Mothers are awesome, Fathers can do better

11 05 2013

No, I am not dead.  I am still blogging.  I’ve just been, well…quiet.

With Mother’s Day here and Father’s Day coming up soon, I just wanted to share and question some observations that that seem quite common in churches in this day and age.

I would not have believed it if not for hearing other people mention it in the blogosphere and then hearing it with my own ears last year.

Mothers Day in the U.S. (for those from someplace else) is a special day in May set aside to honor all mothers.  It is a Sunday that you can have on the calendar to intentionally plan to maybe visit her, spend time with her, talk to her on the phone, take her out to dinner, buy her a gift, tell her “I love you”, or whatever you would like to do to honor her.  To those that have been blessed with a “normal” mom, she raised you, changed your diapers, wiped your butt, kissed your boo-boos, put up with your crying and whining, among other things.  Mother’s Day is the day to give some appreciation for all she is doing or has done for you.

So it is in many churches today that we show appreciation to all mothers.  What is done to honor them depends on the church.  Some may give them flowers as they come in to the church.  Some may have all mothers stand and a little speech is given to thank them for all the wonderful things they do.  Some even spend that Sunday preaching a whole sermon about mothers.  Rightly so, for they deserve appreciation for what they do as mothers.  I feel sorry for those who did not grow up with a loving mother or father in their lives.

Fathers Day is a special day set aside in June to do the same thing for our fathers.  However, most really don’t care for flowers, so a day out fishing, a sporting event, dinner, a gift card to the home improvement store might fit them a little better.  After all, he may have had to do some of the things I mentioned above about mothers, like wipe your butt and put up with your crying and whining.  Whatever you do, take time to honor him and return a little of the love that he has given to you if you’ve been privileged with a loving father in your life.

The problem I see, however, is that Fathers Day is much different in church than it is on Mothers Day.  While mothers get showered with love, thanks, and appreciation, as they should, Fathers Day gets a mention of that and then goes into how fathers can do better.  It doesn’t seem that bad on the surface because, frankly, mothers deserve appreciation and fathers can always do better.  However, the opposite, that fathers deserve appreciation and mothers can always do better, never seems to be said and when that becomes normal, as it has, fathers are seen as the only one with problems that need to be fixed.

While you may not see it, this is a major issue.  It is bad enough that the “battle of the sexes”, feminism, and gender “equality” rages on in our country (and probably in many countries).  I can deal with that…it’s the world.  I expect blatant disobedience to God in the world.  However, it is very disheartening to see it in the churches where the leadership of men is preached to the point of exhaustion, whether it be in sermons, books, or movies (think Fireproof and Courageous), but the submission of women is barely touched upon or mishmashed into “mutual” submission.  I am not here to get into this subject too deep in this post, but just wanted to touch on it since, to me and to others I have read, it seems that this happens on Mothers and Fathers Day as well.

So why do we do this?  Why does it seem perfectly fine to give so much praise for mothers on their day and not tell them to be better?  Why do we use Fathers Day to challenge fathers to be better?  Why do we tell mothers they are wonderful, but not tell them that they need to be better mothers and wives?  Why can’t we do the same for both on the respected days, either appreciate them and/or challenge them both?

Some of you will answer, “It is because men are called to be the leaders.”  Yes, and men can always be better leaders. They are not perfect and never will be.  Their wives are also called to submit to their husbands in everything (Eph 5:24).  Yet, we do not hear challenges on Mother’s Day for them on such things, even in parenting their children.

Some of you will say, “You are against women.  You are a legalist.  You don’t know the Bible.  Blah, Blah, Blah.  That is why you are writing these things.”  Nonsense!  I write this, and my whole blog, to challenge those stuck in Churchianity, those just going through the motions of church instead of what the bible says.  There are some things and traditions done in churches today that do more harm than good and we don’t even realize it.  We are to follow Jesus Christ.  He is the head of the Church and everything must be subject to what the Bible says.

So, I challenge you to pay attention to what is said in your church on these days.  If you are in a different country and have days like this, listen and see if it is the same as it is here in the U.S.  If your church doesn’t do the above things, good for you.  You are one the lucky ones, I guess.  Anyone else notice this before?  Comment about it.

No matter what is said in church, just make sure you appreciate your mother and father if you have one.  Don’t go to them and say, “Thanks for being my parents, but you could be better.”

Now, for all you mothers and fathers out there:  Thank you!  Thanks for being there for us and for all you have done for us.  Thank you for the sacrifices you had to endure for us.  Thank you for helping us with our homework, teaching us life skills, loving us, and laughing with us at our silliness.  You are not perfect and neither are we or will we be.  Let us forgive the faults and sins toward each other as Christ has also forgiven us.  If you are Christians, thank you for leading us in truth the best you could.  None of us are wonderful or awesome and we are called to be humble because He is the one that is wonderful, great, and awesome.  Thanks again.  We love you!

Jesus said to follow Him!

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17 responses

11 05 2013
Chris

I think the reason why there are so many sermons encouraging fathers to “do better” while praise is given to mothers is that, culturally (in and out of the church), it is fathers who are the most likely to abandon families, be absent and not give their children the affection. Mothers seem to have an innate sense of how to care for their children; with fathers, it’s behavior that often has to be learned. I love my son and try every day to be a good Dad, but it doesn’t come naturally to me; mothers have an instinct. And, because it’s more culturally acceptable (in and out of the church) for wives to stay at home with the child while the husband must go to work, it’s easier for dads to get wrapped up in things outside of the home and neglect families. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen with wives…it’s just way more common with men. Also, it’s interesting that in the Bible there aren’t really many commandments given strictly to mothers for raising their children, but fathers are given the specific instruction “don’t provoke your children to wrath.”

And men are the leaders in the home, as you said. And much of the behavior of women stems from their husbands’ treatment of them. I’ve struggled with the whole idea of submission in my marriage, and I’m learning that my job is not to tell my wife to submit. My job is to love my wife as Christ loved the church. If I foster a home where she is loved, appreciated and desired, then it’s the home where she’ll trust me and follow my lead, and hopefully a home where my son will feel safe and protected. I strongly believe that it all starts with husbands, and honestly I feel there need to be less sermons centered on submission and more on a husband’s job to love his wife as Christ loved the church (but realize that comes from 30 years of growing up Baptist and having submission wrongly preached for much of it).

Good thoughts — missed your blogging!

11 05 2013
Chris

It would be hard to comment on everything you said here because it would take a lot of dissecting, even into meanings of words. We could take most of what you said and apply it to mothers as well. It is hard to single out fathers as the cause for abandoning the family. Why did he “abandon”? There are different causes for every situation, but the finger pointing most of the time goes toward the father. Women file for the majority of divorces, but the blame isn’t given to the women for abandoning or breaking up the family.

I fully disagree with the common belief that if a husband leads right, then the woman will automatically follow. The equivalent of that is for husbands to feel that they can only love their wives when she is respectful and submissive and that’s ridiculous. That is nowhere is Scripture. On the contrary, women are exhorted to submit to an unbelieving husband. Each have their own commandment. Husbands are to love and be the head and women are to respect and be submissive. Yes, it is not my job to tell my wife to submit nor is it her job to tell me to love her. We should be doing that because we love God and want to please Him.

Back the original topic: I have no problem “encouraging” men to be better men if we can also “encourage” women to stop controlling their husbands, blunting their leadership, and let them be fathers to their children so that they don’t want to “abandon” the family.

4 04 2017
Paul

Great job , the church is blaming men yet also not allowing them to be the leaders . “PC ” CORRECT CHURCHES ! Men have made a lot of mistakes in the past but that doesn’t mean we abandon Gods order and ladies take over .Gods grace and peace to you !

18 05 2013
Links and Comments #9 | The Society of Phineas

[…] On Mother’s and Father’s Day. […]

21 05 2013
balboa69

Chris, I’m not sure why you are insistent that men are the ones who abandon their families more than women. Women initiate two thirds of divorces in America, and are given custody of children at greater rates than their wives when both seek custody. There are many, many hurting fathers whose families are taken away from them.

It sounds to me like you have absorbed a mentality that men/fathers are morally inferior and must make greater efforts than women to shape up. This is not biblical. It is, however, part of the reigning philosophy in our secular culture, which marginalizes the authority of men in order to make the disconnected family fragments easier to tax, control and sell unnecessary products to.

29 05 2013
cdubbs727

Yes, women initiate more divorces than men. But if you look at the reasons women are leaving, it’s very often because they don’t feel loved or desired by their husbands, they’ve been abused, their husbands have “checked out” of the relationship. Are these “right” grounds? In cases where there is not abuse or infidelity, probably not. But they still often point at a household where the husband has not fulfilled his role to love his wife and give her the love and affection she needs.

I don’t feel that men are morally inferior as husbands/wives. But I do know that it doesn’t come naturally for me. And my job is not to gripe about how women don’t respect me and sound like an emasculated man. My job is not to tell my wife to submit to me. My job is to love my wife, be a good Dad, and set a model that shows my wife is protected, cherished, loved and desired. If I do that, and I treat my wife as my partner, best friend and lover, she’ll trust me and follow me when its time for me to lead. And I’ve seen it in the relationships that surround me — my friends and family who love their wives and treat them like they really want to be around them and like they actually still desire them are in marriages that flourish and feel healthy. In every relationship I’ve seen fail, it’s stemmed from men who demanded respect, put their needs ahead of their wives’, flat-out told their wives they didn’t love or want them, or were disengaged from raising their children. Very few instances have I seen it start with wives…even when wives were disrespectful, I’ve seen it most often stem from husbands who were emotionally unavailable or unloving.

If I’m a bit touchy on this, it’s because, honestly, I take my role as a husband and father very seriously. My wife and son are the greatest things that have happened to me; they are my joy when I come home each day. And I take it very seriously that my job is not to demand my wife’s respect–because Jesus never coerced or demanded respect. He loved his Bride because that love drove them to Him. He chased away and violently fought against anything else that tried to sway their affections from Him — He was jealous for their love and fought FOR them, and that’s how I try to love my wife; and it’s led to a home that, yes, has its conflict but, by and large, is very happy and peaceful. What I see in these comments seems to be a grumbling against women; if that’s how it feels to be married for many men, I wonder why they ever did it.

22 05 2013
en-sigma

I have long seen the same thing and dreaded going to church on Father’s Day. It would almost be better skipping it and beating the church crowd to Outback. But I cannot seem to skip church anymore than I can skip honoring the Father.

I am a fundamentalist – the kind of baptist that baptist’s hate – and I see waaay to much placating of women in churches today. It seems as if wives (and women in general) are jugs of nitro-glycerin packed in crates and being driven across the country by wagon. The driver is sweating bullets hoping the next pot-hole or loose rock does not make her explode and destroy everything for a half-mile in any direction.

It is unfair at best and truly damaging to women and marriage on the whole.

25 05 2013
empathologism

First Chris….good job explaining why they do it. But you and they miss the facts. Yours is the expression of the frame of the churchian. You come at it from the premise man bad woman good.

The rear reasons this happens are fear, and “the lift”

Men fear women’s negative reactions. A pastor friend told me plainly when asked why he frames , for example, submission as he does. “because my wife is in the front row” The context was that she would hear from women in the church and she herself would be influenced by them and angered at him and it was not worth the risk. Hence the sermon all but apologizing for scripture.

“The lift” is an expression i use to describe when men get positive feedback from women. Supplicating male Christians confuse that as being successful with women. That why you and other white knights persist. You get women saying how courageous you are and how nice. Its a strategy with women, no more no less.

Combine fear and the lift and you get the churchian frame.

Further explanation of The Lift:

http://empathological.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/the-man-the-tylenol-and-the-toyota/

25 05 2013
Chris@QPC

I’m not sure which Chris you mean, the first reply here or me. Hence, I changed mine to Chris@QPC.

I completely agree that fear and trying to please women can be major (and sad) motivations. Men just don’t want to “ruffle the feathers” around women and have some peace. Unfortunately, that peace never really comes and at the cost of respect.

25 05 2013
empathologism

It was the other Chris, I called him “first Chris” hoping that was sufficient.
Frankly, there is never real constant peace around any woman. That is an unequivocal fact. Their constant thinking minds will not allow there to be long periods of true blank spaces and peace.

29 05 2013
cdubbs727

I take offense to this comment in so many ways. First off, anyone who thinks I’m afraid of my wife’s reaction has not had a front-row seat to our arguments. We fight like any other couple. We argue, we fight an sometimes we yell. We’ve gone 10 rounds before and we’ll do it again. But we’ve never gone to bed angry. We’ve hashed it out, sat down on the couch and made up. I don’t avoid telling my wife where I feel she’s wrong; and I’ve let her know many times that if there is an area where I am not giving her the love and support she needs, our she feels I’m sinning, that I want her to tell me. She’s my best friend–she should be able to do that.. And I can say that I’ve attended many churches that do preach womens’ responsibilities…however, as the husband, it is my job to fight for my wife’s spiritual growth and help her grow. And if the church speaks mainly to men on the issues of improving in marriage, perhaps its so men can lead and help their wives grow in Christ.

Second, I don’t think “the lift” is the reason I love my wife, do romantic things for her and try to avoid needless conflict. I do these things because I love her. Yes, its nice when she reaffirms that. But coming home to a house where I know she’s had a horrible day at work and saying “I brought you flowers, I’ll take care of dinner. Go rest; take a bath”…I do those because I love her.

The Christian frame is love. That’s why I love my life. Fighting for respect we feel we’re due, complaining about things we don’t get, disrespecting God’s creation by saying “there’s never any peace around women,” and griping that pastors don’t point out that speck in our wives’ eyes but keep preaching about the plank in our own is NOT modeling the love of Christ, who emptied himself, gave up his rights, joyfully bore disrespect and hatred and fought for His bride.

29 05 2013
empathologism

I was not suggesting you were motivated by “the lift” as it pertains to your wife. Its a generic term about being motivated by positive female feedback.

The plank/speck doesn’t work in the third person.

Yes, it is good to point out to pastors and to Christians that the present churchian dynamic is driving divorce rates up, no amount of rererererererererererere doubling down on what is being taught is going to change that. If you believe that it will, then you necessarily believe one of a couple of things.

Men are idiots and we cannot even grasp whats being said
or
Men are innately more “bad” than women, so much more that if we just reach the right level of admonishment of men and encouragement of women (victims) the ship will change direction

If you do not agree with either, then what? For 50 years the message has grown increasingly imbalanced, from childhood to senior years. Man bad woman good, yet familism is in ruination. They are inversely proportionate.

What you are saying feels right. Its self effacing as a man, and humily is a Christian value right? It feels like loving our wives, so thats what we are called to do right? But neither of these is contradicted by my words about what preachers say and the consequences thereof.

Step outside your relationship, stop taking it personally, and look at the big picture. Divorce rates, kids with multiple homes, social pathology that stems from unstable families, drugs and sex….ALL find much root cause in lost familism. We blame culture, we blame men, we blame everything, but we NEVER EVER EVER deign mention a womans responsibilities.

Plank/Plank is a more appropriate comparison, it isnt either/or….way on men, hard on women. Its equal. We ain’t seen equal in generations

29 05 2013
Chris@QPC

Chris, you may not be afraid of your wife’s reaction or afraid to argue your point, but many men are afraid and many won’t admit it, but they show it in their actions. That is a fact whether it happens to you or not. That is all I think Empath was pointing out.

There is an idea floating in the churches that you touch on in your comments: That if a husband is loving his wife, then she will respect, submit, and/or whatever she is to do. I have heard that with my own ears, not only in sermons, but also in personal counseling. One only needs to pick up one of many Christian marriage books to read about it too. The problem with that is it is nowhere to be found in Scripture. Besides, how loving does the husband have to be before she decides to do what is commanded of her? Scripture DOES say to love your wife as Christ loved the church, but it also tells wives to be respectful and submissive to their husbands. Scripture doesn’t tell husbands to love their wives IF they submit nor does it tell wives to submit IF they feel loved. On the contrary, Scripture admonishes the wives to submit even to an unbelieving husband. (1 Pter 3:1)

With that in mind, I am not here to pound on women or justify men. Both men and women have their own commands and responsibilities and both fail miserably. But like Empath said, a women’s responsibility is never mentioned If it is mentioned, it is mingled with some psychological rationalizations that has turned “the traditions of men into the commandment of God”. Therefore, what is preached today is that men should do better, love better, lead better, and just be better. Do women have responsibilities? How will they know if it’s not preached? Why can we point out the problems of men and not of women? Do women sin? Are women better? If they men and women are equal, then why not treat them as equal? I am not asking these about you personally, so don’t take it personally. They are just questions that need answering.

As I said, I’m not here to bash women. However, I am willing to speak about what the Word says about them as well as with men. Both are sinners. Both have different character flaws. Both need redemption and salvation through Christ. Both need to understand what the Word of God says. Both need to follow Christ, not thoughts of men.

31 05 2013
cdubbs727

Chris — you’re absolutely right that loving your wife doesn’t guarantee her submission, and the entire book of Hosea (and, really, the Gospel) is about patiently and tenaciously loving brides who don’t love back. Yes, I’ll admit I get passionate about this because of my marriage — I’ve spent years hearing men complain about “the old ball and chain” and I think it’s ugly and horrible — God gave us a gift in our wives, and when I see people complain about it, it upsets me, because I think being a husband and father is the greatest role one can play, and the most visual representation of dying to self every day.

But back to the main topic, which I’ll admit I strayed from in my emotion. I personally haven’t noticed that pastors call out men more than women — if anything, I’ve grown up in a church culture that says women should let their husbands answer all questions, that submission means men rule the house while women cook dinner and take care of the kids, and often treat women as spiritual inferiors (so many blogs I’ve read answer women commentators with a ‘shh, the men are talking’) vibe.

But I think a reason for it might be this — men are the spiritual leaders in the home. They are responsible for helping their wives grow spiritually. Therefore, I think pastors are preaching to the men, who then have to take their responsibility to lovingly live out the Gospel and in their own families to see what submission looks like. Personally, I think preaching specifically for fathers and mothers from the pulpit isn’t the best thing — that’s the kind of lived-in discussion and conversation that probably best takes place in small groups and Sunday School classes, and I’m sure many women’s ministries discuss the roles of wives and mothers more clearly. We depend on the pulpit too much for our daily spiritual growth, when I think that’s best-served as a place for theology, while the messy business of sanctification really comes alive in small groups, accountability partnerships, etc.

But I think it’s also dangerous for us to say “the Pastor keeps preaching it at me . . .why isn’t he preaching to THEM?” It’s like coming to church and saying “man, the pastor keeps harping on me about my lust…but so-and-so could really stand to hear a sermon about their sin.” Our job when we come to worship is to accept the Word being preached, not worry about what the pastor’s not preaching to other people — unless, of course, the pastor is not preaching the Gospel.

But your statement that our job is just to follow Christ is spot-on. I think all conversations with husbands and wives need to start at the foot of the cross, where we realize we’ve died to self–and in way, that’s what marriage and parenthood exemplify, the daily dying to self.

1 06 2013
Chris@QPC

Thanks for the feedback, Chris.

Yes, our main responsibility is to ourselves. How are we living out the gospel? Are we doing our part in what God commands us? As men, we truly suck at loving our wives as Christ does the Church and always will. We will never be just like Christ in this life, but we are called to make it our aim and make no excuses when we aren’t like Him.

I don’t think I am saying “They are pointing out my sin, but not theirs” necessarily. If it comes across that way, I do not intend it to. I want my sin to be pointed out so that the Spirit of God can bring conviction in my life and challenge me and change me. But if nobody ever mentions it to me, how will I know? That is what God’s Word is intended to do: to rebuke, exhort, instruct and correct. But,If we just gloss over parts of the Bible that makes some people uncomfortable, then we aren’t declaring the full counsel of God.

I am coming from the angle of the original post. Men are challenged constantly through sermons, radio, books, and movies to always be better and more loving while women don’t seem to be responsible for much. I could even give you a perfect example in my own life where my wife and I got into a yelling match around family about something stupid. We were both at fault but for some reason I got the 3rd degree about everything from a member of her family and a pastor. There was no challenge or rebuke given to her at all. But, It’s not about “pointing out my sin, but not theirs” in a selfish way. It’s about God’s truth to both men and women. It’s like the constant pointing and fixation about homosexuality we see and hear in churches, books, and radio, but hardly ever mentioning or glossing over gluttony, lying, and pride. You know very well about that yourself. It’s not about “my sin, their sin” as it is about pointing out sin in general as it should be done, not only in the pulpit, but also when we are amongst other believers in “small group”, at a coffee shop, or wherever. We are to exhort each other, challenge each other, sharpen each other, and love each other as we point each other to Christ. But, if we just fixate on a few things and hardly mention others, we become totally unbalanced.

BTW, I’m enjoying this discussion. For some reason, it seems you just can’t discuss things like this among Christians in church because they are just engrained with a certain mentality. Thus, that is why I am blogging.

30 05 2013
missysue

I enjoyed reading this post…I followed what everyone was saying and now I would like to add a “female” perspective.” Speaking as a wife, I too have gone through books on love and respect. I have struggled since then to know what respect means. What does it mean and how do I live it out? I have been reading peacefulwife.com and this displays what godly feminity looks like. It is about men and women having different roles. On top of that there is different responsibilities too. God made man and woman in the image of Himself. He made man unique and also women. All of the human race is sinful. From the time in garden. We cannot change that fact, nor can we say that one person is better than the other. We are called to follow after Christ and to treat any other person on the earth with humility, compassion, love, grace, and kindness. We are also called to respect others whether they are male or female. Feminism calls and demands the right that women are better than men. That is far from the truth. Humans are sinful. The Bible tells us that. Everyone is evil, there is no one good. Not even one (Romans 3). We are called as Christians to represent Christ. We are “little christs”. We are commanded to love God and love others. Those are the two greatest commandments. So if we are not fulfilling those two are we really being obedient to the Word of God and His commandments? The love and respect gargon is full of mens ideas. God doesn’t say in the Bible ” You have to buy your wife flowers, and a card, and make her dinner”….or God doesn’t say in the Bible “you have to scrub every dish, keep the house in perfect order, and make me dinner every night”. God calls us to follow Him. Yes, we are commanded to respect one another and love each other…Ephesians 5….but doesn’t it say to be respectful to all before it gives the command for wives and husbands. It is not about love and respect as much as it is about living for the Lord, following Christ Jesus, loving God and loving others (even your enemies or those who run a red light and you want to cuss them out or yell at time). End of my discussion. If I am wrong in what the Bible says, please feel free to discuss it with me. I am open to comments on my opinion. This is a woman’s perspective not just a mans. Women bad. Men bad. Humans bad. God good. God creates. God lets man fall. God comes, redeems. God restores. The story of life.

1 06 2013
Chris@QPC

Yes, Scripture tell us to submit to one another as the Body of Christ. Up to Ephesians 5:21, Paul is writing to the Church in Ephesus as a whole. In verse 22, He starts writing specifically to wives and then specifically to husbands after that.

We are called also as the Body of Christ to “love one another”, but husbands are specifically commanded to “love their wives as Christ loved the Church”, “love their wives as their own bodies” , and also to “dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife” (1 Peter 3:7). Wives are specifically commanded to submit to their husbands as the Church does to Christ, not only in Ephesians 5, but also in Colossians 3, Titus 2:5, and 1 Peter 3.

The problem with some of the “love and respect jargon”, as you put it, is that some of it is based off of feelings and psychology.

Husbands are called to love their wives, not so that they “feel loved”, but to represent who Christ is and did for the Church. He showed that powerful love by dying for the sins of unworthy people. Remember that the sins He died for were all against Himself. That’s love….not a feeling. The end result may be that she “feels loved”, but it’s not the goal. The goal is to honor Christ and show Him off, not only to the wife, but also to the world.

Wives are called to submit to their husbands just like the Church is supposed to do to Christ. What does that look like? Well, what are our responses and responsibilities supposed to be toward Christ our Lord? Wives are also called to respect their husbands (5:33) The end result may be that they “feel” respected, but that’s not that goal. The goal is to honor Christ and show Him off by representing the Church and its devotion to Christ, not only to the husband, but also to the world.

The most interesting thing about all of this are the meanings of the Greek words behind them. We all know the word love is “agape” as it is always pounded into our heads. (I will not go into the meaning of “submit” lest all the women unite and stone me.) But the word respect in verse 33 is translated into some other versions as “reverence” and the Greek is “phobeo” from which we get our word “phobia” from. So, it could be translated as “fear”as well. That would go along with other verses where that same word is used. For example:

Matt 1:20 – “… Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid (phobeo) to take to you Mary your wife…”

Matt 10:28 – “And do not fear (phobeo) those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear (phobeo) Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Luke 2:9 – ” And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid (phobeo phobo).”

Hebrews 4:1 – “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear (phobeo) lest any of you seem to have come short of it.”

…among many others

Speaking about fear, it’s amazing just how much God provides for us in His Word. He understands how difficult and fearful the idea of submission is to women, especially since He is the one that cursed women with the desire to control her husband way back in the Garden. Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:

“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on apparel–rather the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptibility of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, **whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any fear**. ”

Unfortunately, we don’t hear this in churches or Christian culture today.

It seems that psychology and philosophy, not to mention our own sinful rationalizations, have caused many to either not understand this, stay away from it altogether, think that it’s all about either the man loving enough or the woman submitting enough, or some kind of mish-mash of “mutual submission” that totally undermines what the whole of Scripture says. I don’t quite understand how it became this way. But then again, I don’t quite understand how the gospel has become about your own personal happiness, either.

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