Submission In the Context of Fully-Healed-and-Blessed Womanhood and Manhood

When I was in high school, I dealt with offended theological liberals, both male and female, who used the “Paul is a chauvanist” argument to justify deleting Paul from the canon. Cue Schleiermacher, Kant, et al.

And I knew they were off, for whatever reason. It just did not feel right.

Then the chauvanistic conservatives who preached against women preachers, etc. (1 Timothy yada yada) also rubbed me the wrong way, demonstrating their slant with those bludge-verses.

So, when Arthur Burk made a similar observation of “Paul is a chauvanist” to that of the liberals, I was kind of scratching my head a bit. I was thinking to myself, “Okay. I know he isn’t a liberal, and I know he comes from an evangelical ultra-conservative background, and I know he deals with a lot of wounded women in particular, and he has a whole lot of gravitas in that arena, and so, what am I missing?”

Let me define a term that I am going to use in the following paragraph, because it feels like the right word. Mercies (those with the Redemptive Gift of Mercy) will often have these situations where they hear a word in their spirit and it is a really accurate description, even if they don’t know what the word means.

di·a·lec·tic | ˌdīəˈlektik | noun

1. the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions.

2. inquiry into metaphysical contradictions and their solutions

Dialectic or dialectics, also known as the dialectical method, is at base a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments. Wikipedia

Maybe because what is often missing in our discussion of authority and submission is the critical thread of a dialectic (yes, I believe I used that term appropriately) that involves love, that is, a mutual concern and affection for the dignity of our fellow people and love for them that protects their dignity and heart.

Put more succinctly, our discussions of authority and submission frequently do not include the dialectic on love’s and tenderness’ places in the equation.

I would like to suggest this is why we often have such damaging and abusive conversations about the concepts of authority and submission; we make authority and submission into a zero-sum game of I win/You lose, and we do not look to cultivate a win/win in our solution. And so, we suffer.

I have never really fancied myself as theological conservative, based on the full frame a lot of theologically conservative followers of Yeshua would have used. Nor do I fancy myself a liberal or a neoorthodox.

Therefore, I reently asked the question of myself “are men supposed to roll over and let the women lead alone?” The answer came back “no, that’s an inaccurate and incomplete way of framing it”.

Both are supposed to lead together.

After the end of Healing Manhood and whatever cycles of blessing come after that…

I wonder if, in the context of fully-healed womanhood and fully-healed manhood, the more accurate, full-orbed picture becomes, NOT one of submission as we currently view it, where there is a win/lose, zero-sum game…

BUT rather one where we define what currently is translated as “submission” in terms of the second commandment, to “love one another deeply” enough that both sexes are equipped and both sexes release one another into fullness…

SO that the question of “whose rights are protected, and at what expense?” is no longer the main issue, but rather caring for one another, becoming our brother’s and sister’s keeper (Topaz Business DNA), and becoming a safe place (Onyx Business DNA, Disc 2, Cuts 1, 2, and 3) become the greater issues…

That brings us to a place of “[submitting to] one another out of reverence for Christ” that much sooner.

And instead of using the word “submitting”, given the level of abuse current in the church, we might translate that concept as “loving enough to build a platform underneath one another”.

Currently, it seems that many of us see it as, “clawing at one another to protect your scrap of an empire/ego.”

Layers of trust issues here, it seems.

Perhaps it is time for us to reevaluate how we handle the domestic codes in the writings of Paul (Ephesians 5, Titus 2, Colossians 3 and others) and how we frame the Greek term that is usually translated into English as “submission”.

I do not think we have to end with a zero-sum game of submit and lose your will, spirit, mind, self, desires, in pushing for the mission of another. I think we have twisted that term of submission so much that we forget the process through which Father wants to take each of us so that we grow in cohesion one with another, and we react because that concept is a cuss word.

There are more issues present, but for now, this is what I am pondering.

9 thoughts on “Submission In the Context of Fully-Healed-and-Blessed Womanhood and Manhood

  1. Excellent David, being able to build on the platform of ones understanding and wisdom together, building on ones strengths instead of ripping at one’s weaknesses, the more the strengths are built upon the weaknesses will dissipate!

  2. I’m about to go off on what you mention as zero-sum game.

    Humanity has sorted itself into pecking orders starting pretty much in the nursery. Any time just two people get together, there are all kind of internal, subconscious evaluations, judgements, and comparisons going on. It’s as simple as telling a dear friend, “You look great!” That comment is based on numerous internal weights and balances that took place over the span of a millisecond. We can’t even help ourselves from doing this.

    I think sometimes we forget that God doesn’t have cognitive biases. His comparisons, judgements, and evaluations aren’t based in any need for self-protection or to be “in” with an inside group. His scripture is full of ambiguous, often contradictory arguments that I believe are fairly screaming about how secure and complexly deep God’s mind and love towards his children are. God is perfectly comfortable dropping bombs that even seem to make him support one gender or race over another – not because he’s sadistic, but because he delights in forcing us to use our brains and puzzle something out in ways that make us uncomfortable and get over ourselves. Sometimes with God the easy, obvious answer is the right answer, but almost always it’s not.

    What I mean by that is that OF COURSE men and women are equally valued, gifted, and called to anything that God wants to call them to. But humanity doesn’t read statements about husbands and wives, slaves and masters, children and parents, governments and peoples, believers and non-believers like that. We blithely read them through our pecking-order perspectives. We read them to justify a current societal structure, or our own prideful desires to subjugate someone – anyone! – never even thinking that God is so outside the box of our cognitive biases that those statements can’t possibly be about sorting humanity into neat little boxes.

    I’ve always found it interesting that submission is typically a one-sided arrangement, humanly speaking. The amount of energy expounded since the beginning of time to keep slaves in their place, lay-people in their place, children in their place, women in their place, or whatever type of sinner-of-the moment is cool to witch-hunt remorselessly in their place, is astronomical in comparison the energy spent in the so-called leaders being worthy of the name. Historically speaking, masters, church leadership, governments, husbands, parents, or “the saved” get a pass on whatever kind of tyranny they want to think, say, or act out upon the ones that are supposed to be “under them.”

    The lack of accountability to what scripture says pretty clearly about the characters of those “in leadership over” is laughable. No one (as far as I know) has come up with a list of practical, base-line standards about what men loving their wives like Christ loves the church looks like, but anyone reading this could easily list twenty things that women have historically been expected to do on their part of the scripture. The same could be said for church leadership vs. lay people, parents vs. children, etc. The “understood standard” for the ones that are supposed to know their place is always, always, always the focus of the church – so much so that we believe those “understood standards” are moral, just because we’ve believed them for so long.

    My point is that we tend to read scripture in such a way that confirms our biases and/or our iniquity, and/or our need to re-enact brokenness. If our bias is “God hates women!” then we can easily find ways to prove that to ourselves in scripture. Broken parents and broken church leadership can find all the justification in the world to beat and psychologically torture their children or congregations into compliant robots, often-times grossly and flagrantly living in sin themselves.

    Lastly, we often want to be subjugated. We might get riled up over one type of submission being used to beat us over the head, but on the other hand we don’t actually want to do the work or build virtues into ourselves. It’s easier to “be under” leadership that does the heavy lifting for us and think that if we align ourselves with a certain ministry or pastor that its/their character somehow transfers to us. Honestly, we want it both ways.

    I think part of the beauty of our relationship with Jesus is turning scripture over and over and over again, seeking for deeper meanings. We can do our best to examine it from every angle and refuse to come to any conclusion that doesn’t equal love, honor our royal priesthoods, and above all, feel the weight of our own calling to the good works God has planned for us individually before time began. This, rather than running around making sure everyone knows their place.

      1. I’m just stumbling in the dark here, reaching for ideas. My prophet sometimes makes me sound more sure of myself or more entrenched in my thoughts than I really am. My personality is INFJ, so I tend to hold so many perspectives that I end up at cross purposes. While at the same time my prophet charges ahead confidently throwing out ideas that make me look very weird. I’m a very awkward person, actually!!!!! haha. 🙂

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