“Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.” We have never yet found the man who longed to be ruled by the will of his wife. (Katharine Bushnell, God’s Word to Women, p. 51)
The slave owners of the antebellum South got around this verse, and I guess patriarchy supporters find a way to do it too.
Both marriage and slavery are authority structures that deny choice.
The master tells the slave what to do, and the slave is to submit to the master’s authority. There were quite a few kindly, Christian slave owners. But, they still denied freedom to another based on race. They did not put themselves in the slave’s subordinate position as Jesus called them to do, and “do unto the slaves” as they, no doubt, would wish it to be done to them if their positions were switched. “Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see.” Until those in authority stooped to use the slave’s eyes, they were blinded to the love action Jesus called them to.
In Patriarchy, the husband is in charge of the family. He decides what to do. He can get input from his wife, but patriarchy teaches he holds the decision-making authority. Men alone can access certain roles in the church. Patriarchy restricts women/wives to the male’s authority based on gender. It is not a “role” a woman chooses to play, it is position she is born into and can never leave (unless it is through rebellion). “Lend him your eyes, you can change what he sees.”
In this fashion, male authority and master authority are similar. It removes the choice to play the subordinate position (which is the calling of Christianity) by basing the servile position and the authority position on race (or birth in the case of Roman slaves) and gender.
So based on Jesus’ entreaty of how to love others, would a husband be willing to have his wife be over him? To flip all the teaching and aim it toward the men? To have their abilities, talents and desires restricted? If not, why not? And is there danger in that based on Jesus’ terms of action to do unto others?
What does Jesus call us to do?