Revisiting the question of a troublesome mother-in-law.

most_popularOne of the most visited posts I’ve written in the five years I’ve been blogging is A wife’s best defense against a troublesome mother-in-law.  As I write this it is the fifth most visited page on the blog.  This popularity shouldn’t be surprising, as this is sadly a very common problem, and the “normal” methods of trying to address the problem simply don’t work.

Recently commenter Laura has been discussing her own challenges here.  From the discussion it sounds like she has made some progress, but she made a comment in reply to another reader which made me want to revisit this topic:

I will not give on this issue for certain reasons that I guarantee any mother that was in my position would be doing the same.
Like I said you make think I am not being a supportive loving wife and daughter in law however you really don’t know what I am talking about when I say she did some really horrible things. So stop assuming that its a normal tense relationship between us because it was not.

I can’t speak for the other commenter, but I have no problem believing that Laura’s mother-in-law is doing truly vile and astounding things.  Like Laura, I have witnessed things which I won’t go into out of respect for the privacy of those involved.  The question is not should something be done about the problem, but how to best address the problem.

As I explained in the initial post on the topic, the problem is every modern wife’s go-to solution maddeningly stops working when the mother-in-law is involved.  Modern wives are masters at manipulating their husbands through nagging, drama, threats of divorce, denying sex, etc.  While wives using these tools create a miserable marriage for both husband and wife, the tools themselves are generally speaking extremely effective in manipulating the husband.  If a wife wants to spend more money, get her husband to work harder to earn more money, buy a bigger house or a new car, etc, these tools do generally work quite well, and wives know this.

Aside from creating a miserable marriage, the practical problem with this approach is it fails miserably when dealing with mother-in-laws.  As I explained in the original post, in this scenario the mother-in-law outranks the wife in the de facto matriarchy the wife has created.  It is, however, worse than this devastating fact would suggest. Not only does the mother-in-law outrank the wife, but the wife is playing the mother-in-law’s game.  No matter how good at manipulation and drama Laura is, her mother-in-law is going to be far better at this game.  It would be less foolish for Laura to challenge LeBron James to a game of 1 on 1 in basketball.  And make no mistake, if Laura is trying to pressure her husband to fix the problem with her mother-in-law, she is playing the drama and manipulation game.  All of her best moves suddenly fail spectacularly;  it is like she is moving in slow motion.  Every scheme she concocts to outwit the mother-in-law ends with Laura being knocked down and dunked on.  She gets fouled but somehow the mother-in-law makes it look like she was the one in the wrong.  It would be hilarious to watch if it weren’t so tragic.  

Why won’t he stand up for himself?

Like most wives in the same situation, Laura is no doubt extremely frustrated that her husband won’t stand up for himself.  Why does he let her manipulate him that way?  Yet her chosen tactic is to manipulate her husband even more.  She doesn’t really want him to stand up for himself.  On the contrary, she wants her puppet to stop taking direction from that other woman and do exactly as she tells him to do.

Part of the problem is that Laura no doubt chose a husband she felt she could keep in line, one who would respond positively to her leadership.  She didn’t want to marry a man who was good at standing up to manipulation, and she doesn’t want him to stand up for himself now.  What she hadn’t considered is that another woman already trained him in how to be manipulated, and this woman has decades of experience on her.  Even worse, every tactic Laura will be tempted to use only weakens her own hand and strengthens the mother-in-law’s.  Whether it is threats of divorce, denied sex, or just plain nagging, all of this creates a wedge in her own marriage, pushing her husband away and weakening the very hold she hopes to exploit.

For an example of how wives get knocked down and dunked on, consider one of the more standard plays wives try to run.  The mother-in-law does something pernicious, so the wife demands that the husband “Go talk to her about it”.  This is of course exactly the sort of drama the mother-in-law is craving.  The husband carries out his wife’s orders, and delivers her message to the mother-in-law.  The thing to always keep in mind is that drama, any kind of drama, is like a lit crack pipe to an out of control mother-in-law.  That sinister smile you swear just flashed across her face when you sent him over isn’t something you imagined.  She is outright delighted that you chose to send this drama her way.  How the mother-in-law chooses to play this hand is at her discretion, as she can either paint the wife as a vindictive controlling person who is trying to push the innocent mother out of her son’s (and grand-children’s) life, or she can play it the other way, by making a huge emotional display explaining how sorry she is that she has “made the wife hate her so much”!  What can she ever do to be forgiven of this?  For added effect, most troublesome mother-in-laws will also prefer to throw in some sort of health emergency into the mix.  This could as easily be real as it is feigned, but the veracity of the emergency doesn’t really matter much.

She almost caused a divorce!

When laura first started commenting she utilized the passive aggressive language of the threat point:

Letting him guide the situation last time almost caused a divorce so this I why I turned to the Internet because Im lost and just don’t know what to do.

The problem with threats of divorce as I mentioned above is that they only strengthen the mother-in-law’s hand by weakening the marriage.  Following through and actually divorcing does the same thing.  The state is at all times delighted to step in and remove a husband and father from the home, but don’t expect that enthusiasm for destroying families to extend to the grandparents.  If Laura divorces the father of her children her mother in law’s hand with the children will only be strengthened.  Just like divorcing wives, mother in laws understand the power of using children for manipulation.

What to do when you are tired of getting dunked on. 

For wives who are tired of trying to out manipulate, nag, and drama queen their mothers-in-law, the best option is to allow the husband to do what she keeps complaining he won’t do:  learn to stand up for himself.  But how to do this, since the normal tools of manipulation by definition won’t teach him to stand up for himself?  I’ve given advice on how a wife can encourage a husband to show more leadership to a very sweet wife who wasn’t in nearly this bad a situation, and a year later she wrote back to tell me how much her marriage had improved as a result of following the advice.

Realistically wives in Laura’s position have more bad habits for both the husband and wife to learn to break, so it will not be easy.  It is however the only viable solution short of divorce and a court order banning the mother-in-law from all contact with the children (the first part is a slam dunk under our system, the second is very unlikely).   Even with a court order however, this is a woman who is an expert at manipulation.  Breaking apart your family is extremely unlikely to create a better shelter for your children.

What wives in Laura’s situation need to do is what is most against all of their instincts.  They need to let go and let their husband stand on his own two feet and lead.  Good feminists will of course have picked husbands who are particularly weak at standing up to women, so this will mean a steeper learning curve for him.  Good feminists will also find it very hard not to pretend to allow him to lead while retaining hold of the reins.  One thing the son of a manipulative mother understands is manipulation, and while he may not be able to vocalize it, he will sense this manipulation in his gut.  His mother will as well.

The end goal

The end goal is to get the husband to a situation where he is truly leading, and as a natural result is protective of those he is leading.  Ironically what his mother probably needs more than anything is for a strong man to tell her to knock off the antics.  As I explained above, men who are acting as a messenger for another woman can’t deliver this.  Only a man who is acting of his own decision can do this.  What wives will find is when their husband decides to do this of his own volition, the mother-in-law will almost always become surprisingly calm, happy, and pleasant.  However, for difficult cases like Laura’s mother-in-law, this effect is likely to only be temporary.  What the husband needs to learn is how to identify manipulation and drama and disarm it.  Men in my experience are far better at understanding how to do this than women, as women will almost always choose an option which increases the drama.

Edit:  Laura has returned with an update.

This entry was posted in Aging Feminists, Feminists, Headship, Mother-in-law, Submission, Threatpoint. Bookmark the permalink.

264 Responses to Revisiting the question of a troublesome mother-in-law.

  1. Boxer says:

    Hell, even this androcidal uber-mangina is a tenured professor at a deep-pocketed private university

    Those deep pockets will dry up rather quickly if the right conditions present themselves. It’s the historical imperative, and all that.

    It’s hard to understate the echo chamber that exists in academia. It’s a hermetic world that shields a lot of smart people from ever needing to do physical work, which means that they’re simultaneously detached from regular folks while being in an unearned position of influence over the culture. To be fair, they’re not all true believers. Most of them are just sort of unprincipled people who are riding the feedback loop for what it’s worth.

    Boxer

  2. Pingback: Revisiting the question of a troublesome mother in law. | Neoreactive

  3. JDG says:

    Very insightful. Well done.

  4. Rohan says:

    Why isn’t your analysis symmetrical? You state that if the husband defers to the wife, that sets up a matriarchy wherein the mother-in-law is the senior member. But if the wife defers to husband and sets up a patriarchy, why isn’t the senior member the father-in-law?

  5. Anonymous Reader says:

    What the husband needs to learn is how to identify manipulation and drama and disarm it.

    Unhappily that ability will also work on his “partner for life”. So she might not want him to learn it.

  6. Sarah's Daughter says:

    When we were first married my husband and his mother were very close and they still are. There were a couple of incidences that created quite a bit of drama for me. Not wanting my husband to be the “go between”, I said to him “I think in the long term it would be best if your mother and I develop our own relationship, in order to do that, you might need to step aside and allow it to happen.” He agreed and did just that. From that moment on if there was a challenge between us, it was my challenge to deal with. He didn’t call her for advice anymore and I became the one who would call her to catch up and plan events.

    She and I became very close but then she crossed the line. She gossiped to me about my husband. She was still very upset with him for some choices he made prior to us meeting that hurt her deeply. I had heard the story, I knew what had all happened. I was super nervous but decided now was the time to end this disrespect toward my husband due to her not having forgiven him. I told her “That is enough. I know this story already, I understand it hurt you but you will no longer speak about my husband poorly to me and you certainly will not do so around our future children.” – For dramatic effect I walked out of the house. She looked at my sister-in-law (who was part of the gossip) and said, “I think we just had a fight.” (she told me this years later).

    To this day, my mother-in-law has not spoken about my husband disrespectfully to me or my children. As far as I know she’s forgiven him – she’s not mentioned the issue since and it’s been 20 years. This isn’t the case with my brothers-in-law, I’ve overheard many disparaging and disrespectful things said about them.

    I know this isn’t an extreme example (over all I have an excellent mother-in-law), but perhaps those who are going into marriage can mitigate some potential mother-in-law challenges if this type of thing is dealt with up front and early in the marriage.

  7. Anonymous Reader says:

    TFH

    I wonder how much single motherhood is not exclusively to ride the carousel, but rather to avoid having a mother-in-law to deal with….

    You may be overthinking the issue, or it could be your own cultural premises at work. I’ve known a few single mothers, through work or other situations, and none of them showed enough foresight or “long term thinking” to even consider that angle. Maybe my sample is skewed but I don’t think so. At least one of these single mothers (either never-married or divorced, I do not know) had divorced parents, a divorced uncle, and possibly a divorced sibling. In her mind this was normal, or at least she sure worked hard to pretend that was the case.

    It is difficult for people in the UMC or even the MC to realize how commonplace divorce, remarriage, cohabitation, never-married cohabitation, etc. are among some segments of society.

  8. Anonymous Reader says:

    Sarah’s Daughter, that’s a really excellent example of a woman on “team her man” or “team marriage” if you prefer, rather than “team woman”. The example Dalrock has provided to us could be considered a contest between two women for control of a man, unfortunately all too common.

  9. A Definite Beta Guy says:

    Why isn’t your analysis symmetrical? You state that if the husband defers to the wife, that sets up a matriarchy wherein the mother-in-law is the senior member. But if the wife defers to husband and sets up a patriarchy, why isn’t the senior member the father-in-law?

    My Father In Law gave away his daughter at the Wedding, quite symbolic of him giving up his say. He knows it, I know it. Mrs. ADBG is in a new household and a man’s law does not extend into another man’s household.

    Totally different from a Matriarchy, which is a drama-crazed free for all.

  10. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Totally different from a Matriarchy, which is a drama-crazed free for all.

    Men tend to have this wonderful virtue called honor.

  11. honordads says:

    Reblogged this on Honor Dads and commented:
    Fortunately my MIL (and my wife’s) are awesome. But we had to work at that too….

  12. @Dalrock
    I like your advice about letting go of control and resisting the urge to manipulate.
    But this…
    “The end goal is to get the husband to a situation where he is truly leading, and as a natural result is protective of those he is leading.”
    …still sounds like manipulation to me.
    Perhaps I am reading it this way because I have struggled with manipulating my husband in the past (even not so distant past), but surely this is a common temptation among women.

  13. Boxer says:

    Dear Rohan:

    But if the wife defers to husband and sets up a patriarchy, why isn’t the senior member the father-in-law?

    That’s a very astute question, brother.

    One of the historical aspects of traditional patriarchy which is not well understood on Dalrock is the phenomenon of the extended family, and I’m glad you pointed out the dichotomy, because it’s completely relevant.

    Up until (roughly) World War II, all through America and Europe, people tended to live agrarian lives, or work in industries closely tied to agriculture (carpentry, blacksmithing, etc.). It was totally normal for the fathers of both the bride and groom to have their married kids living near by, and often they lived on a floor of the same house! People tended to be born in the same town their grandfather was born in, and people tended to die there too.

    This is a historical aspect of patriarchy that ought to be discussed more often. A young husband would have a powerful ally in his father-in-law, who knew all the wife’s tricks since childhood, and could back his plays, while he apprenticed himself to the position of patriarch.

    This is why it’s tough to lay all the blame at the feet of women, or female nature. Sure, wimminz tend to behave pretty badly, but they’re reacting to things like scale and atomization, living lives which our species was never evolved for. We not only have to figure out a way to reverse feminism, but we also ought to reverse the broader social trends that encouraged women to adopt it as a reaction. This trend of atomization and the disintegration of the extended family structure is (in my opinion) a very powerful force that weakened useful pillars in the healthy superstructure that used to exist in western society.

    Best,

    Boxer

  14. Allison says:

    @seriouslyserving, If a wife is approaching this as a means to an end, it would be one more manipulation and would probably fall apart quickly as she loses patience and reverts to demanding action. But if she really sees the fallacy of ordering the guy to be assertive, then she’s not just trying a new tactic, but is giving the fight up. My MIL is in a nursing home and doesn’t have agency. But seeing this play out with other women, I wonder why DIL doesn’t just drop the mic and walk off the stage, so to speak. Just spend all the holidays at your own mom’s house and let MIL enjoy Siberia if she can’t be civil. It is after all the women who organize these things.

  15. Keith says:

    Dalrock is one of the white guys to accurately describe the difference between a patriarchy and a matriarchy. The matriarchy is the original clan based tribal organization before the agricultural age. Modified forms of it still exist in Africa. Patriarchy is based on individual households. Each man was expected to make decisions and run his own household. Whereas the clan was to defer to the eldest matriarch.

    A matriarchy is not the opposite of a patriarchy they are different structures with different rules…

  16. Sarah's Daughter says:

    @seriouslyserving
    Is it possible for a wife to manipulate her husband if she has, as Dalrock suggested:
    let go and let their husband stand on his own two feet and lead

    Dalrock sums up the process in that sentence. If I were to make that statement to a wife, I would reword it: “let go and pray for God to help you have no concern about his actions” Because like Dalrock said, what wives in Laura’s situation need to do is what is most against all of their instincts.

    Wives will be completely confused, “How can I possibly not concern myself? How do I just let go?” – the best I have answered those questions is to say: “You alone can not.”

    We can not do it on our own. If we could, we as women, are often susceptible to then taking credit (in our not-so-humble hearts) for the changes that our husband’s have made.

    5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

    Paying close attention to what I have put in bold, a husband being won without a word from his wife must include prayer – trusting in God – and they must not be afraid – they must have faith.

    How does a woman not concern herself? She lets go through prayer and requesting assistance from God. How does she let go? She is obedient to God if she is not afraid and if she calmly submits herself to her husband.

    What happens then…her husband leads.

    Either that or God’s a liar.

  17. @SD
    I guess what I was getting at is this: what if you let go completely and your husband doesn’t lead?

    1 Peter 3 says “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own 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…”

    They “may” be won, not they “will” be won.
    So I don’t think it makes God a liar if a husband doesn’t step up as leader, as He never promised this.

    I think wives should focus on doing what is right and leave the result to God. (Which is pretty much what you were saying) But we need to accept that the result may be a husband who doesn’t lead, or (in this situation) just follows the lead of his Mum, without ever standing up to her.
    It becomes manipulation if a wife has the end goal of getting her husband to be a certain way.

  18. Sarah's Daughter says:

    But we need to accept that the result

    I left a comment on the last thread for Laura that was very similar to some advice I just gave to a woman I’m very close to. Her husband has two children from a prior marriage and a third that isn’t his but he raised her with his ex-wife. They have been married for just a few years. My friend was frustrated by how the children are being parented. They’re all adults (over 18), two don’t have jobs – one of which lives with grandma, dad and the ex-wife give money freely to them. Anyway, long story short, they are coddled.

    Here is the exact message I wrote to her with names removed:
    “Pray about it. Then ask your husband what he wants you to do. If he wants you to not feel this way and accept it, then ask God to help you. Forgive him and his kids and accept that there is nothing you can do about it. It won’t be your responsibility and neither will the consequences. Do what you can to not harbor judgement in your heart. Accept that he is the decider when it comes to the money and trust God that even if he makes mistakes in giving money, God will bless you and your marriage for your willingness to submit to his decisions and willingness to maintain harmony in your marriage. Though it seems he is not making good decisions or that he accepts that his ex-wife and his mom don’t make good decisions when it comes to the kids, you won’t be able to teach or instruct them differently. It doesn’t need to be a helpless feeling either. If you really decide to give it to God and let it go you’ll find that after a while of surrendering every negative or judgmental thought that in time you’ll have fewer of those thoughts and it won’t cause you frustration or stress anymore. God can change those feelings, you just have to ask him to help.

    I don’t believe at all that we will just have to accept the result and maintain a martyr type resolve of “I’ve done all I can do.” I believe that within this type of attitude is a judgement that is poison in the marriage. There is still an expectation and a disappointment there. It is my firm belief that in a marriage, there is no room for a wife to have expectations of her husband or judgements toward him. And I know – have seen it, felt it, lived it, had many women confess it, that God does change our perspective.

    What results may not be that he is leading by some set standard, but a wife’s perspective gets changed. In Laura’s case, perhaps she develops an affinity toward her mother-in-law, starts to appreciate her and all she’s lived through. She might start to change the dynamic of the relationship. Perhaps she starts bonding with her and they become as Ruth and Naomi. All the while her husband might not have changed a thing.

    It is a very rare man, though, who has a wife who genuinely respects and adores him, goes to God with all of her concerns, displays her loyalty and reverence (Sarah called Abraham “Lord”) etc. who does not become strengthened as a leader and head of his household.

    In fact a wife’s confession “he still isn’t leading” – is her judgement. An impossible statement to make if she is truly seeking to become Sarah’s daughter and obedient to God.

  19. Andreas says:

    As long as a wife persists in thinking that her husband has to change somehow to become the leader/head, then it will never be at least not experientially for her. Though once you understand, by the renewing of your mind, that Christ is the head of ALL things in heaven and earth; It will be simple to let go and just rest in your proper place in God’s order/design in a trusting manner. The same thing applies to husbands also, you have to trust in God’s word concerning your headship that He will back you up as in ‘if God is for you who can be against you’. Everything is possible with faith and nothing is possible without it.

  20. Thanks for responding again SD.

    “If you really decide to give it to God and let it go you’ll find that after a while of surrendering every negative or judgmental thought that in time you’ll have fewer of those thoughts and it won’t cause you frustration or stress anymore. God can change those feelings, you just have to ask him to help.”

    I agree with this. But having God change our hearts and thoughts so that a husband’s lack of leadership (or more accurately, leadership in a way we don’t think is best – as it is in your friend’s case) doesn’t bother us anymore is not the same as a husband becoming a leader, as you said would happen in your post at 11:14pm:
    “How does a woman not concern herself? She lets go through prayer and requesting assistance from God. How does she let go? She is obedient to God if she is not afraid and if she calmly submits herself to her husband.
    What happens then…her husband leads.”

    These are two different things 1. A wife praying and having God change her heart so that she is no longer concerned by her husband’s lack of leadership and 2. A husband being “won without a word” and becoming a godly leader as a result of his wife “letting go” and submitting.
    Just because number 1 happens, this does not guarantee number 2.

    “I don’t believe at all that we will just have to accept the result and maintain a martyr type resolve of “I’ve done all I can do.” I believe that within this type of attitude is a judgement that is poison in the marriage.”

    This is not what I am advocating. Of course, a wife will always maintain hope for God to work in her husband’s life. But God is not bound to do this.
    And I agree with you that martyrdom from a wife will poison a marriage.
    Still, I wrestle with this.

    My mother was a great example of a submissive wife, and yet… I don’t consider my parents’ marriage one to emulate (at least, not in every way). There were many times as kids that we tried to approach Mum about something in Dad’s behaviour that seemed obviously sinful (like, us being punished for offences which never occurred), and her only response was “it’s not my place to correct Dad”. So, she was always submissive and respectful to him, but it didn’t make him a better man.

    Was she being a martyr?

    And the bottom line in all of this is that both husbands and wives are equally sinful and fallen humans. A wife will never submit perfectly. A husband will never lead perfectly. But neither of these things excuses either party from seeking to do the right thing.

    I just think we should do so, not with an attitude of martyrdom, but with an acceptance that our “end goal” is to please God – not to get our husbands to lead a certain way.

  21. Looking Glass says:

    @SD & SS:

    Almost Husband given the space (and mostly the lack of second guessing/aura of respect) to lead his Home will end up leading His Home competently, given a little time & practice. The only Men that can’t have other issues, at which point the the Wife bears the responsibility for having willingly chosen to marry the Man. A home with Respect noticeable is a safe & comfortable place for all involved. Rebellion hangs in the air and poisons all relationships. It also eats up significant amounts of emotional & physical energy.

    God told us how to live our lives not because he wants to see us miserable; he told us how to live our lives so we can be Free. And the only way to be free in Christ is to end the rebellion & sin. Which is always the problem.

  22. Dave says:

    I wonder how much single motherhood is not exclusively to ride the carousel, but rather to avoid having a mother-in-law to deal with….

    Let us not veer to the other side. Spawning bastards has nothing to do with mother-in-law-tensions. All single mothers ought to hide their faces in shame for depriving their kids of a father. Single mothers—not widows. Even many divorced women could have saved their marriages if they had worked harder.

  23. Dave says:

    I was at a gift shop at a local hospital yesterday. There were antique gifts emblazoned with several members of the family. Some were addressed to Moms, Aunties, Sisters, Family, and even to dogs. Not a single one was addressed to Dads. So I walked up to the woman selling the items and asked her, “Why, you don’t have any gifts for dads”? She turned the whole thing into a joke but had no answer for me.
    Really? Even dogs have specialized gifts but not dads?
    It is about time American men took their country back. The real enemy is feminism, not some foreigners who are here to work hard an make something of their lives.

  24. Dave, you have a good comment there, but tagging a bit of sentimental open-borders nonsense on the end doesn’t strengthen it.

    American men have multiple enemies. If you want me to focus on the feminists, don’t remind me about the others.

  25. Jeff says:

    I am sure this blog holds true in many marriages, but what of those who married young and are now middle ageed.

    Left home at 17/18/19 married at 19/20/21, now 38-43. They have now been married to their spouse longer than they were “trained” by their mother. Their wife/ husband has now been with them longer than when they lived with mom/dad.

    I would say the wife bears the burden of how the husbands character developed as well. We learn certain behaviors from our spouses. I certainly did.

    It took me 5 years (age27) to figure out that if I treat my wife the way she treated me, I could teach her. She would actually listen and understand how horrible she was acting. If i told her how she was acting she just denied denied denied. This was the ONLY THING THAT BROUGHT CHANGE, and yet our pastor/ counselor said NOT to do this, that we were not to “teach our spouses a lesson”.

  26. PokeSalad says:

    Dal, it should be “reins” not “reigns.”
    Hf
    Great post, thanks.

    [D: Doh! Thanks! Fixed.]

  27. Spike says:

    I actually have a good relationship with my MIL.
    I led my wife to Christ before we married. My wife in turn strongly influenced my MIL, although she was to convert later in a foreign country. She in turn followed the New Testament teachings regarding her husband, a very highly ranked Freemason of considerable influence in their country. You don’t get that high in Freemasonry without overt rebellious acts against the Lord. My devout MIL’s obedience to Biblical teaching influenced my Father-in-Law who also then became a Christian.
    My wife does not obey the New Testament’s teachings regarding wives, as she is a feminist first and a Christian second (and yes, I did get fooled by that and yes, I’m responsible!). So my MIL chastises my wife about her treatment of me whenever she has seen it, as she knows the commands of Scripture.
    This verifies two things about this blog:
    -One: A wife’s obedience to Scripture, submitting to her husband “even when they obey not the Word” (1 Peter 3) – works for even the most spiritually hardened of men.
    -Two: There is feminist rebellion in the Western Church, masquerading as Evangelical Christianity. This inverts Biblical teaching because it stands between God and women believers, and it weakens the Church as a result.

  28. feeriker says:

    “The thing to always keep in mind is that drama, any kind of drama, is like a lit crack pipe to a woman.”

    FIFY.

  29. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Just because number 1 happens, this does not guarantee number 2.

    Really? According to whom? Her changed heart submits to him as the head of the household. He is leading in the way he sees fit, doing what he believes is right to do. She submits to that and surrenders all judgement of it. Where God takes it from there is beyond her and she is not judgmental one way or the other.

    But God is not bound to do this.

    Answer prayers? I know it seems as though I’ve moved the goal posts and am saying two different things result but to the wife who surrenders, it is the same.

    There were many times as kids that we tried to approach Mum about something in Dad’s behaviour that seemed obviously sinful

    In this home, I understand my lane and it is not to judge my husband’s behavior. My children…really know it’s not their lane.

    So, she was always submissive and respectful to him, but it didn’t make him a better man.

    To who? You? Her? God?

    In your example, were my kids to do that, I would have had the same response as your mother. I might ask my husband what happened in private but would not for a minute allow my children to undermine their father’s authority in our home.

    Was she being a martyr?

    It doesn’t sound that way. Playing the martyr is a manipulative trick women attempt for attention seeking. Your mother’s response indicates she did what God told her to do in marriage and her heart was genuine.

  30. Glenfilthie says:

    You have to be careful here, Dalrock.

    For lack of a better term – call the good wife a ‘beta female’. She is warm and loving to her husband. She understands her role in the marriage and the family, and she is loathe to cause or get involved in conflicts because that is not what she does – she cares and nurtures while the husband resolves problems.

    She is also fresh meat for the loud, ignorant domineering women of the feminist generations. My wife is a classical old world woman, and both my mother and hers were rabid feminists before the term was invented. There is enough friction between me and my mother to keep her on her own side of the fence…but my mother in law and her hen pecked flimp of a husband used my wife for a door mat – and me for a punching bag – for decades. I put up with it because I loved my wife and she obviously loved her parents. When they started interfering in the parenting of my child I finally snapped and laid down the law – either they get out of my house and family and stay out or I would. I haven’t spoken to those assholes in 5 years now, and don’t care if I ever do again. My wife sees her parents once or twice a month but they now stay on their side of the fence too. They are not welcome in my home and they know it.

    In-laws have no business coming into your home and stirring up trouble. If they do, you kick them out and make them stay out. You visit on weekends, do the odd BBQ – but your family is YOURS and if feral women are stirring up chit – you jump on it and you stamp it out or they WILL ruin your family life. Be prepared to follow up on threats too – domineering women often get away with their BS and don’t understand the significance of a man drawing a line in the sand – never mind the relationship between actions and consequences. Also, families aren’t the same anymore. They are fragile and delicate and feral women have been destroying them for decades. It is far less painful just to cut them out and deal with their loss, than try to accomidate them at the expense of the happiness of everyone else.

    When you are dealing with modern, nasty women – the deals are all off. Protect yourself, your kids and your wife and do what you gotta do. No drama, no head games, no childish tit-for-tat. Half the women out there are little more than children themselves and have to be disciplined the same way.

  31. Sarah's Daughter says:

    1 Peter 3 says “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own 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…”

    They “may” be won, not they “will” be won.
    So I don’t think it makes God a liar if a husband doesn’t step up as leader, as He never promised this.

    Some translations use the word “will” and not the word “may”. – The one I use most often says “may”. When this happens, I go to my husband and ask him which one is best for understanding. When it comes to 1 Peter 3, his understanding is that it is “will”. And his reasoning of it due to what he’s witnessed is consistent what Spike said above:
    -One: A wife’s obedience to Scripture, submitting to her husband “even when they obey not the Word” (1 Peter 3) – works for even the most spiritually hardened of men.

    And what Looking Glass said:
    Almost Husband given the space (and mostly the lack of second guessing/aura of respect) to lead his Home will end up leading His Home competently, given a little time & practice.

  32. Sean says:

    Is this the same Laura who was giving horrible advice to a man regarding his impending divorce in the other thread?

  33. Laura says:

    I am not the same Laura as the person having MIL problems. However, I wish her the very best. Some in-law issues seem to sort themselves out over a period of time if no one fans the flames. Others require active intervention. It can be hard to know the difference when you haven’t been married long.

  34. Rebecca says:

    Dear SS,
    You’re right-KJV, NKJV, and NIV all say “may”. But whether he changes or not, our job is to love and obey him. And there is a hope that he may change, many of us have lived this out and it is truly a miracle. Doesn’t make it easy though, so I’ll be praying for you.
    And it is also okay to talk to your husband about what you’re concerned about–with the right attitude. The Bible is clear that Sarah, Abraham’s wife expressed her displeasure about Hagar and Ishmael, and in fact, God told Abraham “whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her….”; and Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away because of this.
    When we’ve had differences about the kids, we talk away from them. We’ve both been wrong, and help each other. While it’s important to never be disrespectful in front of the children, it’s also wrong to allow injustice to happen.
    God bless.

  35. Stingray says:

    what if you let go completely and your husband doesn’t lead?

    A husband has no choice but to lead if his wife is not. If she makes himself completely submissive to him, he will be her leader. The only way he could completely fail at this is to remove himself from the marriage.

  36. JDG says:

    Even many divorced women could have saved their marriages if they had worked harder.

    Simply not filing in the first place would have prevented most of them from divorcing.

  37. The Jack Russell Terrorist says:

    Ernie K. Doe in 1961 had a hit with the song “Mother in law”, based on personal experience.

    When you listen to the lyrics, some of you can relate to this or know someone who would.

  38. Pingback: Dalrock Revisiting the question of a troublesome mother in… | Honor Dads

  39. RichardP says:

    @Rebecca: “… our job is to love and obey him …”

    According to whom?

    The One who made us says something different about what our jobs are. As often as I have said this over the past 18 months, the comments always come back the same as are presented in this post – some derivative of what we think the New Testament is saying. As though the writers of the New Testament had the authority to write new laws for those in Christ that override what the One who made us said in the begining. So – once again:

    a. You cannot find words anywhere in the New or Old Testament that state that the husband is the head of the family. Only that he is the head of his wife, as Christ is the head of his church. I may be splitting hairs here with this distinction – but there are numerous scriptures in both Old and New Testament that command both mom and dad to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord. Too much focus on “husband is head of family” gives wife the opportunity to shirk responsibilities placed on her in both the Old and New Testaments “because it’s his responsibility”..

    b. The One who made Adam saw that he was without a help, proper for him, and so made him one. The One who made Adam made someone to help Adam. I’ve written elsewhere about the distinction between the helper and the helped. I won’t duplicate it here in detail. But the distinction between the helper and the helped is not made based on who is the smartest or the biggest or the baddest or the meanest. The distinction between the helper and the helped is based solely on “whose vision should be followed”? That’s it. How does the helper assist the helped when he in obvious error if the helper dare not say anything because her role is to “submit” to whatever the helped wants? That is balderdash, and does not in any way reflect the value a helper is supposed to have to the helped. So long as the helper is focused on his vision and not hers, her responsibility is to do everything she possibly can do to help him achieve his vision. It may even be that she needs to help him define a vision. And her help includes speaking out with an informed opinion when she sees the need to. If you really get this, you will understand the requirement “being a help” places on the helper to educate herself in many things – so that she can actually do for him what the One who made us created her to do.

    c. The One who made us did not require the helper to submit to the helped anywhere in Genesis 1-5. The One who made us made the helper to help the helped. But, when kicking them out of the Garden, the One who made us made a descriptive (what will be – not perscriptive, what should be) pronouncement: HE WILL RULE OVER YOU. Not, HE SHOULD, or YOU SHOULD LET HIM, or YOU SHOULD TRICK HIM INTO LEADING YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Rather, HE WILL RULE OVER YOU. He will have his way with you. He will lead you in the way his vision calls him to. Even if that means leading you to stand still and do nothing. And even if you don’t perceive that he actually is leading.

    We easily proclaim that choosing to do nothing is still a choice. But we seem to have difficulty understanding that leading someone to stand still and do nothing is still leadership. It may not be the leadership that you crave. But it is wrong to say that it is not leadership.

    d. Why do we insist that New Testament writers were given the authority to tell us that how the One who made us actually made us does not still stand? I’m guessing that at least part of the reason is because doing this gives the helper an excuse to exert efforts to teach the helped to lead her in the pursuit of her vision. Answer this: what helper, who is firmly commited to helping the helped persue his vision, will agitate mercilessly for change when it is obvious that he is leading both of them to stand still and be quiet?

    e. TO REPEAT: The One who made us did not create a distinction between the helper and the helped based on who is the smartest or the biggest or the baddest or the meanest. The One who made us created the distinction based on whose vision is to be followed. That distinction determines toward what ends both the helper and the helped’s efforts are to be directed. And, in the carrying out of these efforts, he WILL rule over you. Even if you don’t know that he is.

    Should what I said at Point (a-e) above be modified and interpreted through the lens of what the New Testament writers say? Or should what the New Testament writers say be modified and interpreted through the lens of what the One who made us actually did and said?

    Here’s some advice from a group of men:

  40. RichardP says:

    Get Over It

  41. RichardP says:

    OK. That video does exist, just not here I guess. If you’ve never heard the song, I encourage you to find it on YouTube. It’s by the Eagles.

  42. RichardP says:

    I said above: “the comments always come back the same as are presented in this post” .

    The word “post” should be “thread”.

  43. Rebecca says:

    Richard,
    Totally agree with some of your points, but yes, you are splitting hairs about the husband being the head of the wife, but not the family. I think I get what you are saying though, if you mean that some wives aren’t doing their part and just being lazy. Like when I’ve heard wives blame their children ‘s disobedience on the Dad when they were stay at home moms–having much more time to train the kids than he did.
    I also agree with your point on submission. My husband says a wise king listens to his Queen! (Obviously I have no problem with him being the King!) I believe I am to submit to him in all things, excepting sin. Now that’s a trouble spot for many on both sides, but I don’t think it’s really that difficult. Can I submit to his decision about birth control, schooling, where to go to church, what color to paint the kitchen?–yes. Would I submit to him if he asked me to kill my unborn child, be sexually immoral with someone else, or not read my Bible?–no. We are to obey those who have the rule over us, except when they require us to disobey God. Submitting to sin doesn’t make us more spiritual, it means we’re cowards.
    Finally, as a Christian, I believe the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the Word of God. It is an amazing book.

  44. Some translations use the word “will” and not the word “may”.

    Even “may,” in this context, can mean “will.” “May” doesn’t always have the meaning of “maybe, maybe not.” Sometimes it means one thing is the cause of another. (For what it’s worth, that’s how this verse is in Latin, as a subjunctive clause of purpose.) If you say, “Start the car so that we may leave,” it doesn’t mean you might not leave; it means the first action is being done for the purpose of the second. It sounds a little archaic there, because most people would say “can” in that spot now, but bible translations often use language that’s archaic for the sake of accuracy.

    Besides, when a woman asks that question (“What if I submit and my husband doesn’t lead?”), what’s her point? Is she putting God on notice, that He’d better notice her efforts and pay up? Is she setting up an exception, so she can go back to bossing and nagging in 6 months if God didn’t keep His side of the deal? Either she submits because God says so and sticks with it as best she can for the rest of her life, or she does it because she’s trying to change her husband. If the latter, guess what — she’s still trying to manipulate him, and that’s probably going to affect her ability to truly submit.

    I’m not saying she has to be perfect, and she’s bound to have hope that it will “work”; but to the extent that she’s able, she has to change her ways for real and for good, not as a temporary experiment.

  45. Sarah's Daughter says:

    I believe the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the Word of God.

    Except Ephesians 5:24. Either that or somehow Paul used the wrong word? Forgot to include the list? Figured we women would just figure it out on our own and wouldn’t abuse our subjective interpretation of sin? Figured women would “just know” the sins that are acceptable and the ones with which to draw the line. You must be a much smarter Christian than I am. I struggle with the “Tell so and so I’m not here I don’t want to talk to them” – it’s a lie. Lying is sin. Oh crap what do I do? Darn it Paul! Why wasn’t this clear?

    Or maybe, it was.

  46. Fawn says:

    @ Alllison

    . But seeing this play out with other women, I wonder why DIL doesn’t just drop the mic and walk off the stage, so to speak. Just spend all the holidays at your own mom’s house and let MIL enjoy Siberia if she can’t be civil. It is after all the women who organize these things.

    This is how I handled my horrible MIL. It worked like a charm and she’s nice now. She knows that seeing us depends on it.

  47. JDG says:

    The distinction between the helper and the helped is based solely on “whose vision should be followed”? That’s it.

    Nope! That’s not it. Adam was formed 1st. Adam named the animals. Eve was deceived. The wife is to see to it that she obeys her husband, not visa versa.

    c. The One who made us did not require the helper to submit to the helped anywhere in Genesis 1-5.

    The One who made is DID require the helper to submit to the helped in several other passages (Eph 5:22, Col 3:18, 1 Pet 3:1, and Titus 2:3-4). Is it your suggestion that that the lack of this detail in Genesis nullifies it in other portions of scripture?

    Also, how exactly (in the contexts of submission and authority) is being the head of the wife different than being the head of the family? Children are to obey their father and their mother, and the wife (mother of the children) is to obey her husband. The whole family is told to obey the husband.

    I realize that egalitarians (feminists by another name) don’t like what they Bible teaches on the subject of wifely obligations, but here too God maintains His created order.

    1 Tim 2: 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing―if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

    Sorry, it isn’t only about whose vision to follow (although that alone would go a long way in improving the attitude of most Christian wives in our society).

  48. feeriker says:

    I believe the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the Word of God.

    Except Ephesians 5:24. Either that or somehow Paul used the wrong word?

    Time once was, before the Modernism Plague outbreak destroyed the church, that priests and pastors would occasionally remind their parishioners, either obliquely or quite frontally, that in order to be considered true Christians, they were to absorb, believe, and abide by the whole Bible, to include those parts of it that taste like cod liver oil going down, not just the parts of it cherrypicked because they taste good. People who demonstrably and consistently failed to adhere to this admonition tended to find themselves disciplined (to include shunning), or even defellowshipped/excommunicated.

  49. JDG says:

    typo at 5:06 pm: is = us.

  50. JDG says:

    Okay, I’m finding more typos for the 5:06 pm post, but they aren’t too difficult to tell what was meant from the context (they = the, ect.).

  51. Rebecca says:

    SD,
    We’re on the same side, really. Don’t think I’m against what Ephesians 5:4 says. I’m not.
    (And a lie is a lie. I’ve had this issue with my husband. Either I don’t answer the phone when I know he doesn’t want to talk or I say he’s not available right now. See, easy!)
    The goal is a good and godly marriage. If you’re having fun, enjoying yourselves, you’re doing it right. Don’t require everyone to be exactly like you, it’s okay to disagree a bit and still be on the same side.
    Blessings on you and your family!

  52. JDG says:

    Some facts concerning the hierarchy in marriage:
    1 – Adam was created 1st (Gen 2:7, 2:18-23; 1Tim 2:13).
    2 – Adam, not Eve, represented the human race (1Cor 15:22, 45-49; Rom 5:12-21).
    3 – Adam named Eve, not the reverse (Gen 2:23).
    4 – God named the human race “Man” not “Woman” (Gen 5:2).
    5 – God called Adam to account 1st after the fall (Gen 3:9).
    6 – Eve was created as a helper for Adam (Gen 2:18; 1Cor 11:9).
    7 – The curse brought a distortion of previous roles not new roles (Gen 3:16).
    8 – Salvation in Christ in the NT reaffirms the Creation order (Col 3:18-19).
    9 – Marriage has been a picture of Christ and His church since creation (Eph 5:32-33).
    10 – The relationship in the Trinity reflects the relationship in marriage (1 Cor 11:3).
    11 – Wives are to submit to their own husbands.

    Ephesians 5:22
    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
    Ephesians 5:24
    Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
    Colossians 3:18
    Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
    1 Peter 3:1
    Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,

    Christ willingly submitted Himself to the father. So why is it so hard to believe that wives would be asked to willingly submit to their husbands?

  53. Rebecca says:

    CC,
    Interesting. Thank you for that I sight. I’ll be studying that further.

  54. Sarah's Daughter says:

    We’re on the same side, really.

    Oh, we’re close but the significance is in the difference.

    I have no requirements for you or any other woman but a suggestion that you stop lying saying
    you believe the whole of the Bible is the Word of God and then add to it where Paul clearly did not or change the meaning of the word “everything”.

    In your “submissiveness”, you are the arbiter of everything your husband requests of you, you have to be. You have to check everything to make sure it is not sin. Your husband walks the line and his ultimate authority is your approval and decree of what is or is not sin. It would be interesting to know what your response is to a request from your husband that does not meet your approval. How do you candy wrap your rebellion?

    I’m not on that side. And as is consistent with the Bible, I will speak out when permitted in teaching women how to love their husbands. Respected and loved husbands do not walk a line.

  55. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Before I get the expected “would you kill your baby” ridiculousness, I’m interested in the answer to this situation:
    As the phone is ringing, your husband yells to you from the bedroom: “Answer the phone and if it’s so and so, tell him I’ve already left the house.” **

    **not being privy to the information that “so and so” is your husband’s boss and he’s been told if he’s late one more time he’ll be fired.

  56. JDG says:

    Respected and loved husbands do not walk a line.

    Yep! At least not a line drawn by his wife. If she is smart, she will get out of they way and let God work on her husband. So few women seem to know the difference between a respectful suggestion and disrespectful manipulation.

    My thoughts:
    respectful: deferential communication + no expectation of compliance = helpful
    disrespectful: deferential communication + expectation of compliance = not helpful
    disrespectful: irreverent communication + no expectation of compliance = harmful
    disrespectful: irreverent communication + expectation of compliance = destructuve

  57. JDG says:

    at 6:18 pm: typos abound = I need sleep

  58. Rebecca says:

    I have done that (lied) and not been happy with myself, hence my suggestion that makes both of us happy.
    I think it’s almost funny how we women can one-up each other, even talking about being a submissive wife.
    First woman: I believe in submitting to my husband.
    Second woman: Yeah, but I’M so submissive I’D run down the street naked for him, so there!
    I also believe in submitting to those who rule over me in the church and government, but I would refuse to divorce my husband if the Pastor told me to and I’d disobey the government if told to turn in fellow believers.
    You are preaching to the choir, really. Just because I say I wouldn’t kill my child if my husband ordered it does not make me or any other woman of the same persuasion the spawn of Jezebel.
    Abigail (I Samuel 25), obviously, went against her husbands orders and saved hundreds of her household. It happens. You can be submissive and still do what’s right.
    By the way, I don’t think most men are fiendish monsters, they just want food, good sex, and a peaceful home. Let’s not be silly about arguing about the very few men who would even ask something horrible from their wives.
    Peace.

  59. Fawn says:

    You have to check everything to make sure it is not sin. Your husband walks the line and his ultimate authority is your approval and decree of what is or is not sin.

    This is an interesting take on that. Women, even married women are commanded by a higher authority than the husband. Sinful requests from the husband do not have to be obeyed and we are accountable for the sin if we do obey them. God’s word is the ultimate authority of what is and isn’t sin.

  60. JDG says:

    God’s word is the ultimate authority of what is and isn’t sin.

    While this is true, the woman is not the one who decides how a passage is applied or interpreted.

    “If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” – 1 Cor 14:35.

    Sinful requests from the husband do not have to be obeyed and we are accountable for the sin if we do obey them.

    https://canecaldo.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/you-bowed-up-when-you-should-have-bowed-down/

  61. Fawn says:

    @JDG – I am not speaking of instances where a wife doesn’t understand and needs clarification but about things that the wife already knows to be sinful.

  62. Sarah's Daughter says:

    I think it’s almost funny how we women can one-up each other, even talking about being a submissive wife.

    As funny as it is that you can not even write about submission to your husband without a caveat (and now an inability to acknowledge that Paul provided no such caveat).

    I believe I am to submit to him in all things, excepting sin.

    Abigail (I Samuel 25), obviously, went against her husbands orders

    What orders?

  63. Pingback: On cue | Dalrock

  64. JDG says:

    Fawn – Are you considering the multitude of wives who mistakenly think they understand and are convinced they are correct in labeling something as sin, especially after they’re favorite egalitarian “Christian” personality has told them so)?

  65. I am not speaking of instances where a wife doesn’t understand and needs clarification but about things that the wife already knows to be sinful.

    And she knows that this thing is sinful, despite the fact that her husband judges otherwise, based on….?

    Look, it’s not that complicated, because there are only two votes involved. If Bob tells Carol to do something, and he says it’s NOT a sin according to his understanding of Scripture and the Spirit speaking within him, and Carol says it IS a sin according to her understanding of Scripture and the Spirit speaking within her, then one of them has to decide. That person is the head of the other.

    It doesn’t matter what the act is; it always comes down to one person or the other making the judgment. If your husband tells you to accompany him to a Satanic Black Mass and bring your newborn along in case they need a sacrifice, then maybe you should refuse. If you were my sister, I’d tell you to refuse (actually I’d go directly to him, but anyway). But in refusing, you would be establishing your authority over him. Maybe in that case it would be justified, a lesser sin rather than a greater one. But it still wouldn’t be following the instructions passed along from God through Peter and Paul, to be subject in all things.

  66. greyghost says:

    This is an interesting take on that. Women, even married women are commanded by a higher authority than the husband. Sinful requests from the husband do not have to be obeyed and we are accountable for the sin if we do obey them. God’s word is the ultimate authority of what is and isn’t sin.

    Check out the one circumstance when Gods word all of the sudden has meaning for a woman.

  67. Fawn says:

    @ JDG – I is my understanding that if a wife has been convicted about something even if those things aren’t overtly sinful then they are a sinful for her. Also that sins don’t come with an “unless your husband tells you to” condition. Like thou shall not lie unless your husband tell you to. Then it’s fine.

  68. Rebecca says:

    Fawn: agree–God’s word is the final authority.
    Abigail knew her husband did not want David to get anything he had. She defied that (implied) command.
    New question: if you do something you KNOW your husband doesn’t want you to do, is it sin?
    (Helpful answer: of course it is–UNLESS it makes sense like it did in Abigail’s case.)
    Cail: Thank you for at least that. I get the impression that some people would still say, “but she would be a rebellious wife!”
    My point is most husbands want sex, a sandwhich, and peace–not too many in my circle have been asked to do the black mass/sacrifice your newborn thing.
    I am assuming most husbands are the normal, nice, decent kind of guy I’ve known for almost 50 years. Most of these guys just want a woman who wasn’t a whore before and won’t be one afterwards. They don’t care about submissive poker, “I call your black mass and raise you one child sacrifice….”
    The whole point of God teaching us about husbands and wives is that we would have joyful, peaceful homes; not to argue about who is the more spiritual because one interprets it a bit differently.
    And about the wives, I’m assuming they are truly Christian, meaning they should know what blatant sin looks like.

  69. I is my understanding that if a wife has been convicted about something even if those things aren’t overtly sinful then they are a sinful for her.

    Wow, that’s a very handy “understanding” of sin. I wasn’t going to go fornicate tonight because it’s a sin, but maybe if I can just get “convicted” differently about it…. True, as a practical matter, that’s the understanding of sin that most people have today, but you don’t see it stated that baldly very often. The last time I did was when Barack Obama was asked for his definition of sin and said, “Sin is being out of alignment with my values.”

    But anyway, for those of us who do believe in objective truth, consider this: The scary scenario we’re constantly presented with is a devout Christian woman who is being ordered to do something which she, using her reason, her understanding of Scripture, and the aid of the Holy Ghost, is certain beyond doubt is a sin. And she’s being ordered to do this certainly sinful thing by the man whom she chose to marry and vowed to obey until death because she, using her reason, her understanding of Scripture, and the aid of the Holy Ghost, was certain that this man she chose would never give her a sinful order that she couldn’t obey.

    How does that happen?

  70. Sarah's Daughter says:

    and bring your newborn along in case they need a sacrifice

    Abraham’s faith is a fascinating example for wives in this situation. It is written that this was God tempting him.
    for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
    I’ve never heard of a husband tempting a wife in such a way. But what an extreme example God gave us with this! As wives we may be given an opportunity to rely on faith by obeying what might otherwise be seen as a request that is impossible to obey. It is a spiritual battle to be sure. It is scary and heart wrenching. Intense prayer is the only thing that helps stave off the fear. And if there were anyway I could bottle up the end result and let women experience a whiff of it I would. But, alas, it is something she must decide for herself out of faith.

    For Abraham God said 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

    A husband doesn’t quite have all of that to give when his wife has displayed the ultimate loyalty and obedience to his request. But what he does do is everything a woman needs to KNOW she chose the right path and she will hit her knees and thank God that he allowed for her to see the truth – there needn’t be a caveat. God is really that big.

  71. Fawn says:

    Cail Corishev – a wife refusing to sin when her husband tells her to does not make her the authority or the one in charge any more than an employee disobeying her boss makes her CEO.

  72. a wife refusing to sin when her husband tells her to does not make her the authority or the one in charge any more than an employee disobeying her boss makes her CEO.

    Of course that’s exactly what it does. If you can refuse any order from your boss by saying that you interpret it as illegal, then your authority outranks the boss’s. It’s a tiny step from there to you giving the boss orders, because you’ve already established that your judgment is superior to his, so he should be thankful for your “leading from behind.”

    And about the wives, I’m assuming they are truly Christian, meaning they should know what blatant sin looks like.

    And I’m assuming that they married truly Christian men who also know what blatant sin looks like. So how does the wife know when her judgment should outrank her husband’s? You need to have an answer for that if you’re going to grant her that veto.

  73. JDG says:

    @ JDG – I is my understanding that if a wife has been convicted about something even if those things aren’t overtly sinful then they are a sinful for her.

    Perhaps you are mistaking (as so many women do) feelings for genuine conviction. Have you read this passage:
    Any vow and any binding oath to afflict herself, her husband may establish, or her husband may make void. – Num 30:13.

    Yes the context is the legal binding of oaths, but the deference to the husbands authority is plain enough. At any rate, in the event that a wife is genuinely concerned she may be in sin by obeying her husband I once again refer you to Canes excellent post that I linked to above (you really should give it a read).

    Cail Corishev – a wife refusing to sin when her husband tells her to does not make her the authority or the one in charge any more than an employee disobeying her boss makes her CEO.

    Correct in that it does not make her the authority or in charge; however, if she is acting on a decision she made about what is sin and what is not (contrary to her husbands understanding of scripture) then she is lifting herself up in judgement over her husband, and this makes her the one acting in rebellion against the one who is in charge.

    It isn’t by chance that God restricts the teaching of the Word to men, or that His written Word instructs wives to ask their husbands if they want to learn.

    If a woman is strongly convicted that her husband is asking her to sin, and if she is trusting in God and has humbled herself before the Lord and her husband, then IMO it is possible for her to prayerfully, humbly, and respectfully not comply (by bowing down) while keeping her husbands dignity and her witness intact.

    However, I am not saying her non-compliance isn’t wrong, only that if she has a genuine desire to obey her husband then her attitude will be one of reverence and respect. She will take no pleasure in her non-compliance and will, as already suggested by Cail Corishev, find her self in the difficult position of choosing the lesser of two evils. So it really needs to be a big deal (murder, theft, lying, ect.) for her objection to be even the least bit credible.

  74. greyghost says:

    Outstanding Cail

  75. Anonymous Reader says:

    And about the wives, I’m assuming they are truly Christian, meaning they should know what blatant sin looks like.

    Hmm. Like the way Eve knew what blatant sin looked like?

  76. I’ve written on this before.

    Like in Cane’s post that was linked above this is the standard:

    Over and over again we see examples in Scripture where a servant cannot or will not obey a master; whether good or evil. The righteous servants always say something along the lines of, “I cannot comply with this. What can I do instead to appease my lord?” David says this to Saul; Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar; Lot to the men of Sodom; Esther to King Ahasuerus; Tamar to Amnon…

    This is not ONLY about submission and obedience. It is FIRST about attitude. The Scripture reiterates this twice in Eph 5 and 1 Peter 3: wives are to respect their husbands.

    If they encounter a situation where they think it would be a sin either because of a conscience or Scripture, or whatever then their first reaction should involve not acting a rebellious manner nor a kowtowing doormat manner but instead reflecting a proper heart attitude of respect to desire to act in a submissive manner. In the vast majority of cases it is the attitude of respect in a difficult situation will turn a husband’s heart towards kindness, grace, and mercy.

    1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior.

    Ephesians 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. […] 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.

    Many a wife may submit but if they obey with a disrespectful attitude they will not win the heart of their husband. This is because their heart is set upon rebellion even in obedience.

    Likewise, I’m sure we all know employees at work who complain and moan about everything their boss has for them. This is the same thing that husbands feel when their wife is disrespectful even if they obey. No one wants to be around this type of employee because the atmosphere is rotten to the core.

    It is a wife’s respectful and chaste heart that wins her husband in submissiveness. Not solely her obedience.

  77. Sarah's Daughter says:

    while keeping her husbands dignity and her witness intact.

    The vast majority of women who struggle with this are not considering prayerfully, humbly or respectfully not complying to truly sinful commands by their husbands. They are displaying their caveats, their exceptions, their remaining control, their haughtiness, and inevitably their spiritual superiority over their husbands.

    When obedience to God, as a wife, means obedience to His instruction for marriage and that instruction is to be subject in everything, it is a clear “bowing up” when she then writes “I submit to my husband in everything except” It is the collar that remains on the dog, the bridle that remains on the horse. It is public disrespect to the biblical sovereign authority of her husband and is evident that it is included in her declaration of submission to display her ability and willingness to go nuclear if the need arises.

    Sarah called her husband “Lord”. How different are the Christian woman of today who, in displaying their biblical “understanding” of submission not only wouldn’t dream of calling their husbands that but add to their public display the ceiling under which her husband’s authority is limited.

    This is why I remain a one trick pony on this issue. Within the depth of my soul I believe it is the key for women to differentiate themselves from modern women and demonstrate their obedience to God. An obedience that has NOTHING to do with her husband’s behavior. He then knows her loyalty is with him, and she holds no expectation of him (I’ve learned that husbands fear their wives finding out they are not perfect and are tempted with sin – even really bad sin). When a husband knows his wife loves him as a Christian brother, is loyal beyond all human imagination, and is bound to him until death, a tremendous relief comes over him. When he knows she’s drawn no lines and has committed to staying in her lane…

    …I won’t spoil it. Ladies, ask your husband what that would mean to him.

  78. Pingback: Respectful submission not submission | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  79. Summary of the post I just wrote up:

    A respectful heart searches for ways to obey in the fruits of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self control.

    A disrespectful heart searches for ways to disobey, often without care for the concerns of the one in authority even if they ultimately obey.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/respectful-submission-not-submission/

  80. Within the depth of my soul I believe it is the key for women to differentiate themselves from modern women and demonstrate their obedience to God.

    Right. I think I’ve said this before, but if complete rebellion is 0 and Abraham-level obedience is 100, then modern Christian wives are somewhere below 20, and I’d like to see that number go higher. I’m not saying every woman who’s below 100 is going to Hell, any more than I’d say that about a man who isn’t at 100 on loving his wife. We’re all fallible human beings, after all. But the number could and should be much higher, and that has to start with women giving up that veto as much as they’re able (which is why we have to keep talking about it, I guess). If the number were at 80, husbands, wives, and children would all be happier, healthier, and holier.

    The paradox here is that, if this were really about the extreme situations that women keep saying it’s about, it wouldn’t keep coming up all the time, because Christian women don’t have to worry about their husbands ordering them into serious, blatant sin, and they know that. That’s a total straw man.

    It’s really about establishing her right to overrule her husband’s judgment whenever she decides it’s “necessary,” which will happen at some point after the honeymoon is over. He’ll tell her to lose some weight (a sin because it could lead to vanity, and besides didn’t he vow to love her no matter what?), or to spend more time cleaning the house (a sin because it would mean neglecting the children), or to stop calling her mother so much (a sin because “Honor thy father and mother”). I can play this game all day: give me a husband’s command and I’ll tell you how a rebellious wife will reframe it as a sin she must refuse — and truly believe it. The right to say, “I think this is a sin so I don’t have to do it,” is a lot of power, not easily given up.

    That’s why it keeps coming up, and why it’s important to show how it doesn’t hold logical or scriptural water. We won’t get every wife all the way to “subject in all things,” but maybe some will at least consider the possibility and work in that direction.

  81. Rebecca says:

    Good comments.
    SD, I certainly know I fail often enough. Still hoping to improve.
    Cail, I think that’s a good point, about the 0-100 scale idea.
    Early in our marriage, I know I was pretty low (it was a bad day when I disobeyed my husband when he told me NOT to use bleach on the carpet–I know, I know, how dumb was I?!)
    So I’ve learned a couple of things, and attitude is huge. I’m reminded by the Lord often, if I need to talk to my husband about something, to check my attitude. Discussion is okay; blame, disrespect, anger, not so much. I think I’ve improved, but not quite to a 100 yet (maybe when I AM a hundred….)
    And thankfully my husband has grown and improved too. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand about marriage, (like the people who give up and divorce); with the Lord’s help, anything is possible; and even a bad marriage can be made good.

  82. Fawn says:

    Of course that’s exactly what it does. If you can refuse any order from your boss by saying that you interpret it as illegal, then your authority outranks the boss’s. It’s a tiny step from there to you giving the boss orders, because you’ve already established that your judgment is superior to his, so he should be thankful for your “leading from behind.”

    If you refuse an order from your boss then you’ve exercised your free will and used it to follow a higher authority- the law in the case of the employee and God in the husband and wife scenario. That doesn’t mean that the wife or the employee is suddenly a higher authority.

    Authority isn’t simply telling someone else what to do or doing what ever you want. The boss isn’t obligated to obey the employee because she told him what she wanted him to do. When people disobey God do they become a higher authority than God? When children disobey their parents do they become a higher authority than their parents?

  83. It seems the conversation has moved well past “winning him without a word” and a wife’s motivation for submission, but Cail’s comment at 3:08pm pretty much sums up the point I was trying to make:

    “Besides, when a woman asks that question (“What if I submit and my husband doesn’t lead?”), what’s her point? Is she putting God on notice, that He’d better notice her efforts and pay up? Is she setting up an exception, so she can go back to bossing and nagging in 6 months if God didn’t keep His side of the deal? Either she submits because God says so and sticks with it as best she can for the rest of her life, or she does it because she’s trying to change her husband. If the latter, guess what — she’s still trying to manipulate him, and that’s probably going to affect her ability to truly submit.”

    On the submission issue, I know I’ve had this discussion before with SD and Cail and others, so I won’t bother going down the same route again.
    My husband has specifically said to me, “I don’t want you to obey me if I ever ask you to sin.” So that is the standard I go by.
    This doesn’t mean I’m constantly “on guard” against sinful requests or that I am the arbiter of each request as to whether it passes my standards.
    Perhaps it feels that way to someone who’s husband asks them to sin a lot.
    But in my almost 6 years of marriage, I can’t think of a time my husband has asked me to sin. There have perhaps been a few questionable times that have led to discussions and then my husband withdrawing the request. (And FYI, this is the way my husband has asked me to handle questionable requests – to discuss it with him first).

    So, if I go my whole life submitting to my husband in everything he asks, and every direction he leads our family, but I know that I would not obey an outright sinful command, have I still submitted to him in everything?

  84. @Sarah’s Daughter: On your original description of walking out on your MIL when she badmouthed her son/your husband:

    –Way to nuke a Shit Test. If only more men had those cojones..

    I think it is neat that the lurking ladies have come out for this thread.

    @Cail: Point and match on the woman being able to reframe ANYTHING as “sin” if she has the power to decide this. I sometimes forget how powerful some of those hamsters can be. They can literally rewrite history and truly believe it with every fiber. Feelz before Realz.

    @Dave: “It took me 5 years (age27) to figure out that if I treat my wife the way she treated me, I could teach her. She would actually listen and understand how horrible she was acting. If i told her how she was acting she just denied denied denied. This was the ONLY THING THAT BROUGHT CHANGE, and yet our pastor/ counselor said NOT to do this, that we were not to “teach our spouses a lesson”.

    THE ONLY THING THAT BRINGS ABOUT CHANGE IS ACTIONS. Words mean nothing. Demonstrate don’t explicate.

    Pastor and Counselor’s have done Satan’s work in our time and at the least ‘they have received their reward in full.’ More likely ‘their will be wailing and gnashing of teeth’ when they cry Lord, we told men to bow down to their wives to keep them happy in Your name and He will say I never knew you. Sometimes I think bad thoughts and imagine the Lord bootkicking these heathen counselors off the steps of glory where they can beg for a single drop of water that they never once offered to all the poor Beta husbands they “counseled.” They were all desperate for something, anything that would help him deal with this wife and his horrible life. They should have been told to stand up to her, lead whether she follows or not, and take control of your woman or find start finding a new one.

    Think that’s harsh? Ask me what I think should be done to many of the women in those counseling sessions.

  85. JDG says:

    If you refuse an order from your boss then you’ve exercised your free will and used it to follow a higher authority- the law in the case of the employee and God in the husband and wife scenario.

    No, this is false. In matters relating to husband and wife at best this only means that you exercised your free will to disobey the one in authority because YOU BELIEVE you are following a higher authority by doing so. What makes you smarter and wiser than him in knowing good from evil? More likely is the case where such behavior is an excuse to do thine own will rather than the will of the one in authority.

  86. Boston to Providence says:

    While admitting that I haven’t read every post addressing this, I’ll speculate as to the evolutionary background of the subject of meddlesome fathers-in-law posited by Rohan, then commented upon by Sarah’s Daughter and D. Beta Guy.

    A woman exercising soft power to manipulate entails little risk even of discovery (what is it if not a form of brain washing), if done effectively, and carries little negative consequence (for her) if caught. A woman can manipulate virtually until the moment of her death with no physical risk, with the same enthusiasm and effect that she had as a younger woman (with more, in some cases, as the instinct to protect the weak and infirm kicks in).

    Men, more direct and generally less skilled in emotional and social manipulation, are programmed for skill in the use of hard power, which even when used successfully, can incur permanent physical injury. The physical demands of a male conflict make this a less-activated impulse at the father-in-law/grandfather stage. In practice, men crave peace in their own households (this being the opposite of the stresses encountered outside of the home), and enforce by personal gravity and physical presence. Women subvert this enforcement with seemingly benign manoeuvers that escape the notice of, or earn a condescending bemusement from, the men of the house. In the 50s, perhaps ignoring it was feasible, knowing that people of both genders, knew their place, and that the dust would settle itself.

    And on the subject of Place, men are told all their lives where their place is, women once learned theirs as well in their upbringing. These are lessons that lead to suppression (now called oppression, but only when applied to women), and practical, effective adults. Men instinctively respect power boundaries unless they’re willing to pay the price: don’t mess with a guy’s car, don’t put your hands on someone in anger, etc. The cause of this respect is the threat of physical violence.

    The price a woman pays for her shenanigans, far less than Lady MacBeth’s fate, will rarely result in more than flowing tears. For men, transgressing power boundaries can lead to flowing blood.

  87. Pingback: Be the man, be the law | Neoreactive

  88. If you refuse an order from your boss then you’ve exercised your free will and used it to follow a higher authority- the law in the case of the employee and God in the husband and wife scenario. That doesn’t mean that the wife or the employee is suddenly a higher authority.

    Yes it does, because someone has to interpret that higher authority when there’s a disagreement about what the higher authority says. If the wife/employee refuses the husband’s/boss’s interpretation, she’s placing herself above the husband/boss in the chain of command. An employee has that right, because she’s taken no lifelong vows to obey, and nowhere in the law or in any company bylaws does it say employees must submit in all things. That’s not true for a wife.

    I’ll keep asking this question until I get an answer, because it’s the question that forced me to admit I was wrong and give up the much more comfortable “but there must be an exception for sin” position: how does the Christian wife know when her judgment of God’s Word should outrank her Christian husband’s?

  89. So, if I go my whole life submitting to my husband in everything he asks, and every direction he leads our family, but I know that I would not obey an outright sinful command, have I still submitted to him in everything?

    You’re the only one who can answer that, and you might not be able truly to answer it unless it happens. What would you do if he didn’t retract one of his commands that you weren’t comfortable with, but said to do it anyway after hearing you out? What would it take to convince you that your judgment was superior to his in a particular case?

    By the way, thank you for pointing out that your husband hasn’t asked you to sin in 6 years. That’s far more the norm than the exception, and I think that gets lost in all the hysterical “But what if he…?” fretting that makes every husband out to be a monster waiting to happen. We need to remember that most husbands want three things from their wives: sex, meals, and a clean house. None of those are sinful last time I checked.

  90. @Bluepillprofessor

    “I think it is neat that the lurking ladies have come out on this thread.”

    Try to lower that pedestal a bit, son.

  91. Sarah's Daughter says:

    (And FYI, this is the way my husband has asked me to handle questionable requests – to discuss it with him first).

    For most of our day to day living, this is reasonably easy to do. There may come a time when this luxury isn’t available. When your husband is forced to make a choice between a bad decision and a really bad decision and there is not time or ability for it to be discussed and barely enough time for him to even pray “God help!” He might have no choice but to quickly go with his gut. It may be a situation that he needs you unquestionably on board.

    Soldiers in war have this happen to them. The decider has to decide. And yes, the decider is responsible for his decision. With that responsibility comes the requirement that his subordinates do as he has ordered.

    You’re the only one who can answer that, and you might not be able truly to answer it unless it happens.

    This is correct. And when it happened for us several years ago, I went with my judgment and it had horrible repercussions – not permanent, thank goodness, but it was exactly what my husband needed to know something will be changing in our marriage. He could no longer afford to have me fail him when he needs my loyalty and submission most. I was able to see it clearly as well and have deep regrets for the rebellion (the exceptions) I usurped his authority with. He also regrets not having fixed this earlier in our marriage.

    Perhaps it feels that way to someone who’s husband asks them to sin a lot.
    But in my almost 6 years of marriage, I can’t think of a time my husband has asked me to sin.

    It won’t always be a matter of your husband asking you to sin but rather a time when his actions go against your judgement and your respect for him is challenged. When hating the sin is very difficult to separate from hating the sinner. In those times will you be able to maintain a disposition of loyalty, long suffering, genuine reverence, obedience, and respect? Will you not succumb to the temptation to gossip about him, disrespect him/his authority, berate him, threaten him, or withhold affection and intimacy from him?

    When/if he messes up, even if he is the last to know he messed up, would you join in the world in abandoning him or can he know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his wife is with him? That she is not concerned with anyone’s opinion and though the attack is strong whether it be family, friends, the media, etc. she will remain loyal and not betray him, even in her heart.

  92. Fawn says:

    I’ll keep asking this question until I get an answer, because it’s the question that forced me to admit I was wrong and give up the much more comfortable “but there must be an exception for sin” position: how does the Christian wife know when her judgment of God’s Word should outrank her Christian husband’s?

    She knows the same way that any Christian knows. Studying the Bible, prayer, conviction and discernment. Your question also assumes that the husband wouldn’t knowingly ask the wife to sin. It is quite possible that he would. You don’t lose your ability to know right from wrong and choose right when you get married, nor are you free from the obligation to do the right thing. Being under the authority of a husband, or a government, or an employer doesn’t mean that you don’t have to obey the highest authority.

  93. JDG says:

    It is quite possible that he would.

    Possible but not probable.

    being under the authority of a husband, or a government, or an employer doesn’t mean that you don’t have to obey the highest authority.

    I don’t believe anyone has argued for this. The argument is closer to who decides when you’re disobeying the higher authority.

    You don’t lose your ability to know right from wrong and choose right when you get married

    Sometimes you do. Other times you never had it in the first place. Sometimes you start listening to your feelings instead of your husband. Other times you start listening to popular opinion instead of your husband. All the while you keep telling yourself how right you are and wrong he is.

    The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

  94. She knows the same way that any Christian knows. Studying the Bible, prayer, conviction and discernment. Your question also assumes that the husband wouldn’t knowingly ask the wife to sin.

    No, that’s irrelevant to my question. Whether the husband might give a sinful order has nothing to do with whether your judgment is better than his in a particular situation.

    So you still haven’t answered the question of how you know when your judgment is better than his, except to repeat the same things about prayer and study, which your Christian husband presumably also uses to support his own convictions. But let’s pretend that’s an answer, and move to the next question:

    Have you never been wrong about whether something was sinful, and only realized it later? Never misunderstood scripture, or misunderstood a situation? Never had your reason and discernment clouded by your appetites, emotions, or prejudices? Are you, in short, infallible in matters of faith and morals?

  95. Fawn says:

    @Cail Corishev – of course I’m not infallible. But I am obligated to try my best not to sin and I have to use my own judgment to do that. “My husband said it was ok,” is not a get out of sin free card. There is no “unless you are a married woman and your husband tells you” caveat after thou shall not.

  96. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Fawn,
    Great point on your last sentence. Now do me a favor and define the word “Everything”.

    Why didn’t Paul say “everything except…” Did Paul mess up? Is he a liar? A crazy man? What gives?

  97. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Bible believing, married, Christian women have to do great mental gymnastics to maintain this autonomy they so desperately cling to. When reading Mark 10, how do you reconcile it?

    6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; [b] so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    What does this even mean to you?

    How do you not view these declarations of supposed biblically supported rebellion as not separating what God has joined together.

    The Bible contains very specific instructions for married women – that are not meant to be in addition to the other commands for believers thus creating a potentially confusing situation. In fact 1 Peter 3 answers a woman’s “but what if…” –

    It is this need for autonomy that has so poisoned women that just can not see the words on the page.

    The Bible contains a very specific purpose for why God created woman. And follows that up with very specific instructions for wives. There are no contradictions.

  98. Fawn says:

    @ Sarah’s Daughter – is there a mistake in the Bible when it says thou shall not lie? Should there have been an exception for when your husband tells you to? Should there be an exception at the end of every command that tells wives to obey husbands over God Himself? If you think so then we’ll will have to agree to disagree.

  99. Sarah's Daughter says:

    After you are married and in a “one flesh” covenant with your husband and God, how do you believe you are an independent and autonomous “thou”?

  100. Fawn says:

    Because I will stand before Christ alone to be judged.

  101. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Are we to believe, then, that this “one flesh” deal is meaningless?

    No.

    Yep, you will stand before Christ alone and be judged as a married woman who, while on earth, was bound by a vow and a covenant with God Himself to obey your husband.

  102. Exactly. Why is there no caveat after “subject in all things”? For that matter, why the word “all”? Why not something like, “subject to just orders”? It wouldn’t even have taken any more ink.

    Paul wasn’t on a mountaintop inscribing his epistles alone, after all. He wrote to the churches around Ephesus while he was under house arrest in Rome, getting news reports from the various churches he founded. He wrote in part to correct them in specific ways that they were going astray. The same is true of Peter, except that his letters were to all the Christians in Asia Minor instead of to particular churches. So they weren’t just tossing out commandments at random. They talked about this issue of proper subjection to authority because the people needed explanation and reinforcement on it. There were many disputes about what this new “being Christian” thing meant. One of those was about whether Christians should obey any authority, and some (especially the Jewish converts) wanted to rebel against the Romans and everything else in the name of Christ.

    It’s not hard to imagine them having objections much like the one we see so often here: “I answer to God, not to some man.” So Peter and Paul pointed out that there is an hierarchical order of authority on earth, ordained by God. Since they were addressing that point directly, it would be naive to think they didn’t consider the possibility that someone might say, “But my husband really sucks, what then?” In fact, Peter did address that when he said it doesn’t matter whether the husband is a believer. Do you think a pagan husband in that culture, whose wife suddenly became Christian, wouldn’t give her any sinful orders? Could Peter (and the Holy Ghost inspiring and protecting his writings) have been unaware of that likelihood?

  103. @ Fawn

    Because I will stand before Christ alone to be judged.”

    Ah, yes, the old “only God can judge me” line of thought.

    It’s a half truth at best. Outright lie at worst. God solicits authorities to give an account for your obedience or disobedience at judgment day:

    Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. [e]Let them do this with joy and not [f]with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

  104. On Moral Dilemmas: http://closureforjesus.com/?p=570

    If a husband says to do something that is sin should I obey God or should I obey my husband?

    Let’s put it another way. The idea of a “moral dilemma” rests on the assertion that one Commandment can be smashed against another. That is the core of Satan’s charge against God, and if it’s true the Great Controversy is lost.

    Someone might object that these theological ideas fall flat in the real world, asking, “What if you were hiding Jews in your basement when the Gestapo came? Wouldn’t you go ahead and bear false witness in order to save those innocent people? Or would be pharisaical enough to tell a truth that would kill them?”

    But such “What if” questions set up a false choice crafted by somebody’s imagination. In the real world more possibilities exist. One could reply to the Gestapo, “Come in and look,” or even, “That is not the kind of question I will answer.” Then what? The Jews might be found or not, either one. The homeowner might be spared or shot, either one. Some Gestapo men might wind up converted, or none might be. Lots of outcomes could follow, including miraculous ones. We cannot know what will happen in a given case.

    That is the key. The essential illusion in a supposed moral dilemma is that we are obligated to decide when to break a Commandment based on weighing future results of that decision. We aren’t. We couldn’t be. Roll a billiard ball against two cushions of a pool table; no amount of mathematical calculation can tell exactly where it will come to rest. Likewise, the final outcome of any decision is always unknowable by us beforehand. There’s even a name for this principle in general human experience: the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    This is why righteous servants respond not with a yes or no — thereby avoiding “smashing commandments” into each other — but rather they look to other options with a respectful attitude: “I cannot comply with this. What can I do instead to appease my lord?”

  105. Rebecca says:

    I don’t think this is really that difficult. Fawn is only saying obey your husband unless he requires you to disobey a command of God. I agree. The Bible says we aren’t to lie, steal, or murder; it doesn’t have to add, “except if you’re husband tells you to” because that’s common sense. And it doesn’t have to add “unless he commands you to sin” because that is common sense also.
    The reason we do need to address the elephant in the room, that of an evil man wanting his wife to do evil, is because there really are evil men wanting their wives to do evil.
    Don’t lump us with the feminists though; we are saying obey your husband in everything else.
    And yes, there really are whack jobs out their who try to hide behind this scripture while their husbands molest and rape and beat up (not spank) their children. It’s not obedience, it’s evil and God will condemn them to hell for not protecting their innocent and powerless children. He will not say, “well, my Word did say ‘everything’–I’m so sorry about that misunderstanding.” If you are truly born-again, you will understand this, if not, I’m sorry for you.

  106. @Cail
    “By the way, thank you for pointing out that your husband hasn’t asked you to sin in 6 years. That’s far more the norm than the exception, and I think that gets lost in all the hysterical “But what if he…?” fretting that makes every husband out to be a monster waiting to happen. We need to remember that most husbands want three things from their wives: sex, meals, and a clean house. None of those are sinful last time I checked.”

    That’s the thing – for me, this whole discussion feels mostly hypothetical. I don’t carry around my “exception clause” like a loaded weapon, waiting to shoot down any displeasing command from my husband.
    It’s something that doesn’t even enter my mind on a day to day basis. My frame is submission.
    Perhaps this is one of those things that comes down to attitude. A wife who is looking for opportunity to rebel (which, admittedly, may be many) will be able to twist anything to look like sin if she doesn’t want to do it. But a wife who is looking for opportunity to obey will find it very hard to disobey her husband, only doing so in a very severe case.

    @SD
    “When your husband is forced to make a choice between a bad decision and a really bad decision and there is not time or ability for it to be discussed and barely enough time for him to even pray “God help!” He might have no choice but to quickly go with his gut. It may be a situation that he needs you unquestionably on board.”

    In that situation, my response would be submission (Unless it’s a case of the “kill our child” scenario – but that’s pretty obvious).
    I’m not trying to twist things into “that’s sinful” to get out of obeying!

    “It won’t always be a matter of your husband asking you to sin but rather a time when his actions go against your judgement and your respect for him is challenged. When hating the sin is very difficult to separate from hating the sinner. In those times will you be able to maintain a disposition of loyalty, long suffering, genuine reverence, obedience, and respect? Will you not succumb to the temptation to gossip about him, disrespect him/his authority, berate him, threaten him, or withhold affection and intimacy from him?”

    These are good questions for me to consider.

  107. Sarah's Daughter says:

    I don’t think this is really that difficult.

    No, it’s not. It is extremely simple. Admit that you do not actually believe the whole of the Bible is the Word of God or that Paul didn’t mean what he said and that the words in 1 Peter 3 don’t apply to you.

    The elephant in the room is that you will not address Paul’s words or the words of 1 Peter 3.

  108. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Rebecca says:
    May 30, 2015 at 6:30 pm
    By the way, I don’t think most men are fiendish monsters, they just want food, good sex, and a peaceful home. Let’s not be silly about arguing about the very few men who would even ask something horrible from their wives.

    And then says:
    The reason we do need to address the elephant in the room, that of an evil man wanting his wife to do evil, is because there really are evil men wanting their wives to do evil.
    Don’t lump us with the feminists though; we are saying obey your husband in everything else.
    And yes, there really are whack jobs out their who try to hide behind this scripture while their husbands molest and rape and beat up (not spank) their children.

    How silly.

  109. Anne says:

    @TFH

    It is unfortunate that the need for anonymity prevents Dalrock from making money. 

    Maybe when he retires?

  110. JDG says:

    And yes, there really are whack jobs out their who try to hide behind this scripture while their husbands molest and rape and beat up (not spank) their children.

    Can someone show me one real life example where this is occurring so I don’t have to be left with the impression that someone is just repeating what they heard from some other unsubstantiated source?

  111. We’re asked to believe that, in an era when most husbands have never demanded as much as a sandwich from their wives, women need an escape clause just in case the guy becomes outright evil and starts demanding they commit murder or something.

    I don’t buy it. I think they know their husbands aren’t going to do anything like that, and it’s flat-out an excuse to be in charge. I know women are fear-driven, but if they really feared their husbands were that bad, they wouldn’t have married them in the first place. It’s not fear; it’s keeping all their options open.

  112. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Unless it’s a case of the “kill our child” scenario – but that’s pretty obvious

    There seems to be a fear involved here that does not permit women to profess submission without a caveat. If it were obvious, why did you include it? Why do you let us, strangers, know where your line is drawn with your husband?

    SS,
    Have you ever thought about this: What if you were in Sarah’s shoes and you knew that Abraham was taking Isaac to be a burnt offering? Would you have interfered?

    Consider for a moment, ladies, and those reading who agree with the three of you, what you might be interfering with when it comes to God’s way of dealing with your husbands and the blessing he has for him. If only he could release the anchor that holds him back – his wife’s judgement and fear masqueraded as discernment and piousness.

  113. I see a big difference between my husband sinning and my husband asking me to sin.
    I am not responsible for his behaviour, I am responsible for my own.

    “If only he could release the anchor that holds him back – his wife’s judgement and fear masqueraded as discernment and piousness.”

    I really don’t think this is an anchor holding my husband back. It’s not a big thing that affects my submission daily. It’s not something I expect to ever have to think about in real terms. My husband has said many times he’s thankful for my discernment and wisdom.

    For all intents and purposes, I submit to him in all things.

    And I can see how, in some situations, in may actually do more harm to marriages to go on and on about caveats, since there will be wives who use that to become de facto heads of their marriage. (Just look at Sheila’s recent blog comments – she managed to extend it to refusing to make a husband bacon every day, because this is bad for his health!)

  114. Sarah's Daughter says:

    It’s not something I expect to ever have to think about in real terms

    Why is that?

  115. For all intents and purposes, I submit to him in all things.

    As I said before, things are so bad right now that I’d just like to see the needle move in that direction. If we could get to the point where wives are submissive except in cases of murder and threesomes (I actually have a sneaking suspicion that that right there is what this is really about for many), we’d be so much better off.

    I’d encourage you to keep working on complete submission, because I’m convinced it’s the key not just to a happy marriage, but to a woman’s happiness (uh oh, there I go being a white knight again). But if you’re at 80 or 90 on the scale, I’m not going to pick on you too much when there are women using the sin excuse to refuse to cook bacon.

  116. @SD
    Because I don’t expect my husband will ever ask me to sin against God.
    (He might ask me to do something I am convicted is sin, but he is convicted is not, and which is not clear in Scripture. In this case I would obviously submit, trusting his judgement and leadership)

  117. @Cail
    ” But if you’re at 80 or 90 on the scale, I’m not going to pick on you too much when there are women using the sin excuse to refuse to cook bacon.”

    The funny thing is, I have actually been (good-naturedly) mocked in real life for being “too extreme” in my approach to submission.
    All I had said, was that I was trying to “make my default response ‘yes'” in the little things my husband asks me to do each day.

  118. The funny thing is, I have actually been (good-naturedly) mocked in real life for being “too extreme” in my approach to submission.

    I don’t doubt it, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it weren’t always good-natured. In most circles, a wife volunteering to get her husband a freaking drink stands out as unusual, and will bring accusations of “doormat” and “abusive” from other women worried that their husbands might pick up dangerous ideas.

  119. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Because I don’t expect my husband will ever ask me to sin against God.

    This is good. Don’t get me wrong. But think on this for a moment. Do you submit to your husband based on who he is or do you submit to your husband out of obedience to God and who He is?

    Cail is right, white knighting or not😉, the key to happiness for us, the key to being calm, not confused, not fretful, settled, and joyful comes from the obedience to God part and really has nothing to do with our husbands.

    will bring accusations of “doormat” and “abusive”

    My favorite remains the one I heard on Alpha Game “no matter how golden your cage is…”
    I have completely co-opted that one. I LOVE my golden cage! It sparkles and shines so pretty!

  120. ” In most circles, a wife volunteering to get her husband a freaking drink stands out as unusual, and will bring accusations of “doormat” and “abusive” from other women worried that their husbands might pick up dangerous ideas.”

    Every time a wife makes a sandwich, a feminist somewhere cries.

  121. Looking Glass says:

    The JDG is strong in this thread. God approves.🙂

  122. Looking Glass says:

    One of the funny parts about the discussions that always crop up about Wifely Submission is that if we applied the same attempts at loop-hole finding to Salvation, no one would be saved. God keeps things pretty straight forward in the important stuff; the Spirit of the Lord is with us to help with the complex stuff.

    The other ironic part about the “what if my husband tells me to lie?” argument is that most Women are capable of talking for 2+ hours without discussing or reveling any point of substance. The capacity for most Women to “talk about nothing” is something of a marvel. It also puts a lie to the “Ordered to Lie” objections as being of any merit. Wives didn’t have a problem with the previous 45 lies they told without much thought, but even the theoretical possibility they could be ordered to do so is “too much!”.

    This discussion almost always brings out one of the aspects of Solipsism: Assuming the System. It’s actually a problem most people reading the Gospels run into and have a problem dealing with. Every time that Jesus is interacting with the Pharisees, their attempts to trap him are based on assuming the system of Mosiac law was perfect (and that they understood it perfectly). From their own view point, they were going to be correct, but Jesus flipped the entire script on them by being God and being Wisdom. God’s always been pretty straight forward on only answering the questions he wants to answer. Someone asking you a question doesn’t require you answer it. That’s not being either Honest or not lying. It’s simply choosing, in your God-given Free Will, not to answer a question posed to you.

    @Cail:

    One thing I thought of randomly. The second part of the Great Commandment is “love your neighbor as yourself”. Most wives can’t even be troubled to treat their Husbands at that level. One could do brutal things to a lot of Christian Wives with this point.

  123. Opus says:

    Even without a Christian slant as to submission, I agree with Cail Corsihev that things really are bad, right now.

    By way of example: no less than two of my friends have recently confided in me that their respective wives – wives each of about ten years standing and who they respectively rescued from the third world, have recently registered what we call a notice or caution against the title of the house (half million pound houses both) that my friends own – houses which they both say they paid for over a long period on mortgage, though both now free of mortgage, and where no one gave them so much as a penny towards the cost. There must be something similar in America. The effect of the cautions is that they cannot now either sell or raise money on the security of their property without the consent of their respective wives. I must say that that is some gratitude! from women who have never paid so much as a dime towards the cost of purchase or running of the house and who have of course benefited from the free health care and schooling that they now receive for their (in one case) children from their first marriage thanks to marrying my respective friends. Did my mother or my friend’s mothers act like that towards their husbands.? I think not.

    It may of course be that these cautions are the peremptory strike in an imminent divorce but if so both my friends have been conned with an ease that even a Nigerian scammer would stand in awe of.

  124. BradA says:

    Opus,

    A husband and wife must agree to any change on a home title, loan, etc. That may or may not be similar, but that is the way it works if I have been paying enough attention to my house closings (one purchase and hopefully one sale soon).

    I would be quite fine with my wife refusing to follow me if I were truly outside God’s Word. I believe the principle established by the Apostles against the lawful Jewish leaders is applicable. I have yet to see her do that however, probably because I generally avoid violating Scriptural principles, at least as much as is humanly possible.

    I suspect arguing over that issue is quite unproductive. Dealing with the rampant rebellion in so many other areas is a much better target. It is bad today, but we don’t need to espouse bad theology in an attempt to fix things.

    I do realize some disagree with the theology here. I will attempt to not argue it as we have beat it to death already. I haven’t been called a white knight for a while, so I needed to state this!

  125. BradA says:

    I would add that much that goes under the name of “standing against ungodliness by their husbands” is utter BS. Most Christian husbands are really trying to do the best and a submissive heart would do far more for the marriage and our witness to our society. It should never be used as a “get out of jail free card” to merely avoid doing something the wife dislikes.

    Though I do wonder how much the modern misconception that women are more spiritual than men colors this issue. I find that women are more emotional and many Christians incorrectly assert that this means they are more spiritual. Few people really understand what makes someone spiritual.

  126. Opus says:

    @Brad A

    Are you sure?? – about the ownership of land in any of America’s fifty States (I am a little surprised). I think we better ask Novaseeker.

  127. Looking Glass says:

    It depends on the State. If only one party’s name is on the Title (especially if it’s pre-marriage assets), it should be solely the property of the Titled party. However, a number of States can be really weird on that type of stuff, so it’s very much a “consult a local lawyer” situation.

  128. JDG says:

    Every time a wife makes a sandwich, a feminist somewhere cries.

    LOL … okay, that one made my Hall of Flame comments to keep list.

  129. BradA says:

    Opus,

    My wife had to sign on our recent purchase because of this, even though my income is the sole source for all payments, etc.

    I could have been misled, but that was a message I got from several sources. I have not dug any deeper into it though.

  130. Fawn says:

    @BradA – I agree that it is bad theology. Refusing to cook bacon when your husband asks is obvious nonsense, but so is expecting a Christian wife to cook meth because her husband asked her to.

  131. Boxer says:

    I agree that it is bad theology. Refusing to cook bacon when your husband asks is obvious nonsense, but so is expecting a Christian wife to cook meth because her husband asked her to.

    I’m sure some real world examples of all the fine, upstanding Christian wives who were ordered to manufacture illegal drugs will be forthcoming.

    Fawn: Don’t use these sophistries to cover up for the fact that you don’t believe in the bible and don’t follow its teachings. Just leave it behind you. Christianity is a discipline, and it isn’t for everyone.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  132. Rebecca says:

    Mike and Debi Pearl have a wonderful ministry for Christian families. They have helped many to have great marriages and well-trained children. They hate divorce and teach wifely submission. They also have a story about a Dad taking his son to participate in a homosexual group. They wife called not knowing what to do, and they advised her to call the police and report him. They tell another story of a family who believed in non-resistance to any evil. Some men found out and raped their daughters, while they did nothing. This happened several times before they finally moved away from the area to get away from them. They don’t teach that a woman should divorce her husband, but that sometimes, they do need to use a higher authority to protect themselves and their children. To say that fathers couldn’t do this kind of stuff and worse is ignorant at best. Do you think in modern America horrible sin isn’t happening in our churches? How many times have you found out that a certain family is getting a divorce, that a prominent figure in the church (pastor, youth pastor, etc.) was committing aldultery, that that nice guy that you saw every week has been convicted of molesting a child. And of course we’re shocked because they seemed so nice.
    THAT is why we need to at least address this area. This blog has many readers, I just don’t want any woman to believe or feel guilty in doing what is right in protecting herself or her children.
    When I’ve talked to women about this, it takes me about 2 minutes to get past this issue. They’ll ask about obeying a sinful order, I say we obey our husbands unless asked to disobey God, the end. The ones who want to please the Lord have no more issues, other than the difficulty we all have of daily dying to self, and serving our husbands and children. The ones who don’t believe in this don’t want to talk about this ever, in any shape or form (well, except maybe ‘mutual submission’).

  133. Boxer says:

    Dear Rebecca:

    Please see inside text…

    They also have a story about a Dad taking his son to participate in a homosexual group. They wife called not knowing what to do, and they advised her to call the police and report him.

    A very sensational story. Do you have a source?

    This blog has many readers, I just don’t want any woman to believe or feel guilty in doing what is right in protecting herself or her children.

    They’re not simply “her children”. They are her husband’s children. If you were a Christian, you would advocate for following your religious book, and not interfering in the patriarch’s job of leading the family. You’re not a Christian, of course. You just playact and pretend to lead serious Christian women astray, make them doubt their own men, and make them doubt the discipline that they have sworn to follow.

    You need to quit pretending to be a Christian. It’ll be OK. I’m not a Christian either. What this means for people like us, though, is to respect our brothers and sisters and not try to make them doubt their religious books. It’s a vile, evil thing to do. It’s also simply bad manners.

    I hope this has been helpful.

    Boxer

  134. Fawn says:

    @ Rebecca – yes, evil exists and should be resisted. The fact that people have to pretend that there is no evil in order to support the idea of wives being obligated to submit to sinful commands is more evidence that it is bad theology.

  135. No one’s said that evil doesn’t exist, so that’s a strawman. You’re starting to enter troll territory.

    Of course evil exists. So does temptation. That’s why a woman should have a man to guide and protect her from it.

  136. Boxer says:

    Fawn sez:

    @ Rebecca – yes, evil exists and should be resisted. The fact that people have to pretend that there is no evil in order to support the idea of wives being obligated to submit to sinful commands is more evidence that it is bad theology.

    Of course, because in the bible it names the wife as the judge of what’s “evil” and what’s not, and therefore the decider as to what the family should do. Like in Ephesians, where it says: “Husbands, submit yourselves unto your own wives, as unto the LORD” etc.

    The only problem is that the Bible doesn’t give you the authority to decide what is and is not “evil”. That’s your husband’s job. If you were actually a Christian, you’d be able to back your nonsense up with chapter and verse.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Boxer

  137. Fawn says:

    @ Cail Corichev – sometimes the husband is the one doing the evil thing. I don’t believe that a wife is required to obey a sinful command. You’ve explained why you think otherwise. I understand why you think that but I believe it to be unbiblical. It seems we will have to agree to disagree.

    @ Boxer – I’m not going to argue my faith with a nonbeliever interested in playing a
    game of gotcha. If you have questions about the Bible or are interested in finding salvation through Jesus Christ there are plenty of resources out there and probably plenty of men here who would be happy to help you.

  138. Boxer says:

    Dear Fawn:

    I’m not going to argue my faith with a nonbeliever interested in playing a
    game of gotcha.

    In other words, you can’t back up your (cough) “unique” interpretation of Christian marriage with any sort of biblical or philosophical source.

    Your feelings tell you that your way is the best way, no doubt, despite the fact that your interpretation directly contradicts the plain language of the Bible and church fathers on the matter.

    Again, you should quit pretending to teach other Christians about the bible. You’re not a Christian and you have shown that you don’t take the bible seriously. Accept this and move on.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  139. Fawn says:

    @ Boxer – I am a Christian.

    I believe that I made my thoughts on submission clear when discussing it with Sarah’s Daughter. If you disagree with me I’m OK with that. As a nonbeliever you have more important issues to worry about.

  140. Boxer says:

    Dear Fawn:

    @ Boxer – I am a Christian.

    Then why not embrace the biblical teachings, and quit conjuring these feverish fantasies about husbands who make their poor wives cook meth, or sell their kids into homosexual prostitution.

    As an aside, these are fallacious ways for you to justify the spread of your own rebellion to naïve people. i.e.: “If you follow your husband’s headship, he’ll introduce your kids to heroin and start pimping them out for money to buy lapdances… I knew lots of families where this happened just this way… blah blah”.

    It’s colloquially called a “slippery slope”, and this tactic has been used very effectively by feminists (like yourself) to undermine the traditional family.

    As a nonbeliever you have more important issues to worry about.

    Look, cunt, I worry about our civilization, and I worry about all the little kids who are now fatherless because shrikes like you have been hard at work for the past fifty years. There are plenty of nonchristians who are just like me, and we’ll continue to comment on your nonsense, here or anywhere else. I suggest you get used to us.

    Best,

    Boxer

  141. desiderian says:

    “If you disagree with me I’m OK with that.”

    That makes one of you.

    The truth doesn’t care what you agree to.

  142. Fawn and other women not named SD,

    The reason we can tell you and the other women here are immature Christians is:

    1. Refusal to discuss the Scriptures to support assertions.

    2. Snippy and arrogant behavior toward non-Christians.

    Straight from the mouth of Jesus: Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, […] 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

    3. The fact that women continue to persist in their bashing commandments against each other when it is already demonstrated it is a false dichotomy. It reveals a state of rebellion in attitude the heart to refuse as opposed to be open to appeasing the authority in some other way.

    In other words, pure selfishness without the concern for others in the name of God. That’s the worst part.

    4. 100 points to the woman not named SD who can figure out why this applies:

    Matthew 5:23 Therefore if you are presenting your [s]offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your [t]offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your [u]offering.

  143. thedeti says:

    It’s funny. Every time the issue of wifely submission comes up, some “Christian” wife somewhere bleats:

    “But but but… what if he wants me to do something that’s sinful! What if he wants me to get an abortion or do a threesome?!”

    and the ever popular “I don’t have to submit if he is in sin” meme:

    “I can’t submit to a husband who’s not following God or who is in sin or who isn’t properly submitted to God. In fact I don’t have to submit to such a man. All I have to do is submit to God. Every other scripture means what it says, but Eph. 5:22-24 don’t mean what they say. Well, only if we “submit to each other” like in Eph. 5:21, which means HE has to submit to ME!”

    Sheila Gregoire is twisting herself up all over the place on this issue:

    http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2015/05/on-submission-wedding-showers-and-choosing-a-mate/

    http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2015/05/i-am-not-just-a-christian-wife-i-am-a-christian/#comment-397363 (See Sheila’s discussion with commenter Roberta on the issue of wifely submission)

  144. thedeti says:

    Look, ladies. Regarding the “what if hubs wants me to sin? Do I have to submit THEN?”

    The answer is YES.

    https://canecaldo.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/you-bowed-up-when-you-should-have-bowed-down/

    Eph 5:22-24 means exactly what it says. It means wives are to submit to and respect their husbands in all things.

    All things means ALL THINGS. What part of “ALL THINGS” do you not understand?

  145. Regular Guy says:

    Fawn said, “The fact that people have to pretend that there is no evil in order to support the idea of wives being obligated to submit to sinful commands is more evidence that it is bad theology.”

    No such argument was made (Strawman). It’s clear you don’t trust God enough to obey his commands, so why do you rebellious women waste your time here?

  146. Rebecca says:

    DS–you’re rebuking Fawn after he called her that?! I’m not sure she’s the one that needed that rebuke. Not using scripture?: go back and read again. I think you missed a few comments.
    We’ve said we believe in submission, except if asked to sin. Both Christian men and women have been faced with this dilemma. It’s not always easy. It’s certainly not always black and white. From the underground railroad in America to the churches in Nazi Germany, the question has been asked many times, “how do we obey God and man?”
    When Peter and John were commanded not to preach in Jesus’ name, they responded (knowing they were also commanded to obey those who rule over them), they said, “whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than God, you judge.”
    I don’t think we need to be afraid to discuss hard issues like this. We shouldn’t get so upset when people disagree with us. So far, I’ve been called a liar, not a Christian, and immature, and my new friend Fawn has been called a ——. I know, I know this is the internet, but really?
    Thank you men, who said you woulden’t want your wives to sin if asked. Of course you wouldn’t. We’ve already said most men are just normal guys who want normal guy stuff. But it’s okay to talk about the ‘what if’s’ too.

  147. Sarah's Daughter says:

    If Ephesians 5:24 and 1 Peter 3 has been thrown out, gentlemen, I guess it only stands to reason 1 Timothy 2:12 would be as well.

  148. Rebecca says:

    And if my friends knew I was discussing this, they would be surprised. I’m usually the one being tagged as judgmental and weird because I belive in submission and have taught on it. And just so you know, I’m a stay-at-home homeschooling wife (almost 25 years) and mother to 12 children–so pro-life, I don’t even believe in birth control—not exactly a model feminist.

  149. Fawn says:

    @ Deep Stregnth – My understanding is that Acts 5:28 and 29 are clear example of a time when human authority was disobeyed because of obedience to God’s authority. This is despite the fact that Christains are commanded repeatedly to obey earthly authorities. Also none of the thou shall not commands in the Bible came with an “unless your husband tells you to caveat.”

    Acknowledging that wives shouldn’t obey sinful commands is not “bashing commandments against each other.” I would like to read any biblical support that you have for that concept.

    I apologize if my response to Boxer came off as snippy. I don’t intend to be snippy but I’m not going to argue with him either.

  150. Gunner Q says:

    “The fact that people have to pretend that there is no evil in order to support the idea of wives being obligated to submit to sinful commands is more evidence that it is bad theology.”

    The bad theology is thinking husbands are the leaders of a family until their wives decide otherwise. This isn’t just wrong, it’s Original Sin.

    Ladies, once you get married your husband becomes the judge of what is right and wrong by the decree of God Himself. This is the greatest benefit and drawback to marriage. You no longer make the decisions and are no longer responsible for the decisions. God designed women for this deal and I strongly recommend it.

    Fawn, you’re embarrassing your sex. Do you realize you’re a perfect example of why God doesn’t allow wives to decide what is sinful? Do you realize you just told an atheist he has more important things to consider than preferring Christian morality to the current, feral situation? Sheesh.

  151. Rebecca says:

    A thought for parents: when your sons and daughters are old enough, are you going to discuss this with them? Isn’t it good to talk about some difficult situations so they know what to do? You wouldn’t just smack down your daughter because she dared to voice the thought, ” but what if…..” No, if you’re a reasonable father or mother, you’d discuss it, right? Not —“how dare you?! You disobedient, rebellious feminist! “

  152. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Rebecca, are you implying the men here should discuss this with you as they would their daughters?

    If you only could see (you can’t, you are blind) that the push back you are getting from me and the men here is the proper response according to 2 Peter 2:1. You have yet to answer the questions I’ve posed to you, you refuse to address what Paul wrote or what is written in 1 Peter 3. You have circled around it and avoided it. And now a clear indication that you should be treated as any other dyscivic, family destroying feminist, you are positioning yourself to teach the men here.

  153. John Nesteutes says:

    @Rebecca

    This is not an advice website where it’s our job to convince you of things you aren’t convinced of.

    None of us have a father-daughter relationship with you or even a brother-sister one.

  154. John Nesteutes says:

    “And if my friends knew I was discussing this, they would be surprised. I’m usually the one being tagged as judgmental and weird because I belive in submission and have taught on it. And just so you know, I’m a stay-at-home homeschooling wife (almost 25 years) and mother to 12 children–so pro-life, I don’t even believe in birth control—not exactly a model feminist.”

    One of the first things a closet feminist does is trot out their credentials of how feminine they are and how happy their husband is and how great their family is once they get caught acting like a feminist.

  155. John Nesteutes says:

    For what it’s worth, Boxer is just as much of a “Christian” as Fawn is. You can’t really call yourself a Christian and then turn around and ignore the words of Christ and the Bible.

  156. John Nesteutes says:

    @Boxer / @Rebecca

    The source of Michael Pearl’s story is:

    http://nogreaterjoy.org/letters/pacifism/

    This story is almost certainly made up. For starters, that’s not how any nonresistant person I know deals with the law. I’m nonresistant myself and I consider myself to have a duty to call the police when the law is broken because I’m supposed to submit to lawful authority like it says in Romans. Nonresistance doesn’t mean becoming human doormats.

    Secondly, the area Michael Pearl lives in has high concentrations of non-resistant Amish & Mennonites, and the local law enforcement takes a keen eye to people attempting to take advantage of them. Michael Pearl should have placed a call to the police himself once he knew about the situation. The response from law enforcement would have been rapid.

    Thirdly, this story reads like a false rape accusation – it is light on enough details to confirm it, but heavy on enough details to elicit an emotional response from the reader.

    Basically it boils down to “If you don’t believe like I do, you’re supporting rape!”

    It’s also interesting Rebecca cited Michael Pearl, since his wife’s book says that a wife should cheat on her income taxes and sign a joint return if her husband asks her to.

  157. Rebecca says:

    Pg. 268 from ‘No Greater Joy’ –false tax returns–“when we question her and get the details, in most cases, the wife is upset because her husband did not report a little cash money that he made cutting grass….etc. We have never had a woman write whose husband was committing major fraud. It has been petty things that stick in her craw.”
    Mike Pearl and his wife have a beautiful marriage and five committed christian children who obviously love them very much. I’d need proof that he’s lying.
    SD-I love I Peter 3. I’ve seen it work in my own marriage. What a wonderful God He is!
    I never meant for this to be so, uh, intense. Go back to where I first posted. I said we should obey, except for sin. Not a feminist, I repeat, not a feminist–easy there.
    SD-I’m implying you should be polite and not accuse so easily. I see myself in you as I was years ago, so I understand, but don’t be so quick to call ‘heretic!’ when someone disagrees with you.

  158. John Nesteutes says:

    Signing a false tax return just to save a few bucks is definitely a sin. I’d call it swindling, most likely. Lying too.

  159. John Nesteutes says:

    “I’d need proof that he’s lying”

    I’d need proof of his apocryphal story, with roving rape gangs in rural Pennsylvania impregnating people’s daughters left and right. Which, so far, he has declined to provide, including when directly asked one on one.

    We have a Mennonite neighbor who practiced non-resistance under all circumstances. Some evil men found out about it and came into his home demanding to take sexual liberties with all his daughters. He did not resist but gave them his younger daughters as well. The men returned. His daughters became pregnant and bore little bastards. No man ever wanted them for wives. He stood by and watched the evil men strip and rape his daughters. It destroyed the family. They had to move so as to cease being used by evil men at their will. He was a fool. His doctrine was of the Devil. He should have risen up in righteous wrath and slain the enemy, like Joshua of old.

    Generally when anyone proposes a biblical principle (like biblical submission, or in this case biblical nonresistance), a dishonest debate tactic is to respond back with a rape story. “You’re asking me to submit to rape!”

  160. Sarah's Daughter says:

    I never meant for this to be so, uh, intense

    Funny, I haven’t found this intense at all. All very calming actually. Truth does that.

    You aren’t disagreeing with me. You are disagreeing with the words written in the Bible. Paul’s inspired words. When will you address Ephesians 5:24?

  161. @ Rebecca

    This is an object lesson for you.

    DS–you’re rebuking Fawn after he called her that?! I’m not sure she’s the one that needed that rebuke. Not using scripture?: go back and read again. I think you missed a few comments.

    Of course I am. One is a Christian who has committed to living her life after Christ’s example. The other is a non-believer.

    Christians are called admonish others who don’t model Christ’s behavior. She being particularly snippy and arrogant: “As a nonbeliever you have more important issues to worry about.” Does Christ call us to act in arrogance or humility? Does He tell us to act in kindness or rudeness?

    Guess what drives non-Christians away from Christ? When Christians act in a hypocritical manner like I called out. As I quoted Jesus’ Words in Matthew 5, Christians who don’t treat their “enemies” with kindness or love are just like pagans.

    Additionally, you can tell how mature a Christian is when they are admonished. Fawn did apologize, and I’m joyful because of that. It takes a lot of humility and love to do so even if you feel wronged.

    Moving on to the actual topic:

    FOR EXAMPLE

    No one is saying to go and sin. However, there are other options aside from saying “yes” or “no” which you seem to be having trouble understanding is a false dichotomy.

    We have a Christian husband and Christian wife. The Christian husband tells the wife to do something that is sin. Say lie about something. Maybe he realizes, maybe he doesn’t A wife should not go “No, I’m not going to lie about that because God said not to.” This is in effect “bashing commandments against one other: submit to husband or submit to God.

    Instead, the wife should bring it up in an attitude of respect: “Hey, I don’t know if you understood what you were saying fully but what you told me to do was tell a lie about something. Is there anything I can do to avoid sinning in this case?”

    99.99999% of the time a Christian husband won’t want his Christian wife to sin. Hence, he will typically respond with something like: “Oh, I’m sorry honey I didn’t realize that was going to make you sin.” Then he can tell you to do it a different way.

    The point is just yes or just no is a false dichotomy. Simply saying “no because God said so” is ignores the task or the intent of the task without consideration of the intent behind the husband’s decision. It is selfish to the core because it exploits getting out of it rather than seeing it something else can be done that doesn’t allow you sin.

    Like I said:

    A respectful heart searches for ways to obey in the fruits of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self control.

    A disrespectful heart searches for ways to disobey, often without care for the concerns of the one in authority even if they ultimately obey.

    Right now when you advocate on just saying no that’s out of a disrespectful heart. A righteous respectful heart looks for ways to obey without sinning and saying no. It will involve saying “Hey, I can’t do that because it’s going to make me sin… IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN DO INSTEAD?”

  162. @Deep Strength
    I’m not going to quote the whole second half of your post, but imagine I did, and then wrote “amen!” at the end.

  163. Rebecca says:

    DS–I will certainly agree to all that too.

  164. Fawn says:

    @ deep strength – if you are saying that you believe that a wife is not required to obey a command to sin and should be submissive in how she relays that to her husband then we are in agreement. Yes, the next step is attempting to find some other solution to the problem that doesn’t involve sinning.

    However, some husbands are unconcerned about sin and sometimes there are no alternatives that will do in the mind of the husband. When God and human authority are in conflict I will obey God.

  165. John Nesteutes says:

    @Fawn

    That’s an argument for marrying Christian men who display outward signs of being a Christian and who submit themselves to godly leadership and to other godly Christian men in a good church.

    I have no sympathy for women who willfully choose to marry men who are “unconcerned about sin”.

  166. I was just thinking: What if, in parallel with “be subject to your husband in all things even if he’s a pagan,” scripture said to husbands, “love your wives at all times even if they get fat.” Do you think these women would accept it if we said, “Well, ‘fat’ there obviously doesn’t mean grossly fat. God couldn’t want men to go through a lifetime of that kind of punishment. He says His yoke is light, after all, and there’s nothing light about a fat woman climbing on for some reverse cowboy action. And people couldn’t get really fat back then because food wasn’t as plentiful and they had to work so much harder. So clearly, a properly sophisticated and Spirit-guided interpretation of this passage means, “Love your wives at all times even if they gain a few extra pounds, especially in the knockers.”

    When God and human authority are in conflict I will obey God.

    And your opinion of what God wants will outrank your husband’s whenever you decide. We get that, you’ve made it very clear.

  167. John Nesteutes says:

    @Cail Corishev

    The core issue here is Fawn’s sincere belief that she can figuring out on her own what “I will obey God” even means.

    I certainly don’t know what obeying God actually is. That’s why I need brotherhood, headship, and a (true) church to guide me.

  168. Striver says:

    Thinking back to my parents’ 35 year marriage that ended with my father’s death, I cannot think of a single instance where the whole headship/submission issue came up. Ever.

    Somehow, the marriage survived even though my father was not a swaggering, smirking alpha who constantly gamed my mother to keep her entertained. They were two shy people who married in their 30s when that was uncommon. Neither probably had a lot of dating experience beforehand.

    Mom was a schoolteacher for some 15 years before the marriage. Dad left his job to move back closer to his hometown, and offered to try to find one close to her home area. Mom didn’t want that because she had incurred certain social obligations as a maiden aunt and wanted more of a fresh start. So they moved to Dad’s hometown. He bought a house from his brother that had originally belonged to their mother when she moved off the family farm. We spent more time with her relatives because she has more of them and they had more get-togethers.

    Mom could have continued working as a teacher; most of the women teachers at the parochial school I attended were married. She decided to mostly stay home instead. And so it went. Negotiations and tradeoffs.

    How many “old school” marriages were there ever where the man dominated the woman and she had no say? Where the woman looked up at the man like some kind of demi-god? It is just respect for the person, respect for the role they play. Common courtesy. I don’t worship my boss at work, maybe I’d be a better boss, maybe not. I’m always superior technically to the boss. But the role is the role, and you respect the role and the person.

    Anyone who voluntarily enters a marriage should respect the role of the other person. Per feminism, it’s clear many women do not respect their husbands. My soon to be ex did not respect me, I am sure of that. It has nothing to do with the men, it’s the women and their crappy attitudes. Wah wah, I can’t have it all.

    So the whole headship issue is a tempest in a teapot to me. Women always had plenty of say.

  169. I’m a stay-at-home homeschooling wife (almost 25 years) and mother to 12 children–so pro-life, I don’t even believe in birth control—not exactly a model feminist.

    That’s not surprising. We’ve talked quite a bit here about how pervasive feminism is in modern society, how much it’s infiltrated even churches and other groups that are considered “conservative.” We’re all swimming in it and affected by it; if you’re not actively excising feminism from your thinking, you’re absorbing it. You don’t have to be a pro-abortion, man-hating lesbian to be a feminist.

  170. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Seven times Rebecca has refused to address Ephesians 5:24.

    Fascinating.

  171. Rebecca says:

    SD & Cail – How do you define ‘feminist’?
    Is it any woman who disagrees with you in any way?
    SD-My husband recently discussed Eph. 5:24 with our family. He told us that it means that wives are to obey their husbands in everything, but sin. Who should I listen to, him or you?

  172. desiderian says:

    “We’ve said we believe in submission, except if asked to sin.”

    If you’re being asked, it isn’t submission.

  173. desiderian says:

    “Who should I listen to, him or you?”

    God, as revealed by the pen of the Holy Spirit.

  174. Sarah's Daughter says:

    SD-My husband recently discussed Eph. 5:24 with our family. He told us that it means that wives are to obey their husbands in everything, but sin. Who should I listen to, him or you?

    You listen to your husband. Interesting that this is the first time you’ve mentioned this. It makes it very difficult to not assume this isn’t true.

    And when you teach other women, as you said you have, you instruct them to defer to their husbands. When they read Ephesians 5:24 and wonder if Paul really meant everything, you tell them that is something they must trust their husband’s discernment on. You do not instruct a woman contrary to her husband’s interpretation of the Bible when you know what that interpretation is. We are to teach women to love their husbands. They do so by respecting him in all things and obeying God’s instruction for them in marriage as is interpreted by their husbands.

  175. desiderian says:

    “Is it any woman who disagrees with you in any way?”

    A feminist is one who puts the will of woman over the will of God.

  176. desiderian says:

    “You do not instruct a woman contrary to her husband’s interpretation of the Bible when you know what that interpretation is. We are to teach women to love their husbands. They do so by respecting him in all things and obeying God’s instruction for them in marriage as is interpreted by their husbands.”

    Fair enough, but if he’s asking her, he’s not commanding her. It’s not rebellion to answer a request with a reference to scripture, particularly when there is great risk in enforcing the scripture in question.

  177. Rebecca says:

    Okay, feel convicted about that last comment. That was snippy, sorry.
    No, really SD, it was tonight at the dinner table. Now, how did THAT get brought up….
    Anyway, peace to all. I know I have a loooooooong way to go. I have failed many times in many ways. I’m on this journey same as many here, to become like Christ. I’ll be thinking about this and meditating on how to be a better wife too. Thanks.

  178. How do you define ‘feminist’?

    A feminist is someone who believes in the tenets of feminism more than not.

    Now, obviously, some are more feminist than others. Sheila Gregoire is more feminist than you (as you’ve described yourself), and Hillary Clinton is more feminist than Sheila Gregoire. But it’s common for Christian women today to call themselves anti-feminists and pat themselves on the back because they oppose abortion and stay home to raise their kids (very admirable things), and because they follow their husband’s leadership as long as they approve of his decisions, not realizing that they still accept many of the more fundamental tenets of feminism, which are modernism as applied to sex, marriage, and family.

    What are those tenets, you ask?

    1. Men and women are equal. Not just equally valuable as children of God, but equal in intelligence, reasoning ability, courage, patience, and virtually all other traits except how much they can bench — except where they believe women are superior, as in empathy and nurturing ability (and see #2). This means there is no reason whatsoever for a woman to defer to a man’s judgment just because she married him (except for those pesky bible verses). Since she’s equal to him in every way, why would his judgment ever exceed hers? You’ve made it clear that you believe this one.

    2. Women are spiritually superior to men, more connected to God and more sensitive to the Spirit within them. (This one is particular to Christian feminists, or at least religious ones.) This means that, in spiritual matters such as sin, not only does she have no reason to defer to a man’s judgment; she has every reason to override his. She knows better than him when it comes to what is sinful, so she should not only follow her own convictions in this area, but provide him with guidance (“leading from behind,” being the “heart” of the marriage, etc.). You haven’t declared your belief in this one in so many words, but it’s implied in everything you’ve said.

    3. Proceeding from the first two: women, being more innocent and pure and spiritual, must be kept out of the clutches of sinful men. This leads to all sorts of dysfunction: parents, especially doting dads, trying to keep their daughters single as long as possible, for instance. Again, you haven’t said this in so many words, but you constantly imply that men, even Christian men, are loaded guns of sin just waiting to go off, so a wife has to keep her superior finger on the safety.

    That’s all for now; I might go into this in more depth on my own blog this week.

    Is it any woman who disagrees with you in any way?

    Disagreeing with me doesn’t make you a feminist; it just makes you wrong.😉

    But like SD said: you should follow your husband’s leadership. If he tells you to be his moral nursemaid, then do so.

  179. Boxer says:

    Dear John N:

    The source of Michael Pearl’s story is… almost certainly made up

    I have a very hard time believing all these stories. There seem to be a lot of outwardly decent Christian men who secretly pimp out their kids to gay groups, let their daughters get raped, want weird kinky group sex with their nice Christian wives, etc.

    With all these wild, sensational tales, you’d think that the tellers of them could pony up a couple of weirdos who were eventually arrested after the poor wife quit submitting and complained to police. Pimping out your underage kids, manufacturing narcotics, etc. are serious crimes in North America. Where are all these men who refute the bible?

    Anyone of you feminists have even one conviction report or newspaper story?

    Regards,

    Boxer

  180. Anonymous Reader says:

    …men, even Christian men, are loaded guns of sin just waiting to go off, so a wife has to keep her superior finger on the safety

    Which is the female imperative wtrit both small and large: men are large, dangerous beasts that must be kept under some sort of control by women for the good of all.

    I might go into this in more depth on my own blog this week.

    Strongly urge you to do so. It’s been too quiet for too long over there.

  181. Boxer says:

    Dear Fawn:

    I apologize if my response to Boxer came off as snippy. I don’t intend to be snippy but I’m not going to argue with him either.

    Let’s not go all weepy. I have no need for an apology.

    You’re on a forum that’s largely dominated by men. Men like to read texts and argue. If you want to argue your feminist interpretation it’s fine with me, but you should research it and find some support for it in the texts at hand.

    What you’ve done here is a textbook feminist tactic. VAWA, for example, was a good example of the success of this slippery slope argument. “We need to pass laws to jail men on demand! Otherwise women everywhere will be beaten up every Superbowl Sunday!”

    Do you see where people are coming from, now?

    Boxer

  182. @SD
    I’m not Rebecca, but if you like I will answer your question. (And let it be clear, that I am not trying to teach any of the men here. This comment is directed at Sarahs Daughter.)
    The way my husband and I understand Ephesians 5:24 is that we must use Scripture to interpret Scripture.
    So if we read a Bible verse which, at first glance, seems to contradict other Scriptures, then we need to figure out how it fits into the bigger picture.
    As someone (I think Brad A?) mentioned above – in addition to telling wives to submit to their husbands, even unbelievers, Peter also tells all Christians to submit to the rulers and authorities (1 Peter 2:13-14). But then in Acts 5:27-32, Peter blatantly disobeys what he has been commanded by the authorities. That is because he recognises his ultimate authority is God, and their command went against God’s command.
    Let it be noted though, (following on the the 1 Peter 2 passage) that Peter is willing to endure suffering and hardship as part of his submission to authorities, and seems to call wives to this as well (“Wives, in the same way be submissive….”).

    I think this comes back to what Deep Strength was saying before – if our husbands ask us to do something which is sinful, we do not have to outright refuse, we can say “I feel doing that would be wrong before God, is there something else I can do, or a different way to handle this?”. Or even “I’m not willing to do what you ask, as it would be sinful before God, but I will take whatever punishment you give”.

    Peter’s letter, and example of Christ’s righteous suffering, is why if my husband ever became abusive (though this is very unlikely), I would not divorce him. I would bear up under the suffering as an example to him. If he were hurting the children, I would take measures for their safety, of course. But I am convinced that husbands in even the worst circumstances can be won by their wives’ submission.

    When it comes to the Ephesians 5:24 verse, you seem to be pinning your whole discussion of this issue on the word “everything”, because you think that “everything” must include sinful requests.
    Here are some examples of other times the Bible uses “absolute” language, but it obviously is not absolute:
    Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
    Can I fly? Can I breathe under water unassisted? No, so it’s not an absolute “all things”.
    John 15:7 “If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”
    Can I ask for a million dollars, and it will be granted? Can I ask for a pony, and one will magically appear?
    Now, you will (rightly) object here, and point out that we need to look at the context of those verses, as well as the whole of Scripture, to understand what they mean.
    In the first instance, Paul is talking about being content in all circumstances, and how this is only possible through Christ. In the second, Jesus is speaking of the vine and the branches, and the “whatever you wish” refers to bearing fruit.
    And when we turn the the Ephesians 5 passage, we see the full verse 24 says “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
    Would Christ ever ask the church to sin? No. So, it follows that a wife sinning because her husband told her to, is NOT submitting “as the church submits to Christ”.
    Now, would Christ ever ask his church to do things that are uncomfortable? Yes, often. Would Christ ever ask his church to do things the church doesn’t want to do? Yes.
    I am not trying to make a case for “a wife must submit to a husband who is perfectly Christ-like”. But I am simply pointing out that you can’t make the case from Ephesians 24:5 that a wife should submit to sinful requests.

  183. feeriker says:

    (Just look at Sheila’s recent blog comments – she managed to extend it to refusing to make a husband bacon every day, because this is bad for his health!)

    So among her countless other flaws, Sheila is a dietary ignoramus? Who’d’a thunk it?

  184. Yep, a husband may bring home the bacon, but he better not expect his wife to cook it because SIN!

  185. feeriker says:

    Guys, concerning the trollettes here who have such a problem with submission:

    What they will not admit to, mostly because they’re either not consciously aware of it or have hamsterbated it into their subconscious minds, is that they are modernists. Modernists of either sex could no more grok the idea of submission, to God or some other human, than wolves could conceive of existing on a vegetarian diet. For a modernist woman (i.e., 99.999999999 percent of the total), the idea of submitting to a husband is equivalent to the idea of giving (not selling) herself into slavery. It’s just so … First Century. Those benighted ancients were sooooooooo primative and are soooooooo irrelevant to today’s enlightened world.

    Modernists also don’t really believe in this “God” guy either, and certainly don’t genuinely believe that tbe Bible was really inspired by anyone other than the guys who wrote it. To a modernist the Bible is like a cookbook: some recipes are delicious and you keep them on hand for frequent reference. Others you don’t like and just ignore, maybe even crossing them out or tearing the pages out of the book and throwing them away.

    It’s obvious who the modernist women are here; their (straw man) arguments bathe them in neon. Now if they’d only have enough respect, for themselves and the rest of us, to stop dissembling and stop insulting everyone’s intelligence. An admission of “God ain’t the boss of me!” will no doubt wound certain sensibilities here, but the candor it contains would probably offset that somewhat.

  186. feeriker says:

    And just so you know, I’m a stay-at-home homeschooling wife (almost 25 years) and mother to 12 children–so pro-life, I don’t even believe in birth control—not exactly a model feminist.

    A checklist of works doesn’t invalidate or make up for your obviously rebellious attitude (the Lord will tell you something similar on Judgment Day, though probably not as nicely).

    Nice try, though.

  187. desiderian says:

    “if our husbands ask us to do something which is sinful”

    Again with the asking.

    It’s not The Ten Requests.

    Your husband is your head as Christ is the Head of the Church. Christ commands us to ask the Heavenly Father, as He did in the Lord’s Prayer, for all that we need.

    The one who submits is the one who asks. The head commands.

  188. @desiderian

    Not all husbands are alike🙂

    My husband rarely phrases things as a command. He often says, “I’d like you to…” or “I’d like you to stop…”

  189. desiderian says:

    How you speak of, and thus think of, his commands matters.

    My God is a mighty God, and my faith, and life, go smoother when I speak, and thus think, of Him that way.

  190. Sarah's Daughter says:

    When it comes to the Ephesians 5:24 verse, you seem to be pinning your whole discussion of this issue on the word “everything”, because you think that “everything” must include sinful requests.

    I am not pinning my whole discussion on this verse, but I’ll get to that in a moment. I not only think everything includes (wifely interpreted) sinful commands, I know it does. I’ve explained it to you before. The ability to have a sit down conversation with your husband where you can respectfully say, “I’m struggling with complying with this command, what else may I do that will please you.” Is sweet in a first worldish kind of way. Christians don’t all live with this luxury. Husbands don’t always have time to explain the intricacies involved and sometimes it’s not always clear to them (husbands). Often times a praying husband will have a urgency to act on something that he must trust is coming from the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t know how it will all turn out but he must go with it and in that urgency there MUST be compliance by his wife. As I’ve said before, sometimes husbands (who are the deciders) need to make a choice between a bad decision and a really bad decision. Right/wrong or black/white is not even an option.

    Most men and all Soldiers who have spent time in nasty places will understand what I’m saying. And yes, I’ve been commanded to lie. I was the Family Group leader of my husband’s battalion and knew a lot of the ugly going on down range. Prior to a meeting with wives of Soldiers I was told “when asked by wives if I know this or that about her husband”, my response was commanded to be, “No, I don’t have any information.” (told to me via a Sat phone with 30 seconds of connection time) – this upheld morale and potentially saved lives (including my husband’s). And don’t think it was just a measure of discernment on my part. I was not wise. I was insecure and frightened and prone to gossip as much as any normal woman. I was disgusted by many of the things that were going on. (3rd world prostitution, sex slavery etc.) These were places where local women were gang raped and beaten just for working for the Americans. Where a commander (my husband) has to accept that there is no authority to go to and reports such things. The police asked for $500 to “investigate” it.

    I think it’s wonderful for Christian wives to be able to sit back in 1st world luxury. But to then squabble about what they would or would not comply with in their autonomy and independence is a sign of rebellion and disrespect for the man with whom they were made one flesh. And though they may never be presented with an ugly situation, they miss the spirit of the command and the freedom that is available to them in it. Also because they have drawn their lines, there will likely come a time where they are tested. And it will be then that they have to go through this ridiculous “what should I do”. Had they accepted all of the biblical instruction for wives, they would not falter and his trust could remain in her loyalty to him.

  191. @SD
    “Had they accepted all of the biblical instruction for wives, they would not falter and his trust could remain in her loyalty to him.”

    I am confident that I have accepted the biblical instruction for wives fully.

    At the end of the day, we will all give an account for how we have lived. And praise God that our acceptance into heaven is not in the least reliant on our own abilities.

  192. Sarah's Daughter says:

    The way my husband and I understand Ephesians 5:24 is that we must use Scripture to interpret Scripture.

    Yes, I agree with that. There are many Bible verses made just for wives and the marriage relationship. Put them all together and a very beautiful story is painted.
    Why were you, as a woman, created? Genesis 2:18, 1 Corinthians 11:9, 1 Timothy 2:13
    What happens when you are married to that man? Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:8, Matthew 19:4-8, Ephesians 5;31
    Keep going, read them all, together; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Proverbs 18:22, 1 Peter 3, 1 Corinthians 11 etc.
    Read about divorce, can a wife divorce her husband? If there were to be an exception to obedience, how is it there IS NO recourse? She is bound until his death.
    Then read the responsibilities of husbands. All of them. The admonishment Malachi 2:13-16, 1 Timothy 5:8, Matthew 5:32 The instructions; Ecclesiastes 9:9, Ephesians 5:33, 1 Peter 3:7, Colossians 3:19, etc.

    The role of husband is a mighty responsibility. This has unfathomably become taken for granted, condescended, and belittled. One word stops women in their tracks and makes them do mental gymnastics and a biblical word search to find an escape clause. Something so holds them back from this one responsibility given to wives. Yet women think nothing of what is required of husbands.

    Yes, use Scripture to interpret Scripture. And then hit your knees that God gave you such a easy yoke compared to what he has required of husbands.

  193. desiderian says:

    “I am confident that I have accepted the biblical instruction for wives fully.”

    We all fall short of the glory of God. There is only One who has walked this earth who is perfect. He will help those who pray to Him with a humble heart to cure undue pride.

    “What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,

    ‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall,
    and whoever believes in him[f] will not be put to shame.'”

    – Romans 9

    Those who stumble finding themselves conveniently on their knees…

  194. Fawn says:

    @ Sarah’s Daughter – adherence to God’s word is not a “first world luxury”. You and your husband both chose to lie. This is a sin. That things worked out alright after your sinful behavior doesn’t justify the sin. God is merciful and often things will be “okay” even if we sin. However you don’t know what God would’ve done had you not sinned. Who might’ve been saved, who might’ve repented and been brought to Christ. You decided that you needed to sin to get the best outcome but that is not what God would have us do.

    @ seriously serving – Excellent comment at 11pm. You explained that very well and I agree.

  195. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Perfect, Fawn. You have done a bang up job of overstepping your biblical role as a women. You seek to put asunder. To whisper. To usurp the authority of a God decreed head of a wife. Your arrogance is truly a work of the devil.

    You have stumbled all over yourself and are deserving of rebuke,

    My interpretation of the command was that it was a command to lie. My discernment was deeply flawed and unreliable. My arrogance was astounding (like yours is now) that I would even believe in my heart that my husband’s command was questionable. When everyone was back home from deployment and my husband and I were talking about things he admonished me. What I believed I was lying about was actually a hint of true 2nd hand information with a heavy amount of information I had assumed to be true. I did not witness anything first hand, I was not in Africa. I was correctly informed that I am unable to properly discern these things on my own, especially when the emotional climate is so volatile. And that will likely be the case when a wife will be commanded to do something and she bows up with flawed discernment that it is sin. I had absolutely no authority to answer these women’s potentially leading questions and sinful disrespect of their husbands. For them to ask me for information (gossip) was indicative of the failures of their own obedience to God’s instruction to wives.

  196. Gunner Q says:

    Fawn @ 8:48 am:
    “@ Sarah’s Daughter – adherence to God’s word is not a “first world luxury”. You and your husband both chose to lie.”

    It was her husband’s choice, not hers. SD obeyed God by doing what her husband said, therefore she is entirely blameless. This is your takeaway from this thread, Fawn: if you obey your husband then you don’t have to worry about whether it was right. That’s your husband’s burden.

    And SD’s husband did, in fact, do the right thing. I would have done exactly the same. He sounds like a quality guy.

  197. Fawn says:

    @ Sarah’s daughter – I have not overstepped I have admonished another Christian about her sin and about her justification of that sin. You could’ve simply declined to gossip or discuss what you knew or thought you knew with the wives without lying but you chose to lie. And now you are trying to hold your sins up as a positive example for other women.

  198. Sarah's Daughter says:

    I have not overstepped I have admonished another Christian about her sin and about her justification of that sin.

    You presume authority over my husband. Should I listen to you and believe what you are saying is a message from God, my husband stands without authority and is not my head. And God is a liar.
    Knowing this wickedness would arise from women like yourself, Paul addressed it: 1 Timothy 2:12

  199. feeriker says:

    Look, Fawn, just follow my admonition upthread and ADMIT that you, like all modernists/feminists, have no use for Scripture as written when it comes to the subject of wifely submission to husbands. It’s obvious and your continued dissembling on the matter is getting really tiresome. Far be it from me to issue orders on another man’s blog, but if this were my blog you’d now be getting a “move on or be gone” order. So for everyone’s sake, just knock it off, ok?

  200. Sarah's Daughter says:

    She can’t move on. The fear that another wife reading might hear what’s been said and make a proclamation in her heart that she will obey God by submitting to her husband in everything is too great. Whatever needs to be done to stop this from happening will be done. For if a wife makes this sort of confession and vow, Satan loses another tool to destroy a covenant. It is not to protect a wife from potentially sinning by following a command of her husband’s. That is a red herring and a devilish trick that works brilliantly due to women’s fear nature and proclivity to piousness.

  201. Boxer says:

    Dear Freeriker:

    Look, Fawn, just follow my admonition upthread and ADMIT that you, like all modernists/feminists, have no use for Scripture as written when it comes to the subject of wifely submission to husbands. It’s obvious and your continued dissembling on the matter is getting really tiresome.

    That’s exactly right. Fawn needs to just admit to herself that Christianity is not for her. She can still live a good life. Lightning won’t strike her. Christianity is a serious discipline and the people who call themselves Christians make an effort to live within its teachings.

    This way, she’ll at least be honest with herself. It’s one thing that she lies to others, but the idea of living one’s life lying to herself is a very unhealthy state to remain in.

    If Fawn likes religion, she can surely convert to Mormonism. My folk religion allows rebellious women to divorce their husbands (and my people do love divorce lol). There are other religions that don’t have that particular discipline that she has such trouble with. Jews seem to like to divorce and take Jewish men to divorce court too. I’m sure there are others.

    Fawn, just give it up. You don’t take the bible seriously, and trying to justify your own lack of coherence is just making you look stupid here.

    Best,

    Boxer

  202. Fawn says:

    @ Sarah’s Daughter

    I do not presume authority over you or your husband. Authority implies an obligation to obey me. I am a Christian reminding another Christian that lying is a sin and the fact that someone else told you to do it or that things worked out ok after you sinned does not justify the sin. I am reminding you of God’s authority and of His command not to lie and pointing out that you could have found a way to obey both God and husband but chose not to.

  203. The fear that another wife reading might hear what’s been said and make a proclamation in her heart that she will obey God by submitting to her husband in everything is too great.

    Bingo. No one’s suggesting that she should be forced to submit to her husband. There’s exactly zero chance of any Western government passing any laws giving headship back to husbands, or any mainstream church pressuring her in that direction. So all this is is people suggesting that she should voluntarily submit to her husband. She’s completely free to ignore us and keep following her own conviction that she’s doing the right thing.

    But if she doesn’t submit and some women do, they might look down on her as not being a good wife, and that’s intolerable.

  204. Cane Caldo says:

    Just to be clear since my post been positively referenced several times:

    Paul and Peter’s instructions are centered around the fact that people fantasize about rejecting their superiors instead of hoping for the true best for them. If God ordains one to rule, then that one’s true best would be repentance followed by righteous rule. If the fantasists are Christian they might mouth some words about repentance, but in their hearts they mean to set themselves as judge of whether repentance is true, and therefore whether God’s ordained has a right to rule. In other words: They pervert both a rightful headship AND with their hearts they pervert good sense (say, hiding children from a pedophile) into an act of unrighteous rebellion. Those children may be saved, but gleeful rebel has exchanged the heavenly reward for an earthly one; humility for pride; Heaven for Hell.

    Women–who spend their lives being daughters and wives–are also yappy, and therefore more prone to the fantasies and the utterance of them. If the fantasy of telling off others is useful for them in any way: generating sympathy; commiseration; appearing tough; appearing smart…appearing submissive… then they will do so.

    Conversely: Not one woman in these threads has told a story about the time her MIL got out of hand, her husband said “Bear with it”, and the woman admitted that, while she did not like it, she peacefully went along. Every story related includes independent action; whether the application of cold shoulder, or the complaining, or just plain gloating about how stupid and evil their MIL is.

    Shut the Hell up.

  205. Fawn says:

    @ Cail Corishev – I’m not concerned with looking like a good wife on the Internet but with being a good wife and a good Christian overall. I also doubt that sinning is going to get a Christian good girl kudos in anywhere but here. However, I’ve made my point and I think that simply serving has done an excellent job in explaining the problem with your theology. If you decide to ignore the Bible and embrace sin instead then that is your choice.

  206. John Nesteutes says:

    @Fawn

    Disobeying the Scriptures where they say to submit to one’s husband is a sin.

    Sounds like all of us need a saviour to help set us free from all this sin…

  207. Ok, let’s say there’s no way to avoid “lying” in a situation. Extreme examples prove the point.

    1. Wife lies about hiding Jews from the Nazis. Everyone here agrees.

    2. Husband tells wife to lie about hiding Jews from the Nazi. Most of the women here are saying: “NO, lying is sin. We should obey God and tell the truth to the Nazis.”

    3. 1 Kings 18 Obadiah hides 100 prophets of the Lord against the orderes of Jezebel who wants to kill them and provides them food and water. Obadiah also conspires to lie and give the run around to Ahab about Elijah’s whereabouts.

    4. Esther submits herself to the harem and fornication with the king, obscuring her past, and manipulation in the situation with Haman and the King. Submit to the harem or die. Hide her past as opposed to be a bold witness. She could’ve chosen to die. But she didn’t in this case, and God was good.

    The point is that a husband may have a righteous reason to tell his wife to “sin.” SD’s lying is very similar to that although probably more morally ambiguous because it’s not an extreme situation. It’s not cut and dry like women where seem to think.

  208. John Nesteutes says:

    @Deep Strength

    Let’s not forget Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech. “She’s my sister.”

    If your husband asks you tell a lie to keep you from getting killed / sold into sexual slavery in a harem, it might behoove you to obey him.

  209. Fawn says:

    @deep stregnth – sending Jews to their deaths is not a loving thing to do. I am not suggesting that we stick to the letter of law and ignore the overall point like the Pharisees.

    The example that Sarah’s Daughter gave isn’t merely less extreme it is a celebration of flouting God’s word. She is saying “God said don’t lie but I lied and it was good.” Look at the example that she gave. Her husband asked her not to relay some gossip about the husbands to the wives. This doesn’t require lying. How often in life are people asked to spread to some gossip or share information that shouldn’t be shared? It is easy to avoid doing so without lying. She could’ve obeyed God and husband there.

    Worse, she is holding up a story of her lying in that common situation as if it is a positive example to other Christians. It is not.

  210. @ John Nesteutes

    Ah, yes, I missed the most obvious examples of a husband lying and his wife being complicit. Abraham’s reasoning was protection even in deceit.

    1. Abraham told Sarah to be complicit in his “lie” TWICE and she did. Once to Pharoah and once to Abimelech.
    2. Sarah is held up as the paragon of wifely submission in 1 Peter 3.

  211. Here’s what I wonder: if we’re all supposed to use our own discernment and never obey an order we judge to be sinful, then what the heck is the story of Abraham and Isaac about? What are we supposed to take away from that, if not that sometimes God tests our faith by commanding us to do something which seems like it would have to be wrong? How is that different if the command comes from a person God has placed in authority over us rather than a voice from the sky?

    Abraham could have used his discernment to say, “No, that can’t be God’s voice; He wouldn’t command me to murder my son. Someone else must be faking His voice.” Isn’t the whole point that his faith meant it wasn’t up to him to decide? If it was really God’s command, then he had to follow it. If it wasn’t, then he still had to follow it out of faith and leave it up to God to sort it out.

  212. John Nesteutes says:

    If lying is an absolute sin, then why is it OK to lie to protect Jews from Nazis?

    Where does one draw the line?

  213. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Where does one draw the line?

    Fawn draws the line exclusively when her husband asks her to lie. When she lies on her own, that’s apparently okay:
    Her husband asked her not to relay some gossip about the husbands to the wives.

    Nope, my husband “asked” me no such thing. I was told (commanded) what my response will be when asked. I was asked and responded as I was told to respond.

    If the fantasy of telling off others is useful for them in any way: generating sympathy; commiseration; appearing tough; appearing smart…appearing submissive… then they will do so.

    My apologies if the comments I’ve made have come across in this manner, Dalrock, it was not my intention to use your comment section for those purposes. If this isn’t an appropriate venue to attempt to teach wives how to love their husbands, then I will cease in my efforts.

  214. @desiderian

    ““I am confident that I have accepted the biblical instruction for wives fully.”

    We all fall short of the glory of God. There is only One who has walked this earth who is perfect. He will help those who pray to Him with a humble heart to cure undue pride.”

    You are correct. I was not trying to say that I am perfect in applying the biblical instruction for wives – far from it.
    But SD was saying that “Had they accepted all of the biblical instruction for wives, they would not falter and his trust could remain in her loyalty to him.”
    I was saying I believe I have accepted all of the biblical instructions for wives, not that I am the perfect wife.

    And now, I will take this very good advice:
    “Shut the Hell up.”

  215. jeff says:

    SS,

    When you ask for a million dollars or think you can fly you are joining in the ridiculous hypotheticals.

    What most of us are saying on here is that:

    MOST christian husbands are running AWAY from sin, and truly trying to make the godly decisions. We mess up at times, but even when we do mess up our motivation is genuinely weaving through the worldly garbage that is put in front of us. If you would like your husband to give you grace and mercy when you mess up, then I think you need to realize that “all things” really means all things. When christian husbands mess up you do not rub their nose in it, because christian husbands will stand before God and be held in account higher than their wives.

    Fawn, Rebecca and others are doing ridiculous extremes because they can’t face the fact that they should submit and respect all the time, every time PERIOD.

    If their husbands are running TOWARD sin, they have a very difficult road and it’s obvious their husbands are not christian, so they think they are off the hook to obey their husband. God will hold that wife in high account. Oh, yes the non christian husband will go to hell, but she will be before God not as one flesh where the christian husband would be accountable, but alone being judged for her lack of submission and respect to her non believing husband THAT SHE DID NOT WIN HIM OVER WITH HER BEHAVIOR, when given the chance.

    The believing wife who does not submit to all things in essence is not winning her husband without a word and her husband will be punished for listening to his wife just like Adam was. If he is merciless toward her and does not extend grace to her when she is unsubmissive and disrespectful she is getting her punishment her and now and like all the other commenters here I do not feel any sympathy for her for having a husband who is trying to keep her in line…. after all he is a loving christian husband who is obeying God and rebuking her. It’s that we find even in church and churchianity that the husband who is christian is called abusive if he rebukes his own unsubmissive, disrespectful wife.

  216. Dalrock says:

    @Sarah’s Daughter

    @Cane

    If the fantasy of telling off others is useful for them in any way: generating sympathy; commiseration; appearing tough; appearing smart…appearing submissive… then they will do so.

    My apologies if the comments I’ve made have come across in this manner, Dalrock, it was not my intention to use your comment section for those purposes. If this isn’t an appropriate venue to attempt to teach wives how to love their husbands, then I will cease in my efforts.

    I don’t know that Cane’s comment above is aimed at you. Either way, Cane is welcome here, and so are you.

    What I would say from the discussion is it confirms again what I already strongly believed. The claim of “What if he tells me to sin?” isn’t about a real fear of being commanded to do evil. It is a smokescreen, or squid ink, to avoid what the Bible clearly says while pretending not to do so. I suspect it is clear to others following as well.

    Men in the modern world are no more brutish than the men of the ancient world. Yet whenever submission is discussed today we have the obligatory clamor of voices crying out in fear of brutish men forcing their wives into unspeakable sin, because the clarity and simplicity of the Bible surely no longer applies. You can’t teach that anymore! It is dangerous! The difference in focus on this topic between the Bible and the present isn’t due to a change in men, but due to our times being characterized by rampant feminist rebellion (with feminist rebellion now held as a high virtue).

  217. jeff says:

    I probably made little sense in that last part.

    When a christian wife is married to a non christian husband she is his first witness of christianity to him. If she does not obey God’s word to win him not with word, but in silence and her behavior, she is actually the worst witness God has to that unbelieving husband and will give an account for her lack of obedience.

    The christian husband will in fact be accountable for his BELIeVING wife’s lack submission and disrespect for him if he in fact does not wash her with the word. Just like a dirty child pulled in from playing in the dirt, she may not like it, but he is being the leader. The difference is the child will grow up and appreciate it, the wife usually does not.

  218. It is a smokescreen, or squid ink, to avoid what the Bible clearly says while pretending not to do so. I suspect it is clear to others following as well.

    Completely. I can understand a woman having a tough time with the idea of being subject to her husband. After all, it’s the opposite of what she’s been taught all her life. The first time she hears it, it must seem like something out of another era, like going to a party and finding out everyone there thinks the Earth is flat.

    So it’d make sense if they just declared us kooks and went away. When they stay and argue the fine points, that’s different, because it means they’re afraid we’re right.

    As I said earlier, if a woman really believed her husband was capable of ordering her into the kind of other-the-top obvious sins they bring up, she wouldn’t be living in his house, sharing his bed. She wouldn’t have married him in the first place. So they want to have it both ways: they know they have good husbands who would never do such a thing, but they hold it out as a possibility to give them a right to that veto. A smokescreen indeed.

    And what makes it worse, I’m convinced it’s about 90% about sex. Not something obvious like a threesome, because again, while many men will float that idea (so will a lot of women, by the way), no Christian man is going to order his wife to do one. But there is a whole list of acts and positions that aren’t so clear, where you’d get different opinions from different churches and even from different pastors in the same church. What if he likes certain sex acts that she considers unpleasant or degrading (especially common if she’s had past men in her life)? What about birth control or pulling out? What if he likes to watch porn during it? We’d probably all agree that’s a sin, but what if he just wants to watch a romantic movie with some nudity? What if there’s nothing wrong with the acts that she can think of, but he just wants it a lot more often than she does, or at times when she’s not in the mood? What if he wants the lights on and she doesn’t?

    The modern woman, married or unmarried, assumes that she never has to have sex in any way or at any time that she doesn’t want to. On college campuses today (and it’ll spread from there), even talking a woman into sex is called rape — and rape is certainly a sin, right? So a wife can define anything her husband orders her to do sexually that she’s not into at that moment as the obvious sin of rape, and therefore she’s allowed (even obligated) to refuse it.

    I do think there’s a wider issue of wanting to control the marriage, but sex is at the center of it, because restricting sex is how she controls the rest. It’s probably impossible for a woman to be completely submissive to her husband sexually and be rebellious in other ways, because she’d have no hold over him. She has to control that aspect of things, even if being in control makes the sex less enjoyable for her. She can’t do that while calling herself a submissive wife unless she maintains that get-out-of-sex-free card for whenever she becomes convicted something he wants is sinful.

  219. jeff says:

    Who cares if it’s less enjoyable to her. I’ve learned to take that as grace and glorify God through it. If I ask her what she wants for dinner and she can’t make up a decision and I say chinese, but she says no and still can’t make up her mind should I care if I tell her we are going to chinese. If she is sulky it might ruin her dinner, but I think as men we can learn to ignore this, finish dinner have our way with her then watch some baseball!

    I have several employees who do not like to work Saturdays, but I do not care. Find some where else to work and see if you get any where close to what I pay.

    My wife is a chatty kathy. I have learned to tune her out and she can tell. Some times I listen with great intent, most of the time I am thinking of other things. She will thank me for listening intently and some times she will thank me for just being their. She sees it as grace and glorifies God with her joy of being able to be chatty to someone for no other reason than she needs to get it out and I am the one whom God has given her to be chatty for life.

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  221. feeriker says:

    Cail Corishev says:
    June 2, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    +1000. Perfectly stated!

  222. Sarah's Daughter says:

    and so are you.

    Thank you Dalrock, I appreciate that.

    I do think there’s a wider issue of wanting to control the marriage

    Additionally, I think women are unaware of what is or is not respect. That keeping control of the line he mustn’t cross is disrespectful. This was my greatest realization. When I chose to take every thought captive, I felt horrible to realize how often I rolled my eyes, obeyed with a huff, spoke about him disrespectfully, and most significantly didn’t trust him to control temptation in his life. I was the wife who would have banned A Game of Thrones from the house, watched his eyes to make sure he looked away when nudity was on the screen in other movies, told him it hurt me when he said other women were hot etc. My insecurity was highly disrespectful.

    I just took the book “Love and Respect” off the shelf, I want to find what it was about that book that woke me up and made me realize that respecting him has nothing to do with his earning it. That it is commanded by God for his position, not his behavior. The Titus 2 woman in my life recommended the book to me so I called her to tell her of my epiphany: “I am not responsible for my husband’s sin. Should he have an affair, I will continue to respect him and love him as a Christian brother, mourn with him for his relationship with God, pray for him to restore it and stand by him.” sadly her response was “Well, I wouldn’t go that far. I wouldn’t be able to respect my husband again if he cheated!”

  223. BradA says:

    I would agree with Dalrock that this is most often a squid ink position, rather than an honest conviction per the Scriptures.

    At least part of it flows out of the modern errant idea that the wife is often acting like the Holy Spirit in her husband’s life, convicting him of sin, etc. That is complete rubbish. God can use anyone to make us open to truth, but the wife is not more holy than the husband (in general terms) and that is a modern heresy that irks me to no end.

    I could argue parts of the point (Boxer correctly notes that some of us come here to debate issues), but I will not throw my hat in the side that uses one off unusual stories to justify the horrid behavior of many modern Christian women. Deal with the normal rebellion in most Christian women first and you might have a point to stand against the sin advocated by the rare man (not even just Christian).

    Start noting the more common moral crime of women rebelling Fawn and Rebecca and you might have more of a point.

    ====

    I have been pondering many of the Jesus is my boyfriend songs lately and I suspect part of the allure of those is that many (most?) women see such love without the necessary submission that should be part of a Lordship relationship with Jesus. Thus they are fine with the emotional stuff, because they don’t see that truly following that would require the submission they will not give to their own husbands.

    I am not sure if this fits, but it would explain why so many claim to follow Christ, and yet do not follow His commands.

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  225. John Nesteutes says:

    @BradA

    I have been pondering many of the Jesus is my boyfriend songs lately and I suspect part of the allure of those is that many (most?) women see such love without the necessary submission that should be part of a Lordship relationship with Jesus. Thus they are fine with the emotional stuff, because they don’t see that truly following that would require the submission they will not give to their own husbands.

    I am not sure if this fits, but it would explain why so many claim to follow Christ, and yet do not follow His commands.

    Indeed. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Note that “husband” is absent from that list.)

    “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” The Sermon on the Mount makes it fairly clear what this cross is. This is completely lost in these “Jesus as my boyfriend” songs.

  226. Boxer says:

    Brad A sez:

    I have been pondering many of the Jesus is my boyfriend songs lately and I suspect part of the allure of those is that many (most?) women see such love without the necessary submission that should be part of a Lordship relationship with Jesus.

    Then John N sez:

    “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” The Sermon on the Mount makes it fairly clear what this cross is. This is completely lost in these “Jesus as my boyfriend” songs.

    Modern people (women especially, but often these mincing little girlymen too) see religion not as a discipline to be lived, in order to find some greater truth, but merely as a status symbol, with the community a cheap drop-in ingroup through which one can gain some sort of identity for oneself, without any real effort.

    I’ve written about this before, but I’m close friends with a bunch of Muslim dudes and chicks, and I’ve heard all about the average potential convert wimminz who drop by for Friday prayers and attempt to ingratiate themselves with the congregation. These stupid wimminz expect absolute acceptance. When they’re told, after converting, that they need to quit drinking, quit whoring around, quit smoking dope, and start living as a respectable person, they go all righteous indignation. One story included a huge scene where the imam (the dude who leads the prayer service) had to phone police to get one of these idiots removed, after she started screaming profanities and being disruptive. Apparently someone told her that her behavior was unacceptable (at least inside the mosque). I almost want to convert, myself, on the off chance I can see such a spectacle personally.

    We live in a secular society. If you don’t want to at least try to live the rules of your religion, you should find another one. I guess this is lost on many modern idiots today.

    Boxer

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  228. Cane Caldo says:

    @Dalrock

    I don’t know that Cane’s comment above is aimed at you.

    My intent was to leave no woman unturned.

  229. MattW says:

    I am the guy who’s easily manipulated so this worries me a bit.

  230. desiderian says:

    “You are correct. I was not trying to say that I am perfect in applying the biblical instruction for wives – far from it.”

    What you try to do doesn’t matter, only what you do.

    “But SD was saying that “Had they accepted all of the biblical instruction for wives, they would not falter and his trust could remain in her loyalty to him.”
    I was saying I believe I have accepted all of the biblical instructions for wives.”

    Based on the evidence you’ve presented here, you have not. That your husband feels compelled to phrase his commands to you in the form of questions, as if he were a contestant on Jeopardy, does not speak well of your encouragement of him in his headship role, and thus of your acceptance of the biblical teaching commanding him to carry out that role on your behalf.

    Our belief is in Christ, not our own works.

    “not that I am the perfect wife”

    Strawmen will avail you nothing here.

  231. That your husband feels compelled to phrase his commands to you in the form of questions, as if he were a contestant on Jeopardy, does not speak well of your encouragement of him in his headship role

    That’s true, but we can’t hang all that on her. Full headship is an awesome responsibility, and many men (like Adam) don’t really want it. They’d rather “share” the headship role so they can share the blame if decisions don’t pan out. And just as wives are constantly encouraged to be more assertive and bossy, husbands are constantly encouraged to be more passive and democratic.

    It’s true that the more she truly submits, the more he should respond by taking the lead, but that takes time and unlearning. In the meantime, she’s responsible for subjecting herself to whatever leadership he’s able to muster. If he tells her to be his conscience, then she has to do that — though she should do it, as much as possible, as Peter says, with “a quiet and a meek spirit which is rich in the sight of God.”

  232. @Desiderian
    “Based on the evidence you’ve presented here, you have not. That your husband feels compelled to phrase his commands to you in the form of questions, as if he were a contestant on Jeopardy, does not speak well of your encouragement of him in his headship role, and thus of your acceptance of the biblical teaching commanding him to carry out that role on your behalf.”

    This is probably an accurate insight. I certainly need to grow in this area. However, I do think there is an element of “personality” difference here. He doesn’t seem to be the type to issue commands. Although, come to think of it, he has no problems instructing people under him at work. That does give me some food for thought…

    But Cail really hits the nail on the head with this:

    “It’s true that the more she truly submits, the more he should respond by taking the lead, but that takes time and unlearning. In the meantime, she’s responsible for subjecting herself to whatever leadership he’s able to muster.”

    Earlier in our marriage, I spent a lot of time whining about “why doesn’t my husband lead?”, while simultaneously refusing to submit to anything I didn’t like.
    Then I read something that said “The Bible doesn’t say husbands should be the head of their wives, it says they are the head of their wives. Just because it doesn’t look like leadership to you, it doesn’t mean he isn’t leading.”
    And that was helpful to me in ceasing to place my expectations on his leadership.
    But yes, I have a lot of growing to do here, and I am thankful for God’s grace working in me to create the change that I can’t.

  233. desiderian says:

    Cail,

    “It’s true that the more she truly submits, the more he should respond by taking the lead, but that takes time and unlearning”

    Indeed it does, which is all the more reason to get the clock started rather than resting on one’s laurels.

  234. BradA says:

    Cail,

    You correctly identify a part of submission that is often missed, especially in these parts. Many men do not want the responsibility true leadership brings. I cannot blame my wife for bad choices, I must take them myself, if I am responsible for making the decision.

    I would argue many men go along with this idea because they want to weasel out on this commitment, consciously or not.

  235. Fawn says:

    @ Brad A – I had a boss that would ask me to do some stupid thing. I would point out the problem, he would insist and I would do the stupid thing. Then he’d say of the results “this is all your fault.” It was annoying as all get out at work, I couldn’t imagine having to deal with that at home too.

  236. feeriker says:

    I had a boss that would ask me to do some stupid thing. I would point out the problem, he would insist and I would do the stupid thing. Then he’d say of the results “this is all your fault.” It was annoying as all get out at work, I couldn’t imagine having to deal with that at home too.

    And yet, given your comment history here, your refusal to fully submit to your husband all but guarantees that this is EXACTLY what you can expect to deal with at home.

    Another woman demands fried ice…

  237. Feeriker,

    And she did put up with it from a boss, to whom she’d spoken no vows and had no obligation beyond the next paycheck, but won’t put up with it from a husband. That’s something else we typically see: a woman will rebel against her husband far sooner than against other men who are randomly placed in authority over her.

  238. Fawn says:

    @ freeriker and Cail Corishev – stupid commands are not necessarily sinful commands. Had the boss asked me to sin I wouldn’t have.

  239. Disobedience to husbands, and fathers (as children) is sin.

  240. Anonymous Reader says:

    I had a boss that would ask me to do some stupid thing. I would point out the problem, he would insist and I would do the stupid thing. Then he’d say of the results “this is all your fault.” It was annoying as all get out at work, I couldn’t imagine having to deal with that at home too.

    I have supervised people who didn’t take instruction very well. I’d tell them “Do these things, in this certain order, and let me know when you are done”. They’d often then decide to do things in a different order, or do something else and slack on what I’d told them to do. This always frustrated me, because there was a reason for my instructions, and I wasn’t just being arbitrary. Attempting to correct the behavior was difficult because such people are often stubborn, willfull and want to do things “my own way”, even when that clearly does not work out. Evidence, such as “you took twice as long to get half as much done” had little effect on them, in too many cases, because they were always ready to rationalize their own bad behavior while shifting blame onto someone, anyone, else.

    Plus, since I was responsible for results, their “creative” approach always meant more work for me. In some cases I couldn’t wait to get those people moved to some other area, in order that they’d stop screwing up my work.

    Can you imagine having to deal with that at home, too? Many married men do deal with that at home all the time.

    You might even be married to such a man…

  241. I was thinking the same thing AR.

    That and render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to the Lord that which is the Lord’s.

  242. Boxer says:

    This is probably an accurate insight. I certainly need to grow in this area. However, I do think there is an element of “personality” difference here. He doesn’t seem to be the type to issue commands. Although, come to think of it, he has no problems instructing people under him at work. That does give me some food for thought…

    I wouldn’t worry that much about it. He loves you, and you don’t want to bark orders at people you love. The people at work are just random idiots he doesn’t care about.

    I think this whole submissiveness thing works best when its sublimated in a whole lotta affection. When you guys are of one mind, he ought to be able to phrase things as though they were suggestions, and if he can count on you at that level, then you’re winning — and way ahead of most women.

    If I were you, I’d just get in the habit of saying “yes” whenever he asks for something, or perhaps not saying anything, just giving him a smile and doing whatever it is he wants.

    Bear in mind that skillful wives can do this too. If there’s something you want, just be loving and bring it up. As long as it’s not something on the order of “let’s start manufacturing illegal narcotics for extra money” or “why don’t we pimp out our son to the homosexual pedophile group, it might be fun for Johnny” I’m guessing he’ll “order” a reasonable suggestion. Old school, hardcore wives know how to do this without the husband even thinking about it, and everyone gets what he and she wants in those solid marriages.

    Best,

    Boxer

  243. John Nesteutes says:

    @Boxer:

    Modern people (women especially, but often these mincing little girlymen too) see religion not as a discipline to be lived, in order to find some greater truth, but merely as a status symbol, with the community a cheap drop-in ingroup through which one can gain some sort of identity for oneself, without any real effort.

    We have a de-facto national state religion. (One writer calls it “transnational progressivism”.) One of its core tenets is radical inclusiveness: anyone must be accepted, no matter what they do, and their statements about their own identity must be accepted at face value.

    If you say you are a Christian or Muslim, you are, even if you don’t live like one at all. If you say you are a woman, you are, even if you look and act and have the chromosomes of a man. If you say you are a homosexual, you are, and were born that way and unable to change if demanded to do so.

    Adherents of this way of thinking often think they can pick and choose from other religions like a cafeteria, and then should immediately be accepted.

    The closest church-like institution to this thinking is Unitarian-Universalist, where there are “Christian”, Buddhist, vegan, etc. special-interest sections.

    Later on, dearest Fawn quoth, I had a boss that would ask me to do some stupid thing. I would point out the problem, he would insist and I would do the stupid thing. Then he’d say of the results “this is all your fault.” It was annoying as all get out at work, I couldn’t imagine having to deal with that at home too.

    I think I had a person like this work for me once. Of course, her “better” way was far more inefficient and meant I had to spend time cleaning up her mistakes. Then she was mystified when she got her hours cut and more productive employees got more hours, and raises, and some were even promoted.

  244. I was kicking around “Render unto Caesar” earlier and didn’t comment because I ran into a bit of a dead end, to which I have found a way out. Here was the thought, Jesus told them to render unto Caesar because it was Caesar’s image on the coin that Caesar’s authorities were requiring of them. While the coins were his they being in the image of God are His and should render themselves to Him. So who should a wife render herself unto (this is what extricated me from the cul-de-sac):

    “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” 1 Cor. 11:7-9

    Even a tyrannical and unjust Caesar was to be paid his due by faithful servants of God. What of the husband of a faithful servant of God?

  245. Yeah, broke sentence… should read: While the coins were Caesar’s, Jesus’s listeners being in the image of God are God’s and should render themselves to Him.

  246. Fawn says:

    @ John – My boss got fired and I was promoted. I wasn’t he only person who noticed that he gave stupid orders. I believe that my doing what he said despite my misgivings about his reasoning skills counted in my favor.

  247. Tales from HR…..

  248. Anonymous Reader says:

    GIL, I do believe Fawn is missing the point. Perhaps deliberately.

  249. John Nesteutes says:

    @Fawn

    None of us will be surprised when you “fire” your husband and get “promoted” past him.

  250. John Nesteutes says:

    @God is Laughing

    Well, yeah, but Paul only asked Christians to submit to Nero.

    Asking wives to submit to their God-fearing husbands is utterly unjust – what if their husband is WRONG about one little thing, or if he makes a mistake like looking at a woman lustfully for 2 seconds?!??!?!!!!

  251. John, Jesus submitted to civil and religious authorities and went to the Cross because it was the Father’s will. Let’s see, Caiphas, Herod and Pontius Pilate? Yeah, that’s a who’s who of “servant leaders”.

  252. Also Personal Jesus is merciful and tolerant of female frivorce fantasy, he’s an unmerciful Old Testament god when it comes to the sins of the masculine. Seeker sensitive (wherein the “seeker” is a woman).

  253. Liz says:

    If you ladies think that you should follow your husbands without question, you are completely missing the full council of God’s Word! Rebecca’s comments are right on. In addition, her answers are polite, encouraging, and full of wisdom. Sarah’s daughter sounds bitter, sarcastic, and hateful. I pity the husband she so dutifully follows.

  254. JDG says:

    what if their husband is WRONG about one little thing, or if he makes a mistake like looking at a woman lustfully for 2 seconds?!??!?!!!!

    John you know full well that unless a husband can be PERFECT, then his wife shouldn’t have to submit to him. As a matter of fact, ‘sister’ Sheila G. will tell her that she SHOULDN’T submit to him. Also, if he is looking at a woman lustfully, even for one second, any feminist can tell you that he has not only cheated on his better half but has practically RAPPED that poor woman he was looking at.

  255. JDG says:

    RAPPED = RAPED at 4:40 pm

  256. Two “P’s” equals twice the rape…..I like it.

  257. desiderian says:

    Cail,

    “a woman will rebel against her husband far sooner than against other men who are randomly placed in authority over her”

    I think our friend GBFM has made clear how non-random it is. Passive voice can’t hide it.

  258. Bob says:

    The full council of God’s word is extremely clear: Ephesians 5:24 -“…wives should submit in all things to their husbands.”
    ALL THINGS means ALL THINGS. Because letting go of control goes against woman’s nature, God knew there would be the inquiries of “But SURELY not if he commands me to sin!”, and he responds with
    1 Peter 3: …”even those who do not follow God’s teaching…”

    Some of this is solved if we don’t ignore woman’s culpability in the matter as is commonplace in our culture – if a woman suspects that a man would be the type of husband who would knowingly command her to sin, she should simply NOT MARRY THAT MAN. No one questions that women are the ones who must choose which man’s affections they are interested in. If that is true, women have a responsibility to choose a man who is likely to be the head of the household in a godly lifestyle. If they can not locate such a man, there is biblically no excuse for marrying a non-godly man who may issue sinful commands and thus make the wife feel obligated to ignore the biblical command of submission. If a woman does not like the idea of submission, she doesn’t have to get married, and she is not obligated to follow a Christian lifestyle either, but wanting to be Christian without submitting is like wanting to be a vegetarian and still eat meat – you can only pick 1.

    Earlier in the discussion some women were trying to find the congruence between “Submit in ALL things” and the potential conflict of the 10 Commandments list of “Thou shalt not” do certain things. Instead of modifying the *ONE* single obligation women are instructed to do in marriage, it is much more sincere to look at the whole spirit and letter of the instructions. Husbands are compared to Christ, and wives are compared to the church. Even as we the church will falter and sin, Christ takes the blame for it and purifies us. Christ gets 100% of the blame of sin, and 100% of the responsibility for defeating it. Similarly in a Christian marriage the husband takes 100% of the responsibility for the choices he makes for the family, and if he chooses for them to sin he will take 100% of the blame. There are dozens and dozens of verses establishing this parallel, and the only reason not to follow Eph 5:24 is the gut feeling women have when asked to give up power and control.

    I can’t help but note the great irony of Rebecca’s husband instructing his wife to obey him in everything but sin. By instructing her to ignore God’s word, he is instructing her to obey him in sinning. (The one thing he told her not to do)
    It should definitely be noted that in Rebecca submitting and following her husband’s instructions in this case, even if it was sinful, she has created peace in her household, strengthened her marriage, and created an opportunity for her husband to step up, take charge, and lead. All of which will result in a happier home for the couple and their children.

  259. Gunner Q says:

    Cail Corishev @ June 3, 2015 at 6:00 pm:
    “Full headship is an awesome responsibility, and many men (like Adam) don’t really want it.”

    I wonder if that’s the source of Tradcon hypocrisy. They liked the days when they could let women run amok and trust society’s institutions to contain the damage. After society collapsed from too many manginas doing that (among other reasons), the Tradcons decided to restore the institutions holding women accountable so that they, individually, still won’t have to.

    In other words, Tradcons want to restore society to the early phase of a social drug addiction–euphoric highs and mild lows for supplicating–while feminists want to take it all the way–another “fix” of placating women just to feel normal for an hour–but they both want the drug of men not leading.

  260. If that is true, women have a responsibility to choose a man who is likely to be the head of the household in a godly lifestyle.

    Right. The only woman who really has a right to beef would be the one who does her due diligence in choosing a husband — seeks out a Christian man who professes his loathing for sin and his determination to protect her from it, pays attention through the courtship and engagement to make sure he walks the walk, and marries that man — and then he turns into not just a sinner, but one with so little regard for her soul that he commands her to commit obvious, serious sins.

    If I ever hear of that happening, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.

  261. Anne says:

    @John N
    I am confused by one of your comments and wonder if you could provide some clarification. It appears you support SD’s position, except for your comment about Michael Pearl. So could you tell me what you believe a woman whose husband asks her to cheat on their tax return should do?

  262. Sarah's Daughter says:

    Since I use Blogger, I’m unable to do a ping back and wanted to share a letter I received. No exceptions necessary to what Paul wrote, everything means everything and God is big enough.

    What if…He intervenes

  263. Anne says:

    I was very disturbed by this discussion, but I didn’t say anything because I couldn’t figure out a good way to say it. In discussing SD’s horrifying example with my best friend, she immediately came up with a biblical example I don’t remember being mentioned. So here it is:
    Acts 5:1-11
    1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

    5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

    7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”

    She said, “Yes, for so much.”

    9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carryingher out, buried her by her husband. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

  264. Pingback: Well done | Dalrock

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