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    From Servants to Friends:
    The Deacon-Elder
    Division Explained

    A couple of articles I have written, The Rights and Reasons of Patriarchy, and Should a Wife Call Her Husband 'Lord'?, recently caused quite a stir in our Patriarchs' Club. Today I want to look at the criticisms that have been made and to answer them as best I can. Because, in my opinion, the issues are more complex than they might at first seem, it behoves us to approach them carefully.

    In respose to the first article, I received the following letter:

      I think this article raises important issues regarding the patriarchal lifestyle, some of which I agree with, and some that I find absolutely appalling.

      I find no fault with the diagrams on the 'Marriage Covenant' or the 'Patriarchy/Headship Covenant', but only with their interpretaion as given in details of daily life at your household. Usually I would not comment on how another believer lives their life. It is a very private matter and each of us must respect that privacy and the ways in which others are working out their relationships. But since it was shared in public, I shall comment in public.

      As the bible plainly supports the authority of the husband, I have to agree with you that the wife can not be equal in authority. My previous statement in the first dream I shared, where I mentioned 'equality', was only in terms of our potential before Christ to be one with him and to partake in his glory, as all of us are called to 'abide in Him'. I also saw that it means equal in the sense of responsibility to obey Elolhim (God), and equal in our potential as members of the royal priesthood (and Peter's passage about "a royal priesthood" is all inclusive, male and female, for in the previous part of that sentence Peter says, "You are a chosen generation"). And as a priest, we each have direct access into that Holy of Holies, whereby we can speak with our Father God and get direct guidance, both male and female. So, unlike the catholic church, which teaches that we need a member of the priesthood to act as intercessor before God, we understand that the veil which separated the priests from the lay people was done away in Christ. Anyone of us can ask for God's forgiveness and we receive it as members of that royal priesthood.

      Now, I also saw something in that dream that I did not want to see, that indeed I still find hard to swallow, and that is the male tendency, my tendency I must admit, to force upon his wife his ideas, his interpretations, his decisions as to what is good or acceptable or to be avoided. I believe that a husband who acts thus is treating his wife not as an equal heir before God, but as a child, as one who must be told 'this is what you are going to do because I said this is what you are going to do'. The question is this, is our authority over our wives different than the authority we excercise over our children? I think all of us would quickly say, 'Yes', but I have found that my actions do not always reveal the respect and the equality as heirs of the promise that is due a wife. The question I have had to ask myself is this, 'how would I feel if my wife treated me in the same way I have treated her'? To put it another way, does my authority over my wife extend to barking commands, to demanding that she obey, to taking away things I think she should not be looking at? I then ask myself, 'what would Jesus do'? Does He not give me the freedom to make mistakes? Does He not remind me in his word what I should do and then leave the decision up to me?

      Stan, you say you "expect them (your wives) to accept your decisions on faith, even if I choose not to give a reason. This is the nature of true obedience and the implications of a wife looking upon her husband as a 'Lord' and 'Master'". Then I have to ask you this, why did Jesus, before he went to the cross, say to his disciples, "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you" (John 15:15).

      The Master/Servant model was done away with by Jesus himself... why are you still using it? Jesus says the servant does not have to know the what or why of his Master's actions... but as friends he tells us.

      As to the suggestion that our women bow, kneel or prostrate themselves before their husbands, well, that is the old model of Master/Servant again.

    In response to my second article, he wrote further:

      I have thought about this and prayed about this for some time before replying. This is what I believe the Lord has said to me:

      • 1) The two in Christ have become one, so why do some of us men insist on being called Lord? Do we only give lip service to our unity, or do we really believe the scriptures?

      • 2) Jesus said in John 15: "Henceforth I call you NOT servants; for the servant knows not what the Lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known to you... These things I command you, that you love one another". He is obviously saying, love one another as I have loved you. He stopped calling his disciples servants, which means he changed the fundamental Lord/Servant relationship as a way of increasing the love between us and Jesus... so should we also do with our wives. Jesus is saying to me, call them friends, and stop being like a Lord who knows more than his servants (and keeps more from them, as is inherent in such a relationship).

      • 3)The headship of the husband is not usurped by his wife not calling him Lord, just as the headship of Jesus was not diminished one bit by his telling his disciples that henceforth he would tell them everything and consider than friends!

      • 4)The true agapé love of Jesus Christ never demanded that others obey him, or that they call him Lord. He considered others more higly than himself, just as Paul instructed us to do towards one another. Pray tell, how is that possible if the men have set up an expectation that they would like to be called Lord??

      As for me, I shall never ask, nor expect, nor even hint to any wife, that they call me Lord, for I desire to treat them as Jesus treated his disciples and placed himself on the same level as them, at least as far as this human and relational aspect. Obviously, in the spiritual realm, that is a different matter. But this example is the one I will follow.

    There are many points raised in these two postings. To begin with, let us address the issue of echad or oneness. In the Johannine High Priestly prayer, Yah'shua (Jesus) prays that the saints will be echad (onw) with one another, and echad (one) with Him, in the same way that He is echad (one) with His Heavenly Father, Yahweh-Elohim. Whatever this unity or echad means or implies, it is not functional equality. Though it embraces within it deep love, respect, honour and grace, it does not suddenly mean that the Son is no longer subject to the Father (per pro classical Trinitarian doctrine which claims complete functional equality between the Godhead - see our Trinity Series). Yah'shua (Jesus) remains, even at the end of the Book of Revelation, "Lord of lords" (e.g. Revelation 19:16), and even though we may become His "friends" that does not mean we necessarily cease being His servants as well. I shall be examining the implications of the complimentary aspects of this in a moment - for the issue is one of either mutual exclusivity or the complimentarity of 'servant' and 'friend'.

    I have to say that I am in broad agreement with the brother in almost everything he writes. However, his contention that the proper use of titles and obeissance is inconsistent with a new model set by Christ in John 15:15 I am forced to dispute on several grounds.

    We must be especially careful of drawing radical conclusions from single passages which become disjunctive with general and consistent scriptural themes by evolving a new doctrine out of them. This is not, of course, to say that we should ignore John 15:15 but rather seek to understand it - as indeed any passage - in the context of the whole Bible (and here New Covenant) revelation. There is always a danger in such an approach - albeit perhaps unintentional - of making 'biblical civil war' whereby one set of passages is set against another set in order to justify a doctrinal presupposition. This is especially dangerous when a new revelation (like a dream) claims to be inspired as the content and spirit of the dream may be used to drive a wedge in an otherwise harmonious biblical revelation...which is not to disparage inspired dreams for these things I certainly believe in. But I would nevertheless be most careful if a dream leads us to redefine an already clearly established scriptural doctrine.

    If the brother's analysis of John 15:15 is correct, then we should expect scriptures following this messianic declaration to be in harmony with his exegesis. We would expect both what Christ and the apostles say subsequently to agree with it, especially if it is new halachah ruling changing or replacing what has previously been written in Torah. And indeed, we we know, this is what Christ did in many places. So the brother has good precendents.

    Before we look further into this matter, I want to say that I agree with John 15:15 - I am not trying to wriggle out of it. I just believe it means something a little different to what the brother supposes

    So what actually is the evidence? Do we find, in subsequent apostolic council, evidence that husbands are not to expect their wives to call them 'lord'? Do Paul, Peter, James and John confirm the brother's postulate? If we find one passage to the contrary, then either the passage is wrongly traslated (in which case we must dig into the receptor tongue carefully), the brother's postulate is wrong, or one or other of the passages in erroneous and therefore uninspired. Since neither of us believe the latter can be true, we shall immediately strike that off our list.

      "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward -- arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel -- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of Elohim (God). For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in Elohim (God) also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror" (1 Peter 3:1-6, NKJV)

    There are two words I would like to draw your attention to especially in this passage and they are "also" and "as". Now I have checked both the Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic MSS and they are in complete agreement - the translation is accurate in the NKJV and in other versions. There is no way that anyone can avoid the very plain sense of the scripture here which is telling us that as Sarah behaved towards her husband Abraham, so should Christian wives today (and hereafter) behave towards their husbands. Quietness and gentleness of spirit, holiness and trust in Yahweh, submission and obedience to husbands, calling them 'lord', are all clearly and indisputably enjoined. Now unless Paul was in error, then we are forced to harmonise what he said here with what Christ said previously in John 15:15. The moment we try to 'explain away' the very clear p'shat or plain sense of scripture in order to justify a pre-conceived doctrine, we are on the same slippery slope as Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others. And that is something we dare not do.

    But this is not all we need consider. The idea of servanthood is deeply engrained in the whole of the New Testament. Yah'shua (Jesus) plainly taught in the footwashing incident (John 13:5ff) that He, Christ, was a shamash (Servant/Deacon) just as the apostles should be to one another. The office of the Deacon/Deaconess is clearly defined in the New Testament. Servanthood is part and parcel of the Christian/Messianic way of life.

    Now for some reason the brother got it into His mind that in households where the husband is called 'lord' that the husband must therefore 'bark' orders and commandments as in the military. Perhaps in some families this is regrettably true. But my concept of servanthood is that the husband is his wives' servant just as Christ is the servant of the Church or Fellowship of Believers. I am not an autocratic dictator. BUT, where there is disagreement, then I make decisions which may sometimes be unpopular. This may not reflect the ideal of echad (oneness) and indeed is a necessary expedient - that is one reason why we have headship. But even if there were complete unanimity and harmony, this would still not nullify the obligation of the wives to call their husband 'lord'. And even assuming I do come to complete echad or oneness with Christ, this does not mean I will cease calling the Saviour "Lord" or "Master". Unity is not functional equality even in a perfect sphere. There are kings and lords in eternity.

    But before we pursue this any further, let us consider now the context of John 15:15. Was this an announcement made by Christ to all Christian believers? Though the subsequent High Priestly Prayer of John 17 was certainly for all believers, the address was a private one given to the APOSTLES - those who had remained with Him. And we know historically that the Gospel of John was not intended for the general public and indeed was not only absent from the earliest canons but was hotly debated for centuries. For those of you who have not read the four articles on the main website on on Reconstructing the Johannine Church, I would ask you to study these carefully now. (The second article examines the canonical status of the Johannine writings). It is my postulate based, I believe, on substantive evidence, that the Johannine Gospel was intended for "Yah'shua's (Jesus') friends", namely, those who were walking after the divine tavnith or pattern of that writing, and not all the believers. It was never intended for evangelism of unbelievers like the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).

    The article on the main website, The Story of Human Life is also worth careful study because it shows that the four Gospels were directed to different people and focus on different messianic themes. The fourfold Gospels are not accidental but thematically purposeful, addressing, respectively, the exalted Son of Elohim (God) - John, the exalted King - Matthew, the humbled man - Luke, and the humbled servant - Mark. Once it is understood that the audience of the Johannine Gospel is therefore to the exalted sons of Elohim (God), it is more readily understood why they (and not all believers) particularly were singled out to be "friends". Do we have a precedent for this belief? Yes we do, for the only three men in the entire Old Testament who were ever called Yahweh's "friends" were those (in spite of their failings) who were exalted by their faith, namely Abraham (James 2:23), David and Moses (Exodus 33:11). This friendship of Elohim (God) toward man was not granted willy-nilly, and neither was that of the Son of Elohim (God). It was granted, not on the basis of grace, but on the basis of merit. And that merit was their great faith, love and obedience.

    That there was an inner circle of apostles, and another ring of fellowship consisting of the nine, and then the 'rest' is proved by numerous incidences in the Gospels. Christ did not reveal all things to all His disciples, but selectively to those who were the most trustworthy. If He had been a socialist egalitarian He would not have been selective in whom He revealed what to. Some men are privy to the things of Yahweh and some are not. And this is based on their trustworthiness. Not all conversed face to face with Yahweh as a friend as Moses did. Only three saw the theophany on the Mount of Transfiguration. Only the select apostles were present at the foot of Mount Hermon when the revelation was given Peter that Yah'shua (Jesus) was the Messiah (Christ), the Son of the Living Elohim (God). Whether we like it or not, Yahweh is selective, endowing certain people with certain gifts, blessing some with particular revelation, and so on, based on His own criteria and not men's. And He was as selective in calling those "friends" as He was in allowing only those with most-favoured-status to witness Him in His glory alongside Moses and Elijah.

    But whether you agree with this or not is really immaterial in the light that those who were for sure called "friends" continued to address Christ as "Lord" both after the John 15:15 event as well as after the resurrection and glorification of the Son of Elohim (God).

    Let us remember that there are four aspects to Christ - two divine, and two human - as reflected in the four Gospel accounts. Whether you believe John 15:15 was addressed only to the Twelve or to a wider circle of talmidim (disciples) is also irrelevant because of what the word "disciple" implies, namely, one who is under discipline. Not only does Christ call these 'friends' but also 'brothers' by adoption (Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 3:27-4:8) but we clearly understand this to mean His humanity and not His deity. As far as our humanity is concerned, there can not be the slightest doubt that husbands and wives are completely equal, being the equal recipients of divine grace. But even the human Yah'shua (Jesus) is called "Rabbi" (Teacher), "Master", and "Lord" by His disciples, long before they knew who He really was. His position of authority over them was never in doubt, just as the position of a husband over his wife is clear-cut. And with that position comes both responsibility and a title of respect.

    The spiritual context of John 15:15 was total submission to the cross - given on the eve of crucifixion, that being the stem of these conscious thoughts. The whole tenor is that Christ is the submitted one - totally, in every respect, to Yahweh. Our union with Him is a brotherhood of complete submission. Our head is Himself submitted. By calling the MEN sons by adoption, He proclaimed that His friendship with His entire modus operandi a way of being. This friendship is not based remotely on functional equality. Yah'shua (Jesus) our friend and brother is still our Lord and Master, and we are still His servants, a theme repeated over and over again both by Christ and His apostles. He set the example of servitute by washing the disciples' feet - the Order of Shamashim (Deacons = Servants emphasises this point again). Even the Apostles are Shamashim. Once a Servant, always a Servant, even if you subsequently become an apostle. The fact that Yah'shua (Jesus) calls His disciples/apostles "friends" does not mean they have ceased to be servants. He no longer calls them that to indicate that there is an added dimesion to their relationship. They are now trustworthy disciples. Moses, Abraham and David were all called friends because they were totally submitted to Yahweh.

    The reason Yah'shua (Jesus) calls His disciples "friends" is because they 'know' and 'understand' what Christ is all about. They have the 'whole picture', the 'full revelation'. That implies the Torah is now written naturally on their hearts. They are no longer obeying blindly but consciously and willingly.

    But does the evidence of the period following the cross indicate that the diciples had come to this fullness? If so, why the controversy between Paul and Peter? Why the in-house squabbling? Why the apparent ignorance of so many things? The answer can only be because of the GROUP that Yah'shua (Jesus) was addressing. Was this a statement to all the disciples or just to some? And was He in fact saying that they had come to fullness, or merely that this is what they had set their hearts on as their goal (as Christ is the goal of Torah)?

    This saying was not addressed to ALL the diciples but to the TWELVE APOSTLES. It was said in the Upper Room during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Last Supper. This was a meeting of the 'inner circle', as I have already suggested.

    John 13.16 suggests that this 'calling' to be friends is more of an 'appointment' (in bearing fruit) than an actuality (HRV). Though you may appoint/call someone your friend, this does not mean that the fullness of the friendship relationship has yet been attained, but rather such is a goal. An element of trust, allowing for mistakes (and betrayal such as Peter's).

    This same concept is conveyed in the idea of the believers BECOMING a Royal Priesthood - it is in the process. They have not attained it yet. Moses' deepest wish that all Israel were prophets is in the same vein (Numbers 11:29). Yahweh wants us all His intimate friends, bringing forth the fruits of the righteous, attaining the fullness of priesthood (which is Melchizedek).

    The Wycliffe Bible Commentary notes:

      "John 15:14-15 - Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. - Friendship with Jesus (Yah'shua) does not eliminate the necessity for obedience. 15. If this necessity seems to make servants out of friends, there is a difference. The servant is not taken into the confidence of his lord. Proof of the status of friends, in the case of the disciples, was their admission to the counsels of Christ, including all that the Father had disclosed to the Son. Nothing had been withheld. This does not mean that all had been understood by Jesus' (Yah'shua's) followers." (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

    Christ defines a friend as someone who is willing to lay down his life for you (John 15:13). Just two verses before He called His apostles His friends. This was the qualifier. In spite of his betrayal, Peter nevertheless repented and made the ultimate sacrifice. To become a friend of Christ is to be willing to lay your life down for Him. This friendship does not extend to everyone who names the Name of Christ.

    This declaration of friendship by Christ was a unilateral COVENANT of TRUST. It did not extend in both directions even though it may have subsequently. Matthew Henry comments:

      "John 15:9-17. (2.) Christ loved his disciples, for he took them into a covenant of friendship with himself, v. 14, 15. 'If you approve yourselves by your obedience my disciples indeed, you are my friends, and shall be treated as friends.' Note, The followers of Christ are the friends of Christ, and he is graciously pleased to call and account them so. Those that do the duty of his servants are admitted and advanced to the dignity of his friends. David had one servant in his court, and Solomon one in his, that was in a particular manner the king's friend (2 Samuel 15:37; 1 Kings 4:5); but this honour have all Christ's servants. We may in some particular instance befriend a stranger; but we espouse all the interests of a friend, and concern ourselves in all his cares: thus Christ takes believers to be his friends. He visits them and converses with them as his friends, bears with them and makes the best of them, is afflicted in their afflictions, and takes pleasure in their prosperity; he pleads for them in heaven and takes care of all their interests there. Have friends but one soul? He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:17. Though they often show themselves unfriendly, he is a friend that loves at all times. Observe how endearingly this is expressed here.

      [1.] He will not call them servants, though they call him Master and Lord. Those that would be like Christ in humility must not take a pride in insisting upon all occasions on their authority and superiority, but remember that their servants are their fellow-servants. But,

      [2.] He will call them his friends; he will not only love them, but will let them know it; for in his tongue is the law of kindness. After his resurrection he seems to speak with more affectionate tenderness of and to his disciples than before. Go to my brethren, John 20:17. Children, have you any meat? John 21:5. But observe, though Christ called them his friends, they called themselves his servants: Peter, a servant of Christ (1 Peter 1:1), and so James, John 1:1. The more honour Christ puts upon us, the more honour we should study to do him; the higher in his eyes, the lower in our own.

      (3.) Christ loved his disciples, for he was very free in communicating his mind to them (v. 15): "Henceforth you shall not be kept so much in the dark as you have been, like servants that are only told their present work; but, when the Spirit is poured out, you shall know your Master's designs as friends. All things that I have heard of my Father I have declared unto you." As to the secret will of God (Elohim), there are many things which we must be content not to know; but, as to the revealed will of God (Elohim), Jesus Christ (Yah'shua the Messiah) has faithfully handed to us what he received of the Father, John 1:18; Matthew 11:27. The great things relating to man's redemption Christ declared to his disciples, that they might declare them to others; they were the men of his counsel, Matthew 13:11.

      (4.) Christ loved his disciples, for he chose and ordained them to be the prime instruments of his glory and honour in the world (v. 16): I have chosen you, and ordained you, His love to them appeared ..." (from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

    With these observations and conclusions I have to heartily agree. So what are we left with?

    We are left with the fact that those who are Christ's true disciples - submitting themselves in obedience and love, who are willing to lay down their lives for Him - are considered by Him to be His friends, as befits those who are privy to the secret counsel of Yahweh. This does not, however, mean that His friends are His equals. Though an earthly king may have friends who are his counsellors, they are not co-kings, and still call him "lord".

    We are also left with the conclusion that there are two ways in which a wife may call her husband "lord":

    • (a) As his lover, friend and bosom companion; or
    • (b) As one who is subjugated by force and treated like a child or an underling.

    Here, then, is the difference between the true Christian/Messianic arrangement of marriage and what is known as Dominance/submission (and its ultimate unfolding into BDSM).

    The issue is not, therefore, whether a wife should call her husband 'lord', 'master', or 'sir' but how she does so - whether it is compelled or whether it flows naturally out of pure love and a recognition of the holiness of Yahweh's Order. I am not compelled to call Christ "Lord" either but I do so for the same reasons.

    The same would also apply to bowing, kneeling, and prostration. Did the friends of Elohim (God) do these things? Yes, as an act of worship and reverence. Should wives do these things to their husbands? As an act of worship, no, never. As an act of love and joyful submission, without force or compulsion, yes, of course. And they should not be prevented from doing these the most natural tokens of deep love and respect.

    Christ never changed these things. Friendship with Him means simply to be privy to His most innermost desires, thoughts and feelings, but it does not create a functional equality. But what we do have to clearly distinguish is the two forms of title-using and the two forms of obeissance - the key is why you do them. Is it love or is it fear? If it is love, then surely these are two of the most beautiful expressions of humility that may be found.

    In our Order the apostles and elders wash the feet of both the brothers and sisters. I have done it many times myself and consider it a great pleasure. My wives and I wash one another's feet. I do so as their lord and their servant.

    I wonder, perhaps, if the brother has really understood the spirit and intent of what I meant by my two articles? I know it is easy to be misunderstood, especially given the interpretation of female acts of humility made by feminists and modernists. Friendship with Yah'shua (Jesus) is indeed a precious thing, and whilst He may no longer call us servants (as indeed I do not call my wives servants), He nevertheless made Himself a servant in everything He did and said, even to washing His disciples' feet.

    What this tells us is that for a man to be in the Spirit of Christ is not to 'lord' it over one's brethren or wives. But it does not exclude the respect and obeissance of those who are served naturally feel for those who serve their unnamed servants. Isn't this somewhat paradoxical?

    Yes, it is. Mortality is paradoxical because we are made of two contrary natures - the one which is good, humble, submissive, and spiritual, and the other which is carnal, devilish, rebellious and proud. That means there are always two simultaneous realities. We are contradictions, and so long as we remain in this mortal frame, there must be contrary sets of rules and laws - one set which appeals by love to the higher nature, and one set which imposes order by force on the lower. We must never forget this. The trouble is, most people find this complicated, confusing and difficult to manage. Maybe, but it still doesn't excuse us from confronting reality.

    Last night one of my wives and I were talking with a 'Christian' man who was of the Dominance/submission school. He simply could not understand what we were saying. He considered treating his wife like a child to be smacked and disciplined as a matter of routine was consistent with scripture and cited the usual passages out of context. A woman with whom we were also talking took the very opposite position, stressing only the love aspect.

    Mercifully I have not had to discipline my wives very often and I have never raised my hand against them in physical discipline, save once when my first wife slapped my face and I returned it in kind. I have taught my family about the two contrary natures we have and we discuss this theme regularly so that they have a clear understanding of the issues. My wives discipline themselves. They are not held in bondage by me in any way but have voluntarily yielded to my headship and disciplining as and when the latter is necessary. They call me 'sir' or 'lord' from time to time, always spontaneously and never under compulsion. They often sit at my feet when I am teaching them, again, of their own free will and not because I expect it. Sometimes they kiss my feet to say good night and to ask Yahweh's blessing upon me, not because I ask it of them, because they desire to do so. What they do, they do out of love, respect, and voluntary submission in imitatation of Yahweh's Word. Sometimes I kneel and wash their feet. Sometimes we kiss each other from head to foot to indicate our complete love of one another.

    More than this I cannot say. I am their servant and they are mine, though I never call them my servants, but my friends, in imitation of Christ. They call me 'lord' and 'sir' as well as all the intimate terms that wives use with their husbands; and I call them my beloved, my ribs, my bosom companions. I try to love them as Christ loves the Church (Messianic Community), and they in their turn try to submit to, and obey, me in righteousness. There is a freedom in the air in our home - I try to be gentle with them always, applying strong measures rarely and only if I see that destructive forces will harm us if I do not. But there is always both aspects, addressing both spirit and flesh. Only a fool would ignore the reality of our dual paradoxical nature.

    I hope the brother will understand that I wish him no ill and that I do understand where he is coming from. But I would suggest to him that his model is incomplete and will, if he ever puts it into practice in a polygamous situation, cause him great difficulties unless he is blessed to marry two or more perfect and sinless wives.

    May we all be blessed by the wisdom of the patriarchs to so what is right.

    Author: SBSK

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