What would your counsel be in this situation?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Daniel David, Mar 30, 2003.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    John comes home one day from work and announces to his family that they are going to move to another state. He is going to seek employment elsewhere and is fed up with his job. He makes great money where he is. So money is not the issue.

    His wife is totally against the idea. She does not even want to talk about it.

    The couple is at odds with each other over this issue. What do they do? Well, they come to you for counsel. What do you do?

    a) you need more information
    b) tell the wife she needs to go
    c) encourage the husband to rethink things and to stop driving a wedge in the marriage
    d) don't give any counsel even though they asked

    Those are the options. What do you do?
     
  2. Helen

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    My brother is an elder and counsellor at his church. I can tell you immediately that he would ask for MUCH more information than given here, including the couple's relationship with the Lord. There is not nearly enough information given in the above to facilitate any counselling that was not a knee jerk response to the idea of 'wife obey your husband' and such.

    The dynamics of a marriage and the decisions which must be made are far, far more complex than what is presented above.
     
  3. Karen

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    Some of the additional information you would need is: 1)Why is the husband completely fed up with his job? Is this a mind-set he would carry with him wherever? Are there things he needs to change in his attitude?
    2) What are their family responsibilities - elderly parents, children's situations, etc., etc.
    3)Is the husband trying to serve his wife in this situation or just giving a selfish order?
    4) What does the wife see in this situation?

    Karen
     
  4. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    1) I would definitely need more information.
    2) I would ask if they were both saved and attending church.
    3) I would ask the husband if he had discussed the reasons for this move with his wife.
    4) I would ask if all the options had been explored together giving his wife a chance to state her position.
    5) I would ask if the couple had prayed and sought God's will in the matter.
    6) If all of the above criteria were met, I would have to advise the wife she was to follow her husband.

    (Sounds a lot like Abram and Sarai to me)

    Blessings,
    Sue

    [ March 31, 2003, 12:39 PM: Message edited by: I Am Blessed 16 ]
     
  5. Aaron

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    Going on the information given, I would choose "c."
     
  6. Ernie Brazee

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    1) I would definitely need more information.
    2) I would ask if they were both saved and attending church.
    3) I would ask the husband if he had discussed the reasons for this move with his wife.
    4) I would ask if all the options had been explored together giving his wife a chance to state her position.
    4) I would ask if the couple had prayed and sought God's will in the matter.
    5) If all of the above criteria were met, I would have to advise the wife she was to follow her husband.

    (Sounds a lot like Abram and Sarai to me)

    Blessings,
    Sue

    I am blessed's second #4 covers the whole situation. If they hasn't prayed about it there should be no dicsussion
     
  7. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    [​IMG] Ernie [​IMG]

    Oops! Thank you for bringing that to my attention. It has been corrected.

    I have a spell checker, now I guess I need a numerical checker. :rolleyes:

    Blessings,
    Sue
     
  8. Daniel David

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    The spiritual condition of the husband actually has absolutely nothing to do with the situation. Wives are to obey even their lost husband unless it is clearly sin. Moving to another city is not a sin.

    It doesn't matter why he doesn't like his job.

    The only answer is for the wife to go.

    The Scriptures do not say to obey the husband as long as ...

    That is not an option. If the wife was really concerned about being obedient to Christ, she would go.
     
  9. Molly

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    The wife is to be submissive to the husband. I would say *B*...but speaking as a wife,I would love to talk with my husband to learn more of his heart situation with his present job. That doesn't mean I would try to talk him out of it,though. I would hopefully(yes,I would be) be supportive of his decision and follow his lead. If he says go we would need to go.
     
  10. Helen

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    So much for submitting to each other, eh, Preach?

    You didn't want counseling for this couple, you just wanted to give orders. But that's not how counseling is done. Counseling means the couple will find themselves more able to work together and be a united front, supporting one another through life. Suppose in your imaginary scenario, there are a few other circumstances:

    1. They live near her folks and her dad has cancer and her mom needs her help.

    2. They have a special needs child and have finally found some people who can work well with him or her.

    3. The wife herself is sick and the doctor who has worked with her illness is right there in the area.

    4. The move will essentially bankrupt them and the wife knows that, as the husband tends to be very impulsive.

    5. The wife knows the husband is running away from something he did wrong.


    I do suggest a little more information be gathered before a counselor suggests any ways for this couple to work together.

    It is not considered counseling to give orders... [​IMG]
     
  11. Molly

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    Helen,

    I strongly believe any of the issues you mentioned would and could be worked out wherever they go. If they are under the husband's leadership and the wife's attitude is one of submission,God will bless that. That is honoring to the Lord in a marriage. All the worries and concerns a wife would have will be handled by the all sufficient one...doesn't God know better than us? And if the wife is being submissive to her husband in all things,they are in God's will and perfect plan.

    That is not an order,but sound biblical counseling.....
     
  12. Shiloh

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    PTL, I preach you a sermon from Eph.5 but I'm sure you know all the answers! I have dealt with many with attitudes like yours. Son, I see storm clouds on the horizon if your attitude doesn't change. Many years ago I had a missionary come to our church........without his wife. I asked him about his family and he replied, "my wife said she doesn't want to go to Spain". I gave him some advice but he went anyway. Guess what happened to his marriage. Eph. 5:25 Husbands love your wives..
     
  13. Molly

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    The wife was wrong to be that way towards her husband.
     
  14. Barnabas H.

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    Achoo! Aaaachoooo! So, sorry, something got stuck on my throat and had to get it out. [​IMG] I think that the above question was loaded, for it seems that the answer is overly simplified by one of those "women obey your husbands no matter what, for the Bible says so." Because of the partial treatment of the problem here, please allow me to explain those young married men that there is more to the Bible reference than what is already given.

    My wife and I are married (in two short moths) for 36 years! During that time I have learned to appreciate what Paul was trying to communicate to us, Christian men, when he penned down Ephesians 5:1-33. Emphasis is on verses 22 through 33 (highlighted).

    Men, believers, husbands, future husbands, please note that Paul, immediately after admonishing the wives to submit to their husbands, admonished also the men to love their wives as Christ loved the Church - that He gave His life for it. Notice how many Bible verses are dealing with women and men. If I am not wrong in counting, the women were admonished in 3 verses, while the men in 7. Don't you think the proportion speaks volumes how the married relationship should be, and on whose shoulder lay more in keeping the unity together? I challenge every men, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, that if they love their wives as Christ loved the church, the wives will gladly, lovingly, and joyfully submit to you husbands! When the Bible is talking about oneness in the body, the relationship between the husband and wife also becomes one. Therefore there will be no individual decisions, and the men will not tell his wife that "I made a decision to move out of the State, and you are to obey, submit to my authority and follow me." If people think that that is marriage, they have a long way to go in their Christian maturity - and it is definitely not the Bible. Hope this will help in counseling. God bless! [​IMG]
     
  15. Daniel David

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    The idea of "mutual" submission is a myth. Nowhere in all of Scripture is such a proposition made. In fact, in three different places, it is actually spoken against.

    1. Are the parents more important than the husband? Are their desires more important than the direction the husband is taking? I suppose this would also assume that no other arrangements could be made. Even if they couldn't be made, it doesn't override anything.

    2. Similar to the first point. This would assume that only in this city could such a thing happen. However, the husband-wife relationship overrides all other earthly relationships.

    3. Similar to the first two points. Why would a doctor override a husband?

    4. The husband has been given the responsibility of finances over the family. The wife does not "know" the future. She can be convinced it will happen. Either way, if such a thing happens, that is a mistake that God will use in the life of the family.

    5. What does this have to do with anything if I may ask? Do you mean criminal activity?

    It seems to me that absolute statements in Scripture are being sifted through situations. It is situational ethics. In this situation, we do this. But in this situation, we do this.

    There are clear guidelines and mandates. It actually would serve to drive a wedge in the couple if Scripture was not given the place of supreme authority. Since such an issue is directly dealt with, nothing more needs to be said.
     
  16. russell55

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    I'm not sure trying to talk him out of it is necessarily wrong, as long as you are willing to go along if the talking isn't successful. I think it is important for him to know why you object, even it it doesn't change his mind.
     
  17. Daniel David

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    Barnabas, I do understand your point. That is great counsel for saved men. It doesn't mean a thing to the guy who doesn't care. My point is that the Scriptures are plain regardless of the spiritual condition of the husband. Where does it say that the obedience to Christ (and thus her husband), is ever determined by the condition of the husband. Consider 1 Peter 3.
     
  18. Daniel David

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    Btw, Ruth and I are not moving anywhere.
     
  19. Jonathan

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    Excellent thoughts Barnabas! The Scriptures just as clearly direct the man to sacrificially love his wife as it does the woman to submit to her husband.

    This definitely eliminates the dictatorial husband as the biblical model.
     
  20. Helen

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    Italics are Preach and I am straight print.

    The idea of "mutual" submission is a myth. Nowhere in all of Scripture is such a proposition made. In fact, in three different places, it is actually spoken against.

    Christ submitted Himself to dirt-level humanity and the utter shame and abomination and humiliaton of death on a cross. If a husband is to love his wife that way, he is going to think very carefully and prayerfully about decisions he makes.

    You will also note that in Ephesians we have a few other verses:

    4:32 -- Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

    5:21 -- Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.


    1. Are the parents more important than the husband? Are their desires more important than the direction the husband is taking? I suppose this would also assume that no other arrangements could be made. Even if they couldn't be made, it doesn't override anything.

    Honoring one's parents is a commandment from the original ten! The HUSBAND is to leave his parents. I'm afraid nothing is ever said about the bride abandoning hers. However, even that point aside, our love and care for one another is not just an isolated thing for the immediate family. Our parents, as we grow older, need us just as much as we needed them when we were little. It is a matter of the husband submitting to Christ in being willing to care for the extended family, staying close enough to do that when he can. In such a way Christ cares for all of us. When picking up and moving, for a Christian couple, there are a lot more things to consider than just money or the husband's wants.

    2. Similar to the first point. This would assume that only in this city could such a thing happen. However, the husband-wife relationship overrides all other earthly relationships.

    Which is exactly why the husband has such an enormous responsibility to work with his wife and not just boss her around. The two shall become one. He is to care for her as he cares for his own body. Thus, when something makes her uncomfortable, it should also make him uncomfortable -- at least because she is feeling that way -- and he might take that as a warning and clue that something is not going right and that they need to work it out together.

    3. Similar to the first two points. Why would a doctor override a husband?

    Care for the family is his responsibility.


    4. The husband has been given the responsibility of finances over the family. The wife does not "know" the future. She can be convinced it will happen. Either way, if such a thing happens, that is a mistake that God will use in the life of the family.

    Every man and every woman has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. If a man is weak in a financial area, it is certainly his perogative to trust his wife with the budgeting and ask her to deal with it. Because we usually marry our opposites, he will have probably married a woman with a strong sense of financial responsibility. This is rather common. It is a wise man who recognizes his own weaknesses and his wife's strengths and learns how to work with them. It is a very foolish man who insists on a particular job being his when he does not have the skill for it and his wife may. He is responsible for the care of the family -- and if part of that means asking his wife to deal with most of the budgeting, under his authority, we are in no position to criticize.

    Thus it very well may be that an impetuous man is married to a much more conservative woman, and that as they learn to work together and be one, he will begin to appreciate her strengths in this area. If, in such a marriage, he wants to move and she reminds them of their financial standing and that there is no way they could survive financially with the costs of moving at this time, he would be incredibly foolish not to listen to her.

    It is not that God could not and would not allow that mistake to be made, and still use it for the benefit of those who love Him, but as the writer to Hebrews reminds us, we are disciplined for our own benefit and no discipline is pleasant at the time. So the best bet is to not need that discipline... the best bet is for the husband to love and care for his wife as for his own body to begin with, and this can mean listening to the wisdom the Lord has also given her.

    5. What does this have to do with anything if I may ask? Do you mean criminal activity?

    As a matter of fact, yes. When I was married before my husband asked me to sign false income tax statements. I did for several years and then I refused. It was wrong. It was illegal. And he hit the ceiling and his hate for me increased. There are a number of men who get themselves involved in illegal activities. Why should they then have the perogative of dragging their families far away so they can escape the consequences? In my case, if something had come of it and my ex wanted to run, we would have had to leave the entire country, I suppose. Some crimes are more local, however!

    It seems to me that absolute statements in Scripture are being sifted through situations. It is situational ethics. In this situation, we do this. But in this situation, we do this.

    Not at all. What we have got to do is consider ALL of Scripture, not just single line 'proof texts.' My nephew is studying to become a pastor. We were talking this past weekend and he told me that one of the things they had been instructed to always do was use '20/20 vision.' Read 20 verses before a verse being referred to and 20 verses after. Get the thing in context.

    There is no justification in Scripture at all for the existence of a bossy and demanding husband. I had one. I know the damage that is done to the marriage and to the children. It is something that is clearly against the biblical mandate for men.

    There are clear guidelines and mandates. It actually would serve to drive a wedge in the couple if Scripture was not given the place of supreme authority. Since such an issue is directly dealt with, nothing more needs to be said.

    Of course Scripture is the supreme authority. The Holy Spirit will never go against it. And so I know the godly husband will care so deeply for his wife that he would never just drag her around the country because that is what he wanted. I know that the godly husband would carefully consider every possible angle and pray consistently for guidance in the decisions that needed to be made. And if there was a problem with the wife, I know a godly husband would also pray about that, knowing God was either using the wife to put a stop to the plans or that God would change her heart in answer to the husband's loving prayer.

    A couple, or a few, of us on this board have godly husbands who are like this. On my own behalf, and after a 20 year marriage to a run-around, bossy, demanding, hypocritical, unpleasable man who ended up leaving us and telling me he never loved me, I have to say that with marriage to Barry, I never knew a marriage could be like this. It is incredible to have a husband who thinks always of me first; who makes excuses for me when I am short-tempered or just flat-out wrong; who values my opinion and judgment so highly that it actually humbles me and I am very nervous sometimes about offering an opinion! He is a husband who is changing countries so that we can stay near my children and continue caring for my retarded son. As a result, he is also a husband I would do anything for and go anyplace for and give anything for.

    And that is what happens to the heart of a woman who is married to a godly man. There is no problem about her wanting to submit the vast majority of the time, and she is happy to follow his lead, knowing he has her in mind, and is considering carefully the things that are important to her, as well.

    Thus, in your original scenario, my tendency is to think the husband needs some real counseling, because there is a strong indication that he is not considering his wife at all, but simply wanting to boss her around.

    Yes, God will honor a Christian wife married to a non-Christian husband when she is simply obedient to him. But in your scenario, the couple has evidently come in for counseling. Thus, the man needs counseling very badly, I would think.

    This is not situational ethics. This is taking the whole Bible and not simply a verse out of context.

    [ March 31, 2003, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: Barnabas7 ]
     

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