Speaking up for silence

Red Brambles

I was quite pleasantly surprised by some comments I read recently that gave me a bit of hope, that there may still be some women who fear God and haven’t thrown in their lot with this world.

Over at Lori Alexander’s ‘The Transformed Wife’ regarding the topic of women being silent in church,(from 1 Corinthians 14:34)  commenter KR said:

June 27, 2019 at 11:23 am  KR says:

I left an earlier comment, but it wasn’t published. What I wanted to say was that for our family, this is extended to the dinner table. My husband likes to have a quiet dinner where he can discuss his day, etc. in a relaxed atmosphere without interruptions from people talking over him. I know many wives who just start talking and going on and on as soon as their husband walks through the door. This is not a peaceful environment.

So for our family, and as a sign of my submission to him, we have an unwritten rule that he is the only one allowed to talk at the dinner table, unless he addresses or asks me or one of the kids a direct question. This way he can talk uninterrupted and we can attentively listen. If I do talk too much on occasion, he will tell me gently “That’s it, end it” and I know that is my cue to be quiet and listen.

I know this is not a requirement because the Bible only directs women to be silent in churches/gatherings, but it has lead to peaceful quiet dinners and it’s what works for our family.

Lori Alexander then created another good post, regarding many women who tried to respond to KR’s comment: https://thetransformedwife.com/many-women-seem-to-enjoy-tearing-down-other-womens-marriages/

MANY women commented under her comment telling her that her husband was wrong, she was being abused, and he was being cruel and unreasonable. They seemed determined to destroy her marriage and speak evil about her husband. I didn’t publish any of these comments since our goal, as Christian woman, should be to want to build marriages up, NOT tear them down.

To which commenter Mother Dearest gives the following great reply that I wanted to share with you.   Lori has a post with it also: https://thetransformedwife.com/become-lifelong-students-of-your-husbands/    Not only do I think the comment below is correct,  But I also was greatly encouraged by her zeal and unabashed boldness to shine God’s light in this darkened generation.
July 6, 2019 at 8:12 am  Mother Dearest says:

Today’s unregenerate woman is a clamorous glory-hog that cannot imagine enduring a moment of only being seen and not heard. This busy body gads abroad on social media, by phone and in person, minding everything but what God has called her to. She’s quick to speak her mind always, rather than listening to other people’s perspectives and dare I say, perhaps even learning from them.

However, the thing that stirred up the opprobrium that you so graciously shielded us from is three fold: first, the original commenter acknowledged that her husband has a preference i.e. he would like to enjoy some silence when he gets home from work. Feminists do not allow men to have preferences. Only women can have preferences. If men are allowed preferences, soon they will start preferring debt free virgins who have no tattoos and who knows what else they will prefer next? A clean home, well behaved children, delicious and nutritious meals, a vibrant marriage bed??? God forbid!!! So NO PREFERENCES for men.

Secondly, the original commenter demonstrated that not only does she take zero issue with her husband’s preference, she endeavours to give him what he wants and all the feminists cry…booooo because their prideful hearts seethe at the thought of a wife looking to please her husband. Why, she’s letting team woman down. What about all the feminists of old who laid down their dignity, their fertility and their eternal life so that wives today can defy their husbands? She’s being ungrateful by obeying God and her husband.

Thirdly and most egregious is that the husband in question gently prompts his wife to be quiet when she talks more than he deems appropriate. How dare he tell her what to do? Feminists are a law unto themselves and they answer to no one, least of all a husband. That is abusive in their books because women know better than men from a feminist perspective. They prefer a cowering passive husband who prefers nothing, and puts up with their selfishness. They are quick to point out that husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loves the church, but don’t let husbands wash their wives with the water of the Word, that is out of order!!! (See also 1 Peter 3:4-5 Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.)

Thank you Lori for always encouraging every woman to submit to her OWN husband. Naturally, whereas every wife’s heart attitude ought to be the same i.e. submissive, it’s obvious that the practical outworking of submission for every wife will be as diverse as there are husbands. Just because one woman’s husband requires something different from her compared to another, is not tantamount to abuse. For example I am not on Facebook, Twitter or other forms of social media because my husband is of the view that my day is too busy. My husband also likes to know which blogs and books I read and often recommends books for me to read because he takes responsibility for my spiritual growth and likes to protect me from spiritual falsehoods. I am definitely a much better Christian for being married to my husband because he takes the time to point out areas in my life that need amendment and no I am not abused. Also, my husband grew up in a broken and unhappy home that was largely silent/quarrelsome with a distant unapproachable father so he longed for a cheerful home and a close relationship with his children. He purposed to marry a “happy” girl. I know how much this means to him so I don’t have mood swings, raise my voice at him or give him the silent treatment ever. I quell tantrums in the children and teach them Proverbs 15:1. I speak highly of my husband to our children and everyone else and make provision in the week for family bonding activities. My husband and children are very close which makes him so glad. We pray and sing together in our home and even in times of trial, I do my best to cheer everyone up because my husband prefers a happy atmosphere in the home. He calls me his MVP because I delight in doing what he wants which is my God given calling.

Let me urge all wives to be lifelong students of their husbands. Get to know what he wants and what his likes and dislikes are and don’t listen to detractors because you will give an account to God for your submission to your own husband.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Speaking up for silence

  1. If I hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t have believed two women like that exist.
    In my conservative church, even the SAHM’s need to display their veto button power. The few that seem different, I chalk up to their own personal in-born bent.
    Thank you for your insights and sharing those comments. It will help scrub me clean from the discouraging female comments I read at your site the past week. What a difference!

    Like

  2. I read Lori’s blog also, have for several years, and will occasionally comment myself. I was quite pleasantly surprised to read those comments and that there actually some women who get it. However, because of the typical ignorant feminist rants and comments on Lori’s facebook page, I try and avoid ruining my day.

    Like

  3. Welcome Patrick,
    I have never done Facebook or the other sites that appeal to people’s personal vanity. I’ve kept myself a virgin, when it comes to social networking. I can only imagine what Feminism gets regurgitated on there.

    Like

  4. My own husband is similar to KR’s in that he likes to be able to eat his meal in peace and the dinner table is not the time or place for idle chit-chat. Our Miss 12 talks a mile a minute and I don’t think she is ever not talking, unless she has her nose in a book. And me… yeah, I’m fairly vocal LOL. So hubby asked for the main part of the meal to be no/minimal talking, and for the conversation to happen afterwards, over dessert. It works well for us, and more of the meal actually gets eaten before dessert is brought out, which is good for everybody.

    But in the same post on Lori’s blog that KR originally commented, is this “gem”:

    “Something my husband introduced to our family when we first married is what he calls “The Silent Spoon”. It’s a standard wooden spoon that he burnt the words “1 Tim. 2:12” into the bowl of to refer to his favorite verse: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent.” During dinner only the person holding the spoon is allowed to talk. This works wonderfully for our family!

    Luke, our oldest son, got to take the spoon for a minute on his birthday once (he was so surprised he almost didn’t say anything at all!), but the rest of us are yet to speak during dinner. This is fine by us. It’s important for the man of the house to tell us about his day, his worries, things we’ve done wrong, etc, without interruption when he arrives home. Children and wives can be so irritating when asking questions or talking about themselves without permission. We find The Silent Spoon system to be perfect as it makes the rules very clear and can be understand by young children .

    Until 8pm, the spoon will stay in my husband’s firm grip. After we’re done eating he usually likes to watch television on his own while the rest of us remain at the dining table in silence. Our oldest four children like to read or do their homework during this time, and I have found that not being permitted to talk makes for great grades! The youngest two can be a little restless since they’re only five and six, but if they make a noise during this after-dinner silence time, The Silent Spoon doubles up as a great spanking tool!

    God makes it very clear what is expected of us as wives and what is expected of husbands as our masters. By closely following His word we have enjoyed seeing our family flourish over the years. Even our youngest, Jaxxon, has learned to become silent as soon as his father enters the house. This kind of respect is only found by following the Holy Words of God!”

    Am I the only person who finds that disturbing? Especially the bit about beating small children with a wooden spoon. Isn’t that verse in Timothy that has been burnt into the ‘silent spoon’ talking about church? Since when does it mean everybody has to be absolutely silent at the dining table while the man of the house watches telly all by himself? And at 8pm the little 5 and 6 year olds are probably tired and ready for bed, so being forced to sit in silence at the dinner table under threat of getting walloped with a “silent spoon” is pretty cruel. I’m not seeing too much of Jesus’ teaching going on there.

    It is this kind of perversion of scripture which makes Christianity into something it’s not, that is giving Christians a bad name. I just can’t imagine my children not being allowed to speak freely to their father.

    Like

  5. “Am I the only person who finds that disturbing? Especially the bit about beating small children with a wooden spoon.”
    Unfortunately misguided folks who find submission and discipline disturbing are all too common. They often also have a personal lack of self control, and rebel against required submission and discipline when it is given. They can be very difficult to teach.
    For example: they might just as likely wind up fighting against their authority figures, as obeying them. I think Lori Alexander tried to explain how posting comments, like the one above, tears down marriages instead of building them up. But it would seem you just had to make yourself heard.

    “Isn’t that verse in Timothy that has been burnt into the ‘silent spoon’ talking about church?”
    1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    I don’t see any indication that it is restricted to “church”. It reads like you should rather choose silence any time you are tempted to try to usurp authority over a man by teaching him your “better” way. No doubt it is even worse if you try to get his wife or children to second guess his God given headship.
    Mark 9:42 But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.

    I found the comment you just mentioned, the comment in the original post, and the family that uses the “talking ball”, to all be acceptable practices. And they might be good ways to teach more self-control to a 12 year old who talks a mile a minute, or a fairly vocal wife.

    … getting walloped with a “silent spoon” is pretty cruel.
    LOL There is no way my father could have beat me as hard as he often did with just a spoon. And today I am unquestionably a more God fearing man because of his loving choice to discipline me. He beat the rebellion to God right out of me, yet shaped me into a man willing to stand against the whole world. I respect my father greatly, I thankfully admit how I benefitted from his discipline, I’m sad I had my sons so late in life that they were too young to really remember that great man.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t misunderstand me – I have no problem with submission and discipline. But what I DO have a problem with, is abuse. Especially towards children. And from the little that is said in that comment, that situation sounds abusive. It does not sound like the actions of a loving husband and father. It sounds like the actions of a man who finds his family annoying. Perhaps a narcissist. I find it incredibly disturbing that you believe it is acceptable to except young children to sit at the dinner table in silence, after 8pm, under threat of violence, while their father watches telly alone. It’s sad. If a grown woman is happy to submit to that, good on her. But to expect young children to do it… it’s not fair on them. It’s pretty easy to predict the kind of issues they’re going to have when they’re older.

    My father was also raised by a man who believed in harsh discipline, but he doesn’t speak of it fondly as you do. Still, he turned into an incredible man.
    I am extremely glad to live in a country where hitting children, especially with objects, is illegal. Sadly, my country pretty much leads the world in the child abuse statistics – nearly every week a baby/toddler is getting killed or very badly hurt at the hands of his parents/caregivers, Pretty atrocious for a country of just 5 million people 😦

    Thank you for your concern over Miss 12, but she doesn’t need to be taught self-control. She’s an awesome girl who very rarely even comes close to pushing the boundaries (unlike her two older siblings). When she has to, she can stop talking. She manages just fine in church and school, and during the first part of dinner every night. As well as that, she has been recognised at school prize-givings across two different schools (primary and intermediate) for the past 4 years in a row, for her kindness and respect to others. Just before school finished last week for the winter break, she was awarded the school “Pride Cup” which goes to a different student each fortnight, for the person who has best reflected the school values or done something outstanding. Her standing up to school bullies and the kindness she showed to the victims, was recognised in assembly. She has been taught these values without once being hit.

    And you may not believe it, but my level of self-control is also very high. I have Tourette’s Syndrome, and I don’t know how much you know about it, but it causes involuntarily motor and verbal tics that can be debilitating. I control it with sheer will-power. In a public gathering, nobody even knows I have it, such is my self-control. In private, of course it’s different, as it takes a huge amount of effort to keep it under control, and as soon as I let down my guard and relax, the tics do their thing.

    Like

  7. Speaking of silence, I believe per your FeeCalendar that the planet officially has entered the three week window of the unveiling of feeriker’s blog?

    It is generous of you to publicize your faith in his production. I’m sure he appreciates it. :O)

    Like

  8. Ace,
    “I am extremely glad to live in a country where hitting children, especially with objects, is illegal. Sadly, my country pretty much leads the world in the child abuse statistics …”
    I don’t think child abuse is funny, but I had a good hard spontaneous laugh when I just read that statement.
    Like a great comedian might leave you guessing, I’m left puzzling whether you actually failed to connect the dots when you wrote that, or if you’re just trying to entertain us with your hilariously morbid humor and sarcastic wit.

    Like

  9. Sharkly – the irony of our laws are not lost on me either. The “anti-smacking” law as it’s known here, was introduced specifically so parents couldn’t abuse their kids and get away with it under the “reasonable force” law. Apparently, “reasonable force” is too ambiguous, so all physical punishment was made illegal. Even physically restraining children can be illegal, in some circumstances. So now, parents who spank their children are prosecuted. The father who makes his family sit in silence at the dinner table and enforces his rules with a wooden spoon would be prosecuted here and likely lose his children, as he should be. And I am glad to live in a country where that happens.

    The law change hasn’t made a difference in our terrible child abuse rates, though. Just this week, a 10 month old baby was murdered (no details yet) and a 23 year old male was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his 5 month old stepson because he was “gutted he wasn’t his”. So he shook him to death. I am ashamed to live in a country where this happens. I studied child psychology so I could help stop it, but I’m not “tough” enough. I find it too traumatizing.

    Like

  10. Ace,
    “I have Tourette’s Syndrome … In a public gathering, nobody even knows I have it … as soon as I let down my guard …”

    “…that situation sounds abusive. It does not sound like the actions of a loving husband and father. It sounds like the actions of a man who finds his family annoying. Perhaps a narcissist. I find it incredibly disturbing…”

    Not to pick on you, but considering the context of where you are commenting, and that Lori and I, both, have attempted to explain how these types of comments tear marriages down, is this a manifestation? That you persist in these ‘socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks’?

    I appreciate your honesty in sharing your condition, and I’m not trying to mock you, but just to let you know that, to me, considering we are discussing love and submission in Christian households, your comment seems excessively derogatory in a socially inappropriate sort of way. Perhaps if You were on a Feminist blog, that sort of derogatory remark and baseless judgement against a husband/father might be socially appropriate.

    I spent seven years working, off and on, in contact with people with disabilities, trying to help improve their quality of life, so I do have great sympathy for your struggle, and the struggles of others who have extra challenges to overcome that most people do not. I really do sense sometimes in your comments a woman who seems really close to willingly choosing to show her husband greater respect. And I’d like to encourage you to do that.
    Considering your recently disclosed Tourette’s Syndrome, I can only once again gain more respect for your husband, who apparently dearly loves you, even as you are. He seems to allow you to tarnish his reputation in public, yet I doubt he spends his time putting you down. Hollywood often mocks people with Tourette’s, and it would be easy enough for your husband to do the same, but, I’m pretty sure that if your husband jokes about it, it is just to break the tension and set people at ease. He really does deserve more respect than you’ve shown him here, even by your excessive standard, he has “earned it”, for putting up with how you tear into him for his past faults, while you still seem too reluctant to respect and submit to him more fully. I think you need to swallow some of your pride, and go tell that man again, how thankful you are for him. And try to forgive, and let go of his past faults, as he still deals with your present attitudes. You should be working on admiring him more and blaming him less, to improve your home.

    Like

  11. Thank you for your encouragement Sharkly, I do tell my husband every day how much I love and appreciate him.

    No, my comments about that abusive father are not a manifestation. They are the comments of someone who has spent a lifetime of working with children; someone who has extensive training and experience in child development, someone who has experience with domestic abuse, and is concerned for the children in this situation. Sometimes, marriages, or the abusive aspects of them, have to be torn apart to protect the children. But, there’s nothing I can do to save those poor children, so I’m going to have to just trust that our Heavenly Father is watching over them and will keep them safe. And just as an aside, that particular comment that I found so horrifying, wasn’t the comment that Lori was referring to about women tearing marriages down – she included the comment in her post, and the original poster came back and clarified more about her situation. I’m actually surprised a woman who isn’t allowed to speak without permission in her own home is allowed access to the internet to share about her situation. I hope it was an innocent share with the intention of encouragement or something, and not a subtle plea for help. Because if it was a plea for help, she’s gone to the wrong place. If she needs help, I hope she knows how to access it.

    I know you are concerned that I have “tarnished my husbands reputation in public” but actually, I haven’t done that. In public, I show him nothing but respect. He is aware of all the comments that I have written on here and doesn’t mind, because they are in the past, and he hopes that people may be able to learn from them. Most of the people in our *real life* are aware of our past struggles. It’s not something we have ever kept secret. What matters to both of us now is how we treat each other on a daily basis. And no, he doesn’t ever make fun of my Tourette’s. He sees my struggles, and my constant pain that physical tics cause me, and he sympathises. As I’ve said multiple times, he’s a good man.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s