I was talking with a friend the other day about about books. I brought up “Eve in Exile” and we chatted for a bit about the roles of women in history. She mentioned how strange it was that a power hierarchy had insinuated itself into the Christian marriage, when from the beginning God created us as equals in His image. As I thought about it a little further, I realized that our objection to power still stems from a belief in power. The only difference is in who we think should wield it and how. But “power” still remains the name of the game. It has often occurred to me that the world is so warped by sin and stunted in its vision that not only do we not see, but we see backwards. We live in a world upside down. When I think of the three linked rings of the Trinity, I see the uninterrupted union of delighted, overflowing surrender. The Son lays Himself down for the Father, but in return the Father and the Spirit both give themselves to the Son. And whatever you give away can never equal what you receive. They pour themselves out, and they delight to do so. Everything in the universe exists inside this perfect union, within the bounds of God’s perfect will. Except, you know, for that one time. When Lucifer, instead of giving himself away, decided to try holding on. To try and grab what can only be received. Sin, in effect, is selfishness. And we live in a world entirely populated by selves. Ultimately, the only effective way to govern selfish sinners is through power. It is our language. But sometimes I think we forget that it is not the language of heaven. The language of heaven is the cross. Sacrifice. Death. Foolishness.
But to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
There is only one place, that for a second, this crazy world turns right side up. And that is within the covenant bonds of marriage. Where a man promises to lay himself down for his wife, all that he has and is, and in return, the wife promises to submit herself to her own husband. Not to men, but to this one man. This one man who is to love her in the way that Christ loved the church. Unto death. I listened to this great interview with a godly, older man, who talked about how the authority of a man comes through his readiness to die. It is not a grasping authority, it is a grisly authority. But it is here in marriage, where we are free to give ourselves away, that we live closest to the divine reality. Try it anywhere else, and people are going to kick you in the shins and run. After taking your wallet. The guarding and purveying of personal rights is the equivalent of living on the streets. With a switchblade. But sacrificial authority and free submission camp at the very hearth of heaven.