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Men, Women and the Bible

The conversation we began yesterday about women and the Bible shows how many of us are trying to understand the intent of God for gender-based roles in the home and church.

Together we have seen how followers of Christ divide over the interpretation and application of statements made by the Apostles Paul and Peter in some of their pastoral letters to first century churches.

In the interest of coming together around another idea that divides us, my guess is that most of us would agree on the biblical story leading up to the pastoral statements of Paul and Peter. I think we can agree, for instance, that,

In Creation Eve was made as a “helper” to Adam and that in the Old Testament, “helper” normally describes God as our “helper” (Gen 2:18; Psalm 70:5).

In the Fall when God predicted that men would rule over women it was part of the curse on sin that included weeds and thistles in the field, multiplied pain in childbirth, and death for all (Gen 3:16).

In the Patriarchal period that followed the biblical record shows how men used and misused their strength to dominate multiple wives, children, and servants. Yet the Lord did not always expect women to submit to their husbands. At one particularly difficult moment of family conflict, God told Abraham to defer to Sarah’s demands (Gen 21:9-12).

The Law of Moses required children to honor their parents but did not directly order a wife to obey her husband. Instead the laws of Israel regulated male-run institutions. It’s also true, however, that when men refused to honor their marital covenants, Mosaic law granted divorce to even the lowest women in society (Exod 21:7-11; Deut 21:10-14).

During the time of the Judges when “everyone did that which was right in their own eyes”, the Lord raised up a wise prophetess and judge by the name of Deborah to deliver the people of Israel.

In the period of the Kings A woman by the name of Abigail resisted the stubborn pride of her husband and saved her family from death (1Sam 25:18-24). Later King Solomon, in spite of multiplying wives for his own pleasure, wrote a tribute to the virtuous woman (Prov 31). His description describes a woman of honor and strength who traveled outside of her home to buy, sell, and supplement the income of her family.

The prophet Joel foresaw a day in which the sons and daughters of his people would be filled with his Spirit and speak in the behalf of God (Joel 2:28-29). Later the Apostle Peter quoted Joel’s words to explain what was happening on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17-18).

With the coming of Messiah , however, we have the most important perspective of all. By Jesus’ example and words, he taught that anyone who claimed authority in his kingdom must become as a servant (Luke 22:25-27).

Only with some of the Pastoral letters of Paul and Peter do we find women being directly instructed to be submissive to their husbands and quiet in the church. In these same passages we are told that husbands are the head of their wives as Christ is the head of the Church (Eph 5:22-31). But in other places Paul teaches the equality of men and women in Christ (Gal 3:28; 1Cor 7:4) and acknowledges women praying and prophesying in church (1Cor 11:5). In 1Timothy 5:14 Paul instructs young mothers to be “keepers” of the home– a word which literally means “to be master (or head) of a house.”

At this point our agreement may temporarily end. Some suggest that Paul is writing to specific situations with sensitivity to first century Jewish and Greek customs. Others say it’s evident that Paul’s counsel is not “local” and “time-sensitive” because he links his counsel back to issues of the original creation and character of God.

Still others say that the problem we are having all but goes away if we would only reflect the appropriate attitudes and accountability.

Imagine, for instance, what would happen if the men and women of the church responded to one another with mutual respect and Christ-like love? How many organizational issues would shrink in significance if elders and deacons saw their role in the terms that Jesus called for?

Then picture the same thing happening in the home. What if men did not press the issue of whether their wives were being submissive, but instead focused on the fact that Paul urges them to love their wives as Christ loved the church? What if, after looking carefully at what God asks of husbands and wives, both conclude that an inspired Paul was just using different words to urge both men and women to do the same thing: sacrifice their own interests for the sake of the other?

In summary, unless we remember the big story behind Christ-like attitudes and accountability, specific statements the Bible makes about gender-based roles in the home and church can seem overwhelmingly confusing and even self-contradictory.

That’s why it’s so important for us to find perspective from the story of the complementary ideal of Creation; the prediction (not prescription) of the curse; the servant attitudes Jesus modeled and taught us; and the accountability to God that comes with the principle that “to whom much is given, much shall be required” (Luke 12:48).

(If men have been given a certain kind of strength that, especially in pre-modern/pre-tech times, enabled them to dominate and rule their homes and communities, then we can be sure that God will hold men accountable for how they use or misuse that strength.)

Seems to me that with the right attitudes (i.e. mutual love and respect) the issues of “authority,” “power,” and “control” become very small. On the other hand where individuals (men or women) combine the strengths they’ve been given with self-centered, abusive attitudes, and an unwillingness to be held accountable– the best kinds of organization in the home, church, or business ultimately fail.

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32 Responses to “Men, Women and the Bible”

  1. He_died_so_I_may_life says:

    Great summary Mart.
    God created us male and female. Equal in value because we were made in His image, different by design because He has a purpose uniquely fitted for men and women. God gave Christ headship over everything. Dr. John Piper spoke recently at the True Women conference and beautifully drew us to our God-designed purpose to Glorify God through Christ in the unique way He created each of us…
    Thank you for this thought provoking discussion!

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Mart, My hat is off to you sir. This is a subject you have researched and captured very well. In your summary you said it all.

    Self always gets in the way of service. Many times in the home, one spouse may be saved the other not. This becomes a very difficult situation and may end badly. In business it is the same. Some work harder at making the business succeed while others are along for the paycheck. And church, oh boy…..if, is such a troublesome word. If people got rid of self centered attitudes and concentrated on true service to each other, then there wouldn’t be hundreds of different denominations all thinking they (self) are right and all else wrong.

    Accountability….Some day, I will stand before God and judgement. Because of the blood covering of Jesus, I will be found not guilty of my sins. However I will be held accountable for the life I lived for Christ. From this comes my rewards. What rewards? I don’t know. But I believe that when I see the rewards God had for me, I will wish I had been a better witness and servant for Jesus. For me now I may be satisfied with just making in. But when there with God, I will be sorry I didn’t do more for him. Oh I am sure I will have excuses, and God will understand. But the rewards are reserved for the faithful servant.

  3. poohpity says:

    How funny is that, just as I logged in, I was going to take my hat off to you Mart but Steve beat me to it. Well truth being told I do not wear a hat but the sentiment is there. Wow, you know it is all about reading the word with the direction of the Holy Spirit and letting love be your guide. Love is the only thing that will remain along with faith and hope. Love is always seeking the best for the one loved. So my veil is off to you, lol.

  4. pegramsdell says:

    A Pastor once told me a story about a couple who attended a marriage class that he and his wife taught for, I think, 8 weeks at our church, on Sunday morning. He taught the men and she taught the women.
    (I attended a couple of them and didn’t like the idea of submitting to my husband, lol…but, I really did learn a lot).
    Anyway, there was one woman, who after the class was over, was overjoyed in the difference in her husband. She said that he was attentive and helped around the house and seemed to be nicer to her.
    So, she went to this pastor and thanked him for a good job. Only, the pastor said that he never saw her husband in his class.
    So, he told her that it wasn’t her husband who changed, it must have been her.
    I thought that was interesting.

  5. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, you are killing me with this man/woman controversy …in fact, today at work a guy tells me that the woman’s hands has more bacteria than a man’s and one hand of the man has more of it because he holds the woman’s contaminated hand…what is this world coming to?! Anyway, I have nothing much to add to this 2 days-long conversation going on here…glad you finally arrived at some conclusion and it is a good one. Agree, if any one wants to be a master, let him/her be the slave and if anyone is interested to lead and rule let him/her silently serve. Somebody has said that it is very difficult for men to love and for women to respect…
    (Aside: I’m getting jealous of the blog next door with all its snowy shots…why aren’t you posting pics anymore?)

  6. Charis says:

    In the beginning, the man and the woman were one- quite literally.
    The woman had not yet been taken out of the man
    The man and the woman were given dominion over “the fish of the sea, birds of the air, etc” (see Genesis 1:26-28). Note the use of “male and female” and “they” and “them”.
    The woman was separated out of the man by a cleft
    and then- as man and woman- I believe they experienced deep intense intimacy with each other in the Garden of Eden. They were completely un-self-conscious, naked and unashamed- and that is not just about their bodies- that is about themselves
    The fall —->shame, male rule over female

    Jesus came to set us free.
    In Jesus day women and men
    comprehended and apprehended the freedom.
    For a little window of time, the tree of life was here in our midst and humanity was reminded of what it is like to literally walk with God in the cool of the day

    Fast forward to today… Marriages are in crisis, including Christian marriage. Can we HOPE and PRAY for a NEW era within the church where marriages are RESTORED to Garden of Eden intimacy the way HE intends; where people look at the church and see marriages which are so attractive and so characterized by Christian love that it draws them to seek the tree of life which feeds that marriage? That kind of marriage can not and will not happen unless the man and the woman are a team- ruling together, not over one another, but over creation- and walking together in intimacy with one another and with God: naked and unashamed (which is about transparency and deliverance from shame and curses).

    I read your blog and don’t post much, but this issue is something which I have pondered much. Your perspective is soooo refreshing. May your tribe increase!

    Love, Charis

  7. believer3 says:

    “In Creation Eve was made as a “helper” to Adam and that in the Old Testament, “helper” normally describes God as our “helper” (Gen 2:18; Psalm 70:5).

    Good discussion, I would however, like to point out something about the above statement.

    I find the way this is said it easily leads people to think that women are assistants to the tasks of men. And that is not the way Scripture says it. This is a pretty big problem. Plus when pieces of Scripture are lifted out of their context, it also easily leads to remaking it into something else. And this is one of those Scriptures that is often lifted out of context unintentionally.

    The context is that it is not good for the human to be alone, and God is going to send a help for the not-good of aloneness. This is quite different from “a helper” to the man. She IS the help. She does not give help to.

  8. BobbiLee says:

    Thanks Mart, for a great summary and post. You said it all when you mentioned that the Bible teaches God’s ideal. Since we are still under the curse of sin, that ideal marriage, ministry, or relationship will still be in for some rocky issues. It is so good to be reminded of each of our responsibilities as man or woman. In the end, each of us is held accountable for our own responses and actions. Even if the marriage partner or ministry leader is not being biblical, we can still remember our servanthood, and who it is we ultimately serve and act accordingly. We cannot change anyone, that is God’s business. We can allow Him to change us and deal with the other person.

  9. macsisson22 says:

    Mart, I have to say I agree with your conclusion that the issue of authority becomes small, but I feel somehow that you have avoided sharing your conclusion, or at least taking a side on women in authority, especially within the church. This was probably a wise move on your part(lol). I see allowance for the leadership roles of women but do not recall a directive, except to appoint elders (masculine) in every church.

    BTW, What about Athaliah, Jezabel, the Witch of Endor …?

  10. kaliko88 says:

    I sometimes wonder if ‘submit’ is really the right word. I think for anyone a better word is ‘surrender’. Not surrendering to someone, but surrendering control. I’m having a hard time voicing this, but what I mean is that there are too many who try to assert control and do something by themselves. To serve is to help, to surrender is to accept help. To work together, each allowing the other to use their strengths as compliments to the other’s talents, is a better way. I just really don’t think that in the end it should be about equality. It’s too close to pride and has it’s own potential for abuse. It should be about doing the work just for the sake of getting it done, thinking beyond ourselves and helping others, doing it well, and giving the glory to God.

    I just think that God made men and women the way they are for a reason. I would rather work to the potential He gave me, my own unique potential, then worry about something as divisive as ‘equality’. I may not always be happy with myself, but that’s because I’m often foolish. For the most part I like the way God has made me. I like working to see what I can do and accomplish. And I feel that trying to ‘level the playing field’ is like saying God didn’t make me right, or that he didn’t have something special in mind for me. So I’ll ‘surrender’ my control to Him and try to serve Him, and I’ll let Him decide who does what or who is the authority. The who’s just aren’t as important to me as the work is.

  11. mruspm says:

    Mart, Great Job! My stance is that these NT comments of Peter & Paul were contextual of the times, man’s mandates, not God’s mandates. I find the “Woman at the Well” story to be freeing in that Jesus was above the societal conflict of a rabbi talking to a women, and a jew talking to a Samaritan….and in the end he gives her ‘the message of Life’ and sends her off (sort of a pastoral mission) back home and people came to know Jesus through her. I have had trouble with woman on pastoral-staffs having much/equal responsibility but being labelled as ‘Directors’ not ‘Pastors’….I feel Jesus would give woman the equal title but even above that he’d remind us that we are his Brothers & Sisters, siblings equal is all rights, and that as we serve each other we grow and advance in our meaning here on Earth.

    Again, Great topic!!

    Chris S Warner Robins, GA

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Such excellent comments. I am humbled by the knowledge and wisdom many of you possess.

    I was reminded as I read this morning, Luke 20:34 -36. It would appear when we get to the resurection we are all the same.

  13. BruceC says:

    Very well said Mart. Last night while lying in bed, I was talking to the Lord as I would a best friend. Telling Him about the problems I’ve had the last few days trying to finish a project that I thought was very important. It became very clear to me how we all are so self-centered and how this leads to so many problems we see in society, the family, and in the church. It then became clear to me that the project was not as important as I thought it was and the tension surrounding it began to disipate. A lot like our lives. We get into big trouble when we place so much importance on the things WE think are important; when in the end they aren’t. It’s the things of God that are important.

  14. poohpity says:

    I think the sad part is we need each other so much but because of hurts we tend to push each other away. I do not remember where I learned it but I was taught that a rope with just one lead is weak but two is stronger and adding a third is very strong. I have always thought that one person with God is strong but with another person it would be really hard to break that apart.

    The bottom line is God created two people male/female to work together to achieve a common purpose and that purpose is to exemplify God.

    I do not know how to let someone else be the head because I have had to do it alone. The only head I know is Christ so I can not even empathize with married couples problems. By the sounds of what I have heard it may be better to stay single.

  15. Charis says:

    Phillip said: “The Proverbs 31 wife exercised all her skills and talents in support of her husband so that he “lacks nothing of value.”

    I don’t read the verse quite that way, Phillip.

    “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” Proverbs 31:11

    The husband lacking nothing of value seems to depend on his attitude toward his wife… Does he “have full confidence in her”?

    Philip said: “But in his role as Servant- Leader, the man is to exercise authority in the home and as his Helper-Lover, the woman is to use all her talents and abilities to help him fulfil his role responsibilities in the home, the church and the world.

    Isn’t “dominion” the same thing as “authority”? In Gen 1:26-28 joint dominion was given to “them”. God never retracted that and I can’t help but wonder HIS best intention is for a husband and wife to have joint authority/dominion in the home, the church and the world.

  16. daisymarygoldr says:

    Wanted to share some random thoughts generated in response to some of the comments … nothing worthwhile and no attempt either to untie the knot tied so beautifully in Mart’s post… this is only for the married. Singles, you have a better and higher calling!

    God took the rib from ‘inside’ Adam’s side to make Eve. Hence Eve’s position is not over Adam’s head, nor at his feet, but at his side. As a rib, she represents his ‘inner’ strength and even the devil knew where the real strength was. Ps 144:12 refers to daughters as pillars that not only adorn but signify ‘internal’ support and immense strength of every massive structure. Doesn’t wisdom itself say that “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world” and “behind every successful man is a Proverbs 31 woman”?

    This divine order pertaining to gender roles is dutifully followed in the plant and animal kingdoms with no “inferiority-superiority” complexes but when it comes to the most intelligent souls, there is confusion in profusion! We, the created choose to tell our creator “it is my way, my thoughts, my decision, my choice, my body, my purpose, my role and not yours”. Do we really intend to function against our androgen and progesterone levels? On what basis does a woman claim to be a man? Are we mocking God for His futility in creating a fertile pair of ovaries and a strong muscular uterus? Does someone refuse marriage and motherhood by choosing to abstain from sex? How does this work? Please help me understand, as this is a whole new concept for me.

    So, as a woman I recognize my God-given ability of being capable of doing everything a man can do, even more capable than the man, however, my desire is to obey God’s order for man’s leadership, “for Adam was formed first, then Eve.” Feminine grace and beauty is enhanced when the woman submits to God’s ordained rule for authority and responsibility of a man both at home and at church.

    Therefore, the need of the hour is for lots of Deborahs… not to take up the armor of Baraks and lead the army to victory but to faithfully counsel and strengthen their hanging hands and feeble knees…not to usurp their position at their cowardly moments but to come alongside and support them in the battle. I can go on and on like this for every woman in the Bible…it all lies in our individual perception and our desire to obey God. This is how the Bible laments for our society and church “O My people! Their oppressors are children, and women rule over them (Isaiah 3:12).

  17. wretch-like-me says:

    Well said, Marti, all I can add is “AMEN”
    His servant in North Eastern Washington.
    (Where it has strangely yet to snow?)

  18. SFDBWV says:

    In this life, there are 2 genders. Male and female, man and woman. To confuse the 2 creates confusion amongst people wether believers or otherwise.

    Men are physicaly and mentaly different than women. I am glad it is so.

    In 1 Corinthians 12, the gifts of the spirit are described and given to whom? Man alone? Woman alone? No but are given to all parts of the body of Christ. All believers.

    Husband and wife, each need to know their place in the family. I want my wife to be feminine not masculine. I need that presense as I have to be hard enough for us all. I need her to be tender for the balance in the home. I can be tender, but I also need sometimes to be tough. Thats part of my job. Part of being a man.

    I would feel uncomfortable with a wife that worked on our car, did the butchering, and finished off the day by spliting wood with a 16lb sledge hammer.

    At the same time my wife would not want me to wear a dress.

    I’m 61 years old, I still don’t understand a woman’s mind. And I’m not going to say that I do. Because just as soon as I would, she would change her mind.

    Ok so I’m having a little fun here. Just let me say that I don’t want to be a woman and women who want to be a man, upset me. We must live in this world for now and to try and make men and women a unisex individual upsets the natural order of things.

    Being a man doesn’t give me the right to be abusive to anyone, but rather places me under the direct instruction from God to be a loving care giver to all under my authority first and then to all others as it is given me to do so.

  19. poohpity says:

    I really need some humor so I would enjoy seeing the dress thing while someone was chopping wood.

  20. Mart De Haan says:

    When you talk about being “a loving care giver to all under your authority”, am just wondering what text you would use to show “authority over your wife”.

    i.e. I remember being shown by a woman (not my wife) that the one passage that directly addresses authority between a man and a woman shows up in teaching about marital intimacy and indicates that both husband and wife have mutual authority over one another (1Cor 7:4). Have also heard and discovered that healthy marital intimacy needs to be consistent with the overall relationship rather than an exception to it.

    (Am also assuming here that when Eph 5 talks about a husband being the head of his wife, the only thing that is explicitly said is that as “head” the husband is to show loving care for his wife– which is what you said– but without direction mention of “having authority over”.

    Then there’s another NT passage about authority between men and women. This one occurs in a discussion about church relationships but apparently is often misunderstood. I’m thinking of 1Tim 2:12 where Paul says he does not allow a woman to usurp authority over a man. According to Strongs Lexicon this word translated “authority” by the KJV occurs only once in the NT and has this range of meaning:

    831 auvqente,w authenteo {ow-then-teh’-o}
    Meaning: 1) one who with his own hands kills another or himself 2) one who acts on his own authority, autocratic 3) an absolute master 4) to govern, exercise dominion over one
    Origin: from a compound of 846 and an obsolete hentes (a worker);; v
    Usage: AV – usurp authority over 1; 1

    It’s because of such clarifications that I keep discovering that many of my former assumptions about what it means to be a man are only possible implications of Scripture– rather than necessary ones.

  21. DarleneJoy says:

    I don’t have any wise comments or thoughts to add – but I want to thank everyone who has participated in this discussion. Thank you, Mart, for your well-researched and well-articulated summary of this topic which is only difficult for us right now because we live in a sin-sick world.

    Thank you to everyone who has added their comments – I am SO glad to see that there is so much agreement on the most important element of love and surrender – and it BEGINS with our relationship to God. If we are truly surrendered to Him, then I believe that the proper love and surrender will be an outflow into our other human relationships.

    I am a single woman – and I long to be married, but in this time of waiting for God to show me the man He has for me, I am learning about the precious and wonderful intimacy I can have with my Lord.

  22. ellavl says:

    In Genesis, God said man and woman are to be one, just as Jesus and the church are to be one. In this oneness, we are all to work toward the same end, leading mankind to Jesus and readying the world for the rapture.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    My appoligies to you Mart. Because I get up early I go to bed early as well. After posting last night I turned off the computer. However I will attempt to answer your questions now.

    First I quote Genesis 3:16 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

    There are three curses here. First, woman’s sorrow will be greatly multiplied. Second,childbirth will be painful. Third, her husband shall rule over her.

    This is at the very begining of our Bible. Nowhere have I found that God changed his mind and lifted the curse he put upon woman. Or man.

    Secondly I quote 1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

    I go now to Noah. God called Noah to the task of saving his family, along with all the animals. It was Noah’s responsibility to obey God and save all the members of his family. Noah exacted authority over his house and all where saved.

    Abraham, God called Abraham to leave his fathers house and go to a land God had in mind to give to him and all his decendants. Abraham’s obediance to God brought forth the nation of Israel. This would have been quite a task without Sarah his wife. And when Sarah tried to interfere, Ishmael was the result. Abraham was the master of his “house” his “domain” all that he owned and was responsible for. Abraham had authority over his “house”.

    Joshua 24:15, :” but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua was the master of his house and spoke with “authority” concerning it.

    All throughout the Bible men have been the master of their domain. If I am to be the master of what I am responsible for then I have authority over it.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. In the home only Love should govern our attitude. If we are following the instruction given us concerning loving our wives enough to die for them. Then balance and harmony, not strife and anger, will prevail.

    How we pick the right mate? That is for another topic.

  24. Charis says:

    Mart said:In the Fall when God predicted that men would rule over women it was part of the curse on sin that included weeds and thistles in the field, multiplied pain in childbirth, and death for all (Gen 3:16).ENDQUOTE
    SFDBWV said: There are three curses here. First, woman’s sorrow will be greatly multiplied. Second,childbirth will be painful. Third, her husband shall rule over her.ENDQUOTE

    Correction: In Genesis 3, God never pronounces CURSES upon the woman or the man. The only CURSES God pronounces are upon the serpent and the ground. A small detail but not trivial. Realizing this changed my whole perspective on God’s character. (God is not like an abusive earthly father…)

    Mart referred to “the prediction (not prescription) of the curse”. I would substitute “consequence” for “curse” but I agree that the consequences are predictive, not prescriptive. IOW, it is not wrong for men to use labor saving devices which save on sweat, for women to have anesthesia during childbirth to alleviate pain, or for married couples to be equal partners.

    Didn’t Jesus come to restore what was lost by Adam and Eve’s decision? What does John mean when he says “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 Jn 3:8)?

  25. poohpity says:

    You know while Christ is the Head of me, He is not authoritative and He has freed me from the curse of death which was what the fall was all about. He (Christ) shows me the love mentioned in 1 Cor 13 and asks me to show that to others. Now if I show that kind of love all these arguments will pass away because they will be in self seeking vanities. The strongest man I have ever known was one that did not demand his own ways but was a protector, if he thought things were out of hand quietly he would do something about it. He was a marine and never showed off his strength because he had inner strength to let everyone around him be all that they could be without his interference only encouragement. So we really do not have to show anything but love to one another because that is where the short fall is.

    The only Head any of us needs is Christ that taught us how to love and that is the some total of all anyone needs because in the end it is the only thing that lasts because it is the greatest thing there is.

  26. Mart De Haan says:

    Such good perspectives. Thanks to all of you. I hesitate to move on. But, once again, I hope that as I go on to post something on “Should Women be Elders?” Other readers will come back to see what you have all said on the more basic issue.

  27. wretch-like-me says:

    At this point I feel we are staining out gnats…
    Where are you taking us from here, Marti?

    Would anyone like to extoll the blessings of their spouse?

    I have had many conversations with God about my own, however, most times he reminds me of my own short comings. When all is said and done, I am truly blessed to have a Prov. 31 wife. I wish I were more Christ-like in my attention to her.

    A question to each of us. When was the last time we ‘publicly’ praised our spouse?

    You would be surprized how much it may change quietly your own perspective of how much you have to be thankful?

  28. Charis says:

    PHILLIP said: Hi Charis. The Prov. 31 husband has full confidence in his wife because she is fulfilling her God-ordained role as his wife.
    “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” Prov 31:11

    Which comes first: his confidence or her flourishing?

    I say she flourishes BECAUSE she has chosen a Godly husband who has blessed her with freedom to flourish.
    He doesn’t keep her under his thumb,
    he doesn’t micromanage and control her,
    he doesn’t second guess her initiative, financial decisions, competence.
    He doesn’t assert authority over her.
    He VALUES her, cherishes her, nourishes her, trusts her.
    He has FULL CONFIDENCE in her! :)
    —–> He lacks nothing of value :)

  29. kidmugg says:

    I’m delighted a discussion like this one isn’t bring out the pitchforks!

    And I like your summary. Very clear.

    I found this post through the Gospel.com blog (of which our ministry is also an alliance member). But I never thought they’d highlight a discussion like this one!

    This past summer I posted up several posts on the “mystery of submission” which goes through Eph 5. It’s been a journey arriving at my present conclusions (which will likely change again tomorrow!). Those posts are in the august archives at http://www.dalefincher.com.

    Thanks for your work!

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