Who has authority over the wife in reguards to church membership?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Emily25069, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    If a husband and a wife are looking for a new church, and they have pretty well settled on one, but havent quite decided on membership and the husband just isnt sure he wants to, is kind of a moderate, not really on fire christian and may take a very long time deciding on this, should the wife join without the husband?

    This seems like a nobrainer to me. "Wives obey your husbands in EVERYTHING." My recommendation would be to tell that wife "absolutely not!"

    But recently, I have heard from a Pastor that our obedience to Christ should be higher than to our husbands, so if the husband is dragging his feet, the wife is still commanded to become an active member of a local church.

    I dont feel that this advice is right. ..especially since the husband IS a believer.

    It really seems to overstep the boundaries of submission to the husband.

    What it seems to really come down to is this. Who is more important for the wife to obey? The husband or the church?

    Also

    Lets say that a husband decides TO join said church, but doesnt want to attend wednesday evenings and prefers that the wife stay home with him as well. Should the wife submit to her husband and stay home, or should she be obedient to God and not forsake getting together with the assembly?
     
  2. donnA

    donnA
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    A wife should obey her believing husband.
    The bible says not forsake gathering together, it does not say how many times a week or on what days you should attend church. As long as he does not want to keep her from attending church at all.
    The wife should pray that God moves him to attend church regularly and commit to service and worship with a church, with membership I mean. god knows what is rigth for the family, and since we know it is in His will, He will answer.
     
  3. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Neither... She should obey God.
    And what does the bible say about this?

    I think you already know.

    BTW, good answer Donna.
     
  4. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    thanks

    I was pretty sure it was a nobrainer, but I thought I would find out what other baptists thought.

    and tinytim, I know that it should be God that she follows. The problem is that she isnt sure if in following God, she should be following her husband or listening to that church and joining anyway.

    It didnt seem right at all to me that she should just join. To me, that certainly seems like usurping authority, which she just shouldnt do. I really couldnt believe that advice actually, but I wasnt 100 percent sure that my opinion was right either, so its nice to get the opinions of others.
     
  5. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    I think this subject makes an intersting point. What happens in so many homes these days when a family member has a question about God or from scripture directly? Most seem to go to a sunday school teacher or the Pastor.

    The first person they should be going to is Daddy, or husband. Not to the church. Fathers and hubands have lost their authority in their homes in so many cases and it is I believe because they have turned their spiritual authority over to the church.
     
  6. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    If she is not following her husband, she is not following God...
     
  7. donnA

    donnA
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    great answer Sue!
     
  8. Mr.M

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    Forsaking the assembling refers to a total abandonment of assembling with others at any time, it DOES NOT refer to not going at certain times. Though that does not answer the question whether she should go or not go per her husband's authority it does clear up the misunderstanding which results in the misapplication of that passage in Hebrews 10.


    24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

    25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
     
  9. menageriekeeper

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    Sometimes there is a fine balance between submitting to one's husband and obeying God by not forsaking the fellowship.

    In reading this, I'm rather surprised that the church would recommend that lady join over the objections of her husband. The husband is the head of the wife.

    That said, does the husband really object to her joining or does he only object to himself joining?

    Second, I have experience in just this thing. My believing husband had a falling out of sorts with my entire chosen denomination. I won't go into private details but to this day (some 15 years later) he only goes to church on Easter. At first, when I refused to just not go to church (here I believed and still do that my obligation to God won out over my obligation to my DH), he pretty much demanded that I go to a particular church, the one he had been raised in. This I did for a number of months, then when my needs weren't being me I visited around a bit, but came back to this particular church when I realized that there were more important things than my needs. Months turned into years and 3 children later I realized that their needs weren't being met in this very small family run church. It was at this time that I was led to my current church. And lo and behold, my husband came with me long enough to move his own membership so that we as a family are members at the same church. That was 8 years ago.

    Now, about not going on Wednesday nights. Just don't go. My DH took spells of not wanting me and the kids to go to church. His particular day was Sunday. We went on Wednesday nights instead. The Lord chose my church well and we have excellant programs for the children. We did VBS and all three of my children were saved as a result.

    Eventually, Sunday morning services became agreeable to my husband. I've been a SS teacher and now I am a choir member and Children's Church leader. We do not go on Sunday evenings, which is DH's preference. (well, unless there is something special going on)

    Sometimes a woman just has to wait. Not nag and be impatient, but simply wait patiently for however long it takes for the husband to make up his mind or for the Lord to change his mind for him.

    I like this verse in regards to this situation, even though it is specific to a different situation:

    I Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband has been santified through his wife.....

    and

    1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.

    If this is the promise to an unbeliever, how much more may it apply to those who believe yet don't follow in obedience?
     
  10. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    Menagerie Keeper

    Thank you

    And thank you for bringing up 1tim. Unfortunately, the Pastor says that the "behavior"...or as it in the KJV "conversation" has to do with the way she reacts in reguards to godliness... but it seems as though maybe he means churchliness, because he has told her that if she skips out on church because he doesnt want her to go, her conversation then is not Godly. She is obeying her husband over Gods command to be an active part of a local assemly.

    (by the way, IS that actually commanded of us?)
     
  11. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    and can we take it a step further on the Wednesday night question...


    What if the husband says he doesnt care if the wife goes, but she can tell he would be happier if she didnt. Technically, he did say she should go, but what do you think would be more pleasing to God? Going to church? Staying home?

    Or would this largely depend on the man?
     
  12. menageriekeeper

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    Last question first: yes we are commanded to "not forsaking the fellowship of them that love the Lord". That means going to some gathering of folks who love the Lord for the purposes of sharing burdens, fellowshipping and worshiping. To me that means church; to others it means getting all the family together to worship (home church). Remember the scripture says where two or three are gathered the Lord will be present.

    Next thing to deal with: your preacher is NOT in authority over your church attendance for all he might like to be. He is third in line and only then if you choose to put him in that place of authority. Let me explain.

    Your first obligation is to God. We've already covered what He wants you to do and missing Wed. nights isn't going to bother Him any. And remember that Christ is our High Priest, we need no other (and that includes any particular preacher. more on that in a bit)

    Your second obligation is to your husband, we've covered that ground.

    Now if you so choose, you can place yourself under the "authority" of the pastor of the church. You are quite welcome to go to a different church and be under the "authority" of the pastor there. You are not tied to any specific pastor. We need no high priest. Now when you join a church, you are placing yourself under the care and authority of the pastor. What authority are you giving him? You giving him the authority to teach you, pray for you, undertake the ordinances of communion and baptism with you (or on your behalf in the case of baptising members into your congregation). He generally also gets a certain say so in how the church services, finances and programs are run. He does not get the right to demand that YOU do anything!

    I'm going to tell you, I would run, not walk away from a pastor who tried to guilt me into being unsubmissive to my husband. (btw, I got yelled at by a preacher who wasn't even my own, but that I worked for, because I decided to join my husband's church when we got married!)

    LOL! Been there and done that!!!! I first settled the question of what it meant to me to "forsake the fellowship". Believe me this one was tough, because I had been raised to go to church every time the doors were open. After that question was answered (I'd rather go to church, but my husband's opinion counts more than mine--certainly not an attitude of forsaking the fellowship even if I wasn't physically present) it was much easier to discern when DH was simply being disagreeable and when he really wanted me home with him.

    In the case you have described, though, I'm wondering if you husband is sensing that something isn't quite meshing with this church and how he believes and this is why he is hesitant to join. Perhaps Wednesday nights should be used for visiting other churches, for a few weeks. From my experience, real church is on Wednesday night or Sunday night. Sunday mornings are for sightseers. There may be something at this church that happens on Wednesday nights that is making the husband uncomfortable. He might not even be able to explain himself. The wife sometimes just has to let the husband make the decisions.
     
  13. Hardsheller

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    If my wife had not put her foot down when we were newly married and told me that she was going to church on Sunday night with me or without me I probably wouldn't be where I am today.

    I'd go on Sunday Morning but that was all I wanted to do.

    Sunday Night I wanted to lay on the couch and watch TV. She finally gave up asking me if I wanted to go and one Sunday night just got dressed and marched into the living room and told me - I'm going to Church with you or without you.

    I got up and dressed and went with her. Best move I ever made. :thumbs:
     
  14. donnA

    donnA
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    I haven't run across this with church, but in other areas of life with my husband. I want to go somewhere or do something and he says I can, but I know he prefers i don't. I will usually go with what I know he prefers.
     
  15. Karen

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    That depends. My husband gets irritated if I don't go, then. Says I should take him at his word.
     
  16. Karen

    Karen
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    menageriekeeper,
    I have to disagree with you. I have experience here, too. Except I wasn't the wife, I was the child.
    I am so grateful that the decades my father did not go to church, my mother took us. You know, my father was won over, partly by the behaviour of my mother. But her behaviour included her going to church without him for many years. I do not agree if you are saying that my mother was being disobedient by going to church.
     
  17. annsni

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    I don't think MK was saying that a wife should not go to church without her husband but if a husband says that his wife is not to attend Wednesday night services, then she should not.

    From what I've read in Scripture, God specifically says that a wife is to submit to her husband. That much is clear. But no where does it say that we're to submit to a pastor or church OVER our husbands or that we're to be at church every time the doors are open. I know women who ruined their testimony by being unsubmissive and going to church even after their husband specifically said they want the wife to stay home - and they saw nothing different in a believing wife over any worldly wife. We are called to a different attitude towards our husbands than the world teaches - there is a reason for that, IMO.

    However, I've also seen wives NOT go to church at all because their husbands forbid them from going - and they asked others to pray for a change of heart for him (during that time, they spent time in the Word and on the phone with sisters in Christ - and listened to the sermons on CD). I was one who prayed and eventually the husband said "If you want to go, that's fine with me" in all seriousness (not in a sarcastic way). In one instance, the wife joined a small group and when the group met at her home, the husband would meet with everyone during the fellowship and food time, but not sit in on the meeting - until one time when it was found out that he could play guitar. He was asked if he would be willing to play guitar for their worship time and he was happy to do it - but he wouldn't sing. ;) Well, it's now 10 years later and that man not only eventually came to the Lord but he's now a new deacon in our church and is a small group leader. Through his wife's submission to him - even when he was not saved and was working against her, she still treated him with respect and honor - and through that, his heart was softened to the Lord.

    "Do not forsake the gathering together" doesn't necessarily mean church twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday night. For some who's husbands want them to not go to church, this might have to mean fellowshipping in some other way for a time. There are a lot of resources where women can temporarily "gather together". While it's not the ideal, during the time their husbands do not allow them to go to church, it's an option so that they're not all alone.

    Again, I've seen God do great things through submission with prayer. When we demand a heart change, it's not going to be a good thing - but when we submit to our husbands - our God given authority - and commit to pray for them - and GOD changes their hearts - it's a beautiful thing.
     
  18. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
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    Change a few details in that story and I could be that husband. I never told Jeanne not to go to church, I just told her I wan't going with her. I can't play the guitar so that part would have to be changed also, but the rest of it is very very close to how I got to church and where I am at today.

    Bill :godisgood:
     
  19. donnA

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    It depends, is his word what his actual will for you is. Makes a difference. Mine will say, I'd rather if you didn't, but go ahead if you want too. Means his will is that I not. Thats what I will obey, what he really wants for me.
     
  20. annsni

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    I agree. My husband is usually pretty clear when he says I can do something but he'd rather I not. I'll listen to his heart rather than his mouth.
     

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