6. feeriker says:

    When Abigail refused to submit herself to Nabal and instead submitted to David, her marriage to Nabal was over. He was killed, and David took Abigail as a wife. She in effect became David’s wife when she submitted to David.

    In other words, a perfect Old Testament example of hypergamy in action.

  7. @ feeriker

    “In other words, a perfect Old Testament example of hypergamy in action.”

    Bathsheba is a better one.

    2 Samuel 11:2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.”

    Why was she bathing naked in full view of the kings palace in the first place?

  8. Cassie says:

    @ DS

    Why was she bathing naked in full view of the kings palace in the first place?

    It seems like I read something somewhere once that mentioned community bathing pools in some cities back in biblical times. Thinking of how I would approach such a situation if that’s how it was today, I’d go during a time when the streets weren’t so busy. It says she was there in the evening, and that David saw her after getting out of bed. Sounds to me like she wasn’t trying to get his or anyone else’s attention, but rather was trying to avoid going there when lots of people would’ve been there. Maybe I’m projecting, and I could be wrong of course. But there’s an idea.

    Of course, that doesn’t excuse her from committing adultery by getting involved with David, by any means. Just saying I don’t think she set out to the bathing pool with intentions to snag herself a king.

  9. Cassie says:

    TL/DR answer: because that’s where the city’s bathing pool was.

  10. donalgraeme says:

    Two thoughts:

    1) The main point of this post is something I intend to address in a post later this week, time permitting. I want to focus on the “conditions” people always adduce to submission.

    2) @ Cassie,

    I think it was covered either here or at my blog, but Bathsheba was taking part in a ritual cleansing as a result of her monthly cycle. Required by Jewish law, so perfectly ok. But to do so on the roof of her home… when her King was or would be watching…?

    Yeah, that was no accident. Her husband was one of David’s most trusted warriors. She would have had an idea where David was. It was no accident she happened to be in a place where the king could see her bathe when she just happened to be at the most fertile point of her cycle.

    It was a classic example of a relationship coup in the making. Both of them sinned; they both knew what they were doing.

  11. @ Cassie

    What Donal said… and I think it’s highly unlikely that she was at least all the way innocent.

    However, let’s assume that she was innocent in the way she was bathing and look at the other part of the story instead.

    1. She could have protested when David took to the palace.
    2. She could have protested when he wanted to have sex with her.
    3. She could have come clean to her husband about the sex and/or pregnancy, but instead let David take care of the problem.
    4. She could have shown remorse for her sin and NOT married David after Uriah was killed. If it was against her will, it would’ve been rape and adultery. Why would you marry your rapist?

    Based on all of those points and excluding the bathing, I think it’s a rather compelling case that she wanted it to happen too. Especially if she was innocent then why would she marry her adulterer AND rapist.

  12. @ Donal

    Looking forward to it.

    Also, Bathsheba was not on the roof of her home. It doesn’t exactly say where she was, but she was in view bathing when David was on the roof of the palace.

    Based on the circumstances I still think she was bathing purposefully in front of him though. If she wasn’t and a totally innocent party they she would’ve protested the sin along the way as I mentioned in my comment.

    (1) Going to the palace, (2) David propositioning sex, (3) coming clean to Uriah about adultery, (4) coming clean to Uriah about pregnancy, (5) marrying David after all was said and done…

    If she was totally innocent, would you marry your rapist and adulterer who covers up sin against the law?

    No.

  13. donalgraeme says:

    @ DS

    Right, it was David who was on the roof. My bad.

  14. @ Donal, Cassie

    Another interesting support for Bathsheba as a guilty party I found on a different website:

    When you read through the genealogy list in Mt. 1, you find the NAMES of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and virgin Mary. But Bathseba is referred to “Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife.”

    Her name is left out. Why? Probably because she did not act in faith, as the other 4 women in Mt. 1 did.

    The point: David is 100% guilty for his sin. Bathseba is guilty of not calling out for help or confronting David like Joseph did, “How can I do such a thing and sin against God?” (Gen 39:9)

    Matthew 1 lists Uriah because Uriah was the only righteous one in this situation.

  15. Looking Glass says:

    Bathsheba was the daughter of one of David’s generals & best friends/mentors. Married to one of his other mighty Men. She was an extremely prominent member of the ruling class in David’s Kingdom. She knew exactly what she was doing. It was hypergamy through and through. Oh, and Uriah also comes out as about the most honorable Man in the Bible. (Which is another lesson many Christians should well learn.)

    There’s also a point that Soloman knew her nature really well, and he had to execute one of his brother’s as a result. Bathsheba doesn’t come off well in the Bible.

    @thedeti:

    This comes up every time that Abigail & Nabal comes up, but she wasn’t lacking in Submission to her Husband. The first subtlety is in what she took to David & his Men. That was very clearly the “guest” portion she would have stored away for honored guests. (She was the wife of the richest land owner in the area. She would be prepared for guests to arrive and it was really important in Mosiac law to treat guests well.) Abigail didn’t need to pull any legalistic approaches to be “in Submission” but doing her own thing, as all modern Christian Women attempt to pull.

    http://biblehub.com/esv/1_samuel/25.htm

    The “discretion” aspects would be references to “covering the shame” of someone else. This is an act generally praised by the Lord, in a lot of contexts. But what Abigail did was go to take the penalty for the insult that Nabal had caused. Then, when she returned, she didn’t lord the act over Nabal, but only told him in the morning. The shock of which was enough to kill him.

    David also followed that event up with the best example of “Dude, marry that one” in history.

    My last point: how bad do you have to be as a person for your Nickname to be “fool”? Now, the Old Testament has certain people named for what their name became at the end of their life, but Nabal appears to have been called that by, well, everyone already. It’d be like having the nickname “Shit for Brains” be what everyone calls you. The guy literally had most of life handed to him, and then threw it all away.

  16. Maea says:

    Sorry DS, but you are just plain wrong.

    The idea that wives should “mindlessly submit” is the same thing as the false teaching that a wife is protected from sin because she has a “covering.” No. Wives are just as responsible for their own sin as husbands are. Everyone is responsible for their own sin, and everyone is responsible for using prudence when it’s necessary.

    I swear, some of you guys like to make up your own religions and conclude strange things that aren’t anywhere in the Bible or tradition.

  17. @ Maea

    I suggest reading the post next time before you have a knee jerk reaction.

    It’s obvious that you didn’t, and you’re only making yourself look foolish.

  18. Maea says:

    No, I did indeed read it. And you’re still wrong. Your ideas about “oneness” aren’t actually that philosophically far from a lot of secular ideas about marriage.

    There is nothing in the Bible to support what you’ve said.

  19. @ Maea

    I posted Scripture and logical analysis in my post.

    You said: ‘You’re wrong. [Insert no proof here].’

    Try again.

    I don’t mind debate. However, if you’re going to post nonsense without backing it up that doesn’t fly here.

  20. Looking Glass says:

    @Maea:

    Your Vanity has gotten in the way.

    “What the Scripture actually says in Ephesians 5 is that wives are to be respectful not intelligent.

    In fact, we, as Christians, often do not need to be intelligent in our submission. When God tell us to do good works do we need to question why we need to do good works? Is it because God is good? Is it because it’s a shining light for others? Is it because these things are profitable for men? Is it because God planned them in advance for those who are called in Him? All of these things are true and why we do good works, but we don’t need to know why we need to do good works to do them.”

  21. feeriker says:

    Maea, like the majority of modern women, clearly just flat-out doesn’t like the idea of submission. Period. Also like most modern Christian (churchian) women, she chooses to shoot the messenger rather than take her beef up with the originator of the message (which she either realizes is a losing battle or whom she really doesn’t believe in the first place).

  22. Maea says:

    Where in the Bible does it say wives are supposed to passively submit? Where does it say a wife’s submission does not require her to be prudent? The Bible may be silent about what is required along with submission, but it does not preclude a wife’s responsibility of being actively submissive and making it a purposeful act of the will.

    Unlike most of the commenters, I’m actually married. I know what the Bible says and I know what the Church teaches and there is nothing to support this. I’m not going to play proof-text games, because it’s exactly why people seem to think it’s okay to interpret the Bible as they see fit.

  23. @ Maea

    Where in the Bible does it say wives are supposed to passively submit? Where does it say a wife’s submission does not require her to be prudent? The Bible may be silent about what is required along with submission, but it does not preclude a wife’s responsibility of being actively submissive and making it a purposeful act of the will.

    Please quote where I said these things. In fact, you can’t because I didn’t say the things you are claiming.

    This is what we call a straw man. You constructed a position that I never claimed and then attacked it.

    What this tells me is that you saw the title of this post and came to a conclusion beforehand on what I was going to say. Thus, anything you read in the post already confirmed your incorrect preconceived conclusion.

    Unlike most of the commenters, I’m actually married. I know what the Bible says and I know what the Church teaches and there is nothing to support this. I’m not going to play proof-text games, because it’s exactly why people seem to think it’s okay to interpret the Bible as they see fit.

    Doubling down with appeal to authority, red herrings, and shaming isn’t going to cut it.

    This is why I said that you’re only making yourself look foolish.

  24. thedeti says:

    Looking Glass:

    I stand corrected. Thanks.

  25. thedeti says:

    Maea:

    Is it your position that a wife can selectively choose to submit to her husband? Do you believe Scripture authorizes her to choose to submit only to husbandly directives/directions she believes to be supported by Scripture or prudent?

    Who gets to decide what is supported by scripture or prudent? Doesn’t the husband get to decide that? If he doesn’t, who does? Her? Her pastor? And if so, then doesn’t that place the wife over the husband, or the pastor over the husband, as some sort of “court of review” with authority to review, modify or reverse the husband’s decisions? How is a husband supposed to lead a family with a wife or a pastor operating as a superauthority with power to review, change or cast aside his decisions?

  26. thedeti says:

    What is a wife’s recourse if she believes her husband isn’t “leading” her and she refuses to submit? Is her recourse “I’m going to tell the pastor on you”?

  27. Maea says:

    The CHURCH decides what is prudent versus what is not. Not me, or any other woman, or any man. And yes, this does mean if a husband is being imprudent a wife is allowed appropriate recourse, which is why the Church has established a theological framework unlike what is continually published on blogs.

  28. thedeti says:

    “The CHURCH decides what is prudent versus what is not.”

    The Church is composed of fallible men and women. What qualifies them to serve as a court of review over a man? THey are no more righteous than any other man.

    “Not me, or any other woman, or any man.”

    Does that include pastors, priests, rabbis and imams? Are we in agreement that clergymen are as unqualified as anyone else to determine what is prudent and imprudent? Are we in agreement that a clergyman has no authority to overrule a husband’s authority or serve as some court of review to change or reverse the decisions of a husband acting within his authority?

    “And yes, this does mean if a husband is being imprudent a wife is allowed appropriate recourse, which is why the Church has established a theological framework”

    What recourse is that? Are we talking about Catholic tradition? Scripture, i.e. Matthew 18:15-17? Most Protestant traditions have nothing like a recourse based on theological framework. Usually, the “recourse” for a wronged wife married to a backslider, a drunk, a shiftless layabout, an addict, or a wifebeater was to send several of the largest men from the church to the house to have a sit down meeting with him to tell him to pull himself together. If that didn’t work, those same men would have a more… spirited meeting, in private. Said meeting usually involved city phone books and baseball bats. If THAT didn’t work, then she separated.

    But said meetings usually didn’t take place over the usual complaints most women have these days, which is “he doesn’t pray like I think he should” or “he doesn’t go to church” or “he drinks whiskey sometimes” or “he isn’t leading me where I think he should go” or “he wants to have sex with me”. Most of the time, “recourse” is sought when a woman just doesn’t like where her husband is leading the family.

  29. thedeti says:

    And Maea you still haven’t answered my questions:

    Is it your position that a wife can selectively choose to submit to her husband? Do you believe Scripture authorizes her to choose to submit only to husbandly directives/directions she believes to be supported by Scripture or prudent?

  30. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    The CHURCH decides what is prudent versus what is not. Not me, or any other woman, or any man…which is why the Church has established a theological framework

    In my church that theological framework extends to the jurisdictional separation of family, church and state.

  31. thedeti says:

    “The CHURCH decides what is prudent versus what is not.”

    I just reread this.

    So you’re telling me that if a husband decides that he should take another job, that this is prudent; and his wife decides he should not and that his decision to take another job is imprudent, then she can go to the Church and ask the Church to determine whether his decision is “prudent” or “imprudent”?

    If a husband decides, after advice and counsel, to purchase a $25,000 car in contravention to what his wife thinks, which is “buy a $15,000 car”, the wife can ask the church to determine whether his decision to buy the $25K car is “prudent” or not?

    Maea, what husbandly decisions fall under the “prudence” rubric which in turn subjects them to review by the Church?

  32. Elspeth says:

    I believe in and have followed while in disagreement -even blind with fear of how it would work out- but I also have a husband who does NOT believe he is a mediator between me and God for my sins, because whatever does not proceed from faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Ergo, and this was true even when I was the only Christian in this marriage, he has never asked me to commit sin knowingly. I don’t think many husbands do, frankly. I estimate the argument is a red herring in about 2/3 of marriages, really. However I have a serious question which is pretty important to be clear on:

    Is there really Biblical support for the assertion that a woman’s sins are covered because she is obeying her husband? Is there One Mediator between God and (wo)man or do wives have yet another mediator in the person of their husband?Ananias and Sapphira spring to mind here, as they are a NT church example of a wife being swiftly and fatally punished for lying in cahoots with her husband.

    It is imperative when these things are written that they are thought through rather than shot off in the middle of a highly charged debate.

  33. thedeti says:

    “Is there really Biblical support for the assertion that a woman’s sins are covered because she is obeying her husband?”

    Probably not. The assertion presupposes that a husband is not ever going to intentionally direct a wife to sin.

    The assertion is made in response to the claim that a wife can selectively refuse to submit if, in the discretion and judgment of the wife, the pastor, or the Church, the husbandly directive is not “godly” or “scriptural” or is “imprudent”, and/or obeying the directive would require her to sin.

    I’ve never seen a husband tell a wife to get an abortion (though I am sure it happens). I’ve never seen a husband tell a wife to commit a crime (though I am sure it happens, and both are guilty of sin in that case).

    The time for a woman to ascertain the character of the man who will be leading her is before he starts leading. Anything else going on here is Monday morning quarterbacking and buyer’s remorse.

  34. thedeti says:

    There is also the claim made that if a woman is married to a nonChristian man or a backslidden man, then wifely submission is not required, because the man’s directives are not going to be Godly or scriptural or “prudent”. The claim is that the wife, the pastor or the Church are a “court of review” existing to modify or reverse the man’s decisions.

    No man, not even a Christian man, can lead a marriage or a family with a wife claiming the Church’s authority to micromanage his decisions. “You’d better be Godly and “prudent”, or I’m going to sic the pastor on you!” is the implied threat here. “You’d better make decisions I think are “prudent”, or I’ll just take it to the Church and have your decision changed or reversed!” “You’d better do it the way I think it should be done, or I’ll just have the pastor tell me I don’t have to submit to you, and I’m free to divorce you!”

  35. Elspeth says:

    There is also the claim made that if a woman is married to a nonChristian man or a backslidden man, then wifely submission is not required, because the man’s directives are not going to be Godly or scriptural or “prudent”.

    For the record, this is wrong. 1 Peter 3:1 makes it abundantly clear that a husband’s lack of faith or disobedience to the word does not negate the wife’s obligation to submit to him.

    That however is a separate issue from whether or not his wife’s sins are covered because she is obeying him when she commits them.

    Conflation of different if parallel issues is one of the reasons these discussions go off the rails. And it’s possible for a man to desire both an obedient wife and one who brings whatever intelligence she has to contribute to the decision making process. The either/or thing leaves me stumped. Submission to one’s OWN husband (as the Scripture puts it) will look as varied as there are married men.

    And some for some men, submission means leaving things for the “little woman” to decide it. It might mean that he doesn’t want her to follow if she doesn’t do so willingly. I’ve met men like that.

  36. thedeti says:

    “That however is a separate issue from whether or not his wife’s sins are covered because she is obeying him when she commits them.”

    Then in the very rare situation where a husband commands his wife to sin, what is her recourse? Divorce? Separation?

    But Maea tells us that the Church can decide what is “prudent”. By implication, she asserts that the Church can provide a wife with recourse when a husband acts “imprudently”. Since Maea won’t answer it, I’ll ask you (and anyone else here) – What husbandly decisions or categories of decisions fall under the “prudence” rubric which in turn subjects said decisions to Church review? The husband’s job? Major purchasing decisions? And against what guidelines/framework is “prudence” to be determined?

  37. thedeti says:

    I also think that Maea’s implication of the Church standing as some sort of superauthority, a review body, to which a wife can appeal to have a husband’s decisions reviewed for “prudence”, and modified or changed for “imprudence”, isn’t supported in Scripture or tradition.

  38. @ Elspeth

    The funny thing is that none of this is what my post was discussing.

    I covered the “sin” topic in a post a week or two ago:

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/the-exception-temptation/

  39. Wizard Prang says:

    TL;DR: “Submission Plus…” is a lot like “Jesus Plus…” It is an attempt to break the subject under discussion under the pretext by re-framing it.

    Here’s a revolutionary thought: Ladies, if you don’t trust your husband, don’t get married.

  40. Maea says:

    Do you believe Scripture authorizes her to choose to submit only to husbandly directives/directions she believes to be supported by Scripture or prudent?

    Scripture says what is and isn’t sin, and if something is indeed a “gray area,” it would be wise for her to submit. If she is still unsure, she should be seeking spiritual counsel. Many situations aren’t extreme and they can be answered with the Bible. Ephesians 5:22-33 makes it clear exactly how it’s supposed to go for both parties. Yes it does include recourse and submitting intelligently.

    FTR, the idea of a “covering” provided by a husband over his wife’s sins is heresy.

  41. Robyn says:

    @ Els:

    “I believe in and have followed while in disagreement -even blind with fear of how it would work out- ” Me too.

    yep….Blind with great fear of spiritual damage to our kids b/c my Man was not a disciple of Christ.

    “Is there really Biblical support for the assertion that a woman’s sins are covered because she is obeying her husband? […] Ananias and Sapphira spring to mind here, […] punished for lying in cahoots with her husband.”

    Motive is the key to whether you are preserved or not. Sarah lied for Abraham and she was preserved. Her motive was to stay in unity with her Man and to seek his best over hers. I think in the example of Ananias and Sapphira it was exactly that, they were in “cahoots.”

  42. Elspeth says:

    DS

    I was simply responding to the direction the conversation flowed in the comments.

  43. donalgraeme says:

    Maea’s reaction is a classic example of the thought process differences between men and women. I would suggest to her, and to any woman who reads this part of the internet, the following:

    When you read something, and it causes you to react viscerally and angrily, you would be well advised to make sure that you actually understand what was said. Ask questions to verify that you understand the point the man is trying to make.

    I think many women would find themselves helped enormously by this.

  44. Maea says:

    I would find many men would be helped enormously by that advice too, donalgraeme. At any rate, disagreeing isn’t emoting. I’m going to disagree when I see something not supported by Scripture and I’m going to disagree when I see heresy being tossed around and eaten like salad in the post and/or comments and no one calls it out.

  45. Cassie says:

    I’m gonna try and interpret for Maea (and Maea, please correct me if I’m wrong about anything I say here in trying to do so):

    If I remember correctly, Maea is Catholic. And if I correctly understand the Catholic Church’s teaching on a wife’s requirement to submit to her husband, it’s that a wife is to submit to her husband in all things that don’t put her in a position of being in Mortal Sin, because to do so would put her outside of the State of Grace – and therefore Hell bound if she dies prior to getting back into the State of Grace (and there is a specific list of which sins constitute Mortal sins, which you can look up if you are curious). But otherwise, per Church teaching, a wife is to submit whether she wants to or not. This means that the Church has already determined what is prudent and what is not. And this means that a husband is not a covering for his wife’s Mortal Sin – that’s her own. So she’s under no obligation to put herself into that position of being outside of the State of Grace just because her husband tells her to. Which means she needs to be prudent and intelligent enough to recognize whether her actions would put her into that position of being outside of the State of Grace if she obeys him. And if obeying him would do so, she is free to not do so. And if obeying him won’t put her soul in that position, then she is obligated to obey him. End of story.

  46. Just Some Guy says:

    @Elspeth
    I agree with Robyn’s interpretation of the false support that Ananias and Sapphira provide as a reason to not submit. The text states that it was with her full knowledge. It was a deception that they reasoned and agreed upon together. She was complicit with him and he with her.
    In the situation of Abram and Sarai, the way the scriptures state this, he told her what to say. There was no reasoning. She may have even disagreed and respectfully asked him to reconsider, but she still complied with and submitted to his wishes. It doesn’t state that, but it is one of the differences between these two scenarios.
    In one, they reasoned to sin together, in the other, he told her to and she obviously did as she was told. Now, I too believe that “all scriptures must be used to rightly divine the Word”, so, I challenge anyone to find a record where a wife, who submitted to her husband in doing wrong, was punished. But do not, as in the case with Sapphira, confuse complicit with compliant. Sapphira was complicit; Sarai was compliant.

  47. Robyn says:

    @ Cassie,

    “And if I correctly understand the Catholic Church’s teaching on a wife’s requirement to submit to her husband, it’s that a wife is to submit to her husband in all things that don’t put her in a position of being in Mortal Sin, ”

    The Catholic Church’s interpretation (or any other church for that matter) is not above the private interpretation by the Holy Spirit through Jesus from God.

    Jesus Christ demonstrated what submission really means when He died on the cross.

    Only a wife’s own husband can tell her what submission means to him for her. A wife is not “One flesh” with a Parish, but with her husband.

  48. Elspeth says:

    Look, if it seems as if I am coming across as one offering up excuses not to submit, then I am clearly not being articulate enough in my presentation. I think my position on the matter has been made more than clear over the years.

    I was just asking for clarification on a comment someone offered to assert that if a woman sins in obedience to her husband then her sins are covered. That is all.

    Els out.

  49. @ Elspeth

    Yeah, I know you weren’t.

    Also, I’m just using your comment as a main reply, so don’t think anything of it, haha.

    ———-

    @ Everyone

    I was making the point that the topic I was discussing in this post is different from what we’re discussing now. I will explain this topic for those who are still confused.

    In the main post, I *presupposed* that a husband was Christian and had good character. Hence, a so-called Christian wife submitting to her husband “mindlessly” — used in quotes to emphasize that culture and even the Church in this case tells us you’re not supposed to trust authority and/or submit without questioning them — is a good thing.

    To make it clear: I am not talking about sin cases!

    Here’s what I said:

    Based on the examples in the Scriptures, I believe it would be fair to say that if a wife knows that her husband is a Christian and knows his good character that if she is “mindless” in her submission through trusting his decisions that is a good thing. She is literally one with her husband. That’s the goal. To be one in unity.

    […]

    This is not to say that a husband shouldn’t tell his wife why he is leading in a particular direction or that a wife shouldn’t ask. However, they should be growing toward a state where these things are unneeded. That is oneness. Respectful submission becomes respectful obedience.

    Maea read the topic, got angry, and assumed I was telling wives to submit mindlessly, even in sin. It’s pretty clear from the text of my post I did not say anything close to that. I recommended that she go back and re-read the post, but she doubled down on what she thought I was saying. She’s still wrong if she thought I was saying that, which it still seems like she thinks that from her last post.

    Now, I had previously made clear what wives should do if they think a husband *may* be telling them to sin inadvertently , as I linked in the previous comments, which I will reiterate here. To follow up with non-Christian husbands, 1 Peter 3 tells how a wife should act if her husband is not a Christian.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/the-exception-temptation/

    Therefore, it should now be abundantly clear why I said that two different topics were being discussed in this post and in the comments. Maea diverted the comments because she thought my original post was saying something it was not. She was wrong.

    Lest people think there is a difference with Catholics, Donal and Cassie are Catholic, and they got what I was saying. Maea did not because she assumed. In any case, it’s up to her to admit that she made a mistake.

    The end. Let’s all go home.

    P.S. I’ll let you all in on a little secret. I sometimes use inflammatory titles on purpose because it lets me know who actually tried to comprehend my posts as opposed to those who post knee-jerk reactions. For example, “why I don’t respect women.” I’m surprised I didn’t get more bites on those two.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/why-i-dont-respect-women/
    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/why-i-dont-respect-women-part-2/

  50. Robyn says:

    @ Elspeth:

    i didn’t get that impression.

  51. Robyn says:

    @ Just Some Guy:

    “In the situation of Abram and Sarai, the way the scriptures state this, he told her what to say. There was no reasoning. She may have even disagreed and respectfully asked him to reconsider, but she still complied with and submitted to his wishes. ”

    I don’t interpret it that way. Abram asked for her permission; he put the choice in her hands and let her decide. He wasn’t “telling her what to say”. He was asking her, straight-forwardly, to trade her own well-being for his own life.

  52. Anonynom says:

    https://twobirdsstone.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/you-picked-her/

    You and your commenters have some admirers. And two-faced ass-kissers.

  53. Maea says:

    @DS

    I still think you are wrong and I didn’t imply your post said wives are supposed to submit in sin either; there isn’t a requirement wives are NOT to be intelligent in submission. Mindless submission isn’t actual submission unless all you want is complacency. It’s funny you have to mention DG and Cassie are also Catholics, but there is clearly a huge divide between the way married people see these things and the way singles do. I for one, am concerned with the realities of married life instead of picking apart verses to suit what I think they say.

  54. @ Anonynom

    They still don’t get the point. Not exactly surprised.

  55. Elspeth says:

    My response to Anonymon here because I am not posting it twice:

    https://twobirdsstone.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/you-picked-her/#comment-68

  56. @ Maea

    I still think you are wrong and I didn’t imply your post said wives are supposed to submit in sin either; there isn’t a requirement wives are NOT to be intelligent in submission. Mindless submission isn’t actual submission unless all you want is complacency.

    False. As I stated:

    “This is not to say that a husband shouldn’t tell his wife why he is leading in a particular direction or that a wife shouldn’t ask. However, they should be growing toward a state where these things are unneeded.”

    In fact, I would assert the so-called ‘ideal’ relationship is the one where a husband or wife can anticipate the need before it is asked. Asking is merely a formality as the husband and wife *know* each other.

    Matthew 6:7 And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

    It’s funny you have to mention DG and Cassie are also Catholics, but there is clearly a huge divide between the way married people see these things and the way singles do. I for one, am concerned with the realities of married life instead of picking apart verses to suit what I think they say.

    This applies to all authority-submission relationships, not simply marriage. God/Christ and Christians is one of them. It’s not mutually exclusive to marriage, and the Scripture is Truth regardless of whether you’re married or not.

    If you think you have a monopoly on the Truth of marriage because you’re married… Good luck with that.

  57. @ Elspeth

    You almost got the point:

    I can’t figure why intelligent submission and freely obeying are somehow mutually exclusive.

    They’re not. I’m not saying they are.

    I’m saying that once you *know* someone well enough — their faith, their character, their needs — that you don’t need to “question” when they ask you to do something because you already know that it will be good for the both of you.

    To repeat myself:

    In fact, I would assert the so-called ‘ideal’ relationship is the one where a husband or wife can anticipate the need before it is asked. Asking is merely a formality as the husband and wife *know* each other.

    In other words, you don’t need to be “intelligent” — the key word for questioning the other person’s decision — because you already know they’re not going to ask you to do something bad but rather beneficial. “Intelligent” and/or “don’t be mindless” being feminist key words for questioning authority because it’s [likely] they’ll make you do something bad or sinful. Mainly because they don’t have your best interests at heart.

    It’s a process of growth. When you don’t know someone that well you may need to ask them why. But as you get to know them more you don’t because you know who they are.

    It’s funny because my girlfriend got it when I explained it to her the first time. Now, I’ve had to type out probably 10 posts to explain this concept to married women.

  58. Robyn says:

    @ Maea:

    I know you are addressing DS, but I’m going to jump in here anyhow. I know he’s (and DS, sorry to talk about you in the 3rd person) not married but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a pretty darn good grasp on how to divide scripture and use a dictionary, concordance, esword and blueletter Bible… and all the rest. Yes, there are certain nuances in marriage that can only be captured through real life experience. But that doesn’t mean that other relationship skills and experiences can’t be gleaned and applied towards a spouse.

    There are only a few finer points that we disagree on and I chalk that up to personality differences and gender difference. I have been married for 29 years (july 4) and am not offended by anything in this post. Him being single is an irrelevant comment.

    Now, to finer points: you have a misunderstanding of what submission is. This is a woman telling you; not a “single” man. A Bible believing woman. A married Bible believing woman. A married Bible believing woman with 3 kids (29, 20, 18).

    “there isn’t a requirement wives are NOT to be intelligent in submission. Mindless submission isn’t actual submission unless all you want is complacency.”

    “mindless submission” & “complacency” are feminist words used by those who hate submission. By its definition submission is to be a “reflex” action. It is to be as natural as breathing. It has nothing to do with mental capacity, whatsoever. But it has everything to do with trust in another human being and faith in God.

  59. @ Robyn

    Good points. Always useful to have another perspective — from someone in a totally different walk of life — understand the main point on deep rooted feminist influence.

    But it has everything to do with trust in another human being and faith in God.

    Funny you say that because I was about to post on that.

  60. Pingback: Submission is a test of faith | Christianity and masculinity

  61. Pingback: Women’s sin nature in marriage and contentment | Christianity and masculinity

  62. Pingback: The Escape Plan | Donal Graeme

  63. Pingback: Options and escape plans | Christianity and masculinity

  64. Pingback: The problems with intelligent submission | Christianity and masculinity

  65. Pingback: Wifely submission is easy | Christianity and masculinity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s