Thursday, March 10, 2016

It Undermines the Marriage, God's Guidelines for Parents, and Getting Caught Up in Counterproductive Philosophical Discussions posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the Body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it: That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.  That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be Holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of His Body, of His Flesh, and of His Bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.  Ephesians, Chapter 5, verses 20-33.

Ease up, now!  I realize that this appears to be a passage that sets the Women’s Movement back 100 years, but it’s not!  This passage isn't about women having the right to vote.  It’s not about women having equal pay for equal jobs.  This passage is about a husband and wife being respectful of each other’s needs and treating each other with the same courtesy and respect that they want.  God put man and woman together to support each other as a UNIT.  The marriage wasn't meant for two totally separate entities to be fighting to maintain their ability to be in control of the other.
When God says that the man is the head of the household doesn’t mean that the man is supposed to arbitrarily make all the decisions regardless of his wife’s opinions, or vice versa.  If the husband and the wife are to be a UNIT, it should involve discussions on decisions, being respectful of each person’s opinion.
If the man is to treat the woman as he would treat his own body and the woman is to do the same, then that means they should be respectful of each other in all matters.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t beat up their own body, so they should not beat up their spouse.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t be calling themselves names or saying put-downs about themselves, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse-even if it’s funny.  It undermines the marriage.
A husband or a wife wouldn’t be yelling at themselves, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t deprive themselves of their basic needs, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t want their spouse to be unfaithful to them, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse.  A husband or a wife wouldn’t be hateful and unforgiving to themselves and their own faults, so they shouldn’t do it to their spouse.  This passage has nothing to do with the Women’s Movement.  It has only to do with the husband and the wife treating each other with the same respect and support that they would want to get within the marriage.
Here is a related passage:
*And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.  Matthew, Chapter 19, verses 4-6.


Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first Commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Ephesians, Chapter 6, verses 1-4.

This passage also goes both ways.  Children are to be respectful of their parents and to obey their rules.  I think all too many parents only focus on this part of the passage.  They forget that they aren’t supposed to provoke their children to wrath; instead they are to nurture them.  This DOES mean that parents are to be supportive of their children, which does NOT mean that they are to raise their children by telling them how stupid they are and how they can’t do anything right.
This DOES mean that parents are to appropriately discipline their children, which does NOT mean that they are to take all their frustrations out on their children, yelling at them, hitting them or sexually abusing them.  This DOES mean that parents are to provide for their children’s physical and emotional needs and well-being, which does NOT mean that they are supposed to ignore their child’s basic needs.  This DOES mean that parents are to nurture their children, which does NOT mean overindulging them with their every wish.  This DOES mean that parents are to set clear and appropriate rules, which does NOT mean being harshly strict with them or being too lenient either.  This DOES mean that it’s reasonable for parents to expect children to do chores as a member of the household, but it does NOT mean that they are to expect their children to do all the household chores, or that the parents do everything for the child so the child never develops a sense of responsibility.
The child, under the appropriate conditions set forth in the Bible, is supposed to obey their parents, but the parent isn't to provoke them to anger and is to nurture them.  In other words, the parents and the children are to work together in mutual respect of one another and of God.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  Colossians, Chapter 2: 6-8.

I’m not to get caught up in counterproductive philosophical discussions with other people regarding my faith.  There have been times when I have done this and I began to doubt my own faith or became uncertain about particular issues.
I have found that when I read the Bible, so many things are clarified for me in a way that no person was able to do.  I know these answers come from God and are not some person or group’s philosophical interpretation of the Bible.  My faith becomes vulnerable when I let other people tell me what I should and shouldn't believe and how I should do it.
It’s kind of like a painting.  You spend hours creating a painting and it’s just right for you.  You show it to some friends and they tell you that you should change the painting in a particular way.  You show the painting to an artist and he tells you that you should really change these other aspects of the painting.  Lastly, you show the painting to an art teacher.  He tells you that the painting really should be altered in some totally new way.  By the time you ask all of these different people’s advice, you can’t remember why you painted the painting in that particular fashion and what your original goals for the painting were.  Your mind is so muddled by all these interpretations of the right way to paint that the painting doesn’t seem like the same painting you felt excited about in the beginning.

As an artist, I have found it’s much better when I don’t ask for other people’s opinions and I paint for my own pleasure.  As a Christian, I have found I can’t get involved in other people’s philosophical discussions of how they think religion is supposed to be.  There are millions of different people with millions of different interpretations.  If I get caught up in listening to other people’s opinions, I can get confused and possibly lose my focus on God.  I find it much better to bow out of philosophical discussions and read the Bible on my own and to trust the instincts that God gives me.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

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