The discussion began with someone posting an interesting question regarding the difference between sacrificial love and submission in a marriage. The question gave specific examples worded in a gender-neutral way, without giving a hint as to whether it was the husband or wife who was doing the sacrificing/submitting. During the ongoing discussion, once it became clear that this comment poster was a woman, things became a bit...well, downright weird. All of a sudden Tim Bayly felt compelled to comment:
This little tirade was symptomatic of a number of things, most of which I'd rather not write about, in part because they are so obvious as not to merit mention. But what isn't so obvious is the idea that Tim Bayly has that his position of teaching elder in his local church gives him some sort of authority over women outside his church --- that they should defer to him. I strongly recommend that readers follow the link above and read the discussion in its entirety. Has the woman Mr. Bayly describes as a rebellious false witness given any reason to be attacked publicly with such accusations? Is Mr. Bayly the sort of man you would want on the elder board of your church?
No, I'm not suggesting women should be silent on this blog. But deferential to our office and teaching authority? Yes. And characterized by a certain modesty when addressing men here? Also, yes. If you watch, you will see such godliness among some of our sisters here, praise God.
Anyhow, if any of you have any suggestions in these matters, please send them to me. I'd be grateful.
And for the record, the rebellious false witness, Mrs. Light Morton, has only once (so far in this discussion) had any part of her false witness removed--a quite short phrase, at that. So don't be bamboozled into pitying her because the big bad blog bully is keeping her from making her case from Scripture. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's Scripture itself, and its Author, the Holy Spirit, that denies her this opportunity.
Of course, I might be convinced to change my tactics in dealing with her impiety and silence her completely. But to this point, Light has been given almost complete freedom to express her rebellion and darkness.
Back to the substance of the question posted...I have found it amusing that many teachers will describe the same actions as either sacrificial love or submission depending on whether or not the person doing the act is a husband or wife. This often seems like hair-splitting to me, especially when they stridently insist that a husband never, ever submits and that a wife never, ever loves sacrificially. Thus, when a wife gives up all her time, interests, energy, and sleep to devotedly care for her ill husband because she loves him so deeply, this is submission. It is not sacrificial love, according to these folks. When a husband does so, however, it is sacrificial love. When a wife always lets her husband pick where they go on vacation and, out of love, cheerfully goes along with plans that she finds unpleasant at best, she is being submissive. When a husband decides, "Hey, I've insisted on my way about vacations for the past 37 years. Maybe I should submit myself to my wife's desires just this once" --- he is mistaken about submitting, because he is really loving her sacrificially. When a wife donates part of her liver to her husband, even though he would never ask for such a thing and weeps over the fact that her loving sacrifice (his words) overwhelms him, she is really submitting, because that is what wives do---according to these teachers. A husband who does this is, of course, loving sacrificially.
And, also according to them, loving sacrificially is the more honorable and noble thing, the higher thing, the thing that men do. Submission is merely what is required of women. And, as one Bayly fan commented, "a husband is superior in wisdom, logic, and the ways of the world, which is why he is the final decision maker".
By the way, the post that provoked Tim Bayly's accusations read, in part:
As regards submission vs sacrificial love, reread all the comments about it. We're talking about submission and sacrificial love in marriage. Apparently nobody can tell unless they know what the sex of the person is. The exact same response to a situation suddenly becomes a head-scratcher because we don't know what word to use to describe it? I postulate that it's because they are interchangeable. I would give up my life for my husband, as he would give up his life for me. I daily submit myself to his needs, preferences, and desires, as he does mine. Some would call that rebellious and unbiblical. I call it Christlike.
It's Mrs, by the way. Light is my first name.