I will not surrender

this book, and others in the same vein, are so damaging for both men and women.

for a brief explanation of what it is about go here.

men and women together image God, in some ways I wish that making that statement alone would be enough to make people sit up and wake up and realise that we cannot go on with this disjunction between men and women.

image God.

we image God.

God who is Father, Son, Spirit - 3 distinct yet equal Persons who do not overwhelm each other, consume each other, surrender their person to each other.

I have not been made to be a satellite of another person, to be eaten up and made indistinct from that other person so that I have no distinctness of my own.

the irony is that the person who does the 'consuming' loses their own distinctness too - we are only distinct if we live in relationship with those who are distinct from us, if we make them part of us, think like us, hold our opinions, then we are no longer distinct.

the idea that women should surrender their personhood to men is to misunderstand who God is.


Anonymous said...

I haven't read the book, but surely we are supposed to submit to one another? Just because you might interpret that in a different way from the author (NB I haven't read the book!) this doesn't mean they are claiming that men and women aren't both made in the image of God?


jody said...

Hi Tiffer

you are absolutely right, we are meant to submit to one another. However, that is the key part of that sentence 'to one another'. This is not what this book suggests, rather it suggests that the submission is one way only.

My point about the image of God is that when we are in relationship with each other - as the Father is with the Son and Spirit - it is a relationship which should enable the full potential of the 'other'. In a situation where the wife is not just submissive but totally subjugated, neither the wife nor husband is able to be nourished in such a way as to enable them to fulfil their potential as male or female human beings and be in life-giving relationship with each other.

:-) Jody

dave williams said...

Not read the book either -but your summary of it is certainly concerning. Coming at things from a conservative angle -I'd be horrified if submission meant some form of subjugation where someone's personality was eaten up

jody said...

Hi Dave,

yes, this does seem to be a particularly extreme form of headship, one that I have not seen recommended in my experience of a CE church.

however, I think that whilst it was not recommended, I observed that this was the outworking, for some not all, of this kind of theology. I think that Scripture shows that this kind of disjunction AT ALL leads to an end result at its extreme which looks like the 'eating' metaphorically of the other person. The habit of one-sided submission leads on to a compounding of domination/subjugation which is difficult not to become emphasised as time goes on.

dave williams said...

I guess we need to spend a bit more time teaching "husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

It is ironic that one of the complaints often made is that people use those verses to justify domestic abuse. However we take them that has to be the most perverse use of scripture. Christs love for the church is sacrificial -he does not abuse it. Christ gives himself for the church.

I think that our priority then in terms of Christian marriage is -does the nature of our relationships point people towards Christ and the Church. Marriage should be a gospel witness -indeed on that basis perhaps it is right to consider it a sacrament?

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to re-open an old can of worms, and I agree with the basic premise of this post! However, when you say "men and women together image God", does that not leave a dangerous gap for those who are single? Can they not image God on their own?
Maybe I've missed something...

jody said...

Hi Richard

well quite, this is the point when we make men and women half of each other (as with the women subjugated to men/complementarity argument) - what do we say to single people?

however, if I say that women and men image God together, not as one half of a pair, but as a community of God's people, then it becomes a much more organic entity. men and women exist as people before they exist as married couples. this is why marrieds should not wrap themselves up in each other too tightly, to the exclusion of others - marriage is meant to be a blessing for the whole world, a sign of what the best intimate relationship is like (Trinity) and how men and women might nourish each other.

men and women on the grand scale, image God.

Anonymous said...

Oooh! You're very clever.
I like that. Mustn't think about it for too long though...

jody said...

oooh am I?

I know, think about it too long and there'd be complete anarchy, I tell you....