I must respectfully disagree with Edita. A woman is ultimately bound to obey God, not her husband. Her husband cannot be God and he cannot assume the place of God; he is only a human being, a mere mortal. A husband may seek to be Godly and to obey God but he can only approach Godliness; he can never achieve Godliness. Ultimate obedience is unconditionally owed only to God; not to any man.
The title “A Truly Submissive Woman Obeys only her Master” is very interesting. Edita is promoting the ideal of the “truly submissive woman,” an ideal I completely agree with on the assumption that it is God the woman is seeking to be submissive to. In fact if one understands Edita’s terminology of “master” to mean God then I agree with Edita’s ideals 100%. The problem is that Edita does not mean God when saying “master,” she is instead referring to a woman’s flesh and blood human husband. This is totally wrong; this is a total misdirection of where a woman’s loyalty and purpose should lie. The woman is not meant to serve the man, the woman is meant to serve the child. A woman is not created to serve those above her in the hierarchy; she is created to serve those below her in the hierarchy. In the hierarchy of man, woman, child the man serves the woman and the woman serves the child. One serves those one is in authority over; the object of service are those lesser than you, not those greater than you. All of this is organized based on universal obedience to God. In the affairs of man service is directed towards those of lower status. In the spiritual realm all service is directed towards God. One obeys those of higher status and one serves those of lower status. Since God is above all all obedience is directed towards God. To serve God however means to serve those God wants you to serve and the order of God is to serve those of lower status than oneself. In this way the rule of obedience to the higher and service to the lower is never violated as service to the highest authority of all, God, is expressed as service to the lower; as service to those God directs you to serve.
An example of this principle of obedience to the higher and service to the lower is the principle of unconditional Chivalry. Chivalry is man’s service to woman; the man is of higher status so he serves the woman who is of lower status. Chivalry is an expression of man’s obedience to God. God is of higher status so the man obeys God. God then directs the man to serve women through Chivalry. In other words the man serving God expresses itself as the man serving woman since God’s will and directive is that the man serve woman. The Chivalrous duty is unconditional since Chivalry is based on man’s duty to God which is unconditional. Once the man is in alignment with God’s will through the practice of Chivalry then the man attains moral authority derivative of his obedience to God after which the woman is then obliged to obey the man. The woman is then in a state of obedience to the man and she is being provided for and protected by the man in accordance with the man’s Chivalrous obligation. At this point the woman can then dedicate herself to serving the child. The woman is then obeying the man and serving the child in analogous fashion to how the man is obeying God and serving the woman.
In Edita’s concept of the “truly submissive woman” the object of service by the woman is the man. This is totally backwards. Obedience is directed higher while service is directed lower. The woman obeys the man but the woman serves the child. Likewise the man’s legitimate authority is not directed towards his own benefit but towards the benefit of those the man is obligated to serve; namely his wife and his children. So the man directs and leads his wife for the purpose of serving and benefiting his wife; not for the purpose of benefiting himself. The man’s authority is directed towards those below him and the man’s duty to serve is directed towards those below him. In other words authority accompanies the duty to serve; the one one has authority over is the one one is obligated to serve. Authority is then used for the purpose of service; authority is the means by which the service is enabled.
So what does it mean when a man uses his authority to serve himself? In such a case the man is violating the will of God as God’s directive is that the man serve those lower than himself. When the man violates the will of God the legitimacy of the man’s authority disappears as authority is only legitimate when the authority is used for a purpose God intended. All legitimate authority is ultimately derived from obedience to God; no authority is legitimate once the authority is used for a purpose contrary to God’s command. So the man who directs his authority to serve himself has forfeited his right to claim authority as the act of serving himself is a violation of the man’s duty to God.
In Edita’s model of the ideal romantic relationship only the man and the woman are present. This is quite odd because the male female dynamic does not exist in isolation or as a stand alone entity; the male female dynamic exists very specifically for the purpose of serving children. The man is only the dominant provider and protector towards the woman because of the woman’s moral priority of serving the children; without the child being the object of the woman’s care there is no purpose to the woman being the object of the man’s care. The man cares for the woman so that the woman can care for the child; that is what the purpose of the man’s service to the woman is. To remove the child from the male female dynamic leads to a complete distortion of what the male female dynamic is all about; removing the child removes from the romantic partnership its higher purpose, its idealistic mission.
A complete model of the romantic relationship between man and woman contains four parties, not just the man and the woman. The relevant parties in hierarchal order are God, man, woman, and child. The man and the woman both obey that which is higher in the hierarchy and serve that which is lower in the hierarchy. The ultimate source of order and direction and authority is God; the ultimate beneficiary is the child.
One last thing I will note. The woman’s choice to obey the man is always a choice. The “truly submissive woman” in Edita’s idealized romantic model is still choosing to obey her husband; even if she has made a commitment to obey her husband she has still chosen to make that commitment herself and she can violate or “change her mind” about that commitment at some point in the future. Whether or not a woman obeys her husband is always a choice simply because of the reality of free will. In addition Edita has often talked about men’s duty to be the breadwinner in the family and the injustice of men trying to impose male responsibilities upon women. Presumably the “truly submissive woman” Edita lays out as being the feminine ideal only has a duty to submit as long as the man fulfills his provide for and protect role. In this way the “truly submissive woman” is not being unconditionally submissive, she is only being submissive on the condition of the man satisfying her demands regarding what the duties of the man are.
I am not opposed to women not being unconditionally submissive towards men; only God is deserving of unquestioned obedience. What I wish to point out is that submission is always a choice. The question is when is the man deserving of obedience? My answer is that the man has earned obedience when the man himself submits himself to God. The woman’s obedience to the man should not be determined based on whether the man is satisfying the demands his wife has set for him; instead the woman’s obedience should be determined by the degree of the man’s obedience to God.
Note: This article was written in response to an article by Edita; the original article by Edita having been deleted. Edita was a former self-identified TWRA but she has since renounced her status and affiliation with the TWRAs.
Additional Note: I am setting up the romantic dynamic as being based on man, woman, and child for purposes of simplicity of illustration. If a couple is childless then the woman’s service to the community can substitute for the woman’s service to children; all of the moral principles will still hold.