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December 16, 2004

Comments

NancyP

The UK men's rights quotes above are in conflict with US figures which show that custodial-parent women take a much larger financial hit after divorce, while non-custodial-parent men take a temporary small hit and recoup quickly.

Hugo

Yes, I should make it clear that I am not defending the stats used by these UK fellas -- merely that I wanted to note their overall hostility towards marriage.

John

I've been to several PK events, and have a lot of time for them in general. To many man, particularly ethnic minorities, but also Pakeha men, they have been a God-send.

zuzu

The problem I have with the Promise Keepers is their man-is-head-of-the-family philosophy. It's great that they're encouraging men to fulfill their responsibilities, but I'd prefer that they ask the men to be equal partners, not lord and master.

John

It's not Lord and Master at all. Love does not lord it over another, and PK puts (in fact more) emphasis on the next verse: "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ loved the Church, giving Himself up for her". Headship is balanced with love and the mutual submission also commanded by God. "The husband is not the master of his own body, but the wife, and the wife is not the master of her own body but the husband. Submit yourselves one to another". Not popular, but in my opinion, Theologically justified, and quite beautiful.

zuzu

As you can probably tell, I have issues with the idea of submission, mutual or otherwise. Shared commitment, shared dedication, pursuit of a common goal, yes. Submission, no.

IT

Yeah, but back to the first part of the post: Denise Denton. Great news! I heard denton talk recently in LA and she is really a powerful speaker. She was talking about recruiting women in STEM (sci, tech, Engg, Math) and pointing out that if universities are motivated, they can recruit whoever they want and get the best women possible....but they have to want to do what it takes and not be snooty on their high horses. Shoulda seen the male administrators squirm at that one, since maintaining the status quo is the speciality of the university.

that's why we need more women with tenure, to get in there and shake them up!

and good for UCSC and for Hugo for the "by the way" on her sexuality. And good for her not to be pushed into the closet and to succeed anyway.

Yeah!

IT

Oops, posted this in the wrong thread. Too many windows open at once.... My bad.

John

There's nothing wrong with submission per se, when it is dictated by love. I submit to God because I love Him. Submission isn't about making yourself less, but being more truly yourself in partnership with someone else. It's a form of radical giving and total love, on both sides.

Amanda

Submission between people is wrong in my book. But luckily, I am free to choose relationships with men who agree with me. Yea, freedom!

That said, unlike the men's rights people, I do find that the PK men generally mean well. But many of them are blinded to the harm it does to the women in their lives to ask for this submission, being taught by the Promise Keepers that submission is beneficial for women. They would do better to ask their wives what they need instead of go ask other men what their wives need.

swan

Amanda, what's wrong with being responsive to each other's needs, doing what's good for the relationship instead of only looking out for yourself, showing each other respect, stressing the positive virtues of the other (instead of blaming and critizing), being committed to the relationship, meeting each other's needs instead of being selfish? - Because that's basically what it means to be submissive to each other.

Amanda

Read the Bible, swan. Men are to be submissive to the Lord, and women to their husband. It's pretty clear--there is no language about men submitting to women. Yes, there is language about respecting and loving your wife, but that's not submission. If the authors of the Bible intended men and women to be equals in marriage, don't you think they would have spelled that out clearly? I do.

mythago

There's nothing wrong with submission per se, when it is dictated by love

Then it's perfectly OK if the husband chooses to submit to the wife and she takes leadership of the family, yes?

Submitting to God is one thing. I mean, um, God. Duh. Submitting to my husband? Ridiculous. I wouldn't expect him to submit to me, either. Mutual dependence, loyalty and consideration is not "submission" of the sort PK is talking about.

(I am always tempted to get my husband one of those T-shirts that says "My Wife Thinks I'm At Promise Keepers.")

Hugo

Well, Amanda, it depends on how you read Ephesians 5:21.  Like most progressives, I think it does mean that men are to submit to their wives.   See also 1 Corinthians 7:4.  Paul is tough, of course, and proof-texting is a bad habit!

zuzu

Mind you, the whole thing falls apart when you either don't believe in a God to submit to, or you reject the Bible as the product of a certain place and time which is no longer in existence.

Amanda, what's wrong with being responsive to each other's needs, doing what's good for the relationship instead of only looking out for yourself, showing each other respect, stressing the positive virtues of the other (instead of blaming and critizing), being committed to the relationship, meeting each other's needs instead of being selfish? - Because that's basically what it means to be submissive to each other.

Up until that last sentence, I would agree with you. There's nothing with valuing the relationship more than yourselves, particularly when you've created a family together. But submit? Submit? You gotta be kidding.

I mean, it's easy enough to fall into sex roles even outside of marriage -- hell, back when I had a secretary and shared her with a man, somehow it fell upon me to do the social stuff and buy her gifts for Secretary's Day (which she accepted with good grace, given that she was a Jehovah's Witness and didn't do holidays, but it was expected at the firm). And it was disturbingly seamless.

But I've also had someone try to make me submit to him; at first I thought he was kidding, but when I realized he was serious, that this was how he expected me to live, I left him. It's one thing to kind of fall into a societally-prescribed role, quite another to actively submit.

swan

At first I had the same reaction as some of you have. I didn't like what I thought submission meant. But then I took a closer look.

I would argue that everything up to the last sentence in my previous post is a description of what submission is, so if you agree with everything except the last sentence, then you agree with what I understand to be a biblical view of submission.

I want to make it clear that submission doesn't mean that you let the other person control you. This is very important. And yes, I did read the Bible. The Bible and a couple of Christian books about relationships that helped me in getting an understanding about this issue.

The Birdwoman

I can't back this up at all, but I seem to recall some statistics (for the UK, IIRC) that suggested that single women have, on average, the best mental health, followed by married men, married women, and single men. Which implies that (from a mental health perspective) being married is better for men, but being single is better for women.

Of course, you always have to remember that correlation doesn't imply causation!

mythago

I would argue that everything up to the last sentence in my previous post is a description of what submission is

But you are arguing for mutual submission. Not some kind of hierarchical setup where, a la the Lowells and the Cabots, the wife submits to God and her husband but the husband submits only to God.

Amanda

I would suggest that we not forget that only women vow to "obey" in most wedding ceremonies.

zuzu

I can say I've never heard "obey" in any wedding I've gone to, even the Catholic ones (and since marriage is a sacrament, you can't just go writing your own vows). Things may be different among Southern Baptists, since they've adopted the wife submitting to the servant leadership of the husband thing as an official position.

Swan

Who are the Lowells and the Cabots?

Lynn Gazis-Sax

I've also never attended a wedding where the woman alone vowed to obey (though I've heard of it), and it's not in any current liturgy that I've read. Maybe Amanda's perception is different because she's been to a bunch of rural Texas Southern Baptist weddings? It's certainly not the norm in New York or California.

Swan, the Lowells and Cabots are a reference to an old rhyme about Boston:

And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God

Just a thought from a newbie?

This is from the bible. Try to argue around it all you want. It still won't change what it reads.

Genesis 3:16-17 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened (obeyed) unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.


1 Timothy 2:11-14 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not (do not allow) a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Let your women keep silence (to hold their peace) in the churches: for it is not permitted (given liberty) unto them to speak (preach, speak); but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

You can believe what ever you choose to believe. Just because you are troubled about what the Bible says does not mean you can just re-interpret the message to feel better about yourself. Personally if you are troubled about anything the Bible says you are misunderstanding it. God did not say these things to create chaos in the world but to do just the opposite. The more society strays away from the real meaning just to feel better or so they don't hurt anyones feelings the more society loses it's moral fabric. The Bible was not written to give man dominance over women. If you research the historical role of women they have been given a great gift. Women are our mother's and our grandmother's. Women are are daughter's and our sister's. They give life and they nurture the world. That to me is a lot of power in that respect. It is stated in the Bible that man and woman are "Spiritual Equals".

"Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity." (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

A woman in this world clearly has an important role and is to be treated with total respect. Jesus clearly defined how important a woman is and how much they should be cherished. Also a man has his roles to perform.

Goal #1: To pass on a living relationship with the Lord God (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Jeremiah 9:24; Philippians 3:8-10).

Goal #2: To help your children know the joy of obedience and the value of character (Genesis 18:19; Philippians 2:19-22).

Goal #3: To see your children trained for life, i.e. skills for getting along in the world (Proverbs 22:29).

Goal #4: To prepare your children for marriage.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5:25-33).


Anyone who uses the Bible as a control tool over a woman is an evil person. I have met many husbands who will quote Bible verses to their spouse in an argument to say that the husband has dominance over his wife. What a horrible thing. In my opinion this would only lead a woman away from God because she would think she was just and inferior sex toy at her husband's control. I also feel that this kind of control has been going on for centuries and with today's liberal ideas has lead to modern Feminism. Clearly everyone needs to wake up and see things for what they are. Just a thought. Does anyone care to debate? BTW....I am a conservative if you have noticed. But I am more moderate and I do have an open mind. Not all of us are right-wing nut jobs.

Amanda

See, newbie pretty much made my point for me. The original wedding vows only have "obey" for women, but since the rise of feminism, some people have struck the word and some add it for men. But traditionally it's there only for women.

zuzu

You can believe what ever you choose to believe. Just because you are troubled about what the Bible says does not mean you can just re-interpret the message to feel better about yourself.

Of course, one can also reject the Bible out of hand as a work of fiction. No muss, no fuss, no re-interpretation necessary.

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