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Although males and females are equal in relationship to Christ, the Scriptures give specific roles to each in marriage. The husband is to assume leadership in the home (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesian...
Christian aren't in agreement about whether or not female submission to husbands as described in passages like Ephesians 5:22-32 is a permanent, moral standard or a temporary practical judgement call for the first century church. Without taking a position, l'm going to look at some of the evidence and arguments used. One of the stronger passages for the submission view is Colossians 3:18-19: "Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them" (HCSB). Briefly afterwards, Paul instructs slaves to obey masters, so some suggest that just like slavery was not good but it was better for slaves to obey their masters for a time, it was better for woman to obey husbands for a while. Some translations say 'servant' rather than 'slave';the Roman slavery may have been oppressive but it probable wasn't as bad as the type of slavery in the American South that many think of when the here the word slave. It should also be looked at here that James 5 has a nasty description of the rich: "Come now, you rich people! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you. Your wealth is ruined and your clothes are moth-eaten, etc" (HCSB). Nobody would argue that all rich Christians are the type of evil oppressors described here: the passage is about the specific rich people in Jame's day. With this in mind, it might or might not be that just as what James 5 says doesn't apply to all rich people, some of the things the Bible says about woman doesn't apply to all woman. Another thing to be considered is the argument that both spouses are supposed to submit equally to each other, even though often only women are mentioned is some passages. While the Bible does instruct Christians to submit to each other in Ephesians 5:21, still there may or may not be a mandate for male authority even though there would be a general sense in which both submit to each other. If a were arguing for submission, I'd probably argue that parents have authority over children even though they still submit to each other in a general sense. The New Testament does seem to emphasize the submission in the case of the female rather than the male, so possibly both are supposed to submit to each other but the woman has a greater submission role than the man. If I wanted to argue for the equality viewpoint, I'd argue from the several passages that instruct husbands to love their wives but don't instruct wives to love husbands. Possibly just as both the man and the woman are supposed to love each other even though only the man is mentioned, both are supposed to submit to each other even though only the woman is mentioned. And then there's Galatians 3:28 to muddy things even more: "There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (HCSB). That would seam to undermine female submission, although some say it just means that man and women are of equal value. So in conclusion, this is a complicated issue and the important thing is for Christians on both sides to love and respect one another. Thanks for reading.
When my wife and I were first married she knew that my family loved to argue things. She told me we were not going to do that. It has served us well over the years. Our own kids tell us that they thought our married life was normal until they saw how others lived. When two people love each other and have a love for God it does wonders. Our children rise up and call her blessed. She and I have great respect for each other. Life has not been easy for either one of us, but God in His mercy has used the hardship of life to make us grow closer to each other and to our God. At 74 years old my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world both inwardly and outwardly. I wish I was half as good. If you asked me what makes a good marriage I would have to say it is overlooking the faults of your mate and loving them the way Jesus loves us. One other thing I think helps is to remember what drew you to that person in the first place and never forget it. And most of all there are very few hard and fast rules. It is the grace of God through Christ that makes us love Him so much and it flows in us and through us in our marriage. Legalism always kills grace.
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