Wives, submit to your husbands in everything but your work...

This piece written by a longtime Redeemerite does a good job of showing what complementarianism has always been and what the PCA has become...

And if you're wondering, no doubt her husband (Kathy Keller's husband, that is) would be the first to agree that this bedraggled and pathetic woosiness is properly called "Biblical submission."

As Mark Twain put it, "Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain't that a big enough majority in any town?"

Here's a much better take on the fracas. (TB)

Comments

Interesting how Kathy Keller's definition isn't even that nuanced, which shows how far much of evangelicalism has come (and not in the right direction). It would be more honest for her (and all who are redefining submission to something unrecognizable) to just say they don't believe what the Bible says on this issue. Or better yet, use a white out on the verses they don't like or agree with (since they apparently know more than God). As it is, it's like they look directly at the plain-as-day verses and say "Now what can THAT mean, since we know it can't mean what it plainly says?"

Here's the problem - the heart. I came to the Lord a bit later in life (mid 30's), and I still battle this one because pride says to me that God can't really mean to submit to and obey my husband.

May God help us by His Spirit to model this for an unbelieving world (including a CHRISTIAN unbelieving world) when we can feel the disdain of our family and friends and the world who think obedience to a husband is something from a past and "unenlightened" era.

Blessings,
Nancy

Is submission and obey[ing] the same thing? What is the more common usage in wedding vows?

Mrs. Keller: "Being submissive in your marriage means bringing all your giftedness into the marriage in support of both your husband and your marriage."

I wonder if she'd also say,

"Being submissive in your military career means bringing all your giftedness into the career in support of both your President and your country."

and

"Being submissive in your childhood means bringing all your giftedness into your role at home in support of both your mother and your family."

Of course, all of this prevaricates on the big question: what do you do when you disagree with the person you're supposed to submit to?

I'm curious as to where and how often Mrs. Keller speaks on the bible and, ahem, "gender roles"? The articles describes her as being a "regular speaker" on these topics.

Now I'll be the first to admit I have been known to think I know more than I really do - but I've never heard of her. Never before reading that article did I even know the name of Tim Keller's wife.

When I look her up, the first thing that comes up is "New Canaan Society" Anyone know what that is?

"When I look her up, the first thing that comes up is 'New Canaan Society' Anyone know what that is?"

Ma Google gets you quickly to their web site. A cursory glance suggests it is a sort of heir to Promise Keepers — touchy-feely affirming men's group replete with annual retreats where men enjoy brandy and cigars with lots of evangelical bonhomie on the backside of a brace of inspirational speakers and/or impactful workshops.

Of course, all this may be no more than a marketing skin, beneath which lies a modern Protestant analog to the Jesuits. But, probably not.

"For a woman, being submissive in your marriage means bringing all your giftedness into the marriage in support of both your husband and your marriage."

There is a problem when the definition of what it means "for a woman" to be submissive to her husband can be equally applied to what it means for a husband to lead his wife:

"For a man, leading in your marriage means bringing all your giftedness into the marriage in support of both your wife and your marriage."

See? How incredibly unhelpful to women, to be so general about the issue that you simply tell them that they need to put effort into their marriage.

Also, what does she mean when she says "in support of both your husband and your marriage"? How do you support your husband without supporting your marriage? My guess is she couldn't bring herself just to say "in support of your husband", because it's not just about him, right? We can't let wives start to believe that they need to sacrifice anything for their husbands. That's his job, you know, "lay down your life..." So, let's just tack on "in support of your marriage" to remind women that it's really about them. We wouldn't want them to get too selfless and servant-hearted, or—worse yet—submissive. It's degrading to do something "for your husband," but to do it "for your marriage" is commendable.

At the end of the article, Powers writes: "Furthermore, look at the two highest-profile evangelical women in American politics—Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann—and tell me with a straight face that they aren’t treated with respect by their husbands. If you doubt that, I can assure you that five minutes with either lady will set you straight."

I'm quite sure their husbands do treat them with respect (in fact, their husbands are probably quite submissive to them). But that's not supposed to be the issue here. The question posed to Bachmann regarded whether or not she would submit to her husband in office. Saying that her husband respects her answers the wrong question, and still leaves us wondering the real answer...

"I'm quite sure their husbands do treat them with respect (in fact, their husbands are probably quite submissive to them)."

Indeed. I saw Sarah Palin refer to her husband as her wonderful help mate.

If you want to know if a husband respects his wife, spend time with *him* don't ask *her* for goodness' sake!! What wife who doesn't intend to publicly tear down her husband would admit he did not respect her, even if the charge were true?!

Alex said:

"Saying that her husband respects her answers the wrong question, and still leaves us wondering the real answer..."

This is the sad reality of political rhetoric. The basic tactic is to answer the question you wish you would have been asked. But do you really have to wonder the "real answer"?

The fact that she's even interested in the most powerful position of authority in the world tells me what the real answer is. Godly women who seek to fulfill the position outlined clearly in Scripture and who fear God (but I repeat myself) struggle with submission. What kind of idiot would think a woman in control of a nuclear arsenal would give a RIP about submission (her own at least)?

Our Lord said, "You shall know them by their fruit" (or lack thereof). When their actions start bearing fruit, then I'll consider listening to their words.

Eric Rasmussen wrote:

Of course, all of this prevaricates on the big question: what do you do when you disagree with the person you're supposed to submit to?

Well, when my husband and I married a little over 25 yrs. ago, he made it clear he never expected to follow an instruction or decision from him that I disagreed with him about without question. He wanted my opinion about it, partly because he wanted my perspective and was willing to admit he might have missed something that I had observed. Oftentimes, when I realized the reason for his decision it was easier to submit to it. Many times, we came to a compromise or consensus, or he decided that within broad parameters that he set the decision was mine.

This happened with one of my cars. He told me the critical equipment it should have, and suggested several highly rated models, and a price range. The rest was was up to me.

Sometimes we'd defer a decision if it didn't have to be made right away.

If at all possible, he wanted us to agree about major decisions -- buying a home, where we should live, how much $ to give to church, how much we could set aside to help our parents if necessary.

Of course, there were times we could not agree and my husband's decision was final. But when it came to anything major, that has only been about 10 times over 25 years.

Your experiences are probably different, but this has worked well for us.

I really enjoyed this comment! It sounds like your husband is a wise and Godly man- he is not afraid to lead your family but he is also humble, and aware that he doesn't know everything and there are decisions that are appropriate to leave to you, as the more knowledgeable or immediately affected party. It's like at my job- I'm a teacher, I submit to my principal, but he knows that as the band director, there are certain decisions it's best that he allow me to make- if done improperly, that could be abdicating his responsibilities, but when done rightly it is humility, wisdom, and good leadership.

Add new comment