Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to follow agent Adrian Warnock in plotting out the lines of submission and authority. You will get only barebones bible verses. After 5 seconds your mind will explode… five…four…three…
Why not? I’ve stepped into about every nasty situation available of late, why not at an invitation? Not that this is nasty, but it does touch on the controversial issue of women and submission. Oh I love a good challenge;)
painting the big picture
- Isaiah 66:2
The starting place for turning modern man’s arrogance on its head. “All these things my hand has made,and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord.” which segues to the next logical thought, that man’s attitude should be one of humility, and recognition of where one is in the scheme of things… this is the man to whom God gives His recognition, not to the proud boastful man of this world’s admiration.
- Philippians 2:3-10
Everything in this verse upends the consequences of the the fall of man in the garden, it all reiterates the fact that we are not God and that we place before our faces that sacrifice and example of Christ. It begins with a practical manifestation, that of giving significance to others through our attitudes and actions. That even the Son of God did not grasp dominance, but submitted to the humility stated in the Isaiah verse.
- Matthew 23:11-12
And in case we had any doubts, this is put into the form of a spiritual law: Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. God being the guarantee of this outcome.
- 1 Corinthians 11:3
ah, yes. Heirarchy. Everything has heirarchy and order manifested in some way, there is pattern and logic in the structures. Man is no different. Authority is power in action, it is control of the focus and the implementation of power. This shows that even though all power ultimately resides wihtin God’s hand and Sovreignty, He has echelons stepped forth for the best interaction.
Important to note is the relational aspect of this authority. In the church, as mirroring the world, this can be erased out or exaggerated. But seen in this verse, not all men have authority over all women, but in the household of God we see that all are subject in their turn to the final authority of the Creator.
Taken in the sequence of these verses we see there is nothing to fear, as we have learned fear in this world, here is the kind and beneficial authority who puts the welfare of those under his care before his very own. There is much to trust and joyfully embrace in such care, for it at no time steals the individuality of the person in exchange, but all is in mutuality.
This requires more than understanding, it requires the practical balancing that the first requisite, the spirit of humility, will seek to establish.
- Colossians 3:18-24
We say, yes, we see this, we see it as the best and most useful path to follow with each other and with God, but what does this look like in practical real life? How Shall We Then Live?
Well, St. Paul answers it all for you. And it is answered on the basis of that which we find most challenging.
Women do not want to submit to their husbands as final authority in arguments or decisions. They will gladly shoulder the work if you just give them the reins. But this ignores the unity and oneness of their marriage. So? Wives give your husbands benefit of the doubt for God’s sake. Trust his leadership, and give your input and your talents to build your house together.
Children, you know you want independence and to discount your parents constant interference with your plans, but obey them. It pleases God- and that is the focus of all life including yours and your ministry.
Fathers, you are holding the authority, now, humble yourself under it and serve. You could prod, demand, and otherwise push everyone over the edge, but why? Where is that spirit of humility and that understanding that God is over all. Be an encouragement- you will see far better results and it will enrich your life.
Slave-workers, sure it seems useless and fruitless and unfair, but God rewards those faithful to Him, do all for and to Him.
Got it? Live it. If we use practical, concrete ways in exhibiting all those previous lessons we will benefit, those around us will benefit, and God’s Kingdom will benefit. And God does not forget that, which makes the costs to your pride and your own will worth it.
- 1 Timothy 2:11-14
Here we return to the heirarchy of the order of things. One thing I have learned the hard way on this is that, spiritually speaking, there is a glass wall between men and women on this authority to teach. Women can be given place to teach and preach, but this is in the spirit of the previous verses, not something to be grasped or usurped. No man can have a woman as his mentor. Not that it isn’t attempted, but there is something within a man that makes it impossible for him to receive in that way. I think this verse is an explanation of this dynamic.
I believe that in manifestation this will require a difference in tone between the teaching women and the mixed audience. Submitting truth rather than the forceful authority of tone in its presentation. I have ventured here to my own opinion. But this much is sure: it is beating a dead horse for a woman to try to teach men, if they have no desire to hear it from a woman. It is as the case of Esther, when the sceptre of authority must give recognition. Then, Go Girl!
Rail on sisters, but that is the way it is. And the men have that same heirarchy in the callings of the church and before God in Heaven. We all gotta serve somebody.
- Titus 2:3-4
We older women get some extra instruction. Hopefully an older woman in service to Christ has gathered a body of wisdom. ( I could joke here about the fact that the other body is sure nothing to brag about- but that disrupts the serious tone). But we have through experience learned a few things, these are to be passed on, which is harder than you might think. It can be downright heartbreaking at times, and we have probably suffered more than a little heartbreak along the path of life, already. So no escape to recreation of the land of forgetfulness in Pinot Noir country, and no creative soap opera activity, either. Older women in the church and in family life can be prone to stirring up that last one, but you’ve worked to build your home and the skills of mothering and respecting those husbands? Pass it on, share the wealth.
- 2 Timothy 1:5
The power of the life of faith, it is passed on to the benefit and inheritance of the coming generations. They may call upon your examples at will. And in this world they will need that, so we ought to be storing up a quantity of example and proofs of the goodness and faithfulness of God for our children to recall. Let’s call it some of their inheritance of heaven ahead of time. And aspect of grace in action. Second lesson here: women matter in the big scheme of things.
- Acts 18:26
This is an example of the previous verse,Philippians 2:3-10. we submit to one another because all have something to offer within the body of Christ, and not one single one is the receptacle of all truth. Notable here, too, is the encouragement and further equipping of a new and gifted preacher. No jealous sniping, but a respectful and meek manner of refining the quality of his ministry. And yes, a woman is teaching here.
How many church splits, and wounded souls, would have been avoided had the spirit of humility in the correction and the submission to one another in the receiving, followed in the footsteps of this example? Oh, for the lack of a soft tongue that breaketh the bone and turns away wrath, for the meekness of spirit that calls one aside -not willing to make a public example- where might we be in the Kingdom of God come, and God’s Will being done? We may yet see it if we will, I believe; it was a matter of attitude and willingness in these people,and it is the same for us who have all the necessary grace that they had.
- Genesis 1:27
In this verse we are returned to the beginning, as outlined in the Isaiah verse at the start. The heirarchy and the unity. Lest we forget.
- Genesis 2:18
For me this is the first example of God, Himself, exhibiting that spirit that places the welfare of others above self. God has always had the good of mankind in mind. We’ve twisted it far from its intent, but women are the best thing ever to happen to men, and God intended it so.
- Genesis 2:20-21, Genesis 2:23
It was always intended that men and women should partner together. It was intended that they be a unit, though separate individuals. A woman has the unique aspect of being something different than, yet mutually compatible with, a man. How deeply engrained is this sexual gender identity and the puzzle of interconnectedness of humans! Is it the preeminance of our egos that distorts and confuses this? Does the debasing of humankind through oppression and cruelty further the conflict of the sexes, and hides the pattern and structure of the power inherent in those submitted to love in a humble understanding of how we all fit in this life?
We are stumbling onto the big questions here, but we were never going to escape that. And this is probably one the reasons Genesis is so important, man cannot escape the metaphysical questions that drive him.
- Genesis 2:23
Part of the array of metaphysical big questions, the identity of evil. Important identifier: twisting the truth. We never want to pay attention to the details, do we? God as big bogeyman, when one tree is swapped out subtly for all trees. Like God doesn’t really want anything good for you, you have to grab this for yourself if you want any. How did Eve miss this? I think her eye was sort of filled with the beauty of the fruit, she must have been in proximity to the disputed tree when the she was approached. Timing is everything, isn’t it? She is also isolated. Take notes, it happens all the time. Back to the way to turn the fall on its head: submit to one another’s authority and input, don’t be tempted to put all your trust in your own understanding of the situation. Get some input from those who matter in your heirarchy structure. Good advice for all people.
- Genesis 3:16, Genesis 3:17
But no, we like to learn the hard way. I heard it once said that these curses take the form of what is most unwanted in the heirarchy. That women will most gladly accept the work if they get the authority, and men will most gladly give up the burden of responsibility and sweat of provision and protection for a little relief. I think that is accurate, in my experience. So what is the way back home? Start at the beginning and read through until the markers are deeply imprinted in your consciousness. Christ will lead the way, and let the heirarchy work it beneficial intention, for the reward here and the hereafter. Faith will be necessary, and humility helps. And, yes, Adrian, it is most definitely a wild ride.
perspective and dimension
This challenge was delivered via Intellectuale