Should Wives Submit

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by freeatlast, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    The world regards the idea of wives submitting to their husbands as archaic, repressive, and obnoxious. When unbelievers attend a Christian wedding, they are sometimes appalled at references to that "dirty word" submission, or even worse, obedience. They think that the world has better ideas about marriage. This is funny really. The world has trashed marriage, sex, and the family in a spectacular way. We know that God is the Creator of marriage, not man. He has made it clear in His Word what He expects of both wives and husbands. Our duties are laid out for us, and He always blesses obedience. Faithful Christian marriages are bright lights that defy the lies of a dark, dark world.



    But sad to say, many Christian marriages are not the bright lights they should be. Both husbands and wives refuse to obey the Word: husbands fail to take responsibility, and wives behave in disrespectful ways. In spite of the fact that the church has emphasized teaching on marriage and the family, much still needs to be done. And when Christians are disobedient, the Word of God is blasphemed. Titus 2:3-5 makes this very clear. When Christian women are taught to be "discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands," God is glorified. And Paul says here the result is "that the word of God be not blasphemed." Not only is the world guilty of this blasphemy, but we are as well, for our ungodly behavior is by nature blasphemy. So we become guilty of disrespecting God and His Word.

    Often women who know better are failing to be respectful, dutiful, submissive, and obedient wives. They make excuses for their behavior, saying things like, "Well, I know it wasn't very respectful, but he was wrong. Or if he would do his part then I will do mine." If the older Christian women don't know how to obey their husbands, how can they teach the younger women? And so the church is sick and passing this infection on to the next generation.

    Sometimes wives think they understand respect, but they fail at the obedience part. "What do you mean I have to obey him? I thought that was just for the children."
    But returning to the passage in Titus, older women are to teach younger women to be "obedient to their own husbands." Obedience is something that wives should be practicing so they can teach it to others. This means obedience in everything, not just in the big things and not just in the little things. Good Christian wives need to learn to obey. However let me stress this here and now. Because of the calling of the woman in the marriage by her Lord it is imperative that the young women/girls of today in our churches learn how to choose a husband. Not just any man will do and unless she be taught how to recognize a godly young man she may very well be in for a life of misery, failure, divorce or even worse.

    It is amazing how much we gloss over the calling we all have in marriage and how much we excuse and overlook. The commands of submission and obedience are only difficult when we disagree with our husbands. If we agree with them and we do what they say, it can hardly be called submission. Submission comes into play when we differ with them over an issue, but we defer to them and willingly give way. The fact that we differ does not mean that we whine and complain before we submit. It may mean that we lovingly and humbly let our opinion known and then we wait for his decision and follow it, always seeking God in prayer for our husband to lead and guide in the way that God would have us go. The fact that he may choose a way that we do not agree with is not reason to resist.

    But what about when the husband is in sin or not taking his part in the marriage calling? Husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. This is a very important issue. What if the husband has adopted a wrong attitude, not a Christian or is heading in the wrong direction? How is the wife to handle this? Should she submit even when he makes or leads into foolish areas? It all depends. First not all foolish decisions carry the same results.Men are not perfect and need support from their wives even when they fail. Nothing can build the esteem of a man more then to know that his wife is with him even in those times when he makes bad decisions. However if this is a pattern and he is not seeking to meet the charge he has as a husband then she needs to take different action. First she needs to seek out counsel with her pastor and prayer. If he is a godly man he will be able to offer some suggestion and perhaps even speak to the husband. But what if there is no one to turn to or the husband will not listen to godly counsel of a pastor or deacon? Then she needs to be an Abigail. She was not afraid to make arrangements even if without his permission or knowledge. God blessed her abundantly for intervening in this way. She did not stay home waiting for David to attack her household calling herself a submissive wife. She recognized that her husband' was acting the part of a fool, and she exercised wisdom and prudence by going to David herself. Keep in mind that this was not an isolated incident, but a man who practiced foolishness and this time it was so severe that it would cost the lives of the household. In such a case she does need to take action, but remember it may end her marriage. In the case of Abigail she lost her husband to death, while it may have been no big loss she still lost him, so taking action outside the husbands leading should only be with a great deal of prayer and wisdom. Also it should never be a pattern. And any time she does see need to go outside his leading she needs to remember that he is still called to be head and needs be given the respect he is called for even if he does not disserve it.

    This same pattern should be followed if a husband is violent, if he has a temper and violent, if he is not providing for the household, or if he is being sexually unfaithful in any way. She needs to take action and where there is violence she needs to leave. A wife is to be a helper to her husband not a blind follower, and this sometimes includes going past him to get help. God blessed Abigail when she did this. In her case it was abundantly clear what was necessary. In other cases it might require pastoral oversight. But obedience and submission to a husband is never absolute. In those cases when there is life threatening issues, or issues where it is clear biblically that we cannot obey, we need to be an Abigail, yet with respect in prayer and humility taking the action needed for the moment. Keep in mind that this must only be done for the most serious issues and never a practice. If we will teach our young women how to choose a mate and raise her to be a godly women then the chances are that she will never face the need for such action to be taken. Her calling is submission and she should be seeking nothing else, but if the need should arise where she has to take action on her own then she needs also to know how to handle it in the Lord with honor. We demonstrate that we serve Him above all others when we realize that our submission and obedience to our husbands is always to be lived out within the boundaries God has wisely set for us. She has a wide path in which she must submit and a narrow one in which she can be an Abigail, and the later should never be sought and hopefully will never be necessary.
    http://www.credenda.org/issues/15-3femina.php
     
  2. At His Feet

    At His Feet
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    once again may i add:

    the core of a right christian walk is a relationship with the Savior. Jesus needs to be the love of the husband and the love of the wife. When He is the love of their lives Christ as they yeild themselves to the Lord he will make them and their homes vessels of honor. we cannot do it in our strength. when we lift up our hearts and homes to the Lord and say, Lord we cannot do it will you do it through us." Jesus will. He is able. Believe His Word. Claim His promises.
    "In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6
     
  3. donnA

    donnA
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    I believe wives should submit to thier husbands. God created order, not chais, and this is His given order for a more smooth running family. But, a wife is never a door mat to be walked
    on,and a husband is not a tyrantical dictator who rukles his wife with an iron thumb never allowing her to be or do anything be does not give permission for.
    I once knew a couple who every morning he made a list of things for her to do that day, and if the list was too long to accomplish she had to try and do it anyway. She wanted to come over opne day and he had a list she had to do by then, and then ask permission before leaving the house,and 40 minute later called to tell her to come home. She was apparently not allowed to have relationships with anyone.
    Wives being submissive has a lot of ways of being abused.
     
  4. Dina

    Dina
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    Donna, I agree.

    I have often heard the submission "talk" but have RARELY seen it given along with a "you are not a doormat" talk.

    I have seen too many times to count wives blaming themselves for abuse at the hands of their husbands, because they were never taught the difference between sumission and door mat.
     
  5. Karen

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    Good points, donnA.

    I would like to point out that the article on this thread and on some others are coming from Credenda Agenda, a magazine published by Doug Wilson and a conservative Presbyterian church in Idaho. They have done a lot of good things over the years. But right now, Doug Wilson is considered one of the "Auburn Four" (from a conference in which some papers were presented) and has basically been called a heretic by R.C. Sproul, Jr. and many others for his views on justification.
    So interesting links to a ? heretical ? Presbyterian site on a fundamental Baptist forum.

    Karen
     
  6. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Physical abuse is to be dealt with by the law.
    Mental/emotional abuse can be very subjective, but a guilty man should be rebuked by his pastor.

    Unless the wife is asked to sin, she must submit even if her husband is lost.
     
  7. Dina

    Dina
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    Wow, Just did a search on Credenda Agenda and found their Statement of Faith.
    Interestting......
     
  8. donnA

    donnA
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    May have to look that one up, have never heard of it.
     
  9. onestand

    onestand
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    Submission to a husband is not to be a slavery. When there is abuse involved it is imperative that the wife get away from that abuse. Abuse can and does include verbal, emotional, physical and mental. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Respect is to be a two way street and not just "woman do what I tell you to do", that's not the way a true Godly marriage is to function.

    I don't agree with the extent Women's Liberation has taken their stand, however I understand why they have because many men (and women) for years believed and still do believe the bible condons the disrespectful actions of a man to "iron fist" rule his home. It is very biblical for women to respect and submit to their hubands, but are never expected to endure abuse in any form, when they do stay in those situations they are also teaching their children it's okay to abuse your wife and treat her with no respect at all.

    In my marriage, my husband never makes a decision without consulting me first and asking my personal opinion. He values my thoughts and considers me his best friend as I do him. Respect is without a doubt two ways and I always respect how he feels and what he wants. I find this to be a winner of a situation and when he rarely does do something without consulting me I know it's because he didn't have the opportunity or the problem was time sensitive.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    Yes.

    But not just the wives...

    Ephesians 5:21 "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ..."
     
  11. Johnv

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    BB, you beat me to it. BOTH the husband AND the wife are to submit to each other, as to the Lord. The only head of the household in a marriage should be Christ.
     
  12. C.S. Murphy

    C.S. Murphy
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    I have seen few submissive wives but sadly even fewer husbands who are following their command, to love their wife as Christ loved the Church. I truly believe that if a husband does this that his wife will not have to be asked to submit. I looked into the site that has been linked and as it is non baptist I feel it out of place here, I will close the thread for that reason. I am interested in the links apparent concern over womens issues and while that may be genuine I found that they deny that baptism is not only by immersion but can be performed biblically in several different ways so baptist they are not.
    Murph
     

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