A little civility and good manners from all, "submitting to each other", as Rose-Tree Dryad mentions, and a little less self-centredness would certainly make us all a bit more civilized, all round, I've no doubt, regardless of personal belief. I doubt that WA trains are anywhere near as dangerous as Sydney's were before the powers that be put guards and police on the train to monitor public safety.
The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:Similarly, did Paul specifically encourage wives to submit for a specific reason? As in the case of encouraging self-sacrifice for males in marriage, did he feel that this could be a particular stumbling block for females?
No, I think St Paul merely reinforced the status quo at the time for Christian women's own sakes. Since Christianity wasn't made lawful until Constantine the Great (323 AD or thereabouts) it didn't do for women to draw too much attention to themselves, even if they were married to Christian men. It was best to go along with husbands, let them be the spokespeople and also take the risks of leadership both publically and privately. Possibly, St Paul also wanted to impress the Romans with the blamelessness of Christian lives, as gossip among Romans was something like TV watching is today.
But Romans were hardly the only ones to be rough, arrogant and domineering in their dealings with their womenfolk. Pericles, a famous Greek leader, said that the best women were never spoken about, despite Agape, his mistress, being a byword in Athens. I'm still greatly impressed with the way Jesus spoke up for women against the attitudes of his contemporaries, especially as the men of his time had at least been told to look out for widows and children. The adoption of Christianity has only ameliorated male attitudes to women for the most part of Western history, thanks to the likes of St Paul and Jesus Christ. It hasn't stopped public misogyny which led to ducking stools, witch burnings, hangings and other monstrosities. Nor has it stopped today's press witchhunts or pillorying of public figures who happen to be female.
Domestically, it is only since I became an adult that it has become a crime for men to beat up their wives, rather than such actions being part of their domestic rights and prerogatives. And it is only since WW1 that even in UK or in parts of USA that women could vote alongside their menfolk. Although UK has had to live with quite educated and forceful women in its history, especially in the 19th century, it hasn't always been nice to women either. Whilst submission to menfolk has often been stressed, those bits Rose-Tree Dryad mentions about husbands sacrificing themselves for their wives, have far too often been quietly ignored by mostly male prelates.
And in Roman times, when women weren't allowed to speak publicly or take precedence over a man, and where the Roman Republic and Empires were run like a giant Victorian gentlemen's club, where women were excluded, I've no doubt that St Paul would have been irresponsible to have not repeated that women should have the discretion to choose to submit to husbands rather than insisting on getting their own way. Some husbands who were not Christian, and who considered wives as nothing more than possessions they acquired through business or political arrangements, would certainly not have submitted to them, used any self-sacrifice for anyone but their own children, or loved them, as St Paul enjoined the Christian men to do.
Besides, if women got too argumentative, wouldn't they have come off worst if beaten up? Remember also that Caesar's wife should be beyond reproach, no matter how dissolute he, himself, was. It wasn't only being beaten. She might end up divorced, disgraced or executed, with her children left to the mercy of that society and her goods and chattels confiscated.
The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:It seems like what Paul is saying could ultimately boil down to encouraging men to not shirk their responsibilities in the marriage and discouraging women from trying to be overly controlling...
I take your point about generalisations. However, for me, the mere idea of women becoming "overly controlling" seems, itself, to be one such generalisation, born of the nightmares of domineering and overly controlling men who like to micromanage and criticize everything their wives do, whilst being overly sensitive to whatever opinion or show of individuality she might express.
I'm not saying there aren't really controlling women, only that it is grossly over-exaggerated in popular culture to exonerate passive-agressive men from their responsibilities in marriage as illustrated in your post. Something like people might recognise in Boneywasawarriorwayayix and his mob in Asterix in Corsica, where they complain that their docile and silent women talk too much. But I agree that this might be a stereotype also.