Sometimes I genuinely find it hard to say I’m a Christian.
I just read an article about wives submitting to their husbands. One of the key points it made was that wives should submit to their husbands even if the decision the husband makes is against God’s will. Women, it seems, have no self-responsibility, no brains, and no spiritual discernment. I don’t understand it. Did God make me just as a robot, capable of popping out babies, being a ‘homemaker’ and smiling sweetly as the clever men talk over my head?
I work with young women many of whom are in relationships which have the ‘smell’ of domestic violence; controlling boyfriends, physical violence even sexual abuse. In chatting and supporting women like this I constantly reiterate the need for them to think about themselves, to see themselves as more than someone’s girlfriend, see themselves as someone who isn’t just in the business of pleasing someone else. And then I read this ‘Christian’ stuff. Advocate all responsibility, blindly follow your partner, disconnect any relationship you have with God. Is this something I can believe? Is this what it means to be a Christian?
Nick (my husband) and I have never felt we needed to play the ‘headship’ game. We have never, as yet, had to make a decision that we felt so differently about that he had to ‘lead me’. We have been married for 8 years and together 13 years. We have had a baby (and one on the way), moved house, taken numerous jobs, suffered loss, been on holiday, had fights but we have talked constantly, negotiated all the time, been pissed off, but always forgiven and had fun being with each other along the way. Surely relationships are about balance and mutuality. I submit to him as he submits to me as we submit to God.
I know people argue that submission is not about value and worth but it is. I know people argue it isn’t about power and corruption, but it is; how can it not be we’re human? To blindly believe because someone has a penis he is more capable of decision making seems ludicrous…..unless brain power, mental prowress and sensibility are contained within a man’s member (I don’t think so). To blindly believe that a man can be the ‘head’ without abusing power at points seems naive. We have all been tainted by the fall, but reconciliation is part of salvation. I believe a marriage that tries to establish reconciliation of gender and relationships is vital. Maybe I am just a little off kilter….maybe I should shut up and submit!