Love for each other and above all love for Jesus Christ. If they love Him then they can get through the difficult times easier with His help. They will follow His guidelines: the man is to be over the woman and house as Jesus is over the church, not as a tyrant but as a loving parent and spouse; the woman will reverence her husband as she is reverence by him in Christ, the children will learn and have a natural respect for both parents as they would Christ. Decisions will be mutual but with the father taking his spouse's advice but making the final decisions.
Okay... I don't mean to get offensive over this, but this is exactly why I've had problems with the human interpretation of these things. Please, tell me why women aren't all born as dumb, retarded animals, as beasts of burden (which is often how they're treated), if they're always supposed to stay subordinate to men. I've known some very bright, capable women and some very stupid men. Mind you, I'm hardly saying that *only* men can be drooling morons, since I've met many infuriating women who have no interest in learning anything and never have a clue what I'm talking about, and I've actually become quite misogynistic in recent years due to the way women have treated me.
What about women who can't find men to "be over" them? What about women who have to live single because they can't find a man who could care less?
I suppose I should've accepted the mental abuse of a guy I thought I loved at some point -- he was a paranoid freak, and decided to verbally attack me any time I tried to discuss writing with him. It was as if my attempting to express creativity, and thus possibly pull myself out of depression, was a threat to him. It's as if he briefly saw what I might be like if I weren't dragged down by depression, and decided he had to slap me back down. Well, I'm very sorry to say that I didn't "reverence" him (or "revere", I think is more grammatical); I got him out of my life.
People tend to overlook the second part of the equation: "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church." Remember, Christ willingly died for the Church...
True, that is overlooked. What I think I'd like to see is both partners capable of respect for each other. Traditional Western marriage vows for the woman are "love, honor, and obey". Well, love and honor, yes, and perhaps if I actually respected my partner, I'd obey, as well, but why not some mutual respect? Why do women always have to apparently be the inferior ones?
I've stated this before, and will state it again -- my parents raised me to be a person, not a stereotype, to do whatever I thought I could do. They really never warned me of the misogyny of life. I think that I've come to truly have no use at all for being female.
Fair or not, I always suspect that the very fact that a religion has been "organized" perverts it.
I have no trust of "organized" religion -- probably because when humans get organized, they decide to disavow and persecute those who don't quite fit in. And hey, I've been an outcast all my life.
I've seen far too many "Christian witnesses" who divide the world into "us and them," saved and unsaved, liberal and conservative, red state and blue state. It's more about being right, being sanctified, being better than. And I can't respect that. I suspect that Jesus wouldn't have much use for it, either.
"The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning."
- Marvin the Paranoid Android, "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"
Rules for Surviving an Autocracy
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen