She’s in control

Deep Strength has a post up wherein he links to a (supposedly Christian, married, submissive) woman’s loooooooooong list of situations in which she has decided she will disregard the Biblical instructions on submission.

You could almost pick one at random, and easily see how it takes all submission out of the marriage.

Here’s the one I picked:

[I would not submit to my husband if] He was leading me into a false teaching

So who determines if it is a false teaching?

She does.

If her husband leads and teaches her in a way she does not like, she has given herself permission to act as the spiritual arbiter of truth over her husband, and declare his teaching as false.

“Woman, come here, I must wash you in the water of the word.”

“No. I don’t need washing.”

“Woman, you need washing.”

“I declare this teaching of yours, that I need washing, to be false. You have no authority over me.”


Submission with caveats is not submission.

14 thoughts on “She’s in control

  1. I am a red pill man, raised in a small Americana town in the 70s. I think you have mischaracterized the article you linked. She links only extreme examples for cases when a wife should refuse to submit to her husband in the sight of God. Other than these examples she says a wife should submit.

    She says a wife can refuse to submit to a husband having a clear schizophrenic break. She says a woman could refuse a command to go out on a steep roof when nine months pregnant. You could say maybe there’s a good reason for a nine months pregnant wife to be ordered out onto a steep roof, and maybe there is, but she’s trying to find only the most extreme examples. Otherwise, she’s saying the wife should obey.

    Would you really want your adult daughter to obey any of the examples she gives? Unless you construct extraordinary scenarios, the answer is obviously not.

    The is a limit at which wives should disobey their husbands. Too many churchians set this line to the point where wives are supposed to get anything they want.

    If the line were set where this woman suggests, the state of the world would be a lot better.

  2. The woman’s obedience to her husband is a direct result of her obedience (or disobedience) to Christ.

    There is still the law of non-contradiction.

    What if the husband says to disobey Christ (including deliberately what the Husband says is sin)?

    What if the husband says NOT to submit to him – to treat him as equal? That means most of the feminized marriages actually are better examples of “obedience”.

    Everyone is subject to authority, and men are also fallen. And men can reject Christ, which makes obedience harder (Paul said to stay married, but he didn’t say she had to reject Christ by idolatry or worse if her husband commanded it).

    There must be a very high threshold, and the wife cannot just decide to disobey – Rebellion to the husband is rebellion to Christ when it doesn’t meet the test. The Colonists listed their grievances constantly before the declaration of independence. A wife should seek the counsel of an older wise submissive woman, and perhaps the pastor. Also it must be (sort of like Mortal sin) a grave matter with full and certain knowledge before something should be considered to be disobeyed.

    This is the problem with smart women. The submission isn’t dependent on the husband making optimal decisions, only prayerful ones. When the Man is the intellect and wisdom superior, obedience is easier. Even so, the wife should be the helpmeet, not picking plans and suggestions apart, but humbly asking questions.

    It helps when the woman can see where a man has a blindspot, or has strength somewhere he has weakness, and in a quiet and soft tone makes suggestions or expresses concerns in submission, “what should I do if there is a loss?”.

  3. I agree that a high standard is needed for a wife to justly disobey her husband. Feminists look for trivial excuses for doing so. In practice, only the most extreme scenarios are justified. Real people will likely never encounter these scenarios in their whole lives.

    If you limit the cases when disobedience is justified to these extreme scenarios, then all that is left is to submit in any normal scenario. This woman’s list is a pretty good example, consisting only of extraordinary situations that no wife is likely to face. Otherwise, she says a wife should obey. I think this is a pretty good standard.

    The point of her list wasn’t to show that disobedience is justified. The point was to show that in all but the most unlikely cases, it is not justified.

  4. During our small group bible study this week, the discussion was about a wife’s submission in Colossians 3:18. Husbands in the group remained largely silent but the wives posed one question after another to our pastor (who led the group).

    The questions were mainly about what Paul meant by submission. The pastor explained how husbands loving their wives in the Greek (in Colossians) was an active verb, i.e., something that husbands are commanded and must do actively. As for wives submitting to their husbands, he said in Greek it is passive — meaning it is up to the wives whether or not they should submit. It’s a choice, free will, if you like, and akin to salvation (we have a choice whether or not to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour).

    Maybe I am being… harsh but I could almost hear the hamsterbulators whirling in the room at warp speed. There is definitely interest in this area. My wife was also taking down notes. Sigh.

    Also, it is sad that the women — wives — were asking the pastor directly and not their husbands. Am just not comfortable being in this small group.

    (Posted this over at DS’s with minor edits)

  5. I read the original article. You’re wrong and she understands the concept much better.

    “Wives, submit to your own husbands as you do the Lord” is not “Wives, let your brains fall out and give up all your agency”

    Women have a soul to keep, too. To ignore or condone evil (everything on that list) is put their soul into jeopardy. I have known wives allowed evil to flourish in their own homes because they gave up the judgement and agency God gave them. The ending is terrible for everyone, including the children. It’s hard to imagine it did anyone’s soul’s wonders either, including the husband’s.

  6. April is generally pretty good, as I’ve been following her site for a few years now.

    Like I said on my post, I don’t think there is anything wrong with her list *for her* as her husband has agreed to it. In fact, since her husband has supported it, it’s right because it’s under his authority.

    The main problem is other wives taking her list and disobeying their husbands with it, in direct contradiction to the Scriptures.

  7. @Choking:
    That’s a good testimony about why co-ed or even women’s bible studies are not a good idea. And that the pastor is leading it should concern you greatly, as you’re being “AMOG”ed before your very eyes: therein lies the reason why wives are commanded to ask their husbands at home if they would learn anything. Perhaps it’s time for you to assert headship and pull the plug on it.

    Christians promise Jesus unquestioning obedience above and beyond, but when it comes to the command “submit to your husband in all things”, they start with “how far do I have to go”, not to get guidance but to establish whether there’s a line she doesn’t have to cross. Once you concede there’s a line, guess whose judgment it is where the line is drawn.

  8. You used the exact same argument Catholics make about why protestants need to repent and submit to papal authority.

    Here’s the one I picked:

    [I would not submit to the pope if] He was leading me into a false teaching
    So who determines if it is a false teaching?

    You do.

    If the pope leads and teaches you in a way you do not like, you have given yourself permission to act as the spiritual arbiter of truth over the pope and declare his teaching as false.

  9. @ Daniel

    I’m not sure what your point is. Assuming your above argument is correct, what is the “therefore?”

  10. It’s just interesting to me that (presumably) you see the pope argument as false yet the wife argument as true.

    You’ve been writing a lot about submission and repentance, but still (seem) to maintain the rebellious protestant notions of sola-scriptura and non-allegiance to Catholic hierarchy.

    It seems like a case of flaws in others are easy to see, but the same flaw mirrored in yourself is unnoticed.

    But mostly I’m not making a strong point/argument/case. Just pointing out a similarity.

    FWIW I grew up in a very religious non-denominational Bible church in Texas, and only last Easter converted to Catholicism, largely due to the influence of this essay:

    Also, sacramental churches (Orthodox and Catholic) are the only ones I’ve ever seen women wearing veils at.

  11. @ Daniel

    Learning you are Roman Catholic helps me understand your point better. I wasn’t sure if you meant “Wives should not submit to their husbands just as Protestants should not submit to the Pope” or “Protestants should submit to the Pope, just as wives should submit to their husbands.” Now that I know which you meant, I shall edit the post that I started when I saw your original question. Because it is a good question, and deserves a full treatment.

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