About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Since our western world
has become multi-cultural in nature, I see religiously conservative
Islamic couples walking our streets. Are
they holding hands, walking side by side in deep conversation?
The answer is "no." While
looking down at the ground with her head veiled, the wife walks five or
six feet behind her husband in submissive respect.
It's what her religion dictates.
I wonder how her husband shows respect to her.
This leads me to Ephesians 5:21 to 23.
yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives,
submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For
the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the
church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore
as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own
husbands in every thing. Husbands,
love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself
A Muslim man would agree
with Paul telling a wife to submit to her husband, but would he agree that
he must lay aside his life in support of his wife?
Furthermore, the opening statement in this passage states that we
are all to submit to one another. That
being so, a wife's submission to her husband is premised on a mutual
submission between the husband and wife.
The husband is not a dictator.
It's about mutual marital submission that goes back to the creation
of husband and wife, as we read in Genesis 2:21 and 22.
"So the LORD
God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping,
he took one of the man's ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then
the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had
taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man."
God took a rib from man's side, not from his foot, and created woman.
It's my belief that this metaphor suggests that a wife is to stand
beside her husband, not behind or under him.
A mutual submission and co-operative respect is thus fundamental in
their relationship as they perform their God-appointed responsibilities
Christianity is often
criticized for what is mistakenly perceived to be a dictatorial, male
dominated religion. Those
holding to this position, which includes many who call themselves
Christians, fail to search the Bible sufficiently to make this claim.
Despite its many problems and abuses, historical Christianity has
liberated women more than any other culture or religion. Beyond
that, when we live what the Bible really teaches about this issue, women
will experience a godly liberation not seen anywhere else.
It's not just
conservative Islamic men who dictate submission and respect.
Dictatorial submission is a common sinful trait penetrating all of
humanity. For those who call
themselves Christians, mutual respect is a godly character trait that
should be foundational to life.