Thursday, December 20, 2007

More on Love and Respect

Susan sent me a comment and I wanted to share it, to flesh out the discussion. Thanks for the added thoughts Susan!

Ephesians 5:21 (New International Version)
21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

This is great wisdom and something that is not understood by most Christians, never mind the rest of the world.

The preceding verse to the one you quoted is key for me. It says, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ". Then Paul goes on to talk about submitting in the marriage relationship specifically. As you well know, I am not a theologian or a student in New Testament Greek, but what has come to make sense to me is that Paul is telling us always to be prayerfully willing to submit to each other. But in the marriage situation, when we are submitting, or deciding to submit, wives should keep these things in mind (respecting her husband) and husbands keep these things in mind (loving his wife).

I think it is the right thing to do for a husband to submit to his wife and to her leadership gift sometimes too, when he recognizes God is speaking through her.

If each person is ready to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ and the wife is remembering to respect her husband and his gift of leadership while the husband is remembering to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, well, that is the best possible relationship on this earth as far as I can see.


OH Mom said...

These two blogs touch on such an important issue, I think. It's a lifelong challenge, learning HOW to respect, honor and submit. And we are bombarded with messages that discount such behaviors. But with Christ all things are possible.

We can learn to stop rolling our eyes at another person's suggestions. We can learn not to always correct and improve on what someone else has done, when it doesn't really make that much difference. We can learn new ways to say things that need to be said so that our words and tone are more upbuilding.

Great reading! Thanks for the reminder, especially as we go into holiday and family gatherings where it's easy to fall into old ways of relating!

A Merry Christmas to all of you!


Belinda said...

Marilyn! What a wonderful surprise to see you "pop up" here and to see your lovely smiling face.

You were such a part of Whatever He Says getting started--such an encouragement and such a good teacher.

Now we have three regular writers on WHS (me, Susan and Ellen) and two frequent contributers (Angela and Wendy).

God bless you this Christmas! Thank you for your wisdom--on writing and relationships.

Dave Hingsburger said...

I think that it needs to be acknowledged that verses like these in the Bible have been used as a way of legitimizing the oppression and repression of women. I think it is encouraging that you and Susan have tried to put them into a larger context and that you've tried to find a way of relating to these verses. I've heard various biblical verses used in hateful ways to endorse or encourage racism, sexism and disphobia ... along with other social ills. I think that it's important to remember the 'character' of God when reading the Bible - knowing a loving father wouldn't, couldn't mean silencing his daughters requires that one think more deeply and ask questions about the intent of the words instead of just their meaning. If that makes sense.

Belinda said...

"I think that it's important to remember the 'character' of God when reading the Bible -"

I agree my friend. The Bible has been used to justify all manner of evil, while the hard to apply messages of forgiving our enemies and sharing what we have with the poor are conveniently forgotten--and I point my finger at no-one but myself.

Although I am far from being there, I want to live my faith with integrity. That's why I wrestled to understand what the verses on submission meant. Respecting and honouring each other is in keeping with the character of God I think.

Dave Hingsburger said...

I agree 'respecting and honouring each other is in keeping with the character of God' ... reading the Bible with 'God's' character (not our own) in mind allows us to think about what we read in a different way.

By the way, can you help me out with the post from the other day ... where is it in the bible about giving anonymously - not in public view but privately ... I know it's there!

Belinda said...

Hi Dave,
The passage is in Matthew 6:1-2
Matthew 6:1-2 (New International Version)
6Giving to the Needy
1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.