Commenter 7817 at Dalrock’s (and sometimes here) brought to my attention a newsletter from (I believe) Bnonn and Michael Foster which argues the case that Christians are to order their homes in either recognition–or avoidance–of things like: “the locus of control”, “masculine hypoagency”, “toxic matriarchy”, “gyneolatry”, and several other strange terms which normal men should mock.
What all those words have in common is that they are set within a nearly 3,000 word screed which never actually quotes the Biblical instructions we Christians are given for the ordering of our households. I will list below, again, the instructions with which God blessed us, through his apostles, in the order they appear in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 11:8-10
8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
1 Corinthians 14:33-35
33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
1 Timothy 2:11-12
11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
1 Peter 3:1-7
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.
What the Word of God says–if we trouble to read it– is that men are the heads. There is a distinction. I wrote last year in Though the Best Retort is to Live It:
“Husbands are not called to ALWAYS lead, but wives are called to ALWAYS obey. Sometimes the head may give a subordinate the lead because that is the prudent thing to do. He does not give up the rule. He may take back the lead at his pleasure, and the subordinate is only right if she gives it up in submission. A wife is to submit and obey her husband.”
Men are to love, care for, instruct, provision, and protect our wives and children. You will not find one single verse which explicitly says that a wife’s or child’s obedience is dependent on the goodness of the husband’s or father’s leadership. 1 Peter 3 says the opposite is possible, in fact.
There is in the Scriptures the strong implication of the goodness of leadership skills for husbands and fathers; certainly for the selection of elders and deacons from among the men of the church in 1 Timothy 3. We should consider it soberly, and that means we consider that good leadership or good submission may win over apathetic husbands or rebellious wives. Sober consideration also shows that the great emphasis of ordering Christian households is for husbands is to love their wives, and for wives to obey their husbands. We are both to follow Christ: Men are to love women while they follow, and women obey men while they follow. I encourage the writers of the newsletter and everyone else to go dig into the surrounding passages of the verses I quoted above; verses which the authors of the newsletter eschewed in favor of long-winded theories of “gyneolatry” and “masculine hypoagency” that interest no normal man, and which–if they did interest him–would not do him good.
One more thing: The newsletter never mentions headcovers except in a quote of my words and they never address that point. It was utterly disregarded.