Q. What would you say is the ideal 'patriarchal woman'? We were brought up in our liberal culture to be independent, aggressive and anti-men so the bible world is altogether completely new and different for us. Is it true that the bible is written from a man's perspective by men so that it's biased against women? What I want to know is who I really am and what God wants me to be! Finally, which of your wives do you look to as an example of what a godly woman should be?
I think to make a start at answering your very important and timely questions is by first addressing the nature of the biblical revelation which, as you observe correctly, was written by men though there are two books ascribed to women, namely, Judith and Esther. I suppose one of your questions is: Can a man really know the heart of a woman and write with a full understanding of her? I believe some can for sure. Many women have written in to me and said that I have a good understanding of women (one or two have said I don't have a clue), which I consider a great compliment because women are different from men. But what about the apostles and others who wrote the books of our Bible?
It is our belief, as you know, that the Holy Spirit is female and that the Bible was written under the female inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It would thus be our contention that the Bible was written through a FEMALE by Yahweh-Elohim, our Heavenly Father. And what a Female! For She understands the mind of the Father and the human condition so well that She is able to minister to anybody and everybody in all generations.
Some of the most masterful discourses in the Bible, like the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, bear the unmistakable female touch. There is sensitivity, sweetness, gentleness, and understanding. On the other hand, other aspects of the Bible are unquestionably masculine. But this is exactly what you would expect since the Godhead is echad or one. The Father and Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) have a perfect understanding of male and female together, so much so that Elohim (God) is frequently described in female terms as, for example, a hen protecting her chicks under her wings. It is my firm conviction that the Bible represents both the male and female side of the Godhead in perfect harmony.
Therefore to me it does not matter whether Yahweh inspires men or women to write the Holy Scriptures since:
The true revelation of both male and female is therefore to be found in Elohim's (God's) Word. What the Bible says about both men and women is therefore 100% true.
- (a) They are inspired by the female Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit); and
- (b) She is perfectly one with Her head, our Father Yahweh.
Everything about the relationship of the Church or Body of Christ (Messianic Community) is female even though it is composed of men and women. The path of discipleship, our joint submission to Christ, and our attitudes in general to the Godhead are all described in female terms. Men and women alike prostrate themselves before the Most High, El Elyon. Men and women alike are supposed to approach the Throne of the Almighty with broken hearts and contrite spirits. Men and women alike are, like Moses and Christ, supposed to be meek. All of these virtues are female. And every one of them is loathed and despised by the feminism of this demonised world. Elohim's (God's) Word in its entirety is therefore to a submitted, positionally female Bride consisting of men and women.
But in addition, men are called to be leaders and patriarchs so they have within their nature the male principle to enable them to govern and correct. And though this nature undoubtedly manifests itself in the writers of the Bible books who are nearly all men (since their personality is also revealed in the way they write, the divine guidance and inspiration notwithstanding), the summum bonum is always a complete understanding and revelation of both male and female.
As I read the brief Psalm of the prophetess Miriam after the defeat of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, I am at once struck at how masculine it is (Exodus 15:20,21). It could well have been written by a man. What I am not saying is that this was written by a man using a woman's pseudonymn for such would be deception. I most certainly do believe that Miriam, the sister of Moses, wrote it. But rather I point to this as a useful illustration of the Egyptian matriarchal spirit that still prevailed in the camp of Israel and which was to later get Miriam into trouble when she challenged both her brother's patriarchal headship and his polygamy (Numbers 12:1ff).
We therefore have in Miriam an example of a woman in transition from a feministic spirit to a godly one. Now I am not passing judgment on the woman Miriam for it was not entirely her fault that she was raised in false pagan Egyptian values, anymore than your modern woman is as fault because she was taught wrong. Add to that all the false patriarchy of macho male violence (itself in part a reaction to feminism) and in many ways women have been forced to be aggressive and masculine in order just to survive. My only point is that in the case of the spiritually gifted Miriam, who spiritually operated in the prophetic like her illustrious brother, Yahweh reveals both the sin and the corrective. And, sad to say, that corrective was not painless, though it was mercifully short. For all her trouble, Miriam (and her weak-minded brother Aaron whom she had recruited) was struck with leprosy - the worst disease imaginable to the ancients because of is incurability and social stigma - until she had repented and acknowledged both patriarchy (the leadership of her brother Moses) and polygamy (by accepting both his Midianite and Cushite/Ethiopian wife).
As I think most of us realise, the journey from the world's false image of womanhood to Yahweh's is neither easy nor painless. And it would probably be true to say that for most Western women it is both humiliating and traumatic. Big changes often are. And I would not wish to deceive any woman coming to Yahweh's Way by saying that this transition is a piece of cake. It isn't. And by the same token so is the transition from the worldly male image to the godly one also. Western men and women are resisting this change, prefering all the false values. And it is for this reason that Western Civilisation is in a nose dive and heading towards utter oblivion.
But there are righteous men and women who are willing to run the gammut of change required of them in order to align themselves to the Zionic way. As a patriarch and a teacher the spiritual medicine I dish out is not pleasant. Those who take it, and endure it, are usually healed. Those who don't can often become the most bitter of opponents. But is that not always true of any aspect of Elohim's (God's) Word that comes in direct opposition to the Babylonian way? Yahweh's Way transforms, and it transforms utterly.
You have asked me directly how a godly woman is, and I will answer you directly from Elohim's (God's) Word and without the slightest trace of apology. She is to have the "unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in Elohim's (God's) sight" (1 Peter 3:4, NIV). Note, this is not as it should be in Peter's sight, or man's sight, but in Yahweh's sight. This is what Yahweh expects of all women, no matter what their temprement, upbringing, cultural background, genetic disposition, or whatever. This is a universal pattern for all women of all dispositions. And if this is what Yahweh expects, then it is what all Godly men expect as well. The fact that ungodly men may also expect it is immaterial, for Yahweh has His own separate expectations of them. What we must not do is 'compare' expectations - one person's sinful behaviour is no justification for following or maintaining our own. If your husband is a macho-pig it doesn't justify a woman being a feministic Jezebel even if such, from a human point-of-view, is understandable. We are to pursue and fulfil our own callings as though they were the only ones there were. We are to rise above whatever is going on around us which would tend to drag us down.
Peter identifies the ideal wife by comparing her with Sarah adding:
The basis of the harmony which Peter goes on to describe in vv.8-9 is dependent not only on this quiet, gentle and submissive spirit in women, but also on the husbands being considerate to their wives, Peter reminding the husbands that they are joint heirs with their wives of the gift of life (v.7a). Finally, he reminds both men and women that if their prayers are not to be hindered, each must fulfil their respective obligations (v.7b).
"For this is the way of the holy women of the past who put their hope in Elohim (God) used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah who obeyed Abraham and called him her master (lord). You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear" (ibid., vv.5-6, NIV).
Women are right to point out that many husbands are not fulfilling their obligations to be 'respectful', 'considerate' and 'loving' and simply act like tyrants. This is true. The men have their obligations as well. However, it is important to point how what their obligation is:
That accountability is not to their wives. Were that so, then the implication would be that their wives were their heads, which they are not. If a woman therefore rebukes or criticises her husband for his failings, she is out of order - not because she is inferior or wrong, and not because a husband has the right not to be accountable - but because she is not his appointed head. She is, as we learn from Paul, only to shame his ungodly behaviour by being even more righteous and godly herself. And that is the same way a congregation is supposed to shame an errant pastor. Only when the nature of the transgression requires more concrete action - like adultery or physical abuse - does the woman have the right to step in and lay a complaint before her husband's head in the local church (assembly).
- (a) To Yahweh; and
- (b) To those whom they ought to be submitted to in the Body of Christ (Messianic Community) ... that is, to their Pastors or other heads, to whom they are accountable.
That does not mean, of course, that she cannot, with a respectful attutude, ask him questions. Nor does it mean that she is to be "silent" in church (assembly), as so many of our modern translations badly translate the Greek (for important articles, please see: Women in the New Testament Church and Strong's Concordance and the Mutilation of 1 Timothy 2:11-12). Thus the offending passage should be properly rendered:
"I [Paul] permit a properly subjected, quiet-natured and trained woman to become a teacher but I do not permit a wife to dominate her husband, for she must remain silent and subjected to him" (1 Timothy 2:11-12, CB trans.)
Translations based on the original Hebrew/Aramaic get the true sense of Paul's teaching over much more accurately:
Though this is not a 100% accurate translation, it is far better than any of the Greek translations we presently have.
"Let a wife learn in quietness with all submission, for I do not allow a wife to teach nor to be presumptuous over the husband, but she should be in shalom [peace]" (1 Timothy 2:11-12, HRV - Hebraic-Roots Version based on the original Aramaic/Hebrew).
What does Peter mean when he says a woman should be "gentle and quiet" (1 Peter 3:4)? First, let us look at the Greek MSS. The word praéoos is rendered 'gentle' by the NIV and 'meek' by Nestlé and the KJV. It is a word that is best translated as 'mild' and 'humble', the latter being the sense of the Hebrew/Aramaic original, and by which we mean in English someone who is conscious of her failings, unpretentious and lowly. Such a woman voluntarily lowers her status in her own eyes, she is deferential to her husband, and non-contentious. And it is not so much the act of showing defference that is important (it is that too) but the way in which it is done. She does not, therefore, raise her voice at her husband if she disagrees with him, avoids a fight, cynical or sarcastic swipes, and simply yields, unless of course he is causing her to sin in which case she must first and foremost be true to Christ and the Word. The latter does, of course, suggest great responsibility - the same care and responsibility a man should exercise in, for example, bringing a criticism against his Pastor or an Elder. Circumspection is herein strongly implied.
The second word we need to examine, which the NIV renders "quiet" does not mean 'completely silent' but translates the Greek hesuchios meaning "to be undisturbed" or "to be undisturbing", and which the KJV renders as both "peaceable" and "quiet". Whilst the speech of a woman is certainly being referenced here, it primarily reflects the condition of her spirit. We must be careful, however, in our use of the word "undisturbed" which might be misread to mean 'indifferent' or 'cut off' as perhaps a Buddhist might cut himself from emotionally disturbing realities. It most certainly does not mean this at all. It simply means a spirit at peace who does not stir up contention. In short, a yielded and submitted woman.
Which is why, in vv.5-6, Peter says:
The key to being submitted and undisturbing is, of course, to no longer fear. The reason women have risen up in rebellion against patriarchal headship is, in part, because of fear. They are afraid. They have been terrorised and abused and so they strike out in blind panic. Women are more emotional creatures than men, not meaning that they are more feeling, but that feelings tend to predominate over logical thinking, whereas the reverse is true in men. Women tend to feel first and think afterwards, and more so if they are afraid:
"For thus also, holy women from before, who trusted in Eloah [God], adorned themselves [with humility] and were subject to their husbands. As Sarah was subject to Avraham and called him, My master, whose daughters you are by good works while you are not troubled by any fear" (HRV).
If her husband truly loves her, as he is supposed to, then she will not fear him and more readily submit to him. Whilst she is under an obligation, through her personal will, to submit whether she is afraid of him or not, she will never find that 'shalom' or "peace" within her spirit until she has tasted of her husband's love and goodness. And he himself will not possess that until he has received it from Christ by being submitted to the Master.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:18-19, NKJV).
There are men who 'expect' submission of their wives and then wonder why their marriages are spiritually dull and lifeless. It is because their wives have not seen their husband's love. It is because the wives have probably not been touched and nourished by that love. True, some women deliberately reject the love that good husbands pour on them because they choose to be in rebellion against the Word of Elohim (God), but that is a separate issue. The issue here is that if a husband truly wants the blessedness of a submitted, quiet, peaceful, and undisturbing wife, then he will simply love her unconditionally as Christ loves the Church (Messianic Community) in the same way, because the result will be the unconsciously arrived-at spirituality that he desires in his women. It will just 'happen' (always provided, of course, that she is yielded to Christ).
These are the respective obligations of husband and wife. However, they must, and should be, independent of each other. If one holds back waiting for the other to do his or her 'duty', nothing will ever happen. Which is why we are to forgive our enemies of the wrong things they do to us. Forgiveness preceeds healing always. Christ does not wait for us to be submitted to Him before He loves us, for He always does that - the problem is we aren't aware of that love until we are submitted, because love is of the Spirit. We all know we can't bargain with Yahweh - we can't say, 'I won't obey this commandment until you do for this to me!' We know such never works. Yet this is what husbands and wives often do, don't they? 'I shan't submit to him until he's a bit more loving!' a wife may defiantly say. Doesn't work. Female defiance is guaranteed to turn a man completely off and make him even more intransigent. That is why the apostle Paul tells a believing wife to win over an unbelieving husband with her godliness and not by griping at him (1 Corinthians 7:14ff).
There are few things that I utterly detest but a contentious and rebellious woman is guaranteed to get my hackles up. When they do, I oppose them, until the correct order has been established. This is not because I consider myself to be particularly deserving of their submission, for who, if they are honest about their spiritual condition, is? It has nothing to do with our reciprocal responsibilities and obligations. It infuriates me because I know how angry our Heavenly Father becomes when we openly oppose Him. The mother of Yah'shua (Jesus), in her glorious Magnificat, says this unlikely but perfectly true thing for a woman:
We are talking here about an eternal, divine principle, and Yahweh's position on it. He opposes the proud and the rebellious and exalts the lowly and humble. The same anger I feel inside for a wife who rebels against her husband's authority I feel when I see men who refuse to place themselves under authority - who refuse to be accountable to anyone but themselves. It is the same anger I feel when I see rebellious disciples rising up against pastors who admonish them to holiness in the Word of Elohim (God). And if is the same anger I feel against myself when I, too, raise up the heel of contention against Yahweh and see how futile and stupid it is.
"He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly"
(Luke 1:51-52, NKJV)
The issue is: do we love the ways of Yahweh or the feelings and dispositions of our hearts? Are we angry against ungodliness or against those who oppose our pride and rebelliousness? The one stems from the Holy Spirit and the other from the fleshy nature. And never the twain shall meet.
We have been force-fed the obscene and destructive humanist doctrine of 'rights' for the last half century or more and progressively seen the disappearance of all concepts of personal 'responsibility'. Instead of holding people accountable to their responsibilities and duties, we instead seen the rise of the seöf-entitlement society and punish those who violate our 'rights'. Instead of saying: 'I have the duty to be submissive, meek, humble, mild, gentle and undisturbing', we say, 'I have the RIGHT to be loved!' WRONG! We have no such rights at all! Husbands have a duty to love and wives have a duty to obey, but neither can claim that the other has 'rights' against the other. The latter is a doctrine of secular, liberal humanism -- atheism -- which is a flesh-centred and antichrist philosophy.
So instead of turning against those who are above us - children against mothers, wives against husbands, members against pastors, etc., there should be stewards looking down by monitoring those who are under their watchcare and holding them accountable. No child has any business telling its mother or father what to do, nor a wife her husband, nor a husband his pastor, not a pastor his Elohim (God). This is the divine line of authority - the divine order and hierarchy. And there is no other.
If husbands and pastors teach the undiluted Word, and love their wives and congregations with the sacrificial agapé/ahavah/chesed love of Christ, then heaven's bounty will flow from above. Yet we seek to impose a system where the power and authority comes from below. And even if that power and authority is designed to protect the weak and vulnerable, it is still being done in the wrong way. Satan imposes his will from underneath, where he is, so it is not hard to undertand why he favours the worldly way of doing things.
When the proper order is observed, the Holy Spirit flows naturally and proper respect, discipline and love result. This is the Patriarchal Order.
In conclusion, you asked which of my wives I look upon as most closely reflective of the true goldly female spirit. Since everyone is defective - husband and wives alike - there are none who incarnate all the virtues I seek. They are all strong in certain areas and weak in others. All are gifted in different ways and therefore admired by me in different ways too. There is one who has more-or-less consistently exemplified the submission of which I speak. I say this not to exalt her (for I have no favourites) but simply as a matter of fact. I know she has her struggles like the others. But she possesses so much of that gentle, peaceful, and undisturbing spirit that in many ways she makes my task so much easier and more joyful. She is a true help-meet. The others have other strengths which she lacks, and which all freely acknowledge and work on. But in terms of that spirit of submission, I do tend to point to her. Perhaps it is because she has been married to me a long time, perhaps it is in her disposition, perhaps it is something else, or a combination of things ... I don't know. It was not always like it is now - in the beginning there were real battles to be fought, battles that exhausted me physically and spiritually. But I do consider that she has attained a special degree of peace, quietness and submissiveness that literally floods my heart with joy and which inspires me to give of myself all the more.
Women need to understand how the godly man functions and she will not obtain it from the teachings of the world. When man and woman are properly subjected in their own spheres - when fear and mistrust have been conquered - paradise results. But it does require a complete surrender of the self, to such a point that 'I' and 'me' progressively disappear from our vocabulary and we think only of the whole. Wives must forget themselves and serve each other and their husband, and husbands must forget their little mini-kingdoms and work together cooperatively for THE Kingdom - the Kingdom of Yahweh. Then joy results. I guarantee it.
This is the key for her success. Such a woman is not constantly trying to teach but listening receptively in female position. And unless her husband appoints her a teacher at home, she should not be instructing her sister-wives and she should most certainly not be instructing him. She may know things the rest do not, but she should wait to be asked by her husband rather than try to force it on others. And if she has married a man who is incapable of instructing her in spiritual principles, then there is something seriously wrong with the husband! For that is the calling of every husband. Such a man has likely to get on his knees, repent of his slothfulness, and let Yahweh instruct Him, or his Pastor and Elders of his local assembly.
"Let the wife learn in tranquility in her positioning under [her husband]" (1 Timothy 2:11, CB trans.)
Such women are by no means weak. They are strong, and to be strong is good. But strength without a servant's heart, submission and self-discipline is a recipe for disaster.
Constantly chattering, pushy, loud, forceful and masculine women grate hard against my spirit. Such are out of balance. Learning to be quiet and contemplative is mandated upon all. The godly are under an obligation to "seek peace and pursue it" (1 Peter 3:11, NIV), that "shalom" that Paul mentioned to Timothy (1 Timothy 2:11-12, HRV). The same goes to loud, swaggering and boastful men who think too highly of themselves and are more interested in forcing other men into their orbit, and turning their wives into chattels, instead of pursuing righteousness and truth, and giving something of themselves that won't necessarily benefit them or their ambitions.
What a difficult species we are! I do not, frankly, know how Yahweh bears with us. Yet He does. And He loves us into the bargain. May we all repent and aspire to the image He created us to be, and not the ones our egos would like us to be. The ego is an ugly beast. Let's quietly put it to death and let Christ take over!