You Bowed Up When You Should Have Bowed Down

Where wives fall (run) into rebellion is not when they choose not to do something evil their husbands command, but when they do not submit to those husbands. It’s not “legitimate” rebellion for a wife to refuse to take birth control as her husband wants–It’s not rebellion at all! The rebellion is when she believes and acts as if from that moment she does not have to seek his approval; even and especially concerning the evil act under consideration.

Over and over again we see examples in Scripture where a servant cannot or will not obey a master; whether good or evil. The righteous servants always say something along the lines of, “I cannot comply with this. What can I do instead to appease my lord?” David says this to Saul; Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar; Lot to the men of Sodom; Esther to King Ahasuerus; Tamar to Amnon…

The absence of the bolded bit is the rebellion, and it is never legitimate.

 

This post repurposed from a comment I made on SunshineMary’s post: “When submit in everything means ‘but not this thing’ “

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37 thoughts on “You Bowed Up When You Should Have Bowed Down

  1. I freely admit that my knowledge of Scripture is sorely lacking. And so that story came as something of a surprise to me; no doubt it has been many, many years since I read or heard it last. But it is an excellent story about a worthy woman, who provides a great example of how a First Officer should act.

  2. Could someone list the location of Abigail and Nabal so that I can come back and find it on my phone when I get to lunch break?

    I need to go read through that comment thread. I was at a dance workshop all weekend except for a pontifical high mass, and wasn’t able to keep up. Yet it’s one that I have strong opinions about, that fall in line near where Caldo’s seem to be. From discussions about it before at SSM’s, we seem to be in the minority. I’m ok with that, but want to see the scriptural arguments of both sides.

  3. Even though I believe in a wife’s submission to her husband in all things, (I’ve been told I’m too radical about it), I subscribe to Zippy’s reasoning, that no human authority is limitless.

    The arguments baout threesomes, abortion and bank robbery are in just red herrings. My husband was an unbeliever the first 4 or 5 years of our marriage and he never (not even once) asked me to do anything that would violate Scripture or my conscience. I don’t think my experience is all that unusual. Christian men are usually good men, but there are good men who aren’t Christians and there are few who would knwoingly put their wives in such a spot.

    My experience is not the standard however, and when we say that a wife is always obligated to do anything her husband says no matter what that thing is, we put her in a precarious spiritual position.

    But yes, bwoing down instead of bowing up is the correct posture to take. Of course, this assumes that the bowing down has already taken place in the heart and most often it has not.

  4. @Elspeth

    Of course, this assumes that the bowing down has already taken place in the heart and most often it has not.

    This isn’t how people work. The posture will inform the heart. This idea evokes screaming in the hearts of those who want their feelings to be on display instead of having their feelings modified by their behavior.

    I know I retread the same quotes over and again, but let’s review our Screwtape Letters:

    “The best thing, where it is possible, is to keep the patient from the serious intention of praying altogether. When the patient is an adult recently re-converted to the Enemy’s party, like your man, this is best done by encouraging him to remember, or to think he remembers, the parrot-like nature of his prayers in childhood. In reaction against that, he may be persuaded to aim at something entirely spontaneous, inward, informal, and unregularised; and what this will actually mean to a beginner will be an effort to produce in himself a vaguely devotional mood in which real concentration of will and intelligence have no part. One of their poets, Coleridge, has recorded that he did not pray “with moving lips and bended knees” but merely “composed his spirit to love” and indulged “a sense of supplication”. That is exactly the sort of prayer we want; and since it bears a superficial resemblance to the prayer of silence as practised by those who are very far advanced in the Enemy’s service, clever and lazy patients can be taken in by it for quite a long time. At the very least, they can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget, what you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” ~The demon mentor Screwtape, via C.S. Lewis

  5. You’re right.

    I just assumed that it was accepted as a given among Christians that bowing to pray is the ultimate form of reverence in prayer. Face down is even better.

    Bowing to one’s husband? Well that’s a hot button right there, and you won’t get many who’ll agree. And by that I mean husbands, not wives. I include mine in that number, although he has absolutely no problem telling me to pull off his socks, LOL.

  6. @Elspeth

    Well that’s a hot button right there, and you won’t get many who’ll agree.

    You won’t find many husbands who agree when the socks are on the other feet, either. How many husbands bow to their superiors? What fulminates a husband is that the same bowed-up wife at home is often meek and bowed-down at the office.

    Still, ladies: Don’t wait for your example. Hit the submissive pay-dirt!

    And by that I mean husbands, not wives.

    They are wrong.

  7. The posture will inform the heart.

    Spoken like a true Catholic! (*ducks, runs away*)

    This, 1000x.

    I don’t use the Captain/First Officer model in my conversations on the matter because that model requires nearly as much discipline to observe as does the submission of wife to husband – women are prone to mutiny, unfortunately. But, I will say, it’s a useful example when it comes to competence in the marital sphere, and how authority is to be observed. More later…..

  8. @Elspeth

    I just assumed that it was accepted as a given among Christians that bowing to pray is the ultimate form of reverence in prayer. Face down is even better.

    One of the honorifics that has been lost to the mists of time is the term “worshipful”. The chances are “worship” does not mean what you think it means, and should be used much more than you think it should. What do you think praise and beseeching are? The lines between prayer, worship, praise, adoration, and cherishing are very thin indeed.

    In the Protestant quest to have a more intimate relationship with God (which was right, and which the RCC was actively prohibiting), we have abandoned a good deal of the tools that would enable our success in that endeavor. We’ve been so successful that even RCs that consider themselves (and are considered by others) to be members in good and orderly standing HATE to show reverence towards anyone or anything that does not appeal to them viscerally. Humans were made to lead and worship, so those repressed forces come out in other areas. We worship sex, money, etc. Protestant preachers talk about this in round-about ways (usually directed at men who worship football, etc.), but they are too scared and ignorant to actually address it even in their own households.

    There are many people in our lives towards whom are faces should be on the ground.

  9. Note Bene: Orthodox do stand for prayer per the Council of Nicea. This was the traditional attitude of prayer as you were “at attention” for your King (the normative position for the Roman court). But both positions are good as long as you are doing it _for_ the King.

  10. Another excellent post Cane. The spirit of the response is critical. I also agree with Elspeth that the issue of husbands commanding their wives to sin is a red herring, along with the whole “Who goes first?” question (submission vs headship). I don’t have any videos involving red herrings, so if you will indulge me in changing the metaphor, this is what is going on:

    [CC: Thanks! Yes, it’s chaff. This is a real problem not just with women and wives, but men and children as well. That being said: We expect it in children, and we are paid to overlook it at work. What’s macabre is this is the real and unspoken pain of husbands, but they refuse to acknowledge the rebellion; that their wives and kids are figuratively taking shots at the husbands’ balls.]

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  13. A couple of your responses to me required a bit of thought because I was slightly annoyed with them, to be honest. That said, I’ll say that you’re right…mostly.

    It is true that we don’t really give sufficient honor to whom honor is due as a general rule, and our society is poorer for it. It is the price we pay in our quest for the elusive equality that everyone is so obsessed with in the West.

    “You won’t find many husbands who agree when the socks are on the other feet, either. How many husbands bow to their superiors?”

    Gave this one a lot of thought, even talked to The Man about it, and his repsonse was funny. Basically no, he doesn’t bow to his superiors in the professional realm. He does however, work diligently, with excellence, as unto the Lord. Do what’s right, do whatever you do right, and don’t be insubordinate. That’s all he’s got to give right or wrong.

    I fully expected that answer because bowing just ain’t his style. I thought I’d ask anyway.

    “In the Protestant quest to have a more intimate relationship with God (which was right, and which the RCC was actively prohibiting), we have abandoned a good deal of the tools that would enable our success in that endeavor. We’ve been so successful that even RCs that consider themselves (and are considered by others) to be members in good and orderly standing HATE to show reverence towards anyone or anything that does not appeal to them viscerally. Humans were made to lead and worship, so those repressed forces come out in other areas. We worship sex, money, etc. Protestant preachers talk about this in round-about ways (usually directed at men who worship football, etc.), but they are too scared and ignorant to actually address it even in their own households.”

    I appreciated this food for spiritual thought. I wonder though, if we don’t show reverence towards anything that doesn’t appeal to us viscerally, is it true reverence? Or is it something else? What I mean is, if it only feeds my senses, is it just another form of self-worship?

    I have an answer formed in my mind, but I am more interested in your answer at this point.

  14. I’d answer no. That it instead trains them.

    I didn’t like the various whiskey flavors when I first tried them. People explained the differences and why I should like them so I plunged on anyway. The reward for continuing is that now I do it right. I think obedience and reverence works the same way. I would also argue that we don’t show enough deference to superiors here in America. Outside of the South we don’t even use “sir” anymore.

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  16. @Velvet

    I linked to this article. Do you appreciate it?

    Of course. You’re my favorite lost chelonian.

    What are you doing, anyway, you’re awfully quiet.

    Some tart wrote a post on being quiet, and I felt all chastised and stuff.

    Seriously: I’ve read too much stupid commentary, and that generates disdain. Disdain, in turn, facilitates my absence.

  17. @Cane Caldo

    It is indeed a practice that should be adopted by all christians to bow with face on the ground when in prayer to our heavenly father.

    Its what I do very frequently.

  18. Sorry Empath I don’t by that. One can be turned off to an initial foretaste and learn to appreciate other flavors in the substance. Coffee is the same thing. I’ve just never bothered.

  19. The absence of the bolded bit is the rebellion, and it is never legitimate.

    Thank you. This post clarifies nicely what I had been unable to put into words.

  20. I cannot expound on “something else” unless I knew the person. There are many, infinite many somethings else, from simple peer pressure to more complicated reasons someone wants to become fond of a sensory consumable.

  21. Wish I could edit and add….in the case of coffee or alcohol, the something else can also be the effect of the thing. Caffeine drives the acquired taste of coffee for some. Feeling alcohol (I do not expect that has a wit to do with the example of GKC) can drive its acquired taste.
    I’m saying that an acquired taste like this (caffeine seeking) is different than having someone explain to you why you should like something.
    This is a conversation best had over smoky malts, whiskey, or some of that coffee that is picked out of monkey crap. You are all invited to my town and we will settle this.

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