I was wondering recently why in the NT men are given a gauzy commandment to loooove their wives, but women are given a concrete command to submit, which I construed as some kind of duty of obedience.  Of course, men and women are different and there is no requirement that their differences be symmetrical.  But all the same, I wondered about it.Here’s the thing.  I quickly realized I had been wrong about the meaning of submission.  It wasn’t my mastery of Greek or Aramwhatsit that told me I was wrong.  It was experience.  I have seen a particular state of wifely feminine loving before that is marked by softness and pliability.  It is obvious to me–it is self-evident–that is what St. Paul meant.  I am of the belief that anyone who has experienced it before will instantly know what I am talking about and will know that I am right.

A duty of obedience, if it comes in at all, comes in as a guide to what constitutes the feeling or the emotional state, but it is no substitute for it.  Or else a duty of obedience would be a tutelary thing to help arrive there.

It seems then there is a kind of chiasmus.  Men are told to love, and then given instructions on how to behave (like Christ, through self-sacrifice and care) and women are given instructions on how to behave that will lead them to a form of love.

Men, love, in this way.

Women, in this way, love.

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