Husbands, love your wives

Husbands, love your wives.

The more I write about this, the more I wonder why men are not speaking up. When women do not have equality in the home  or in the church, men are being portrayed in an unfavorable light.  I myself worry that we are tarring all men with the same brush.

So, men, speak out! When you speak out for women, you are telling the world that you value women, that you value your wife, and your daughters. When you speak out for women, you are speaking out against those men who give all men a bad name.

“My father expected everything to be perfect for such celebrations,” says Fawzia Koofi in The Favored Daughter one woman’s fight to lead Afghanistan into the future. “The rice was to be fluffy, and each grain individually separated…If he found a few grains stuck together his face would darken, and he would politely excuse himself from his guests, walk into the kitchen, and, without saying a word, grab my mother by the hair, wrench the metal ladle from her hands, and beat her across the head with it. Her hands – already scarred and misshapen from previous beatings – would fly to her head to try and protect herself. Sometimes she’d be knocked unconscious, only to get up again and, ignoring the servant’s frightened stares, rub hot ash into her head to stop the bleeding, then ensure that in the next batch of rice, the grains fell apart perfectly.”
 
(read my post “Women – the reason we can’t win the war in Afghanistan” posted August 10, 2010)
 

She goes on to say “She endured this because in her world the beatings meant love.”

Many years ago I sat in my best friends’ home and she said that “last night my husband got so mad because supper wasn’t ready when he got home, that he threw the pot of chili against the wall.”

She was a Christian woman and would not leave this abuser. When he had a stroke and was in a wheelchair, and could not speak, nor could this big man throw a bean across the floor, much less a pot of chili, I wonder if he remembered that chili splattered against the wall. I thought about it as I watched her give up 5 years of her life in taking care of him.

Let me tell you what the Apostle Paul said to men like this: Husbands, love your wives. You wouldn’t do these things to your own self, why would you treat your wife this way? Read Ephesians 5 and think about what that says.  Open your minds.  Abuse was a problem then, and it still is today.

Yet pastors want to hammer women down and brow beat them, and bully them into believing that these scriptures paint the beautiful picture of marriage.  They don’t, Pastor. These scriptures are painting the ugly picture of an abusive husband, and this passage is expressly telling men that they have to change their ways. 

Stop and think. Why would Paul have to tell a woman how to be submissive? She knew that. She lived it day in and day out in their culture.  What he has to tell this new Christian man was how to live Christlike in a marriage.  This new Christian man is being told that he can’t be throwing the chili to prove that he is the man of the house.

In my community, and in churches all around the Houston area, women are being told every Sunday that they are to submit to their husbands. I wonder how many husbands are being told not to throw the chili.

If you are tired of being told that you are not a favored daughter in the family of God, then stand up. Speak up! Tell your pastor that Ephesians 5 is not about husbands leading the wife, but is all about husbands learning to love their wife.

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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7 Responses to Husbands, love your wives

  1. I have found that most churches live in a fantasy land of their lies. If you do this, that, or the other correctly? You too will have the perfect marriage… Or darn close to it.

    I remember cleaning out my grandparents home, because it was to be sold. They were both in a hospital, and clearly could NOT take care of themselves anyone. I was stuck with the attic, and came across a huge box of love letters to my grandmother – from my grandfather. It was mostly the ‘I’m sorry’ type of notes with some love sprinkled in. Shortly thereafter I found out about the domestic violence that my mother grew up with.

    Her very large, well known Dallas church allowed him to stay in leadership, and never stepped into help. They never held him accountable. My grandmother drank the koolaid, and their was no convincing her.

    When they were sick – the last year in the home – we needed to get my grandfather first out of the home due to Alzheimer’s. The church men agreed to help my mother, because she told us she was afraid he would hit her. I guess that should have been my first clue huh?

    They drove him to a very nice nursing home, and he refused to get out of the car. They pulled the Lord of his home, authority, and all that jazz to inform mother that he must be returned to his house. The state of Texas told her that they could do nothing, and it was up to her to get him to the nursing home. Since we couldn’t? We hired a social worker/nurse to help us, because we lived 1000 miles away. Someone needed to help them.

    It wasn’t until almost a year later, and the social worker pleading with the state for urgent help this time – then my mother called the church once again. She told them he was going to die in the home if they didn’t help. The church at that point called the state, and threatened them if something happened to him they would hold them accountable. Since they were members for over 60 years – its the least they can do. Major bleck! He was removed at that point, and died within the 2 days.

    My grandmothers health took a huge toll having to care for him, and since his behavior was worse due to the Alzheimer’s the church kept their distance. We moved her up to our state after he died, and she at that point had Alzheimer’s as well. She blossomed without the pressure, and it was awesome. I couldn’t believe the transformation.

    I still blame that church for not helping as they should, and using his ‘headship’ for to many excuses NOT TOO! I blame the state as well, and I realize they are very individualist…but still.

    Yes, I pray one day they do take ‘Husbands, love your wives’ a bit more seriously. Way to often the success or blame is place upon the wifes. Can someone show the leadership in that? I can’t see it myself. I see all the power in one gender’s hand, and all the rest of the junk placed at the feet of the gender they claim to protect.

    People don’t realize – or don’t want to realize their story isn’t uncommon. It still happens. Wake up world, and smell the reality. Fantasy land is over! This type of thing hurts the witness to the world about Christ, and the devil, etc has nothing to do with it. Its called denial, and wimpy leadership. Remember, ‘To those who much is given much is required’.

    Don’t get wrong, there are MANY good men in this world. There are also far to many claiming they step up, and you truly have to wonder – step up to what?

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing this story. It is heartbreaking, and far more common than what we want to realize. We are so caught up in the letter of the law (which, by the way, Jesus did away with), that we have lost sight of the human aspect of the scriptures. Jesus told the Jewish leaders that they were more concerned with their law than they were with people. I wonder how many pastor preach on that?

      For emphasis, I copied your paragraph below. I hope everyone reads this.

      People don’t realize – or don’t want to realize their story isn’t uncommon. It still happens. Wake up world, and smell the reality. Fantasy land is over! This type of thing hurts the witness to the world about Christ, and the devil, etc has nothing to do with it. Its called denial, and wimpy leadership. Remember, ‘To those who much is given much is required’.”

      Like

  2. tommy9999 says:

    If people in the church were honest, Paul also told the slaves to submit to their masters and the SBC has “aplogized” for this view. Someday the SBC will apologize to women for being told to submit to their husbands as if they were slaves.

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    • Mabel says:

      tommy9999: the SBC and their spokespersons are speaking from both sides of their mouths. Mary Kassian claims that they don’t do patriarchy. They do, of course. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck, it is a duck. John Piper claims that women FLOURISH in an atmosphere of masculine christianity. When lies are repeated a million times, they somehow are taken for granted as truths.

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  3. EricW says:

    Evil is so banal. Religious patriarchy of any form – Muslim, Christian, Jewish – all looks and sounds the same. Love is what is creative and invigorating and fresh and new and life-giving. Religious patriarchalism, on the other hand, robs and kills, rather than gives, life.

    Like

  4. Terri Tippins says:

    Evil is sanctioned by religion and theology, but masked by abstract claims to virtue, love and justice. Church has become the best place for evil to hide because it is the last place we would be inclined to look. Afterall, that is where we go for help and safety from evil. The whole church has to be engaged (not just the leaders) in a critical discussion of “How” church theology, attitudes about family, women/women in leadership put women and children in danger. I am 43 years old and have never heard a sermon on domestic violence, human trafficking, rape, molestation in any of the pentecostal/holiness churches that I have attended. Most churches are in denial.

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