Paul’s next encouraging words are found in the book of Ephesians where we will camp out for a few days before moving forward. “Most scholars believe Colossians and Ephesians were written early in Paul’s 2-year imprisonment in Rome because he never hinted of a possible release as he did in Philemon and Philippians.” (1)
Beth wants to take us through a journey on the book of Ephesians and starting with vs. 22-23… “Submitting to one another in the fear of Christ” in v. 21 is an attitude of all Christians to be submissive to one another.” (1) As I understand it, there should be some mutual submission going on and that it never was meant to be one-sided or used to exploit others. Paul’s primary objective when talking to women was submission and when addressing men it dealt with love. Beth thinks it is written that way targeting our weaknesses, but I differ and think that he knew women needed to be loved and men needed to be the leader.
“Before we learn what submission means for Christian wives, let’s learn what it does not mean:
- Submission does not mean women are under the authority of men in general! (1) Beth points out that in the KJ version that Paul is explicitly speaking reference to the husbands and marriage only… not a blank check to all men.
- Submission does not mean inequality! (2) Paul even mentions in Galatians 3:28 “There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”… all are considered equal in the sight of God!
- Submission does not mean wives are to treat their husbands like God! (3)
- Submission does not mean slavery! (4)
So know that we know what submission does not mean let’s look at what it does mean. “Paul didn’t dislike women; he liked order!! He advocated order in the church, order in government, order in business, and yes, order in the home.’ ‘Paul regarded husbands and wives as spiritual equals, though with certain obvious and functional differences.’” (5)
Beth also shares that “God is good and loving” and “God granted women a measure of freedom in submission that we can learn to enjoy… namely having someone else to join in on the responsibility of raising a family.” (6)
Another thing that stands out to me is the simple fact that if Christ called us to freedom, why would he want us to be in bondage?
(1-6) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing