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Kendal talks about submission


Burris

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Kendal has an article at her website, The Father Knows Best, where she defends the concept of marital submission through the presentation of a list: “10 Things Submission Is Not.â€

Unsurprisingly, I have several problems with her list; in particular, with the generalizations she makes concerning how women ought to behave and believe with regard to the topic of submission.

Before I get into the particulars of my problem, here, I will point out that submission within marriage is a valid personal choice – and submission is presented in the Bible as one item a woman offers her husband rather than something a man can command of his wife or beat her into accepting.

The Biblical charge is thus: Wives, respect (and submit); husbands, love.

A husband’s love is supposed to be just as unconditional as a wife’s submission within that belief system, so that even if a man has a wife who never listens to a word he says, he’s still supposed to love her – and not only love her, but be willing to die for her. That, in the Bible, is the husband’s part of the marital contract.

These ideas are based on Ancient Near-Eastern notions – some of them perhaps quite astute - of what men and women need to be content, but also – and this is inescapable – on ancient prejudices about the capacities of women.

Kendal begins her list of what submission is not by claiming…

[submission is not] Simply or singularly a marriage issue

Submission is God’s design. It is a reflection of the interaction within the Trinity. Whether single or married, submission is a core heart issue revealing one’s dependence upon God. For a wife, it demonstrates her willingness to yield to her husband’s lead in obedience and belief of God’s covenant to her.

This reads as if Kendal is arguing for the eternal submission of the Son within the Trinity. In doing so, she is adopting as truth only one of several potential interpretations of what the Trinity is and how it functions – and that’s not even including the school of thought in which the Trinity is actually a Unity wherein one God appears in at least three historic forms.

This argument about eternal submission within the Trinity has been used as a justification for barring women from public life and the duties of citizenship. In this model, submission is supposed to be the position of all women in relation to all men rather than merely the pose of each woman with regard to her own husband.

That’s an extra-Biblical idea, to say the least, and there are several Biblical examples of women in God-ordained positions of leadership. There are also at least two other examples – Jael and Abigail – of where women disobeyed their husbands and were commended for it by the ancient writers.

While Kendal can safely argue that submission is an issue within the Christian marriage, she cannot argue nearly as effectively that it’s a special issue for women – as opposed to simply a general issue for all people – when it comes to female activity outside the home. She and her fellow Reconstructionists, who argue the Bible bars women from public office (etc.), are simply wrong.

Her next argument is that submission isn’t degrading.

Kendal would have done well here in saying, 'Degradation isn’t part of God’s plan for wives.' She doesn't say that, however, instead asserting that...

Women have been lured into believing that submission is somehow humiliating. It does not bestow second-class status.

First of all, notice Kendal’s use of the passive voice, here: "Women have been lured..."

It doesn’t seem to occur to Kendal that some women believe submission is humiliating because in their experience it has been. They weren’t “lured†by some outside force into believing anything. They gained this knowledge of humiliation based either on what they themselves endured or on having seen other women thus mistreated.

Kendal, like so many of her sisters in this naïve fight against equality, suggests that women ignore their own experiences and instead buy into the notion they have been somehow deceived or “lured†into thinking submission could ever be humiliating. (That kind of argument shows an obvious disregard for women’s agency and intelligence.)

And secondly, since Kendal’s worldview seems to include a belief in the eternal submission of the Son, then yes it does also include the idea of second-class citizenship for women – except that in Kendal’s utopia, even as it was the case under the British North America Act, women wouldn’t be legally considered as people let alone as citizens of any class.

In her fourth point, Kendal writes…

[submission isn’t] Fearful

A fearful woman will have a very hard time submitting to her husband. A fearful woman isn’t actively trusting God with her life, which makes entrusting a man with your future nearly impossible. Submission to Christ frees a woman from fear as she rests in God’s character and provision for her, delivered through her husband.

Here, again, Kendal is counseling women to ignore their own experiences, instincts, and common sense. If women are fearful, she says, that’s not because they have some good reason to be afraid but simply because they don’t trust God enough - and one evidence of trusting God is that a wife should be willing to follow (without hesitation) her equally imperfect husband even in such cases as the man has proved himself to be thoroughly untrustworthy.

I assume Kendal thinks the cruel or lazy man will be held accountable to God, although that’s cold comfort for the harassed or underfed woman who is immediately and daily responsible to follow a man who may or may not have to meet with his own “authority figure†until some 40 years later when he dies.

Kendal would probably argue that family heads are held more immediately accountable to church elders and the legal machinery of church discipline,

but that’s a naïve position to take: Patriarchal churches have an absolutely abysmal record of serving as God’s ministers on Earth when it comes to holding either clergy or family-heads responsible for even the grossest ethical and moral breaches.

Unless IFB and other churches become vigorous and proactive in condemning, punishing, and reporting abuse, then they cannot effectively act in God’s stead to check the behavior of male members and protect female members from abuse and outright predation.

Here’s Kendal’s sixth point:

[submission is not] Stifling

When submissive women are portrayed as stunted or limited in their freedom, they are being lied about. Submission is a safe place of protection where we are able to express our gifts and creativity for the glory of God and benefit of our marriages.

It’s my personal opinion here that Kendal is actually the one lying in the above statement:

There are some circumstances where women in patriarchal relationships are stunted and limited in their personal freedoms. There’s ample testimony to this fact. (Now, if someone were to say every woman in such a relationship is stunted, then that would be a lie; but to say some women are stunted is entirely true.)

Setting aside for a moment the argument that Submission is a Godly principle, Kendal’s second statement is false no matter what: Whether God meant for submission to be a safe place or not, it isn’t always a safe place in the real world. Blame it on human depravity if you want, but not every man is good and not every marriage is safe and not every woman who submits will gain anything even remotely beneficial by the practice.

Again, Kendal is asking – well, actually brow-beating – her readers to ignore what their own senses may be telling them concerning the dangers of this marriage model.

A more honest statement, but still in fitting with Kendal’s worldview, would be that good men make for worthy leaders, and that the wives of such men may submit without fear and without having to tolerate censure from others (since such a woman would probably tell naysayers to butt out of her marital business).

Kendal doesn't say that, however; no. She's happy to put the onus for marital success on women, even if she doesn't say that outright here, and yet at the same time she doesn't trust women to make decisions in their own best interest based on past experience. Instead, she thinks women are "lured" and "lied to" and that's the only reason why they don't see things the way she does.

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Please comment and leave a link to this (since she already knows about us and has been here) I do believe it would blow her mind.

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Please comment and leave a link to this (since she already knows about us and has been here) I do believe it would blow her mind.

I already did link to it. I'm not sure commenting on her blog would make much difference, however.

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:clap:

(I just wish this could be a slow-clap, like in the movies, to show the awesomeness of your message by how it stuns the reader into silence at first and then all you want to do is jump up and scream "YES!!!!" at the top of your lungs.)

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I once had a boyfriend who thought this was the road to take, he/I are not religious but expected things to be done to his standards. I had a good laugh and wished him good luck, for a while he would call and ask to get together, he was truly surprised that I wanted nothing to do with him that there was nothing wrong with his way.

HAHAHAHA

Kendal has a rod shoved so far up her ass it ain't never coming out, truly not living in the real world

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Guest Anonymous
Kendal would have done well here in saying, 'Degradation isn’t part of God’s plan for wives.' She doesn't say that, however, instead asserting that...

First of all, notice Kendal’s use of the passive voice, here: "Women have been lured..."

It doesn’t seem to occur to Kendal that some women believe submission is humiliating because in their experience it has been. They weren’t “lured†by some outside force into believing anything. They gained this knowledge of humiliation based either on what they themselves endured or on having seen other women thus mistreated.

Kendal, like so many of her sisters in this naïve fight against equality, suggests that women ignore their own experiences and instead buy into the notion they have been somehow deceived or “lured†into thinking submission could ever be humiliating. (That kind of argument shows an obvious disregard for women’s agency and intelligence.)

Here, again, Kendal is counseling women to ignore their own experiences, instincts, and common sense. If women are fearful, she says, that’s not because they have some good reason to be afraid but simply because they don’t trust God enough - and one evidence of trusting God is that a wife should be willing to follow (without hesitation) her equally imperfect husband even in such cases as the man has proved himself to be thoroughly untrustworthy.

Again, Kendal is asking – well, actually brow-beating – her readers to ignore what their own senses may be telling them concerning the dangers of this marriage model.

Whatta we going to believe, her-or our own eyes?!

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:clap:

(I just wish this could be a slow-clap, like in the movies, to show the awesomeness of your message by how it stuns the reader into silence at first and then all you want to do is jump up and scream "YES!!!!" at the top of your lungs.)

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Thank you once again for an articulate, well thought out essay, Burris. It is always nice to read what you have written as you quickly get to the heart of the matter and say what I feel is muddled up in my brain.

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Before I get into the particulars of my problem, here, I will point out that submission within marriage is a valid personal choice – and submission is presented in the Bible as one item a woman offers her husband rather than something a man can command of his wife or beat her into accepting.

I'm having a really hard time understanding how submission, by its very nature, could ever be a valid personal choice.

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As ever, Burris, Brava!

I can't help having the image of a contortionist in my mind when I read things some of these women write, but they are twisting mentally rather than physically, trying to come to the conclusion they believe is correct.

rubberboy-ball.jpg

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