Politics within marriage and Eph 5: 21-25


#1

Hello all,

Recently, while at some family parties hosted by my fiancée's (Catholic) family, I got some interesting advice. I was told for the success of the marriage (when I do get married) the "wife is always right, even when she is wrong." I found this strange. When I went home and searched my Bible, I found Eph 5: 21-25 which states:

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

How do these reconcile, or is "women is always right" a tradition of men in conflict with God's teaching?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


#2

[quote="sulkow82, post:1, topic:200133"]
Hello all,

Recently, while at some family parties hosted by my fiancée's (Catholic) family, I got some interesting advice. I was told for the success of the marriage (when I do get married) the "wife is always right, even when she is wrong." I found this strange. When I went home and searched my Bible, I found Eph 5: 21-25 which states:

How do these reconcile, or is "women is always right" a tradition of men in conflict with God's teaching?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

[/quote]

I think it is good-hearted advice that just means that when there is a real disagreement or conflict, one of you has to give in and agree to disagree to keep the marriage peaceful.

Eph. 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her."
Biblically, woman is considered the "weaker vessel," so the stronger one, the leader, the husband, can choose to sacrifice his point of view, lay his life down for his bride; choose to agree to disagree, be the stronger one, and not fight over it. It takes strength to lay your life and personal desires down. It's not being submissive, it's loving as Christ loves, it's being a peacemaker.

Just my two cents though.


#3

[quote="graceandglory, post:2, topic:200133"]
I think it is good-hearted advice that just means that when there is a real disagreement or conflict, one of you has to give in and agree to disagree to keep the marriage peaceful.

Eph. 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her."
Biblically, woman is considered the "weaker vessel," so the stronger one, the leader, the husband, can choose to sacrifice his point of view, lay his life down for his bride; choose to agree to disagree, be the stronger one, and not fight over it. It takes strength to lay your life and personal desires down. It's not being submissive, it's loving as Christ loves, it's being a peacemaker.

Just my two cents though.

[/quote]

Best practical explanation of that verse I've heard in a long time!!!:thumbsup:


#4

[quote="sulkow82, post:1, topic:200133"]
"wife is always right, even when she is wrong."

How do these reconcile, or is "women is always right" a tradition of men in conflict with God's teaching?

[/quote]

[quote="graceandglory, post:2, topic:200133"]
I think it is good-hearted advice that just means that when there is a real disagreement or conflict, one of you has to give in and agree to disagree to keep the marriage peaceful.

[/quote]

I have no problem with the idea that someone has to concede in order to keep the peace in the house. When talking about the mundane (ie.which drawer to put the forks in), I can understand that. The problem I have is the absoluteness of the statement "woman is always right."

Also, let me expound on my concern. I have also had some rather heated discussions on what the Church teaches and my fiancée essentially used the "women are always right" argument as the basis for her point of view. How do we know if there is a risking the sin of pride?


#5

The statement suggests that the only way to keep a woman from throwing a tantrum and acting unreasonably is to concede her points. My answer to that is: ain't gonna fly. I can concede "things" (let's do X) but not points (X is Y).

So the right answer is: darling, you're wrong as heck but I still love you all the same(/more). :p

No woman will ever get any different response from me, which is why I'm going to die single. :p


#6

As a seque from this, I recently heard of THE FEMINE GENIUS, which was put forth, I believe by John Paul II. I have not been able to locate this writing. Unsure how it may or may not relate, but would like to find it.

If anyone can provide a link, I would appreciate it.


#7

[quote="sulkow82, post:1, topic:200133"]
Hello all,

Recently, while at some family parties hosted by my fiancée's (Catholic) family, I got some interesting advice. I was told for the success of the marriage (when I do get married) the "wife is always right, even when she is wrong." I found this strange. When I went home and searched my Bible, I found Eph 5: 21-25 which states:

How do these reconcile, or is "women is always right" a tradition of men in conflict with God's teaching?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

[/quote]

Speaking as a married woman, both partners have to do this, on a daily basis. Both partners have to put aside their pride and their "need to be right" and let the other partner go ahead and "be wrong" about stuff. My husband often expounds on things that I know for a fact are old wives' fables, but it's not my job to educate him, so I just say, "That's fascinating, I had no idea," and then we get the dishes done, or the supper cooked, or whatever it is that we're doing.

He does the same for me - there are often times when I need for him to understand that the cutlery needs to go in the drawer in exactly this, and no other, way, and he goes ahead and does it my way, even though he was used to doing it a different way in the home that he grew up in.

In the end, it doesn't really matter, anyway. There was a time when whole populations believed that the world was flat, and yet, they still managed to raise their children, get their work done, and dandle their grandchildren in their old age.


#8

The word Love means to will the best for another. Love is a decision, an act of the will. The best for the other is heaven.

The word submission is "under the mission of"

The husbands mission is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He laid down his life for the church, so the husband must work to get his wife to heaven even if it kills him.

The wife is asked to be under the mission of the husband, which is to allow him to love her.

So, I think that if the argument is so severe that the husband has to pull the "head of household card" in order to get his way, maybe its not worth putting his foot down over it.

:)


#9

Well, as a friend told me once, the man is the head of the family -- but the woman is the neck; she can turn the head in either direction! :)

In all seriousness, though, I think it's nonsense to say that one or the other person is ALWAYS right. That's just silly. I do think it's great for a man to try his best to keep his wife happy (Another old saw -- "Happy wife, happy life") but it's a wife's job to keep her hubby happy too. Those who can find compromise and middle ground will always be happiest, IMO.

One other expression I am reminded of, which I do think is very true in most families -- "If Mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." But, of course, YMMV. :)


#10

It reminds me of something one of my old high school teachers told us once. He and his wife had worked out a system -- half the time they do things her way and the other half they argue about it and do things her way.:p

Either way, it is to be taken in fun, not seriousness. If you want to get up on a high horse about it, you can. You can probably blame it on television.


#11

This worries me… I mean, “wife is always right” is just a joke. Her using it as a serious argument for anything, that shows immaturity. Also, it seems you two have a disagreement on a fundamental aspect marriage, which should send red flags. (I’m not suggesting you call off the marriage, btw.)

I think there’s some information lacking here… is she Catholic?


#12

[quote="chevalier, post:5, topic:200133"]
The statement suggests that the only way to keep a woman from throwing a tantrum and acting unreasonably is to concede her points. My answer to that is: ain't gonna fly. I can concede "things" (let's do X) but not points (X is Y).

[/quote]

This is very much my point of view.

[quote="mPR, post:11, topic:200133"]
This worries me... I mean, "wife is always right" is just a joke. Her using it as a serious argument for anything, that shows immaturity. Also, it seems you two have a disagreement on a fundamental aspect marriage, which should send red flags. (I'm not suggesting you call off the marriage, btw.)

[/quote]

We are presently going to monthly meetings with the priest of her parish. (Which is also to answer your next question. She is a confirmed Catholic.) By her own admission, she is a victim of the poor catechisis. Studying the faith has been an interest of mine for several years, so I have offered to teach her.

I think there's some information lacking here... is she Catholic?

Yes. :)

[quote="agapewolf, post:8, topic:200133"]
The word Love means to will the best for another. Love is a decision, an act of the will. The best for the other is heaven.

The word submission is "under the mission of"

[/quote]

This is exactly the kind of info. which I set up this thread for. Thanks. :thumbsup: What would be my way of using this info. would be to bring it to her attention (I have already referred her the passage I cited in the OP). I would then encourage discussion on our various styles for doing this. She also has an excellent priest and deacon in her parish. I would suggest we get feedback from them also.

The wife is asked to be under the mission of the husband, which is to allow him to love her.

I've thought that some of the struggles of marriage involve working out how to do this. Just my $0.02 on that one.

So, I think that if the argument is so severe that the husband has to pull the "head of household card" in order to get his way, maybe its not worth putting his foot down over it.

:)

I am willing to concede actions (what movie to watch, menu for dinner, etc). I'm not willing to concede a statement on what the Church teaches (unless she shows me a passage out of the Catechism, etc. showing me wrong).


#13

OK, being married, I believe marriage works best when both seek to do the will of the other - when there is an impasse well - the husband needs to make the decision that is best for the family. It reminds me of an old story - not one for young people:

A young man and woman get married and go to their hotel room to celebrate their honeymoon after a long flight. As they are both disrobing to celebrate their nuptials the man takes off his pants and throws them to his new wife.

“Please go ahead and put those on.” he says to her

“But they are too big” she says to him.

“Thats right he says to her - you will never be large enough to wear my pants - so don’t try. You need to submit to me in all matters.”

Not to be outdone she tossed her pants to him and said, “Well, go ahead and put those on.”

“But, these are too small, I can’t get in to them.” He whined.

“And you certainly won’t with that attitude.”

My point is we must look to make each other happy and love each other.


#14

I don't know your fiancée or her family so I can only speculate about what they meant.

But I am imagining a family that that in the comedy TV series Everyone Loves Raymond where the mother kind of runs the home and family life.

It seems to me that what you are hearing about is a cultural dynamic which may or may not be at odds with what you read in scripture. Through out time, there have been various cultural ideas about what should be the man's work and what should be the women's work. But regardless of what that cultural idea was, there was still the question of whether or not men and women respected and appreciated each other's roles and authority within their respective sphere's of influence.

When I hear something like "the woman is always right" I imagine we are talking about home and family issues. This is the area of life where women were generally expected to be competent and take a lead role, even in biblical times. The Book of Proverbs is full of descriptions of wives who knew what they were doing and didn't need to be micromanaged by their husbands.

But getting back to cultural issues. When there is a culture clash between husband and wife one or both spouses may feel disrespected. If each party thinks they should be the one to make most economic decisions because their same sex parent filled that role when they were growing up then you have a cultural issue, not a biblical issue about authority.


#15

[quote="sulkow82, post:12, topic:200133"]

I am willing to concede actions (what movie to watch, menu for dinner, etc). I'm not willing to concede a statement on what the Church teaches (unless she shows me a passage out of the Catechism, etc. showing me wrong).

[/quote]

Keep in mind that you are going to be her husband; not her parent or teacher. If there is a serious discussion of what the Church teaches, your best course of action is to go together to the Catechism, and look up the answer together, rather than "play teacher" or "play father."

Your job as husband is to love her, and in our culture, to ensure that she has the means necessary to take care of the home and children (including not only the necessary money and the actual home itself, but also the time to do so, and the affirmation that you trust her judgement in these matters).


#16

Originally Posted by sulkow82

I am willing to concede actions (what movie to watch, menu for dinner, etc). I'm not willing to concede a statement on what the Church teaches (unless she shows me a passage out of the Catechism, etc. showing me wrong).

First you have a wonderful secondary source - you may wish to look for writings from both St Francis and St Clare and Saints from those orders and those third orders on the domestic church.

Here is one Catechismal writings that may help you:

1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone."[92] The woman, "flesh of his flesh," i.e., his counterpart, his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.[93] "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."[94] The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."[95]

You do not have two working seperately - you have ONE


#17

[quote="joandarc2008, post:16, topic:200133"]
First you have a wonderful secondary source - you may wish to look for writings from both St Francis and St Clare and Saints from those orders and those third orders on the domestic church.

[/quote]

Thanks for reminding me one of the reasons I joined the SFO in the first place (to be in more full communion with those saints). I'm going to do some research on that (domestic Church). :D

Here is one Catechismal writings that may help you:

Thanks for the quote. Always appreciated.

You do not have two working seperately - you have ONE

True. Our discussions on this issue is more along the lines of how to bring this about rather then should it be brought about. If any arguments develop it is a difference in the "how."


#18

Here is also another quote that may help - not beatified - but pretty smart:

To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.
Pope John Paul II


#19

Husband is supposed to love the wife (ie lovingly care and provide for her) her job is to reverence (ie respect) you. The advice you are getting from her family that the "woman is always right" is destructive and will make you (if followed to the letter) a beaten down man sitting in the corner while your wife runs things and you-believe me I've seen it even if the person doesn't start out that way. There needs to be a real understanding of places of the spouses. You are the head of the house not dictator or drill instructor but to lovingly lead. She's your support and "right hand man" not a doormat or slave. Marriage is built on compromise sometimes though but it needs to be equal not one sided.

They obviously haven't looked too much into the proper places of husband and wife we are all equal in God's eyes but there are definite places where each should be...

That's my .02 cents

DoT


#20

[quote="sulkow82, post:12, topic:200133"]

I am willing to concede actions (what movie to watch, menu for dinner, etc). I'm not willing to concede a statement on what the Church teaches (unless she shows me a passage out of the Catechism, etc. showing me wrong).

[/quote]

This seems like a big deal. Are you arguing on Church teachings. Like, "missing Mass every once in a while is OK and not a mortal sin even if we're just tired that morning." OR "praying the Rosary is a personal devotion and not required"? Because clearly there are major differences here, and if she is using the "I'm a woman and I'm right" card then, how is she going to submit to you as Spiritual Head of Household.

[quote="jmcrae, post:15, topic:200133"]
Keep in mind that you are going to be her husband; not her parent or teacher. If there is a serious discussion of what the Church teaches, your best course of action is to go together to the Catechism, and look up the answer together, rather than "play teacher" or "play father."

Your job as husband is to love her, and in our culture, to ensure that she has the means necessary to take care of the home and children (including not only the necessary money and the actual home itself, but also the time to do so, and the affirmation that you trust her judgement in these matters).

[/quote]

Interesting, I think it must depend on the dynamic of the relationship. If I were in error in something I believed to be Church teaching, I would want my husband to teach me. As in "play teacher", not necessarily parenting, but definitely teaching. I agree that the best recourse is to go to the resource together, but still think that this is him teaching me albeit gently. ;)


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