I experienced a profoundly exciting moment this week. There I was, flicking through my newspaper in search of the Bible Verse Of The Day, when I happened across a story that simply made my eyes pop: a report that the Anglican church was introducing new marriage vows in which the wife promises to submit to her husband. I immediately sprang into action. Unlocking the kitchen, I called to my wife, "Put your saddle on! We’re going to church!"
Because for some time now, I’d been disillusioned with modern Christianity. Oh yes, obviously, as a true-blue, dinky-di, non-immigrating Australian citizen, I recognised the primacy of the Gospels and the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ over all mankind. But something about the institution of the church had led me away from organised religion. Twenty-first century clergy had begun to seem a bit too wishy-washy, a bit too namby-pamby, a bit too we’d-rather-all-hold-hands-and-give-soup-to-the-homeless-than-exorcise-a-lesbian.
To put it bluntly, the church had gone soft, and so I took to practising my religion quietly and in private, worshipping Jesus and subjugating women in my own way. Really I was more "spiritual" than strictly "religious", I suppose.
But this changes everything. The Anglican move has renewed my faith in the church, and re-energised me as a Christian man, and I am ready and willing to return to the flock and assist them with the vital work they are doing in the community to ensure everybody knows their place.
Now, naturally, there have been some who have wilfully misunderstood the new vows. This is always the way. All great Christian leaders, from Jesus to Gandhi to Alan Jones, have had their words twisted and used by politically correct heathens for their own ends. It’s just part of the trials that God sends to us to make sure that we will be tough enough to enter the eternal cage-fight of Heaven, and there is no getting around it. It is up to us to turn the other cheek and calmly explain to these evil devil-addled bastards why their idiocy is so idiotic.
Because some people have, quite ludicrously, chosen to interpret the phrase "submit to your husband" as meaning that the wife is promising to in some way submit to her husband. Nothing could be further from the truth — except atheism, which is VERY far from the truth indeed.
Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen explains it very well in this erudite piece. Here, the learned Archbishop notes that it is simply a matter of men and women being different.
This is a very important point, and one that I feel gets glossed over far too much in modern society. Apart from stand-up comedians, newspaper columnists, bloggers, radio announcers, authors, filmmakers and every television show ever made, nobody seems willing to speak about this elephant in the room: the fact that men and women are not the same.
It’s easy to demonstrate this. Just look inside your pants. Now go over to the nearest person of the opposite sex, and look in their pants. The difference will become quite clear. Also, women really like shopping, don’t they, bless them.
And it is because of these differences, both reproductive and mercantile, that Archbishop Jensen wants us to recognise and celebrate the magnificent diversity of the human race by having wives submit to their husbands. Not in a negative way, but in the most positive way possible. Indeed, Jensen writes, "This is not an invitation to bossiness, let alone abuse", and well may we heed that warning. Any man who believes that his wife’s declaration that she has submitted to him gives him any sort of right to tell her what to do is way off-base, and has like so many other fallen folk allowed the wickedness of secular word-definitionalism to overwhelm his natural Biblical instincts.
Jensen explains with exquisite clarity that:
"The husband is to take responsibility for his wife and family in a Christ-like way. Her ”submission” is her voluntary acceptance of this pattern of living together, her glad recognition that this is what he intends to bring to the marriage and that it is for her good, his good and the good of children born to them. She is going to accept him as a man who has chosen the self-discipline and commitment of marriage for her sake and for their children. At a time when women rightly complain that they cannot get men to commit, here is a pattern which demands real commitment all the way."
And ain’t that the truth, ladies! My goodness, how hard is it to get a man to commit, am I right? Look at those Sex and the City lasses, and how they’re always moping about it. If only Carrie and her gal pals were Anglicans, they’d know the secret: you can always wrap a man around your little finger by promising to submit to him.
But even more important than the woman’s ability to take control of her relationship by relinquishing control of her relationship is the stern responsibility which these vows place upon the man. For as the above passage states, he must take responsibility for his family "in a Christ-like way". Now some of you may find this confusing because you haven’t read the Bible, but I love the sinner even while hating the sin, so I’ll explain.
How does one take responsibility for one’s family in a Christ-like way? A cursory examination of the New Testament provides the answer: first, leave your family, wander the desert a bit, wander down to the docks, hang out with some fishermen, and then die. It’s pretty simple really, once you know how. That’s why they call the Bible the instruction manual for life.
Of course, Jesus never actually got married, so in some interpretations the best way to take responsibility for one’s wife and children is to not have any, and admittedly this can work too, to a certain extent. But it is very difficult for a wife to submit to a husband she doesn’t have, and there are times when as Christians we must take the woman’s feelings into account. Not many times, of course, but they do exist.
But look, there is no need to over-complicate things. What it comes down to the basic fact that God made man and woman for very different purposes. Woman’s role is to submit to man, and man’s role is to act like he’s doing woman a favour by it. The woman’s submission is matched by the man’s awesome responsibility to have a woman submit to him. It’s a yin and yang kind of thing — masculine and feminine complement each other.
By allowing her husband to be in control, a woman enhances his masculinity by allowing him to fully fulfil his manliness and not worry about the size of his penis; and by allowing his wife to not be in control, a man provides her with the scope for expressing her own femininity via cooking, lingerie, and a little head that is both pretty and free from worry.
And it is for all these reasons that, as I arrived at church that morning and fed my wife a fresh, crunchy carrot, I praised God in all His goodness and glory. For finally He had brought His subtle influence to bear on His church, and ushered in a new, muscular Christianity, a 21st century Christianity for the loving 21st century Christian couple, where men are men, women are women, and there is no longer any need to get the two mixed up because a lady wants to cut all her hair off or a fellow is doing the dishes.
Rejoice, fellow Godnuts! The era of hairy-armpitted "equality" is over, and the era of TRUE marriage has returned. The Anglicans have shown us the way, and the Australian family can finally get back on the rails, with a man out front, a woman hovering respectfully in the background, ever-ready to provide her man with some loving headship, and Jesus watching voyeuristically over all.
And that’s a threesome we can ALL enjoy.