The commandment dynamic

If you read your bible you should be familiar with the following sets of verses:

Ephesians 5:

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Ephesians 5:

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

Something that came up earlier this evening, during my discussion with my aunt, was that “husbands cannot expect wives to be obedient to them or respect them if they haven’t proven themselves trustworthy”. This is a common argument amongst both Christian and non-Christian women.

By the same token, maybe women shouldn’t expect men to love them when they are acting disobedient or disrespectful. After all, the church is obedient to Christ, willing to do whatever He asks. If wives cannot act in the same manner then they shouldn’t expect their husbands to love them. I know it says men should love their wives “as Christ loves the church”, but shouldn’t wives obey their husbands “as the church is subject to Christ”?

You see, this is why the above two scriptures are there and are VERY important. These two commandments remove the responsibility from both the husband and the wife to be like their examples, as well as removing the excuse from both husbands and wives that they cannot love or obey because the other does not meet an expectation. By issuing commandments God has said, “Do this thing because it pleases Me, not because the your spouse deserves or doesn’t deserve it.” Without these commandments you can see how things quickly descend into a circular vortex. I cant love her because she isn’t obedient, I can be obedient because he doesn’t love me. The commandment is the tie-breaker. I cant love her because she isn’t obedient, but I will because it pleases God. I cant be obedient because he doesn’t love me, but I will because it pleases God.

I don’t think a lot of Christian couples realize this, but it is important information to have. I know this is, like, my third or fourth post today, but I have a lot going on in my head, so bear with me, please.


Author: SnapperTrx

Just a guy on the internet.

7 thoughts on “The commandment dynamic”

  1. i think there’s a place we have to come to where we relax about other people not ‘getting’ it because it’s not our job to make them get it. that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. we can share it with them and then let it go. seriously, let it go. other than that, we can pray for them that God would open their eyes and ears so they may see and hear the Truth … and we can simply live out these truths in our own lives. that’s super hard, and i’m not an expert at it, but i am getting a lot better at it as i practice.

    there are truths that i know and believe that my extended family does not share … and there are even those that my husband does not share. i cannot force them to see and hear. i can simply integrate it into my life in such a way that i naturally live it out in front of them. my girls, even, need to learn some things on their own and in their own time. that’s super hard, as i’m sure you well know with three older kids of your own.

    in a sense, Jesus’ example of becoming ‘fishers of men’ was poignant and perfect. we throw the bait out there. sometimes they bite, sometimes they don’t. sometimes we have to change the bait or the approach b/c of who we’re sharing or relating to. that’s okay. and sometimes the waters are perfect for fishing, and sometimes they’re not. i’ve found a great peace, though, in realizing that it’s not my job to convict. it’s only my job to do what God tells me to do and say. part of that is in the scriptures, and part isn’t.

    i know you’re frustrated about your aunt. i would be, too. but do not despair. how you integrate these Truths into your own life and live them out will be much more powerful than any conversation you can ever have with her. that takes time, a lot of time. but it’s worth it.

  2. Many women today have it completely backwards when it comes to respect. Marriage is not the place for conditional respect. As you have very correctly stated, a husband does not have to earn respect from his wife. That comes in the dating stage. Back in university, there were plenty of men I had no respect for, so I didn’t date them. There was a guy I briefly dated until I realized that he was not someone I could see myself submitting to and following for the rest of my life. However, once the wedding ring is on, the picture changes. SO many women do this the opposite. They rush into relationships with ‘bad boys’ whom they have no business dating and turn a deaf ear to anyone else’s advice. But when they are married, then they pull out the attitude.

    People need to take dating more seriously. Women, look at the men you’re dating. Is this someone that you can respect and submit to for a lifetime? If not, end the relationship. No one has any business forcing you to marry a guy you don’t respect. But once you do marry him, don’t back out then. The time for that is over.

    1. Personally I am finding that the idea of dating is becoming more and more offensive to me as a father. My daughter and I had a very good discussion on dating and old-world courting the other day and it was very productive. Maybe I will post something on it.

      However, you are correct that many women have it completely backwards, but so do many men! They believe the tripe they are fed by the modern church that they have to prove themselves worthy of respect, but women are naturally worthy of love and affection, so they spend their time trying to earn that which they already have entitlement to! And when they try so hard to earn it, they actually end up losing it even more!

      I didn’t think of this until later, but these commandments are also useful in teaching new believers how they should treat their unsaved spouses. Say a man has been married to his wife for a few years, neither one of them are saved or living right but he ends up getting saved and his wife doesn’t. These commandments tell a new believer how to continue to live with their unbelieving spouse. Why? Because by carrying through with these commandments they are witnessing to their spouse and drawing them into the kingdom of God! I have said before that I am shocked to hear women proclaim their commitment and obedience to Christ when it comes to going to another country and serving in the missions field, but they refuse to witness to their own husbands by doing what the word says and being obedient!

      What a crazy, mixed up world we live in!

      1. When I said ‘dating’, I merely meant the process by which a man and woman get to know one another prior to marriage (which I do believe is highly beneficial to a marriage). I was NOT referring to the modern practice of a man throwing his time and money on a woman who is not his wife (not implying that a man needs to throw all his time and money on his wife after marriage either!). I hear from a lot of women about how their husbands are not men that they can respect. In some of the cases, their husbands are definitely not men I would have considered ‘husband material’, so I understand their frustration, but I kinda want to gently shake them and ask them what in the world they were thinking prior to the wedding.

        And I absolutely agree that a lot of men have it backwards as well. I was merely commenting more from a woman’s perspective on the complaints I hear from women a lot and how often they are the cause of their own problems by lacking common sense while dating.

      2. Point taken. This type of “dating” your referring to could take place even in the old courtship method, of which I, personally, approve, but was unable to implement in my daughters life. Wish I could have thought it over a long time ago.

  3. I would love to hear how your conversation with your daughter went (if you want to share it on the blog of course). I’m so glad that went well for you and ik her relationship has been on your heart recently. I’m not honestly sure I know what you mean when you say “old courtship method”. I’ve always heard courtship referred to as ‘dating with a purpose’. My sister called her relationship a courtship. I had a very similar style relationship but called mine dating cuz me and my husband had both been left with some legalistic references to the term ‘courtship’. But I definitely do not approve of the more common kind of dating you see in America today. Absolute foolishness. And we wonder why so few of our high school graduates are virgins.

    1. I may not be using the right term when I say “old courtship”. We had a conversation about the reasons why some marriages end in divorce and the issue of money problems came up. I told her that I felt the old method of courting, where men would consult with a woman’s parents and ask to court her, was something that cut down on the problems with money issues. Parents would have some say over whom their daughter decided to marry, giving an approval or dismissal depending on how they felt about the man in question. Wise parents would have made sure that the man was at least doing well financially as well as someone who had a steady job or was trained in a trade that would be good for work. That doesn’t mean that financial catastrophe COULDN’T happen, but it prevented a couple from getting married when neither one of them had money or a decent job or any type of job skills.

      My daughter seemed to agree, though she was still very iffy on the whole idea of parents helping to select a husband for a woman of marrying age. I don’t expect her to understand simply because of the era we are living in, but she said she did understand the benefit.

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