In the discussion on Ballista74′s excellent post The Pressure Of Corrupted Ministry the topic turned to the question of submission. Commenter Sis made what is a very common argument:
Submission is a gift, not something that can be demanded. Just like giving our lives to Christ, he gives us a choice, we have free will in the matter. Ie. the church (wife) and Christ (husband), it must not be forced. Just like a man’s protection and wealth is a gift to his wife and should not be demanded.
How would Christ go about getting the church to submit? He would love her and assure her she can put her trust in Him, never demanding.
This is an extremely important point. As I explained in a previous post, the idea of submitting to a husband should frighten a woman. What we need is a way for women to decide for themselves not only whether they are willing to submit to a man, but which man they are willing to submit to. Once a woman freely makes this choice, we should celebrate her choice with some sort of ritual. As Sis points out, men have a frightening choice to make as well. I propose that we combine both choices into a common ritual, where both can publicly declare their decision to honor biblical marriage. Since we are talking about biblical marriage, I would further propose that we hold this type of ritual in a church (or Cathedral).
Once the man and woman have declared their decision to protect/provide and to submit (respectively), we should celebrate! Everyone has their own way to celebrate, but many people like dancing, and I’ve always been a fan of cake. In respect to the preferences of others, I propose that we celebrate with both.
Wedding cake image licensed as creative commons by Michael Prudhomme.