Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Lie of Easy Submission

The other day I heard a message about the husbands and wives passage of Ephesians 5:21-33. After emphasizing the sacrificial nature of the love a husband is to show his wife, the comment was made, "Now what woman wouldn't willingly submit to such a husband?" Although this wasn't the first time I had heard this claim, this day as I thought about it in depth, I came to the conclusion that this statement is not true for several reasons:

It Minimizes the Effect of the Fall and the Curse
As a result of the Fall, we all have sinful natures. Even as redeemed sons of God, our hearts are still corrupt and we are blind to our own failings. It is not fair to tell a women that she would find it easy to submit to a godly man. We all struggle with obedience and this is no less true in the area of submission. In addition to the general sinfulness of our hearts, this is an area that is specifically addressed in the curse to Eve. It is part of the curse that the woman does not want to submit to her husband, but rather desires to be over him. It is wrong to say that, if she only had a sacrificial, loving husband, she would no longer feel the effect of the curse. Besides, is not Christ the perfect, sacrificial, loving husband? Therefore, why does His bride, the Church, have such a hard time submitting to Him? The reason is simple: submission goes against our sinful nature and this is magnified as a result of the curse to the woman.

It Ignores the Order of the Passage
Did you ever notice that when Ephesians talks about family relations, it does not do so in a predictable order? One might expect the passage to first address husbands, then wives, then children, and then servants. Also, if it were true that wives would find it easy to submit to loving husbands if only the men would get their act together, then we might also expect the passage to address the husbands first. But it doesn't. God address the wives first.

It Contradicts Our Experience
In talking about this with my wife, she said--with a twinkle in her eye--"I sometimes find it hard to be submissive to you, and you're a perfect husband!" :-) But for those who might discount this evidence, I'll add the testimony of Elisabeth Elliott. My wife tells me that Elisabeth writes about all three of her husbands (having been widowed twice) as being extremely godly men; however she still had difficulty at times submitting to all three of them!



At June 12, 2007 11:01 AM , Blogger Ray said...

Hello Terry, Good to read about another aspiring agrarian in Pa. We are in Shippensburg. Please visit if you are ever in the area. we have a small reformed church of like minded people. You would enjoy your visit! Please let me know how to send you contact info. I'm not sure if this blogging gets you my email.

At June 12, 2007 1:38 PM , Blogger tc said...


Thanks for stopping by! Shippensburg is not too far away. My contact info is given in the right hand column of my blog page. It's a graphic instead of text to fool the spam spiders. I hope to hear from you.



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