"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Fact Is, I Need Help!

Graphic Credit: www.foundationsforfreedom.net
Yesterday I received a comment on my last post that, regrettably, I accidentally deleted when I intended to post it. L Anyway, it consisted of a list of news articles and YouTube videos in which husbands followed the advice of their wives.
I inferred from the reader’s list that she assumes I do not listen to my wife or take advice when needed.
I assure you that it is not God’s will that husbands do not listen to their wives. Quite the contrary. Every leader needs trusted advisors to help him make decisions. A husband is no different. (I am no different.)


If I plodded through life making all my decisions based solely on my own gut, I would be in very deep trouble in deed. In fact, it’s very likely I would not have been married for 20 years, or even 2 years for that matter.

The fact is, I need help. That's why God gave my wife to me.

Husbands should consult their wives on decisions. For example, I would never buy a house or a car, or drastically change my hairstyle without first seeking the counsel of my bride. Further, if my wife advised me to see the doctor about the disgusting growth on my neck, I would certainly take her advice to heart.

That said, none of these facts negate the truth of the Word of God. And the Bible is quite clear that wives must obey their husbands.

Does this mean the husband should be a narcissistic donkey who steamrolls over his wife and family and does whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases?

NO.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you[a] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)

As a husband I am commanded to live with my wife in a way that honors her. I am commanded to understand her and love her like Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Sometimes that means sacrificing for her, and sometimes it means requiring her to do things that stretch her boundaries (sometimes stuff she doesn’t want to do).

Of course she, like all of mankind, has free will and the ability to say “no,” and often does, as do our children. As do I when I don’t like where God is sending me (familiar with Jonah?). We are imperfect people living serving a perfect God in an imperfect world.

However, when we rebel against authority we remove ourselves from the protection of that authority. 

  • When I rebel against God I will be forgiven when I confess and repent, but I do not escape the consequences of my rebellion. I will pay for my poor choice. It may be as small as restarting a project or as major as restructuring my marriage and family. 
  • When my children disobey their mom and me they likewise will be forgiven but also will be punished by us. It could be minor, such as doing extra chores or losing a privilege, or major, such as losing driving rights or being on “house arrest.”
  • When my wife rebels against my (and God’s) authority she will be forgiven (yes, even I have a heart sometimes), but she will pay consequences, though they may not always be apparent to her or intended by me. The penalties could range from small to large; she might have to wait longer before making a certain purchase, or she may lose the confidence of her husband and thus lose the “one flesh” intimacy God intended for her marriage.

The point is that husbands (and all leaders) would be foolish to go it alone without seeking the advice of their wives. After all, no one else (supposedly – more on that later) knows what makes him tick quite like the help-meet given to him by God the Father.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

6 comments:

  1. For what it's worth, I cannot discern an unbiblical imbalance in your presentation of the Scripture in view.
    Granting our sinfulness, the ideal must be taught and God's grace sought for the accomplishment of his revealed will in marriage, as in all areas of our lives.

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  2. In reading the comment that initiated this post, and references provided, a couple of things stood out to me. The first is, while they all point to a man should be wise to seek council in making decisions, none of them make any reference to his wife other than the ones in which God directly told someone to listen to his wife. What seems to generally implied in the teaching of mutual submission, is that the wife has veto power over a husband's decisions. Jesus taught that a house divided against itself can't stand. Of course a husband should take into account how his wife feels about his decisions! What does that have to do with the price of horseshoes in Denmark? If a wife can nullify a husband's decision, then it is no longer the husband who leads, but the wife.
    This is problematic on a couple of points. The first is the obvious one, that it's contrary to God's order. Both Christ and the apostles taught that the role of the wife is as helper. Woman was created for man, not man for woman. Does this mean as adviser ? Sometimes. However, the husband is the one who is directly responsible to God for any decisions affecting the entire family.
    Secondly this issue goes back to original sin, in that Adam sinned by listening to his wife and disobeying God. While most would never think that a wife would ever council a husband to disobey God, if she tries to influence him in his convictions, based solely on her own preferences, she is in fact, causing him to sin. Even in a case where she believes her husband is in error, according to God's word, she ought to remember that it was Eve who was deceived, not Adam.
    None of this is to say a husband should ride roughshod over his wife's opinions or feelings. Indeed it has nothing to do with that at all. They are two separate issues. The first must be settled as to who will lead, before even discussing what that leadership should look like.

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  3. I'm a new reader of your blog. Based on what I've read so far, I believe that we agree on a lot of major points about Christian marriage. We probably differ on some of the finer points, but that's life. The posts that I have read were thought-provoking, and I especially appreciate your graceful tone. I also want to thank you for taking the time to fully respond to my initial comment.

    BTW, I never thought that you were the kind of man who didn't listen to the wisdom of his wife. If I thought that, I wouldn't have responded in the first place.

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  4. Cox said: What seems to generally implied in the teaching of mutual submission, is that the wife has veto power over a husband's decisions.

    If a husband instructs his wife to do something that the Bible CLEARLY defines as sinful and/or foolish, the wife has a duty to veto that decision. That's exactly what Abigail did. She rejected Nabal's foolish decision to withhold food and water from David and his men (1 Sam 25). Nabal made a foolish decision in that situation, but Abigail made a wise one. As a result of her decision-making, she was able to prevent David from killing Nabal and the men in his house.

    Cox said: However, the husband is the one who is directly responsible to God for any decisions affecting the entire family.

    Of course, a husband will have answer to God for any decisions affecting the entire family. Likewise, a wife and kids will also have to answer for following sinful and/or foolish decisions handed down by the husband and father.

    Sapphira received the very same punishment as Annanis. She didn't get pardoned because Annanis was the the head and she wasn't.

    Some husbands decided to make accusations against Daniel. Those accusations led to Daniel being thrown into the lion's den. God delivered Daniel from the lion’s den. Afterwards, those husbands were thrown into the lion’s den along with their WIVES and CHILDREN (Dan 6:24). Those men decided to accuse Daniel, but they weren't the only ones held accountable. Their wives and children were also held accountable for their decision to accuse Daniel.

    Scott Catt's teenaged son and daughter were his accomplices when he robbed banks. When the crime spree was finally foiled, father, son and daughter were ALL held accountable and jailed. His son and daughter didn't get a "get out of jail free card" because it was their father's idea, and he's the one directly responsible to God for any decisions affecting the entire family.
    http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/i-would-only-rob-banks-for-my-family/#sthash.C0ul4tHQ.dpuf

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  5. Cox said: Secondly this issue goes back to original sin, in that Adam sinned by listening to his wife and disobeying God.

    In my original comment (the one that initiated this post), I clearly stated that husbands should listen to the WISDOM of their wives. Wisdom comes from God, and it's entirely different from and opposite of foolishness and deception. The Bible clearly and thoroughly defines wisdom and foolishness and differentiates the two. I never stated or claimed that husbands should listen to the foolishness (or deception) of their wives. Pr 31:26 states that a virtuous wife "speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

    Likewise, wives should not follow or obey their husbands in what Bible CLEARLY defines as foolishness. Again, Abigail demonstrated that, and her decision to veto Nabal's decision was lifesaving for him and his men. At least, he didn't die by David's hand.

    Cox said: Even in a case where she believes her husband is in error, according to God's word, she ought to remember that it was Eve who was deceived, not Adam.

    The fact that Eve was deceived and Adam wasn't does not mean that husbands are incapable of error. If a wife truly believes that her husband is in error (doing something that the Bible clearly defines as sin and/or foolishness) she can use Biblical conflict resolution: 1 Pe 3:1, Jm 5:19-20, Mt 18:15-17, Ga 6:1, Lk 17:3. To err is human. Erring is not gender specific. Therefore, a husband who believes that he is less likely to error because Eve was decieved and Adam wasn't, should keep in mind that there's a laundry list of Biblical husbands who knowingly and willingly led those under their charge (wives, kids and other subjects) away from God and into incredible folly: the men who accused Daniel, Nabal, Achan, Haman, Ananias and about 17 kings of Israel or Judah.

    Cox said: While most would never think that a wife would ever council a husband to disobey God, if she tries to influence him in his convictions, based solely on her own preferences, she is in fact, causing him to sin.

    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Php 2:3-4).

    Absolutely. A wife should not council her husband based solely on her own preferences, feelings or opinions. That would be selfish ambition or vain conceit rather than humbly valuing her husband and family above herself. Likewise, a husband should not make decisions that will affect his entire family based solely on his own preferences, feelings or opinions because that's selfish ambition or vain conceit. He should also humbly value his wife and family above himself.

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  6. In the early years of our marriage, i had a very hard time letting my husband take control. We spent a lot of time unhappy. Once I allowed him to take the reins and offered my guidance instead of insisting he do things my way, everything changed and we are much happier now!

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