Post Number: 548
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 10:32 am: || |
First of all, there are many new people since I have been on here so I just want to say hello and I'm so glad to see this group growing!
I was wondering if you all would be willing to share your thoughts with me, or to work on a list with me. What does submitting to Christ look like for the *corporate church*? Would you include worship as submitting to Him?
Just curious. I have been reading in Ephesians a lot lately and have been staring at 5:24 this morning,
"Now as *the church* submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands."
For me, that has meant living under the leadership of my husband. This morning, I am wondering if it goes deeper than that. I am wondering if it also means living *intentionally* to please him and honor him (I'm not talking about worship). I do respect him a great deal, and I love him very much, but I am not sure if I am intentional about giving him that honor every day. I am just wondering if that is a part of the command for wives, or perhaps just a nice idea...?
I know this is a passage that is brushed over in Adventism and set in the "cultural difference" box to take the power of the command from the word of God, but I believe it is for us today as well. So I am approaching it from that belief.
What are your thoughts?
Post Number: 74
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 11:09 am: || |
As for me, I have no thoughts on the "corporate church" I'm not sure what that even means, the corporeal church body, or a business too big for its britches?
But about intentionally pleasing, I think we're all commanded to go the extra mile even for our enemies:
Mat 5:41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
And we should all strive to be servants:
Mat 23:11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.
As for Ephesians 5:24, I believe it means Christ has the final say over the church, anything the church wants that is contrary to Christ Jesus, the church should submit to the will of God in such matters. And the husband has the final say over what the wife wants.
But then it goes on to talk about love in Ephesians 5:25, this is a partnership, King Jesus takes care of even the smallest desires of the heart for those who delight in Him, likewise out of love the husband should do this to the wife.
So I believe it really is describing a hierarchy of servitude under the Servant King, where all should be servants and motivated out of love. But as in cases where people aren't on the same page or are unequally yoked, we're all still individually commanded to be this way, loving servants.
But I also do believe that it means the husband is the final authority, and can "pull rank", but should only do so in cases where he believes doing so will ensure that Christ Jesus or His Teachings are the priority. I agree this is not a cultural difference, God instituted a Patriarchy, and husbands are the spiritual leaders of their home and spiritually responsible for his home, they cannot abdicate this authority even if they wanted to, because we are under a spiritual law that governs the way of things every bit as much as gravitation in physical law.
Post Number: 549
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 12:23 pm: || |
What I mean by the corporate church is the body of Christ. The way we as a unit are commanded to submit to Christ. I just wondered why the text doesn't say, "as *you* submit to Christ, submit to your husband." It says, "as the church submits to Christ..." and it doesn't say "as you submit and serve each other" although that certainly includes married couples. I just find it interesting that Paul specifically uses the unity of the bride of Christ. Paul is using the example of the Church to Christ, not believers to each other. I know there are other commands of how we are to be toward each other, but this is specific. I just wonder if there is something there that I have been missing.
I don't even know if I can articulate my question. When I write the passage (which is what I've been doing with Ephesians) I just tend to notice details that I normally brush over when I just read the text. I may be making too much of this. But something makes me want to pause on this.
Post Number: 75
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 12:43 pm: || |
Eph 5:21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Well 5:22 says just that doesn't it? I think chapter 5 says all of that but also outlines a clear hierarchy starting at 5:23, implying that church authority is the duty of men?
Post Number: 550
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 1:43 pm: || |
Yes, verses 21 and 22 definitely do. I really don't know how to say what I am thinking about. My mind keeps resting on verse 24 and what is behind that statement. Perhaps it does only mean authority (which I don't argue with at all) I just wondered if perhaps there was something else behind it as well. Perhaps not...
Let me try to work through this...a part of what the passage is saying is that Jesus washes the church. I am beginning to think that my husband has been given a very important role in my sanctification, and not just on overt spiritual issues. I am to submit to him in everything. I am beginning to see how listening to him and running things by him that I am struggling with really aids in my personal growth toward trusting God, and facts above my unreliable emotions. I just think there is more to it than him having the final word. I know that there is the following portion that says he is to love me sacrificially, but I guess what I am saying is that I have to submit to that sacrificial love. Sigh...I can't get this out properly. Perhaps I should have spent more time processing it before trying to discuss it.
I'm truly not trying to massacre the passage. I just think there is more depth behind this passage than establishing the husband as the boss who loves his wife sacrificially. I guess I'm pondering how that actually plays out daily in a marriage. That lead me to consider how that submission to Christ as a church plays out in our daily lives. If it was an important example for Paul to use, there must be something there worth spending time with.
Post Number: 13727
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 4:23 pm: || |
Wow, Free--these are really good questions. When I memorized Eph 5, I pondered this passage a lot and never felt I thoroughly plumbed it.
I really do believe you're onto something. It's really not primarily about the husband having the last word but about his having the care of the wife in a deep sort of way, and us as wives needing to be vulnerable to him in order to receive the growth and reality that our Head desires for us to have.
One of the things I realized is that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, not the other way around. In other words, God gave us marriage so we would have some way to understand being one with another who is like us yet not like us. This reality is why homosexuality is an offense. It does not require us to learn to be vulnerable and one with someone who is very, very different from us in how they understand the world. Their DNA, while human, is not like ours in a marriage. The Y chromosome is very, very different from the double X.
As wives we are not so much expected to identify with our husband's view of reality, I think, as we are to embrace it and value it. In other words, I'll never get Richard to "see" exactly what I see when I look at the world or at situations, but I have to give up my desire that he will "understand" me and instead know that God asks me to respect and honor him rather than insisting that he treat me or understand me as I think I deserve (!).
So, what I'm gradually learning, is that when I let go of my assumption that a husband in a "good marriage" will "get" my emotions and understand my fears and "triggers", I become more open to listening to him. And I'm finding that he really has very amazing insights, and when I listen to him, I actually begin to see ways I've been blind to certain dynamics and assumptions I have.
So when I think of the body of Christ submitting to Him, I realize that He gives the body life and provides everything they need, as per Matthew 6:25-34. He loves us, but His love and provision sometimes feel to us like discipline. It means learning to trust Him to do only good for us...even when our lives feel like nothing we'd ever hoped they would be.
For example, I've often thought that my childhood dream was never to be a second wife and a stepmother. But guess what? Out of the incredible loss of dreams and identity that came about through a divorce and through being a parent to two traumatized little boys, God gave me a family--a family as real and eternal—even more so—than mere genetics could have given me.
So, sometimes when Richard needs me to do something for him when I feel like one more thing would put me over the edge, I imagine myself looking at Jesus and asking Him to be in the moment and to give me the ability to be willing and to help me submit to the Lord Jesus as I do what Richard needs me to do. And He does it. He helps me see that giving my energy and my attention to Richard when I feel overwhelmed is actually submitting to the Lord Jesus in the way He has asked me to submit.
I often pray that I will trust Jesus with my "fleshly" expectations and trust Jesus to be what I need and to keep my heart vulnerable to Richard. God is gracious He really does reveal Himself and become our strength and identity and security as we take His biblical commands seriously. There no way a man and a woman can see life as the other does, but as we submit to Jesus and allow Him to make our hearts vulnerable to the other, we begin to see differently and to treasure the other in ways we wouldn't if we kept protecting ourselves.
And as the years pass, I see more and more deeply that Richard really does take his commitment to love me sacrificially seriously. And I thank Jesus for loving me through my husband.
I think Ephesians five is about learning to trust Jesus and letting Him give us our identity while we allow Him to make our hearts vulnerable and responsive to our husbands and wives. I know that as I've learned to listen to Richard's assessments of my problems when I talk to him, I gain so much perspective and insight. God knew what I needed, and He loves me through my husband as He gives me His security to trust Richard's care and insights.
I really don't know exactly how to explain it, Free--but there is so much in this passage. We learn to submit to our Head as a corporate body when we individually submit to our husbands or love our wives—which we can only do when we do these things as to the Lord. When we agree with God that we need to submit/respect as wives or to love sacrificially as husbands, we place ourselves in obedience to the Lord Jesus, and He ministers to us through our husbands or wives.
Is that clear as mud? ;)
Post Number: 77
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 - 6:46 pm: || |
Perhaps your question can somehow be benefited by cross referencing it with the passage in 1 Peter that says if a married couple are not walking in forgiveness and proper authority, their prayers are less effective? It almost sounds like you're getting this same wisdom from Ephesians that my family picked up from 1 Peter:
1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
My family has experienced 1 Peter chapter 3 (I would suggest reading the whole chapter and referencing it with your study of ephesians, very beautiful and apt), we ran the gamut last year and observed it to be true experientially.
I think it is saying much the same as ephesians, wives should submit, wife and husband should love each other, but then it says also, so your prayers are not hindered.
I hope this adds something to your studies.