Summary: One frequent station of life is that of marriage. Paul discusses the duty of husband and wife in very simple terms.
Stations of Life: Husband and Wife
1. Favorite comic: husband and wife reading…
2. When it comes to roles in marriage, I have long learned that what people say they believe and what they actually practice can be two different things.
3. I know some women who say they don’t believe the husband is the head of the home, but they do everything they husband wants.
4. I know some women who make a point to share they believe in submitting to their husbands, but they are the most manipulative and sometimes downright crafty people I know.
5. What we often do not see is honesty and openness.
6. What we always need to see is assertiveness and direct, honest communication.
7. This begins with being honest with ourselves.
8. IMO, the issue of headship and submission is a rare issue in a good marriage. A good marriage involves teamwork, compromise, and a focus on please ones spouse, mutual consideration. This is the main operating posture
9. In Ephesians, Paul instructs them to submit to one another. This has been stretched by people with agendas to mean that everyone submits to everyone else, thus no one really submits to anyone; the instruction = meaningless.
10. Here in Colossians, there are no twistable verses, no way to wiggle out of what Paul is clearly saying. Yet we still must struggle with “what did he mean?”
Main Idea: One frequent station of life is that of marriage. Paul discusses the duty of husband and wife in very simple terms.
I. A Married WOMAN and Her Husband
A. Women need to work at SUBMITTING to their husbands
The fact that this is commanded suggests it is not always natural
• The ideal picture of years gone by: a woman is under the protection of her dad, who then “gives her away” to the groom during a wedding.
• This is a voluntary submission; not a husband’s duty to badger his wife to submit; it is her choice; sometimes, she will fail.
• This is not limitless;
• Coerced submission results in distance between husband and wife… whenever a husband pulls rank, he risks alienating his wife, careful
B. The Old Testament ROOTS of this teaching
1. Scholars debate where Paul’s teachings come from? On the Greek culture, Judaism of the day, or did Paul receive divine revelation as something new?
2. I believe, is simple they are simple midrashim based upon OT
Proverbs 21:19, “It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.”
3. The positive way is “be submissive.”
4. This may help us define what submission means. Although the Greek word “line up under” implies rank, it does not necessarily mean unlimited control.
The greatest praise that can be said of a woman is that she fulfills the wishes of her husband (Ned. 66b). [Source: Jewish Encyclopedia]
C. What submission is NOT
• Submission is interpreted against the backdrop of Scripture: Sarah (I Peter 3:6) and she was very assertive, and Abigail who disobeyed her husband to save her family (I Samuel 25); she was a local girl, from Carmel
• Let me tell you the story of Abigail
1. Not STUFFING your opinion
2. Not PRETENDING to like what you don’t like
3. Not ABSORBING abuse or humiliation
The Aprocryphal book of Sirach 4:28-29 shows the thinking among the Jews about self-respect at the time of Christ: "My son, in all modesty, keep your self- respect and value yourself at your true worth. Who will speak up for a man who is his own enemy, or respect one who disparages himself ?"
My definition: A wife submits to her husband by adopting a co-operative, positive attitude —not competitive, critical one. She seeks to please and accommodate him within reason, but there are boundaries. She also demands to be treated with dignity. She expresses herself openly and honestly and makes decisions together with her husband. Yet, at an impasse, she chooses to default to her husband.
II. A Married MAN and His Wife (19)
A. Men need to work at LOVING their wives
We tend to double the impact of negative qualities over positive, which means we tend to be unappreciative and focus on disappointment.
1. The fact this is commanded means this is not always natural
2. In Ephesians, Paul intertwines the relationship of the man and wife to the church and Christ. Here, he is much simpler and talking about marriage only.
Our Rabbis taught: Concerning a man who loves his wife as himself, who honours her more than himself, who guides his sons and daughters in the right path and arranges for them to be married … Scripture says, And thou shalt know that thy tent is in peace. Talmud, yebamoth_62