For my readers still suffering from PTSD from having Ephesians five shoved down their throats, let me tell you the reading assignment I'd give you if you asked me for one.
I'd say, read Ephesians chapters 1-4, skip 5, and if you are okay with chapter 6, read it. If chapter 6 also causes a degree of PTSD then skip 6 as well.
Now some would scream that I'm not respecting the family or the Bible or whatever by giving such advice. All I'll respond with is this. If I read all of Ephesians minus chapter 5 half a dozen times, it still wouldn't make up for the hundreds of times I've hear messages from chapter 5 while the teacher ignored the rest of the book. So in suggesting such a reading assignment, I'm not negating any part of the Bible. I'm simply bringing balance to an area so far out of balance in so many circle it is sick.
I knew a woman so traumatized by the word "submit" that if she saw it in completely innocent places like, "please submit paperwork to..." she'd have a panic attack. This is how bad it has gotten. And I'd really like people who have been traumatized to gain some benefit from the incredible book of Ephesians.
However, if just the word "Ephesians" traumatizes you, then you are better off reading Galatians, over and over, until God reveals to you the liberty that Paul is trying to get across.
One other little note on Ephesians 5 & 6:
As I've noted, neo-patriarchy and CBMW are hard at work creating an image and 'single story' of womanhood that strips women of being Deborahs (leaders), Huldahs (prophets/preacher/teachers), or Junias (apostle/elder). Their version of womanhood makes women small, weak, and helpless. This is wrong and not in keeping with how Christ handles his bride. First He gives his Bride all authority (check out Retha's link below). And according to Ephesians 6, he arms her to the teeth. This is a far cry from what Patriarchs and CBMWers do. They are too busy disarming and discouraging their women to see what they should be doing, what Christ does, arming and empowering.
Sermon on “us” and “them”
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