I’ve been sharing Calvin’s thoughts on the relationships between slaves and masters, parents and children and, wives and husbands with a little bit of commentary. I’ve been doing this because despite presumptions that the concept of mutual submission is a modern egalitarian idea, we find that Calvin writing 500 years early understood Ephesians 5:21 to… Continue reading Calvin on marriage
Yesterday I wrote about the short term supply chain problems affecting various economies around the world and causing specific shortages in terms of food in the UK. I observed that people are quick to draw conclusions from correlations that support their particular political presuppositions so that some people are adamant that this has been caused… Continue reading The danger of conclusions drawn from circumstances
III. 1. Summary of Findings In Part 1, we argued for what might be described as a “Soft-Complementarian” interpretation of Ephesians 5:21-33. We argued that:
8.1. The Problem So far, our scenarios have assumed a reasonably positive family situation. We have considered to some extent the husband’s responsibility when his wife is unwilling to submit to his leadership in decision making, but what happens when the context turns more sinister?
How do we couples make decisions in the light of Ephesians 5:21-33? If wives submit to their husbands, does that mean that, as the head, he is responsible for all decision making? Must she give in to him when there is an argument?
In this chapter, I will argue that not only does Ephesians 5:22 allow wives to work, but they may also take the role of lead wage earner. I am arguing on the basis that our exegesis has demonstrated that whilst “headship” and “submission” are transcultural requirements, their expression is culturally contextualised, so that:
We now come to the climax of the instruction to husbands and wives. These verses hold the whole instruction together and show how Christ’s relationship to the church is the basis for the marriage relationship. As we noted earlier, Paul has been building up to this point by introducing body and flesh language in v29-30.
The instruction to husbands could be seen as the key, radical point within Paul’s instructions. Paul devotes more space to this instruction than to the other aspects of the Household Codes and the command to love supplies a surprising twist.
3.1. Two Views We now get into the body of Paul’s instruction to wives and husbands. So what does he mean by “wives submit” and why does he require it? As we have seen already, Egalitarians treat any requirement for wives to be subordinate and husbands to lead as a temporary cultural requirement.
Our understanding of Paul’s instructions to husbands and wives will be influenced by how we understand the phrase hupotessomenoi allelloi Here we have two apparently strong concepts.