Paul's Passing Thoughts

Husbands Have NO Authority Over Their Wives; The Difference Between “Submission” and “Authority”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 2, 2016

ppt-jpeg4As we continue to claw our way out of the Protestant Dark Age, the obvious comes more and more into focus. In Protestantism the wife is supposed to “submit” to her husband because God has given the man “authority” over the wife. Like it supposedly states in Ephesians, chapter 5, the man is the “head” of the wife. Supposedly, “head” means, head of or boss over something. This assumption is an example of how Protestantism has redefined every biblical word from Genesis to Revelation to fit its orthodoxy.

Let’s begin with the obvious; your wife doesn’t have to do anything you tell her to do. If your wife refuses to agree with you or obey you there is nothing you can do about it. In countries where men have legal authority over their wives they can execute them for being disobedient wives, but they still can’t make them do anything. Authority can only punish; it can’t make anybody do anything. People under authority still get punished because authority can’t make them do what it wants. Capitulating to fear is not the willing submission of love.

Protestant men in America have to improvise because there is no Sharia law. Instead of executing the disobedient wife, they submit their case to the church elders and have the wife excommunicated. This means the wife’s salvation has been revoked and she is presently under damnation for being a disobedient wife. This is only one example of why it can be argued that Protestantism is little less than Islamic Light. Colonial Puritanism aped Islam in every way and the ideals of Americanism didn’t completely shed its remnants until the 1950’s.

Submission is a different matter altogether. In the biblical sense, submission is not authority. God has little use for authority; God prefers love over authority. Authority only has punishment at its disposal; submission has love. The difference between submission and authority is a consistent theme throughout the New Testament.

Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Note: because “authority” has been constantly driven into our brainwashed heads, we read this as, For the husband is head over the wife. No, the husband is the “head” OF the ONE BODY; i.e., the one body that is their marriage. This is why the following is in the same context:

31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

This is in the same way that Christ is the head of the church which is, “his body” (verse 23). This isn’t the least bit about authority at all, but it states some things about authority nevertheless. The wife is to submit to her “own” husband in “everything.” Where are the church elders in all of this? A wife does not seek to become one flesh with any elder, but only her own husband.

Throughout Ephesians 5, submission is linked to love and body. A human body is the illustration here, not authority. Submission and love are used interchangeably throughout this chapter. The verse immediately preceding this line of context tells EVERYONE in the body of Christ to “submit” (same Greek word) to everyone else in the body (verse 21). It’s a mutual submission.

What is in view here is a mutual submission to need. This is how a human body works; each organ, member, etc., submits to the needs of the collective body. When the various parts are not working properly the body is either weak, crippled, or dead.

Ephesians 5:11 – And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Love takes place when a member of the body submits to the needs of the other members. This is why the husband is to…

28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.

This is mutual submission to needs resulting in the walk of the one new man (both Jew and Gentile) in Christ. Marriage and its oneness is a subset of the larger body in regard to functioning through love—love submits to need. Each organ or member has a role. The “head” being referred to in context is the head of a body, not the head over something. The same Greek word used in Mathew 5:36, 6:17, 8:20, 10:30, and 14:8 refers to the head of a human body.

So, does the head of your body have authority over the rest of your body? NO, your head can tell your right hand to pick something up all day long, but if there is something wrong with the hand, it’s not going to obey. It’s not going to submit to the body’s need to pick up the food from the plate. The head leads, but the body only follows as able. In the same way that Christ leads the church and sanctifies it with truth, the husband is to do the same for the marriage body.

Sin is what cripples the body and lack of love (submission) paves the way for sin and disunity in the body. Therefore,

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1).

The Greek word for “restore” is katartizo which means to mend or reconnect. More than likely, in context, it refers to the resetting of a broken bone. The member is to be restored to health so it can submit to the needs of the other members. Until the broken member is restored, the body is limping.

In addition, when verse 25 states “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” this is a charge to the husband to obey the wife’s needs. Ephesians, chapter 5 calls for mutual submission to need (love) that contributes to overall oneness. Goal one for any marriage is progressive oneness—this is the primary purpose of marriage. The husband is primarily responsible for leading towards this oneness, but that doesn’t make him the boss any more than the head can tell a broken leg to walk. The head tells the legs to move for some benefit to the rest of the body, and the legs submit to that need accordingly.

True Christians must define their life purposes through love and not authority. To God, authority is a necessary evil; it only has punishment and condemnation at its disposal. Hell exists because of authority, not love.

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him (NIV).

Christ indeed possesses all authority, but He doesn’t relate to His body through authority but rather love. Christ constantly refused to exercise His authority during His ministry on earth. He came not to condemn, but to save many. Authority can only punish and reward while love submits willingly. Love is motivated by need, not authority.

In the paramount act of love, Christ submitted to the foremost need of humanity: to be saved through His obedience to the cross though He despised its shame.



2 Responses

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  1. Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on December 2, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    Regarding the idea of “submission”, here is an excerpt from my 4th session from this year’s TANC conference.

    29Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all assemblies of the saints.

    Let’s look at verse 32 first, because that is the concluding statement in his argument. The spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets. The expression “are subject” is the Greek word υποτασσω (hoo-poh-TASS-oh) – to put under an orderly arrangement. The same word is used to describe the way a wife submits to the husband. This does not have to do with any notion of authority or subservience. This is referring to the way one defers to another in a orderly fashion. It’s not about a hierarchy or a spiritual pecking order or caste system. What you see here is the idea of being willing to let someone else have the floor. To defer to someone else to get their input. And that’s exactly what Paul describes in this paragraph. You have to or three people prophesying, speaking before the assembly, and teaching is implied in this.

    Think about it this way. Have you ever been in a discussion, and let me use the example of a Sunday School class. And I don’t know, depending on the type of church you came from, maybe your teacher didn’t allow discussion. But you know what’s like when you’re discussing a topic and someone raises his hand and he makes a point, and someone else makes a point, and pretty soon you have everybody wanting to contribute to the discussion, and then before you know it the discussion gets out of hand and you end up off track, and then the time is up and you realize you never really learned anything.

    I think that is what Paul might be describing here. Everybody want’s to contribute to the teaching time, but that’s not practical. Let’s limit it to two or three comments and then move on. And then lets say someone is speaking, and while he’s making his point someone else says, um hold on excuse me, that’s not quite right let me correct that, Paul says he needs to stop and allow that person to make his clarifying remark. We all defer to each other. And in this way we keep the fellowship of the assembly moving on in an orderly fashion. Because God’s Body should not be characterized by confusion.”


  2. Glenn said, on January 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM

    Hi Paul,

    Your article really caught my eye when you published it and I have been thinking about it ever since. Today another blog that I follow posted an article titled “The First Mistake” that covers some of the same ground but uses Genesis 2. I thought this was really interesting and hope you will also:

    Thank you!



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