I am pretty sure that anyone who is still reading my stuff has been enlightened and challenged, enjoys the beatings or is just here to find new reasons to call me an idiot. Here’s the wonderful fact, I don’t really care either way. The abuse and neglect inflicted on our wives and families is a bigger concern than your personal feelings. It’s time to grow up.
I have to confess something. Everything inside me goes into a slight rage whenever I hear a man use the word “submit.” If I find out that their heart is truly in the right place, I will eventually calm down and try to make a friend. If I hear that word used in a way that tells me he thinks his wife is a servant, we are going to have a confrontation.
Sorry. It just happens. I know what my home is like since this became real to me. I remember what it was like before. I also know that without direct confrontation and the trauma of almost losing my family, I would still be there.
Yes, submission is a biblical concept. Yes, the bible say for wives to submit. Yes, there is a certain degree of truth to all that submission stuff. I am not denying all that. I am trying to make you understand that it is simply a twisted and misunderstood idea that has been allowed to ruin our homes. The way it has been taught, has been skewed to benefit the men who want to lead.
I have watched women, including my own wife, humble themselves for years and totally sell out to blind submission. The church has allowed this to go on for as long as I can remember. They teach these women to pray more, submit more, love more, cook more, clean more, coddle your toddler of a husband and do whatever it takes to make that man happy. I am reading a lot of blogs lately where women are still being beaten down with that message.
The saddest part is that it’s all coming from other women!
There are women out there who are utterly miserable and hate their own lives, but keep teaching younger women to live like they do. Another twisted biblical concept. Yes, older women teach younger women to love their husbands. It’s in there. It doesn’t say to make them become doormats for an abusive monster or remain neglected until they die.
Wives are not commanded to love their own husbands, only respect them. What happens when he is absolutely unworthy of any degree of respect? What do we do when he is a selfish toddler who demands his own way? What do we do when he is only willing to be good to them when it benefits him? What do we do when he becomes an abusive tyrant? Do we tell them to risk their lives by staying there? Do we tell them to submit to someone who isn’t willing to love them like Christ loved the church? Where do we draw that line?
All that submission teaching requires a little balance. Since “submit” seems to translate closer to “adapt” than “dominate,” most men don’t go very deep into Ephesians chapter 5. As a formerly abusive husband, I have also noticed that most men don’t submit to any other authority the same way they expect their wives to submit to their own. Most men would abandon any faith that put them in the same position that traditional marriage has placed our wives.
If the tables were turned, most men would walk away from Christianity all together. They wouldn’t allow anyone to treat them the way most churches allow husbands to treat their own wives.
The way I see it… Marriage is a mirror of salvation. Bride and bridegroom. Ephesians 5:25 is our core verse, as husbands. Until I understood and accepted that, I was a joke of a husband and a Christian. She is my mission. She is my purpose. She is my first ministry. The same way Christ did what was best for us, in defiance of his own desires or needs, we are to love them selflessly.
Again, in case you missed it earlier… If this conflicts with what you believe and makes you mad, I don’t care. Really.
Before you get upset and hammer out that list of scriptures to prove me wrong, know this. I will publish them from here on. I have been responding directly by email or just deleting them until now. All those hyperactive people out there who are more concerned with the letter of the law than the spirit… Try me. If that slightly twisted and abusive concept of the bible can’t wrap itself around the heart of Ephesians 5:25, maybe you should reconsider it. If your home and marriage aren’t stronger than mine, don’t bother commenting.
Imagine this scenario.
We all expect to face the judgement one day. We all pretty much believe that, one day, we will be called to give an account for our lives and decisions. Which line of logic is going to sound better, once you are face to face with Christ Himself?
“I lived a selfish life, only doing the things that made me happy. I built my entire world around me. I drug my family through hell to get where I thought I would be happy. I made them miserable in pursuit of what made me happy.”
Or maybe something like this…
“I was a good man. I followed the bible to the best of my ability. The bible said for her to submit, so I demanded it. I led my family and saved thousands of souls for the kingdom. My faith and sacrifice, mixed with theirs, made it possible. Even though they never actually volunteered for the same missions that I did, I still drug them through it.”
Yeah, one more.
“You said to love my wife like You loved the church. I saw that she was the most important person in my world. I saw how You made Your bride the mission of Your life. I saw the example You set and did what was best for her. I saw how You submitted Yourself to the mission of Your life, even when it meant giving up everything for the bride. I learned what selfless and sacrificial love meant and passed it on to my children. Together, we left a legacy within our family that has spread to others. We truly made a difference and changed the world. I was just following Your example.”
That last one, that’s what I want to say. The same way we were commanded to “begin in Jerusalem,” we are to begin at home. Right where we live, where our heart is. Start learning and displaying selfless love right there. Then it is easy to spread it out to other places. Once you learn to love at home, you don’t have to force it or fake it anywhere else.
To become a Christian, you made a public commitment to give your life to Christ and allow Him to save you. You put your trust in Him. To become a husband, you made a public commitment to love, honor and cherish your bride; forsaking all others. You committed to make Christ The Lord of your life when you were saved. You committed to make her the most important person in your world when you were married. Are you doing it? Are you getting bogged down with various interpretations of random scriptures or are you living up to those commitments? Are you loving your bride the way Christ loved His?
Are you loving and serving Christ? Are you loving your wife like Christ loved the church?
As a married, Christian man… If you aren’t doing both, you aren’t doing either.