Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Ephesians Foot

Ephesians 5:21-27
21 Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ. 22 Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: 23 Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: 26 That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: 27 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.

My husband and I have had a joke since we went through our engagement counseling a few years ago. It was before I had converted and we went through the Catholic Engaged Encounter that the Church requires and the pre-marriage counseling that the Southern Baptist church that I had grown up in required. The Engaged Encounter didn't talk about Ephesians Chapter 5 and in a way tiptoed around any talk of traditional gender roles. We discussed the importance or prayer and problem solving but my guess is that they didn't want to offend anyone and chase them away from the Church (it was an Engaged Encounter in the SF Bay Area, so they are probably dealing with rather liberal couples, for the most part).

On the other hand, our Baptist counseling was based on Ephesians Chapter 5. I was a little offended at the time. I remember thinking that it was old fashioned. My thinking has definitely changed as we've grown in our marriage, closer to each other and closer to God. We talked in depth about how the husband is the head of the home and how, when there is a disagreement I should explain my opinion completely, but that I should understand that the final call is my husbands and how, if there is going to be peace in our home, I need to accept that completely without bitterness. It was very good advice. After all, we can't both be leading at the same time!

Paul, who is a Cradle Catholic, thought that this was the greatest thing that he had ever heard. He started joking around saying things like "don't make me put down my Ephesians Foot!" And it has kept coming up in that way over the course of the last few years.

He's never actually had to "put down his Ephesians Foot." He claims that he did when we got married (by insisting that we married in the Church) but I don't really think that counts because I agreed right away (I already knew that I was going to convert at that point). This makes me feel very lucky, because it would be easy for him to use his position to get what he wants in every argument (this is one of the man reasons it's so important to marry a good Catholic man! It would be very easy to abuse this sort of power!). Thankfully, we have been on the same page on pretty much every subject spiritually. It may help that our religious interests differ significantly. I'm more focused on the practical expression of religion in marriage and our day to day life and he's more interested in Canon Law and the grand theological ideas that I get a glimpse of when I proof read his graduate school papers. The things we would debate would be so entirely different that it doesn't really come up!

Anyways, it's time to feed the baby her lunch, so I have to run.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! It made me smile :¬)

    I like it put this way, written by a friend of mine ~ "So, in practical terms, say a couple get given £50 as an anniversary present. They can't decide what to do with it. They just don't agree. They both have sensible ideas. The man has the casting vote if there is stalemate so the woman, trying to obey what the Bible teaches, accepts her husband's decision. But the husband, also trying to obey what the Bible teaches, knows he is supposed to love his wife in the same way that Jesus loved the church. So his authoritative decision is to do what she wants with the money.

    Silly example I know, but that's what the Bible is getting at: balance. Woman submits to the man's decision, but the man puts the woman's needs first."

    Mrs.P xx


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