Now that I have you attention with that highly charged and totally inappropriate expression...
I want to share a theology I hold to. A theology of marital submission, if you will. It is formed from the crazy passage in Ephesians 5. However, before I continue-- let me say that Rob Bell stole my theology! Ok, maybe not. But, I have held and shared this theology of Ephesians 5 for years. But, he wrote it in a book in the same terms I have always shared it. And he is popular and has an audience. I don't. Oh well. I will share it with you. Here is the gist according to Rob Bell and I…
To submit is to place the needs of another above yourself. Ephesians 5:23 basically says "look like Jesus- Give yourself up for her!" Christ's headship comes in giving himself up for the church. His sacrifice. His surrender. His death. Whatever authority the word "head" carries with it is rooted in the sacrifice of Christ, and therefore the sacrifice of the Husband.
So, she submits to him, and he lays it all down for her, and it's all submission, and it's all out reverence to Christ! Good stuff, huh?
So how does this play out? Oftentimes the stereotype seems to put men over women making it clear that they "call the shots". The more I see this the more I look at my own relationship with Tricia. I am not calling any shots!! We are calling them together. And as soon as I act like I'm the only one doing it, 1) I may get slapped and 2) I better be ready for all the blame when it fails!
Some would say- "That's fine now and then, but what about the tough decisions? What happens when push comes to shove and somebody has to make the tough decisions?" Now, think about your friendships, the closest ones. How often do you ask who is in charge? Do you ever find yourself asking "where does the buck stop?" It actually feels silly, doesn't it? Over time, you've built up reserves of trust and love, and power and control become irrelevant. The healthier and more whole the relationship is, the less you ask these types of questions. When people are truly living in what's called "mutual submission", you lose track of who's in charge.
What would happen in marriages if women were totally sure that her husband will be placing her needs above his own- dying so she could live? What if he made a habit of this? And she a habit of responding with much of the same?