Aristotle once wrote that some men were made slaves because of their very nature. They were people who were good workers, but lacked the reason the same way that free men do. This was something inherit in them from the very hour of their birth. It was in their best interest to work for their master who does all their thinking for them in return. As people, a master and his slave were equals, but in any number of other ways the master was superior to his slaves.
When Abolitionists challenged the status-quo: "Defenders of slavery argued that slavery had existed throughout history and was the natural state of mankind. The Greeks had slaves, the Romans had slaves, and the English had slavery until very recently ... Slavery was, according to this argument, a good thing for the enslaved."
Slavery is one of those pernicious evils that we haven't managed to entirely eradicate - it still exists to this very day. But the idea that slavery is the natural state of mankind in light of Aristotle's teachings on the subject really makes me wonder about how little progress humanity has made in the last few thousand years. I don't think I could put everyone I know in a room and divide them out by their nature as a slave or their nature as a master. Considering the entire history of the horrors of slavery nobody would want that.
We know that no matter how perfectly or biblically one tries to maintain a master / slave relationship, human nature will mess that up. Having power over another person puts us at risk of corrupting ourselves and mistreating them as a result. It took us thousands of years of mistreating humanity for us to outlaw slavery as a legal institution and we still haven't won the freedom of all the slaves in the world.
I said that to point out in the household codes, slaves are told to submit to their masters and wives are told to submit to their husbands. This is how that argument tends to go:
Aristotle once wrote that some wives were made helpers because of their very nature. They were people who were good helpers, but lacked the authority the same way that husbands do. This was something inherit in them from the very hour of their birth. It was in their best interest to help their husband who holds all the authority for them in return. As people, a husband and his wife are equals, but in any number of other ways the husband was different to his wife.
When people challenged the status-quo: "Defenders of complementarianism argued that it had existed throughout history and was the natural state of mankind. The Greeks had it, the Romans had it, and the English had it until very recently ... it was, according to this argument, a good thing for the married."
Both share the same problem: Having power over another person puts us at risk of corrupting ourselves and mistreating them as a result. Even all of the good slave owners could not prevent the evil done by the bad ones. There are undoubtedly good husbands out there, but they can't stop all the bad ones either. Some Christians actually argue for slavery in an attempt to bolster complementarianism. According to the household codes, just as a wife compliments her husband, so a slave compliments their master.