Relatively Progressive Sunday School Lesson Manual Comment about Equality in Marriage

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Curt Sunshine
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Relatively Progressive Sunday School Lesson Manual Comment about Equality in Marriage

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 Oct 2019, 15:58

Due to General and Stake Conferences, I haven't taught Sunday School for over a month. I was looking over the possible material to discuss this Sunday, since I don't want to ignore what would have been covered last month, and a relatively progressive statement in the manual surprised me. I would like some feedback from people here on how to position a discussion about the statement.

The manual says Paul's epistles were written at a time when "wives were not treated as equals to their husbands" and instructs the teachers to consider how the verses in Ephesians 5:21-33 can apply today. I plan on acknowledging the issue of wives still not being treated as equals to their husbands in some ways and presenting the statement as an expression of an aspirational goal. I want to cite the quote, read each statement directed to both men and women, and ask the students how they can be interpreted or applied in a relationship of equals. For each statement from Paul, I want to dig into each suggestion from the students and get to both ideological statements and practical applications.

I am looking forward to this lesson and hope it will be meaningful to both the young women and the young men. In the end, I want to encourage them to be someone who truly believes in equality in a relationship and who looks for a partner who believes the same in this area.
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Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Relatively Progressive Sunday School Lesson Manual Comment about Equality in Marriage

Post by hawkgrrrl » 30 Oct 2019, 10:52

Before our ward split, we had a GD teacher ask the class whether the Church believed marriage was egalitarian or complementarian. The class mostly agreed that the Church was egalitarian. Honestly, I think my current ward (mostly older folks) wouldn't bat an eye about claiming it's complementarian. Which is (to me) gross. Separate but equal is not equal.

But I do actually think my former ward is correct about this. It absolutely used to be complementarian, not even that long ago, but I believe we've passed a tipping point.

Minyan Man
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Re: Relatively Progressive Sunday School Lesson Manual Comment about Equality in Marriage

Post by Minyan Man » 30 Oct 2019, 13:39

hawkgrrrl, to show my ignorance, would you give me your definition of Egalitarian & Complementarian?
I know I could go to the dictionary, but, your definition maybe be different? Thank you.

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Re: Relatively Progressive Sunday School Lesson Manual Comment about Equality in Marriage

Post by Roy » 30 Oct 2019, 16:31

I believe that these verses and a similar one in 1 Cor. 11 where inspirational in forming parts of the temple endowment ritual that has recently changed.

Ephesians 5:22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything

1 Cor. 11:3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Judging by how recently the endowment has been changed it can be progressive indeed to say "wives were not treated as equals to their husbands" with the implication that sexist elements were built in assumptions in Paul's world and writings that went unquestioned and unchallenged.
Curt Sunshine wrote:
29 Oct 2019, 15:58
I want to cite the quote, read each statement directed to both men and women, and ask the students how they can be interpreted or applied in a relationship of equals.

I think this is key. There is value in examining the different facets of love and relationships. There is value in "submitting" yourself to your spouse and compromising or subverting your selfish interests with theirs. There is value in sacrificial love that motivates you to work and strive for the protection and benefit of your spouse. I am also reminded of the different language that was in the temple sealing for men and women. The women gave themselves to their husbands. I believe that there is a benefit for each spouse to give themselves wholly unto their spouse. I believe that this means not holding back, not giving unto your spouse only a portion of your person nor presenting your spouse with a façade of yourself and withholding your more shameful and vulnerable selves. Ironically, the men in the temple (until recently) were not to give themselves fully unto their wives because under polygamy they had to withhold a portion of themselves to divide among future wives. I do not believe that this is what God intended and I am glad that it has been changed. The men in the temple were to receive their wives. Similar to the instruction to receive the holy ghost I see this as a word of action. 1st, we must make room for that person that we are to receive. 2nd, receive is the opposite of reject - we cannot receive something and then be harsh or critical of that gift. There is no line item veto in receiving a spouse. 3rd, I believe receiving a spouse includes an element of smoothing out rough edges and filling in gaps in loving and compassionate ways.

Once you apply each aspect to both genders there is much to learn and grow from in these concepts.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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DarkJedi
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Re: Relatively Progressive Sunday School Lesson Manual Comment about Equality in Marriage

Post by DarkJedi » 30 Oct 2019, 17:06

I honestly don't see how the part directed at wives can be spun. I'd love to see how you do it. My ward will probably never do that scripture because we also have had the conference plague and our single female teacher will likely choose something far easier and less controversial. The part directed art husbands can easily be spun modern.
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Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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