An Unprincipled Exception of wifely submission

Many conservatives talk a good game about submission, authority and hierarchy, but they don’t want to deal with having to live it.  Thus “submitting” solely to your husband is enough and suddenly you have no bothersome obligations, responsibilities or duties to anyone else, including your own children.  This extremely common position on wifely submission is frankly little better than the modern feminist position that any submission (except to employers of course) is oppressive and not to be borne by women.  It’s just a peculiar inversion of the Austerian unprincipled exception.  There is a clinging to individualism and patriocentricity that is quite telling.  The response to the idea that both husband and wife have obligations to submit to others under real patriarchy is generally to declare that this is a secret plot to have the wife determine who those authorities are by simply noting they exist.

This is essentially American, the usual individualism problem and inability of individuals to either be in or see themselves as part of an organic whole that is the village, so to speak.  I find all the talk in many Christian organs about submission to be a little weird, because it’s always so separated from the totality of life.  It’s just some husband-wife deal, which is just one little piece of the big Christian puzzle for a married Christian couple.  I mean sure, I submit to my husband as the head of our household, but it’s not something that I have to think about consciously, because it is natural and normal to submit to proper authorities, of which my husband is one of several that I have in my life.  And my husband doesn’t have dude-angst over submission to the authorities he is under in his life (mostly but not entirely the same ones that I have, for obvious reasons).  We don’t live in a perfect Biblical village with Divine Hierarchy perfectly applied, but we reflexively respond to what is there in the normal, historically typical ways.


2 thoughts on “An Unprincipled Exception of wifely submission

  1. The problem is that with our atomized lifestyles and disconnected congregations, the only authority most people feel is to their parents, employers, pastors (assuming there is ever an occasion where a pastor exercises any authority), governing authorities, and husbands.

    Most nuclear families are separated from previous generations of extended families and have no ties to the elders in their immediate vicinity. so there are very few opportunities to experience or even contemplate what it means to be in submission to anyone else.

    It isn’t so much a clinging to individualism as much as it is that individualism is all ost of us have ever known or been taught.

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  2. There was a news article going around the interwebs yesterday about a father taking issue with the school dress code of spaghetti straps, he was outraged they would put a t-shirt on his 5 yr old. I thought it was weird. Nobody wants rules and they certainly don’t want a government organization making rules for them.


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