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Complementarianism, Freedom in Submission, marriage, submission

>Freedom in Submission, Part 2 – distrust and faith

>Thank you for joining me for the second and final installment of Freedom in Submission.
Part 1, regarding inerrancy of Scripture and the stumbling block of pride can be found here.

Now another common reason that the doctrine of submission is rejected is distrust. Distrust of man and distrust of God.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the Word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives. ~1 Peter 3:1

What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?
~Romans 3:3

The Bible is clear that there will be men who do not obey the command to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25). Understandably, women do not want to submit to their husbands in these circumstances. At this point, we need to ask ourselves…do we trust God? As Christians (whether men or women), our allegiance is to the Lord first and foremost. If your husband asks you to sin (adultery, stealing, etc), you are right to say no. Of course if you or your children are in danger of physical harm, you should seek help from your church and/or the law. But what if your husband is simply choosing to lead his family down a path that is unwise? What if he is choosing not to lead at all? Worse, still, what if he has perverted the Word of God and is lording his headship over you in ways that are cruel and demeaning? There are no easy answers in situations like this, and your road is most certainly a difficult one. There is, however, someone who is faithful to love you, to be trustworthy, to redeem everything about you, your marriage and your circumstances…Jesus Christ.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28

It is helpful if you consider your dilemma with an eternal perspective. When you read 1 Peter 3:1, the focus is not on who is smarter, who is right, or who has more experience in any given situation; and there is no disclaimer that says a wife should submit only if her husband leads correctly. The focus is on eternity. If your husband is not walking with God, whether it be for a season or as a lifestyle, the primary importance is that he be reconciled to Him. If you demonstrate that you love the Lord and obey His Word, only as it suits you, how does that make you a credible witness? If you only trust God when His will conforms to what you think is right, how can you ever convince anyone (ie: your husband) that He is trustworthy?

Distrust leads to worry, and ultimately to lack of faith.

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? ~Luke 12:25-26

God is trustworthy. He is faithful. He has not abandoned you. You don’t have to grab the wheel and take over. You are being sanctified; and it will be easier to see that if you keep your eyes on Him, rather than yourself, your husband and your circumstances.

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith, as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He promised. ~Romans 4:20-21

We’ve looked at three major issues that contribute to the rejection of submission – selective obedience to Scripture, pride and distrust. Lastly, I’d like to address how this view of Biblical marriage plays out practically…it is through faith.

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him. ~2 Chronicles 16:9a

The doctrine of headship within marriage (as well as within the Trinity) comes from the Lord. Do you have faith that He knows what he’s doing? Can you see that it has more to do with conforming both the husband and wife to be more like Jesus, rather than assigning a certain spouse to be in charge? It really has less to do with the day to day business of life, and more to do with the process of sanctification.

Is your heart blameless toward God? Are you more concerned with being right, than being right before God? Do you have faith in your own abilities to orchestrate your life, or faith in God’s will? Is it more important to save your husband from making mistakes as he leads your family, or more important for him to experience spiritual growth as he learns through obedience? Does your heart have a “here and now” perspective or an eternal perspective?

God is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all present) and omnipotent (all powerful).
When you have a proper understanding of this and faith in who God is, it takes the pressure off you in your God ordained role as helper. There is freedom in submission because you know that God knows the outcome, He is with you, and He is in control. There is freedom in using your gifts of wisdom, discernment, shepherding or whatever God has blessed you with, to minister to your husband as you advise & encourage him through the decisions your family makes. There is freedom in knowing that regardless of the outcome, your heart is blameless toward Him because you love your God and obey Him in faith.

…the righteousness of God is revealed from faith, for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” ~Romans 1:17

[see Freedom in Submission, Part 1 – inerrancy of the Bible and pride]

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Discussion

42 thoughts on “>Freedom in Submission, Part 2 – distrust and faith

  1. >Thanks for your comment, Chief. Of course, you would want to put emphasis on “husbands love your wives” when dealing with this text. I think it’s also helpful to continually look at what it means that marriage is a reflection of Christ and the Church. At my church, our pastor typically focuses these passages more toward the men. He understands that men are often lazy, selfish, abusive, and unwilling to submit themselves to Jesus. He outlines very clearly what it means to ‘love your wives as Christ loves the church’. Men usually walk out of the sermons feeling convicted, repentant and encouraged to change. This change often overflows to the women’s responses in their marriage as well. It’s a long process sometimes, which is why I’m thankful that our church takes months to go through an entire book of the Bible. It gives plenty of time to absorb the teaching and live it out practically. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t necessarily make submission the focus of the sermon. Instead, make the focus love and sacrifice. 🙂

    Posted by Judy | August 17, 2007, 7:17 pm
  2. >I’m a week or so removed from the final post on this thread, but I’ll attempt a question with the hopes it is not lost in the flurry of blog scrolls.I will be speaking on Ephesians 5 very soon. I am a complimentarian without apology. Yet, I do feel at times I have not communicated the wondrous truths of love and submission in their poetic and inspiring Pauline style as much as I have been “fundamentalistic.” :)But I am now “funda-missional” meaning for me that I am no longer just speaking the Word, I want to transfer it from my inner-man to my hearer’s.That said: What is the definition of submission and could it be that both sides have been traditionally and decidedly wrong about its meaning?What does a pastor/elder need in his tone and passion to communicate “Wives submit to your own husband” which engenders the fear of God that births wisdom (as opposed to the fear of man producing terror more common in fundamentalist extremes)?

    Posted by ChiefsSuperfan | August 17, 2007, 4:48 pm
  3. >I think there are definitely variations within each camp – some are more relaxed and some are more extreme. Again, it’s probably a mistake on my part to use labels, so please forgive me if I’m confusing the issue.I agree with you that “technically”, submission should be embraced by both husband and wife for a marriage to be loving and harmonious. Scripture spells it out as “husbands love your wives” and “wives submit to your husbands”, so those are the terms I’ve used. I agree though, that one of the ways that a husband loves his wife might be to submit to her by “dying to self”. An example in my family might be that my husband really wants to go on an overnight backpacking trip, but he knows I’m pregnant & exhausted from parenting our two preschoolers, so he submits to my desire that he stay home over the weekend & be a dad instead.Nathan has asked that I post a follow up article that lays out my interpretation of complementarianism & how I live it out practically. I plan to do so in the next couple of weeks. For now, if you like, feel free to continue the conversation here. I’d like to hear more about the book you referenced & your arguments with what you’ve read from Piper, Grudem, etc.

    Posted by Judy | August 6, 2007, 11:17 pm
  4. >huh. (nursing a baby so this’ll be a poorly formatted post.) really? now, i’ll admit — maybe i’m hanging around with a rather soft bunch of egals. 😉 but i don’t see any reason to cancel anything, and i’ve never heard that from my cohorts before. ::scratching head:: I would say that the two commands that Paul offers are “mutual” commands in the sense of I have my responsibility to my hubby and he has his to me. His, I would argue, is actually a bigger deal than mine (I mean, love me like Christ loves the Church? WOW!) which fits the pattern in the passage — parents have a larger responsibility than children, masters than servants, and husbands than wives. But it’s all about getting along in the corporate Body. The most recent thing I’ve read that expressed this was Jeff VanVonderen’s Families Where Grace is in Place. There are other sources I’m sure, but this is the one that’s fresh in my mind.My objection to complementarianism (as I’ve read it from Grudem, Piper, Eliot, MacArthur. It’s been awhile.) is that they seem to trumpet a rareified and subtle misogyny that isn’t in Scripture nor is it necessary for a good marriage. Now, maybe that’s those authors, I’ll admit.And when it comes right down to it, what I see in my marriage matches a more egal ethic. Do I often call my husband, “my knight”? Sure! Do I check with him before making major decisions? You bet. And he checks with me too. “Inaction until unity.” is our guide.I still think we’re having a heated agreement. 😉 And notice the formatting got better when Sir Nursling got down. :-DOh and Judy, I’m thrilled to be here too!

    Posted by QueenKnitter | August 6, 2007, 10:11 pm
  5. >Hey Queen,First of all…welcome! I’m so happy you’ve joined us & really look forward to your input.What you’ve said is interesting. You know, Nathan commented eariler about perhaps being a complementarian & not even knowing it. I might be guilty of labeling others & myself (egalitarian vs complementarian) without having a clearer understanding of what each “camp” believes.From what I’ve experienced, egalitarians hold fiercly to the Truth of both men & women being created in the image & likeness of God (which I agree with). The difference though, is that they feel that this Truth cancells out the Scripture that calls women to submit to their husbands & those verses that advise against women as elders.I guess what I’m trying to address is “why”? Why do those verses need to be cancelled out in order for a woman to feel that she’s an equal image bearer of God?

    Posted by Judy | August 6, 2007, 8:11 pm
  6. >My husband and I consider ourselves mutual submitters. ::shrug:: And I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written. The Bible says to submit to my husband, and I do. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t see what you’ve written as unique to complementarianism in any way. Sometimes I wonder if in this so-called “conflict” if we’re really having a heated agreement.

    Posted by QueenKnitter | August 6, 2007, 8:00 pm
  7. >Hello, Mars Hills readers! I know you’re out there. Jump in on the discussion, the water’s fine. 😉

    Posted by Jeff Wright | August 3, 2007, 10:25 pm
  8. >Nope. I think this post has generated the most comments so far.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | August 2, 2007, 7:45 pm
  9. >See, Judy? No need to worry about cyber-crickets! 🙂

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | August 2, 2007, 6:58 pm
  10. >I’m addressing Peter’s letter at the moment, but yes, that’s a fair enough summary of my posts. About the only adjustment I’d make is to note that my objection to automatic male rulership is not its antiquity (that would make me a progressive, which I am not) but its potential to stifle genuine gifts that God often gives to women.Also, just for the sake of clarity, I think that the logical consequence of that way of looking at things is that men who are gifted in certain ways ought to exercise those gifts in the household as well as in the congregation. To return to my example from my own household, since I’m more gifted with the administration of money than is Mary, she does in fact defer to me on decisions about our money. On the other hand, since I have absolutely no instincts for church politics, I let her make calls with regards to how we allocate our time between work, church, and private family time. If I made all the calls, we’d be alright with money but have no time to enjoy Micah. If Mary made all of them, we might have more time but would run out of money. Thus we defer to one another so that we can have a little of both.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | August 2, 2007, 6:58 pm
  11. >”…but rather a call to live in peace within the paterfamilias structure.”So if this family structure no longer exists today, we are faced with some complicated difficulties when we attempt to apply this passage to our current family structures, right? And we may be placing ourselves under unneccasary & antiquated familial patterns (that just so happened to be the existing pattern among the people Paul was addressing in this letter), rather than a universal biblical mandate, when we practice male-headship in our families and churches by directly applying verses such as this to ourselves without first making allowance for the differences between the family structure of Paul’s day and ours? Just trying to make explicit what I think is implied in your statements for the sake of discussion. Or I’m just trying to put words in your mouth. 😉

    Posted by Jeff Wright | August 2, 2007, 4:07 pm
  12. >No worries, Judy. Mary and I are both gearing up to teach the fall semester (6th graders for her, college freshmen for me), so a delay won’t hurt a bit.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | August 2, 2007, 3:59 pm
  13. >HA! Nathan is a closet complementarian! :)I’m sure I can come up with some practical illustrations of complementarianism, but it may be awhile. I’m solo parenting for the next few weeks while the husband is working out of town.Pray for me!

    Posted by Judy | August 2, 2007, 3:36 pm
  14. >Do you think the move from 1st-c “Roman-style paterfamilias hierarchies” to present-day complementarian-style marriages between Christian reflects a development similar to what you mention in the quote above?I’m not sure exactly what complementarianism involves, but I’d guess that it’s similar. My point is that what Peter seems to be talking about is not a voluntary entry into a consent-based marriage in which one contract-partner agrees to let the other contract-partner have the final say in important situations but rather a call to live in peace within the paterfamilias structure.If I could coax one more post in this series out of Judy, I’d ask for an explication of the basic contours of complementarianism. I know which Bible texts complementarians cite, but I have no idea what the ideology looks like, lived out.(Hell, I might be one myself and not know it.)My inclination, though, is to make gifts, not biological hardware, the primary criterion for any kind of rulership, be it in the Church or the family. In my own case, I’ve got the money-sense in the family, but Mary has a stronger sense of propriety and knows the dynamics of relationships better in church-political matters. Thus in our household, she generally defers to me in money matters, but when folks at church ask us to do something, I defer to her on that call. Thus I wouldn’t say that either of us is the dominant or either the submissive partner but that my gift of administration and hers of discernment come into play as needed.Is that basically complementarianism, or would it look different?Judy? Blog post? One mo’ time?

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | August 2, 2007, 3:31 pm
  15. >”That being said, do you think it is possible that there can be a separation regarding the different relationships and its respective sanctification without negating the parallel in this passage? Just a thought.”Yes, I was wondering if this might be a case where we are squeezing too much out of the grammatical construction. I’d like to see what a good critical commentary says about that.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | August 2, 2007, 11:32 am
  16. >”In each case the move seems to be from living in peace, confident that God will correct injustice to a celebration and more realized common life in the wake of circumstantial change (from power-by-circumstance to service-by-gift). I think that making such a move does not denigrate but more fully celebrates the holy character of marriage.”Do you think the move from 1st-c “Roman-style paterfamilias hierarchies” to present-day complementarian-style marriages between Christian reflects a development similar to what you mention in the quote above?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | August 2, 2007, 11:30 am
  17. >As I said before, I don’t deny that marriage is sacred; I suppose my starting point, given that conviction, would be that marriage, even more than slavery and subjection to an emperor, should reflect the character of real, redeemed human relationship when it can. Thus if slavery and subjection to an emperor can give way to employment and governorship when political reality changes, then marriage relationships should, I think, go from Roman-style paterfamilias hierarchies to common life based on gifts rather than plumbing when political reality changes. In each case the move seems to be from living in peace, confident that God will correct injustice to a celebration and more realized common life in the wake of circumstantial change (from power-by-circumstance to service-by-gift). I think that making such a move does not denigrate but more fully celebrates the holy character of marriage.I plan to read Jacob’s essay some time today, so I might take up some of these questions in the comment section to his essay.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | August 2, 2007, 10:31 am
  18. >Judy,Nicely done! Thank you for your article!Nathan, my 2 cents regarding the slavery/master and the husband/wife submission issue in the 1 Peter passage: is it possible that there is a hierarchy of sanctification regarding the differing relationships? I agree with Judy that the relationship with the husband and wife is more important than those of the individual/government; employee/boss or master/slave. That being said, do you think it is possible that there can be a separation regarding the different relationships and its respective sanctification without negating the parallel in this passage? Just a thought. Thanks 🙂

    Posted by hylander | August 2, 2007, 5:04 am
  19. >I think I’ll await Jacob’s post and take this up then and there.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | July 30, 2007, 9:51 pm
  20. >I think Jacob is looking into posting something on whether or not he believes Scripture is applicable to all people in all times. He commented on it in Part 1 of my series. I hope so…it will be a good discussion!

    Posted by Judy | July 29, 2007, 12:46 am
  21. >Because I know that God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, I believe that all things are filtered through His hands. Do you believe that slavery was abolished to negate Scripture’s applicability in regard to submission? Or do you believe it was abolished to enforce the commands given to masters (Eph 6)?At my church, we know that men have abused women, usually either through force or neglect. We don’t say “well then, let’s teach the ladies how to take a punch and make sure they have a separate bank account set up just in case”. We see the importance of teaching the MEN to uphold their responsibility to love their wives as Christ loved the church. We don’t say “well this headship thing has all gone to hell, so ladies, do whatever you need to do to get by”. We tell the men to get their heads out of their asses and LOVE THEIR WIVES.

    Posted by Judy | July 28, 2007, 11:58 pm
  22. >BTW, is anyone going to comment on my latest post? I realize it’s only been 24 hours, but come on… 😉

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | July 28, 2007, 6:49 pm
  23. >I’m limited in my understanding of slavery in a historical context. I do not know how it was lived out daily in “Bible times”. I only know of the abuse and denigration that slaves experienced more recently in our history. I suspect that abuse has always been an issue, otherwise Peter would not have to admonish masters to show grace to their slaves, as their Heavenly Master shows grace to them.If you’ll allow a bit of history to intrude, slavery in the Roman Empire was roughly analogous to marriage in the Roman Empire. Women had as little choice in who their husbands would be as slaves had in who their masters would be. Masters had imperium, the power of life and death, over their slaves, just as husbands could kill their wives legally so long as they invoked the rights of paterfamilias. So Peter was no dummy when it came to Roman law; he invoked three power relationships when he talked about emperors, masters, and husbands.Now my reading of the passage is that Peter is counselling peacemaking rather than open revolt given the message of peace that Christians were to proclaim. However, just as I’d counsel Elizabeth to live out the realized freedom that she only hoped for before, likewise I’d take changes in the legal and social status of women not as rebellion but as a blessing: I think that a woman ought to be able to use her gifts as they allow, unrestrained by Roman-era expectations.Likewise, I don’t think that anyone should be owned as a slave; it’s more than a bad taste in my mouth. It’s wrong. I think that Peter was counselling peace in an era of masters and slaves, much as he counselled peace in an era when Caesar, not Jesus, was proclaimed savior of the world and whose will, not the Father’s was done on earth.Anyway, that’s how I read 1 Peter, not as erring but as situated in a particular time and place. And I think that former Roman-wives and former Roman-slaves and former Roman-subjects should rejoice, not lament, changes that allow for the freedom that Christ gives to be realized before the final end of things.Still, I have to go back to my earlier point…the master/slave relationship was not created to reflect the image of Christ and the church the way that marriage does. Although the commands to master/slave, emperor/subject, parent/child are all still practical and applicable in method to this day, the commands regarding marriage stand apart in a holy way because of the comparison to Christ and the church.Now the separateness of marriage I agree with, as I said earlier. I just don’t think that such a perfect union should be spoiled by attempts to live in peace in an era that’s passed. On that note, you said this about our hypothetical Elizabeth:If she praises God that He has restructured headship in a way that is more loving through her government, and her heart is to continually show obedience to Him, regardless of the changing times, then I would say she has much freedom however her circumstances play out.So, pardon my density, would you still consider the man who owned Elizabeth in 1864 to be her “head” in 1866?Perhaps you could start up another post, this one about the methods by which you discern where the methods be and where the message (or however you divide that up). The ways in which we Christians read the Bible are important enough that they deserve some attention.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | July 28, 2007, 6:47 pm
  24. >No, Nathan…I don’t want you to back off. I appreciate iron sharpening iron, even if I don’t like the sound the iron makes when it rubs against each other. 😉

    Posted by Judy | July 28, 2007, 6:18 pm
  25. >In light of what I’ve written in my original post, it seems like the crux of your disagreement lies with inerrancy of Scripture. I agree with you that slavery leaves a bad taste in probably everyone’s mouth. I’m limited in my understanding of slavery in a historical context. I do not know how it was lived out daily in “Bible times”. I only know of the abuse and denigration that slaves experienced more recently in our history. I suspect that abuse has always been an issue, otherwise Peter would not have to admonish masters to show grace to their slaves, as their Heavenly Master shows grace to them.Still, I have to go back to my earlier point…the master/slave relationship was not created to reflect the image of Christ and the church the way that marriage does. Although the commands to master/slave, emperor/subject, parent/child are all still practical and applicable in method to this day, the commands regarding marriage stand apart in a holy way because of the comparison to Christ and the church.In regard to our fictional Elizabeth…I would not consider her a temper-tantrum-throwing-two year old if she re-evaluated her obedience to the Lord in light of new earthly laws coming to pass; provided her re-evaluation was not out of pride. If she stubbornly digs her heels in and screams “you can’t make me!”, and begins to view her life and her work through an ‘all-about-me’ lens, then how does that glorify God? If she praises God that He has restructured headship in a way that is more loving through her government, and her heart is to continually show obedience to Him, regardless of the changing times, then I would say she has much freedom however her circumstances play out.

    Posted by Judy | July 28, 2007, 6:14 pm
  26. >Not a problem. As I said, I can back off if you want me to, but my view of these sorts of venues is that we do our best work when people challenge our views. If you wish to do likewise to anything I post, feel free. If I’m not reading things as well as I could be, I expect friends to help me to read them better.And if you’d like to end our conversation about this topic, say the word, and I’ll back off.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | July 28, 2007, 6:13 pm
  27. >First, I should repent of my attitude. You & I have locked horns a number of times on the ooze regarding this topic, so I’m naturally a bit punchy toward you. Please forgive me for having a chip on my shoulder.

    Posted by Judy | July 28, 2007, 5:51 pm
  28. >Do you have any arguments based on what I’ve written in my articles?Sure. In part one of your article you stated the following:If you believe that Scripture is God breathed (2 Tim 3:16), then you cannot believe that these instructions were snuck in under God’s nose in order to promote some cultural mandate.I cannot accept the idea that God is so short sighted to make His Word applicable to only those living in a certain place at a certain time.I was asking, in response to this assertion, if you would read the Scriptures the same in 1855 and in 1865. Since you set that up as the basis for your views on women and men, I should think that it’s on the table for discussion.You also stated this in your first post with regards to the vice of pride:Why does this make so many women twitch? There is a natural tendency toward feelings of independence and entitlement, for one thing. I have a two year old daughter who adamantly believes that she is queen of the castle, and no amount of reasoning will change her mind. Is she made in the image and likeness of God? Absolutely. Does she get to override Scripture and refuse to honor her parents because of that? Absolutely not.So would our hypothetical Elizabeth be a tantrum-throwing two-year-old if, at the first sign of social and legal change, she stopped living in submission as a slave to her master?As you might have surmised, I’m not entirely convinced by what people call complementarian ideologies of gender. However, I am willing to hear your case out if you’re willing to answer some basic questions about how you get there.On the other hand, if you don’t want your assertions examined, let me know, and I’ll reserve the comments sections of your posts for those who agree with you already.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | July 28, 2007, 5:43 pm
  29. >Nathan,With all due respect, my articles are about submission within marriage, not masters and slaves. Do you have any arguments based on what I’ve outlined in my posts? Bringing in texts & examples of masters and slaves in order to discredit what Scripture says about marriage seems like grasping at straws, in my opinion.When you read Peter’s instruction regarding masters and slaves, again, you see that the purpose of submission is sanctification (1 Peter 2:18-25). I’ve already explained in my articles that sanctification is key in submission within marriage. So no, disavowal of slave status does not negate Peter because God still calls us into relationships to acheive sanctification.Do you have any arguments based on what I’ve written in my articles?

    Posted by Judy | July 28, 2007, 4:22 pm
  30. >I certainly agree that marriage is holy.However, the structure of the 1 Peter passage makes parallel the emperor/subject, the master/slave, and the husband/wife relationships. Would you hold that structure to be binding, or just one of the three?Also, in your treatment of the slave woman question, would not your counsel negate the master/slave relationship that 1 Peter holds as at least structually parallel to the husband/wife one? Would a change in law and subsequent negation of master/slave relationship negate that relationship, or would Peter’s counsel still hold? After all, Peter writes of slaves submitting to masters, not employees to employers. Would disavowal of slave status negate Peter?(If you want to dedicate a blog post to this, I think it would be interesting.)

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | July 28, 2007, 3:19 pm
  31. >Hey Nathan,I was wondering if I’d hear from you on this. ;)Submission within marriage is quite different (holy) than any other submissive relationship referred to in Scripture such as parent/child and master/slave. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.~Ephesians 5:31-32While the position of slave becomes illegal in your example, the principle of an employee submitting to their employer still applies today. So I guess I would counsel her that she is no longer bound by earthly governing laws to submit in slavery, however, if she chooses to continue employment with him or anyone else, she should work to God’s glory.

    Posted by Judy | July 28, 2007, 3:38 am
  32. >BTW, Judy, sorry I’m so late on this response. Life has been crazy in north Georgia of late. At least mine has.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | July 28, 2007, 2:15 am
  33. >Judy,While David is collecting his thoughts, let me offer a historical parallel, not from 1966 but from 1866. Suppose Elizabeth, a slave on a tobacco farm in Kentucky, hears that the U.S. Congress has passed and enough states have ratified the 13th amendment, making slavery illegal in the United States of America. As a Christian woman, would you advise her to follow the letter of Peter’s admonition for slaves to remain submissive to their masters, or would advise her to take advantage of changing social and legal realities and cease to submit? What would your reasoning be?

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | July 28, 2007, 2:14 am
  34. >My kids get hung up on the concept as well. So I’m getting affirmed in my rebuke that they’re just sinful little souls… just like dad. 🙂

    Posted by Jacob | July 26, 2007, 7:43 pm
  35. >You mean when I have my brain back.

    Posted by David Cho | July 26, 2007, 5:54 pm
  36. >Yep, I see what you’re saying Jacob. I don’t know that submission is just a challenge that adults face though…my kids don’t feel warm & fuzzy about it either. 😉

    Posted by Judy | July 26, 2007, 4:16 pm
  37. >Hey David,Thanks for checking in…looking forward to hearing from you when you have time. 🙂

    Posted by Judy | July 26, 2007, 4:13 pm
  38. >Good articles. I am still gathering my thoughts. Too scatterbrained right now.

    Posted by David Cho | July 26, 2007, 3:49 pm
  39. >In every relationship I’ve had while an adult, if I’m called to submit, I have a difficult time. And I don’t even need a reason to actively distrust the person, I just think I should have the right to self determination.The American church allows everyone the right of self-determination, which creates an obvious conflict in the context of marriage. For some reason we don’t grouse about people acting independently at work as long as they’re willing to suffer the consequences, or rewards! But in this case where the relationship is better defined we have not yet totally abandoned the scriptural counsel.Hmmmm.

    Posted by Jacob | July 26, 2007, 12:38 pm
  40. >Eh, slow day all around.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | July 25, 2007, 10:47 pm
  41. >Wow, I’ve never heard so many cyber-crickets in an article on submission before! ;)David, if you’re reading, do you want to discuss your disagreements?

    Posted by Judy | July 25, 2007, 9:14 pm
  42. >”If your husband is not walking with God, whether it be for a season or as a lifestyle, the primary importance is that he be reconciled to Him.”Good point. This applies to so many other things as well. I think of seven steps to a better marriage and three principles for a better whatever. These sermons and books can provide some good wisdom but if you’re not reconciled to Christ, following these steps is probably not going to enable a husband to love his wife as Christ loves the Church.”Can you see that it has more to do with conforming both the husband and wife to be more like Jesus, rather than assigning a certain spouse to be in charge? It really has less to do with the day to day business of life, and more to do with the process of sanctification.”Great point. I think you’ve really hit on a key aspect of the issue here.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | July 25, 2007, 2:56 pm

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