How should a Christian husband go about instilling fear in his wife?*

Pastor Doug Wilson writes** in The Great Servant Leadership Mistake (emphasis mine):

So what would a genuine servant leadership result in? If it were the real deal, the result would be a greater likelihood of the wife being willing to refer to her husband as a lord, and not choking on it. But the moment anyone suggests that we might want to take such a thing seriously, we rush to the abuses, we rush to the caricatures, we rush to the extremes, we rush to the cartoons, and we rush to the barricades. A contemporary evangelical wife, trained in the jargon of soft complementarianism, is more than willing to call her husband her “best friend,” “wisest of counselors,” “true companion,” or someone who “has my back,” who is “there for me.” And actually, those are all good things. Great. Do so more and more. But why the insistence that something like 1 Pet. 3:5-6Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) cannot be seriously entertained as an option? Why such a demand?

Why do we call it servant leadership? Why not servant lordship?

We should have no trouble with the concept of rulers giving themselves away through service. That is preeminently biblical. True authority bleeds. The problem is that we are dealing with a counterfeit service, not the real thing. We are dealing with widespread abdication that wants to call itself servant leadership. Calling it that makes the painful sensations of having been castrated more manageable. The tag servant leadership is spiritual hydrocodone for the freshly fixed.

The reason we can know we are not dealing with real service in what goes under the heading of servant leadership is that real service results in what? It results in authority, and authority is the great enemy of this generation. Authority is the one thing we cannot abide.

“But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant” (Matt. 20:25–26, ESVOpen in Logos Bible Software (if available)).

Those who are great in the kingdom are those who have given themselves away like this. So a man who wants his authority to be recognized in his home—whoever would “be great”—must pursue that authority the way Jesus says to do it. But when he pursues the role of servant, he is pursuing genuine authority. He is not pursuing the status of “nullity” or “milquetoast.” And when he pursues this under the blessing of God, the very first person to see it will be his wife.

This is you will notice the very same reversal I wrote about in Headship sleight of hand.  The Bible tells us that the husband is the head, and instructs wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives.  One can from there deduce*** that if the husband is the leader, if he has authority (which Scripture tells us he does), that he has a responsibility (of some sort) to lead.  Modern complementarian thought has however taken this logical deduction and run it backwards, concluding that a husband is the head (has authority) if he leads properly.  Read the quote above again to see how naturally this deception flows.

But if we were foolish enough to take this line of thinking seriously, this would mean that a husband not only has the obligation to cause his wife to wish to submit to him and call him lord, but to fear him as well.  For in the very same passage that wives are told to call their husbands lord, they are likewise told to demonstrate fear of their husbands (1 Pet 3:1-6, NKJV):

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fearDo not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the a]”>[a]incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

Not all modern translations choose the English word fear in 1 Pet 3:2, but as you can see from Bible Hub this is a common translation, including both the King James Version and Douay-Rheims.  Many other translations choose the English word reverence instead of fear****.  Godrules.net indicates that the word is Strongs 5401 (foboj):

Orig: from a primary phebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright:–be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror.

Use: TDNT-9:189,1272 Noun Masculine

Heb Strong: H367 H1763 H2730 H2844 H3374 H6184 H6343 H7413

1) fear, dread, terror
1a) that which strikes terror
2) reverence for one’s husband

We see the same Greek word in Eph 5:21 (KJV):

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

We also see a derivative (Strongs 5399) of the same word in Eph 5:23.  The KJV translates the derivative as reverence and Douay-Rheims translates it as fear:

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular love his wife as himself: and let the wife fear her husband.

But nowhere in the Bible are husbands told to make their wives fear them, just as they are not told they have the obligation to make their wives want to call them lord.  To the contrary, husbands are repeatedly instructed to love their wives.  Moreover, while husbands aren’t told to win their wives over through their leadership, wives are told they should hope to win their husbands over through their demonstration of fear and submission!*****  Complementarians have turned the whole teaching on husbands and wives upside down.

*The question in the title is a rhetorical question.  A Christian husband is not called to instill fear in his wife.  He is called to love her.

**For the sake of time and peace I will stipulate that Pastor Wilson does not mean what I have quoted from his blog post above, but means something else entirely, something that is correct.   I therefore ask my readers to imagine if someone else had written the quote above and actually meant it, as the ideas expressed in the quote are entirely common in complementarian thought.

***In Eph 5:26 husbands are instructed to sanctify their wives and cleanse them by the washing of water with the word (ESV).  This fits with other NT instruction to wives to ask their husbands for biblical instruction.  This is clearly an instruction for husbands to actively lead, but this is the one kind of leadership complementarians are certain husbands must not do.

****I have given more examples of the same word being translated alternately as fear and reverence in this post.

*****But even here the Bible does not state that the true test for a wife’s submission is whether she wins her husband over without a word.  The claim that we can tell if a husband’s love is authentic by the wife’s response is wholly unbiblical.

H/T Hmm

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72 Responses to How should a Christian husband go about instilling fear in his wife?*

  1. Pingback: How should a Christian husband go about instilling fear in his wife?* | @the_arv

  2. SnapperTrx says:

    Is it just me or are the verses in Matthew 20:25-26 specific to the church body and not applicable to marriage AT ALL! I mean, Jesus and Paul gave us the specific authoritative configuration for marriage, and though the church has leaders, pastors, deacons, etc., not one of them is above serving, as Jesus himself wasn’t above serving and washed the feet of the disciples. However, they are two different examples for two separate relationships. One the marriage of a man and a woman (husband/wife) and the other between the men or members of the church. If so, how can pastors continually use these verses and try to pigeonhole marriage into it? That’s either willful ignorance or outright deception! Or maybe I’m looking at it wrong?

  3. Cane Caldo says:

    Great post. Obviously RichardP is going to have trouble with this post since the Bible hasn’t given him instructions on how to run Dread Game and make his wife afraid, and yet he is sure it should have. Under your last post he commented:

    My biggest problem with articles like this one are that they are majorly drawing attention away from the main problem – which is with the guy and only he can solve: she cannot do what God created her to do – submit to his will and to his vision by helping him – if he has no vision, or if he does not need her help. That issue needs to be addressed big-time. But mostly what seems to come out is “regardless of whether you need her help or not, she must submit to you”. That is not anything God said anywhere.

    https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/headship-sleight-of-hand/#comment-287725

    His last sentence is straight up sophist bullshit. But regardless: It’s too late. She married him. Christian marriage is what it is. Husbands love and care for their wives. Wives obey and fear their husbands. She does not later get to reject this even though it hurts RichardP’s feelings that a wife’s husband doesn’t have the vision and therefore manliness that RichardP imagines himself to have.

    See what’s going on there? In RichardP’s statement we have not only complementary inversion of headship, but also Courtly Love. RichardP strongly implies he would love that wife better than her husband. He could have avoided summoning the specter of adultery by going with the Biblical wisdom that wives should submit to their husbands in all things (You know: regardless of whether or not she decided he needs her help, as the Author of the Bible wrote!) but instead his instinct is to imply that she’d be better off with him.

    **For the sake of time and peace I will stipulate that Pastor Wilson does not mean what I have quoted from his blog post above, but means something else entirely, something that is correct. I therefore ask my readers to imagine if someone else had written the quote above and actually meant it, as the ideas expressed in the quote are entirely common in complementarian thought.

    Hahahaha!

  4. ray says:

    FIRS . . . ah, crap.

  5. feministhater says:

    I’m just happy to know that I couldn’t love the woman the way I’m expected to and thus must refuse to be married for her sake. It really sets the matter straight.

  6. thedeti says:

    A huge part of the problem is the meanings of the words “love” and “fear”.

    People are supposed to be “God-fearing”. The phrase was a recognition of God’s omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. He is all powerful, all knowing and everywhere, and holds the power of eternal life in His hands. Men are supposed to address God this way: “fear”, respect, reverence, submission – in large part because we know what He says is in store for those who don’t fear, love or obey Him.

    And this was supposed to be wives’ relationship to their husbands. No, husbands aren’t omnipotent, but they are responsible and are called to love, just as God loves us. So women are supposed to address their husbands this way: “Fear”, respect, reverence, submission.

    “Love” doesn’t have its current meaning there too, in which “love” is nothing but good feelings and everyone getting along with each other. “Love” cares for those under its wing; imposes consequences for those who don’t obey or respect; works to bring them back into obedience and submission, trains and teaches them, and disciplines them.

  7. Dalrock says:

    Deti, are you arguing that a Christian husband has the obligation to instill fear in his wife?

  8. Fred E. says:

    My son learned how to “serve” his wife by leading her.

    He told me that when she was decorating their new apartment, she frequently asked him what arrangement he preferred. He would say, “I don’t care.” She would get upset.

    He realized that she wanted him to engage with the task so that she could know how to please him. By telling him what he liked, he gave her guidance, structure and leadership, and she could know that what she did would be good in his eyes. Engaging with her was loving by leading.

    The point is that leadership IS service.

  9. Fred E. says:

    Correction to my previous comment: “By telling HER what he liked….”

  10. thedeti says:

    Dalrock:

    no.

    [D: Thanks!]

  11. thedeti says:

    What I am saying is that a woman is supposed to

    Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Eph. 5:22-24

    It was an inartful way, I suppose, of saying the wife’s approach to the husband is supposed to be the same, or much the same, as the church’s approach to God because the relationship of wife to husband is paralleled with the church’s relationship to God.

  12. drifter says:

    “Love” doesn’t have its current meaning there too, in which “love” is nothing but good feelings…

    I recently brought up a similar point. The translators did everyone a huge disservice by not accurately differentiating said meanings.

  13. Ben Mavet Who says:

    Thank you for this article. Not too long ago I would have thought Pastor Wilson’s argument was sensible and correct. I’m wondering exactly how much of my previous programming I need to erase.

  14. thedeti says:

    Drifter: Correct. Love abides and endures, yes. It also teaches, trains, exhorts, corrects, rebukes, reproves, and disciplines.

  15. Dalrock says:

    @Drifter

    “Love” doesn’t have its current meaning there too, in which “love” is nothing but good feelings…

    I recently brought up a similar point. The translators did everyone a huge disservice by not accurately differentiating said meanings.

    I don’t think this is an innocent translation error. Courtly Love was conceived as a parody, a mockery, of Christianity. The substitution of women’s romantic love for God’s love, among many others, was entirely intentional. This is the real killer. It isn’t that we don’t know the difference between agape and eros. It is that we are deeply convicted that eros is sanctifying. So when we read the translation with the English word “love”, we want to believe that the bible is talking about eros.

  16. Cane Caldo says:

    @SnapperTrx

    Is it just me or are the verses in Matthew 20:25-26 specific to the church body and not applicable to marriage AT ALL!

    No, those verses are applicable to husbands and wives. Jesus gives Himself as the kind of service he means. Did Jesus come to obey the disciples? No, he came to give them (to be!) the Gospel, and to tell them what the Kingdom of Heaven is about. He came to love and care for them; telling them what is good, feeding them, clothing them, protecting them, healing them. He also warned them of the Father’s righteousness, and their own sinfulness. That was His service. Everything in its place.

    Likewise, wives are to obey and fear their husbands and children are to obey their parents. That is their service. These are no in conflict.

    It could absolutely be the case–I believe certainly will be the case–that in the New Earth some who were formerly wives will be greater than their former husbands if and because those wives served in their place better than their former husbands served in theirs.

    [D: Excellent comment!]

  17. Lost Patrol says:

    **For the sake of time and peace I will stipulate that Pastor Wilson does not mean what I have quoted from his blog post above, but means something else entirely, something that is correct.

    This will be helpful to me going forward. Whatever Jiu Jitsu combination of words the pastor has used to leave me wondering what is really intended (I fear this has happened to me on the regular), I will take it that he means to be correct. Same goes for me by the way when I comment here.

    Point of equality here, year 2018, does this mean that my love and care for my wife can be contingent upon my own judgement of her performance as a respectful and obedient helper? Didn’t think so…

  18. Cane Caldo says:

    @Ben Mavet Who

    Thank you for this article. Not too long ago I would have thought Pastor Wilson’s argument was sensible and correct. I’m wondering exactly how much of my previous programming I need to erase.

    Yes! This is it. Men who think such things are exactly the kind of men I want to have around me.

    Polluted water is a thing that is mostly water, yet it contains other harmful substances. The problem we face is that the Church in the West (I mean the total body of believers) is more than polluted with any and every theory of life and how to live it except the one which we are prescribed in the Bible. The Church in the West is a river that is dammed up with garbage, and flows more sewage than water. The reason so many Christian husbands are online trying to discern how to get their wives to be kind to them is because there is no one who will tell his wife to be obedient to her husband; not her mother, not her grandmother, not her pastor, not the husband himself. No one!

    No doubt that there is wide room for the improvement of Christian men…the available acreage can hardly be overstated. But that’s not the problem of Christian wives. The problem is they want to disobey. They have always wanted to disobey. The good women of history were those who called upon the Lord and overcame that desire; not those who had better husbands.

    It so happens, that during this turning of the Wheel we are in an age where Christian men are at the very least exhorted to love and care for their wives. Many constantly fail. All of us sometimes fail. The vast majority at least try to do this if for no other reason than so they are not shamed. We also get a lot of sewage in the messages directed at Christian men, as well, but we are exhorted and shamed on a regular basis to at least move in the general direction of thinking about how to love and care for our wives.

    But right now no one is even telling women to obey their husbands. That’s why we’re here pulling out our beards and wondering how we can scare her into being nice, or how to attract her into having sex, or how to manipulate her into obedience. All that bullshit.

  19. Pingback: How should a Christian husband go about instilling fear in his wife?* | Reaction Times

  20. Dalrock says:

    Cane you are on fire today. This is precisely the ore I wanted to mine with this discussion.

  21. earl says:

    He realized that she wanted him to engage with the task so that she could know how to please him. By telling him what he liked, he gave her guidance, structure and leadership, and she could know that what she did would be good in his eyes. Engaging with her was loving by leading.

    That’s the proper attitude…and one women should take. That’s submitting.

    It’s the one where they ask what the guy likes…he tells her…and then she gets upset because she doesn’t ‘agree’ with him is where other problems come into play. It might even ‘lead’ to him not caring.

  22. DR Smith says:

    Yes – believe TRP calls it “dread game”. ……and it works. ‘Nough said

  23. earl says:

    ‘Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

    The more I read the sex role accounts in marriage when it comes to the NT readings…it seems the foundation of the reasoning is this. Because once we take the Lord out…we bring out the worst in each other.

  24. Anonymous Reader says:

    Dalrock
    **For the sake of time and peace I will stipulate that Pastor Wilson does not mean what I have quoted from his blog post above, but means something else entirely, something that is correct.

    Why? Wilson has a known track record of using ambiguity where clarity would suffice, of appeasing conservative feminists while posing as a patriarch and poisoning the well (“Wife Beaters”). He’s demonstrated bad faith in his online writings multiple times. Assuming that his literal words do not mean what they literally say, but rather mean some sort of Platonic ideal of correctness that cannot be detected by mere mortals such as you and I..this seems foolish to me. An attempt to placate his cultists. Such placation may succeed in the short term, but at the price of clarity. Sure, it means comments won’t get clogged up with morons from Moscow but at the same time it means more than a little “What I mean is….”.

    Dalrock, If your point is “Men are told to love their wives, women are told to submit to husbands” then there is no point in bringing a notoriously disingenuous hair-splitting, woman pedestalizaing, well-poisoner like Wilson. Just write what you mean, and leave him and other fading Boomers like Keller, Piper, etc. out of the picture entirely.

    Frankly, I thought this point of “plain language means what it says” was established a couple of years ago. Maybe i missed a memo?

  25. Daniel says:

    A modern marriage counsellor would not have a woman come in by herself, or to have a man come in by himself, and spend the session reminding the individual of their Biblical responsibilities. But that is exactly what the Bible does. Husbands are exhorted to behave in a certain way. Wives are told to behave in a certain way. It is not based on the past behavior of the spouse, or predicated on the expected response.

    The modern idea of “working on our relationship” is a rather egalitarian idea of give and take. The husband gets to quietly air his grievances, and the wife hers, so that each may bend to the other’s wishes in exactly equal amounts. Compromise, give and take, etc. There’s nothing Biblical about that.

    A husband’s love is to be modeled after Christ, and that is explained to mean that he gives himself to her sanctification, washing her sins by exhorting her with the Word. He is to nourish and cherish her, and that includes chastening and admonition in the Lord. This is a one-sided responsibility. It is to be done whether she responds wisely or spurns it.

    It is a beautiful thing when these duties are reciprocated. But these commands are never conditional. It is not “love her when she is lovable” and it is not “follow him when he leads.”

    Finally, why is a woman to fear her husband? If he is gentle, she need not fear for her safety. She should fear him as a daughter fears her loving father. Filial fear dreads offending the one loved. But more than that, the husband is Christ’s representative in the home. To dishonor the husband is to dishonor Christ, and brings judgement. Disobedience invites blasphemy of the word of God, and surely judgement. If any wife is truly God-fearing, she will fear her husband.

  26. Anonymous Reader says:

    Lost Patrol
    This will be helpful to me going forward. Whatever Jiu Jitsu combination of words the pastor has used to leave me wondering what is really intended (I fear this has happened to me on the regular), I will take it that he means to be correct.

    Suppose that you knew a person in real life who was a notorious liar. You caught him lying multiple times. Would you trust that person, or would you test his words every time? Wilson has been caught dealing in word salad more than enough times to call his actual intent into question.

    Same goes for me by the way when I comment here.

    No, this is not the case. Because you are not like Wilson – you do not have a track record of disingenuousness, poisoning the well, etc. Rather we can assume you are discussing / debating / arguing in good faith due to your track record both here and other places.

  27. Cane Caldo says:

    @AR

    Frankly, I thought this point of “plain language means what it says” was established a couple of years ago. Maybe i missed a memo?

    I think you missed not a memo, but Dalrock’s sarcasm; which was meant to rib Wilson’s would-be defenders who insist Wilson must mean something wise even when his actual words are foolish.

  28. Lost Patrol says:

    AR to Lost Patrol – comedy fail. Move to alternate position.

    Lost Patrol to AR – aye. Popping smoke to relocate.

  29. drifter says:

    @Dalrock
    I don’t think this is an innocent translation error…

    My default was to give them the benefit of the doubt, chalking it up to something like old English v. new English. But, sadly, I think you’ve nailed it. It’s not as if they didn’t have precise language back then. A pox on ’em.

  30. Dalrock says:

    @Drifter

    My default was to give them the benefit of the doubt, chalking it up to something like old English v. new English. But, sadly, I think you’ve nailed it. It’s not as if they didn’t have precise language back then. A pox on ’em.

    I should have been more precise. Perhaps I should have said a mere translation error. The problem is not with the translators, but with us.

  31. BillyS says:

    I couldn’t follow what Wilson wrote in the OP, even with Dalrock’s comments. Pretty obtuse in my opinion (Wilson).

    Note that “reverence” is far better than “fear” when using today’s use of English. No one should be cowering that God will strike them with a lightning bolt if they don’t behave perfectly (the modern idea even some preachers push today), but we all should “fear” disappointing God and not carrying out His will on this earth, especially if that happens because of our open rebellion against what he has written.

    This does not require the husband to do anything, but for the wife to have a mindshift from modern “you go girl!” feminism to really honor and respect her husband, which fits well with the other Scriptures on the same topic.

    Arguing for “fear” today will get people thinking of abusers or horror movies rather than the Scriptural intent.

    It is like “love”, it can mean different things but is very twisted in the minds of many.

  32. Anonymous Reader says:

    AR to Lost Patrol – comedy fail. Move to alternate position.

    Lost Patrol to AR – aye. Popping smoke to relocate.

    Got it.

    Irony meter requires calibration, delivering it to depot.

  33. Dalrock says:

    @BillyS

    Note that “reverence” is far better than “fear” when using today’s use of English. No one should be cowering that God will strike them with a lightning bolt if they don’t behave perfectly (the modern idea even some preachers push today), but we all should “fear” disappointing God and not carrying out His will on this earth, especially if that happens because of our open rebellion against what he has written.

    I think it is some combination of fear and reverence. But either way your argument would seem to contradict Philippians 2:12 (ESV):

    Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

    The same passage from the NIV:

    Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

    To show that this isn’t a non sequitur, the New Living Translation translates the same verse as:

    Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

    Nearly all translations use some variation of fear and trembling though: https://biblehub.com/philippians/2-12.htm

  34. Dalrock says:

    I should add that the same word (Strongs 5401) is used for fear in Phillippians 2:12: http://www.godrules.net/library/kjvstrongs/kjvstrongsphi2.htm

  35. BillyS says:

    Dalrock,

    That still doesn’t mean we should be walking like we are afraid God will physically beat us. It means that we should really not want to do ANYTHING outside God’s will, to an extreme state. That is all to uncommon today of course, where we have no concern about displeasing God.

    Though I suppose some of this comes to an understanding that God is not holding our sins against us now, only the sin of rejecting Jesus’ sacrifice currently applies. (2 Corinthians 5:19)

    We also need to realize that much of what is written covers fear of losing rewards for all our effort, not our salvation (contrary to what many claim). That would take more than a reply to discuss however.

    Not likely to sway you, but hopefully it helps those who can see what I am saying.

  36. Lexet Blog says:

    Ambiguity is the fortress of heretics- John Calvin

  37. Dalrock says:

    @BillyS

    That still doesn’t mean we should be walking like we are afraid God will physically beat us. It means that we should really not want to do ANYTHING outside God’s will, to an extreme state. That is all to uncommon today of course, where we have no concern about displeasing God.

    I don’t think I follow. I agree that we shouldn’t fear that god will physically beat us, although I’m not clear on why you even brought that up. I’ll put it a different way. Do you think the translators are wrong on Philippians 2:12? Do you think Paul meant we should merely not want anything outside of God’s will? Or do you think that they are translating it (at least fairly) accurately when they write “fear and trembling”? Do you think they have Paul all wrong?

  38. drifter says:

    @Dalrock
    “…The problem is not with the translators, but with us.

    I agree that there is definitely the “us” problem. We could still find a way to mess it up even with a perfect translation. However, since there are different Greek expressions behind the English word love, it would have been nice of them to use a little more precision. Recall the exchange between Jesus and Peter, recorded at John 21:15-17.

    Now, it very well could be that the English words cherish and nourish actually meant something a little different back then. But those are easier to resolve since they’re only used in 2 other places; i.e., 1Th 2:7 and Eph 6:4, respectively.

  39. OKRickety says:

    Dalrock said: “So when we read the translation with the English word “love”, we want to believe that the bible is talking about eros.”

    It is my belief that the word “love”, when used in reference to husbands and wives today, is almost always a reference to eros. Thus I find it hardly surprising that we would jump to that assumption when we read Biblical passages referring to love in the marriage arena.

    As a result, I don’t think it’s so much that “we want to believe that the bible is talking about eros”, but it is our default expectation for “love” when it is used in that context.

    Note: It surprised me to discover recently that, although eros  is often mentioned in sermons about love, eros  is not ever used in the New Testament.

  40. Oscar says:

    @BillyS

    That still doesn’t mean we should be walking like we are afraid God will physically beat us.

    Matt 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Luke 12:4 And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

    Search the Old and New Testaments for examples of how people react when they see God the Father or God the Son in their glory.

  41. Pingback: MGTOW Life: How to Lead Without Followers | Gunner Q

  42. ray says:

    “No, those verses are applicable to husbands and wives. Jesus gives Himself as the kind of service he means. Did Jesus come to obey the disciples? No, he came to give them (to be!) the Gospel, and to tell them what the Kingdom of Heaven is about. He came to love and care for them; telling them what is good, feeding them, clothing them, protecting them, healing them. He also warned them of the Father’s righteousness, and their own sinfulness. That was His service. Everything in its place.
    Likewise, wives are to obey and fear their husbands and children are to obey their parents. That is their service. These are no in conflict.
    It could absolutely be the case–I believe certainly will be the case–that in the New Earth some who were formerly wives will be greater than their former husbands if and because those wives served in their place better than their former husbands served in theirs.”

    Wow! I mean, just wow.

    Cane, what a TREMENDOUS comment. There was a huge crash up in heaven about an hour ago, and word on the rillarah is that Jesus literally fell off His throne, at the brilliance of your comment(s). He actually was going to call you up there, seeings how you’ve nothing left to learn here. But apparently Father talked him out of it. Whew for us.

    Also, I was going to mention about how HOT you are, not just today I mean but EVERY day, about how tremendously and excellently HOT you are (more than just today!). But I see that Dalrock already told about that, so I’ll just leave it at TREMENDOUS. Plus, an astonishment.

    I’m copying it out now so I can cc around the web. That others might share in the tremendousness.

    Thank you ever so much . . . not just for me, but for everyone. What would the world do without you? It’d be a lot less tremendous, I know that!

  43. earl says:

    ‘Ambiguity is the fortress of heretics- John Calvin’

    I wonder what thinking led him to that quote.

    ‘The term Calvinism can be misleading, because the religious tradition which it denotes has always been diverse, with a wide range of influences rather than a single founder. In the context of the Reformation, Huldrych Zwingli began the Reformed tradition in 1519 in the city of Zürich. His followers were instantly deemed Zwinglians, consistent with the Catholic practice of naming heresy after its founder. Very soon, Zwingli was joined by Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, William Farel, Johannes Oecolampadius and other early Reformed thinkers. The namesake of the movement, French reformer John Calvin, converted to the Reformed tradition from Roman Catholicism only in the late 1520s or early 1530s as it was already being developed. The movement was first called Calvinism, referring to John Calvin, by Lutherans who opposed it. Many within the tradition find it either an indescriptive or an inappropriate term and would prefer the word Reformed to be used instead.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism

  44. RICanuck says:

    Re. Fear of the Lord.
    When I was returning to Catholicism, my parish had a gentle old priest (who had been imprisoned and tortured by the communists) who used the following metaphor to describe it.
    A stove is good. It warms the house, it is used to prepare food. But do not put your hand on a hot burner. Likewise, God is all good, God provides our needs, gives us Grace, and opens the doorway to Heaven. But do not mock or use God in a way that will damage you, or cost you salvation.

  45. RICanuck says:

    A wife should ‘fear’ her husband, as her husband should fear the Lord.

  46. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    The question in the title is a rhetorical question. A Christian husband is not called to instill fear in his wife. He is called to love her.

    Yet the husband is to instruct his wife from the scriptures. Surely this would include instructions on how she is to fear and reverence her husband. It would be a dereliction to avoid the topic, especially one that is directed toward her own attitudes. It would be foolishness to wash and water her in the Word, but skip washing the parts where the dirt is. It seems that a husband is to minister the Word to his wife such that he makes it “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”
    ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    Is he to instil fear? He ought to be teaching, reproving, correcting and training it.

  47. donalgraeme says:

    Two quick thoughts:

    1) At least one Church Father understood it to be fear, and not reverence, in Ephesians. Given the comparison to our relationship with the Lord, that is the sensible and traditional interpretation.

    2) As far as instilling fear, it is important to note that fear of the Lord is something of the heart. God doesn’t beat it into us, to instill it via punishment or pain. Rather, it is a choice we make after being given the Truth. So it should be with a husband and his wife. He can give her the Truth via the Word, and then she has to make a choice in her heart as to what she will do with it.

  48. SnapperTrx says:

    At the risk of sounding foolish I’m afraid I still need clarification on what you mean here.

    So, if we look at the entire story, the mother of John and James asks Jesus to promise her sons the place on his right and left hand when he takes the throne, to which Jesus gives a response (“Ye know not what ye ask….”), after which the other disciples get irritated with the three. Jesus, in turn, gives them v25 and 26. To the disciples.

    I understand Jesus came to serve and not to be served, but he also made it pretty clear who he was in many different ways (“I am the vine, you are the branches”, etc). The issue I have is that I have seen v25 and 26 used to condemn men for even remotely hinting to their wives that they are under authority and that he has been made the head. Though Jesus didn’t “lord it over the disciples” he certainly made it clear that he was Lord. Husbands are also tasked with loving, caring, telling what is good, feeding, clothing, protecting and healing, and though they shouldn’t make it a habit of bringing it to point that they are the authority, they dont seem to be restricted from doing so. In fact, the more disobedient a wife the more often the point might need to be made.

    How, then, does this apply? Serious question. I ask only to understand.

  49. Spike says:

    The one thing good about Wilson’s article is:
    ”But the moment anyone suggests that we might want to take such a thing seriously, we rush to the abuses, we rush to the caricatures, we rush to the extremes, we rush to the cartoons, and we rush to the barricades. A contemporary evangelical wife, trained in the jargon of soft complementarianism, is more than willing to call her husband her “best friend,” “wisest of counselors,” “true companion,” or someone who “has my back,” who is “there for me….”

    This is actually true. The second that the verses about wifely submission FROM THE BIBLE are mentioned, the response Wilson describes happens. The discussion, be it Bible study or post-sermon question time, devolves into the extremes described, and the evangelical wife says all of that manure about her husband in saccharine terms. Should you dare bring on the biblical idea that SHE is supposed to be HIS helpmeet – prepare to be ostracised at best and arrested at worst, complete with a juicy media expose about ”headship abuse” complete with bishops in dog-collared pink dresses and frilly sleeves betraying you.

    Apart from that there is no ”servant leader debate”, because there is no ”servant leader”. A leader leads. Like in the military, he garners respect of his men by taking the risks on the front lines of battle and earning a reputation. Every one else falls in line (”hupotasso” in the biblical Greek) behind him. End of story, end of argument.

  50. BillyS says:

    Dalrock,

    Do you think Paul meant we should merely not want anything outside of God’s will? Or do you think that they are translating it (at least fairly) accurately when they write “fear and trembling”? Do you think they have Paul all wrong?

    I think Paul meant it much more seriously than most take intentional sin today. I do think it should be an intense drive similar to what drives us away from pain. But I firmly see a difference in the “fear” most people immediately think of, such as someone beating the crap out of someone else, which is not a proper view of God.

    Ironically, parts of what someone like Joel Osteen say is completely correct: God is not out to stomp us. But almost all leave out anything that would get us to reach the state where going against God’s desires is almost terrifying. It is a different kind of fear. Not one you would get from being in the group getting killed off in a horror movie, but it should be just as strong.

    I may not be saying this clearly, but hopefully the point gets across.

    Note that a wife having this kind of fear/reverence for her husband would not require her husband to do anything. He does not have to have to make her like that, in fact he could not, since it would be something she would develop inside herself.

    It is also very different from the false fear many women get, which they then use the system to lash out against their husbands, especially in divorce. Making the two equivalent is quite easy today, but is an error.

    Does this help?

  51. BillyS says:

    Jonadab,

    Is he to instil fear? He ought to be teaching, reproving, correcting and training it.

    Wrong. That still puts the burden on the husband. This is something she should/must have in herself because of her commitment to follow God’s ways. No one can force that in.

    Fear that can be forced can also be opposed by others, including the state. An inner conviction requires godly conviction, something missing from most today.

    A husband should certainly teach his wife (washing with the water of the Word), as part of loving her, but that is different.

  52. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    @Billy

    The scriptures teach us to fear God, anyone who teaches scripture should also teach that fear. To assert that the fear of the Lord must be a spontaneous inner conviction apart from the Word is foolhardy at best, and Gnostic at worst. Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, your suggestion would lead to enabling and preserving foolishness in women. That is unloving. Likewise the typology of husband-wife/church-Christ ought to be taught as the basis for a wife’s Godly fear. Teach it, praise it, rebuke and admonish when it’s wanting. The teaching sanctifies the wife and is therefore an act of loving her. The situation in the church won’t change if heads of houses refuse to teach it like it’s something commanded from God. Don’t expect a wife to learn it from Beth Moore, John Piper or Doug Wilson. If it is going to be learned, it must be taught in the home from scripture. Husbands teaching their wives and daughters then retaught mothers to daughters.

    Husbands should fear the Lord, not their wife’s displeasure. One can’t make their wife Holy when they fear making her unhappy, they need to fear making the Lord unhappy much more.

  53. BillyS says:

    Jonadab,

    My point was that a husband cannot teach that fear/respect. (For either himself or God.)

    He should teach principles of course, but he can’t force the response.

  54. Cane Caldo says:

    On fear, Revelation 19:1-5

    After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
    “Hallelujah!
    Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
    2 for his judgments are true and just;
    for he has judged the great prostitute
    who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
    and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
    3 Once more they cried out,
    “Hallelujah!
    The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”

    4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice saying,
    “Praise our God,
    all you his servants,
    you who fear him,
    small and great.”

    My theory is that the modern man’s fear of fear is another knock-on problem from the divorce epidemic and fathers kicked out of their homes. A son who loves his father and who is loved by his father has little or no problem understanding fear of and love from the same person. That son doesn’t make up some strange new kind of fear that isn’t really fear. He understands that if he does well, he will be rewarded, but if he does evil he is going to get it. A son relies on this pattern. He is disciplined by it.

    @SnapperTrx

    The issue I have is that I have seen v25 and 26 used to condemn men for even remotely hinting to their wives that they are under authority and that he has been made the head.

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. Those condemners are wrong. That’s it. They are the troublemakers who I spoke of in my comment at 12:32pm. The way it is supposed to work is that everyone hears the whole Word their whole lives; at church, in the homes, in the society of Christians at large, and from all mature Christians. It should be an unremarkable thing for one Christian woman to point out to another, “Well, anyways, we know that it pleases the Lord when we submit to our husbands. You might as well get on with it while you have time to do what you want afterwards.”

  55. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    @BillyS

    I agree one cannot force a response, but being the head comes with responsibility. Not responsiblity for a wife’s sins, but responsibility to teach and admonish her toward sanctification. If she resists and rebels even with teaching and correction, that is on her. She would be rejecting God and that not out of ignorance. When that happens, a husband’s love encounters a difficult test.

  56. Dan says:

    I don’t care what the scenario is….be it husband/wife, coach/players, manager/employees…..if
    you need to “instill fear” in them to obtain the desired outcome you have LOST ALREADY. You may achieve the desired outcome in the short term but NOBODY sticks around a job, a game or a marriage because of fear. You must find a way to elicit COMMITMENT. That is the only thing
    that makes people endure.

  57. Paul says:

    @BillyS,Oscar “Note that “reverence” is far better than “fear” when using today’s use of English”

    This should be a topic on its own: I think many Christians have lost some sense of fear in exchange for looking at God only as a loving Father or loving husband, who doesn’t care about the way you behave. There is a strong parallel with the rebellious behavior of modern Christian wives who refuse to even think of fearing and obeying their husbands. Which is to be expected as we’re told husband and wife are like Christ and His Church.

    Even many translations have completely removed ‘fear’ in translating the Greek ‘phobos’.
    It’s the same word we describe several emotional distresses with: agoraphobia, xenophobia, claustrophobia but also homophobia, islamophobia, etc.(Women are twice as likely as men to suffer some form of phobia disorder) The Greek has some strong emotion attached to it:
    fear, fright, dread, terror, as well as the less intense reverence, respect, but the latter two are secondary meanings. Originally it has the meaning of fleeing, or removing oneself from the presence of the object causing fear.

    That feeling of dread is preserved I think in the description where people are actually trembling or fall to the ground when confronted with a literal awe-some experience, like the appearance of an angel. Often this angel first tells people to “not fear”, showing their primary emotion, which might have caused them to flee.

    And Oscar already mentioned some texts where we see such fear mentioned in relation to God, another telling example of the related adjective phoberos is in Hebrews 10

    “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

    But on the other hand we also have 1 John 4

    God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    The more we love by obeying His commands, the less we have to fear the terrible day of God’s judgment.

  58. holicow says:

    There’s no such thing as ‘commitment’. It’s just another empty slogan buzzword du jour. And all sorts of evil is done in the name of ‘love’. Often done by people who have no fear. The more evil someone is, the more fearless they are. That should tell you something. And note that evil people often want ‘commitment’ from others: they search out the gullible who feel guilt about ‘lack of commitment’. Simple faithful people used to get by with healthy fear (including fear of evil), now they are bullied and manipulated with buzzwords in this upside down world.

  59. Daniel says:

    The God-fearing man, when faced with temptation, says to himself, “I must not do that, it would displease my Lord, Jesus Christ.”

    The wife who fears her husband, when tempted to act contrary to him, says to herself, “I must no do that, it would displease my husband.”

    In neither of these cases, the forgiven sinner or the well-loved wife, is the motivation a fear of violence or retaliation. It is love for a master that does not want to sin against him.

  60. Paul says:

    @Daniel

    Fear does include fear for punishment, as the apostle John tells us.

  61. dudedont says:

    If you really are the Son of God…command these stones turn into bread!

  62. Bee says:

    Fred E.,

    “He realized that she wanted him to engage with the task so that she could know how to please him. By telling him what he liked, he gave her guidance, structure and leadership, and she could know that what she did would be good in his eyes. Engaging with her was loving by leading.”

    Why did you not teach this to your son when he got engaged?

    Why did your church not teach this to your son when he got engaged, or sooner?

  63. BillyS says:

    Jonadab,

    I agree one cannot force a response, but being the head comes with responsibility. Not responsiblity for a wife’s sins, but responsibility to teach and admonish her toward sanctification. If she resists and rebels even with teaching and correction, that is on her. She would be rejecting God and that not out of ignorance. When that happens, a husband’s love encounters a difficult test.

    Of course, but the topic is the fear a woman should have, not what a husband should be doing. Always focusing on what he needs to do ignores a key part.

    You wouldn’t focus a home inspection on a leaky faucet, ignoring a failure of the front door to close properly. Both have their role, but one can be focused on without inherently ignoring it because of another concern.

    Daniel,

    Your point is very accurate. Such a desire to not offend would be a great help standing against temptations in both areas.

  64. Bee says:

    Fred E.,

    I am not attacking you, I am just making a point.

    My father did not teach me any of this when I got engaged. Neither did my church. Sad.

  65. feministhater says:

    I don’t care what the scenario is….be it husband/wife, coach/players, manager/employees…..if
    you need to “instill fear” in them to obtain the desired outcome you have LOST ALREADY.

    Give up the judicial system now then. Give up the government. Give up taxes. Give up anything that requires force or fear of punishment to run. Apologize for writing something so stupid.

    Civilisation was started and ran on fear for ages. You are quite simply…. wrong.

  66. Paul says:

    @purge187

    “Kevin Jones, drummer for Moore’s worship band knelt before the crowd in a clearly choreographed moment and apologized to the crowd of women on behalf of all men.”

    W.T.F.!

  67. Anonymous Reader says:

    Beth Moore’s public self criticism session is not a new idea.

  68. Oscar says:

    @ Paul

    This should be a topic on its own: I think many Christians have lost some sense of fear in exchange for looking at God only as a loving Father or loving husband, who doesn’t care about the way you behave.

    Modern Christians have too high a view of themselves, and too low a view of God. They don’t seem to understand that God owes them exactly one thing: death.

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    What are wages? Wages are something you’ve earned. We’ve earned death. God owes us nothing more or less.

    The only reasonable response of one who’s earned death to an absolutely holy, absolutely righteous, absolutely just God is FEAR, and I don’t mean some watered-down version of the word, like respect, or reverence. I mean FEAR. The kind of fear that causes men to despair for their lives…

    Isaiah 6:5 So I said:
    “Woe is me, for I am undone!
    Because I am a man of unclean lips,
    And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
    For my eyes have seen the King,
    The Lord of hosts.”

    … or just pass out in terror…

    Revelation 1:12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me…. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

    Any man who thinks he’ll be any less afraid when he comes face-to-face with God the Father, or God the Son clearly believes himself to be more righteous than the prophet Isaiah, and the Apostle John, and therefore has far more to fear than they did.

  69. Sharkly says:

    Just here to weigh in.
    Snapper, you were right. The one who wants to be the leader in the church should be the servant of all. The one who wants to be a husband and father is commanded to love, sacrifice, and not exasperate his children. the leadership is an act of service already. The church is led by men with little real authority because the true head of the church is Jesus Christ, not that big headed celebrity who should be serving Christ by sheepherding His sheep and caring for their wounds. In the Family, the husband is the image of God, the Lord, and holds the real final authority. We are not told to submit to church leaders in everything as unto the lord, like wives are to their husbands. Although we are to submit to them for the sake of unity. But more generally to submit one to another, and even to gently correct our church leaders when necessary.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
    Anybody who says otherwise is a complete fool, without even the beginning of wisdom, don’t listen to their foolishness. God will throw those who do not fear Him into hell, because they do not even know Him. To truly know Him results in fear. Some folks don’t fear their false Santa Claus god. But those who know the Almighty fear and tremble before Him. And if you Fear Him sufficiently, it will naturally cause you to flee from evil, as a result of your fear to cross your fearsome God who’s name is Jealous.(Exodus 34:14)

  70. Joe2 says:

    Here are instructions to the wife,

    “Bear with him patiently; you are his wife, and in spite of all his faults he is your husband. Bear with him, and, still more, obey him in all that wounds neither honor nor conscience. The wife, indeed, owes her husband not help and sympathy alone, but deference, submission, honor, and obedience.”

    Here are instructions to the husband,

    “Live with her then as happily as possible, show her all the affection, all the kind consideration which she has a right to expect from you. It is by gentleness and not by violence that you may even yet derive much happiness from your marriage.”

    The Fountain of Catholic Knowledge, imprimatur 1897, Pope Leo XIII

    I think these are good instructions.

  71. vertucksee says:

    Rev 3 19: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
    That word chasten (often translated as discipline) παιδεύω – paideuō this is referring to chastising a child which includes teaching with punishment (which does include physical).

    Many people in this comment section have applied the treatment of Jesus and the church as without distinction from husband and wife. So be it. We also had a few mention that love is a bit better developed of a concept in the bible than today

    Deti said, “Love” doesn’t have its current meaning there too, in which “love” is nothing but good feelings and everyone getting along with each other. “Love” cares for those under its wing; imposes consequences for those who don’t obey or respect; works to bring them back into obedience and submission, trains and teaches them, and disciplines them.”

    Not only does this match the other references, it also matches Revelation’s explicit statement of love.

    Do we not fear punishment? Fear the ramification (love/righteous punishment) of your actions, but that love isn’t for the purpose of fear but chastisement.
    Am i way off?

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