|Roman and his girls.
For instance, if a church has a pattern of abuse (see Roman Grant, above) – then I would be loathe to listen to them tell me to be submissive to my husband. I would definitely have to question that! On the other hand, the teaching I had received in my church had positively overflowed with grace and love. So, what does submissiveness mean to people like that? Nothing that would put the woman down... Plus, as in the example I gave, ceding the leadership to the men was not because women needed to submit to them, but because the women wanted then to get off their asses and shoulder some of the load!
And while the Bible does say that wives should submit to their husbands – that was pretty much the way of the day. It also says husbands should love their wives and lay down their lives for them... as a friend pointed out, this was a miraculous directive for that day and age – when men had all the rights, and women were ... pretty much... property.
BUT The Bible also says “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3) And while it was clearly much better to be a free man in that world than a slave or a woman, each person has equal beauty and worth in Christ... which was also a miraculous thing to say at that time.
So, the submitting and laying down of lives – well, this is all carried out in THIS context... Paul also tells Christians in general to submit to each other... And as the previously mentioned friend said, it’s all about respect. Paul was all about the church being a well-functioning body... which could never happen if the members don’t respect one another. Same for a marriage, I think.
Anyway, with the previous post, I just wanted to give a picture of what it looked like for one person to wrestle with an issue like this, and attempt to work out what it means in her own life. And to say that a person can still be confused and question things ... even in the midst of leaning on Jesus – the REAL Big Love. So... I won’t be wearing that calico dress and bonnet anytime soon...