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Mawwage is what bring us together… December 21, 2008

Posted by Michelle, with dignity in History.
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I saw a few disturbing things today while doing some google-surfing.  I guess disturbing is a pretty harsh word to use in this instance, but it was – let’s just say my interest was piqued.  

I found this website, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

And at first I thought it sounded pretty cool.  I mean, it uses words like “complementation” to describe the roles of men and women.  But, after careful reading, I discover that to these guys, the roles of men and women in a god-ruled relationship are very clearly defined, and not necessarily complementary to each other.  I mean, the “man is the head of house and the woman will submit” thing isn’t really complementary.  It’s dominant. And their statements negate themselves.  It was baffling.  

But, I don’t think they’re really doing any harm, because people can chose that life if they want it, and as long as this “submission” thing doesn’t mean that the woman has no say in her life at all.  I know not everyone takes it that way, but people do take things too seriously sometimes.  I just think that believing that a man is inherently dominant because god made him that way is a bit backwards for the modern era.  If you want that kind of mentality, go back a few hundred years, and live that way.  

It makes me think, though.  A brief look at the history of marriage shows us why the bible says what it says about marriage.  The bible is a great tool to learn about the status quo of society about 2000 years ago.  The necessity of marriage was thus: legal offspring.  What the bible leaves out of it’s text is why that is so important.  Property was the only means of wealth; without property, there was no money, assets, material belongings.  Property meant you could produce agricultural goods.  So, when people men began to acquire large amounts of land, there needed to be a legal, binding, and obvious way of passing that land on when the man passed on.  So, society began utilizing marriage as a way of tracking the children of the land-owner, and thus simplifying how to transfer property.  Sociology tells us that rules are made for good reason.  Like, for what reason would ancient hebrew religion ban the eating of swine?  It’s not really “unclean”, it’s because the use of a live pig was much more fruitful than that the small amount of sustenance gained from eating the dead pig.  Pigs were used as pack animals, as the plow animals, as vegetation control, garbage disposal etc.  So, the powers that be (the priests that ran things, because back then, priests ran everything) decided that they needed to ban the eating of pigs for societies own good.  

Thus came about marriage.  It’s for societies own good.  It’s not really a religious institution any more than taxes and homeland security are religious institutions…

You think I’m joking.

So, this is really long, and most people don’t find the history of things as interesting as I do, so I’ll quit here.  I’m just saying that is marriage now as necessary as people think it?  Is there any reason to stress that sort of relationship between man and woman – that subservient, antiquated  sort of marriage as prescribed in the bible.  Why oh why would we base such a concept on something written 2k years ago?  That makes no sense what so ever.  

I’m not anti-marriage, or anti-family or even anti-“traditional values” as it sounds, I’m sure.  In fact, I love marriage.  I love that Chris and I have our little family unit of two right now.  It’s like “us against the world” sort of – it’s good to know I have someone to support me, to come home and have him there, to love.  But, we could have had this, and been perfectly fine, without marriage.  It’s just a title.  

Ok, enough of all that.  What do you think?  Is marriage (in that subservient sense) outdated?

And bonus – what’s the title a quote from?

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Comments»

1. doniree - December 22, 2008

Princess Bride 🙂

2. Kait - December 22, 2008

I remember discussing with you about the OT law, especially concerning eating pork, not eating blood, and those related topics. You said you believed that these laws were in place as protective measures against diseases that were easily communicable in these meats – basically, for the Jews health. That’s right concerning a majority of OT law – it acting as a cultural protective measure to ensure survival. And that helps explain why Jesus could fulfill the old law, rendering it null and void, because a new cultural era was dawning, and the Jews no longer needed that safety net.

The state of marriage cannot be defined in this group of safety laws. It was not something created by God out of cultural necessity, or something that developed in society to form a legally binding contract. If it also functioned within those realms, then it was a development from the society, and which is good. However, marriage was sanctioned by God in the beginning, when he handed a new formed woman to the slightly older Adam and said “it is good”. The marriage of one man to one woman. Marriage was intended by God to provide an emotional and physical support unit, to allow the couple to enjoy sex, to allow propagation, and to have a living example of the the union between Christ and the Church.

Marriage is essential in my walk of life. I have chosen to live the lifestyle intended for me – by the Bible. This isn’t legalism or Christianity, this is Truth. And the older I get the more I desire to have one person to call my own, to share everything I own, and to live. These are the desires God had when he created a beautiful world… These are good desires. And when I marry it will be with one man, I’ll have sex with only him (the Biblical definition of “marriage ceremony”) and have children. Of course, it’s not necessary to sign the marriage certificate, because true marriage would be complete without it, it’s better to make it legal in a worldly sense for all easy-peasy.

And this is the hairy part…I’m just now getting grips on this, because the culture has instructed us all wrong. Submission versus Dominance. What’s the difference? When someone submits, does that necessitate dominance of the other? There are only two verses in the Bible (that I know of, ha) that mention female submission in marriage. The one everyone directly quotes is “Wives, submit to your husbands”…BUT they conveniently forget the immediate second half of the verse. The whole verse says “Wives, submit to your husbands, just as Christ submitted to the Father.”
…..whoa……
So we’re not talking here about a ancient cultural command put in place for our protection. This is an example of how Jesus submitted when he shed his glory and came to the dirty, ugly earth. Did we deserve it??? – certainly not. Did he demand dominance over us??? – certainly not. God is not placing a blind command, but gives an example of how it should work. Jesus is certainly as holy and lovely as the Father God, they are completely equal in every way, but Jesus was assigned a different role – not a role of less, but a role of distinction. It still required a submission or an agreement with the Father God, but did not make Jesus less holy and lovely.

ALSO lest we forget the immediate following verse: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church”.

It’s not like we’d be getting the bad end of the stick here. God was designing a more compatible mold for marriage than was in place before. He desired to give us two examples of how Jesus functioned in his perfect life: He submitted himself to the Father, and he loved the church. This relates to marriage because Jesus and his relationship WITH the Church and BECAUSE of the Church are the absolute definition of marriage. In short, submission does NOT = less worth, lowered status, and male dominance. AND there’s a command for the husband to love the wife completely, which should be followed in tandem.

(BTW when I say church it means the body of believers that love and follow Jesus, not a building or institution :))

3. Alex - December 23, 2008

THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! OMG THANK YOU! Hehe. 🙂

dreamstela - December 23, 2008

You’re welcome!
I’m not really sure why you’re thanking me, though. :o)

4. Alex - December 23, 2008

It’s just exactly what I tend to try to explain to people, but you know way more about this stuff and explained it perfectly! 🙂


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