“a wife should submit to her husband” (Eph 5:22).
This is very familiar church advice offered to abused wives throughout Western communities around the world. After careful consideration and proper exegesis, one could come to the conclusion that Eph 5:22 is not being used in its proper context. This however, is not the reason for this post.
I know there are many scholarly blogs and sermons written on the subject of violence in the church, this is just my take on the matter. I may not be a scholar but I’ve been given a sound and clear mind through my Saviour and He has given us the ability to reason.
In my field of experience (counselling), I came across the ‘Biblical teaching’ that if a woman is being beaten or abused by her husband, she as a Christian, should go home and submit under her husband because that is God’s will for her life. I‘ve also seen that many believe that she ‘deserves’ it since she drove her husband to act in that manner.
I’ve often seen that the bruised and sunglass disguised woman in front of me was instructed by her pastor or elder “if only she would have submitted”. What was breaking my heart was that these big strong men were telling these frailer women to go back and submit under a beating. I often thought about the logic of this advice…
What if Mr. Jones was telling Mr. Smith to go to down a dark alley to be beaten up by an even bigger guy? And not only once, but on a regular basis!
Would he willingly go?
Would he submit under Mr. Jones`s advice / counsel?
Will any man advise another to go get beaten up?
If anything, one would think they would rather go with him next time to sort the bully out together.
Mr. Jones, do you know how scary and painful it is to beaten?
Mr Smith, would you submit under Mr Jones? Probably not, because you are not so dumb.
Wait…there is more…..God appointed Mr. Jones to be the boss. What now Mr. Smith?
Does this mean God wants you to be beaten up?
……and women are illogical??
And remember, a woman is not going to a dark alley, she’s going home! Home is supposed to be a safe place. And most of the time, her children are there.
If she doesn’t submit she’s not called smart; she is called an unruly wife.
The worst is: The men are saying…. “God said you must submit…..” Who has the problem? God and the woman. God is the responsible one and the woman the disobedient one. The man is not guilty. (Adam said….Lord it wasn’t me…)
Yahweh tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalm 11:5
I have come to the conclusion that Ephesians 5:22 should not be used against a woman in a violent marital situation.
If we look at the following scriptures about what God says about violence, and the list is by no means exhaustive….. Psalm 7:9 Psalm 18:48 Psalm 140:1 and we look at Scriptures about controlling oneself….James 1:19-20 Ephesians 4:26-27 Proverbs 14:29 Ephesians 4:32 Proverbs 16:32 there is a lot of evidence that this submitting thing makes no sense the way it is interpreted.