Here we go again. Ask Roger has taken on the question of who is the boss of the house. And he has done so with that too familiar “lets clear the air” tone that men take when they write something ostensibly tom men but tailor it to the women who will read it.
Its shameful that this is THE standard Christian narrative about Ephesians marriage, and that the false dichotomy of tyrant versus servant has to be created each and every time.
Husbands are to lead with love, humility, unselfishness—not with power, authority and “divine right.”
Anyone provoked? Anyone challenged by the gutsy proclamation above? Anyone wiping brow thinking “whew, how its all sorted, I was just never able to GET that“?
Roger even frames the bigger picture with a female friendly filter saying:
The primary Biblical purpose regarding marriage is companionship
Is this correct? Or a better question, is this complete? God could have created a male companion. In fact gay marriage can easily fit within the narrative that the primary purpose of marriage is companionship.
I am not plowing any new ground suggesting that sex must be acknowledged when discussing the purpose of marriage, even to the predictable reaction asking the question about the hypothetical woman or man who due to age or health can no longer have sex. That is again constructing a false dichotomy, a straw man extraordinaire.
Roger reveals much when he says
The operative directive to husbands is that they love their wives like Jesus loves the church and lays down His life for the church.
This after removing submission as potentially operative by using the false dichotomy of tyranny versus service. He elaborates in a manner that would make Joel and Kathy proud,
I often think of the husband as being like the sun and the wife being like the moon. The sun gives off the light and the moon reflects it back. Whatever the husband gives to his wife she often reflects right back to him. Show me a husband who is pouring anger, resentment, disapproval, disappointment and hurt into his marriage and I will show you a wife who is soon reflecting anger, resentment, disapproval, disappointment and hurt right back to her husband.
On the other hand, show me a husband who is pouring in love, acceptance, forgiveness, approval and compassion and I will show you a wife who is soon reflecting love, acceptance, forgiveness, approval and compassion right back to her husband.
I have looked for conditionality in the Ephesians ordered marriage. I have never found it. What I have found is the contradictory language of pastors who at once claim no conditionality when speaking in general terms, then laying it on thick when they get to the specifics.
By the way, remember how wives are to respect their husbands? Respect is a big deal for men. Unfortunately, respect does not come automatically. Respect is cultivated over time by the husband’s careful loving and caring for the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of his wife
No qualifiers, no conditions. No mention of her proclivity for exploitation based on needs versus wants confused by primacy of emotion. Unfortunately respect is just not very easy for snowflake. He has to earn that. The wife is placed in a position over her husband as she measures his performance versus her (often fickle) criteria and empowered to act, or in this case not act, if she is left unsatisfied.
On the same site, a post on the same page called The Fifty Fifty Conundrum appears. While I find these little word games annoying and pointless (50/50 vs 100/100) because people mean the same thing when they employ either of these, the details of the article explain how it IS unconditional that each party give to the marriage. How does that work when her role is conditional on her approval of his efforts?
This is problematic, yet ubiquitous. The church teaches these two things simultaneously and sees no incompatibility between them. Its almost as if the church is a woman saying whatever she feels at the moment as if it is equally valid to the exact opposite thing she felt moments before. Its double minded period.
I tried to explain. “The fifty-fifty rule means somebody is always giving up something. It seeds resentment and discontent. At the least, husbands and wives will keep score. The husband thinks that since he sat through that boring romance movie, she should go with him to the monster truck rally. The wife thinks that because she spent the whole day cleaning the house, he should take her out to dinner.”
Hmmm. So, the husband is taught that IF he
is pouring in love, acceptance, forgiveness, approval and compassion [as above]
the wife will be
reflecting love, acceptance, forgiveness, approval and compassion right back to her husband.
And this is 100/100 exactly HOW?
How can these people be taken seriously by linear thinkers?
Finally, in yet another display of whatever it takes thinking a woman writes “Be Subject to One Another” in which she claims,
I have seen many controversial sermons, messages, and articles tackle the role of wives in Ephesians chapter 5. But you know what I have not heard as much about?
- Husband: guide your wife so faithfully and righteously that you keep her holy and blameless- never lead her into a bad or dangerous situation.
- Husband, nourish and cherish your wife (mind, body, spirit) with all the care and caution of self-preservation. You would do anything to keep yourself alive, well, satisfied, and happy. Do that for her as though her body (mind, spirit) was your own.
- Husband, love her just like Christ loves the Church. Really. Like he ministered to her. Suffered and died for her. Pursues her every day to make her love him like he loves her.
O this I can only repeat one of today’s popular humorous exclamations……”.really?”.
I know you’ve read all this before. That’s my point in calling it repetition posing as wisdom.
Is it any wonder the state of things?