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Description: God has always encouraged men and women to respect each other, to look up to each other and to treasure each other.
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Authority & Submission in Marriage
Today is the last of
our conversations loved ones, on marriage. And I would ask you to join me as the time permits us,
in talking about authority and submission in marriage. And that refers really to the respective
attitudes of the husband and wife to each other, authority and submission. Could I remind you of
the obvious advantages that flow naturally from a Christian marriage in this regard as opposed to a
secular marriage? You remember, a secular marriage is based on our own wills and I would just point
out to you the obvious, that if a man marries a woman because of a wilful desire for physical and
emotional satisfaction, then he tends to regard that woman primarily as a function. As someone who
will fill a need in his life. As an addendum to his life and he will tend therefore, to have rather
It’s the same with a woman, if a woman marries a
an arrogant attitude of authority to that woman.
man primarily to satisfy her wilful desire for company in her old age, or for economic provision for
her in her present life, or for emotional and physical satisfaction in motherhood, then she also
will tend to regard her husband primarily as a function, as someone who fills a need in her life, as
someone who is an addendum to her life and therefore she herself, will tend to have a quiet
subconscious, arrogant, authoritative attitude towards him.
Now it’s entirely different if both are
entering into a Christian marriage, and they’ve accepted reality. That is they have accepted that
their needs for security, and for significance, and for happiness can be fulfilled only through a
personal relationship to their Creator. And they realize that they are marrying each other simply
because God has intended them to marry. Then instead of an attitude of using each other, there
springs up within them a mutual respect for each other. Indeed, they regard each other as dear
gifts of the Creator to each of them. And the whole marriage becomes an exciting adventure of
mutual respect to discover the purpose that God has in bringing them together as man and wife.
it does affect very much the attitude to authority and submission in them. It’s the same loved
ones, in regard to the reproduction of image. In a secular marriage, so many of us marry primarily
to reproduce our own image, or to maintain our own image in the marriage. And in that case, we’re
always jockeying for position. We’re always watching, and observing, and reflecting, in order to
make sure that we are the dominate personality or influence in the home. Such a marriage is usually
filled with fear, and distrust, and continual suspicion.
And in fact, both normally know that
that’s the attitude of the other to them and it’s incredible but it is that secret knowledge that
the other person is always looking for a final grip that will give them the domineering influence in
the marriage. It is that kind of subconscious subliminal awareness that often results in just an
attitude of quiet desperation that fills so many marriages, because you know that the other one is
always waiting to get the upper hand. And it is a very tense relationship. It’s very different
with a Christian marriage.
new personality through combining the differences, and the distinctions in both your personalities,
combining them in a unique way, then the whole marriage becomes a relaxed trusting of God to bring
out from the other person the right characteristic, and to bring out from you the right
characteristic. And instead of having to maintain a position of dominance in the marriage, you can
relax and you can trust God through his daily dealings with each of you by the Holy Spirit to bring
forth the strengths from each in order to create the unique personality that he has planned in both
know. We all like to say, “It’s 50 give and it’s 50 take,” and that’s a man of the world comment
and of course everybody agrees with that except those of us who are married know that we’re always
taking our 50 when she’s taking her 50 and at last you’re freed from that bluff game and you’re
freed to see it’s 100% give. Trusting the Holy Spirit to keep the other person from dominating you
or domineering you.
marriage, where you set your own purposes a husband and wife enters into the marriage with certain
goals before their minds. And maybe the woman has in mind a nice house, and three children, and a
nice church and social circle, and security, and comfort. And the man has in mind a satisfying job,
And in fact, that way you can enter into a real freedom from that 50/50 business you
If you marry because you know that God is going to create an absolute
And it’s the same in regard to the purpose of the marriage. In a secular
and a home and family that he can be proud of, and an interesting diverse kind of life with good
hotel accommodation and room service. And they each have their goals and so often it is a constant
clashing of will which alternate with periods of just sullen resentment against each other as one
person pushes their goal and the other person pushes their goal. And the whole battle becomes one
of authority and there’s little submission in either heart towards it and they become like the
millionaires who always want just a little more. They always want just a little more authority,
just a little more of their goal being fulfilled. And their cry is always, “But you always get your
way. I never get my way.”
In a Christian marriage, where you realize that you’re not together to
fulfill your own purposes, to have as many children as you want, or to have the kind of home you
want. But you’re together because God has a purpose that is bigger than either of you and bigger
than the marriage. And it is a purpose that is connected with his whole plan to bring the world
into submission to his will. Then both of you are drawn beyond yourselves and instead of that
fighting of petty wills against each other for little tiny purposes that are so small and so
insignificant that you both at times get fed up with the battle, instead of being withered and
shrunk to that kind of an attitude to each other, you’re drawn out beyond yourselves and you become
more magnanimous than you would have been had you been together and you begin to look at each other
with an enthusiasm because you know that without the other person you couldn’t fulfill the purpose
that God has for you.
With that person you can, that’s why he’s drawn you together, without them
you couldn’t. And you begin to look to the other person and build the other person up so that they
will transmit the life of God that he pours through them and that will bring about the purpose that
God has for both of you in this world. And so authority and submission becomes a minor issue in a
Christin marriage. In a Christian marriage they work beautifully, and there’s no bickering, and
there’s no argument about them, because there’s a great relaxation of both people in Jesus. But in
a secular marriage it’s a constant problem.
Now loved ones, the Bible knows nothing of the male
chauvinist pig Archie (character in a TV show) who dominates or appears to dominate, maybe he
doesn’t dominate as much as he thinks, but appears to dominate his poor little timid dingbat wife
Edith. The Bible knows nothing of that kind of marriage. And it knows nothing of the domineering
overbearing Maude, and her poor little fearful timorous hen pecked husband Walter. The Bible has no
plan for that kind of a caricature. Right from the beginning when the early societies give women a
position of inferiority and a position of virtual slavery, even in those early days, God stated at
the beginning, “I made man and I made him male and female.”
And right from the beginning the Father
has always encouraged men and women to respect each other equally, and to look up to each other, and
to treasure each other. Our society today swings from one extreme to the other. When we need more
men for battle, first or Second World War, or Vietnam, or we need more men to farm the land, or to
build the fences, our society exalts the motherhood part of a women’s life. But then when those
things are not needed and we’re having trouble with population, our society swings to the other
extreme and demands that every woman be a career woman and forget motherhood.
those things loved ones. God says, “You ladies must seek me to find out my will for your marriage
just as much as your guy does. You have no more right than he has to do what you like.” In other
words, you have no right to say, “I like children. Everybody ought to like children unless we’re
monsters.” But you have no right to say, “I like children. I like to stay at home.” Any more than
the guy has a right to say, “I like bowling and I’d like to bowl every day and not go to work.” The
Father says, “You have to seek me for my will for your marriage.” Because I’d tell you that more
marriages are scuttled by the woman demanding that she do what she’d like to do, than by any other
reason. And so the Father says, “No, the issue is not whether the woman is a mother, or whether
she’s a career woman.” The issue is not elevating one or denigrating the other. The issue is what
does God want you two to do with your lives? Will you find that out and then will you walk in the
light of that?
this is why I’m giving this thrust to the introduction to the conversation this morning, in
Now loved ones, in Christian circles today, and you’ll have to understand that
God does neither of
“Now Deborah, a prophetess,” no, no we Christian circles
Christian circles today there are many who say a woman’s place is in the home. Her place is
certainly not in administration or in ruling over men, or in speaking God’s word. And the ERA
certainly should not pass because you cannot image a woman on the battlefield.
Now, I would just
point out to you that many of you might not move in Christian circles, but loved ones, that are the
kind of attitude that tends to dominate Christian circles. And of course, they have good scriptural
backing for it and I’d like to point to some of that in Judges 4. And I think this will put you
sisters in your place and we should have no more trouble with you from today on. The big thing
you’ll notice about Christian circles is they tend to get dizzy because they go around and around.
But still Judges 4:4, well maybe you should read Verse 3 because it describes the kind of situation
that obviously needs a man. Judges 4:3, “Then the people of Israel cried to the LORD for help; for
he had nine hundred chariots of iron, and oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.”
Well that’s certainly a job for a man.
know that there are no prophetess because woman are not supposed to speak God’s word. My wife
probably substituted the wrong quotation here. “No Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth,
was judging Israel at that time.” Well, that’s those woman they’re all criticizing you know.
Except, that judging Israel means that she was governing Israel. That’s what it means.
brothers, let’s begin to look at the dear word and stop mouthing these prejudices that we have.
“Was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel
in the hill country of Ephraim; and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.” Now, these
women shouldn’t rule over men. “She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abino-am from Kedesh in
Naphtali, and said to him, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel.’” That’s ridiculous women cannot speak
God’s word. “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking
ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera,’”
what’s she doing having anything to do with war? “And I will draw out Sisera, the general of
Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him
into your hand.’”
and he goes and does the fighting. “Barak said to her, ‘If you will go with me, I will go.’’’
These cowardly types, “If you will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not
go.’ And she said, ‘I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the road on which you are going will
not lead to your glory, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.’ Then Deborah
arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and ten
thousand men went up at his heels; and Deborah went up with him.” And then Verse 12 loved ones,
“When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abino-am had gone up to Mount Tabor, Sisera called out
all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him from
Harosheth-ha-goiim to the river Kishon. And Deborah said to Barak, ‘Up! For this is the day in
which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?’ So Barak
went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. And the Lord routed Sisera and all
his chariots and all his army before Barak at the edge of the sword.”
but they can’t fight so we go on and see in Verse 17, “But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of
Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the kind of Hazor and the
house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael came out to meet Sisera, and said to him, ‘Turn aside, my
lord, turn aside to me; have no fear.’ So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him
with a rug. And he said to her, ‘Pray, give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty.’ So she
opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. And he said to her, ‘Stand at the door
of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, “Is anyone here?” say, ‘No.’ But Jael the wife of
Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drive the peg into
his temple, till it went down into the ground, as he was laying fast asleep from weariness so he
equally. And loved ones, if you say to me, “Oh well, that was an exception.” Well, you have to
I think you have to face it, you know, that men and women can be used by the Father
Well maybe – you know, maybe she can do that stuff on the home front headquarters
Well, the woman can do that
And I think
And if you throw old Paul at us, well
And then if you look at Colossians 4:15, “Give my
And you know yourself, that every time you say, “Women can’t do it,” you have to
look up then Hilda the prophetess, and you have to look up Miriam’s life the prophetess, and if you
say, “Oh well, it’s only in Old Testament times.” Then look up Anna the prophetess in the New
Testament and you have to see that the Father has used woman to speak his word, to administer, to
rule over men, to tell men what God was saying, has used them to judge Israel, to make difficult
decisions between men and women, between families, to make legal decisions. He has used them to
fight in battle.
look back over church history and you have to see the Saint Theresa’s and the Slessor’s who went out
into a mission work. You have to see all the women who have been used mightily by God throughout
church history. You have to look at a woman like that Mother Theresa in India, and all your
arguments against scripture, because you have to argue against scripture to say that women cannot be
used by God in these ways, they fall to the ground when you look at what he has done.
some of us have a tendency to say, “Oh yes, but what about Jesus? What was his attitude?” His
attitude was the same, of equal respect for you sisters. When he was about to face the worst ordeal
in his life, the cross in Jerusalem, he turned aside to Bethany where he had two dear friends Mary
and Martha, and they were the ones that encouraged his heart for the next few steps that he had to
take. And it’s the same after his resurrection, he appears first to Mary. The disciples went
home, you remember, and he appears to Mary and then tells her to tell the disciples. And it’s Mary
to whom he speaks first after he was raised from the dead.
loved ones, look at Romans 16 then, because you have to look at him fairly and see all sides.
Romans 16:1-3, the first one he mentions in that farewell chapter of Romans, “I commend to you our
sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchre-ae, that you may receive her in the Lord as
befits the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you.” So she has the right to ask,
“For she has been a helper of many and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow
workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I but also the
churches of the Gentiles give thanks.”
greetings to the brethren at La-odicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.” And so there
was a church meeting in the house of this woman and many of the women were mentioned in connection
with the churches that met in their houses. In fact loved ones, if you check through the New
Testament you’ll find that at a time when society itself apart from God was domineering woman and
was putting them down, the early church was lifting them up and giving them their rights. And you
remember Paul does that in relationship to a woman, he says, “A woman should stay with her husband
But it was the early
until he dies and then when he dies she’s freed to be married to another.”
Christians that give sisters the place of dignity that their Father had originally given them but
that society, I suppose, because of its fearfulness had taken from them. And if you say, “Well,
what about those passages?” Well loved ones, let’s look at the worst one 1 Corinthians 14. You
ladies, I’m doing all your arguing for you, but I’m so anxious loved ones, we’re meant to be ahead
of society not behind society and God started off ahead of society in this. 1 Corinthians 14 and
the famous passages you remember, Verse 33, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in
all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not
permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they
desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in
men to respect the other women who have suffered with him? And obviously loved ones, it’s the same
reason as explains his attitude to slavery. Why did he not attack slavery? He didn’t you remember,
he didn’t attack slavery. He told slaves to be faithful and obedient to their masters, and you know
the answer is that God gave him wisdom to know which battles he had to fight at that time and which
battles had to be left to other soldiers to fight later on. And so Paul did not allow himself to be
distracted into defending or opposing slavery, he concentrated on Jesus and his resurrection and
ascension and so it was in regard to women. At that time women had no legal status. At that time
Why does Paul say that when he obviously regards Aquila as a fellow worker and asks the
And so Paul advised the Christian woman, “Do not do anything that will
the only women you could find with short hair, or without something on their head was prostitutes
and infidels. Those were the only two types of women that you could find without any head covering
or with short hair.
distract people from Jesus, and from the glory and the dignity of our calling. This is our
Creator’s church that we are about to begin to spread and so don’t let’s put loved ones like
yourself into positions of responsibility for teaching and for establishing the beliefs of a new
operation at a time when you yourselves are regarded as uneducated and as having no legal status.”
And so he encouraged them to act in the light of the conventions, and customs, and really he gives
the clue himself, he says, “For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even
the law says.” And he always encouraged the early Christians to respect the law even where it meant
respecting a military government that was domineering them, and even when it meant putting up with
slavery which was not God’s ideal will. Now loved ones, I think that that partially explains some
of those comments of Paul that he was speaking to a specific situation with specific problems.
What is our attitude to each other in marriage? Well, it’s Ephesians 5 loved ones, that’s it.
Ephesians 5:21, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” You ladies are good at
some things, and we guys are bad at some things, and sometimes it’s the other way around and that’s
the strength of God bringing us together not only in a body like this, but as married partners. And
we’re to be subject to one another, and we’re to listen to the Holy Spirit as he tells us when the
other person is right. And we brothers had better be careful that we don’t categorize where we’re
so brilliant. I felt I was absolutely brilliant in buying cars. Now, after many experiences I’ve
discovered differently. So, don’t categorize your dear sister, or your dear brother, let the Holy
Spirit show you who is strong and who is weak in what area and be subject to one another out of
reverence for Christ.
Out of reverence for Christ; not because the other person is worthy of your
respect. Really, I think a lot of us get into trouble in our marriages because we say, “He’s not
worthy of respect. He’s not a spiritual giant.” Or, “She is not a good housekeeper so why should I
respect her?” “Why should I respect him?” That’s not the point. God says, “You have to respect
each other out of a reverence for Christ because he is the one who has brought you together.” And
of course, you always find that the more you respect the loved one, the more confident that loved
one becomes. The more you show content for a love one, the more lacking in confidence they become.
“Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to
the Lord.” Not because they are worthy of it, but as to the Lord. Treat them as the head of the
home. There’s a time in every partnership where there needs to be an awareness of who makes the
decisions. On a ship you can have a lot of people advising but you have to know who acts when
there’s a quick decision to be made. So in a marriage, there should be a general understanding,
alright, the guy, when the time comes when you can’t consult then there’s one of you that knows he’s
with one another, discussing with one another, sharing with one another so that it is a mutual
action. But where a decision needs to be made fast, then there has to be an understanding that
somebody is the head of the home. “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of
the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Christ doesn’t come to the church and say, “I’m
your head, okay? I’m going to be your head.” He doesn’t, he wins his headship. He gives his life
for us and there’s a spirit of love that comes out from us and says, “Lord Jesus, you are our head.”
And so it is with men and women, no man can make himself the head of a home. A man wins that
position by his love. Now, I agree with you, the woman should give him that position even if he’s
not worthy of it, but the man himself has no right to dominate. He has not right to call her to the
letter of the law. Brothers, you’ve lost the battle if you’re back to the letter of the law.
You’ve lost the battle if you’re trying to argue with your dear one on the basis of scripture.
You’ve already lost that battle and you’ll never win it except by giving yourself for your dear
sister and in that way the Holy Spirit will put in her a deep love and a deep trust in you. But
But really, you avoid that kind of action as often as possible. You spend time talking
“For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and
Question from the audience:
What do you do when your wife takes it according to
“As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in
that’s why Paul says you know, “We’re to love as Christ loved the church and we’re to be heads of
the woman as Christ was head of the church.” He was head of the church by being its Savior and
that’s what Paul says.
everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave
himself up for her.” And that’s the way a man is to love his wife, to give himself up for her. To
put himself last, to let her go all the way in front of him, and that way her love will come to him.
“That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he
might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she
might be holy and without blemish.” And so the man’s concern is always, “How can I make this woman
of mine more beautiful? How can I fit this woman more for eternal life with our Father in
“Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife
loves himself.” And you wouldn’t take your finger and cut it off, you wouldn’t. If the finger was
cut you’d bandage it up carefully because it’s part of yourself. So it is with the wife, when she
makes a mistake you don’t glory in the mistake, you try to cover the mistake up. So it is with the
husband, you’re not eager to find him wrong in something wives, but you’re anxious to cover up,
you’re anxious to make him look better than he really is, not make him look worse than he is. “Even
so husbands should love their wives.”
cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man
shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.’” Loved
ones, it seems to me that it’s a beautiful cooperation and that where there is some authority
spiritually, it’s something that the Holy Spirit brings forth in a beautiful way. And he brings it
forth, and if he doesn’t bring it forth it isn’t going to be there anyway.
I remember my wife and
I had no difficulty with our relationship to each other until we went to a spirit filled meeting
where two brothers laid on us the authority of the husband over the wife. We argued the whole way
home. Of course, it’s obvious that it’s beautiful when the Holy Spirit brings it about, but if you
start trying to hammer it into each other as a letter of the law, you’ll enter into something that
is not God’s will at all for you.
Okay loved ones, do you want to ask any questions or push me a
little on things?
the letter of the law, and takes the attitude, “Well I’ve got to listen to you because the Bible
says I do.”?
sister that she can forget that and get close to Jesus, and find out how Jesus wants her to love
you, and how Jesus wants her to behave in the relationship, and encourage her not to abide just by
the letter of the law but to deal with Jesus in prayer so that he’s able to give her his heart for
her husband. And I think that’s what you’ve to minister to her brother, to free her from that kind
of dominating attitude. And I think that honestly, a lot of it can be done by our loving our wives.
I think some of that attitude may be because of our own kind of iron, unthinking, insensitive
emphasis on the letter of the law. And I think therefore, it is going to be the softness of our
heart that is going to help them to get out of that.
Where does this
leave woman as far as being pastors of a church?
Or, you may as well
put me right against the wall and say elders of the church. Loved ones, I really am willing to go
as the Holy Spirit guides us. And I am inclined to feel that it is a bit like some of the dear
brothers and sisters here in the body, and maybe the husband is black and the woman is white and for
years you remember, we used to argue, “Oh, you’re going to have big problems.” The problems are no
bigger in that kind of a marriage than they are in any kind of marriage, the backgrounds are very
important and it’s very important to understand where the other person is. And I think it’s the
same with brothers and sisters in the eldership, I think that you’ll get some sisters who are
suitable and some that aren’t, and you’ll have some brothers who are suitable and some that
And it seems to me that we can afford to be led by the Holy Spirit. I would ask you to
love me and be patient with me and forbearing, as we begin to gather strength, so don’t ask me
Question from the audience:
Reply from Pastor O’Neill:
Reply from Pastor O’Neill:
Well, it seems to me it’s vital to get over to the dear
What do you think about career women who have children?
Reply from Pastor O’Neill:
Question from the
But I think normally outside that situation, most of us have felt it’s important to be
appoint five elders, women, this morning. But I would say loved ones, if it’s any encouragement to
you sisters, I’m willing to go as the Holy Spirit guides and I’m willing too, any brothers who are
here who say, “Oh, you’re running yourself into trouble,” I’m willing to listen to you, and willing
for us to share and discuss the thing through. But I would say just because a woman is a woman it
seems to me that is no reason for saying she can’t be an elder in a church, or a pastor. I think it
depends on the woman and that’s the key with the man, it depends on the man. But you have to look
and see that there are many women who have been used mightily by God loved ones.
seems to me sister that many of our sisters have sensed that there are important years when they
need to be with the children all the time. So, I think there are many sisters here in the body who
would really like to be in Fish, but they feel that they should spend a certain amount of time with
the children until they come at least to kind of nursery school age, two and a half, that kind of
time. And I think most of us would feel that way. I think even that can be got around by us having
our own nursery here in this building so that it would be very possible for a woman to be involved
in Fish here and yet to feel very close to her children that would be in some of the rooms here on
with the child up to two and a half. It seems to me after that time, then many children do go to
nursery schools and then it is possible to arrange some kind of part-time work. Now, if you say a
career woman that is going full blast, eight hours a day, then it seems a little difficult to avoid
giving the child a sense that they are not loved, or that nobody really cares for them, and there
I’m sure you would get into difficulties. My wife is a career woman, if I could see her, but she
hasn’t children but she is sneaky and she hides. The rat is sitting somewhere else.
know, that’s what I would say loved ones. Do any ladies want – oh, I see, there you go. Is that
right? I’m glad you obey Paul. You should come up and I’ll introduce you. Oh yes, this time I
won’t be put off. Oh, this is my wife. She says there’ll be no lunch if she has to go on the
stage. She is a career woman, a dentist, but we don’t have children and so that difficulty doesn’t
arise. I do think that we’d both say that if you’re both very busy professional people, I think
there is required great wisdom, even if your relationship as husband and wives, whether there are
children or not, it seems to me there is great wisdom required in order to preserve a
non-Christian husband? How much do you submit there and how much do you not?
remember, the disciples said, when they were forbidden to speak in Jesus name, “We must obey God
rather than man.” And it seems to me that’s the general principle that would govern a woman in that
kind of situation, that when the husband commands her, or forces her, or attempts to force her to do
something that really keeps her from God then she has a right to disobey and not to submit.
seems on the other hand, that she should be very careful to know when those moments are and that in
every way possible she should try to be the picture of a scriptural wife and a scriptural woman to
that dear brother because that way he himself will feel more willing and ready to deal with God.
And so there’s nothing as off putting to us men as having a preaching woman who is always telling us
we should get to church or we should read the Bible. I think we very easily feel pursued and
persecuted when she does that.
woman will submit in every possible situation and in every possible way, be a true picture of a
Godly woman to the man. But when it comes to those moments when he either for instance forbids her
to go to church, or forbids her to have fellowship, then I think she is obligated to obey God rather
than man. I would think.
wives who are married to non-Christians, have a lot of our troubles because we talk to them too much
about God and talk to God too little about them. So, you know, we don’t – I don’t know whether
that’s guys or girls clapping, but I think that’s true, that our troubles come because we don’t pray
It seems the general principle that one would follow is the verse in Acts, where you
Question from the audience:
How do you deal with the situation where a woman is married to a
Of course, if I may say dear sisters, that a lot of us, both husbands and
So it seems to me great wisdom is required in that situation that a
Reply from Pastor
Yeah that right.
Reply from Pastor O’Neill:
Question from the audience:
A woman can be a
Question from the audience:
What about Christians dating
So, those of you who are involved with guys or girls who aren’t
enough for them and we preach too much to them.
protector to a man in his work during the day by praying for him and a woman has great power in that
Loved ones, I started off from a very liberal position
in theology and when I was at university thought that was just the narrowest kind of scriptural
verse you could ever quote, “Be not unequally yoked.” But now, after my own marriage, and after
seeing hundreds of loved ones in difficulties themselves, it is madness to think of marrying someone
who differs with you on something as deep, and intimate, and important as God and your relationship
to him. And I think you may as well commit yourself to a relationship of constant strain and
And of course, if you’re dating then
unhappiness, as give yourself to one who is not a Christian.
all you’re doing is leading up to that marriage and I think it’s just foolishness. I think – loved
ones, get clear of the idea that it involves being prudish. No it’s nothing to do with being
prudish or being afraid, but it’s just that you cannot move towards God in your own inner life and
move away from him in something as important as a man/woman relationship. And I think you’re just
foolish ever to fiddle around at all with loved ones who are not Christians in any kind of emotional
And those dear ones among you who are – you know, we’re all so big hearted, we’re
doing it just to help them. And we used to do that at seminary, we used to go out with girls just
to help them and it’s just blatant hypocrisy. It’s just – we’re lying in our teeth, because the
truth is, if you are involved with someone in an emotional relationship they cannot tell whether
they’re accepting Jesus for Jesus’ sake or for your sake. They cannot distinguish between their
motives for one moment.
Christians in an emotional relationship, I think the only hope you have of being any help to them is
first of all by breaking the relationship into an ordinary friendship, and then you can pray for
them with an unselfish motive, and they have some slight chance of receiving Jesus for his own sake
Question from the audience:
and not in order to preserve the relationship with you.
Reply from Pastor O’Neill” I think following
single woman submit to the men as married women?
loved ones, and maybe if you haven’t listened to our discussion of celibacy two weeks ago, it might
be good to get the cassette and listen to it, or watch the video cassette of it, because there you
remember, we shared the beautiful relationship that God wants us brothers to have to you sisters in
the body. And how really, we’re intended to have every experience of intercourse outside that of
physical intercourse which leads to children; we’re to have every other experience of intercourse
with you intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
woman are to have the same relationship to the men in the body as wives have to their husbands,
yeah, I would think. And of course, that’s one of the beautiful things about the body of Jesus that
it means no woman ever feels on her own. No woman ever feels that her husband will die, or that
she’ll be left as a spinster lonely, because she knows that the brothers have that attitude of
closeness to her, and will always protect her, and will always be with her. And that’s the vision
God has given us for this body and that’s what the brothers and sisters are involved in who feel
themselves part of this body. And of course, it’s the way every body of Jesus is meant to be, so
that none of us are ever lonely, none of us are ever left without somebody to show love to us, and
with loving hands to put us into our Father’s hands.
And that’s his vision loved ones, for us. And
I would ask you all to take part in the creation of such a community, really. I’d ask you to do it.
You can live in your own houses, you can do your own jobs and still take part in creating such a
community because that is God’s will for us and that is what this dear old world needs to see, a
body of brothers and sisters who love each other as much and more than they do their own blood
relatives. When the world sees that, it will stop and say, “The kingdom has come here to earth.”
And I pray that the Holy Spirit will do that among us and that we’ll grow closer and closer to each
other in love, and in care, and in concern, and further and further away from that old church idea
that you see each other on Sundays and then you suffer through the week on your own. I pray that
And in that way, sister it seems to me the
Dear Father, we thank you for all your truths
God will make us a family together. Let us pray.
about our relationships to one another in marriage. We thank you Lord, for the truth that you have
brought out over these Sundays. And we thank you for the beauty of your plan. And Lord, we pray
now that through the power of your Holy Spirit, you will make that plan real in us as a body, in our
relationships with one another as brothers and sisters, and then in our homes as husbands and wives
so that this dear world of yours may see what your original plan was when you said, “Let us make man
in our image.” And then male and female, you created us.
Thank you Lord. Thank you. Amen.