Here’s some inspirational political art by me, Beth and a friend named Kat. These images are to help you better express yourself during this special season. I crowd sourced the quotes to make sure to cover a broad spectrum of feelings. Click on the images to get full size. Right click to “save image as”.
I recently had this conversation online. Some minor wording has been changed to make it relevant to anyone.
Q:What are Biblical marriage roles?
A: The biblical answer is mutual submission. Different but one is not the natural lord over the other. Both made in the image of God. Both valuable. If you can teach people how to love and be selfless it falls naturally into place. There are really good marriages around you that have figured it out. Watch how they interact with each other. The world perverts it in every way, but the best answer is to stay away from pendulum swings.
Q: “What does mutual submission look like? Does it look like the description in the Ephesians 5:22-33, or are those verses cancelled out by 20-21?”
A: No verses are cancelled out ever. That’s the problem with this subject. There is general understanding throughout the Bible about the value of women. Then we take two or three passages by Paul and use those to trump everything else swinging way past God given roles and into something justifying the paterfamilias. Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” and then it shows what that looks like. He addresses both parties. Here is how you submit to each other. It is not a simple concept. I expect to learn more experientially about it for decades to come. I also have more Bible study I’d like to do.
For instance what does it mean to be the head as Christ is the head? It can’t possibly be a role in which someone is obeyed and worshipped without question right? It can’t mean I save her from Hell. There have to be limits to the analogy. Christ is the head of the church. I am the head of the wife. To what extent? I am not her Lord, but there is a vast set of scenarios where I am clearly the leader. For instance, I walk first into more dangerous areas. She trusts me to protect her, to pay attention to our surroundings and would follow me out of a room immediately if I said, “we need to go right now.” I am the head of our house spiritually. When we are faced with demonic attacks usually I am the one that has the authority to end it. Sometimes however this is not the case. We look to God for the right answer here. Now, I also submit to Beth. She is not my Lord, but there are things in our life where I ask her what she thinks, and we do that without question. We are both homeschooling our daughters, but Beth has the authority to direct it. Why? Because she is more fit for the task. She has put the work into it. She has done more research. She is a better teacher than me. I could write a book on the different things on which we submit to each other. A lot of these things fall into the obvious masculine vs. feminine giftings. I’m much stronger and not afraid of black bears, so I take the trash out after dark. She doesn’t get offended by me taking this role. I would like to paint every room in the house blue or black. Beth knows better how to make a house hospitable and beautiful, so I don’t even argue. I’m not offended or emasculated in any way.
The bottom line is you’ve got to consider every bible passage within the greatest context which is the Bible in its entirety. God created them in His image, male and female. Both are His image. They are very different, but they are most assuredly equal. The man leaves his family and clings to his wife. They become one (echad). God told us to love. Love is a decision of our will. The will is always involved with marriage. Consent is key in every sphere of relationships. It is what defines stealing vs borrowing and so much more. It’s inseparable from marriage relationships too. Submission to each other happens by knowing who God has made each of us to be and then agreeing and consenting to yield to the other person. It does not mean I use a trump card every time we get into an argument. If a husband has to say, “No! I am the man. I am the leader!” to get his way in a decision there is something wrong with his character, just as wrong as if he never made a single decision or if he lived in constant fear of his wife. A marriage of two Christians is very beautiful and needs very little rules. Love self governs and flows smoothly. Selfishness forces and causes tension.
Anyway. That’s some of an answer. There’s a lot more to be said.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Jesus did a lot more than bring peace, but I believe that peace was high on His agenda. It was one of His biggest goals and purposes. Isaiah said that peace WILL increase. The zeal of the Lord WILL accomplish it. God wanted this for the world, and He would make sure that it happened no matter what.
So what is Peace? And did Jesus bring it?
In Greek the word used for it means to join or to make one. In Hebrew it was the familiar word “Shalom” which was the opposite of being at war.
Peace is not hippy calm. It is relational. It is being in a state of not-war. It doesn’t look like a sleepy monk. It looks like two people tearfully hugging again.
In Ephesians Paul says, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one.” This was a glimpse of Isaiah’s prophecy being fulfilled. Jesus brought peace. In the first century there was basically one problem. Jews and Gentiles were both getting saved. This was cool, but they were supposed to be in the same church and even in the same room. I’m happy to sing with him, but do I have to watch him eat? He’s gross! There was no end to the fighting and wall building and shutting out and name calling. But Paul worked tirelessly to fix this. He brought them back to Jesus.
Jews, how did you get saved?
By faith in Jesus.
Gentiles, how did you get saved?
By faith in Jesus.
Then stop fighting! No one is better. No one needs to become more like the other. You both need to focus on Jesus and love each other.
It’s easy to find an application to this message for first century Christians. Jews and Gentiles drop your weapons against each other. And more! Actually become one. Come into good relationship. But what about us? Well, it’s simple too. Drop weapons your against each other. And More. Actually become one. Come into good relationship.
• Is there a distanced relationship in your life that doesn’t have to be distanced?
• Jesus brought peace between God and man and between Jew and Gentile. He can do it again.
• Honor Him this season by being a minister of reconciliation. A minister of peace. Shod your feet with the Gospel of peace, and go fix a relationship!