One of the most controversial lines ever written belongs to the Apostle Paul, when he wrote: “Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). In modern times, this single line has earned Saint Paul the hatred of radical feminists everywhere, as well as the embarrassment of many Christians who do not understand what he meant. Because of this teaching, Paul has been called a misogynist, a male-chauvinist, and worse.
Because of this teaching, women who ‘love Jesus’ can’t say the same for the apostle Paul. Sadly, even when this Scripture is read, many pastors will zealously avoid ever actually preaching about what Paul meant. In our day, it seems that the message of Ephesians 5 is just too controversial.
But for Catholics, this is not acceptable. For Catholics, the writings of Saint Paul are not just the opinions of one ancient Jewish Rabbi from which we can pick and choose. They are the inspired Word of God, in which “everything asserted by the sacred author must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #107). If this is true, then we have to ask: What is God trying to teach us in Ephesians 5? What does it mean when the Holy Spirit inspires to Paul to teach that wives should be “submissive” to their husbands?
Given at the 2009 Word of God Conference - in one of his most challenging and inspiring talks ever recorded - Dr. Pitre tackles this controversial Scripture head-on, and shows how Ephesians 5 is not a justification for male chauvinism, but a life-changing vision of the Christian family. In this exciting study, you will learn:
• Why Saint Paul’s message needs to be understood in light of the paganism of the Roman empire, which was destroying the ancient family—just like it is today.
• How the husband is an image of Christ and the wife is image of the Church.
• Why Saint Paul’s teaching does not justify the abuse of spouses or the inferiority of women.
• Why pastors cannot continue to avoid talking about the spiritual headship of the Christian husband.
• How Saint Paul’s teaching for Christian husbands and wives gives biblical solutions to two of the most common causes for modern-day divorce!
If your own marriage is in trouble, or if you know someone else who needs help, or if you’ve ever just wondered—what in the world did Saint Paul mean?—then this Bible study is sure to shed light on the biblical vision of the Christian family.
Wives Do What?!
In this day and age, many avoid this topic of the biblical view about family and the relation of men and women. Dr. Pitre gives us a very orthodox, rich, fun and edifying talk. I didn't know what to expect when I bought it, but now I recommend it to everyone.
I've been showing Catholic DVD's for adult education at our church for several years. Dr. Brant Pitre's DVD's are everybody's favorite. He makes it easy to understand, his humor makes it enjoyable, and the provided outlines make it easy to follow and super easy for the facilitator (me), needing almost no preparation. Wives Do What?! is just as great in all these ways, but even more so because he clarifies a controversial topic, revealing St. Paul's meaning and God's plan for the marital relationship. His sincerity in apologizing to women for the men who have used this verse wrongly over history for their own advantage is moving and beautiful. Every Catholic--clergy and laity--needs to see this!
Wives Do What?!
My wife and I watched this video together on the Feast of the Holy Family, and thought we'd be "counter-cultural" and put the teachings of the Holy Spirit through St. Paul into effect. Our obedience to the ways of our Lord come with growing pains but have already borne great fruit. Thanks be to God for his grace that is always ready to flow to us if we correspond!