Misogyny Hurts Men Too

Hello Nicole, there’s certainly a lot of variations of this principle, some (although I would say few) go to the extreme as you presented the example you’ve seen. I’ve seen extremes in my church too…extremes in both sides are typically bad theology and harmful to the biblical truths they relate to.

So on this subject we can disagree and allow room for disagreement on how the principle in Ephesians 5 is to be implemented. But what I was trying to convey is that, male headship in the home is indeed a biblical truth and principle. And blanket criticisms, as in this article, do clarify how to apply it. It’s almost like a buzz word, headship theology=bad, misogynistic, oppressor. And here’s where society has influenced our view of biblical truth. The husband being the head of the wife is no excuse for abuse, oppression, dominance etc. but it is a biblical truth that post feminist revolution society will absolutely reject 100%.

So as people living in this society, the correct response isn’t to reject the clear biblical truth (as this article advocates) it’s to teach men and women the proper application. But we must be careful that we don’t let society’s views change our view of biblical norms. The Bible will often be at odds with any society and removing “headship” theology in marriages instead of correctly teaching it will inevitably hurt the church as ignoring any biblical truth will hurt us.

Hope I’m clear in what I’m trying to say…have a blessed day!

Hello, there are many ways this is conveyed in scripture.

  1. God made man and then He said it wasn’t good for him to be alone so He created a “suitable” partner, or “help meet” for him. If they were created identical then Eve would not be a compliment but a mirror image. God obviously intended Adam and Eve to compliment each other, different strengths and weaknesses, different natural abilities, so that together they would reflect God’s complete image, this isn’t possible if they had same roles. They were to use their God-given strengths in different ways.

  2. Physically, the man was not designed to carry a baby to term and give birth. It clearly is the woman’s role (if they decide to have kids) to get pregnant and give birth, nurse the baby etc. that’s a clear role distribution God built into the marriage and home relation.

  3. Modern science and psychology has discovered the really powerful effects of hormones. The dominant hormone in men and the dominant hormone in women are generally different, this speaks design to me. Why did God give men more testosterone and women more estrogen? We know these hormones among others, affect mood, aggression etc. now we’re in a fallen world where this can lead to harmful actions, but there is no doubt to a believer that God designed us differently, but complimentary. Men are physically bigger, stronger, and even our brains work differently, we’re more interested in things than people. Women are smaller, less muscle, less bone density, generally more interested in poeple then things. This all speaks to God intending us to use our natural gifts in the family structure.

  4. God tells Adam he would have to work the ground to produce food in Genesis. He tells Eve childbirth would now be painful. Here He’s giving man the role of worker and the woman the role of child bearer/rearer. This does not mean women can’t work or men can raise kids…but we were obviously created with different natural gifts that had a specific intent in our Creator’s mind.

  5. Ephesians five says the man is the head of the woman as Jesus is the head of the church. He’s role is to lead the family in a Christlike way. Her role is to respect him as the church respects Jesus. This can and has been very abused in many society’s. So my main point was that we need to correctly teach what these roles mean and properly apply then. But we should not say that because it has been abused than the teaching itself is evil, wrong, and should be discarded.

Society has told us that different must necessarily mean better or worse. But men and women are different, while being equal. Women’s roles and mens roles in family are not the same. And society will tell us that means oppression, but correctly understood and applied, the male headship role distinction in the home is a blessing to everyone. We just need to teach it correctly to men…and women.

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Greetings Yoyito. Thank you for your post.

1.In regards to male headship, here is a statement from the writings of Ellen G. White’s writings A Solemn Appeal {176.1}

‘Let the woman decide that it is the husband’s prerogative to have full control of her body, and to mold her mind to suit his in every respect, and run in the same channel of his own, and she yields her individuality. Her identity is lost, submerged in that of her husband. She is a mere machine for him to move and control, a creature of his will and pleasure. He thinks for her, decides for her, and acts for her. She dishonors God in this passive position. She has a responsibility before God which it is her duty to preserve.’

  1. The biology that people are born with does not designate the purpose of their life. In
    1 Corinthians 7, Paul encourages being single. That was probably a radical concept at the time, but Paul knew that the Messiah had already been born. That was the big deal in the Jewish society with the first born son and awaiting the Messiah.
    It was the reason that Adam and Eve even had kids, because why else would they want to bring children into a fallen world of suffering? Also pre-flood it looks like the first born to the first serveral generations happened after they were several decades old, so they must have been occupying themselves with other worthy pursuits and were in no hurry to get married and fill the earth.

  2. ‘Men are physically bigger, stronger, and even our brains work differently, we’re more interested in things than people. Women are smaller, less muscle, less bone density, generally more interested in poeple then things. This all speaks to God intending us to use our natural gifts in the family structure.’

A problem with this is when a man expects a woman to be like this, and then feels uncomfortable when they are in the presence of a female who is taller or more athletic or better at math than they are. These strong women who might also have an interest in ‘things’ are looked upon by those who have a rigid male headship mindset as an anomoly resulting from the fall. Eve was taller, stronger and more intelligent than any person alive today and for centuries back. The pretty, delicate portrayals of Eve in children’s storybooks don’t portray that.

  1. When God told Adam about the hard toil that mankind would be subject to as a consequence of the fall, He didn’t say that women wouldn’t have to toil. It seems to me that those scripture passages are letting Adam know how humanity in general would toil exhaustively more than a special designation. And much of the toil of mankind is related to the sinful nature of makind striving to make a profit at the expense of others more than the quality of the soil.

The advance of the gospel commission is related to God’s love being reflected in Christians. It seems that the order of the male headship is not the answer to advancing the gospel commission as male dominance has been the norm for millennia.

The scriptures 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 and Revelation 21:4.- God’s kingdom is the focus. God will make a new order and the old order will pass away.

Blessings of God’s peace to you.

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Yes, Woman was created from Man in the second creation story, quite differently than in the first. In any case this doesn’t teach male headship.

Interestingly, the word as “suitable” is only translated in that way a few times. It seems to actually mean “in front of, in sight of, before, or opposite”, and is translated in in various other passages as “in front”, “before”, “opposite”, “far”, “in the presence”, and a few other ways. In any case “help meet” from the KJV doesn’t make any sense in modern English, though “helper” does. The verse could easily be translated something like, “So the first human gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the air, and to the wild beasts, but for the first human no helpmate was present/found.” Notably, having a helper does not mean you are the helper’s boss. You may both be helping each other - coworkers.

God obviously intended Adam and Eve to compliment [sic] each other, different strengths and weaknesses, different natural abilities, so that together they would reflect God’s complete image, this isn’t possible if they had same roles.

It’s not obvious. You’re reading that into the scripture. There is no mention of different roles in the second creation story. Or the first. There is no mention of different strengths and weakness or different “natural” (?) abilities.

The facts of biology do not support headship theory.

Again, this is not biblical support for headship theory.

No, he’s telling Adam that - as punishment for eating the forbidden fruit - working the ground will be hard and telling Eve that bearing children will be hard. This neither precludes Eve of working the ground nor Adam of rearing children.

In your mind. You can’t know what the Creator intended. Each of us do have talents (“natural gifts”?). Very few of those talents are based on gender. Again, this does not support headship.

Yes, written in the context of a misogynistic society where women were property.

Ephesians also says:

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord…

So we should tell slaves to stop complaining and serve their masters. Uh, OK.

Consider that is proposed by the author using the same literary pattern as submissive women:

  • Women, submit to your husbands; husbands be kind to your women.
  • Slaves, submit to your masters; masters be kind to your slaves.

And it says:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

There is evil in the heavenly realms - evil that we need to struggle against? What sort of heavenly realms include spiritual forces of evil?

And, as Christians we are advised to struggle against our governments? I’ve never been taught that…

You have not shown this to be the case in any or your examples - except for procreation, which has nothing to do with male headship.

Telling women that they should submit to men is oppression. It is the definition of oppression. It is the same as telling a slave to submit to their master. The oppressed submit, not the other way around. Anything else is a misogynistic fantasy.

In any case, how is putting women a subservient role a blessing to anyone, much less everyone? I can’t think of any way that is true. You must have an explanation, being a proponent of submissive women.

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I read this and was horrified (it is a horrific description), but then I read it in context, and (to her credit) Ellen is advising against such a case. In her own way, she is advising women to take a stand against their husbands’ potential debasement.

After reading surrounding text, I think the meaning, in context is:

Let the [each] woman decide [for herself] that it is [or is not] the [her] husband’s prerogative to have full control of her body, and to mold her mind to suit his in every respect, and run in the same channel of his own, and she yields her individuality. [For if she does] Her identity is lost, submerged in that of her husband. She is [becomes] a mere machine for him to move and control, a creature of his will and pleasure. He thinks for her, decides for her, and acts for her. [If she does this, then] She dishonors God in this passive position. She has a responsibility before God which it is her duty to preserve [which will not happen if she submits in this way].

At the same time, I don’t think what Ellen wrote in the surrounding text is known to be correct, but it was probably though to be so in her day.

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Yes, I agree. The statement she made was in favor of wives to not be passive but to keep their own identity and individuality. She made a lot of solemn appeals regarding marriage and relations. Her modest writings lack details on some subjects and were probably better understood by the people of her time.

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Hello, EGW also says the below…

The question is often asked, “Shall a wife have no will of her own?” The Bible plainly states that the husband is the head of the family. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands.” If this injunction ended here, we might say that the position of the wife is not an enviable one; it is a very hard and trying position in very many cases, and it would be better were there fewer marriages. Many husbands stop at the words, “Wives, submit yourselves,” but we will read the conclusion of the same injunction, which is, “As it is fit in the Lord.” AH 115.3
God requires that the wife shall keep the fear and glory of God ever before her. Entire submission is to be made only to the Lord … Her individuality cannot be merged into that of her husband, for she is the purchase of Christ. It is a mistake to imagine that with blind devotion she is to do exactly as her husband says in all things”

I know that was a long quote, but the point is that what you’re saying is exactly what she’s saying. Headship can be abused to mean something completely contrary to God’s will, and it has been abused. But what she is not saying is that there is no headship order in the home. She’s trying to rightly apply the principle. Which is very difficult when the mere mention of the word “headship” automatically shuts down any discussion as an oppressive, misogynistic teaching.

And you’re right, not everyone is designed the same way, some men may be intimidated by tall, athletic women, but the opposite is also true, women are seldom attracted to very short, unathletic men. Lol and some will never be married which is also fine and even recommended in some situations.

BUT none of this changes the biblical principle. The husband is to be the head AS Jesus is the head, meaning to lead in the same manner He does. In love, sacrifice, mercy, spirituality, etc. misapplication doesn’t change the principle.

And if God deaigned it this way, it has to be better then what society promotes. If men and women all understood this correct principle and it’s biblical application, I’m positive church marriages and homes would be doing better than they are.

Blessings

Whatever arrangement that a married couple chooses is between them and God.
I suspect that there are some people who subscribe to headship theology who are seeking a high status in church where they are given special recognition and praise for their choices or they wouldn’t be making such a big deal over it.

Headship theology makes no sense for single adults. 1 Corinthians 7 has many passages affirming the single choice and focusing on God’s kingdom.

And there’s these bible passages:

Matthew 19:11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” NIV

People need to stick to the bible and also search their heart for prideful aspirations. There have been several SDA offshoot sects led by men exalting themselves- the infamous Waco sect is one but I also have learned recently about the Ant Hill Kids with leader Roch Thériault. The people who followed this deranged man looked like everyday people, not ‘wild’.

May God’s peace rest upon you and have a most wonderful night🕊

The Bible also doesn’t say what the liver and kidneys are for but anyone who believes we were created can deduce that God designed them for different roles. And your original question wasn’t to prove headship theology, it was to show where different roles are in the Bible.

So I’ll concede that most of my points aren’t explicitly stated in scripture, however, one would have to be willfully blind to not see a design and role difference in how God created men and women.

Also, you said genesis doesn’t preclude women from working the ground or men from rearing children. And that’s true, however, it does preclude men from getting pregnant and giving birth. That’s separate roles, right?

Finally, you say that Ephesians was written in the context of a misogynistic society, and this strikes at the heart of the issue…is the Bible the reliable word of God, all of it? The portion of Ephesians you say is misogynistic is the following.

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church,his body, of which he is the Savior.”

However what follows is:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himselfas a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself”

So which part is the product of a misogynistic society and writer and which part is inspired by God? The passage places the highest love possible (that of Jesus’ love for us) as the standard for how men are to love their wives. So how could Paul (the misogynist) establish men as the head or their wives and at the same time order men to love their wives with the same self sacrificial love that Jesus demonstrated on the cross? Arguing against Ephesians 5 for being misogynistic doesn’t make sense in the light of the full context.

Ephesians 5 clearly establishes different roles, and that was your original question. You dismissing the role differential due to supposed misogyny, does not negate the fact that different roles are clearly stated in Ephesians 5.

And your last comment about “subservient” women being oppressive demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of headship doctrine. As quoted above, headship means the husband is to be like Jesus, and treat his wife as Jesus treats us. so that is why headship isn’t oppressive, that’s why it’s a blessing, that’s why it biblical, because correctly understood and taught, it leads to men treating their wives as Jesus leads us. And the women respecting that head leadership as we respect Jesus.

Blessings

A flimsy attempt at justifying ‘headship’…what did Christ teach, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first”. I reckon that might just be the guide we follow! (how we got to liver and spleens is beyond me)

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The whole issue of headship is a man-made construct. It is the result of humans (mainly) men - the benefitters - interpreting the Bible. It is not explicitly stated therefore it has to be deduced. is God created men first so they must be the head. Other passages are all written and interpreted from that lens.
Is the passage “Women submit yourselves…” actually saying “Women don’t dominate your husband’s”? And “Husband’s love your wives” actually saying “Men respect the ideas and authority of your wives”? In some cultures that appear to be male dominated, that is only the public view, outside the home. Once in the home, the male is submissive to the wife.
We cannot fully understand the intention of the biblical authors. We can only guess, seeing what is written using the broken prism of our own culture and the lens of our experience of God.

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I am really getting frustrated when this one still comes up … it has been discussed so often…

Eph. 5:22 reads in the Greek:

“Wives to your husbands.”

There is no verb “submit”. Where then does it come from? From verse 21.
Verse 21 CLEARLY says that Christians are to submit to one another. This is followed by a long list explaining what “submission” may mean in various relationships (in the historic context of oriental society of that time)…
Wives - husband
children - parents (fathers are mentioned here - as we deal with a patriarchal society)
employees - employer (slaves and masters - again, due to the societal realities then).

What in the world is so difficult to understand about this passage that verses 22-25 are completely taken out of context to “prove” a point right opposite to the idea of the whole passage???

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But that’s a cherished SDA method of biblical interpretation! Are you suggesting something different (and won’t the entire house of cards crumble if we stop proof-texting)?

Besides, how are us men supposed to continue to exist if we’re not in charge of women? We couldn’t possibly co-exist with women as equals, could we? That doesn’t sound very biblical.

What’s next, is someone going to tell me I can’t sell my daughters into slavery? Or that we should stop stoning people for committing adultery or breaking the Sabbath? Or that I can only marry one woman at a time? It’ll be utter mayhem! Next, someone will claim the universe is more than 10,000 years old. And then where will be be?

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