Tag Archive: bible scripture


Equality in Marriage – 2

Rob and Tina Morley with their kids, 2010

Continued from part 1

Countless times I have heard it preached that married women should submit to their husbands and that the man is the head of the home. It is preached straight from the scriptures. Are those who preach submission really preaching straight or are they preaching skew?In the past, Rob and I tried to apply these “truths” at home.

Today I want to use an example from our own marriage to illustrate how head-ship by the husband is not helpful. Immediately after reading this, some of you have alarm bells going off in your heads.  You might be surprised to find out that in this context “head” doesn’t mean “authority over.” This article, The Head of the Epistles, explains it nicely. The story below is a portion from my chapter “Who’s in Control?” from my e-book, Happy Moms, Happy Homes.

[My husband and I] were no experts at conflict resolution. I felt caught in the middle of a tug-of-war. Or maybe it was more like a three-way tug-of-war with my husband, God, and me. Fortunately, God won the war, but He had to first teach us how submission works in a marriage. It’s not as simple as some would have us believe. I had come from a highly conservative Christian background where godly women were meant to “know their place.”

I tried the submission route only out of desperation. Did it fix our problems? No, it fell short of expectations and it sometimes flew right back in my face…

I can clearly remember one incident where our idea of submission showed its flaws. At the time, we were staying at my in-laws’ luxury country inn. My husband and I were sitting outside one of their suites while the children were down at their grandma’s house. It had been a lovely day, and the kids had been running around barefoot.

Later that afternoon, as the air began to cool, my husband became concerned that the children could catch a cold. He thought that I was being negligent and told me that I must go down immediately to put socks and shoes on them. I didn’t feel that going right then was a good idea because my mother-in-law had said that she was resting and I didn’t want to disturb her. Also, the kids were indoors so I didn’t think the cold air would bother them for another half-hour or so.

Well, my husband became annoyed. He wanted me to respond to the situation as he thought I should. To keep the peace, I went down, despite my reservations. I tried to be as quiet as possible, but my in-laws’ house was small and their room was right next to the living room where the kids were watching TV. I didn’t stay long, but long enough to have disturbed her rest. I had become trapped between my husband’s expectations and my own conscience. Clearly, submitting in every situation did not always have a favorable outcome.

Why do the scriptures say things like “wives, submit to your husbands” (Eph. 5:22)? There is a verse right before verse 22 that says, “submit one to another” (Eph. 5:21), but it’s easy to glance over this as someone has added a paragraph break with a title above verse 22 that wasn’t in the original text. Chapter breaks, subtitles and even verses can hinder the flow of the author’s original intention.  To actually go in depth into the scriptures regarding the portions that people get hung up over would take too much time. My husband and I have given hours to the study of these things and have been richly blessed by other scholars of the Bible. Hopefully, we’ll be posting in more detail on these difficult passages in the future.

One key to good interpretation is context. Another key is to use scripture that is plainly clear to help interpret portions that are hard to understand. One fundamental truth states that there is no longer slave or free, male or female, because we are all under Christ (Gal. 3:28). This scripture was written in order to unify believers. Where there is unity, God commands a blessing. We are not to lord it over each other anymore. We are all heirs of the same promise, and if Christ set us free, then we are free indeed.

I hope I have managed to wet your appetite, because I have more in mind to write and share in the near future.

by Christina (Tina) Morley

Equality in Marriage – 1

Rob and Tina Morley with their kids – 2007

Why is it that there are so many messages on the subject of godly women submitting to their husbands and husbands being the spiritual head of the home? Is it because this message is so hard to swallow that we need to keep being reminded of it? I think if we had half a chance to consider how this so-called truth hasn’t improved the lives of Christian married women, we’d chuck it out for something better.

I took my older kids to see the Hunger Games movie. In the beginning of the film, the people of the districts are given a televised message by the mayor. This message is propaganda that serves as an important reminder as to the necessity of the games. Of course, it’s a twisted message that is presented as truth. A message cloaked as truth, if presented often enough, is all too easily embraced by the people.

People follow influential leaders like sheep and this is true of Christians as well. We were given minds to reason and the Holy Spirit and Scripture for instruction, but we too easily accept the majority opinion as truth and fact. This traditional message that says that the husband is the spiritual head of the home is like a pair of shoes that are too tight and cause discomfort and harm. They need to be replaced with a pair that fit and support the feet.

Earlier on in our marriage, when my husband and I disagreed on a matter, he would sometimes play the trump card that he was the leader of the home and it was my role to submit. I have written a chapter in my book, Happy Moms, Happy Homes, titled “Who’s in Control?” Here is an excerpt from that chapter:

Through books, testimonies, and searching the Scriptures, I began learning and experiencing more of the Spirit. I became more attuned to His leading. For me, it became a surrendered life. I no longer wanted to be the one in control, because God knew how to do things better.

Then I got married. My husband and I didn’t live the Christian life as well as we thought we did. We thought we were more Christ-like than we really were. Marriage brought out all our imperfections. When we couldn’t agree on something, the issue of submission would sometimes follow. Neither of us knew exactly how submission was meant to function in the marriage. I, especially, had doubts….

Now, I had no fear in submitting to the Lord, but I did have a few misgivings about submitting to my husband in every situation. How could I let him take the place of God? Was it biblical that I should be controlled by him? Was it my duty just to submit? Well, through it all, the Lord was teaching us both a hard lesson. At the end of the day, the Lord wanted to be the One in control of both of us.

Continued in part 2

 It wasn’t so long ago that people believed only men should be allowed to vote. It wasn’t so long ago that women received less pay than their male counterparts for the same amount of completed work. Today, most would agree that these beliefs were wrong. But it was not easy to persuade people to think differently. Some beliefs are harder to change than others.

I do not believe in watering down the Bible. I believe the Word of God is God-breathed and true. I believe most truths are clear and that Christians from across the denominations would agree on them. However, some truths are not as clear and are open for discussion and upon these truths we have established denominational divides.

It wasn’t so long ago that people used Bible Scripture to condone slavery. Today, we would agree that this was a gross misuse of what the Scriptures say. So, how do we get past the muddle? How do we know when something was written for a specific period of time, but was not meant to be a governing law for today? How do we know if our interpretations have taken the context properly into account? Or, how do we know when we are not importing our own views onto a text?

Scriptures that are clear and easy to understand should be the deciding factor when compared with unclear Scriptures. Anyone who is dogmatic about what is unclear and creates a law with it makes the same error that some converted Jews did by telling the Gentiles that, in order to be a part of Christ’s Church, they must be circumcised. When Christ has set us free, we should not go back to a yoke of slavery brought on by self-inflicted laws.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28 NIV).

By Tina Morley

Praying for Safety

I believe that it is scriptural to pray for safety. All prayer seems in some way to be by nature an expression of our helplessness and of our need to find security and safety in our loving God. I think specific prayer for safety at any one time is just one such expression of this. In the prayer Jesus used as an example for the disciples, the words “deliver us from evil” seem to me to have an element of prayer for safety in it. Also in John 17:15 Jesus is seen praying for his disciples to be kept “from the evil one.”

This doesn’t mean that when we pray for safety that God will answer as we wish, but our prayer nevertheless honors Him. After James was martyred in Acts, Peter was imprisoned, also to be killed. The prayers of the saints may have been instrumental in rescuing him from the same outcome, see Acts 12:12. In 3 John2, John prays for Gauis “that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes with your soul.”

This next scripture I believe also allows for us to pray for safety: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6).

Having said that, physical safety is important, but like Daniel’s friends, it will not deter our faith should God not deliver us physically. Jesus also says, “Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” The well-being of our temporary body is important to God, but right now it’s not the number one goal of our faith.

By Rob Morley

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