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Month: November 2007

Jesus our example of a godly husband

Jesus our example of a godly husband

What is the godly way for a husband to treat his wife? Should he take authority over her and make decisions for her by going against her will? Many complementarians think that this is what the Bible tells the man to do and so we ask, what would Jesus do?

We know that Jesus is called the bridegroom of the church so we can learn from the way that Jesus acted towards his bride while he was here on earth. Let’s have a close look at the topic of decision making. Just before Jesus was to die, Jesus was with his disciples and he knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was going back to God.

John 13:4 (NET) he got up from the meal, removed his outer clothes, took a towel and tied it around himself.

John 13:5 He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel he had wrapped around himself.

John 13:6 Then he came to Simon Peter. Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

John 13:7 Jesus replied, “You do not understand what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.”

John 13:8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

John 13:9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”

John 13:10 Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean…”

Notice in this passage that not only did Jesus take the position of a servant, but he did not force himself on the disciples to make their decision for them. Peter balked at having his feet washed and Jesus did not take authority over Peter. Instead, Jesus explained to him that it was necessary to allow Jesus to do this act of service in order to have a share with him. It was then that Peter made the decision to allow Jesus to do his work and to serve him.

So how does this illustrate how the bridegroom should treat his bride? It shows that although Jesus could have taken authority over the disciples, he did not do that. He allowed them to submit to his service. For the disciples submission was allowing the bridegroom to serve the bride and to give himself for his own body. There was no forced submission and the servant-hood of Jesus was not for the benefit of the groom, but for the benefit of the bride.

Why is this an example of God’s way? It is because if the bridegroom takes authority over his bride he violates her personhood. The submission that Jesus gave to the Father while he was here on the earth was an act of power not of weakness. It was an act of his own will not an act of one who had taken authority over him. Submission can be a godly example of power under control and it is the means to allow another person to serve you. Jesus does not violate our will but he woos us so that we will submit to his tender service. Taking authority over a person is forced submission and it is never advocated in the scriptures.

Any thoughts about why the husband is never granted the right to take authority over his wife?

The Trinity and the women's issue

The Trinity and the women's issue

Just a quick update to let you all know that our ministry is working on a DVD project on the Trinity.  While it isn’t directly on the women’s issue, it will deal directly with the complementarian view of the Trinity and a biblical refutation of that view.

Until the DVD is done, I will be blogging less regularly so that I can keep my nose to the grindstone on this very important project.  I do hope to get my next post up regarding the issue of marriage next week, God willing.

Any thoughts about the Trinity and complementarianism?

Mary as God's kind of woman

Mary as God's kind of woman

In conjunction with my new series on marriage started with my previous post and the question of whether a wife is to have a man take authority over her (as if her husband is required to rule her), click here to read an excellent blog article about the best example of a New Testament “God’s kind of woman”.

Can God choose to use a woman in ministry without first consulting with her husband?  Must a woman’s spiritual decisions be filtered through her husband?  These are some of the questions that complementarians have posited as a basis for saying that women cannot take any positions of authority in the church because women would need every church decision they make to be approved by their husbands before they would be allowed to make any decision.  The story of Mary refutes this faulty thinking.

Was Mary a godly women who knew that she didn’t need a male authority figure to ask permission to say “Yes” to God?  The complementarian example of a godly Christian wife is blown away by the obedience and example of Mary.

Does head mean boss when it is connected to the body?

Does head mean boss when it is connected to the body?

This is the first in a series about marriage and the connection between marriage to women’s gifts in the church.

Some people in an effort to keep women’s ministry gifts away from the benefit of men, teach that the term husband as the “head of the wife” means that men are to have authority over women and this eliminates women as having any kind of teaching authority in the body of Christ.

So does the term “head” mean “boss over” or “authority over” when it is connected to the term “body”? Also is the purpose of the head as one who holds back the body? Let’s do a biblical search to find out what God means so that we can fill in this sentence: The purpose of the head is to _______ the body.

In Colossians 2:19, Paul gives us a great word picture to show the relationship between the head and the body.

Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

Notice it is “the head from whom the entire body being supplied“…. The purpose of the head is to supply the needs of the body. This is a service to the body not a withholding from the body.

In Genesis we can clearly see this when the man became the first source of supply for his wife. Adam’s body was used by God as the source of the flesh and bone that was used to make the woman. When the man first sees his flesh and bone mate, he identifies her as his very own. He is the source of her body and she is the fulfillment of his own flesh.

Genesis 2:23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

The woman was taken out of man and this makes her unique among all of God’s
creation. God then tells us what is to happen because of the intimate relationship
between the husband and his wife.

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

We are told “for this reason” a man is to leave his home and join himself with his wife. For what reason? It is for the reason that God created the man and the woman to be joined together as a one flesh union. For this reason the husband is the one who leaves and cleaves. He is the one who joins himself with his wife. He is the one who sacrifices of himself to come to her. She is the body and he as the head that joins himself to her so that they become a true one-flesh union. A man has a great responsibility to initiate, establish and nurture this one-flesh union.

This is the beauty of the original creation. Yet there are those who see the distorted relationship between husband and wife after the fall as an extension of the original creation. Nowhere do we find the man ruling over his wife in the original creation. The original creation is the reason for unity. Rulership of one human over another was the result of sinful and selfish desires distorted by the fall. Genesis does not say that a man shall leave his father and his mother and rule over his wife. His purpose was not to rule over her but to cleave to her. The Hebrew word for “be joined to” or “cleave to” is the word “dabaq” and it means to stick strongly together like two pieces completely glued together. The meaning is intended as a complete unity. The man gives himself up and leaves his place to join himself to his wife. The purpose of the head is to join himself with the body in order to have a one-flesh union. The result is unity and intimate fellowship.

In this unity, a man will not hold his wife back from serving God with her gifts. He is to supply what she needs in order for her to use her gifts and to become the best that she can become. He is to open the doors for her so that she can serve without opposition. Marriage is not a hindrance to ministry. Marriage should be a way for a woman to be nourished so that she is able to minister in the body of Christ.