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’ “

Advertisements

54 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.]

  11. Pingback: When submit in everything means “but not this thing.” | Sunshine Mary

  12. Pingback: This is What Submission and Strength from a Woman look like « stagedreality

  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.

  15. Pingback: The crazy dictator. | Dalrock

  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.

  22. Pingback: Selective rebellion is not submission | Zippy Catholic

  23. Pingback: They Want Differently: A Primer on Women’s Sin and Genius | Things that We have Heard and Known

  24. Pingback: Respectful submission not submission | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  25. Pingback: On Christian Female Bloggers II: The Gold Standard of Reverent | Things that We have Heard and Known

  26. Pingback: If a Woman Kneels before her Husband and doesn’t Blog about it, Did it Really happen? – Two Birds and a Stone

  27. Pingback: Abigail’s daughters. | Dalrock

  28. Pingback: Vashti’s daughters. | Dalrock

  29. If I’m not mistaken, Paul instructs that spouses are to both agree on any sexual activity they practice, does he not? Yes, spouses do owe each other sex, but it seems to me there is scriptural grounds to condemn one forcing upon the other something that violates his or her conscience, or something that they’re not quite ready for. If so, could this apply to birth control as well, seeing as though birth relates to sex?

    And the Bible tells us not to be a stumbling block to others. So if a husband wishes for his wife to do something sinful, and there isn’t any other thing that can please him instead, what is the wife to do in that case? I understand she can’t disrespect or rebel against him as the head of the household altogether. I’m only asking what a wife is to do when her husband gives her no other option but to sin.

  30. @Micah

    If I’m not mistaken, Paul instructs that spouses are to both agree on any sexual activity they practice, does he not?

    You are mistaken. You have errantly reformulated St. Paul’s instruction in a way which destroys it. What he wrote was:

    3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

    What God limits, through St. Paul’s instruction, is our ability to disagree–to say “no”–to copulation when the spouse wants it. In fact we are not to say “no”, but perhaps, if the other agrees, we might say, “Forgive me, but can I put you off until this specific time?”

    You have to get that right before you can have a sane discussion of Christian teachings on marital relations.

  31. I do understand that. Sorry for giving the impression that I don’t.

    But what I’m also asking is, isn’t there instruction that they shouldn’t engage in certain types of sexual activity unless both can do so in good conscience?

  32. @Micah

    No. However, there are certainly activities modern people call “sex” which should not be done at all.

    Above you asked about birth control, and you said it was sort of sexual activity. It’s not. As for the good of birth control of itself I am willing to let religious leaders (which includes fathers and husbands) rule prudentially according to the circumstances. Though, to my eyes, it is obviously and grossly abused.

  33. I meant that it relates to sex, because it results from sex. Not that it’s a sexual activity. I was only suggesting that since the two concerns are “in the same ball park” so to speak, the whole “mutual consent” logic might can be applied to both.

  34. And as for the sexual activities you say should not be done*, what if one spouse believes correctly by whatever standard you suggest, but the other doesn’t, and will go so far as to try to coerce his or her way upon the other. How are spouses – especially wives, as the husband wouldn’t have to submit to her in this or any situation – to handle such disagreements? That’s what I’m ultimately curious about.

    *For the sake of being specific, oral or anal, I’m guessing? Some people believe those are sin, even though the Bible defines sexual immorality by the participants involved, not by specific acts.

  35. @Micah

    I meant that it relates to sex, because it results from sex. Not that it’s a sexual activity. I was only suggesting that since the two concerns are “in the same ball park” so to speak, the whole “mutual consent” logic might can be applied to both.

    They aren’t in the same ballpark, and as we’ve already agreed the standard of “mutual consent” is a wrongly formulated assumption.

    what if one spouse believes correctly by whatever standard you suggest, but the other doesn’t, and will go so far as to try to coerce his or her way upon the other. How are spouses – especially wives, as the husband wouldn’t have to submit to her in this or any situation – to handle such disagreements?

    You seem to have missed the point of the post. When women feel excused from, or even righteous in, their rejection of their husbands’ directions the temptation for them is to get defensive and self-righteous (bow-up) when the proper posture for a person in submission is to bow down to their rightful authority; even at points of disagreement.

  36. So a wife ought to obey her husband rather than the laws of God? Is that the proper extent to submission?

  37. And concerns over birth control and sex are in the same ball park in that they both pertain to the body. If a husband has authority over his wife’s body, then to whatever extent he has authority over her regarding sex, isn’t it possible he has the same or similar authority over her regarding birth control?

    I don’t recall agreeing that mutual consent is wrongly formulated. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 states that spouses have authority over each other’s bodies; the wife has authority over her husband’s body, despite the fact that she must submit to him. So in the event that they both do not wish to exercise their authority in the same manner, I don’t see what grounds there is for either to be forceful about it. In other words, I do entertain the idea of marital rape. And I also contend that neither has a right to be a stumbling block for the other. I don’t see how sexual duty trumps what each spouse would have to live by whether married or single. If one cannot do in good conscience what the other can, and therefore be a sin for him or her personally, would it not be better for them to refrain from it?

    Why would his desires matter more than her objections, or vice versa – especially if one of them is physically not up to it? Spouses don’t have a right to hurt each other in any way, do they?

  38. @Micah

    1Peter 3

    Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

    I know you are frightened by all this, but try to be at least as strong as Christian women. Weaker vessels though they be, they are braver than you because they are to be like Sarah, and they don’t ask nonsense questions like “Should wives obey God’s law to obey husbands, or should wives obey God’s law?”

  39. And what I meant by my previous comment, is there any point at which a woman’s ultimate purpose to glorify and obey God (which is what God’s purpose is for us ALL) becomes mutually exclusive to submitting to their husbands, and, therefore, takes priority over submission? Is there such a worst case scenario?

    Is that an acceptable question to ask?

  40. Bear in mind, I hope to marry someday. I believe it’s important for me to understand what God wants me to in order to be a good husband, and to honor him with my marriage. So please answer my question as sincerely as you can, despite the fact you esteem me to be a coward.

  41. @Micah

    Is that an acceptable question to ask?

    No, it’s not. It’s not a correctly formed question because it is not correctly informed about what it means to be in submission, what it means to glorify God, or whether we ought to be concerned with worst case scenarios when giving or receiving general instruction.

    Nor is it an acceptable question for a person to be asking some random dude on the Internet. I don’t know you. You don’t know me. Why in the world should our first interactions (or in this case, arguments) be over: What is the worst possible case in which a wife can disobey her husband and be Godly about doing so? You need to bring these questions to those who are in authority over you…or at the very least within your vicinity.

    Generally, I can say to just about any man that what a Christian prospective husband needs to know is that he ought to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, laying down his life for her; and that he should expect that she obey him as the church is to obey Christ. It’s not hard to understand. It’s just hard for people to accept because they don’t like it.

  42. I don’t dislike what God instructs to women on submission. I don’t question any of this to make excuses for women to not submit to their husbands. The reason I ask these things is because if anything “frightens” me, as you said, it is the prospect of anyone – man or woman, single or married – having such a level of authority over another to the extent that one would be obligated to sin if asked to do so, or that anyone would have a legitimate right to expect that from someone else. Wouldn’t you be perturbed if someone had that kind of authority over you? I certainly would be.

    Granted, Sarah obeyed Abraham when he disobeyed the Lord. But as Zippy Catholic believes, I can’t help but think there is a limit to a man’s authority. It is for these reasons I feel the need to clearly understand and thoroughly question anything regarding submission for wives, so that I may be equipped to not abuse my authority as head of the household, should I ever get married.

    And I don’t see why it’s improper to ask some random dude on the internet these things. If nothing else, there’s the simple fact that you even have a blog for the public to see your point of view on things, complete with a comment section for them to join in. What’s more, on another post where you and I commented back and forth, “I Make You Look Good,” I noticed that you rather enthusiastically discussed intimate details involving a commenter and his wife in bed, leading up to their having sex. “You stud! Good for you,” you congratulated him. How is what I’m bringing up anymore unacceptable to talk about with a stranger than that?

  43. I’m against Birth control, and believe it’s anti-God, incredibly selfish, and sinful. And sin is a church discipline issue. I’m also a supporter of the patriarchy.

    This gets confusing because of the Sarah reference, where God provided a way out despite Abraham being an idiot.

    A child is to obey their parents and to bring glory to God. Christ calls on us to hate our blood relationships in favor of him.

    Ultimately you obey God 1st. Bring glory t him. Then your husband. Which you win over by your faith and submission.

    What’s the right answer? I think the best response is to: Communicate your beliefs, where they come from, ask your husband to consider it, and submit. Be in prayer. Ask your husband to pray with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.