Yet the writers of Scripture often tried to find a way to subvert the current culture and to move us further ahead on God’s arc of justice even within unjust systems.
Eventually the Church moved to the forefront of abolition because we understood this truth: Just because the Bible contained instructions about how to treat slaves in a context and culture where it was acceptable to hold slaves does not mean slavery is a godly practice or part of God’s intended purpose for creation.) The Greco Roman household codes were an unjust system: these teachings show us how to work within them as people committed to the ways of Jesus.
There are a lot of marriages in the Bible and I wouldn’t necessary identify most of them as the ideal or example to emulate.) But those passages of Scripture are, in fact, a subversion of the Greco Roman household codes in effect at the time.
The maintaining of total authority in the home was critical to the functioning of a society that relied on the total authority of the government and/or religion.
At the time of these writings on marriage, the Greco-Roman Household Codes were part of Pax Romana, the laws keeping the peace of Roman.
Peter and Paul worked within imperfect systems because any outright challenge to the law of the land would bring persecution down upon the Church in great number. In fact, incredibly, they placed demands on the assumed power of men by teaching them to be kind to their slaves, to be gentle with their children, to love their wives; they addressed the powerless within a patriarchal society.
In fact, the Apostles “advocated this system, not because God had revealed it as the divine will for Christian homes, but because it was the only stable and respectable system anyone knew about” at the time, according to Carol A. There is a redemptive movement happening here in Scripture.
“Here is what is, here is what I want for you, move closer to My purposes” and so we find God out ahead of us, always moving us further into his purposes.
(For instance, just because there are references and instructions about how to treat slaves in our Bibles does not meant that slavery is right and good.
In fact, it’s precisely because of our great love for Scriture and respect for God’s created order that we know that slavery is evil and wrong, an absolute perversion of our humanity.
I quickly learned that I had to find a way of honoring his take-charge personality and not get frustrated about his desire to have the final decision on just about everything. This method or strategy may well be how her marriage works – and if so, lovely – but it’s not necessarily biblical: in fact. Like many Christians down through the centuries, we practice mutual submission.
I am not a passive person, but I chose to fall into a more submissive role in our relationship because I wanted to do everything in my power to make my marriage and family work.” – (excerpted from “Balancing It All”)“The definition that I’m using with the word submissive is the biblical definition of that…. The idea that a Man is the Head of the Home has its roots in secular ancient culture, not in the Word of God or the created order of humanity. I am more of who I was meant to be because of the way that tall Nebraskan has loved me well. It’s been fifteen years since we fell in love, thirteen since we were married: our marriage and our family works because we submit to one another. Patriarchy and hierarchy within marriage were consequences of the Fall (see Genesis ).
But also, biblically, there are problems with her words.