In a recent post, Sunshine Mary wrote of meekness and submission in speech patterns. It is obvious that in more liberal circles, there is an air of quiet politeness that most follow. Christianity also requires its adherents to be polite and Jesus declared that the meek are blessed. Churches often call men to meekness toward their wives, reminded them of Paul’s words:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. – Ephesians 5:25 KJV
As Christ died for His bride, men are called to metaphorically “die” for their bride in meekness, being a servant-leader. It sounds heroic and nice, but it politely and nobly ignores a question.
If a man is to lay down his life who is the final arbitrator of this demand?
In the feminist line, the woman is the final arbitrator. It is her happiness and sense of security that become the dominate reason men are to die for their wives. A feelings-oriented concept of love, as opposed to a truth- and fact-oriented concept, has become the dominant theme. Dalrock writes:
What nearly all modern Christians have done is place romantic love above marriage. Instead of seeing marriage as the moral context to pursue romantic love and sex, romantic love is now seen as the moral place to experience sex and marriage.
In a previous article, I write:
Without a solid and concrete basis for establishing marriage as one man and one woman for life, society is now free to base it on the most powerful force among people, emotion. Images of romance and “happily ever after” have given young men and women idealized worlds where truth is directly related to how one feels.
If anyone has taken the time to read William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, they will see it is a tragedy that begins with Romeo falling in love with Juliet. In his intense romantic fervor, his willing to die for her, to love her with all his heart. In fact, he is willing to lay down his life for her. He ultimately does, but there is nothing heroic in his death, only the tragic destruction from romantic love being the driving force.
(Note: I recently watched Frozen and was presented with a message that romantic love saves women from death as well as given a subtle sort of incestuous gay romance between two sisters that renders even the love a man might have for a woman null and void. Gotta love Disney!)
Again, the problem is that men are focused on the desires of women instead of the truth in Christ. Even though Jesus may be invoked, it is only dragging in the name of Jesus into a romantic scene to give it some sort of spiritual legitimacy.
A man needs to recognize that marriage, as an institution, comes from the Father. The ability to experience sex and romantic love comes from the Father. The idea of a man loving his wife in the same way as Christ loves the church comes from the Father. While marriage, sex, and romance can benefit women, women are not the authorities on how these should function and interact. This includes the Christian call for men to carry a loyal benevolence toward their wives.
The man Christ Jesus, being fully human and fully male, gives men the proper orientation and understanding when it comes to husbands loving their wives.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. – John 10:17
Christ has the power to literally die and come back to life and that power or authority comes from His father. Now Christian men do not have that power, but they have the authority to lay down their independence in order to be joined to a wife. The same authority that allows a man to choose marriage, allows a man to choose celibacy.
When it comes marriage, a Christian man is not required to love his wife in accordance to her feelings. Rather, he is required to love his wife according to the authority granted to him by God. A woman’s displeasure should not be a factor in his decision-making within marriage. He has been granted a measure of authority and responsibility that come from the Father and it is to Him and not his wife that he will be held accountable.
According to modern Christianity, Jesus’ words would be read as:
My wife has the right to my life and I lay my life down for her. I have every obligation to lay it down, but I have no authority to take it again. This commandment have I received of my wife, who is Best Friends Forever with Jesus, her other husband.
When Paul tells men to love their wives as Christ loves the church, they need to remember that it Christ and not their wives that grant them the authority to do so. It also means that a man has the authority to take up his life again. A wife should not presume that scripture has bound him to perpetual servitude to her.
If a man is to lay down his life for his wife, it should be because he is laying down his life for Christ first and foremost. A man is not called to throw his self on an endless line of swords in a tearful show of romantic passion for his wife. Rather, if he chooses to marry, he should recognize the duties and requirements that his Father has built into the institution and lay aside his interests, and hers, to please God.