" As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. " (Ephesians 5:24)
This is quite interesting, and it is left wide open for interpretation. When it is said that the woman should "submit ... in everything" how far is that truly suppose to entail?
-- Does that mean that every time a discussion arises that the woman should close communication and merely say "Name thy will, husband?" (I am assuming no to this.)
-- Does it mean that after a couple has discussed matters that it should be expected that all final decissions are the husband's ultimate responsability?
-- Does it mean that when an arguement breaks out that the husband is the automatic victor, fully equipt with a God-sanctioned veto button: "Submit!" ? (Yet again, I am fairly certain that is not the point and I will get to that.)
-- Does it mean that by not sharing what is going on in life with a woman can escape said submittance through the omission of details? (Possibly, but this would require conscious disobediance to God, I suppose?)
-- Does it perhaps mean that in every decission she makes, ideally she would bring it to her husband in discussion as we bring our hopes and fears to the Lord through prayer? ("Should I dye my hair?", "What should we have for dinner?", "Should I wear the red dress or the green dress?") My point in this one is How Far is the "in everything" to be carried in order to be living this desire of God's correctly?
Many modern women look at this whole issue and just go "No way! Ancient garbage meant to subjugate ancient women who were viewed as little more (if anything) then property. That has no place in my life. " And yet (at least for me) I know that if something is wrong between me and someone I love I do not get stuff done as well. I asked a few other female friends about this and several of them agreed. Guys I asked, on the other hand, indicated that while something might trouble them that they tend to look for something to do as a way to deal with that. The (potentially -- I realize no two people are the same so this undoubtedly does not include every woman or exclude any man) natural depth of compassion and emotional connection that woman have for their loved ones, and the (sometimes bordering on destructive) need to care for others, even above themselves, makes this make sense. It is not that a woman is to "submit" because she is lesser, but rather because of the two sexes, she seems to be the one that God created with a natural capacity and capability to do this.
Now don't worry, ladies... Men do not get off the hook with nothing either. Lets see...
" 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body. " (Ephesians 5:25 - 30)
It would appear that men are to love and protect their wives. They are not to bully or lord over them (can anyone else recall Jesus doing this? I certainly can't.) Nor are they suppose to abused their God-entrusted role of leadership. They would seem to be well served by discussing things with their wives (Jesus spoke to many people. I realize that Jesus was also always right. Yet a man cannot always be right and I would assume the intended discussion between man and wife should be to reach a wise decission that can then be carried out in the fashion most desireable to God.) A person who loves someone is also going to consider both that person's needs, hopes and desires as well as their own. Using this logic it can be assumed that the Lord is not asking women to abandon all hopes, dreams and individuality.
Lastly, an interesting consideration in these modern times is how this connection between man and woman, husband and wife, should be handled during the dating period. People are marrying later and later in life and they are growing accustomed to living life on their own terms. As couples enter (for example) engagement and move toward marriage, do you feel that they should begin to work at encorperating this biblical principle into their relationship so that it comes more naturally? I am certainly not suggesting a woman should -ever- submit to a man in any way that would endanger her relationship with God prior to marriage. (This clearly excuses the idea that she should submit in any manner that is acceptable outside of marriage.)
Rather, if they are debating about what movie to see should the man make the final decission? If they are going to dinner should she inquire about what would be acceptable to order? (Or yet again should she grant him the ultimate decission on the restaurant?), when they are planning the wedding should she forego the traditional ideaologies of a bride and maid of honour and possibly mother of the bride making major decissions to instead consult, and grant ultimate say, to the groom on all decissions?
"Everything" is a lot. It is a big broad sweep of a paintbrush in whatever hue you choose, leaving no spot of the canvas uncovered. If we are to follow God's Word on this matter, especially in our modern world with its ideas of "feminism" then it would seem to me that we must intend to follow it before marriage, in and of itself, ever becomes a likelyhood, let alone an issue. On the same token, it would then be the man's responsability to have a good enough connection with the woman to think for Both of them? It is not so much about him getting his own way, but rather about her willingly giving up final say so that he is able to speak for both as a unified front that, ideally, represents accurately each person's wishes as best as he can?
So, what are your feelings on this matter? Is there an aspect of it that I am misunderstanding? Thank you for your time and consideration. I am not trying to weasel my way out of it. Rather, I want to make sure that my comprehension of it allows me to observe it fully and correctly when and if I ever get married. .