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Author Topic: Submission and Love  (Read 2372 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 22, 2006, 10:17:35 AM »

Hello,

I am currently having a debate with someone on the role of women in marriage.  In the Bible, it says that women must submit, and I am arguing that that women who love submit.  This guy tells me that it never says women love to submit, but submits that she may be trained to love, and it gives me all these Bible verses to prove it.

I further go on to tell him that the Church does not submit without loving first.  And he argues the opposite.

Am I saying saying wrong here?  Are we really to submit before we love, or does love lead to submission?  What Bible verses are there to prove the correct view?

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006, 03:02:30 PM »

I would say both.  It's both submission and love.  One can feed the other.  Arguing which one comes first is like saying the chicken came before the egg.  I think that in a pastoral context saying that love comes first works out much better than having submission.  How many people understand obedience?  In a truly humble and non-egotistical manner?  Lets be honest.  

Having love first solves a lot of problems and gives you a basis for submission.  However its DEFINATELY not one sided.  The other person has to do their part too.  You should have asked your friend what he thought about HIS end of the bargain.   Wink
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 04:55:24 PM »

I think the way I've seen it is both, depending on the person; some people never know how to truly love without submission, while others never know true service and self-sacrifice without first loving.

In the end, one won't be at a high level on either one unless they're at a high level for both.
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006, 07:22:11 PM »

Hmmmm...

What about the commandment concerning husband and wife, i.e. wife is to submit to husband (that is there is no mention of loving husband and as a result submitting, or so he believes), and husband loves wife?  Should wife submit to someone she doesn't love?

At the same time, I guess I see your point that her love without submission is really true love I guess...lol

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 07:51:29 PM »

It says wife submit, husband love: but we also understand that they are one flesh, and as a result each one partakes of the love and sacrifice of the other.  The command did say for the husband to love her like Christ loved the church - for which He submitted Himself to death and through it conquered death.  As for her submission to him...

(well, they didn't really care about whether she loved or not, did they? - this is the typical line... and I don't buy it.  While marriage was arranged often, I think the Church still held out that love should grow - notice the continuous action, not static state - between them, even if at first they didn't love one another.)
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2006, 08:10:45 PM »

Thank you. Smiley

That makes sense to me.  I also can't see how one should submit to their husband whether one loves him or not.  Sounds to me as some sort of forced relationship.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006, 08:43:21 PM »

but we also understand that they are one flesh, and as a result each one partakes of the love and sacrifice of the other.

I think St. Paul also told Christians to live in mutual submission one to another, and I don't think he was talking specifically of marriage here.  When I'm able, I would actually like to read and post the Scripture reference that I'm trying to remember.
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006, 11:03:08 PM »

I think St. Paul also told Christians to live in mutual submission one to another, and I don't think he was talking specifically of marriage here.  

Makes perfect sense to me...
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2006, 12:29:03 AM »

I think St. Paul also told Christians to live in mutual submission one to another, and I don't think he was talking specifically of marriage here.  When I'm able, I would actually like to read and post the Scripture reference that I'm trying to remember.
Here's the passage I paraphrased in the above quote.


From the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Ephesians:

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.  (Ephesians 5:18-21, NKJV;  Note that the final verse of this passage immediately precedes the verse where St. Paul exhorts wives to submit to their husbands.)
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2006, 09:47:42 AM »

Just regarding the general relationship between love and submission, I think it would be safe to say that submission can exist without love, whereas love cannot exist without submission, because love gives birth to humility which in turn compels one to submit.

This is certainly the impression I get when reading the words of Christ as recorded in the Gospel of the Apostle John (Chapter 14):

"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2006, 11:03:52 AM »

Part of that passage may also be understood as Paul giving the direction that is most needed to each party. We know that men and women are different mentally, physically, and spiritually. We were created to be complimentary.

Women need the direction to submit--they already freely love much "more" than men. Loving and giving and emotion are more readily part of a woman; the idea of submission comes from the helper contributing to the fall of her husband in Genesis. Because she failed to help, now she has to submit (what this means is NOT some kind of slave relationship.) Men need the direction to love their wives. The emotion, the directive to give themselves over to their wives enough so that they would die for them, as Christ the Church, is what men need to be told.

These two directions, to men and to women, compliment each other. Love requires doing what is best for the other person, even to the detriment of one's self, for men. Women, who already love, need more help with submitting to what SHOULD be in her best interest as the man loves her in action, not just emotion, by doing that which helps her. Obviously, people do not always do that which is best, but this is talking about how we SHOULD be. When not seen as a instruction that somehow automatically excludes that which is doesnt mention, but one that is inclusive of the needs of each half of the party, it's easier to see how it works hand-in-hand.
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2006, 01:14:31 PM »

So submission is a result of love basically is what we're saying here?
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2006, 02:10:57 PM »

So submission is a result of love basically is what we're saying here?

If I may jump in, I see this as a difference of paradigm and word choice, not so much a difference of opinion. What is submission? Giving up one's own will/life/etc for another. What is love? Giving up one's own will/life/etc for another. You're both at a stalemate because you're arguing the same thing from different perspectives Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2006, 04:30:28 PM »

Submission will be a result of real Christian Love, just as Love will be a result of submission to Christ and His way.
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2006, 05:36:22 PM »

I am currently having a debate with someone on the role of women in marriage.  In the Bible, it says that women must submit, and I am arguing that that women who love submit.  This guy tells me that it never says women love to submit, but submits that she may be trained to love, and it gives me all these Bible verses to prove it.

Well, first question:  What does "submit" mean?  What does a person do when they submit to another?

I am serious, because I have come across men who thought that submission meant that the women *always* did whatever the husband wanted and never anything that she might want. Or that the woman was not to question anything the man did. Or in extreme cases that if the man beat her it was because she was not "submissive" enough so it was her fault.

It was interesting that such people only used the first verse(s) depending on whether they were quoting Ephesians or Colossians and didn't bring up the latter part about how husbands were love their wives and not be harsh/treat them badly.

Please note: I am *not* saying that you are in any way thinking like this.  Definition of terms can be important.

Ebor
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2006, 12:43:41 AM »

Please note: I am *not* saying that you are in any way thinking like this.  Definition of terms can be important.

You're absolutely right: definition of terms is critical, as well as the contextualizing of terms (something that you touched on earlier in this last post).  I don't want to leave it at the almost cliche "be submissive like Christ was," except there isn't a more complete answer... I guess submissive in the CHristian sense doesn't necessarily mean passive, just like Orthodox obedience doesn't always mean unquestioning action...
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2006, 10:15:47 AM »

Well, first question:  What does "submit" mean?  What does a person do when they submit to another?

I am serious, because I have come across men who thought that submission meant that the women *always* did whatever the husband wanted and never anything that she might want. Or that the woman was not to question anything the man did. Or in extreme cases that if the man beat her it was because she was not "submissive" enough so it was her fault.

It was interesting that such people only used the first verse(s) depending on whether they were quoting Ephesians or Colossians and didn't bring up the latter part about how husbands were love their wives and not be harsh/treat them badly.

I kinda read that into the person.  He always makes the case that divorces are so high because women do not obey or submit to their husbands as before, all because of "women's lib."  That kinda got me to raise an eyebrow (not that I like "women's lib" either btw), but it seemed to me that regardless of the love of the wife, she should always obey and submit to her husband who is "theoretically" loving.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2006, 11:09:36 AM »

I kinda read that into the person.  He always makes the case that divorces are so high because women do not obey or submit to their husbands as before, all because of "women's lib."  That kinda got me to raise an eyebrow (not that I like "women's lib" either btw), but it seemed to me that regardless of the love of the wife, she should always obey and submit to her husband who is "theoretically" loving.

If submission means that the man gets his own way and isn't questioned then that would look more like he wants a servant and to do whatever *he* wants.  

What does "submit" and "obey" in the context of two adults mean to you, Mina?

An interesting umm view on the causes of divorce: it's all the fault of women? There are women who leave due to abusive husbands. Is fleeing violence "women's lib"?   Which leads to wondering what is meant by "Women's Lib"?  Why is it a threat to him personally?  

Ebor

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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2006, 12:06:28 PM »

If submission means that the man gets his own way and isn't questioned then that would look more like he wants a servant and to do whatever *he* wants.  

What does "submit" and "obey" in the context of two adults mean to you, Mina?

An interesting umm view on the causes of divorce: it's all the fault of women? There are women who leave due to abusive husbands. Is fleeing violence "women's lib"?   Which leads to wondering what is meant by "Women's Lib"?  Why is it a threat to him personally?  

Ebor

Ya, I seemed to have gotten that vibe from him, as if women who are not submissive to their husbands are the cause of divorces here in America.

He seems like this middle-aged hard-headed fundamentalist Protestant who knows nothing but Scriptures.  He does admit however husbands must love wives, and assuming that they do, I guess he sees no problem with women submitting with or without loving back.

He meant women's liberation, or the feminist movements.  He sees this also as a source of degradation to the Biblical teachings and marriage life in general.

Anyway, the debate now shifted when I said that the Church is like a Mother to us, and he seems to take offense at that, that the Bible only mentions that the Church is just a bride to Christ.

Protestants are so ignorant!!!

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2006, 12:11:51 PM »

Read "More Spirited than Lions" by Sarah Elizabeth Cowie for both a history of the different feminist movements in history (the first ones were good, the latter ones were not) and an Orthodox perspective on what it means to be female, and what the feminist movement's values are, and what the Orthodox' values are when it comes to relating between the sexes, including in marriage, and the general idea of submission. I HIGHLY recommend it for both men and women to gain perspective. A couple would do well to read it and discuss it together.
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« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2006, 12:32:55 PM »

Read "More Spirited than Lions" by Sarah Elizabeth Cowie for both a history of the different feminist movements in history (the first ones were good, the latter ones were not) and an Orthodox perspective on what it means to be female, and what the feminist movement's values are, and what the Orthodox' values are when it comes to relating between the sexes, including in marriage, and the general idea of submission. I HIGHLY recommend it for both men and women to gain perspective. A couple would do well to read it and discuss it together.

Thank you...will do Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2006, 12:49:37 PM »

Ya, I seemed to have gotten that vibe from him, as if women who are not submissive to their husbands are the cause of divorces here in America.

No blame on the man.  Useful for him, I guess. (wondering if he himself is either married or divorced).

Quote
He seems like this middle-aged hard-headed fundamentalist Protestant who knows nothing but Scriptures.  He does admit however husbands must love wives, and assuming that they do, I guess he sees no problem with women submitting with or without loving back.

He may not fully know them either, but only the parts or understandings that suit him.  I don't know.  One wonders what he thinks "loving" another person is.

Quote
He meant women's liberation, or the feminist movements.  He sees this also as a source of degradation to the Biblical teachings and marriage life in general.

Well, which one or which part?  Just for an example, the idea of "liberation" implies that there is something to be liberated from.  Do you know what the basis was for the start of the attempt to improve rights for women?  How would a woman getting the Right to Vote be a threat?  What of the right to control property or wages that she had earned? In law a married woman ceased to be an individual in some places/times.  She was subsumed into her husband. Is a woman being able to get more education or to hold a job that she is good at a threat or degrading of Biblical teachings?  

Have you ever read the Declaration of Sentiments from the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848?

http://www.fordham.edu/HALSALL/MOD/Senecafalls.html

 I wonder just how much the person you are talking to knows about "Women's Lib" or whether he uses it as a catch-all phrase for "Women aren't doing what I think they should or what I want or like."

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Protestants are so ignorant!!!

No offense is intended here, but there some may be so, or it may be in particular the person you are talking with.  I take exception to your statement above, however.

Ebor
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« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2006, 01:56:58 PM »

Read "More Spirited than Lions" by Sarah Elizabeth Cowie for both a history of the different feminist movements in history (the first ones were good, the latter ones were not) and an Orthodox perspective on what it means to be female, and what the feminist movement's values are, and what the Orthodox' values are when it comes to relating between the sexes, including in marriage, and the general idea of submission. I HIGHLY recommend it for both men and women to gain perspective. A couple would do well to read it and discuss it together.
I certainly recommend that one as well (although I haven't quite read the whole thing).  I don't think she is arguing that the older movements were entirely good, but that they were certainly a lot better than what we see these days.  Anyway, I disagree with her use of St. John Chrysostom's earlier views on the fall to support a generally "post-fall" metaethic of gender relations, but this is a small point, which has no practical consequences.  In terms of social analysis and general anthropological concerns, I found the book pretty much right on.
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« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2006, 09:49:18 AM »

Any further discussion with your friend, Mina?  Any imput on what he mean's by "Women's Lib" beyond he's doesn't like something?

Ebor
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« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2006, 09:56:15 AM »

Hi Ebor,

The discussion got off a tangent when I mentioned that the Church is our mother, and he went off disagreeing with me, being the Protestant he is.

"Women's lib" is "women's liberation."  He seems to loath them, and even, in the course of the debate, asked me if I was female because of my name "Mina," worried that I am some militant feminist.

Well, anyway, the debate went from this, to the Church as mother, to Holy Tradition and Biblical interpretation, and it seems that him and me are not the best of friends anymore. Tongue

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2006, 10:08:39 AM »

Hi Ebor,

The discussion got off a tangent when I mentioned that the Church is our mother, and he went off disagreeing with me, being the Protestant he is.

I don't know as much on his being Protestant (and do you know just which denomination he is?  It is not a monolithic block.)  as maybe he has a problem with females and female images in general. Undecided

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"Women's lib" is "women's liberation."  He seems to loath them, and even, in the course of the debate, asked me if I was female because of my name "Mina," worried that I am some militant feminist.

I know that "Women's Lib" means Liberation.  The question was just *what* that means to him or you?  What is the definition?  (Didn't someone here think that "Mina" was a female name early on?)  Is discussion and debates that I've seen that label gets tossed off as though to dismiss any ideas or people that don't agree with the speaker.  

The writer, Rebecca West has a famous quote on this subject:
 
""I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute."

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Well, anyway, the debate went from this, to the Church as mother, to Holy Tradition and Biblical interpretation, and it seems that him and me are not the best of friends anymore. Tongue

I hadn't twigged that this was an on-line discussion.  Smiley  It sounds to me like the man doesn't like ideas that disagree with him in general, maybe.

Ebor
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« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2006, 11:26:16 AM »

According to his profile, it says "Berachah" under the Church he's from.  Never heard of it, but a google search seems to show it's another one of those denominations that call themselves "non-denominational."

To me, there is no clear meaning as to what a feminist "is".  Feminism is right on some things, and wrong in others.  If it leads to female priesthood and episcopalship, or trying to be politically correct on the Trinity (Source, Image, and Spirit), then there's something wrong with it.  Feminism on other hand has lead to great lengths putting woman in leadership roles and letting them vote, which I commend.

To him, he never clarified, but he certainly does not like the "political correctness" of feminism, and he believes simply the Bible is full of wisdom and clear, without worrying about political correctness, when it says that women should submit to their husbands.

But other than that, he or I cannot find a clear definition what exactly a feminist is.  (btw, I'm male Grin)

As for the rest of the debate, well, the more I got aggressive and, what I seem to think persuasive, the more I find him wanting to "give it up already."  Some of the outlandish claims he makes "the Church was never prophecied in the OT," "Christ was also hidden in OT prophecy," "The Church never gives birth, only the Holy Spirit," etc.

I'm about to just end this debate myself, unless there are some new leads.

God bless.

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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2006, 06:16:50 PM »

According to his profile, it says "Berachah" under the Church he's from.  Never heard of it, but a google search seems to show it's another one of those denominations that call themselves "non-denominational."

I checked a bit on it.  "Conservative" in Texas. Baptist polity (that doesn't mean they're "Baptists" it refers to their polity, how they're organized).  I've seen similar.

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To me, there is no clear meaning as to what a feminist "is".

Well, if there's no clear meaning, just saying that you don't like them or "Women's Lib" may not be very clear either but a kind of label applied to abstract ideas without taking into consideration the real human beings.  I'm not trying to give you a hard time.  Just looking to refine and be clear on what you mean.

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 Feminism is right on some things, and wrong in others.  If it leads to female priesthood and episcopalship, or trying to be politically correct on the Trinity (Source, Image, and Spirit), then there's something wrong with it.  Feminism on other hand has lead to great lengths putting woman in leadership roles and letting them vote, which I commend.

This isn't a monolithic bloc of all the same thing, though. There are different "jurisdictions" as itwere.  Tarring all with the same brush may not be taken as understanding the many variables.

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To him, he never clarified, but he certainly does not like the "political correctness" of feminism, and he believes simply the Bible is full of wisdom and clear, without worrying about political correctness, when it says that women should submit to their husbands.

Not to sound too jaundiced or anything, but my translation of that is "Political Correctness is people telling me that I can't make patronizing remarks and dismiss a woman's views.  It's people who I think are less then I am trying to come up to my level and I don't like it. And women should be quiet and do what they're told and not try to do things that *I* don't think they should or expecting me to do things I don't want to do.  They're getting "uppity" and should know their place."   Granted this is a bit broad, but in my time, I've worked with men who thought rather like that.

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But other than that, he or I cannot find a clear definition what exactly a feminist is.  (btw, I'm male Grin)

That's why I asked.  Sometimes people will use a label  on others, that shows conflict, but by not being clear are likely *not* seeing the "other" as a real human being.

I know that you're male.  I pay attention sometimes.  Wink Smiley

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As for the rest of the debate, well, the more I got aggressive and, what I seem to think persuasive, the more I find him wanting to "give it up already."  Some of the outlandish claims he makes "the Church was never prophecied in the OT," "Christ was also hidden in OT prophecy," "The Church never gives birth, only the Holy Spirit," etc.

You're not bowing to his ideas.  You're giving him other people's beliefs that are different from his own. You're a threat to his worldview like a woman who doesn't treat him with deference maybe.  There are people in the world who don't like to be disagreed with.

Ebor
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The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
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