Confucius, Peter, Korean Dramas and Wife

Korean culture is strongly influenced by the teaching of Confucius (known as the Ru School). They may be more Ru-like then even the Chinese. But sadly, as with the Chinese, they have a ''distorted' version of Confucius teaching.

In Korean drama, it is not uncommon to see the Husband ill-treating, even beating up, their wives and children. They over emphasised the authority or power of the husband and father. In Chinese original culture, wife is of a special, high and protected status. The Chinese system is One Man and One wife and many concubines to cover-up the lack of wife e.g. child birth. Wife cannot be easily divorced and so forth ...to be discussed in later posts if there any interests).

Analects 1v7 子夏曰:“贤贤易色,事父母能竭其力,事君能致其身,与朋友交言而有信。虽曰未学,吾必谓之学矣。”

Honor those with honor more than beauty.
Serve your parents with all your energy.
Serve your king by giving yourself.
Deal with your friends by keeping your promises made.
Even if you say you have not learned, I must say you have learned well indeed.

Though 'wife' is not mentioned at the very start, it is easily inferred from the rest of the text. It follows with reference to parents, kings, and friends; from near to far. So wife is inferred and accepted by many scholars.

Hence, in modern English, the very four words means,
“Love your wife more for her honorable character rather than her beauty".
Or, Honor your wife good character instead of loving her beauty.
Or, Appreciate your wife good character over her beauty.
In short, Character over Beauty.

Back to Peter. Peter tells us how wives should behave

In 1 Peter 3:4 NIV Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Confucius tells the men to honor their wife for her good character over beauty.
Peter tells the wives to develop inner good character over outward adornment.

Now can you see how Analects complements the Bible or vice versa.

Don't let some bias teaching stop your from reading the Chinese literature if you are a Christian neither let your love for Chinese literature stop you from reading the Bible to discover the living truth in Jesus Christ.

Lim Liat (c) 16 July 2015

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