There are times when scripture flies in the face of modern culture and opinion. And there are times when we want to chalk up certain verses to “cultural difference”.
There is no better example of this than the verses that deal with submission and the woman’s role in marriage.
Suddenly, scripture is not fully inerrant, because suddenly we feel that certain portions of scripture are not relevant for today.
Women everywhere whip out the liberation card.
However, there are two things I continually come back to, when presented with such arguments:
1. If God isn’t big enough to protect His word from human prejudice and interpretation then He is simply not a big enough God! Our entire faith rests on the Bible. Without it, we have nothing to base our faith on at all. And if His Word is not stable – if it does have portions that do not apply to our lives now, then how can we trust it at all? Once we begin ripping out what we feel no longer applies, where does it stop??
Jesus Himself said that He came to fulfill the law and prophets (fulfill the portion about the sacrifices and cleansing procedures, as He became the human picture of the sacrifices and the final sacrifice and cleansing for sin), not to do away with them. (Matthew 5:17) David said, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)
2. The Word never, ever, ever submits to culture. It is static. Unmoving. Unbending. Just as God never changes, the Word never changes; because just as our words – the things we say – are a reflection of us and our nature, so the Word of God is a reflection of God and His nature.
So, when the Word gives a command, it doesn’t morph with the changing tide of culture.
So, when we come to the portion of Titus 2 that says, “…that [the older women] teach the younger women to be…obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” we come to a portion of scripture that has potential to rub us wrong.
Our whole lives we are told we should be independent, be our own person, think for ourselves…
…we are told that once we are 18 we can make our own decisions…
…as teenagers we can hardly wait to graduate and move out of our parents’ home so we can do what we want to do when we want to do it.
And then we get married and are met with the harsh reality of “submit” and “obey”.
No wonder these words are met with shock and dismay.
Ever since we were cognizant of what it means to obey and rebel, we prepare ourselves for freedom from authority, only to reach our adult years and find that we have to spend the rest of our lives submitting and obeying….just when we got out from under the thumb of our parents!!!
But, one must wonder…
…did God ever really intend for us to be so independent from authority? Did He ever really mean for us to have such freedom?
The even bigger question is: is this really freedom?
Is freedom really the ability to do what I want when I want?
Or is freedom the ability to do what I ought?
We spend our lives struggling to free ourselves from the grasp of authority, when God, Himself, placed us in the palm of authority’s hand. On purpose! To stay!
In His perfect love, He chose to show His deep love for women by designing a way to protect and cherish us through first our parents and then our husbands.
It was never in His design for us to live free and independent of authority. For a woman who does not have a “head”, a “covering”, a protection, is free bait for the enemy.
As women, we are never more free than when we choose to submit ourselves to the everlasting and enduring truths of His Word, even when they contradict cultural norm.
Next week, I’d like to explore this verse a little deeper and why Titus said, “that the Word of God not be blasphemed”.
What are your thoughts on this verse? What does the word “obey” speak to you? Do you find it difficult to obey your husband?
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