The Dutch Rush

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Submitting to my husband, and other insanity.

I just already know that you guys are all gonna love this post. In fact, you’ll be begging for more, like “Mary, we just can’t get enough of this topic, can you please ramble on some more?”.

Heh. Heh.

At breakfast the other morning, we were all talking together about:

Things that we believe…that aren’t popular…but we still believe them because God has spoken.

I think that allowing a man to lead his family falls into this category. It’s also referred to as obeying my husband or submission.

Perfect. I think I can hear the groaning.

Some days I’ll be trying to figure out what God wants me to be doing, so I’ll read a good book, hear a message, or talk to a friend and think “THAT’S what God wants me to do!”

But then I read the Bible.

It says we are to listen to our husbands as to the Lord, because that is the person God has given us to lead and guide our family.

Maybe you think God gave you a bad leader for your family.

Sadly, I am seeing that some women make poor choices. I am not saying this to be hurtful and mean. I’m realizing it is a reality for a lot of women…I talk with some of those women who have, and are experiencing pain that I can never understand. So because I can’t understand the pain, I am trying to just be with them in it. It is heartbreaking.

Please don’t take this to be uncaring or trite.

I think the reality is that we are loved by a God who gave us free choice. And we are all sinners who will struggle with making choices. He knew that some women would be with unbelievers. He gave those women some special instruction. It sounds familiar: “be nice and quiet and submissive…”

Great. It seems to be a theme for all of us.

I’ll just say right now if there are any women reading this who are Christians, and not married yet: DON’T DATE ANYONE YOU COULD NOT RESPECT ENOUGH TO SUBMIT TO FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!

Well, that really narrowed it down, didn’t it?

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There are days that I want to put my fingers in my ears and try to ignore what God says He wants me to do, because it is hard. It sounds like this:

“Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord…now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in EVERYTHING.”

Ugh.

I remembered something in the Bible that says if we are knowingly living in sin, God will not listen to our prayers.

So then, does not submitting to my husband count as sin?

I have spent weeks wrestling with whether or not to post this. But these things have encouraged me to go ahead.

1. My own experience of what happens when I am obeying God in this way.

2. Talking with other women who struggle with this.

It’s a real thing. I would guess if we are honest, we all struggle with this, maybe some more than others.

It says in James, “do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves, do what it says”.

In Proverbs, it says “to obey is better than sacrifice”.

Some days, remembering that one line can stop me dead in my tracks.

As women, we can be amazing at sacrifice. Serving in the church, caring for others, usually in such valuable ways…and all the while we can be so sneaky!

Good little church women, disobeying God by ignoring what our husbands have asked of us!

Talk about deceiving ourselves! I think we’ve actually convinced ourselves that it is God’s will for us to sacrifice in ways that can ignore our husbands. We can tend to make them feel like a loud, oversize nuisance! 

Society is constantly telling us that our husbands can take care of themselves.

Maybe we bought into that idea. I mean, think about what we do for our family, church and community in the name of sacrifice.

(Don’t get me wrong, all of those things are critically important when put in the right priority.)

But we sometimes treat our husbands like an afterthought whose needs and leadership tend to be ignored if other things seem more pressing. So we end up “sacrificing” instead of obeying, all in the name of good things.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are doing God’s will, thinking that certainly our husbands are “big boys” and can take care of themselves.

WHERE IN SCRIPTURE DOES IT SAY THIS?

It actually says the opposite. It says that this is so important, that if we do not submit to our husbands, it can malign the Word of God.

This is serious! When we fail in this, we are maligning the word of God!

We were MADE specifically to help them! It says so in 1 Corinthians. Yes, it says that. It says “The woman was made for the man, not the man for the woman”.

If you are shaking your head at me thinking, “she’s crazy, I have no idea what she’s talking about!” just go back to what you were doing! It’s okay, my kids sometimes call me “Crazy Mary” which reminds me of a backwoods man with a shaggy beard. Like “Crazy Joe or Crazy Sam…”. Ahem. Anyway…

If you’re still here and you’re ready to think about this, well, lets think! And then act!

Aren’t we a little nuts sometimes? We have this gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us through these things. But we shove Him aside and say, “oh no, I’ll handle this myself. I’m really good at submitting to my husband”.

Think about our husbands, who were given the job of leading our families. It is an assignment from God. And THEY will have to give an account to the God of the universe for how they handled their family. Why do we make it so difficult for them to lead us?

In the end, we can sit self-righteously off to the side and point the finger at him and say “it’s all his fault…he wouldn’t lead me!”

FOR SHAME. It is our shame as women that we make this job of theirs so difficult.

Come on, we KNOW we’re difficult, right? Or is it just me? Am I the only one who thinks I’m difficult?

Why are we still like Eve? Why do we think we know better than God and our husbands?

I’ll give you the secret to make your husband upset in zero to sixty. Treat him like you know better than he does. Set yourself up as the authority in any or every situation. As in, completely ignore Ephesians 5:22-24. It will make you totally miserable, and of course, him too.

On the other hand, if that’s not really what you’re hoping for…

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Well…me either.

So next, we’ll talk about WHY someone would want to live like this. Because that’s what we’re all wondering, isn’t it? What’s in it for me? I know. It’s messed up and backwards.

And true.

7 Comments

  1. Hi Mary. Great post!
    I agree that wives should submit to their husbands. The Bible, though, teaches clearly that Christians are to submit to and serve one another (Eph. 5:21, 1Jn3:16, Gal. 5:13, 1Pet. 4:10). So, yes, yes, submit, but I don’t think getting married does away with Christians submitting to each other. Husbands are to lead as Christ did, and how did Christ lead? He SERVED. He washed feet. He gave himself up for his bride, the Church, and if we continue on in Ephesians, beyond 5:22-24, we come to that. Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… ” That is also submitting.

    Why would a husband NOT want his wife to be an authority in some things? Is he supposed to know EVERYTHING? That is a bit much to expect. I should think a husband would be thrilled for his wife to be an authority in some areas, and he would encourage her in those areas. If he is leading as Christ led, as in Eph. 5:25 that is what he would do. Christians also encourage one another. They serve and submit to one another and they encourage one another.

    All we really need to do is to be Christians to each other. That’s not so complicated
    Blessings! I’m looking forward to your next post.

    • admin

      November 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Well, I commented and it’s lost somewhere out there in the “WEB”, so if you see two comments, now you know why!

      Yes, we agree! And yes, if both husband and wife do what God has asked of us then we should have a beautiful marriage.
      In this series I am focusing on how as women we tend to disobey God on this issue. Because we can tend to let ourselves off the hook in this area.

      It goes without saying I think that husbands can also do wrong here. And I think much has been written about that.

      So my intent is to be focusing on what we do as women. And how we can change to improve our marriages!

      Hope that helps 🙂 Mary

  2. Thank you, Mary. I think there are a lot of women in a range of pretty healthy marriages that don’t really trust God in this arena. I’m not talking about abused or severely mistreated wives…I don’t know exactly what I think of that. That’s messy. Maybe it all boils down to “do I trust God’s promises to obey Him? Or am I the exception to His standard?” I see it in my kids. “Why did you just scream at him?” It usually starts with, “because he….”and the finger is pointed over at someone else. It’s easy to focus on the other person in the relationship as to why we can’t succeed in obeying. That just isn’t going to work with God. I don’t see many exceptions to obedience in scripture. Now in my own marriage, I do lots of things that are in a leadership position. But I do those not because I took it from my husband or because I think he can’t do it right or because he’s not doing it at all. I take those leadership roles because he asked me to. I do think that wives can serve side-by-side (almost) in a marriage. But only if he has given and asked the wife to do that and she is constantly acting on behalf of him as someone who wants to help, uplift, honor, encourage and help her husband succeed and soar as the responsible leader before God. There is mutual submission AND we are supposed to submit even if the other partner isn’t. There’s no excuse or caveat that relieves us of this. Do we trust God?

  3. admin

    November 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks Friend 🙂 Good words!

  4. Hi Mary, I did see you were talking to wives, and that is the best approach. I only have control of myself, and it is my job to submit, no matter what the other person is doing. Husbands need to be taught by other men – certainly NOT by me lol!

    The difficult situations are the ones where the wife is not being submissive, and feels she has reasons why she does not or should not do that (he isn’t a Christian, he is making bad decisions, he is addicted to ______, he is not where I am spiritually, blah, blah, blah)

    In these cases, the question is, “Who am I trusting?” It is hard to remember, sometimes, that it is really God we are trusting, not our husbands, right? If my husband comes home and says, “I quit my job today,” I will freak out if I am trusting in my husband. However, if I am trusting God, I respond much differently.

    I guess Amy said pretty much the same thing.

    I strongly think, though, that if a wife is being abused, different rules apply. That is not something we are to submit to. It is dangerous, and there has been teaching out there saying women should just stick it out with abusive husbands. That is just wrong! That is a teaching in Afghanistan, not for Christians.

    So, trust God, and be Christians to each other. That’s about it.
    Sue

    • admin

      November 9, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Yes, again I think we agree Sue.

      I’m pretty sure my general readers consist of Christian women in the church, who have fairly stable homes although you never know, that’s for sure. And although I try to preface the things I say, I was not even intending to speak to the issue of abuse in the marriage.

      It’s funny, because I have noticed for some reason that when Christian women start talking about submission, this issue of abuse very commonly comes up. Possibly because the topic in general makes us uncomfortable, so we would rather talk about when it doesn’t apply, then to talk about how we ourselves are handling this in our non-abusive marriages.

      Certainly there are other situations out there, and I am not saying that a woman should be staying in an abusive situation.

      My intent is to encourage those of us who are in a stable marriage to not give ourselves excuses.
      🙂 Mary

  5. Great article. And good call- the leap almost always goes to “abuse” when the vast majority of us just live with the situation of being married to a plain old human… no abuse, just normal day-in, day-out sin & offenses & selfishness & exhaustion.

    Anyway. Great article. It’s an area where we are (culturally) more likely to cut off Scriptural truth and give ourselves a pass, and those are the areas I like to hear people talking about.

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