Submission to husbands

Amy - posted on 07/03/2010 ( 86 moms have responded )

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I thought I'd start a new thread because I don't want to clutter up the other thread with a tangent.

I wanted to talk about the commandment for wives to submit to their husbands. It would seem that we don't all have the same idea as to what that means, and I thought it would be a good, healthy conversation.

I've talked to a couple Chrisitan friends about this to make sure my attitude was consistent with Biblical teachings. One friend (who is Catholic, though I am not) emailed me this, which I thought captured what was on my heart. I apologize for the length, but it's beautifully written:
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This passage is often quoted by husbands to their wives especially when the wives do exactly the opposite or do not do what the husband desires them to do! If husbands hardly read the Scriptures, all of a sudden they become Scripture experts in quoting St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians — the call for wives to be submissive to their husbands.

Unfortunately, a husband may hang on tightly to this passage to justify his actions of abusing his lovely wife — abusing her physically, or sexually, or even just verbally! They are all forms of domestic violence! And any forms of domestic violence or any violence violates the dignity of each person and offends Almighty God gravely and seriously! Often times, St. Paul’s passage from today’s First Reading is taken out of context! It often is misunderstood what St. Paul is really trying to teach us through his letter.

Let me read to you what Pope Pius XI taught in 1930 which is still very relevant. He said (Casti connubii, 10 cf. The Navarre Bible — Captivity Epistles):

“The submission of the wife neither ignores nor suppresses the liberty to which her dignity as a human person and her noble functions as wife, mother, and companion give her the full right.

It does not oblige her to yield indiscriminately to all the desires of her husband; and his desires may be unreasonable or incompatible with her wifely dignity.

It does not mean that she is on a level with persons who in law are called minors. And minors are ordinarily denied the unrestricted exercise of their rights because of their immature judgment and not having enough experience.

That’s what Pope Pius XI taught regarding submission of wives to their husbands. And this is the proper and authentic interpretation on St. Paul’s teaching:

1) it does not mean violation of her rights according to her dignity as a human person;

2) it does not mean for her to submit to her husband’s desires blindly, totally, and completely because his desires may be unreasonable and not compatible to his wife’s dignity;

3) it does not mean she is to be treated like minors who are not able to make mature judgment.

In a nut-shell, submission of wives to their husbands does not mean violating her dignity as a human person!

In addition to that, it does forbid the abuse of freedom where the wife ends up neglecting the welfare of the family. In Pope Pius XI’s own words: “It refuses... to allow the heart to be separated from the head.” Husbands are called the head of the family. And wives are called the heart of the family. And the head and the heart must work together. There has to be some harmony between the two. “As the husband holds the primacy of authority, so the wife can and ought to claim the primacy of love.” Again, the head and the heart must be in harmony for the sake of keeping the body united. They must be in harmony for the sake of keeping the family united!

The role of husband and wife is not about competing with one another — competing in the authoritative level! But it is about complementing one another! Again, one as the head and the other as the heart! And both possess the dignity of being human persons and being children of God.

St. JoseMaria Escrivá said (cf. The Navarre Bible — Captivity Epistles):

“On this basis of fundamental equality, each must achieve what is appropriate to him. Each must achieve what is appropriate to her.



Women are called to bring to the family, to society, and to the Church characteristics which are their own and which they alone can give:

— their gentle warmth,

— their untiring generosity,

— their love for detail,

— their quick-wittedness and intuition,

— their simple and deep piety,

— and their constancy.”



As I mentioned earlier that frequently a husband likes this passage because it seems to his benefit to get all he desires. But when taking this passage in the proper context, the demand for a wife to submit herself to her husband is nothing compare to the demand the husband has! When a husband reads this carefully and understands it well, he might not really like this passage after all because the demand for him is much heavier than for his wife. (cf. The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians by William Barclay)

A husband is called to love his wife as Christ loves the Church! He is called to love his wife as Christ loves the Church! And how does Christ loves the Church? He loves Her with a sacrificial love. And this must be the husband’s love for his lovely wife. It must be a sacrificial love! He must love her as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for the Church. It must never be a selfish love. Christ loved the Church, not that the Church might do things for Him, but that He might do things for the Church.

St. John Chrysostom wonderfully said to the husbands about this passage:

“Have you seen the measure of obedience? Hear also the measure of love. Would you have your wife obey you as the Church obeys Christ? Then you care for your wife as Christ cares for the Church. And if it is necessary that you should give your life for her or be cut to pieces a thousand times or endure anything whatever, do not refuse it. He brought the Church to His feet by His great care, not by threats nor fear nor any such thing; so that’s how you must conduct yourself toward your wife!"
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I'm not writing this to be negative or inflammatory... I do want a healthy discussion. Perhaps the main difference is in the choosing of the mate? My husband is my helper, and I am his. I love how we are a strong team, with the same goals. I do have a strong personality, and my husband would not have been suited to anything but a stronger personality -- he's equally strong in personality, but likes the way I am not timid, that I can speak my mind and still be respectful.

Anyway... this is long enough... your thoughts?

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Polly - posted on 07/06/2010

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Personally I think our country is lacking in Godly male leadership. Not that it doesn't exist. I know some wonderful Christ-like men who know how to lead. But on the whole, I think our men are either extremely controlling and domineering, or unsure of themselves and afraid to take the lead. I believe the feminist movement that has crept into the Church is partially (though not fully) to blame for that. God designed men to be strong providers, protectors, and leaders. When we as women deny them that, and try to stifle it by taking over, it cripples them. And our sons and daughters are watching and learning to do the same thing.

Yes, our husbands are going to make mistakes. But if we don't allow them that, they will stop trying. We can't say "Well I will submit to him IF he is doing what I approve of." In that case we really aren't submitting at all. Its easy to follow along when its what WE want. The challenge is submitting when we don't like it. But I believe when we allow our husbands to be the leaders that God has designed them to be, He will teach them and work through them, even in their mistakes. And our homes and marriages will be blessed for it.

That doesn't mean we just shut up and roll over. It just means that ultimately our husband's should have final say after we have lovingly given them our wisdom and council. They are responsible to God for the spiritual welfare of our families, and that is a heavy burden. We can choose to ease that burden or make it more difficult for them.

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In Creation, God had made Eve the equal of Adam. Yet after her transgression, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Sin had brought discord to their union.

The question asked is "Shall a wife have no will of her own?" The Bible plainly states that the husband is the head of the family. God requires that the wife shall keep the fear and glory of God ever before her. Entire submission is to be made only to the Lord Jesus Christ. God has given her a conscience. Her individuality cannot be merged into that of her husband, for she is the purchase of Christ.It is a mistake to imagine that with blind devotion she is to do exactly as her husband says in all things, when she knows that in doing so, might bring injury for her body and spirit. There is One who stands higher than the husband, and her submission to her husband is to be rendered as God has directed - "as it is fit in the Lord."

It was not the design of God that the husband should have control, as head of house, when he himself does not submit to Christ. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church..." The wife, if she has the Spirit of Christ, will be careful of her words; she will control her spirit, she will be submissive, and yet not feel that she is a slave, but companion to her husband. If the husband is a servant of God, he will not lord it over his wife. If one errs, the other will exercise Christlike forbearance and not draw coldly away. Do not try to compel each other to yield to your wishes. You cannot do this and retain each other's love. Be kind, patient, and forbearing, considerate, and courteous.

In the married life, men and women sometimes act like undisciplined children. The husband wants his way, and the wife wants her way, and such a condition brings great unhappiness. Both should be willing to yield his or her way or opinion. Unless men and women have learned of Christ; His meekness and lowliness, they will reveal the impulsive, unreasonable spirit so often revealed by children. "when I was a child, I spake as a child,...I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

The husband and wife should be all to each other. The secret of true unity in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties (though there will be much of this)..................but union with Christ.

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this is a good explanation.
Basically, the bottom line is,
wives, submit to your husbands.
the only exception is if your husband asks you to do something that does not line up with God's word... this covers everything that is going to harm, humiliate or dishonour a person anyway. For example, the word is against cruelty, violence towards spouses, pornography, not going to church etc etc etc. If what your husband asks/tells you to do is against what God deems as right, you dont submit to that because at the end of the day GOD is your final authority. The Word is. This also protects women who get saved who are married to an unsaved man. If he tells her to stop praying because he doesnt like it, she does not have to submit to that because the word says to pray without ceasing... etc etc.

In actuality, submission to our husbands is a FREEING thing. its wonderful. Not only, does it bring GREAT blessing on us as women, it teaches us self control, humility and service. The man is the "Head" of the household because the final decisions are up to him. If you both dont agree on something but a decision has to be made, you must step down and allow him to go ahead with his way... the Lord promises PROTECTION in your submission, therefore even if your husband makes the wrong decision (and we are all human so sometimes he will) the Lord will see to it that you are looked after in the midst of it.

It definately comes down to who you marry. You'd be an absolute fool to marry someone you havent talked to about all this. If your husband is spiritually mature, he will not abuse his headship, he will use it to steer your family into the will of God for your lives. Husbands are to be the spiritual guides of the family. A man should be close enough to the Lord and know enough of His word, to teach his wife and children or bring them through a situation according to the word. The word also says to "submit to one another"... so it doesnt mean that you "never get your way" because he is to hear out your side, listen to your ideas and plans etc etc, and you should come to a decision together in every area of life, its just that he has final say. And as said before, if you choose your husband carefully, you wont have to worry, 99% of the time, he will make the right decision even if your flesh doesnt think so. Hey, takes ALOT of pressure off you.

Each husband is accountable to God as to how he uses his headship, and how he loves his wife as Christ loves the church,

each wife is accountable to God as to how readily she submits to God's line of authority in the household, hubby being head. and also, is accountable to God for the state of her heart towards her hubby and family. No use submitting if inside your bitter and twisted about it. deal with yourself. Were the heart of the home... so if the heart is snappy and uptight, the children are going to follow after the hearts example...and the vicious cycle continues! so, Go to God, get Him to help you understand the submission thing.

Remember, everything in God's word has great purpose. Submission to our Husbands is no acception. Its not being a slave, but a help meet... and we do not have to loose our dignities in doing so. Choose your husband with God's wisdom. Compare yourselves in light of God's word, instead of with others. And if its too late and you do have a crazy power tripping dictator of a husband... PRAY!!!! show Him the word... walk in love, God WILL come through for you. You will know how to handle your own situation. Some have to leave for there own safety, but most, its just a matter of renewing our minds and hearts to what the word says... you can do it together :-)

Rebekah - posted on 07/08/2010

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1Peter 3:1-2 " In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior."

The word submissive here in the greek means "to place yourself under the authority of" Mariage is between two people and therefore can not work under the majority rules idea. When there is an impass and husband and wife can not come to agreement we, as wives, are to allow the husband to make the final call. The husband is the one who ultimately has to answer to God for how he took care of his family.

1Peter 3:7 "You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered."

The word weaker here refers to the physical. It does not mean mentally weaker. this coment by Peter serves to remind husbands that the man who fails to give his wife due consideration can hardly pray with her.

The bible is very clear on the roles of husbands and wives and on the reasons for those roles. Monogomy is not natural to our flesh, just look at the divorce rate. In order to have a happy and fruitfull mariage we must look to the God who created it. The roles of husband and wife are there as a blueprint as to how to make a marriage work properly. It is also worth noting that the submissive wife is the one who can win the heart of a non believing husband. God chose woman to be the ones who are submissive and who support the husbands because we have the strength to handle it. Jesus was submissive. It would have been much easier for him to bring in the hosts of Angels to save himself rather than to submit himself to die. His strength is in his submission! No one killed Jesus. He "gave up" his spirit. He submitted his life to the will of the father. Submission in wives is a strength. To those who accomplish a happy submissive and supportive attitude will find that they reap the rewards that God promised in Proverbs 31:

Proverbs 31:28-30 "Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 'Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.' Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the lord, she shall be praised."

Proverbs 31 gives and excellent description of who a Godly wife is and the strength it requires to be that wife. I can tell you, however, from one who strives to be that Godly and submissive wife that my husband does rise up and praise me and though our mariage is not perfect it is blessed.

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Alisha - posted on 08/05/2010

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Everyone has someone in authority over them... "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3. We all have to be accountable to someone and God does this to protect us all. "Submission is not the same as obedience. Its literal meaning is 'under the hearing of commands' (obedience). A Biblical command for obedience is often followed by a promise of a blessing to the subject who complies, or with a warning of negative consequences to the person who rebels. Obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ refers to the personal acceptance of Christ as the only way to receive eternal salvation (Acts 4:12). This example warns that the consequences for this disobedience (rejection of Christ as Savior) will be everlasting separation from the presence and power of the Lord. The Biblical definition of submission includes the willing and positive response of a subordinate to his rightful authority. The submissive person consciously and freely yields his or her own will to the will of God or to their God-ordained human authority. ...this refers to the positions and attitudes of subjects under authority of their government (1 Peter 2:13-15), to believers under the teaching authority of their pastors (Hebrews 13:17b '...submit to them for they watch for your souls...'), and of wives under the leadership of their husbands (Colossians 3:18). The Biblical definition of submission includes the willing and positive response to his/her rightful authority. When God commands a wife to submit to her husband's authority, He is requiring more of her than just mere compliance. He is calling her to choose to submit just as Jesus Christ submitted to God the Father's authority. A Biblically submissive wife is willing to comply, but realizing that she still remains accountable to God for personal sin. She may choose to disobey if her husband's request is a known violation of one of God's direct commands. If noncompliance in necessary, the Biblically submissive wife continues to maintain the proper attitude of respect for her husband's leadership position and for his overall right to lead. This action might be called 'submissive noncompliance.' Obedience is an external act of compliance, while submission toward any authority is a respectful attitude that comes before, during and after all actions." (FROM THE BOOK: ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GARDEN by: VIRGINIA RUTH FUGATE).

Sierra - posted on 08/04/2010

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This is a great discussion! I see so many women who have a problem with submission period. I tell them that they need to worry about submitting to God and that in doing so they will be able to submit to their husbands. I have really learned a lot from this forum and I will use this information the next time the topic comes up.

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I agree that the wife should be submissive to the husband as long as the husband is in line with the WORD of GOD. If what he's asking/wanting done by the wife is unbiblical then the wife has every right to "disobey" AS LONG AS she is folllowing the WORD. Not always easy to do, but always the best way in the end.

Carla - posted on 07/30/2010

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My grandmother, back in the 20s, was saved. My grampa was not. He told her she couldn't go to church. She went. He told her if she went one more time he was going to come get her and drag her out. She went anyway. Grampa stomped into the church, spotted Grama and started walking down the front aisle. He got about 4 steps and the power of God hit him, and he went headlong, smack on his face! He got up a different man. A couple years later, he went into the ministry.

I agree with the women who use Proverbs 31 as their role model. I do, too. This woman works, and works hard! She isn't oppressed, or down-trodden, she has responsibilities, including buying land.

If we read the Scriptures with knowledge, we will see that being in submission actually takes the pressure off the woman and puts it squarely on the man. He answers to God for the household falling or standing. I find this very comforting! It's modern man who has given over their God-given role, keeping what he likes (the do as I say-thing) and giving his wife the rest. As was posted earlier, men have wayyyy more responsibility than we do, and if they carry this out with diligence, they will be too busy to worry about us doing what they want us to! Also, one Scripture I didn't see mentioned, but a biggie, is I Peter 7: 'Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.' If your man is praying for something and it isn't being answered, you might want to daintily point this out ;) jk But, he wasn't talking to all Christians, just to the man. This makes me think He wasn't kidding when he told men how to treat their wives.

So you women, copy all these comments off and give a copy to your pastor. Maybe he could use a little sermon on this as well!

God bless!

Victoria - posted on 07/29/2010

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I think so many women believe submission to their husband equates being a slaves. It doesn't, God gave Eve to Adam as his perfect helper. If the husband & wife take their roles in marriage properly we are meant to compliment each other. It's not about who holds the power or the decision making authority, those thing are still done together as a couple. If we are where we are s'pose to be in our relationship with God and our husband, then our husband will know he can trust our judgment as godly.

God gives us all gifts and talents and he expects us to use them, not hide them. As a wife, mother a a person in ministry leadership, it's important that I am on the right page with God and my husband or else it will not only effect my relationship with God, my hubby & my family, but our congregation also.

My husband know I hear from God in a unique way, he's even said he finds it a little intimidating how God uses me in ministry, how God reveals the scriptures to me & how God uses me in prophetic ministry. My husband was a Pastor when I met him, he says one of his greatest joys has been watching me come up into leadership, I am currently a lay minister, soon to be a pastor & then on to ordained minister (which my hubby is already). We both teach and preach in all levels of the church, kids, youth, young adults & adults, if I wasn't where I was s'pose to be in regards to submitting to my hubby, God wouldn't be able to use me in a leadership role.

Crystal - posted on 07/27/2010

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God honors a wife who will submit herself to her husband, no matter if he is right or wrong. I know some of my family thinks that our home is all about what my husband wants and nothing to do with me. That is so not true. My husband has things that he likes to be done before he gets home from work so they get done. What others don't see is all the things he does for me. Some times it is just the little things that help me so much. Like on Sundays, I never have to deal with anything. The most I do on Sundays is fix my daughters hair for moring and night serive, and fix lunch after church. My husband takes care of my daughter, cleans up after lunch, I get to go lay down for a nap while he takes care of everything. That is just one example of what he does for me. I love loving my husband. I love the peace, and freindship that we have (unlike the rest of my family).

Cara - posted on 07/26/2010

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That was very enjoyable to read :)
I think that being able to submit to your husband, does have something to do with the choice of mate. Sadly, many people put more thought into the purchase of the house they will live in, or even the arrangements for the wedding, than the choice of the spouse.
If a husband does do what the Bible says, and love his wife as Christ loves the church, then a wife can be joyfully submitted to that man.
Our pastor explained that the idea in the scripture is one of mutual submission to each other, each putting the other first, ahead of their own wishes and desires.
The husband not doing his part, does not excuse the wife from doing what the scripture says. That is the part that comes from really searching for the proper spouse. When you take your time and get to know a person as a friend, know their family, their friends, and how they act in all situations, and how they treat you, and more important, keep the relationship as a good friend for a good long while, while you do that, you will know if that is the person that you can submit to!
Oh if only I had listened to that advice when it was given to me years ago!! I wouldn't be in the situation I am in now. :(

Darcel - posted on 07/23/2010

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My ministry also teaches: God was upset with Adam because he listen to Eve and not God. God told Adam the law of the garden and not Eve. It was Adam's responsiblity to teach Eve and uphold the law.

The first lesson about sin is because a wife didn't want to submit to her husband but gets decieved by going against her mans word! Go figure!

Crystal - posted on 07/23/2010

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I agree 100% Our husbands have to answer fro the paths that their family goes on. I have to answer for my wrongs but my husband has to answer for all of us one day.

Sarah - posted on 07/23/2010

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When Eve sinned, Adam was ultimately held responsible. We have so much grace and freedom being under our husbands' authority!

Crystal - posted on 07/23/2010

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Ok so this is my favorite topic in the whole world FAMILY! My husband is my everything to me. My bestfriend, my provider, my babies father, etc. I did however have trouble with the whole being submissive to my husband. I thought that it just meant don't cheat on him, and make sure he has clean cloths to wear. The the Holy Spirit of God started working in my heart adn showing me where i was wrong, and now I try to live the way God wants me to, and that is including letting my husband be the head of our home. When women here head fo the home they think he can her when to sit down and shut up and that is not at all how it works. There have been times when my husband says ok we need to do this, or this needs to stop adn rather I liked it or not I just would say ok, and God honors that. he has given our family so many blessings just because I got in my place where I needed to be, and not crossing over to my husbands space. My husband lives us so much. He has a sweet spirit when he has to sit us down and say ok this needs to be fix, we neeed to nip this in the bud now. A happy home will start when a wife learns her place.

Heather - posted on 07/22/2010

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This is an area that I stuggle with. I am a very stubborn person. But I find that as I get older the Lord has opened my heart to allowing my husband to make decisions more often and I am learning to trust him (my husband) and God more.

Alisha - posted on 07/22/2010

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If you have a husband who wants to please the Lord in all things, then you should have no problem with his decisions for the family. (Of course men will never be perfect and women will have to suffer along their husbands when the husbands make not the greatest decisions). But God will grow them in their faith and decision making through those bad decisions and God doesn't need us (wives) to try and teach our husbands what God wants! It's so incredibly difficult to not interviene, but God wants women to be praying for their husbands to lead the family in a godly way and guess what, we don't have to do anything (as far as trying to get our husbands to change) because God will take care of it. Most important thing: read the Bible every day, even if it's just a chapter.

Alisha - posted on 07/22/2010

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An excellent question. God's word (the bible) says that men and women are equal in Christ. Period! They just have different things expected of them. God NEVER would want a wife to be a slave to her husband but to serve the Lord through being a supportive wife to her husband. The book "On the Other Side of the Garden" by Virginia Ruth Fugate is a great study I did with a small group of women from my church. It gets right to the heart of many marital issues and all of the lies out there in our society about Christian and nonChristian marriages. It is really an excellent study I highly recommend it!

Sandy - posted on 07/22/2010

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Adam was with Eve when Satan deceived her. He failed by not LEADING her.

Darcel - posted on 07/21/2010

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It is interesting to read how differences are addressed. My ministry was taught me (the entire church really) that the most talented person in the marriage with each chore should be responsible for it. Here is what an example sermon may be like regarding the issue of gender roles and submission:

The most talented person in the marriage with each chore should be responsible for it.This leads to better run households and everyone's natural talents are appreciated. Everyone was raised differently. When two people become one in marriage it is time to put ego aside and utilize personal strengths to best benefit your household. As a result the husband may be the one who teaches everyone how to clean and do laundry properly and the wife may be the family financial manager and auto repair woman. If the wife's dad is a plummer, she just may be better equiped to fix the leaky sink and the husband who was raised by a single mom may be a better cook. Forget about America's idea's for traditional gender roles and create roles within your family to help you thrive.

Overall this is accepted, until families have to deal with money. Money is precieved as power. But controling the money is not power, but a big responsibility. But when you are married, his money/her money and this power struggle should not exist. Both incomes (if you have two) must be best used to benefit the household. If you only have 1 income, the spouse who stays home and maintains the house, raises the children, etc still has a right to discuss how the house is run. The man is the head of the house regardless of employment status. The bible didn't say God is the head of the man, and the man is ahead of the woman, as long as he has a job."

Thus whomever is better with money management should manage the money. Not automatically the man because he is the head. However a woman who manages the money, does not usurp her husband authority regarding family decisions, when it is a reasonable decision. For example, if a husband wants to buy a videogame console but the baby doesn't have diapers, the wife can overrule this desision. But if the husband feels strongly that taking the kids to Disneyland this summer is important and to put less in savings this year (and the family will not suffer for it) then the wife must abide by the desision.

Now I am leaving out alot. The ministry would of course use scripture to support the message. But I hope you get the point of what I was taught.

Heather - posted on 07/16/2010

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Hi. I just wanted to thank you for posting this. There was a great and honest debate that followed with wonderful things from many women. Although I do not agree with all of what was said, the different views definately make you stop and think. I have always been a very opinionated and independent person, but recently when my marriage was falling apart I had to not only look at it-- but myself. When I went to God with all the mess, I began learning that while I was independant, I was not godly. Proverbs 31 is an amazing place to go for how to become a godly woman, wife, and mom. I used to hate that verse where it said we had to submit to our men. (I have a bit of a feministic side at times.) But as I am growing again in my faith, I realize that my marriage is better when it is lived in God's design and that I can still be me with my opinions, but in the end, my husband is the head and I am truly the heart of the family. It also helps to pray for your husband as they head of the household. "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian is a great resource. Another great book to read is "Marriage on the Rock" by Jimmy and Karen Evans. One of my favorite quotes comes from it "You will experience the wonderful truth that marriage gets stronger and more satisfying every day when you do it God's way!"

Anita - posted on 07/16/2010

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Excellent discussion. After 26 years of marriage to a man who tries to follow after God, I have reached this conclusion: I am never to violate my conscience when it comes to submission. If I feel in my heart that something he wants me to obey is wrong, I should not do it, and he should not require it of me. But I must be careful that I am following my conscience, not my will. Submission is a beautiful part of the marriage relationship and necessary for our sanctification (to conquer pride), but it is not a release from the responsibility we have to obey our God-given conscience.

Amy - posted on 07/14/2010

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Wow, I have guests for a week and look what's happened here! Great reading!

Most of my frustration with what drove me to ask the question was surrounding "what about when HE doesn't trust HER to do what God designed her to do." It truly broke my heart. But I had to just come to realize that it's not really a problem for the OP, so it must just come down to spouse selection.

Though now I am a bit confused and frustrated for the women who have posted that they are afraid to submit to their husbands who aren't taking care of their families. Honestly, I can't see any way out of that situation outside of separation and financial counseling. It's abusive (though not adulterous) to not have money to pay necessary bills while he spends spends spends. Though perhaps there's more there that I don't understand... but what is a woman to do in such circumstances?

I'm glad I have a husband who considers my opinion. :) Though if I am to be honest, there are plenty of times when I wear him down with it. :) (I think of my pushing to build our house with a basement... which is something he's glad we did). Perhaps I shouldn't have pushed it so much? I know I live in the gray much more than I should, and this thread is a great reminder.

I do have to say, though, that I'm not a believer in the whole "biblical egalitarian" thing. I DO believe that God loves us all equally, and that we are all gifted equally, but there are roles defined for us, and we can't gloss over those based on some emotional or cultural desire. Men are the heads of the house AND the church... it's not Biblical to have a woman lead the church any more than it's Biblical for the woman to lead the house, or to be a co-head with her husband.

Adria - posted on 07/13/2010

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Thank you for all the great websites and books that people have been sharing, they are TRULY appreciated!

Lisa - posted on 07/13/2010

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This has been an interesting thread to read! I agree with most of the posts here and would like to reccommend an AWESOME book "Created to be his Help Meet" by Debi Pearl. She also just recently wrote "Preparing to be his Help Meet" for young women before they marry. This book opend my eyes to my disobedience and sin towards my husband but also gave me hope and great joy in my marriage through strong biblical teaching.
Obviously men have God-given responsibilities as husband, but as a wife, its not our job to be their conscience or try to do the Holy Spirit's job. It's our job to be their Helper and to find joy through thanksgiving in our God-given role!
You can check out more about the pearls on their facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/NoGreaterJoyMini...

Heather - posted on 07/11/2010

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Karen, I have a somewhat similar situation. My husband is not good with money. He is actually afraid of it. He doesn't like how people with a lot of money act so as soon as he gets paid he spends it all. Which often leaves us short of rent, food, gas money and so on. I have found what works best for us is for me to say nothing. When he comes home and sees that there is no food in the house and that we are living on ramen noodles he doesn't like that. It makes him re-evaluate things. I'm not trying to tell you to use reverse psychology or whatever it's called, but gently let him know once where you think your finances are and then let it drop. At the beginning of our marriage I didn't think that I would make it because of his bad financial decisions. After all, I had to make sure our kids were taken care of! But, through an online challenge God worked in me and it became a source of trusting God in a totally new way, and learning to give up control. I still don't always know when or if we will be able to pay the electric bill, buy food, pay the rent, but we aren't homeless. Our lights have only been shut off once since we have been married and that was my fault not his (I had the days mixed up). We might eat like kings, but we have never went hungry. God has blessed our family, and I am very grateful for my husband. I love him so much!

I really recommend taking the free online 30 day husband encouragement challenge with revive our hearts.
http://www.reviveourhearts.com/challenge...

Sometimes it's easy to focus on the bad, which is where I was before I took this challenge. I don't know all the details in your life, but it can't hurt anything to try. I would love to go through it with you if you want an accountability partner or just someone to talk with through it. Just let me know.

Karen - posted on 07/11/2010

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My main problem is that my husband is just not someone who makes good decisions. He makes really bad financial choices and he is very selfish, always wanting things for himself and leaving his family behind. In that I mean basic needs, food, shelter, clothing. I dont ask for a mansion but it would be nice to have a home to live in, food to eat, to have the lights go on when I turn them on, working plumbing, heat in winter. We have so often gone without basic needs. How do I submit to this type of partner? What do I do? Say nothing and submit? This tortures me. He constantly claims undying love for me and our seven kids but still he does not provide for us. If I could trust him and he was really nice to me, well, I have no problem submitting to that. But do I submit to fear and anxiety and wondering if we will eat today or if the power will be on or off? In typing this out it sounds so crazy, I cant believe I have lived like this for 20 years. My husband puts me down all the time, says I am attacking him when I talk, usually to say a bill needs to be paid or we need food in the house, something a need, things he just doesnt want to have to deal with. For the most part I pay the bills but I have had to file for child support from him in order to have the money to pay the bills even though we live in the same house. I sleep with the kids, I am very uncomfortable being next to someone whom I cant trust and whom I fear. He isnt fun, he doesnt joke or smile it seems like he hates me although he always wants to hang all over me. This all seems so crazy but I always thought I am supposed to submit to him. Am I doing the wrong thing? Our four older kids are out of the house but none have an education, jobs, they are always in trouble, am I passing bad habits on to them? I dont work, how could I just move on and support myself and my remaining kids? my twins are 8, still ten years till they are 18. My husband is older, 56, sadly I have wondered, when will this man die so I wont live in fear and anxiety? But then it will go on because who will support me then?

Adria - posted on 07/10/2010

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Has anyone out there read/studied "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace? It addresses this very issue, BIBLICALLY! I will try to make this short, but since all of you are my sisters in Christ, I must say this reproof in love. Do what God has asked of YOU (be a helper suitable - Genesis, submit to your husband even if he isn't a believer). In our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that is all we are asked to do, take care of our own walk with God. Putting conditions on our obedience will only end in heartache and it doesn't work, believe me on this one! ;) We were made with equal rights and feelings, but our husbands have the greater responsibility. They will be judged on a higher level as leaders by Christ. Let's allow our husbands to lead, even when it scares us. You will be pleasantly surprised by what God will do in your marriage :)

Adria - posted on 07/10/2010

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We are called to obedience regardless of the situation. In extreme cases (abuse), then NO. But we are held accountable to God for our OWN actions. Saying "I did not do my part in our marriage because he didn't do his" won't fly.

Tammy - posted on 07/10/2010

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I never had the problem with my husband (or myself) leaving home etc. It was the parents thinking regardless, that the son was to still be there to do what they wanted!
As a woman we have our part. Most couples do not realize. Regardless who is "head of household" they still have to work together and do so as in His eyes.

Christina - posted on 07/10/2010

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Tammy,

I could not agree more. Many times men do get on the "obey" kick but a true man of God will remember his part. My husband keeps telling me that he feels his part in marriage has greater command than women's. Yet, this does not mean women can go all "women's lib" either. We have to make sure we respect our husbands and support him when he is the head of the home.

I think also the leaving and cleaving is harder for women than most men. Men grow up and leave home with no problems but most women always go back especially those close to daddy. I think as a dad/husband there are great responsibilities but also great rewards.

My husband always tells a woman who does not like to biblically "submit" to her husband - "Would it not be easier if your husband loved you as Christ loved the church to submit to him". Many times the answer will be "yes".

Tammy - posted on 07/10/2010

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Too many men will jump on that "the Bible says you must obey me" trip. But a true man, knows the correct meaning.



Ephesians 5:28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.



A man does not beat himself. Or verbally abuse ones self. They are also the ones to make sure God's word is in the home and that the family goes to church.. Yet many times it is the wife, dragging the husband along.



Also another point. Once a man takes a woman to be his wife. He leaves his father and mother. And the man and woman become one. A hard point for some parents to understand. The man must take care of his wife.



Just my thoughts....

Cyndel - posted on 07/10/2010

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Well writen. Well spoken. Though it looks long it is acctually pretty short but concise(spelling?), Exactly they way I like things. Any way It pretty much sums up my oppinions on the matter.

Jenn - posted on 07/10/2010

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My pastor preaches on this topic openly, and is very clear that wives submitting to their husbands does not mean they should be a doormat and be walked over. The word submit has a negative connotation in our society to be something bad. In the biblical sense, its more about wives respecting their husbands and ultimately trusting in them to lead the household and make the decisions, but it doesn't mean you can support and help them in those tasks, but there comes a time if you are disagreeing that you respect your husband and put it in God's hands for him to make the right choice, or fix it if he makes the wrong one. In return, husbands should love and care for their wives and put their wives needs first. Love & Respect is a great book that talks about the husband/wife relationship. :)

Lorraine Alicia - posted on 07/10/2010

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In the past my husband used that verse to mean that a wife must do whatever her husband wanted it does not matter what. Now because of that i strugled with the whole idea of submitting. Now i am more mature and my husband have come to realize that he was using this in the wrong context. I tend to think that most women do not have a issue with submitting but is when it is used in and attempt to make us feel less of a human that the problem exist. My husband was brought up to think that women were less than men and that is where the problem started. But meeting with our pastor sorted that out it was a strugle but now he knows what is meant by wives submitting to your husabnd and husband should love his wife.



Does anyone know if there is such thing as a "Circle of Dad's" because i think some of our Men need to have this dicussion. LOL

Christina - posted on 07/10/2010

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Janet, thanks for the kinds words. I think that too many say "divorce" instead of fighting for their marriages. Mine has hit tough times but we allowed God to heal the wounds through a counselor.

Yes, it's a learning curve. We are a selfish people who enter into marriage with our own ideas and baggage. If you want things to be easy than marriage is not the place. Yet, if you want the place where you find someone who thinks you are beautiful when you are sick and pregnant then marriage is great.

If you want a place that has warm arms when the world seems cold then marriage is it. The grass may look greener after divorce but it's not and many times you can't go back after moving ahead.

Janet - posted on 07/10/2010

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I wish all couples would made to read that before marrige then hopefully there won,t be so many deviorces.

Christina - posted on 07/10/2010

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I agree that to "submit" does not mean be a door slave. It does not mean that you are a slave, door mat or punching bag. What God does call a woman to do is when you are in a talk with your husband about something and you give your opinion being willing to allow him (as the head of the home) to give the final say. You may be able to smile later and say (in a gentle way), "I told you we should have gone this way but know we need to walk together to get out of this".

I also will have a husband who reminds me that in the same location God commands the husbands to "love your wife as Christ loves the church". Now stop and think here with me. Who would not "submit" (not be abused but what I mentioned above about letting him have the final say) if your husband loved you as Christ loved the church.

The love being talked about is a sacrificial love. The kind of love where your needs and wants are put above his. The kind of love where he would die for you if he was called to do so.

I know that when I think about it that way I will submit even though we live in a world of "women's liberation". I want to be a biblical wife so I can help encourage my husband to be a biblical husband.

Kellie - posted on 07/10/2010

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I read the book called Finding the Hero in Your Husband by Julianna Slattery. It has a whole chapter about submission. It is a really good book.

Karen - posted on 07/10/2010

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I am in full agreement with the passage that you posted. My former husband wanted to use the submission rule to try to get me to give up all decision making to him indiscriminately. Meanwhile, he was voluntarily unemployed more often than working. He sometimes put me down for what I was left to do, which was work full time and make decisions that were sound because he would not. Had he held the role in our marriage that God actually intended, I would have gladly followed him and our family might have stayed intact. Under the correct circumstances, it actually takes a lot of pressure off the wife.

Vonnie - posted on 07/09/2010

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Wow, some really good discussion. I tried to read most and scan the rest. I agree with many of you, that being submissive does not give our husbands the opportunity to use and abuse, but rather gives them the RESPONSIBILITY to carry out God's plan for the family.

I actually had a couple of friends and bridesmaids upset after my wedding because we used these very scriptures and the traditional vows for our wedding. I later explained to them that I don't feel that my husband rules over me. We are partners, make decisions together but that ultimately he is the one who will have to answer to God, as the head of the family, for those decisions. Whew, pressure off me, LOL. Seriously though, God calls our husbands to love us as Christ loved the Church, sacrificially. Our pastor explained that very well to husband.....if he wants a new gun, but I need a new sewing machine, the sewing machine should come first.

One more note....Polly you are right on about the need for Godly men to take on the responsiblity of their families. Praises for the ones who do, prayers for more to do the same.

Cindy - posted on 07/09/2010

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I am married to a Christian man who is following the Lord in daily practice. My view has always been in such a situation, I stand up 100 percent for what I think and feel, but if he feels differently, and we can't compromise, he gets final say (then he faces God for the choice and he knows it as the head of our house.)

If he is out of God's will and openly leading us against what God clearly has outlined in scripture (hasn't happened), then I would not obey as I face God for such a decision.

Karen - posted on 07/09/2010

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I agree with everything said, have no more to offer, it pretty much said it all. I have often found it funny though, that almost every husband, even the worst, can quote that scripture but do not follow it up with the one about husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the Church. Interesting. :)

Heather - posted on 07/09/2010

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Terri-lee, I love your response! Most of us here have already chosen our husbands, however this is a very valuable lesson that we can teach our children.

Darcel - posted on 07/08/2010

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My minister has some really good quotes:



1: Being submissive does not mean being a doormat.

2: God took the rib from Adam's side not from under his foot; Your woman stands beside not under your foot.

3. God is the head of Man. Man is the head of the Woman. This does not mean women are weak. This means that God has an order to everything.

4. Listening to your wife and following her choice does not make you weak. If her idea benefits the household, it makes you wise.



My minister has alot more quotes Basically I was taught that being submissive to my husband means that someone has to have the last word and be responsible for the decisions of the household. God has ordained this to be the man. However the man has the greater responsibility to lean on God. And God holds the husband responsible for what happends to his family. That is why God wants the husband to love as Jesus loved the church. Remembering Jesus died for us I'll be honest, it is eaiser to submit than to love.

Polly - posted on 07/08/2010

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Rebekah - I love your statements showing how submission is strength and the example Jesus set for that. Wonderful!

Christine - posted on 07/08/2010

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"According to my husband everything bad that has happened in the world past, present, and future is all women's fault. Because of the whole Adam and Eve thing. apparently it is our fault that men are stupid and can't think for themselves :) LOL"

Dorothy - Just remind your husband that Adam was right there with Eve!! Haha. Eve sinned because she was deceived, but Adam sinned knowing full well that he was doing something wrong and it's wasn't right ;)

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2010

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Interesting thread! Enjoying it very much. Very relevant issue to the Western world today! I've quoted various people whose points I'd like to address...

"It was not the design of God that the husband should have control, as head of house, when he himself does not submit to Christ."
I have to say, it was not God's "design" for anyone to not submit to Christ! But even if the husband does not submit to Christ, God has still placed him as head of the house. I do not see anywhere in scripture that gives an allowance for a woman to take over when her husband is not doing his job "right"!

"So, often people jump to the wives being submissive to their husbands and miss the part about husbands are to be submissive to us and the fact that Paul told the husbands how to love their wives "as Christ loved the church", which is equally as important as wives submit to your husband."
I think this is because of the strong Feminist push these days! I know personally, as a woman it is not my place to talk to the men about loving their wives. So, yes, I do jump straight to the part that I have any business talking about. ;)

"I think this thread might have a hard time distinguishing the common marriage issues of being selfish, disrespectful and/or unloving, verses abuse cases. There is a difference, and I believe the response depends on that."
I agree wholeheartedly. I assumed this thread was addressing the common marriage issues, and in that vein I agree with the Pope's message. Probably, there would need to be a separate thread to talk about abuse, if people have the desire to discuss that also!

In the end - I am SO thankful and dependent on God's grace!! I am certainly not perfect, and whenever I come to God to repent- I am forgiven. I am continuing to learn about God and His ways and be sanctified by Him!

Rebecca - posted on 07/08/2010

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Maybe "non-negotiable" isn't the right word....let's just say it I was very passionate about the subject. Luckily, though, he understood my heart was breaking about his decision and he changed his mind after I got pregnant. I didn't mean to imply that I would defy him just if I disagreed with him, and only submit when I wanted to.

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