Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Husbands Revere Christ...

C. S. Lewis suggested aptly in his Four Loves that a Christan husband is wearing two crowns. His reverence for Christ means that, like Christ, he gives himself up for her. He wears a crown of thorns. The other crown is in that which touches both their erotic and mundane affairs. It is a paper crown.

The crown of thorns is found in the array of service that a man offers to his family. It is his actual husbandry, (as in farming) of his fief and (like all farmers) he will work like a dog to maintain the physical health and defense of all he surveys. Most wives fail to object to this crown being worn by husbands. It is the paper crown that chafes.

Obviously there are those sorts of harridans who marry some schmuck and tyrannize his days. There are also those who think that marriage is fifty-fifty which only works in agreement and can't work otherwise. Of course these women have an odd notion that somehow the disagreement should have a default setting (to resolve the fifty-fifty problem) which makes a gentleman grant the female her way. So in this "equitable" marriage they either agree or the woman is in charge. Biblical, it is not. "Hell on Wheels" is what it is called by professionals. What about the "Biblical" family who hasn't wandered off into Emergent-church land, voted for Obama, recycled, or worn a helmet while bike riding? They ofttimes go to a Bible preaching church, and know that submission to husbands is the Bible way. And yet...and yet... some of those homes are shopping for the wheels to which they will strap their living hell.

These Christian, conservative couples err when they see submission in marriage as something that touches on the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS. That is right, I said this is a mistake. It is a widely held opinion that a wife needs to accept the dictates of her husband regarding Ideas: theology, politics, philosophy. The problem is, Ideas ought not be assented to in obedience without agreement. An Idea becomes a mere Position held like the patriotism of a mercenary. Ideas cannot function as truth claims based on the non-epistemic demand of some theology martinet with a rod up his butt. If he can’t convince the woman who loves him of the truth of his ideas, then I suspect he has a lousy defense for them. He should encourage her to resist his arguments lest he be deceived by her easy acquiescence and proceed to humiliate himself in public. Her loving demand for better proofs is a humbling protection of egotistical man.

This is where a knowledge of the paper crown comes in. These higher things have their own crowns. The husband, as husband alone, is not given that crown of epistemic certainty. God bless you both if the husband can also wear those crowns effectively in a family. But to do so he must appeal to the epistemic realms (not his husbandry); the revelation of God, the law of Reason, and the evidence of Reality. The wife, for her submission to BIG ideas, must look only to those authorities.

So a wife, when she looks at her husband, sees only a lord over the mundanities. She has another lord for her morality and her philosophy. See to it that she submits to each in the correct area. Too often, a wife with some docility never questions the family theology or philosophy. She considers herself a submissive wife thereby, even though she feels a certain freedom to adjust or outright disregard the “little” things her husband asks her to do. This woman is, in fact, the least submissive of them all. Her larger thoughts should have submitted to God, Reason, and Reality. She instead, just defaulted to whatever her husband’s opinions were. And where she was supposed to submit, frying him some eggs when he asked, she did not. I am convinced that men would rather be married to someone who joyfully performed every mundane task requested, but disagreed on theology. Many women who disregard their husbands in the small are also disregarding real authority in the larger thought realm.

Husbandry has a natural and God-given crown, that of service.

Luke 22
24 A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.

In reverencing Christ the kind of submission a husband offers will be different then what his wife offers. The Ephesians passage lets us know that the husband’s reverence is that to membership. A wife's is that to headship. You husbands submit yourselves to caring for the needs of your body (like Christ did for His) and give yourself up (like Christ did for you).

Take, as evidence for where you are, the reaction you have had thus far. If the topic was about the other sex than that to which you belong, was your heart and thought going “I hope he/she is listening!” Are you ready to govern this government the correct way, or not?

Or, you might not think you have this problem, but for some reason the topic annoys you anyway. If it comes up in a discussion, do you find that you make lists of where it would NOT apply and you wouldn’t have to submit yourself to each other? Wouldn’t it be better to find the way to have joy in the submission, and make your lists center on your positive opportunities?

When we say that the wife is to submit out of reverence, we mean that her reverence for Christ makes her conscious of her head rather than her membership. She IS a member but sees and reveres the Head. Her husband IS the head but sees and reveres the member. The husband images Christ out of his religious reverence and the wife images the church out of her religious reverence. In claiming Christianity your marriage will be always be the "lazy man's guide to enlightenment" regarding your claim. You haven't worn the crown of Christ, O husband, but that of a tyrant, demanding service not serving. You overstepped. Some of you (most of you actually, in this age of geldings) have accepted the post of eunuch within the be-pillowed harem where your wife, not you, holds sway. What a bit of Gawd-Help-Us! And you wives! Define what it is you are doing toward your husband and declare with me that this is what you wish Everyman to know and desire the church to be in reverence to Christ. Wouldn't it be great if the Church acted like.. um... you don't? If that is too big a thought just ask your children to apply your standards of submission and attitude to any command or request you make of them. Do you desire admiration, joy and immediacy from the little blighters? "Do unto others as you would be done by", saith the Lord.

Is the rhetoric piled on too thick? I apologize. Simply put to husbands, Christ is not a bastard nor is He a eunuch so take responsibility for how you represent Him. Simply put to wives, are you acting like the Elect Lady for whom Christ died and delivered from sin and fear? What has your marriage said about the Christian faith. If you reverence Christ, this will matter.

Feminists and patriarchal martinets are declaring a different religion.

Titus 2
4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited.


RespectMyAuthorita said...

when did submission entail frying eggs? I thought authority was only to be implemented when leading the family. Eggs to me seems like something I could do myself, and her not wanting to cook the eggs, would be the equivalent of her not wanting to wipe my hindquarters like she does my child. why would one ask if they are more than capable? Is this not abuse like the classic abusive view of sumbission with the redneck with a mullet telling his wife to bring him a beer and a backrub?

Evan B. Wilson said...

Perhaps you are visualizing precisely what a feminist wants you to always see; a redneck screaming spittle-flecked abuse as he demands his eggs, fried just the way his mammy did it. Why didn't you see a husband, well educated and gentlemanly, looking up from the daily paper and asking politely for a couple of eggs fried?
This article is about the arena of commands that are natural to a husbands authority. A tyrannical redneck is just as demanding about his theology and politics as he is about his eggs.
First example
H: "Honey, I want you to think that Republican political positions are correct."
W: And your proofs for this are what?

Second example
H: "Honey, would fry me up a couple of eggs?"
W: "Yes, m'lord."

He has authority over the eggs and who fries them but he does not have authority over the truth or falseness of an idea.

So if you have your knickers in a twist about eggs, as if that were "classic abuse" the feminist agenda must have got to you in a big way.

RespectMyAuthorita said...

No I just cling to the "as christ loved the church" which he laid down his life for, sacrificing all. He came to serve eggs not to be served eggs.

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Evan Gunn said...

Jason, that is changing the placement of authority. Sure, Christ came as a servant but not only to serve he would also like to be obeyed. Husbands do all kinds of things to provide for their wives which puts them in a servant position. I suppose that every once in a while the husband would like to check if the wife still gets the chain of command. Just as Jesus would like to not just be there for us when we mess and we go running to him asking for a fix. Jesus would like us to always reverence him in everything we do. And same for the husband; he doesn't want see his wife use him for finances.

Say if I was in the military. If my commander asks me to grab and bring to him something that was 20 feet away, I would not think to myself, "That man is abusing his power". No. I think only that he is keeping me in check so that he knows that I know I am below him.

It is all well in the husbands authority.

Evan Gunn said...

"Just as Jesus would like to not just be there for us when we 'mess and' we go running to him asking for a fix."

I have acknowledged my typo and will receive 40 tongue lashings.

RespectMyAuthorita said...

Nice try gunn, i dont buy it. If the chain of command is tested by husbands on such a rediculous item such as a breakfast they are too lazy to get, this is abuse of authority. God has the right and authority to test us as He wills. A husband testing his wife is abuse in my mind. You dont use your wife as a guinea pig. You check the chain of authority when it comes up like "hey honey we need to spend an extra grande on a car that has better safety ratings" and see how it goes when you really need to make a judgement call.

The second reason I dont buy it at all, is that even if I granted the argument of testing the chain of command, this scenario with breakfast is not a test. He just wanted some eggs and didnt want to do it himself. All that was, was a "biblical" justification for bossing the wife around. "oh it was just a test, to see if she respects my authority" thats bs. You should trust that your wife respects you enough to sumbit when the NECESSARY time comes when you need to excercise authority. These moments in my marriage are few and far between. My wife runs the show. I step in, ONLY if i see danger coming our way. And when i do step in, my word counts 100%, because there is no abuse with eggs and nonsense like that.

Evan Gunn said...

Jason, it is not a test. It is a reminder.

H. Honey, would you fry me some eggs?

W. No. You are abusing your power.

That does not sound right to me. Even though she knows that he could fry the eggs himself, out of reverence for Christ and her husband, she will fry the eggs herself. She is aware that it is in his power to command her even though what he said was not formed imperatively but as a question.

The husband doesn't even have to make a command because the woman knows she has to submit. And it is not as if every time she submits to orders such as these she will gripe over the situation. That is a bad attitude. She wants to make her husband happy with her so that he will continue to provide her security.

You are being a bit over sensitive about wife's submission to her husband.

Evan Gunn said...

It goes back to the wife's judgment of the situation. Does she feel as though she is being abused when the husband asks for some eggs? If so, she needs a change of heart, because it is just eggs. it is not as if he is going to command her every mourning to do so and beat her if she doesn't.

I suppose that I was unclear in my original comment about the testing. What I had implied in my head was more of it is a test by default whether the husband meant it or not.

All is fair in LOVE and war. When you love someone, what does the command matter anymore?

RespectMyAuthorita said...

Gunn, No. The woman doesnt need to be reminded. maybe the man does due to an insecurity of worrying about being followed or obeyed. I dont question that a woman is supposed to submit, i question what she is supposed to submit over. I dont view eggs, as this. I dont think submission has anything to do things like that. Like,

H. will you pick my nose?

W. No, thats gross.

this is acceptable and not unsubmissiveness. You guys like to find a biblical truth and carry it out to its most drastic end and apply it everywhere to everything. The bible says she is to respect him and submit to him. It tells him to love her and to be the head, or to lead her or whatever way you wanna say it. He is to lead her and guide her and she is to submit and follow, whether that means moving the family to a job in nyc, spending more than expected on a car. You name it. Frying eggs is not in congruence with establishing leadership. When the bible speaks about his authority, it says love her as christ love the church and gave himself up for her, not "Serve me, fulfill my selfish needs and petty desires."

When a man asks his wife to cook him eggs, which is normal and totally legit, I think she should say yes, because a marriage is a sacrificial union. And any normal woman or man, would say sure most of the time. If i asked helen to take the trash out for me cuz i was goofing off, she probably would, and if she asked me to do something because she was playing around on the internet, i would. but if either of us said no, you do it im busy right now, this isnt wrong. She isnt being unsubmissive, she just doesnt want to cook me eggs because shes busy with something else.

You believe this command to be carried out to radical extremes, like

H. jump

W. how high?

I believe it means, when there is an issue that actually means something other than some damn eggs, then submission is demanded in everything of value this way.

The funny thing is, nobody's marriage works the way you and your dad are describing it. Except for his. I know a ton of marriages that are at 20 years plus, that operate on submission the way i view it, and they are having a wonderful marriage. If this was a correct view of submission that you have, then there should be some serious issues and failing marriages, but there arent that many, and most fail for completely different reasons.

You said "if she feels shes being abused when asking for eggs, then she needs a change of heart because 'its just eggs". I would say just the opposite, what the heck is he asking for, he needs a change of heart for leadership, its just eggs, is this guy such a pussbag that he cant get the eggs from the fridge to his mouth. its not like he has to go out find hens, and wait for the eggs and spend half a day doing so. "its just eggs" gunn, cant he do it?

Plus, if you ask a question like eggs? to a woman this implies she has option to say no. If you really want to be correct on this issue, it must be a command. If a man is gonna abuse his power in this way, he may as well call a duck a duck and have some balls, and say. "wife, make my eggs by 8am this morning!" If he truly feels he needs to excersice his biblical "authority" it should be done so in an imperative way. she may be 'aware' like you say of his 'power to command', but if he wants to be forward about it and not mask the rediculous command in the form of a question like a politician, then i guess hes a fag. He should be a man and not sugar coat it, just tell her to get the eggs ready. It would really help define what he is doing, Abuse. when you put it into a question it really makes it look a lot nicer, like it isnt an abuse of power, just a request with a sword behind it.

If all is fair in love and war, then war is fair in love.

This is funny, i dont think i know very many christians that would agree on this with you.

Evan Gunn said...

I kind of summed up my complete argument in the last paragraph. Feel free to skip all this and go there. I don't think we will stump each other because we keep on saying the same stuff over and over, and nobodys watching us argue so we can't get their feed back on this. I am not coming back to this blog, for I am bored.

"She isnt being unsubmissive, she just doesnt want to cook me eggs because shes busy with something else."

It is clearly not submission. I don't even want to argue that. moving on.

Sadly, Jason, you have taken on this idea that any man who makes such petty requests is selfish and could care less for the point of view of the woman. Not true. These are christian relationships we are dealing with and so we assume that both agents will act accordingly to their faith.

Really it does take an understanding of how to use this authority. Assuming the husband is christian and so has observed his own life so that he is not selfish. That not selfish christian man may easily give an order to his wife since he knows it is in his boundaries of his by his paper crown. The wife should understand this herself.

A king's primary purpose is to serve his people, but that does not mean he cannot reap the benefits he receives from his standing. The servants as well need to know that their purpose as servants is to submit to the king and not look for the loop holes when it is something that gets in the way of their life. That is selfish of them.

This is not to say that petitions are not possible. Lets say that the wife is asked to pick the husbands nose. Regardless the absurdity of the request she has got to do it, but she may very well suggest that he do it himself since she would be less effective in picking. But if the husband demands it still she has to obey. Luckily we are christians and we do care for one another and so we don't make those kinds of absurd requests. And eggs my friend are not absurd.

Remember Jason, We are Christians and eggs are not an abusive power. It just so happens that the wife has to obey the request by the hierarchical structure. But she should want to obey her husband with every request he makes because she is a christian herself and not self-interested.


RespectMyAuthorita said...

The interesting thing is that im challenging your terms, and you are just coming back with stating your terms over and over again.

Tiffany said...

I'm going to venture to join the discussion. I think you both have some things right, but I think you both are making the same mistake. You are over thinking this. In a marriage you need to relate to each other rightly (husbands loving as Christ and wives reverencing as the Church) which should simply be a part of who you are in Christ, not something you have to analyze with every question/request, answer/action that goes on. If a husband asks his wife to make him eggs if all is right between the two of them and between them and Christ there isn't going to be this convoluted thought process behind it. The wife will make the eggs out of submission, or the husband will make them out of service. It doesn't need to be beat over the head like this.

If I am understanding the point of this post it is that truth is truth and it is not unsubmissive for the wife to bow to truth first and her husband second. (in fact it could be argued that a wife who values to understand a right ordering of the universe is of far greater support to the husband than one who accepts whatever thought happens to enter his head) But that after one bows to truth there is simply much in this world that is just daily living for which there is no right or wrong answer. Breakfast being one of them. So why wouldn't a wife submit to her husband on these things? If Christ came for breakfast you can bet that a wife would fix His eggs however He liked best, along with a good pot of coffee, some toast and maybe even bacon. So if we as wives are to revere our husbands as the church does Christ then why would a request for breakfast be out of line? And likewise if husbands are loving their wives as Christ does the church he is going to sacrificially love her, which will certainly mean making some eggs himself (either not asking his wife in the first place or after asking learning that she can't and not feeling like his authority is somehow in jeopardy.)

We do not fail in obedience because we lack love; we lack love because we have never attempted obedience. Love Christ, obey Him. The rest follows from that.

RespectMyAuthorita said...

I agree with the main principle of Submission/authority the bible lays out. I disagree with the particulars. I think if a husband says "can you make me eggs?" and she says no. its not unsubmissive. Now i dont think there is usually any reason she wouldnt, but if she says no, she probably has a reason. At this point the man, can, abuse his authority and say, no you will, and i think then she must to be right with god even tho her husband is being a fag. But when men put that out there, and their wives say no, he should "love" her by respecting there must be a reason, whether that be her being tired,busy, or whatever. If he really cant get up and do it himself and has to ask her why not, i just pity the fool. But if he does probe it and then asks her to do it anyway, i believe she should. But I think we cant ignore circumstance with these blanketed biblical regulations. I think most wives would make the eggs most of the time, but if she says no for one reason or another, that isnt being unsubmissive, its her letting her husband know he has arms and legs too, and he is useful in the world on occasion. I believe God gave us(men), a companion (woman) to help keep us in check. IF man could be as lazy as possible, he would, this is true of most men. Women keep the ambition levels up, they keep us from making stupid financial decisions, and are usually a really good check and balance system. A woman telling a man no, is a good indicator for him, that he should involve himself in life.