A good Christian wife - is this true for today's woman?
QUESTION: A good friend of mine said her mother taught her to be a good Christian wife — the woman does not question her husband's decisions. Is this old-fashioned? Is this true for today's woman? My friend is my age, in her late 60s, and she goes along with her husband's decisions even if she does not like them or feels that the decisions are wrong.
ANSWER: Your friend was probably "catechized"— something that is rarely done anymore. Being catechized is as painful as it sounds. It is a process wherein the confirmands memorize the catechism and then have to recite Luther's Small Catechism (a summary of Luther's theology) in front of the congregation. There are also 331 questions and answers in the classic edition which also could be asked. Today confirmation has evolved into a practice of discussing the Christian faith and affirming it. For our congregation this means writing a one-page paper describing their faith in Jesus and how they are living this faith.
Just as confirmation has changed through the years, so has our understanding of a Christian Marriage. Whereas in 1916 one may have quoted Ephesians 5:22—“Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands as unto the Lord”—in 2016, I would define marriage as two adults living out their relationship by loving, forgiving, and supporting each other and their family in Christian faith. This is much more easily said than done.
Footnote: Personally, I have a hard time imagining my grandmother quietly going along with a poor decision with my grandfather. Somehow I think my grandmother would have used her "influence" to avoid a poor decision.