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I have a distant relative who loves his church, loves his children and seems very sincere in his faith and his convictions, but he’s had two divorces in the past five years. He had always been a faithful husband and a hard-working provider, so he seemed genuinely shocked when two consecutive marriages dissolved because both women wanted a separation. Both divorces left him reeling and asking questions that seemed to have no clear answers.
It’s not my place to judge why either of these marriages ultimately ended, but I’m firmly convinced that one factor was his misunderstanding of the Biblical concept of “submission” in marriage.
Years - Marriage - Ministry - Wife - Ashley
In our years of doing marriage ministry, my wife, Ashley, and I have seen that one of the most controversial, misused and misunderstood marriage teachings in the Bible is on this issue of submission. Taken out of context, some men have used the Apostle Paul’s exhortation for wives to submit to their husbands as a license to enforce their will over their wives with an iron fist. Some have used this verse as a trump card to end every disagreement and to make sure his preferences always came before hers. Here is the Scripture:
I’m not saying this is what happened in my relative’s failed marriages, but I have heard him often refer to these submission passages with a feeling of righteous indignation when his wife would not see things his way. On more than one occasion, I would see a look of hopelessness, frustration or despair as he again quoted the passage leveraging the Bible verse as an authoritative tool to justify whatever demand he was making.
Paul - Anything - Ephesians - Wives - Husbands
See where I’m going with this? Paul doesn’t mention anything about doing what one feels like doing in Ephesians 5. He simply tells wives to respect their husbands, and he tells...
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