Wednesday, December 4, 2013

10 Commandments for Husbands (?)

We received a publication paid for by a local church today for the first time. I paged through it and came upon a section titled 10 Commandments for Husbands. I've looked over the rest of the publication and can not seem to find the 10 Commandments for Wives. I went online to read their archives, perhaps the 10 Commandments for Wives was in a previous edition. I tease, I wasn't expecting to find it, nor did I.

So here they are, the 10 Commandments for Husbands:
1. Remember that thy wife is thy partner and not thy property.
2. Do not expect thy wife to be wife and wage earner at the same time.
3. Think not that thy business is none of thy wife's business.
4. Thou shalt hold thy wife's love by the same means that thou won it.
5. Thou shalt make the building of thy home thy first business.
6. Thou shalt cooperate with thy wife in establishing family discipline.
7. Thou shalt enter into thy house with cheerfulness.
8. Thou shalt not let anyone criticize thy wife to thy face and get away with it; neither thy father, nor thy mother, nor thy brethren, nor thy sisters, nor thy children.
9. Thou shalt be in subjection to Christ in all things so thy wife may find joy in being in subjection to you.
10. Thou shalt keep thy marriage vows with all diligence as a sacred covenant between thee, thy wife, and God.
"Husbands, love your wives." Ephesians 5:25
What do you think?

I'll only comment on the 9th commandment for now:

Thou shalt be in subjection to Christ in all things so thy wife may find joy in being in subjection to you.

While it is good that a husband be in subjection to Christ in all things, this statement is unbiblical and manipulative.

There is no need for a wife to be motivated to submit to her husband by her husband. In fact, it is essential that the only motivation be a desire to be obedient to God. In obedience and faithfulness, there will be joy.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
 And one of my most favorite verses in the Bible:
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ - Matthew 25:23
You might be thinking, but SD, I thought you enjoyed being in submission to your husband. And, indeed, I do...but not because of him. The decision to turn away from rebellion has nothing to do with can't. Since it has nothing to do with him, and there is nothing he can do to earn or lose my submission, it is ludicrous to suggest that he should do something so that I may find joy in submitting to him.

I find joy in submitting to him - period - end of sentence.

There is no "...because he does X, Y, or Z," including "...because he submits to Christ in all things."

The joy is the fruit of the Spirit. The joy is in walking in obedience to God. The joy is in turning away from rebellion. 

Now I said I'd only comment on the 9th commandment but reading it over again, something must be said about the 3rd:
Think not that thy business is none of thy wife's business.
In light of what I said above, the extent to which our Husband's submission to Christ is our business as wives, is in what we pray for. I pray for my husband a lot. It is a broad prayer that covers "whatever it is he needs to be strengthened in." I do not, however, find it any of my business what he prays for. I am not equipped to be his confidant in spiritual matters, nor his guide or teacher. He does not share with me the intimate details of his walk with Christ. In that I can say, assuredly, that his business is none of my business. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Act like a man

When we hear of a woman acting like a man, we generally picture a woman denying feminine characteristics and attempting and failing to replicate masculine characteristics that she shouldn't attempt. Vox's post at Alpha Game, Life isn't personal coupled with what I've already written in Turning the other cheek has prompted me to explore further how we, as women, can act like a man when it comes to honor, for this is a virtue that is innate within masculine men and found rarely in women though it is a virtue that should be possessed or at a minimum, replicated. How can we train out of ourselves the natural inclination to take things so personally and how can we train ourselves to respond honorably to having been wronged or behave honorably when we wrong others accidentally or out of ignorance?

Markku left this comment on a previous post on Alpha Game that further highlights our challenge:
My working theory (of women in general) is that they are by nature so insecure that whatever activity they are doing at the moment becomes the feather that breaks the camel's back - the ONE failure that would supposedly make everyone think that the weight of evidence is now that she is a failure as a human being.

Now, obviously a SUCCESS in it doesn't give them credit for one free failure in the future; next time it's again that one final feather. Because it is an emotional judgement, not a rational one. 
 Why are we so naturally insecure?

I've been struggling with a situation that happened over six months ago. It was an inappropriate and rude comment said about RLB, in our home, to our children. His response to it has been very different than mine. He saw it as an excellent learning opportunity for our children. He doesn't want to have to correct all of the wrongs in the world for them. He wants them to learn how to deal with these things by drawing on biblical truth. He felt no need to address what was said with our children or confront the individual.

I, however, have had an excruciatingly hard time letting it go.  I've had a revelation about how I must view it and I've realized I've been wrong in how I was talking about it and how I was dealing with it. And in realizing I've been wrong, and learning from it, there is a secondary issue I've been having which is what Markku had to say: this failure indicates "the weight of evidence is now that she is a failure as a human being."

I write primarily on wifely submission and the headship of husbands in marriage. When I realize I have failed at something I regularly write about and give advice about, that failure can be overwhelming. For the men: if you believe women judge others harshly, you should see what we do to our own selves in our heads.

Now, no worries, I indeed know I'm not a failure. But my brain certainly took me through that thought process for a very brief time. Which left me to again contemplate, "what is this all about?" 

RLB's reaction to the situation above illustrates a man who responds honorably to those who wrong him and his calm temperament indicates a low time preference. He is a very patient man who knows that these things all work themselves out long term. I on the other hand am prone to a high time preference and fear.

The fear, I've identified, was the chance of our children believing the words said to them. I know, if RLB had no fear of this, why should I, right? Because I wasn't properly in submission to him, nor was I honoring his headship in this situation.

I was also extremely humbled by my own daughter during one of our discussions about the situation. I asked her what her response would be should something like this happen to her. What a blessing to hear her say, "It wouldn't be up to me." RLB was right to not intervene at the time and I was wrong to let it upset me and take it personally. Though I failed in my heart on how I handled it (I did follow RLB's lead at the time and did not confront the person or say anything about it), my daughter has been paying attention and the lesson she learned was to follow her husband's lead in these situations.

I am blessed to know several women who are excellent at turning the other cheek, behaving honorably, and responding honorably when they have been wronged. One thing I've noticed they have in common is submission. That and I compare their best to my worst and probably don't know the whole story.

The revelation I had came after reading again what commenter, Res Ipsa, said to me:
A women has only two people that she is to serve, 1. her God 2. her husband. Incidentally God has proclaimed that she is to serve her husband and has made her choices clearer by doing so. Never get distracted by that. God has given you a husband, please him and God is pleased with you. Your service to your mate IS service to your God. Believing anything else is believing a lie.
I have said very similar words as these. Yet I did not apply these words to the situation I was struggling with. It was only after I prayed about the situation and in seeking the answer read these words again. (Thank you, Res, by the way).

For my situation, it has been revealed, that it does not matter what this person thinks, and in reality, it can not matter what my children think if I am to serve my husband, concern myself with pleasing him alone and know that this is how I please God.

Could it be that women can overcome their insecurity, train themselves to behave and think honorably, and develop a low time preference by properly submitting themselves to their husbands in all things?

I will be keeping this at the forefront of my mind and contemplate it the next time I am tempted to take something personally. In this I will act like a man and I will do so by submitting to my husband. As Vox said in his post:
To take everything personally, from a sporting defeat to a minor accident, is to be fundamentally unmasculine. The fact that the interests of others often run contrary to our own does not mean that they have anything to do with us personally. Don't be afraid to apologize or to accept apologies. Learn to leave the spirit of opposition on the playing field and save your wrath for the wicked, for those whose enmity is specific and personal and temporally unlimited.
It is so easy for me to know that submission to my husband is the right thing, it is written as such. What continues to be fascinating is in having the why answered for me in every day, real life examples. It should continue to humble us, ladies, how very well God knows us and gave us specific instructions, as wives, so that we may overcome any negative natural inclinations we have and live a life that pleases Him.