Thursday, May 28, 2015

Doing the Religion Thing Again

I got an email from a great guy. I looked back in my inbox and realized we've spoken to one another as far back as 2012. Back then he had hoped his wife would accept his submission. She loved him doing chores but accepting him as her submissive was something that made her uncomfortable and so she never did.  Just recently I received another email and the real crux of her issue was revealed. She didn't know how to mesh Scripture with female dominance or male submission. He asked me for perspective - which I am by no means a guru in Scriptural knowledge and insight.  Nevertheless I'm going to take a stab at this topic again.

Here's where everyone gets hung up.... On Ephesions 5:22-23. It reads as follows:
22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church

OK, so there you have it. Case closed. Crime solved. Book finished. Race won. Right? Well let's consider one more thing.... context, context, context.

Here is the full passage. As you read it, look who is being told again and again to love her to the point of dying (sounds like submission), to respect, to lift her up (sounds like submission to me). Read in vs 31 who leaves who. Who goes to who? (hmmmm). And then read the very end..... who loves? who is told to respect? In verse 27 who is doing the work of making sure the other is cast in a positive light? (again, sounds like submission to me)

OK, I'll let you read.

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”c 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.


So that's the New Testament version of who leads, who follows.  In the old testament there is also a verse that his pulled out and shoved into the face of women. It's in Genesis where God first creates Adam and then says 'I'm going to make you a helper".... often interpreted as a lesser being. At least that's how I was taught and I bet you were too if you went to church.  The word helper in Hebrew is EZER. You can do a google search and explore it further if you wish.  I found 21 uses of the word in the Bible and listed them below, capitalizing the word HELPER or HELP (which is EZER in Hebrew). Please note in almost every situation who is helping who. It's God helping us. God helping Israel. God coming to the aid. God coming to the rescue.  So the question that needs to be answered is this: If God is HELPING (Ezer) isn't he the more powerful one? If so, then how does one reconcile Genesis 2: 18 and 2:20 where women are coming to HELP man?

Pardon the old English. I cut and pasted from a website. Again, I'll let you read.

Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an  HELP meet   for him.

Gen 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an  HELP meet  for him.

Exo 18:4 And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine  HELP,  and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:

Deu 33:7 And this is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people: let his hands be sufficient for him; and be thou an  HELP  to him from his enemies.

Deu 33:26 There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy  HELP, and in his excellency on the sky.

Deu 33:29 Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy  HELP,  and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

Psa 20:2 Send thee  HELP  from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;

Psa 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our  HELP  and our shield.

Psa 70:5 But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my  HELP and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.

Psa 89:19 Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid  HELP upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.

Psa 115:9 O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their  HELP and their shield.

Psa 115:10 O house o  Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their  HELP   and their shield.

Psa 115:11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their  HELP   and their shield.

Psa 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my  HELP. 

Psa 121:2 My  HELP cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

Psa 124:8 Our  HELP is the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Psa 146:5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his  HELP, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Isa 30:5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an HELP nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

Eze 12:14 And I will scatter toward every wind all that are about him to HELP him, and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them.

Dan 11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little HELP:   but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.


 Hos 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine HELP.

Personal note:
I grew up having a belief in God. I still do. I believe there is a heaven and a hell. I believe there is a spiritual world we cannot see but exists. I believe in God.I believe there is a devil. I believe in the Bible.  So, as a man that suddenly came to see myself as a submissive I needed to reconcile whether or not I could live as a submissive and still follow scripture.  I believe I can. I believe I can because there are 19 instances in which Ezer is the bigger,stronger, wiser dude helping the littlier, smaller, wimpy one. If that's the case then it sure seems like the woman God created to EZER Adam must also be of similar salt. She must be his equal and nothing less. And then if you look at the full context of the Ephesians passage and don't get caught up on the single verse you begin to see trends that need to be considered.  Further, one needs to understand that back in that world where swords and death were so common that it really was a 'might makes right' way of life.  Sounds like a bit of Isis world to me.  Women, because they are physically weaker had to rely on the strength of a man to sustain them. Yet God tells the strong brute to love her, respect her, to even die for her (that's the parallel of man loving his wife like Christ loved the church).  Man was told to leave home and GO to her (not she to him) and marry. There is much material for those women that are on the same fence I was to see how LOVING female dominance can have it's place within Christianity.  That's the conclusion I've come to and as a result I feel quite content living to please and love my Katie in the way I do and trust her to make decisions regarding sex, money, time and life on our/my behalf.  How am I not loving her by giving up the selfish part of me for her to decide, lead, and direct? Is that not love?

I'm Hers

10 comments:

  1. You are totally good my friend, at least as far as my opinion being similar to yours. At the end of the day (and at the end of each of our lives), we are judged by those who matter most by our actions and our individual demonstrations of our love and devotion. None od those demonstrations of love and devotion are measured against a particular societal interpretation of "normal". In the absence of there being obvious, intentional and overt evil acts and deeds, the individual expression of our love and devotion is acceptable in the eyes of God. For guys like you and I my friends, those acts of love and devotion are different that what society deems normal. That being said, I feel pretty damn certain that the type and depth of love and devotion each of us has for our wives is the exception and not the rule in the very same society that may judge us otherwise.

    Stay well my friend and stay in touch. We all love hearing from you out here.

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  2. SH,
    I'm really not gone. I'm just taking a little break. Katie's got me doing some work around the house-installing a new attic fan, putting in a few more electrical outlets, working in the gardens-all of which keep me busy. And then of course I just make matters worse. The other day I decided to sink a shovel deep into the earth and completely sever our TV/Internet cable! Thing is, I even knew it was there and I still put the shovel in the ground. You take care, I'll keep writing, probably just not as frequently for the next month or so.
    Oh, and I do agree with your comment. In the end it's not about what we think but about how we will be judged by powers infinitely greater than our pea sized brains.

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  3. As a fellow believer, I say, "well-spoken."

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  4. IH,
    You had good references and I believe the right interpretation. Christ said, The Son of man came not to be served but, to serve.
    I believe with good careful study it is easy to come to the conclusion that we should serve our wives and place them above ourselves.

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    1. Another great verse to consider. Thanks!

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  5. Thanks for writing on that very important topic, IH. My wife is definitely more qualified for the role of valiant protector than simply being the traditional 'helpmeet' we used to relegate wives to being. Donna inspires me and provides wisdom, strength, loving guidance, beauty and security to my world.
    God knew what He was doing when he created Woman.

    Here's an article that draws similar conclusions to yours: http://drwalterbramson.com/what-is-an-azer/

    Take care, and give my regards to the wonderful Mistress Katie.

    Scott

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    1. Scott,
      Thanks for sending me that link. I hadn't responded because I wanted to read it first. I loved what this man had to say! thank you.

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  6. I think so many husbands should read this. And I agree with it. Thank you. J

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    1. J, thanks for your comment and for taking the time to post.
      I'm surprised that you said husband should read this. The usual word on the street is how apprehensive women are. They seem to be the ones that don't want to take the plunge into a submissive relationship with a dominant woman, although maybe in your case it's different. I guess I haven't thought of it that way

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