Saturday, February 12, 2011

So Much More Chapter 4-Submission

Wow....Submission...this is a controversial subject. I'm going to try to tackle it anyway and believe me I do NOT have the answers. Basically I'm still seeking God's will on this topic and by no means have I figured it out yet. Below I will be referencing two articles that have an entirely different perspective on this subject than what I originally had. I really encourage you to read them since my thoughts really won't make much sense without them.

Chapter 4 of So Much More talks about Submission. To Quote:
According to the laws of the vows in Numbers 30, an unmarried girl is under the authority of her father, just as a wife is under the authority of her husband. In addition to being able, as we mentioned earlier, to annul his daughter's vow, a father has the authority to guide his daughter concerning marriage (1 Cor. 7:36-38) God has placed our fathers in a  position of authority over us, and to disobey them is to disobey God, unless the two come in direct conflict with one another.
Basically they are saying that single girls are under a father's authority (in the same way a wife is to her husband) until marriage and to disobey a father is to disobey God (unless the two come in direct conflict).

First of all, Numbers 30 does not say ALL unmarried girls can have their vows annulled. Every time in this passage it mentions an unmarried daughter living at home with her father it says the girl is in her youth. Is this significant? I'm not sure but it may very well be. Mike Pearl had an interesting article on unmarried kids and obedience. It can be found here (You will have to scroll past all of the letters to get to the article) It got me thinking, "Is an older single daughter still required to obey her father or is she only required to give him honor?" "Is she required to live at home in all of her single years?" The Bible doesn't have much to say about what single girls are supposed to be doing. Maybe because the norm was that most girls would get married while still in their youth (Pr. 5:18) which would then avoid the stage of parents and young adults relating when they are fully adults but haven't started their own household yet. Mike Pearl makes an interesting point in his article: obedience to parents is always in the context of children and not adults. Honor (not the same thing as obedience) is in the context of adults. Implying adults can disobey without necessarily dishonoring their parents.

Now you may say, but wait! What about all of the arranged marriages and examples in Scripture that seem to imply that a father is in authority over his single daughter and what she does with her life until she marries. Again I will reference a really good article since she said it so much better than I did. Please check out Three in one makes five Are all of those stories in the Bible on unmarried girls actual direct commands God is calling us to obey? For example, the story of Jephthah and his unmarried daughter. What should girls apply to their life? Should we conclude that a single girl should never be the first one out the door to meet her father when he has been away since consequences followed? (Judges11:34-39) I should think not!

If adult daughters are not required to obey parents but can disobey parents without always having it be dishonor and disobedience to God the ramifications could be huge for some girls! Maybe it would mean they would be able to leave an over-controlling parent without feeling like they are living in sin.

I love my father.  I do seek his advice. I do respect and honor him and will put his wishes before my own because I know he has wisdom in certain areas that I do not. But I won't let him be the controller of my life. (By the way, he is NOT controlling) Christ is the only one with the right to control my life.

God does give girls desires that He wants them to follow. Sometimes they aren't given that freedom because a parent thinks they know best and what the girl wants doesn't fit in with the parents' plans. So the parents (often unknowingly) put a guilt complex on girls saying they must do the parents wishes otherwise the girls are disobeying God.

Now I am NOT saying girls shouldn't take their father's advice and that sometimes if a girl's desires conflict with her father's she should do her own thing. God gave us parents for a reason. That being said our parents are not God and there may be times we need to disobey or part company with them and it won't be sin or from a rebellious heart.

Those are my thoughts. I am not sure if any of it made sense because I'm still thinking and studying this issue through. I guess you can take what's truth and spit out the rest.

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