The Perfect Home (Col 3)

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

If every home did this, we would have far fewer problems. 😉 This is not in any way a blanket statement as to the worth of women in general, simply a description of the function of how the home is intended to run. Even then, it’s not a universal statement that wives are to do everything they are commanded by their husbands, far from it. I think there is probably too much emotional baggage tied up verse 18 for most people to simply read it for what it’s actually saying, without reading anything into it that’s not really there. Wives are told to follow their husband’s godly leadership “as is fitting in the Lord.” That God’y leadership will be to love and not be harsh. The wife is not commanded to obey her husband like a child, the instruction for children is quite different “obey your parents in everything.” The father is still given peramaters of how to lead well, not provoking their children. This is the model for a biblical home.

About John Harris

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

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  • GrumpySmurf

    Yeah, sorry, but sound exegesis (ever read Fee on this passage? You should) basically puts paid to this. Shame on you for being lazy and promulgating (look it up) this patriarchal nonsense that does so much damage to the gospel.

  • Adam Hammer

    Maybe you should add verse 22 for a little context 😉

  • Like I said “emotional.” The point in this post is to highlight family relationships in the home, which a bondservant reference would not help. But wait for my post on Philemon.

  • Yep, read Fee. While he rightly recognizes slavery has passed away in America thus those household codes are no longer binding, obviously husbands, wives, and children still exist. So shame back at ya. Have you been to school for biblical studies?

  • I have read Fee. It seems to be that you’re suggesting the “learned” position is a near universally held Egalitarianism and the “popular” (uneducated) position is that of so-called Complementarians. That sheer ignorance of the present state of the debate in academia leads me to believe you don’t have a lot of experience in the field, at least not in any formal educational setting. As I read Fee, his argument is that because this section deals with the household codes of a first-century Greco-Roman world, and because this kind of slavery is passé, thus the requirements of a wife are also passé. Why this argument does not hold from my reading is that though there are not slaves in the modern home, there are Husbands, Wives, and children. That is to say, the position of husband, wife, or child are not social conventions. If Fees argument is valid, which is to say because one position in the family has been relegated to the dustbin on history all the obligations have been relenquished, then it seems to me he would have to apply it equally to Children no longer having to obey their fathers and fathers no longer being prohibited from provoking their children. Further, it makes marriage and family itself a mere social convention and no longer binding. I, conversely, see marriage and family as instituted by God, thus remaining long after household codes have passed away.

  • GrumpySmurf

    Actually, I have a degree in classical history, focussed on the role of wome, children, and slaves in antiquity, and an MCs focussed on the role of women in the early church. So , no , I am not “inexperienced in the field” and if we are going tot get into one of those pissing matches I suspect I’m at least as qualified as you, if not more so, to comment on this.

    Frankly, your interpretation is fraught with danger and over interpretation. Fee merely asserts (rightly) that these passages are applicable to specific situations in history. If not, they we get into all sorts of problems; the passage in Galatians where Paul tells us there is neither “Male nor female, Slave nor free” becomes an issue, as do all the passages where Paul clearly greets female leaders. We also must look at the passages in the all the martyrdom accounts where women meet their deaths bravely. If you are correct, those accounts would make no sense; as the Roman church would have just rejected those letters as ludicrous.

    I can go on, but I suspect you aren’t really interested.

  • You don’t have to suspect, I’m finishing up my 3rd masters degree in New Testament on my way to a PhD in the field. It’s all here on my site. You, however, are anonymous. I responded to Fee’s primary argument on this text relating to Hreco-Roman household codes. You insinuated that the debate on this issue is settled by suggesting I was ignorant of Fee’s argument. Your suggestion that the view of a complamentarian is somehow not academically rigorous betrays what could only be described as ignorant of the current debate. That’s not a slam, people don’t read the SBL journal or other Bib. Studies publications. Your monumental leap from my view, that household roles are instituted by God rather than cultural convention, to siring women as leaders or brave seems to reveal the fact that you don’t seem to grasp what I’m saying and further makes me feel you’re not very widely read in this particular text. You sound more like a theologian, a historian, or some other liberal arts major rather than a Biblical Scholar. I won’t write any more for you, as you’ve already responded with very off topic and unrelated stuff. Blessings.

  • GrumpySmurf

    You, sir, just wrote me off, without making any effort at all to understand what I was saying. And yes, I am well read and formally trained in both theology (systematics) church history, exegesis, hermeneutics, and New Testament. So writing me off so quickly is uncalled for. I have a head injury so I am not always a clear as I should be.

    If you have a blog, you need to be willing to take criticism. One of the reasons I came here was a friend saw this, and was very upset by what you wrote. There are consequences of writing blogs and taking stands on these topics, sir. And erasing everyone’s responses is cowardly.

    Mind you, of course you will likely just delete this one, and ban me.

  • I understood you fully. This is far from my first exposure to Fee’s (you indicated your) position. You’re the one going on and on about many unrelated issues in response to my very specific rebuttals. So yes, I manage the content on the site I pay for.

  • Via con dios Paul