In Sunday School this week, we studied Colossians 3:18-25. As is fairly typical of my experience, the group had a good discussion of the challenges couples face as they seek to love and submit, what these look like, and how best to be faithful to God's command.
Near the end, our pastor made an interesting observation. He said that in his long experience in ministry -- he is a "Boomer", while the rest of us are "Gen-X'ers" -- he has noticed a dramatic change in the attitudes of the couples under his care, both in group settings and in pre-marital counseling. It used to be, he said, that he could count on significant female opposition to the notion that they would be required to submit to their husbands. He would regularly struggle against the assumption that Col. 3:18 was somehow archaic, or didn't really mean what it said, etc. Whereas now, women are much more open to the principle of submission, more congnizant of God's sovereignty over marriage, and more hopeful that in this way their lives will bring glory to God.
I was considering why this change in attitudes occurred. I have three possibilities, not mutually exclusive:
Younger women have learned from the mistakes of their Boomer forebears that a constant striving for "equality" does not a successful marriage make.
Their larger socio-political victory complete, younger women feel freer to choose submission in marriage from a position of strength.
Evaporative Cooling: the kind of women likely to object to God's order in marriage have long since dissociated themselves from the kind of churches that Φ would likely attend.