The ' Household Codes ' Essay

815 Words Jul 9th, 2015 4 Pages
Can you think of a reading that is more dreaded by priests and contemporaries alike than Ephesians 5:21-33? Many people are offended by this biblical passage, in which wives are instructed to be subordinate to their husbands, because they interpret it to be creating a hierarchy in marriage, thus putting one spouse in a position of domination and is seen as offensive to women. With this understanding, strong emotions are stirred up within congregations and the stomachs of priests do flips before saying their homilies. Individuals ground the bitter taste of this scripture in its language which, as some argue, creates and promotes justification of gender inequality. However, such an interpretation is wrong because this scripture actually does the opposite and promoting spousal equality, it even calls “for a transformation of the way in which men’s and women’s roles were lived within Christian households” (Grabowski, 106). By analyzing the “household codes” through the lens of mutual and equal subordinating love , this paper will argue that the “household codes” affirm equality between men and women. The household codes, which some argue as promoting sexual inequality, begin with a statement of spousal equality which establishes a lens through which the rest of the passage will be viewed. The first verse (Eph 5:21), in which the commandment of each spouse subordinating and giving of him/herself to the other, is not a frivolous verse one can glance over, but is the essential…

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