Monday, January 17, 2011

When not to submit

Shirley has a good post outlining when a woman should not submit according to a complementarian author. This is excellent. I have been thinking that if a wife is required to submit "in all things" this could easily cross the line of legality.

Included in the list of when not to submit is ethical and moral issues, biblical priniciples, caring for children and submission to abuse of any kind. So far, so good.

I would add to this that a woman must not submit in any situation in which she operates as a legal and civil entity. This is wrong. Now that women do have the right to own property, to borrow funds, to earn money, to sign legal documents and to vote, it is obvious that if a wife vows to obey her husband in any area in which she acts as a legal entity, this negates her legal status. She would simply be operating as an extension of her husband, and this doubles his legal efficacy, his vote, his signing power. Perhaps his wife does have a job. If she has to co-sign a document because her husband tells her to, she puts herself in debt because her husband has required it of her. Maybe she wanted to save for retirement.

I am suggesting that it should be made illegal for anyone to influence a woman to vow to obey her husband. I am saying that women should be taught that obeying her husband is an irresponsible act and does not accord with her adult status as a citizen of a free country, as a parent of dependent children and as a child of dependent parents. It does not accord with the reality that more than half of women will have to support themselves in retirement.

I am simply appalled that anyone would think that a woman should be influenced or taught to obey her husband.

5 comments:

Mary X said...

This ridiculous notion of submission needs to be put to bed. Either a woman submits her will, conscience, body and everything else to her husband..or she doesn't. Perhaps Paul's advice about submission was relevant in the first century AD but it makes no sense for individuals who have been set free in Christ.

I think this is a spiritual, not a legal battle.

Don said...

I think this is a weak spot in the comp analysis. Paul says that ANYTHING that is not done in faith is sin. So if a wife cannot do something that her husband asks her to do in faith, it sure seems like he is asking her to sin if he "insists".

In other words, as long as some women believe in the comp worldview, it would not be sin for them to act comp, but once the "spell is broken", it would be sin.

I figured this out from reverse engineering comp-speak on sin. They wants to claim that the sin needed to be very clear in the Bible and I wondered why they were restricting the definition. It was so their model would work!

Kristen said...

"Submission" as envisioned in Eph. 5:21 was "one to another," which clearly could not have meant "consider one another in authority over one another." "Submit to one another" has to refer to an attitude of yielding and deferring to one another that all Christians are to give "one another." A wife's submission to her husband cannot be different than this.

Anonymous said...

" figured this out from reverse engineering comp-speak on sin. They wants to claim that the sin needed to be very clear in the Bible and I wondered why they were restricting the definition. It was so their model would work!"

So, who gets to define what is sin in their model? The husband. There is no need for the Holy Spirit to operate in the life of the wife. She already has one in human form.

Don said...

To be fair, comps do have a list of sins found in the Bible for which you can say no to your husband. But then they do not discuss Paul's faith definition of sin. So they are incomplete in their list.