Have The Holy Rollers Got It All Figured Out?

I know some people who are what I call Super Christians.  They’re mega holy rollers right down to the bones, it would seem.  There are two families in particular in my church.  The wives stay at home.  They home school their kids.  They have a family day every single week, and the husbands look pretty dang involved from where I sit watchin’.

I say they seem to have it all figured out because they have been married for a long time and things still seem to be going well for them.  They seem like partners and best friends.  These men manage to lead their wives without making them feel like second class citizens.  Their theory, of course, comes straight from the bible “Women submit to your husbands.  Men love your wives.”

While sitting around the campfire, a discussion about this ensued.

Now, I can see the benefit of this…  I think, for the most part, men’s largest emotional need is to be respected…  where as for women, it is to be loved. I guess that’s no big shock, right.  Maybe the only difference is that those Super Christians have clearly defined roles they have both agreed to.  But is it really all that simple?  And is it a good idea to let someone else (even a husband who loves you) decide what’s right for you?

One of the women made a very good point, and basically said, if your man loves you, it’ll be natural to submit to him.  SO…  ultimately the theory is, if each person does his or her part, all is well.  That’s all great and wonderful, but I must say, as a child and an adult I have been —errr, shall we say ‘subject’ to men who abuse this position of leadership (shall we call it).  They wanted the submission, without having to give the love.  They want the family to submit to their whims for their own selfish reasons, not because they are honestly loving them and doing their best to lead them.  This leads me to resist submission, out of self-preservation.  After all, he is just a man.  Although I have seen the verses in the bible, and I am a believer…  I still have to wonder.  Are we interpreting it correctly?  Or is it one of those cultural things you find in the bible…  how things were so long ago?  Or maybe the key simply lies in marrying someone you can absolutely trust.


Still, there is something nagging at me…  I wonder if these women are forgoing their own wishes to fulfill roles they think they -should- play.  Have they ignored any thought of goals and dreams for themselves, and simply substituted the husbands dreams in that place?  AND I must say, although they are young, attractive couples and mostly everything looks hunky dorey on the surface…  I don’t see a whole lot of affection between the couples most times.  They seem like best friends, sure, but are they in love?  Is it, or was it at least once, passionate romantic love?  The truth is, no one really knows what goes on inside a marriage, except the people in it.

I’d say defined roles, good.  As long as it’s a role you truly want…  Two willing participants… Two people both doing their best to love and respect each other…  very very good.   But do super holy rollers have it all figured out?  On the surface it may seem so, but beware judging a book by it’s cover.

I don’t think there are any templates to follow in love…  I think we all have to carve out a situation that works for us, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.

Published in: on September 4, 2012 at 9:00 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The roles of “leadership” and “submission” are as different from one marriage to another as human fingerprints, there is no cookie-cutter example of how to fit yourself into your “proper role”. God designs each of us with a unique set of passions and motivators that must be stimulated in order for us to feel respected/loved/valued (substitute your own verb)

    One issue I have with the people who try to define a concrete example of the lead-submit relationship (mainly from the Super Christian, or Psycho-Crazy side) is this idea that leaders make all the decisions for their followers. Leaders make recommendations that usually influence the final decision, but in the end, it is the choice of the follower to agree or disagree and act accordingly.

    The Bible does lay out one example that give us a specific example of the marriage relationship in Christ’s (God’s) relationship with the church (us). Let’s take a look at that example. From day one, God laid out specific advice for living life right. He started out even giving humanity the convenience of specific rules! Even so, humans have the freedom to make their own choices. What happened when someone screwed up? God may a way out, and continued to make ways out until the choices being made eliminated the person’s opportunity for redemption.

    Good leaders lead well by giving their followers the opportunity to make smart decisions and the grace to recover from the dumb ones, to the death. Respecting this kind of leadership means appreciating the fact that you have this freedom and showing an effort to make smart decisions, even when that means bypassing what you think you want or what you think is best.

    Second, good leaders are open to discussion. Just read the Psalms!

    There is one point where I disagree with you, right at the end. I believe there is a clear template for love, from marriage down to the momentary acquaintance. Selflessness. Jesus repeatedly implores us to get over ourselves and love all humanity by giving them priority. (I’d include scripture references, but I think my comment is long enough!) One man, completely devoted to fulfilling the needs and realizing the dreams of one woman by leading her to and through situations that lead to those ends. That is a Biblical husband. One woman, entirely devoted to fulfilling the needs and realizing the dreams of one man through encouragement and appreciation of his presence in her life (i.e. respect), that is a Biblical wife. The two together make a Biblical marriage. Each need to communicate to the other what their needs and dreams include, thereby defining what the other’s role will look like.

    The caveman imagery of a man dominating his family and his wife as a “leader”. While the wife is pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen jumping at the man’s beck and call, that relationship is described in the Bible, but not for marriage. The Bible describes a different relationship this way. Slavery, bondage, despair; that is humanity’s relationship with sin.

  2. Hmm. Sometimes it is best to keep ones mouth shut and I will for the most part as I never want to condone others for choices they make. My concern after years of observing such couples for many years in my own family (as well as their circles) is that they essentially force their children into that mold leaving them without the skills, knowledge or life experience to choose something different.

  3. I agree with your final paragraph – everybody should have the relationship that works for them.

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