Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas
Christianity is often accused of repressing women, especially in its teachings on marriage. There are many verses in the Bible, particularly in Saint Paul’s epistles, that many today see as treating women quite negatively. Three such verses cited by Christianity’s accusers are: “Wives, submit to your own husbands,” “the wife must fear her husband,” and “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man.” A literal interpretation of these verses would be in direct opposition to modern society’s view on women and marriage.
In this talk Father Kosmas explains in some detail what Saint Paul really meant by “the wife must fear her husband.” He emphasizes that today’s attacks on Christian marriage stem either from ignorance or from a deliberate distortion of the Church’s teachings on the subject. He also answers the important question of whether Saint Paul means that women are never permitted to teach men or to have authority over men in the workplace.
The following questions are also discussed: how do women react when irresponsible husbands allow them to take over responsibility for the family? What did a great saint mean when he described men as ‘wild lions’ in need of taming? Why do many men find it difficult to love and care for their wives? Does a person ever have the right to reprimand or punish their spouse? How should one treat a spouse who is not fulfilling his or her duties? What is meant by ‘spouses have to spit blood’?
Other points covered in this talk include: how most couples today desire harmony in their marriages above all else; an account of a woman whose husband’s lack of affection and attentiveness drove her to have an affair; how the teachings of feminism are better known than the teachings of the Church; how more and more women are finding it difficult to open up to their husbands; a saint’s criticism of forced obedience in marriage; and how a great saint once said, “What kind of marriage can there be when the wife is afraid of her husband?”
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