Today in a game of push the envelope it seemed appropriate to broach the topic of controversial bible verses that seem to imply that Men have total control and authority over the world.
A long time ago at an evangelical church it always made me smile to mention The Timothy Bomb which sounds a lot like Paul saying he doesn’t approve of women speaking in public. Simply, we know that’s not true since he also praises Priscilla of Aquilla in Acts 18 for her spreading the Gospel, so obviously there’s a lady arguing with men and women somewhere, and even if she is married, her husband is obviously not being admonished for allowing her to speak instead of him. The line one lady said that brings a smile to my face was “Well he’s the head of the family, but I’m the neck that turns the head”
So now lets just go ahead and jump on the grenade:
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
That’s not very new age. In fact, rather than each person being a unique snowflake it’s more a matter of becoming absolutely attached and unable to differ out of respect for each other. A two way street.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Woman, get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
Christ literally died and gave his life in love without FORCING anyone to do anything. Those who chose to follow did so entirely of their own volition. Authoritative? Yes. Argumentative? No. Understanding, listening, compassionate? Infinitely. Does he tell Peter at one point to “get behind me Satan” in frustration? Yes. But that is after telling him the rock of his faith will never depart from the earth.
27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Now it sounds like it’s the mans job to essentially care for his wife and build her up in the way Notre Dame was constructed. Infinite care, working within a set of rules he has no control over(physics) to create a thing of nobility and respect at personal cost.
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.
This obviously means get your wife a Gym membership and follow her around with a whistle having her do up downs and pushups. Also the husband isn’t allowed to get fat. That obnoxious couple that works out together? You know, using the same weights and sets like a bunch of weirdos, that’s apparently the way to go. I go more for the wearing the shirt that says “COACH” on it and screaming at my wife with a whistle around my neck and a baseball cap that mentions “STATE CHAMPIONS” on it. That’s love.
31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
In the legal context of the time, it sounds like this is about the unity of the family. Because women were pseudo property at the time, their parents were not entirely important in the picture. The guy however, has one job and one job only at this point, building Notre Dame, which means being the kind of person worth following and primarily not telling people to do things you wouldn’t do yourself.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
At this point, the verse sounds less like a Drill Seargant husband, rain dripping off the brim of his hat as he screams at his wife doing push ups so much as the role of a corporeal leader, earning respect not out of arbitrary genetics so much as being of integrity to the point that the requests and actions he takes are without reproach and worthy of a modicum of trust exceeding beyond the need to second guess or doubt 85% of the time. I mean it really sounds more like, “Don’t marry someone who hates you” which is pretty sound advice.
It’s not like holding a rope to the bit in the donkeys mouth and dragging it through a doorway, that’s forcing, whereas the somewhat charged word obedience should be better read as supportive and respectful.