On the abuse and submission of women

Note: Mike Glenn responds to someone who objected to his email, sent through his list.

I received a response to yesterday’s email from someone who is not on the Joshua Generation list, but received it from someone. His objections merited some consideration and a response. This person basically made these points in stronger (not vulgar) language than I am including below.

1. The biblical writers wrote about marriage they way they did because of the influence of their patriarchal society.

2. That I suggested that women sin when they are unwilling to take abuse from their husband.

I am sending you all my response to him as a tempering of any idea I may have left with any of you that men can be abusive or that women are required by God to take that abuse.


Thank you so much for your response even though you are not on the Joshua Generation list. You have particularly objected to my last bullet point in the previous bulletin. Actually, you have read into my statements some things that are not meant and that I do not believe. I acknowledge that upon rereading the particular paragraph you note, I could have tempered it with some clarifying comments. I will send out another email doing that very thing. I do not ever “welcome” abuse and certainly do not intend to imply that women are required to take any abuse that comes their way. If you had a larger picture of my teaching, as those who are actually on my JG list, you would know that already.

I do see the influence of a patriarchal society in scripture. Some of that influence is ungodly and contrary to God’s will, but thankfully, most of that influence is God inspired. Men are to love their wives as their own bodies. They are to nourish them and cherish them. Tlhey are to treat them in such fashion that their influence will lead their wife to salvation (Eph. 5:22-31). In addition, Peter says that they are to give them honor (1 Pet. 3:1-6). All of this is to be done whether or not the wife chooses to follow God’s plan of submission. Of course, a husband who does this would never make demands that are not spiritually, physically or emotionally beneficial to his wife. Christ loved the church in the same way.

Also, Eph. 5:21 says that we are to “submit one to another. That raises some interesting thoughts. Elders are overseers of the church and yet they are to submit to the church. Husbands are over their wives and yet they are to submit to their wives. How can that happen? The answer lies in the the biblical teaching of servanthood and in the principles of love that guide that. As Jesus is the Lord and Master to whom we must submit, he yet gave us an example of continuous service to his fellow man, the majority of whom would continue to reject His efforts to save them (Jn. 13:13-15). We are taught to consider the needs of others first (Matt. 6:12; Phil. 2:3-4). Paul, an apostle with authority from the Lord, said that he was willing to use himself and to be used by others in order to serve them (2 Cor. 12:15). The Bible teaches that authority is never exercised correctly if it is not in conjunction with service. This is why elders are told to oversee and rule the church of God (Heb. 13:7, 17, Acts 20:28) at the same time they are told not to be “lords” over the sheep. They do that by first considering the needs and desires of the congregation and the impact of their decisions.

All of us sir, have some situations wherein our mate does not obey what God says about how they should act in the marriage relationship. Quite a large number of those in marriage relationships take varying degrees of mistreatment that affect us emotionally, physically or spiritually. That mistreatment of a husband toward his wife or a wife toward her husband does not negate our responsibility to act as God directed. We must be very careful to not read abuse into every little mistreatment that occurs. That does not mean that a person must take abuse that is dangerous to their well-being. Their are biblical concepts of spiritual and physical self-protection and self-preservation that may bring about the separation of spouses rather than the suffering of abuse. I do not believe that wives are to continually suffer abuse at the hands of their ungodly husbands.


#family, #marital-abuse, #marriage, #womans-submission