Friday, April 4, 2008

Grounds for Decapitation?

Yesterday, a coworker of mine found a document on the printer titled “The Great Mystery of Marriage.” Below its bolded header was the Bible verse Ephesians 5, 2.21-33.

Now, I’m not someone who should be interpreting the Bible by any means. I did not grow up attending church, and nowadays I only go to see my nieces sing or to observe the Christmas holiday. But even with my pitifully cursory knowledge of the subject, I am certain this excerpt just can’t be right…

“Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is the head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands in everything.”


If this is how churches really view marriage, I extremely thankful I don’t attend one regularly! When I’m married, I’d like to keep my own head and continue making my own decisions. Or at least be a two-headed monster with my hubby.

And I CERTAINLY don’t want to submit in EVERYTHING. That’s just crazy talk.

Come forth, Christian female readers—tell me what you think about this! Do we need to start giving guillotines as wedding presents or what?


Anita said...

I think this exact passage was used in a Wife Swap episode (shoot, did I just admit I watch Wife Swap?!). You can imagine that the wife who was swapped into that household was really out of her comfort zone and spread havoc to the entire family.

Seeing this on TV just made me realize how fortunate I am to live in a society where this seems out of the norm.

I thank my lucky stars that I didn't grow up with a religion that preached this and had parents who are forward-thinking enough to raise a strong and independent woman.

Jane Moneypenny said...

I grew up Catholic and although I'm not an avid follower nowadays, I will say that you're not really supposed to take the Bible literally. You have to remember this is an old old old piece of literature...

Big Sister said...

This verse from the Bible really irked me the first time I saw it. Since then, I have attended a Bible Study that focused on the book of Ephesians,written by the Apostle Paul, and I understand it's meaning much better now.
First off, (as Melissa learned at 1am last night...) this book of the Bible was originally written in Ancient Greek, which does not always tranlsate to English exactly. The word submit, may not have been the original intention of the writer - that might have just been the closest word that our language had to theirs.
Secondly, if you read the verse in the context of the whole passage, it has plenty that the husband is supposed to be doing for his wife - "Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church." That's a pretty strong statement, since Jesus' whole life was for the church. I think if my husband was loving me in that way, caring for my every need, I would probably have a much easier time submitting to him.
The main thing I have learned in the various Bible studies I have been in is, in no way does this mean the wife is the husband's doormat, for him to do whatever he chooses, and she should be included in all decisions that involve the family.
Trust me, and Melissa can attest to this, I have a long way to go before I would consider myself a submissive wife - I just understand what Paul was getting at. What I'm not clear about, is if Paul was married? Never heard any mention of his wife in any of these Bible studies....

Anonymous said...

Wow, and THIS is what I have been missing at church all these years??!!