Wifely Submission

Dulce de Leche has a series on Wifely Submission

Part 1 Intro
Part 2 Before The Fall
Part 3 The Fall
Part 4 What God Has Joined Together
Part 5 Wives, Submit Yourselves to Your Husbands
Part 6 Spiritual Leadership
Part 7 Who Makes the Final Decision?

Also Eric Pazdziora explores The Myth of the Weaker Vessel.

Spanking Infants???

Elizabeth Esther posted about the 20/20 exposé of abuse in some IBF churches and interprets Pastor Brian Fuller’s remarks.  She explains the teaching of first time obedience  and how common the spanking of infants really in these churches. By the way, some of the comments of this blog post seem to have inside information in them.

Also, I want to make it clear that  not all Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches have abusive teachings.  I am a member of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church which does not.  The pastor often reminds us that salvation is by faith in Jesus and what He did alone and you cannot add anything to that.  He reminds us that saying a prayer or baptism or anything else will not save you, you are saved by believing that what Jesus said and did is true.  They do believe in corporal punishment but I have never heard of anyone there spanking an infant or using an implement.  While they might say that they believe in wifely submission, what I see looks more like mutual submission.   I see no signs of the patriarchal movement, most of the women in that church wear pants.  They also cut and dye their hair and nobody says a word about it.  Women work outside the home and girls are expected to go to college.  On top of that, many in  the congregation uses public schools.  So, I don’t know how extensive the abuse in IFB churches is but I believe that churches need to be considered on a church by church basis.  After all, they are independent.

The Root Problem

Dulce de Leche uncovers the root problem with the punitive mindset in her post, Authority, Submission, Control and Discipline.

Yes, the root problem is control. Now that you have seen why we should not try to control our children, Lucy explains why she cannot control her children and what that looks like in her house.

Series about Vision Forum

Sue Talbert at A Mother’s Heart Blog is writing a very interesting series called Vision Forum, Patriarchy and FLDS, Oh My!

In part 1 she explains how she came to find Vision Forum and read one of their books. She starts describing some objections to their teachings.

In Part 2 she expands on their teachings that women should not go to college or work outside the house (or from the house) and compares that to the FLDS as well as the taliban.

In Part 3 she discusses Bill Gothard and his teachings and how they relate to Vision Forum.

In Part 4 she begins to analyze problems with their teachings. She starts with Clothing / Modesty.

In Part 5 she discusses Reproduction / Quiverfull and the fact that they discourage adoption.

In part 6 she takes a look at their Politics and how they are working to create an Army For God. She also mentions child rearing, perfect obedience of children and wives and the Pearls’ teachings.

In Part 7, She explains Patriarchy and their teachings on Marriage and Wife Only Submission.

In Part 8 she concludes her series by looking at whether the group is Christian or heretical, what draws people to join such a group and her reason for writing the series.

My Thoughts on Submission

Ever since my good friend, GreenGem, posted her Thoughts On Leadership I have been pondering my own thoughts on submission. When someone actually emailed me to ask me whether I believed in Wife Only Submission (WOS) or Mutual Submission (MS) I pondered even harder.  Now I am feeling led to solidify my thoughts.

MS starts with Eph 5:21 which says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”  WOS starts with Eph 5:22-24 which says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.” (Note that the words in brackets are not in the original Greek but were added by the translators.) Crystal Lutton has very good explanations of what the word, “submit” means, and what the word, “head” means.  You might also  want to read this explanation for more information.  I’m very thankful for theses explanations because I knew that I did not agree with the patriarchy explanation which leads to so much abuse. I have seen many healthy marriages which claim to believe in WOS yet they are really following MS. This is not to say that a WOS marriage cannot be healthy, I just have not met any.

Now, I’d like to note that both those verses are followed by Eph 5:25 which says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”  It occurs to me that I have never seen anyone teaching Husband Only Love (HOL.)  It seems obvious to everyone that the wife is still supposed to love her husband.  The fact that this passage tells the man to love  his wife and does not tell the woman to love her husband seems to suggest  if the man is loving his wife, she will naturally love him in return.  So, maybe if the wife is submitting to her husband’s will while he is loving her, his natural reaction is to want to please her and so will naturally submit his will to what she wants.  So, as they love each other and submit to each other, they work together to try to meet each other’s needs.  Which is exactly how I understand MS.

Note, someone commented below that the Bible says that women should love their husbands in Titus 2:4.  I would like to point out that while Eph 5:25 uses the word agape (perfect and sacrificial love), Titus 2:4 uses a variation of phileo (brotherly/family love).  Also, the Bible teaches in many places that we should love everyone.