26 October 2014

Wives, Submit Yourselves to Your Husbands

Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Ephesians
[1] Be ye therefore followers of God, as most dear children; [2] And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness. [3] But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: [4] Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks. [5] For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
[6] Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. [7] Be ye not therefore partakers with them. [8] For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. [9] For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth; [10] Proving what is well pleasing to God:
[11] And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. [12]For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. [13] But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the light; for all that is made manifest is light. [14]Wherefore he saith: Rise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee. [15] See therefore, brethren, how you walk circumspectly: not as unwise,
[16] But as wise: redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [17] Wherefore become not unwise, but understanding what is the will of God. [18] And be not drunk with wine, wherein is luxury; but be ye filled with the holy Spirit, [19] Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord; [20] Giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God and the Father:
[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. [28] So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. [29] For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: [30] Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
[31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. [32] This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church.[33] Nevertheless let every one of you in particular love his wife as himself: and let the wife fear her husband.
I am going to make some points about this.  Please feel free to comment if you disagree.  The correct translation here is "subject" in "let women be subject to their husbands".  This does not mean that a woman should "fear" her husband as in unholy fear.  As the Church has holy fear of God, the Church wishes to fulfil the desires of Christ in her actions, and not just for herself in his name.  Don't believe me?   What does St. Paul say in this context?   St. Paul continues, "He is the savior of his body."  And he continues, "...So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies."  This is the true meaning of how a married couple becomes "one flesh" --- it's not distilled down to the marital act, but rather, the marital act is just a very small  part to be in context of the whole.  This "one flesh" is a command from God to man to treat his wife as his own self.  The body has needs, and so as his own body has needs, he should look to the needs of his wife.  The body has not only physical needs but spiritual and emotional as well.  This is a HUGE command from God to men who wish to marry or who already married.

If a man says to himself, "I want to do xyz, but it means I must forgo food and sleep."   Well, if we want something, we may make a sacrifice of some sleep and even fast, but at some point, our bodies cannot keep to our duties according to our state.  So, we look to what we first must do in holy prudence, and look humbly at how that is to be accomplished, while keeping to one's duties.   The man must do the same for the woman, regarding her as his own body --- not just her body as his own body --- but her whole being as his own flesh.  This is what it means for a man to be "the head", for the woman is to be regarded as his own flesh.  And this, then, lays the foundation for a woman to subject herself to the man in a way the enables ats nd exhorher to more readily do the holy will of God.

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