Paul's Passing Thoughts

Bad Marriages and the Simple Side of Tyranny

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on August 16, 2016

Originally published August 18, 2015

The Bible isn’t complicated; to the contrary, its simplicity often escapes us as we look for something more complicated in the text. The journey in understanding the Bible begins with the stepping stones that you understand. You are simply looking to increase your understanding by building truth with one objective fact at a time. Pieces that fit together in the jigsaw puzzle lead to the fitting of more pieces. For some, the pieces take longer to find, and the journey is longer, but what they really know is more than most Protestant scholars who are ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth. They are blind guides leading the blind.

Be sure of this: scholars make the Bible complicated because they want to control you. When it gets right down to it, “You have no need of anyone to teach you.” Teachers are gifted people who accelerate your learning; they are not seers or mediators between you and truth. If they ask you, “Did God really say…” you are to answer, “Yes, that’s exactly what He said.”

Hence, the simplicity of a very important fundamental truth found in Genesis:

4:6 – The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy [has your face/countenance fallen; 4:5]? 7 If you do things well [correctly; appropriately], I will [will I not…?] accept you, but if you do not do them well [correctly; appropriately], sin is ready to attack you [crouching at the door]. Sin wants [desires to control; 3:16] you, but you must rule over it” (EXB).

We also know from the New Testament that sin is a master that pays death wages, while Christ came to purchase us with His blood from that master. We are now free to serve another master who only pays life wages. A slave that dies (through the baptism of the Spirit) is no longer under the authority of the sin master, and is a new creature resurrected to life and free to serve another (Rom 7:4).

But lest we are careful, the simple truths of this passage and a wiser life will escape us. Sin is described as an entity that has a desire; specifically, a desire to control others. One of the fundamental characteristics of sin is a desire to control others.

Secondly, in this verse, sin’s means of doing so are also described: sin is crouching at the door waiting for us to fail. Sin then seeks to exploit that sin for purposes of control. At least to some degree, sin seeks to use the failure to destroy a true self-assessment and make a case for needed lordship. Certainly, this is how the serpent approached Eve. He wanted to convince her that she was unable to understand God without a mediator. Has God really said…?

At this point, this truth needs more development, but here is a basic building block that we can be sure of: the sin master uses condemnation to enslave, and pays death wages for one’s work:

1 Corinthians 15:56 – Death’s power to hurt [sting] is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So my dear [beloved] brothers and sisters, stand strong. Do not let anything move you. Always give yourselves fully to [excel in] the work of the Lord, because you know that your work in the Lord is never wasted [not useless/in vain] (EXB).

no-condemnationThis is why Christ came to end the law. Sin crouches at the door waiting to seize the opportunity to condemn, and the more law, the better. The “law of sin and death” empowers sin because the power of sin and its ability to pay death wages is condemnation. When Christ died to end the law, He stripped sin of its power to enslave and pay wages.

Don’t misunderstand; being in Christ does NOT mean that we are not under a law, but it is the “law of the Spirit of life.” Why is it called that? Because the new Master pays life wages for the obedience of love, and that has never been any different:

Deuteronomy 30:15 – “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

Nothing has ever been different in regard to the law. When we serve God, it is the law of love that brings life wages; when we “serve other gods” it is the law of sin and death that pays death wages accordingly…

Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

With all of this said, consider the lion’s share of bad marriages. It never fails. Two people, at war, and each with a laundry list of the other’s faults. Check that. Better said, a condemnation list. And of course backed up with many Bible verses; the Bible is either the law of sin and death that condemns, or the law of the Spirit of life that loves.

What’s going on? Answer: sin, and its desire to control using condemnation.

Genesis 3:16 – “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

This is the same exact grammatical construction found in Genesis 4:6 concerning sin’s desire to control Cain. Sin will manifest its desire in marriages by each spouse desiring to control the other, and using failure to do so. When the failure of a spouse presents itself, the other spouse will use it to make a case for ruling over the other spouse. In essence, “Since you are stupid, I should be running the show in this marriage.”

In Reformed circles, elders make a case for being the rulers because we are all…what? Right, “totally depraved.” Same deal.

If you know this simple Bible fact, you know more than most “expert” counselors. In most bad marriages, both spouses need to repent of being tyrants. They need to stop using the Bible to condemn each other, and start using the Bible to love each other. After all, “love covers a multitude of sins.”

Go and do likewise…you are now an expert Bible counselor.

paul

Christian Living Series Program 12

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 25, 2016

Ministry and the Unregenerate Spouse

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 21, 2016

ppt-jpeg4When you are born again, it is impossible to be unborn. And that’s a good thing because if there is anything that could unborn you it is what I suffered in the church for over 25 years.

On the one hand, I diligently studied the plain sense of Scripture on my own; on the other hand, I was constantly experiencing the contradictions thereof in the Baptist church. The plain contradictions were many tips of many icebergs while massive presuppositions of orthodoxy kept the rest submerged. This post regards the following presumptuous tradition:

“If God has called you, He has also called your wife.”

Really?

The apostle Paul addressed the issue of unregenerate spouses and ministry in 1Corinthians chapter 7 which can also be applied to spouses who may be saved but reject your convictions for any number of reasons.

This isn’t complicated, Paul instructed us to put ministry first while giving the spouse due respect and love. No spouse has the authority or precedent to circumvent what God has called one to do. This is what Paul meant when he wrote,

1 Corinthians 7:29 – This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

Paul was writing about the benefits of being single so one can focus on ministry, but also stated in the same chapter that in either case when things are done via God’s counsel, one does well. In chapter 7, Paul explains the guidelines for every situation regarding marriage relationships, but with the final goal in all cases being, “undivided devotion to the Lord” without “restraint” in regard to what is lawful. Notice that Paul operated according to what benefitted believers, not to lord it over them. This is THE general rule whether we are talking about marriage, ministry, or assembling together.

But isn’t the man, or husband, the head of the wife according to Ephesians chapter 5? That is referring to the head of a body, not authority. The point of Ephesians 5 is oneness of body, and the direction of the body; authority is nowhere in this chapter. In this chapter, “head” should be thought of as the primary direction for life, and the same word is used in “cornerstone” or the foundational stone of a building. The word for a single rock as a foundation (Matthew 7:24, 16:18) refers to a cornerstone which is “the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure”(Wikipedia).

The fact that Christ has authority is beside the point in Ephesians chapter 5; in the same way that Christ is the chief cornerstone of the building, or the head of the body, supplying it with life-giving direction, so it should be with the husband in regard to his wife. Like Christ and the church, the husband should sanctify his wife with the word. If he fails in that endeavor, he hates his own body; the husband and wife are one body. The wife should respect the husband as the head as the church respects Christ as the head. She should seek his leadership accordingly as the husband is led by Christ. And excuse me, but this pertains to being led by Christ, THE head of THE body (notice the emphasis on the singular), not a bunch of narcissistic Reformed elders. They, that is, elders, are nowhere to be found in Ephesians five. The elders are in no wise the cornerstone of your family nor does Scripture ever give them that authority by any stretch of the imagination.

But, in the same way that it does not benefit the husband in not following Christ, it does not benefit the wife in not following the husband IF, I repeat, “IF” he is making a reasonable and truthful attempt to follow Christ. A wife is NOT, I repeat “NOT” obligated to obey a foolish husband who professes a false gospel, nor does he have the authority to prevent her from following Christ in spirit and truth.

Even the apostle Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (NIV). Husbands get no special privilege on this wise. “Head” doesn’t mean “boss,” it means “leader.” It refers to the role of being a true cornerstone that results in a strong building or in this case, body. Viz, a house that can withstand the storms of life. Wives should not reject a good cornerstone like the Jews rejected Christ.

Note that in cases where the husband is clearly lost, but pleased to dwell with the saved wife, the saved wife has a sanctifying effect on the family and the children are not defiled:

1Corinthians 7:12 – To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

Great help is gained here if we will take note of what Andy Young taught about sanctification at our TANC 2014 conference: holiness, or sanctification, has to do with being set apart as “unordinary.” Because of the saved spouse’s unity with a family that is pleased to live with her/him, to some degree, the family is set apart and blessed because of the presence of the saved spouse.

Of course, this would be of no effect if the saved spouse is being led by the lost family members. If a saved wife is following a lost husband in every regard, there is no sanctifying effect; sanctification is not merely a label, but an active reality. To a degree contrary to what would normally take place, the sanctifying effect of the saved spouse prevents the children from being defiled by unholy living. This also puts the unsaved family members in a more favorable position for possible salvation, but if the unsaved spouse departs…

“…let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”

I contend that the departing of the unsaved should be directly contrasted with being pleased (“consent”) to dwell with the saved spouse. The word in verses 12 and 13 follows:

g4909. συνευδοκέω syneudokeō; from 4862 and 2106; to think well of in common, i.e. assent to, feel gratified with: — allow, assent, be pleased, have pleasure. To be pleased together with, to approve together (with others) to be pleased at the same time with, consent, agree, applaud.

A mere living under the same roof is not in view here. The separation refers to disapproval in living with the other spouse as something to be rejected and not applauded. Additionally, if adultery can be committed in one’s heart, so can divorce. Remaining in the same house for ulterior motives does not constitute non-departure or lack of divorce; the saved spouse is not enslaved to that situation either, and in contrast, is called to peace.

Moreover, and back to Ephesians chapter 5, authority is not in view, but rather mutual submission to needs. Emphasis mine:

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time because the days are evil. [Like 1Cor 7 and emphasis on the shortness of time.] 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

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.[This all goes back to verse 21 concerning mutual submission.]

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,[Submission to a need.] 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 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.[Oneness is the issue, not authority] 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.[Like the church has reverence for Christ.]

In summation, though Christ has authority, it is not His application to the body, nor is there any authoritative or rulership gifts in the body or marriage. Christ always submitted to need, exhorted, taught, rebuked, and persuaded, but never exercised authority or compelled His assembly to obey by force. There are but a precious few examples among the combined activities of Christ and the apostles where a possible argument could be made, but they are the exceptions and far from being the rule.

Lack of oneness among spouses should not circumvent ministry or our debt of love to the body. Period. However, in these very difficult situations, every believer needs to weigh the Scriptures carefully and stay true to their consciences.

paul

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Calvinist Husbands Need to Shape Up or Be Shipped Out

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

Written by  PPT/TANC Publishing ghostwriter one

1Corinthians 7:10 – To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Susan and I, for some time, have been presented with opportunities to counsel women married to Calvinists. Not confused Calvinists who are often confused enough to be good guys, but Calvinists that really understand what a Calvinist is and act like one. Nor are we writing about women who are Calvinist queens and couldn’t be happier. Happiness is a good thing; we are called to it. Look, if some gal is happy being married to an ISIS guy, more power to her—life is about choices. Don’t misunderstand me, that is only an analogy; I am not sure, but I don’t think I have ever compared Calvinism to ISIS.

Rather, we are referring to women in marriages where Calvinism is the crux of the issue. In some of these situations, the wife has been brought up on church discipline and declared an unbeliever. That is totally unacceptable, and grounds for immediate biblical divorce. Let me explain.

The thing that I like most about my life is that I am constantly learning, and would like to think that learning is leading to change. Something strange also happens when you are in a learning mode; you are completely comfortable not knowing stuff. If you are in the process of learning, you know what you don’t understand will come into focus eventually. So, we are about to look at 1Corithians 7:10-16, and some of it I understand, and some of it I don’t. This is about what I do understand.

What I do understand came together through these counseling experiences, my recent gig as an HHA, and the word of God. My recent experience as an HHA caused me to take a closer look at 1Corinthians 7:13 in context with the rest of the chapter. In recent history, “’deinstitutionalization,’ the policy of closing state mental institutions,” has led to mental patients being dumped into the realm of HHA care. Hence, HHAs are often saddled unawares, perhaps because of medical disclosure laws, with individuals who would have been institutionalized in the past.

My first two clients where Bipolar ODD/PAPD individuals. That’s Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder. Basically, every minute of the day, anything that involves conversation is a debate. These people suck the peace and civility out of every environment that they enter into. When these people were institutionalized, psych aids could deal with them because they were labeled and everyone understood why they (patient and aid) were in the situation and what needed to be done. The aid could simply ignore their verbal abuse and was not obligated to please them in any way, shape, or form because the institutionalized individual’s rights were taken away.

In context of HHA care, the aid is obligated to please a serial abuser, and their job will probably depend on it. I have already heard the horror stories of young single women suffering the verbal abuse day after day in order to support their children. In my own experience, these people have wreaked havoc on my own personal wellbeing. When you are with these clients, you walk on eggshells the whole day, and any conversation =’s conflict. You don’t sneeze, you don’t yawn, you don’t use their bathroom, you don’t chuckle because of something they are watching on TV, you don’t say that you like their dog, or their cat, everything you say or do is an issue or the rewriting of the Declaration of Independence.

And here now, finally, is my point in context: one such client is a faithful church attender and professing Christian husband married to another professing Christian. I never met her as she works a lot of hours; go figure. Apparently, she found a job as a live-in nanny somewhere. Well, I would imagine. As a professing Christian, is she biblically obligated to remain married to this man? I don’t think she is for four biblical reasons:

  1. She may treat him as an unbeliever because of his fruit that obviously comes from a bad tree.
  2. He is only pleased to live with her for unbiblical reasons.
  3. She is called to peace.
  4. She does not know for certain that she will ever be able to lead him to the Lord, and is not obligated to sacrifice her call to peace accordingly.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I don’t think I have ever compared a Calvinist to someone Bipolar or ODD/PAPD. However, on the flip side, the idea that a spouse who has been brought up on church discipline not having any rights as a spouse does sound familiar.

The windcock of this conversation is verse 13. “If” in this context is a conditional noun used with “and” stating two conditions: an unbelieving spouse that is “pleased”(KJV) to live with a believing spouse. It’s a conditional clause—if the opposite is true, so is the condition, and the imperative. However, in this case, “not enslaved” (v.15) denotes liberty, and not an opposite imperative. Even though the believing spouse is not obligated to remain married to the unbeliever if he/she is not “pleased,” “willing” or “happy” (NET) to live with the believer, divorce is a matter of liberty and not a command. However, if the unbeliever is pleased to live with the believer, he/she “should not divorce.

“Divorce” is the decision at hand. But, in regard to a decision to stay with the displeased unbeliever, one of the benefits is NOT “the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” While I do not know exactly what this benefit means, I do know that in context it does NOT apply to a displeased unbelieving spouse, but only to a pleased unbelieving spouse. In other words, this benefit will not be reaped by the believing spouse sacrificing the following: “God has called you to peace.” This benefit only takes place in a peaceful situation.

We now hone in on the word, “consent” (ESV). Uh, this kind of puts forth the idea that the unbeliever may agree to live with the believer for a myriad of different reasons and the believer is thereby enslaved to the marriage. In regard to the idea put forth by the word “consent” in context, and in regard to how I have counseled women in the past, I now say, “nope.” This is another thing about learning mode, admitting you were wrong isn’t as hard. Let’s look at the actual word:

4909 syneudokéō (from 4862 /sýn, “identity with” and 2106 /eudokéō, “seems good”) – properly, to consent in a “hearty” (personal) way, in keeping with the close identification involved (note the syn);enthusiastically agree to cooperate with a partner to reach solutions, i.e. to achieve the things both have committed to do together.

This is why the word is often translated “pleased” or “happy” in many English translations. It’s the idea of being in agreement with each other. It has the idea of being happily on the same page regarding life in general. This does not include any sordid reason under the sun that an unbeliever might “consent” to living with a believer.

But, isn’t this qualified by the unbeliever deciding to divorce? “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases, the brother or sister is not enslaved.” I believe that “But” marks a contrast and comparison between a qualified situation and the likely mentality of a believer: “If I endeavor to stay with this person no matter what, God can use me to save them.” Paul’s answer to that is, “For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” yes, it could happen, as it did with my grandmother 36 years later, but it’s not guaranteed.

Furthermore, it is very questionable as to whether or not “But” is the actual first word of verse 15 which seems to qualify the deciding factors for verses 12 and 13. In most interlinears, verse 15 abruptly begins with another “If” denoting another situation altogether. This is a situation where the unbeliever is obviously displeased about living with the believer, and decides to divorce or separate. A few English translations note this and leave out “But” in exchange for “Yet” (ERV) and “If” (WNT). The YLT even adds more delineation by adding “And” before “if” in the beginning of the verse. This puts forth the idea of an additional situation altogether rather than further qualifying the previous situations. I believe the YLT has it right.

Now let’s apply this to a situation where a married couple are at doctrinal odds, and the doctrine, in this case, Calvinism has created un-oneness in the marriage. The spouse, in most cases the wife, refuses to submit to the authority of orthodoxy. False doctrine promoted by any group is defined in the Bible as “heresy” or sectarianism; meaning a person or group that divides with false doctrine.

First, the wife is in fact married to an unbeliever because the husband believes a false gospel. Like in all cases, this doesn’t mean she knows his heart for certain, but because he professes a false gospel, she can treat him “like” an unbeliever. In only one of many qualifying examples, authentic Calvinism is almost always part and parcel with the doctrine of double imputation which is a blatant gospel aberration.

Second, especially in cases where the husband has had the wife brought up on church discipline, which isn’t in the Bible to begin with, it is apparent that he is not pleased to live with her. And additionally, in considering the texts used to support a phrase found nowhere in the Bible, “church discipline,” these verses demand a separation of fellowship. Uh, really? While you are still like, married? Does this mean that Matthew 18 is probably not meant to be applied to marriage? Ya think?

Nevertheless, the Calvinist, ie, unbeliever, has in fact left the wife via church discipline because the verses used in the orthodoxy of it, in fact, call for separation and disfellowship. Hence, the Calvinist, ie, unbeliever, is consenting to live with the believing wife who has rejected his false gospel for unwarranted and unbiblical reasons. She is free to divorce him immediately unless he repents posthaste. And additionally, she should take him to the cleaners financially. Well, that might be a little harsh.

However, all in all, the Christian spouse, whether husband or wife, should never violate their conscience if it is not yet at peace with this exegesis. If a spouse then says, “I have been in turmoil and walking on eggshells for _______ years and I am totally at peace with this exegesis,” alrighty then. The Calvinist needs to shape up or be shipped out. You are called to peace, not a false gospel.

Marriage is about oneness, peace, and love—not law.

Ephesians 5:22-33: The “Church” is NOT the Bride of Christ nor an Institution

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 9, 2016

We often hear references to the “institution of marriage.” However, evangelicals usually shy away from the idea of the “institutional church” because that detracts from the we are family motif that they want to portray. The church continually presents itself as a living body that has the market cornered on love while functioning as an institution.

In Ephesians 5:22-33, a passage often used to make the case that the church is the bride of Christ, the apostle Paul is making the following point: like the body of Christ is one body with many parts, the two married are also one body in the exact same way, like the body of Christ—like marriage.

The institutional churches and their marriages are train wrecks for the following reason: Christ’s body is not an institution, and marriage is not an institution, both are bodies. Evangelicals claim their local temples are bodies, but the smoking gun is authority versus love. Authority is the deal breaker. Consequently, almost every evangelical who reads this passage will interpret it as Christ having authority over His church, and in the same way, the husband has authority over the wife. And likewise, Christ has authority over the church because He is the husband of the bride, viz, the church. NOT.

Where does this passage say those things anywhere?

No, like a real body, Christ is the head of the body in the same way that the husband is the head in the one-body marriage relationship. Um, actually, I use “relationship” in a manner of speaking—marriage is a body. “Head” is not used in regard to someone having authority over someone or something, it refers to the actual head of a body. I mean, read the passage for yourself and note what the words mean. in context.

As the head of your body, if you are wise, you make good choices because, “ For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,  because we are members of his body.”

Get the picture? And look, if you want to say that you have authority over all of your body parts, like your heart, go ahead, but authority isn’t the point—love is. People submitting to your pseudo authority will not bring love to bear. Your heart will do what you want it to do if you, “nourish(es) and cherish(es) it, just as Christ does the church.” That means you eat heart-healthy foods etc.

And that is done with the word of God—the law of love—not condemnation.

Also husbands, if you want to know how to be one, merely study how Christ led his body. When did he ever demand submission? Where is it? Where are the verses? No, He persuaded, He led, He taught, He set the right example, He served need, He…“having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

That’s done by loving leadership, not being the boss.

Because of church orthodoxy, troubled Christian marriages usually come to you for advice with two things: the authority issue and two sets of condemnation lists. You know…“if she would just obey me,” or…“if he would just obey the elders,”…“we would have a good marriage.” Really? Well, that apes the words of every tyrant that ever lived.

Just stop it, and start living this way: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Husbands, leave your parents, and especially John Calvin, and cling to your wife. Wives, respect your husband—not the “under shepherds.”

Where are they in this passage?

paul

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