I read all 8 of the Little House on the Prairie series last week... and I was terribly disappointed. I was constantly frustrated by Laura's deliberate defiance against her father (Sometimes nearly risking her own life!) Maybe reading this book as a mother of a strong-willed boy (Nelson) makes me more critical, I don't know. But, at times, I did not like Laura at all.
But, what really irked me was at the end of the book The Golden Years, right before she is set to marry Almanzo. She asks him if he expects her to obey him, after they get married. They talk about how antiquated it is to speak of a woman obeying her husband, and how modern ministers will leave that word out of the wedding ceremony. I was shocked when I read this dialogue! Yet, I should not be surprised at all.
In the garden, as God sets curses upon Adam, Eve and the serpent, he speaks to Eve:
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Gen 3:16 (KJV - emphasis mine)When reading the rest of Genesis, we see that the phrase "thy desire shall be," indicates that a wife's desire will be to rule her husband. But, the curse includes this idea of constant struggle, for even though we wives want to rule, our husband is given rule over us.
So, are we to be obedient? Certainly! Is this language antiquated? Absolutely!, BUT this is no way takes away from its truthfulness. The idea of a wife submitting to and obeying her husband is repulsive to most people. We need to face the facts here... our husbands are not perfect. But this does not lesson the commandment to obey them! In fact, we are ordered to respect husbands, and there is no contingency within the Scripture that says "if/when they deserve it." In fact, Peter is just one instance of saying that a wife should obey even a non-Christian husband, that he may be saved:
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 1 Peter 3:1 (KJV)Obedience to one's husband is found both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
So, what does this look like in "real life"? Here are a few things I can think of, off the "top of my head."
- Obey in the small things, even when they annoy you. For example, you may have a full day planned, but hubby asks you to balance the check book.
- Asking questions is not insubordination, so long as it is done in the right attitude!