Friday, September 15, 2006

The Love I Have for Him.

Yesterday I saw a friend I hadn't seen in some months who is not a believer, but a very ardent feminist. I love this lady; she is absolutely hilarious, but of course we are poles apart on this issue. She doesn't know that, though-- it isn't something I feel led to talk to her about. (Yet.) She handed me a copy of an article dating from 1955 on how a wife should behave towards her husband, having underlined the parts she thought were the funniest. Naturally I read this with some amusement, seeing it first through her eyes and then my own, and marvelling at how different two perspectives can be. Well-- some, I have to admit, were a little over the top:

"Don't complain if he goes out for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day."

Ahem. If Rich stays out all night for anything other than business, I'm going to "complain". So shoot me.

"Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes..."

Where's the rolling on the floor laughing icon? I can just see me kneeling by his chair, untying his shoes and maybe massaging his poor tired toes. It would be difficult, since Rich would be on the floor laughing too. (I'd do it, though, if he was in pain after a tough day in the field....we could have some fun with this...hmmm...)

"Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. Remember he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him."

This presents a rather starry-eyed view of men. It's actually almost there: a wife should respect her husbannd, and she should assume the best of him, but to say she has no right to question his actions is going a little far. I am his helpmeet, and as such, I can present a different perspective thanks to the intellectual and intuitive gifts God has given me for the purpose of serving him and prospering him. You better believe I'm going to question him if I see him doing something ungodly or unwise. I might even step in and act on his behalf in order to preserve him and his interests-- but that takes a good deal of wisdom. For more guidance on this, turn to the example of Abigail's wisdom, for which she was notorious, in 1 Samuel 25:3ff. However, what I will not do is disrespect his position as master of the house.

Those are my only beefs with this piece. Later, I'll talk about what my friend thought was so funny and explain why it really isn't.


Anonymous Andy said...

These quotes came from THE LADIES HOME JOURNAL, I believe. They are an interesting justification of a lifestyle that was unfortunately enshrined in a lot of American law of the time. Feminism has tried to bring cultural change to American society by the simple inclusion of women as people, not property.

There are some pretty strong strictures on the duties of a wife in the Bible, as well. And they are just as extreme, and in modern American society, equally as ridiculous as the LHJ quotes above. Should we laugh at those as well? Or should we interpret those laws (given to us by God) in the light of being American citizens in the Year of Our Lord 2006?

To quote: See the first letter of Paul to Timothy, Chapter 2, verses 9-15. "...that women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good works as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceieved, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty."

As your brother, and in light of the above, I entreat you to follow God's word and keep it Wholly, lest ye be cast out, judged, and smitten by Stones unto death.

Or, should you decide to protect your husband, be careful: (Deuteronomy 25:11) "If a man get into a fight with another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and seizing his genitals, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity."

Now THAT's equal justice under God.

I am not sure what I abhor more: cultural extremism or the extremism required to change it.

Thank you for a thought provoking essay.

2:21 PM  
Blogger craigellachie said...

It comes from the Housekeeping Monthly, which may or may not be related to the LHJ.

I think we ought never to laugh at what the Scriptures command, and not interpret them in light of anything but being citizens of a Better Country-- namely, the Kingdom of God.

As for the quote in I Timothy, yes, I do think that that is something to obey, absolutely. In light of that, we are leaving our denomination and moving to one that takes commands such as this more seriously. We are His, and we need to act like it. If you like I can elaborate further.

I have no plans to seize anyone's genitals, thanks very much! And Abigail certainly did not do this.

Now, for your final charge as my Big Brother. I understand where you are coming from, but you are not understanding the Gospel rightly. Certainly, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are under condemnation. Clearly, the Scriptures emphasise that it is not what WE do-- or NOT do that gains our entry into Heaven. It is what Christ does on our behalf, which is to live the Law and obey God perfectly. But putting our faith in His sufficiency to do this for us, we are saved. It is He who carries us to Heaven, not our own good works or lack thereof. And our sins were amply punished in His body. No one comes to the Father except through Him. Have another look at the book of Romans.

Thanks be to God!

3:10 PM  

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