|Yes, but we do have a standard--treating other people as we would like to be treated. Keeping someone away from non-Christians, or spanking them, or whatever the case may be, is not mistreatment if the person agrees to it. But to impose your will on someone is not treating them as you would like to be treated (no one wants to be confined or hit nonconsensually).|
A parent might tell their ten-year-old that they cannot see an R-rated movie while at the same time get mad at anyone who told them they could not see the same movie. Does that mean it is unChristian to restrict kids' movies?
Now, before you say but that's different, those are children: I would say that the relationship set up in the Bible between husbands and wives has many similiarities with a parent/child relationship, or at least that it can reasonably and sincerely be interpreted that way. The wife is told to submit to her husband. Women are not to teach or be in authority over men. Women are told not to speak up in church. Women are called the "weaker vessel" (which yes I know could mean simply physically weaker but it can also be reasonably interpreted -- especially in the light of the story of Eve and Paul's other injunctions about women -- to mean spiritually weaker). The man is called the "head" of the wife as Christ is the "head" of the Church.
Now I expect you will say, but the submissive wife relationship is consensual whereas the parent/child relationship is not; but to be honest I don't see anywhere in the relevant scriptures where Paul says "wives, submit to your husband if you think it is the right thing to do". It is presented as a command and the Right Way For Christan Wives To Act.
Now I understand that this is not how you see it, and I am not trying to change your mind. Actually I feel a little weird because I am in the position here of arguing a viewpoint I personally don't believe in. But I am trying to get you to see that your personal interpretation of this is not the ONLY valid interpretation. There is plenty of Biblical and commensense support for the interpretation that the husband is commanded to act as a benevolent authority over the wife, which would give him the right to discipline or restrict her if he felt it beneficial for her.
|but is there a *need* to use violence and coercion against your wife or children when no one is in danger?|
|"Submission" does have that negative connotation for many people. I don't think we're redefining it, though, just using it in a different sense.|
As for using it in a different sense, that's fine but when you use it with a different sense than the commonly accepted you should expect that people won't understand. Like, in this day and age, if you happen to be feeling particularly happy one day and tell your friend "I'm gay", of course she will think you are talking about your sexual orientation rather than your mood, regardless of what the dictionary definition is, KWIM?