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Dear Dr. Sala, writes a friend of Guidelines, As a university graduate from a middle-class family, I find it difficult to submit to my husband as the Bible commands. Does that stuff apply to us today? Or was that only for people in Pauls day?
First, we must settle the issue of whether the Bible contains timeless counsel from a loving God, who knows how couples can best be happy, or is simply the ideas of insecure men. Next, we must ask whether the counsel of Scripture establishes a universal principle for all generations, or applies only to a specific cultural situation.
Some advice that Paul gave was directed to particular situations that were out of hand. For example, his admonition that women should keep silent in church resulted from the commotion that ensued when women, who by custom sat on one side of the synagogue, would talk to their husbands on the opposite side when they didnt understand something.
What the Bible says about our roles in marriage, however, goes to the core of our human nature and isnt based on culture at all. Of course, what the Bible actually says and what some people say it says arent always the same thing. Some men have taken the concept of submission to unwarranted and unbiblical extremes, reducing women to a level of servitude that God never intended.
The Bible never says that women are inferior to men. In many respects, women possess talents and strengths that men dont have. God intended men and women to complement each other, not compete with each other.
The New Testament word translated submit literally means to stand under. It was used in the military to describe submission to authority. The Bible says that men and women are to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ (see Ephesians 5:22). Did you notice that last phrase, out of reverence for Christ?
A proper understanding of how God designed marriage makes a tremendous difference in our relationships. God never intended for women to surrender their individuality or uniqueness in marriage any more than He intended men to be dictators. Gods plan is better. Hes the Creator who gave us the blueprint for happiness.
Resource reading: Ephesians 5:22-32
© 2000 Dr. Harold J. Sala Used by Permission
This article is an excerpt from Dr. Sala's book entitled Tomorrow Starts Today
published by Barbour Publishing
Dr. Harold J. Sala, a well-known speaker, author and Bible teacher, serves as founder and president of Guidelines, an international ministry reaching into more than 100 countries of the world. Dr. Sala has authored over 23 books and publications, including Heroes - People Who Made A Difference in Our World, which was recently awarded (February 1999) the prestigious Angel Award for excellence in moral quality media.
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