I have a blog post up at Christian Feminism Today discussing the Household Codes and mutual submission in the New Testament and for today: Mutual Submission in This Time in This Place:
I think we do ourselves a disservice if we simply fall back to the New Testament Household Codes and say that’s the way it should be. That set of Household Codes won’t work in this time and place, but what Household Codes will? One where children see parents sharing power and not insisting on having their own way all the time? One where couples decide that a smaller house and fewer things is the way to go, because neither one wants to spend that much time at work and they’d rather spend more time together? A code that encourages workers to take their vacation time instead of being workaholics?
Yes, it’s much easier to just fall back to Ephesians 5 and say let’s do this! The Bible says it, so it’s good enough for me! But does that convey a contemporary Christian message of mutual submission? Or is it just a cop-out, so we don’t have to do the hard work of figuring out how to be Christians in this time and this place? I don’t have the answers, and honestly, I believe it’s a question that needs to be worked out in our faith communities.
This blog post is part of the One to Another syncroblog at Rachel Held Evans’ blog this week.
“Submit One To Another: Christ and the Household Codes,” which will focus on those frequently-cited passages of Scripture that instruct wives to submit to their husbands, slaves to obey their masters, children to obey their parents, and Christians to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21-6:9, Colossians 3:12-4:6; 1 Peter 2:11-3:22).