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Empowering My Husband's Spiritual Leadership about Church Stuff

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EVERY COUPLE WILL HAVE ITS OWN UNIQUE BRAND OF RESPECT/BIBLICAL SUBMISSION/LOVE

There is not one specific “right way” to respect your husband and to cooperate with his leadership.  Every couple will have their own style and methods of doing this.  I am going to give some examples just to give you a baseline to think and pray about.  And to possibly talk with your husband about – respectfully, of course!

DECIDING ON A CHURCH

Many couples do not agree about where to go to church.  The wife prefers one denomination or one worship style and the husband prefers another.  Or there is disagreement about what place of worship is the best fit for the children in the family or what kind of music or preaching everyone likes.   Sometimes a wife just goes off on her own and goes to the church she likes and refuses to go to church with her husband.  I don’t believe this is generally wise – especially if the husband is not ok with that arrangement.

I believe that a wife should share her feelings, opinions, ideas and desires about what she would like in a church home and where she wants to go and doesn’t want to go.   I think that husbands need their wives’ perspectives in order to make the best possible decisions for the family.  Husbands are called to be leaders, but they are not mind readers.  It is our responsibility to use our “influence authority” in marriage wisely to advise our husbands of what we believe is best.

But if the husband and wife do not agree, then I believe it is the husband’s God-given responsibility to decide which church the family will attend.  And I believe that a wife in that situation would show respect and submission by cooperating joyfully and willingly with her husband’s decision.  She does not have to agree with him.

But she can say something like, “I want to go to X church.  Here are the reasons why.  I don’t want to go to Y church.  Here are my reasons.  But I know that you will stand accountable to God one day for this decision, not me.  So I will support whatever decision you believe is best and I pray God will give you wisdom to lead us in His ways.”

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  Titus 2:4-5

Please catch this!  When Christian wives do not cooperate with their husbands’ leadership (unless the husband is asking the wife to sin), the Word of God is maligned. This is MUCH bigger than just about me and my marriage.  This is about the reputation of God’s Word and Christ Himself.  My refusal to follow my husband’s God-given leadership hurts the gospel message and makes it unappealing to others.  That is HUGE!  And scary.

**  If your husband is asking you to go to a cult – then the authority of God’s Word trumps the authority of your husband.  But unless your husband is asking you to sin in his choice of church – then, I believe you honor God and honor your husband by joyfully going with him to the church he believes is best.

PARTICIPATING AT CHURCH

Lots of issues can come up that can cause strife in a marriage related to decisions at church

  • Your husband doesn’t want you to sing in the choir – and would rather you sit with him.
  • Your husband doesn’t like a certain Sunday School teacher and doesn’t want to go to that class.
  • Your husband wants to go to the early service and you are not an early morning person.
  • Your husband wants to be involved in a certain ministry and would like you to help him.
  • Your husband wants to sit in the back of the auditorium but you like to sit in the front.
  • Your husband likes contemporary music and you like traditional worship music.
  • Your husband wants you to keep the baby in the nursery but you would rather the baby stay with you in the service.
  • Your husband wants to change churches but you are happy where you are.

There is no limit to the number of situations that can cause division for a married couple at church.

I would like you to consider approaching these things prayerfully, humbly and trusting God’s sovereignty to lead you through your husband, that  you might say something like:

“I want to do X. But if this is really important to you, I will do what you prefer and I trust you to make the best decision for us.”

“I would like to do X.  But whatever you think is God’s best for us is ok with me.”

“I prefer to do X.  But I respect that you want to do Y.  So I will support your decision.”

“I really don’t want to do that.  But I will if you think it’s best.”

When your husband feels the weight of the whole decision – it inspires him to REALLY seek God’s voice and to try to make the best and most selfless decision he can for the family.  When he doesn’t hear your voice constantly telling him what to do – he is so much more able to tune in to God’s voice!

And then, usually, you probably won’t bring it up again (or only rarely), and you will cheerfully and joyfully honor your husband’s decision and see what God has in store for you and your family.  It’s funny how when a wife approaches things like this, God often works in mysterious ways.  Husbands minds sometimes change. Or sometimes, God had something much better in mind than the wife could ever have imagined.  And many times, it is in little things like this, where our faith is tested and we grow and mature and become more humble and servant-hearted and God uses these situations to mold us into the beautiful image of Christ.

HANDLING DISAPPOINTMENT WHEN YOU DON’T GET YOUR WAY

  • Pray and ask God for His will and His glory not your will to be done (follow Jesus’ example of submission, “Not My will, but Yours be done!”)
  • THANK GOD and thank your husband if he takes you to church.  Many husbands will not go to church with their wives and children at all.  (If your husband won’t go to church with you,  I Peter 3:1-6 is your assignment.  He can’t hear your words about God. But he will notice your respect and joy and faith in Jesus.  Thank him if he allows you to go to church.  Don’t try to force him to go with you.)
  • Focus on all the wonderful things there are about this church and situation you have to be grateful for.  Philippians 4:8
  • Thank God and your husband for your husband’s leadership.
  • Wait on God, give him the desires of your heart and trust Him to do what is ultimately best for you and to accomplish His purposes and His will.
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength.  Your heart attitude is more important than if you get to sing in the choir or have the kind of music you prefer or what denomination you attend.  Make sure you have your heart set completely on Christ and that nothing is more important to you than Him.  And make sure that  you don’t allow little issues to become more important to you than your marriage or your husband.

COMMENTS FROM A CHRISTIAN HUSBAND

As a husband, I think this is one of the most important aspects of any Christian marriage. it is foundational. Unfortunately, it is not viewed that way by many, including my wife of 20 years. From a male’s perspective, I will try to be as objective as I can in explaining my reasons for this.

1. Going to separate churches is just bad for the whole family, especially for the kids. It shows them disunity and paves the way for them to do the same in their marriages. Also, if there are major doctrinal differences between mom and dads churches there will be some degree of confusion in teaching the children.

2. Dads ability to be the spiritual leader will be greatly compromised in many areas. Children, for the most part, tend to gravitate to mom’s way of doing things if there is difference between the parents.

3. For men, going to church alone when it is known that you have a family is a source of great embarrassment and discomfort. People may not speak of it, but they will always wonder “well why is his wife or family not with him?” This is especially true if a man is in a leadership position in the church. many churches will not approve a man for ministry if his family is not with him.

4. temptation is a big issues for men in the workplace, at the mall, in the street, etc. it’s no different in church. I would dare to say that it is worse in church because in most churches women far out number men. So if a man is going to one church and his wife another, this opens up a tremendous amount of temptation for the man. This is real life and it happens.

I just wanted to provide a different perspective on this topic. Hopefully it will be thought provoking for those who read it.

With love, empathy and prayers for all who are dealing with this issue.

RELATED POSTS

Honoring our Husbands Prayers

My Husband Isn’t a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

I Want to Follow My Husband, How Can I Inspire His Leadership?

Is your Christian Ministry Destroying Your Marriage?

The Voice in His Head

Where Do Christian Husbands Go to be Trained to be Godly Leaders?

Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Often Don’t Notice

The Blessing of Having a Husband Who Won’t Pray with His Wife

How to Respect my Husband Who is Not a Believer

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PS – if you are new to my blog, here is a bit of background for you!

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Ephesians 5:23

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  Ephesians 5:33

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.  I Corinthians 11:3

GOD’S DESIGN

God designed a system and structure of order in families and society.  He gave authority for certain positions so that there would be proper protection, provision, safety, order and harmony.  God gave us governments, teachers, pastors, church leaders, police officers, judges, bosses/managers, parents and husbands.  Our culture has largely lost respect for God-given authority.  But God’s design is still in effect.  He commands believers to submit to God-given authority – to cooperate with our leaders – unless they ask us to violate His Word.  The authority of the Word of God trumps human authority.  That is why the disciples could not obey the government when they were commanded to stop preaching about Jesus.  They said, “We must obey God rather than men!”  But unless a God-given authority is asking me to sin or violate God’s Word, I honor God and submit to God by cooperating with the human God-given authority.  God can and will lead me through human God-given authority when I trust Him.

ABUSE

It is possible for humans with free will to abuse the position of authority they have.  That is NOT God’s will and God is grieved when people lord their authority over others or abuse those under their care.  God will bring about justice for these people either on earth with His vengeance or on judgment day in heaven. If you are suffering abuse or your husband has an addiction, a serious mental disorder that is not under control or is committing infidelity or there are major problems – please find a godly Christian counselor, pastor or godly, experienced source of help immediately!  Those kinds of situations are way beyond the scope of this post and this blog.

 

42 thoughts on “Empowering My Husband's Spiritual Leadership about Church Stuff

  1. Reblogged this on One True Wife and commented:
    “Make sure that you don’t allow little issues to become more important to you than your marriage or your husband.”
    I’ve known many couples who’ve had huge problems in their marriage due to a conflict at church. A lot of times they focus on what’s best for the kids, or what the wife feels God has called her to do. The truth, though, is that God has commanded that a wife submit to her husband’s leadership. Nothing God calls you to do will go against that command (unless of course your husband is asking you to sin). Your children, as well, will be blessed to grow up in a home where submission is modeled every day. Through seeing their mom submit to their dad–even when she doesn’t want to–they will learn how to submit their lives to Christ. This is the most important lesson a mother can teach her children! Let’s make sure that our own pride doesn’t get in the way of our submission–both to God and our husbands!

  2. So, so true. Isn’t it ironic that a Christian wife who wants her husband to lead, especially spiritually, and who will nag him to do so, will buck him about his church decisions?

    1. David,

      Oh, how much I relate to that comment!!!!! 🙁 That was totally me. But when a woman thinks she is sovereign instead of God – then she “knows” that only her way is “right.” If a woman insists on being in control and has herself and control as idols, she cannot and will not follow her husband’s God-given authority. She can’t follow her husband’s “wrong” way. I wanted my husband to lead. Ok – I thought I wanted my husband to lead. But I only wanted him to lead in the ways I thought were best. Because I “could see God’s will so very clearly.”

      SO much pride and idolatry has to be overcome in a woman’s heart for her to see what she is even doing and for her to be able to accept and cooperate with her husband’s leadership. Essentially, all of her old ideas about God, femininity, marriage, leadership, being a godly wife, being a godly woman, masculinity, love and Christianity have to be ripped out and God must completely renew our hearts and minds.

      Then – cooperating with our husband’s leadership is no problem at all! Once our entire spiritual constitution is completely made over!

      1. “I wanted my husband to lead. Ok – I thought I wanted my husband to lead. But I only wanted him to lead in the ways I thought were best. Because I “could see God’s will so very clearly.”

        I realize this may be a ridiculous question, but I’m curious. Please help me understand something.

        Would your comment more accurately describe a woman’s desire for her husband “to be on the same page as her” (to increase some form of godly unity within marriage as she might think best) or just for her husband “to get on-board with her decision” (because achieving her will is a higher priority than any desire for godly unity), though she may rely falsely (or even unintentionally) on the common and convenient words, “I want my husband to lead?”

        I ask this generally about all or most women, not necessarily you specifically.

        Thanks!

        1. RG,

          Whew. That is a difficult thing to explain. How do I explain my rational when I was completely steeped in sin, totally blind and living in rebellion against God but thought I was a super spiritual Christian?

          In my mind at the time – I believed I knew “God’s will.” I believed that if my husband thought that God’s will was anything other than what I thought God’s will was – that he was 100% wrong. I thought that I was MUCH closer to God than he was at the time. I didn’t trust that he could discern God’s will. I never saw him pray. He didn’t pray with me. I didn’t think he read his Bible much. He seemed addicted to the tv. He ignored me (from my perspective). I felt extremely unloved. And I thought my husband was FAR, FAR from God. I judged him and condemned him. 🙁 I thought he was incapable of knowing and discerning God’s will. I thought I was “the only spiritually mature one” in the marriage. And I thought I “had” to lead because my husband clearly was “not qualified.”

          I had no concept of unity being something that I needed to stretch and work towards. I thought he needed to come to the godly place where I was. I really believed I knew God’s will and he didn’t. So I didn’t perceive it as my will was a higher priority. I truly believed I had the inside track with God and I was the only one of the two of us who knew God’s will or could know God’s will.

          My pride was astronomical. I don’t know if you can measure pride – but I had myself above God and WAY above my husband. I had to come down thousands and thousands of notches. God opposed me for all those years. I didn’t see my prayers answered. I stayed completely frustrated and unhappy. THANK GOD! He wouldn’t let me find contentment in my pride, sin, idolatry and rebellion.

          And THANK GOD that my husband would not allow me to manipulate him into doing what I wanted him to do. I am grateful now that he had a backbone and refused to cooperate with my attempts to usurp his authority.

          I wish he had told me that I was being disrespectful and controlling. He never once said that. In fact, he didn’t even think it. He just thought I was arrogant. But he didn’t tell me that either. He never reprimanded me. My parents never reprimanded me for a disrespectful or prideful attitude, either. So my pride had gone unchecked my entire life. And I believed I was a strong, wonderful, godly, amazing Christian wife.

          I’m not sure if that helps. Let me know if it isn’t clear.

          1. I am in tears reading this because this is where I am at right now. We left our previous church after safety concerns for our child…neither of us wanted to leave and tried to make it work w/the church but we wanted to keep our child alive (severe food allergies). We’ve visited so many churches but my husband has something against everyone, little petty things. I gave the decision to him to make and when he did, I balked the entire time because I felt God wanted us at another church. Now, my husband is going to the church my son and I were wanting to go to and I feel like he’s slipping away. Reading your thoughts smacked me in the face because this has been my heart attitude. I can think of many reasons why it’s not pride, bcs that’s tough to swallow, but you just described me in your explanation. Much to think on. Thank you!

          2. Amy,

            It can be so painful to see our pride! It sure was for me. :(. How I wish i could hug your neck and cry with you and pray with you!!

            But I am so excited that God is speaking to you and that you are seeing the direction you need to go to bless your husband and family. I can’t wait to see what God has in store!!!!!!

            Much love my precious sister,
            April 🙂

      2. Im seriosly thinking about going back to that church I stoped goin with my husband. I went with him for the first 2 years and stoped goin a few months ago. But it is so difficult since I suffered alot when We atended together. I expressed my feelings to him and on a time he wanted to stop attending because of of some problems with others I stoped goin. But he started atrending back and said it was ok for me to go to a different church. I know it brothers him but doesnt tell me it does and Im really confused. I feel God has answered my prayers and gave me peace of mind and guidence towards things I was scared of. I feel closer to God at another church. I acepted my sins and accepted Christ; I finally understand what is been reborn . That other church messed up with my mind badly while I was going throug emotional and physical trauma. So Im afraid of goin back. Even though the people seem to be honest and with good intentions, things turn around in some weird way and they do things that are not biblical . If I start attending again I will not only have to go twice on sundays 3 hours each , but also on tuesdays and wednesdays and maybe friday. I love learning about God , praise him and serve, but this church makes me so confussed I’ve suffered from depression, opression, heart palpitations. Im afraid some health issues would come back or Im ganna become crazy in there. I want him to lead but I think other issues need to be resolved first about our relationship. I’ ve felt his lack of support too much. ( economically, physically, emotionally, spiritually) Specially during my pregnacy. I think he now wants her/loves her . I need to get over that grudge and forgive him. He started to help me out now at home but i dont know if this will last. I ve learned to just not talk to him when Im feeling sick and to just not talk about religion because we’ll start fighting. This has created a big wall beetween us

        1. Miriam,

          Oh goodness. 🙁 Sounds like things are kind of rough right now. I praise God that you have come to Christ! THAT IS AWESOME! But I do want you to have healthy spiritual support as you try to grow.

          Would you be free to share what the church is doing that is not biblical? Is your husband interested in going to another church?

          You believe that your husband is having an affair with the coworker he was talking to a lot? 🙁

          But your husband still is living at home?

          Is he willing to go to a godly counselor with you that you both can trust?

          How are you doing spiritually?

          Much love to you!

  3. The last two churches we’ve attended my husband chose. I wasn’t sure, but I decided to go with my husband’s judgement. They have been the best two churches we’ve ever gone to. My superficial dislikes have been replaced by a love for these churches and their love of God, people and service to the community. My husband was able to see the big picture before I was. And both times I was so glad I didn’t push to have my way.

    1. My husband insisted we stay at a church one time when I wanted to leave. I’m SO glad I cooperated with him – albeit with a lot of anger and resentment at first. I grew to love the people there and by the time we did leave, I cried and didn’t want to go. God taught me a lot because I had to stay in an uncomfortable situation. And I am so glad that my husband put his foot down and did what he believed was right. I thank God for his leadership now – even though I didn’t understand at the time!

  4. Another great article I discovered on this site!

    As a husband, I think this is one of the most important aspects of any Christian marriage. it is foundational. Unfortunately, it is not viewed that way by many, including my wife of 20 years. From a male’s perspective, I will try to be as objective as I can in explaining my reasons for this.

    1. Going to separate churches is just bad for the whole family, especially for the kids. It shows them disunity and paves the way for them to do the same in their marriages. Also, if there are major doctrinal differences between mom and dads churches there will be some degree of confusion in teaching the children.

    2. Dads ability to be the spiritual leader will be greatly compromised in many areas. Children, for the most part, tend to gravitate to mom’s way of doing things if there is difference between the parents.

    3. For men, going to church alone when it is known that you have a family is a source of great embarrassment and discomfort. People may not speak of it, but they will always wonder “well why is his wife or family not with him?” This is especially true if a man is in a leadership position in the church. many churches will not approve a man for ministry if his family is not with him.

    4. temptation is a big issues for men in the workplace, at the mall, in the street, etc. it’s no different in church. I would dare to say that it is worse in church because in most churches women far out number men. So if a man is going to one church and his wife another, this opens up a tremendous amount of temptation for the man. This is real life and it happens.

    I just wanted to provide a different perspective on this topic. Hopefully it will be thought provoking for those who read it.

    With love, empathy and prayers for all who are dealing with this issue,

    CJ

    1. CJ,
      I have seen exactly what you are talking about. I know families where the dad went to one church, the mom and children to another. In one particular case – both children completely renounced God when they became adults. I do wonder if the whole family had been together, and there had been more unity – if the outcome may have been different?

      I would be honored if you might allow me to include your insights on this post. Thank you so much for a Christian husband’s perspective!

      1. Thank you for your kind words. I speak from experience. Feel free to use whatever/any parts you deem helpful or appropriate! Thank God he has given me grace to hang in there.

    2. CJ,
      I am writing a chapter on this subject in my book. Almost ready to go to the publisher – within one week, actually! Would you consider allowing me to anonymously share this comment in my book, as well? It would be such an honor. Thank you!

  5. April, I was wondering if you have a post about enabling and encouraging your husband’s spiritual leadership when he is less scripturally read than you. By that, I mean that my husband is a remarkable, enthusiastic, and sincere believer, however he grew up in a different church type, (his family was Roman Catholic, and I have attended Baptist churches my whole life), and has not studied the bible extensively on his own. He has recently led us into reading the bible together on an almost nightly basis, (wow, yay!!). Having done a great deal of study in my youth, and before we were married, there are times when I am surprised by his thinking or interpretations of what we are reading together. I am trying to enable and support his leadership without overpowering him. I try to listen to him tell me things as much as possible when we study. There are times when I am greatly tempted to try to teach him though. I try to tell him things like – “this is what I think…” Or, “I have heard ~this~ said on the subject, because of ~these~ reasons”, or “this other verse says such and such – I wonder if that could relate”, or “that doesn’t sit well with me, because of ~these~ reasons”. I try to avoid saying things that communicate, “This is the way it is”, to him. I sometimes wonder if I am taking the right approach.

    1. to Be God’s Clay,

      Great question!

      If you check out the “categories” on the right side of my home page, you can search “win him without a word” and “empowering your husband’s leadership,” “empowering your husband’s spiritual growth” and “how to respect a husband who is not a Christian” and you will find a number of posts that I believe will be helpful.

      If he is receptive when you say the things you are saying, then you are probably doing fine. If he shuts down or gets upset, then it may mean you need to back off. And, sometimes if you ask questions you are curious about to him, and allow him to answer you – that can be a great idea, as well.

      I am thrilled that he is leading nightly Bible studies with you. How wonderful! I hope you will praise, encourage, affirm and thank him for what he is doing!!!!! 🙂

      1. Thank you, April. That makes sense. He generally is quite receptive, so I guess I am doing ok… I get the feeling I need to be very careful though, and to constantly make sure my heart is in the right place. This could be a dangerous place for pride to develop, or lack of faith in God’s ability to lead me through my husband. I could also very easily get out of bounds with speaking too much. I will read some of those posts.

  6. Empowering my husband’s spiritual leadership about church,This was very helpful towards me as a Man in leadership position as a Minister. I’m going through this very same thing with my wife right now and I can’t get any help from my Pastor or from her Pastor perspective to intervine on my behalf. It’s like no one will tell her where she’s in error! Smh….

    1. Bruce Jones,
      There aren’t many churches that talk about a wife’s biblical role. Praying for God’s love and wisdom for you and your church staff and for God’s greatest glory in your life, your wife’s life, your marriage and your ministry. Praying for the power of His Spirit to love your wife and lead her selflessly, humbly, lovingly (I Cor. 13:4-8) and that your wife might be sensitive to God’s Spirit, as well.

      The book that opened my eyes to my disrespect was Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

  7. I love and agree with all this advice. My question is on the one exception you listed: if he is leading you to a cult.

    I grew up in a series of different churches but spent the last 10 years in a nondenominational church. I’m pretty flexible when it comes to denominations, and I always told myself that “as long as they teach from the Word of God and worship Jesus Christ” I’d be okay with almost any church.

    Here’s the catch: his church is comprised of genuine believers who worship Christ… But the church is overflowing with cult-like tendencies. I don’t think it’s an actual cult, but it’s been accused as such many times and I can very well understand why. I won’t list the name of the group because it’s not very well known and that’s not really my point.

    This feels like a gray area between “genuine church” and “cult”. It’s not cultic enough that I want to run for the hills with firm conviction in my heart. But it’s reminiscent enough of a cult to make me extremely nervous, which has led to a lot of research and prayer on my part.

    If this were ANY other Christian denomination I would gladly submit using phrases like you suggested above. In fact, I WANT to submit. Is this the sort of situation where I just need to take a deep breath and trust in the Lord, or could the anti-cult anxiety in my spirit be God’s way of telling me that something isn’t right?

    1. Elena B,

      I don’t know what this church is doing or if it is a cult or not. Have you shared your concerns with your husband? What does he say?

      If you believe it could be a cult, then absolutely pray and ask God for direction and wisdom about whether you should agree to go. I pray He will give you His wisdom!

      1. Ms april i left a comment on one of your YouTube videos concerning the same matters! Im literally in the exact same position as this lady like word for word. Have u done a vlog or post about knowing if your husband is in a cult, what is a cult, and how to deal with that issue specifically? It would be wonderfully helpful!

        1. Shamaya Shawante Coats,

          Here are some posts that may be helpful:

          What is a Cult by http://www.gotquestions.org

          What Is the Difference Between a Sect and a Cult?

          Here is a bit of that second post:
          Hassan developed the BITE acronym, which describes the components employed by destructive cults using mind control. BITE covers the following areas of control:

          Behavior Control: An individual’s associations, living arrangements, food, clothing, sleeping habits, finances, etc., are strictly controlled.

          Information Control: Cult leaders deliberately withhold or distort information, lie, propagandize, and limit access to other sources of information.

          Thought Control: Cult leaders use loaded words and language, discourage critical thinking, bar any speech critical of cult leaders or policies, and teach an “us vs. them” doctrine.

          Emotional Control: Leaders manipulate their followers via fear (including the fear of losing salvation, fear of shunning, etc.), guilt, and indoctrination.

          From a Christian perspective, a cult is any group that follows teachings that contradict orthodox Christian doctrine and promote heresy. Under this definition, the Watchtower Society and the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are both cults.

          1. If a wife realizes her husband is truly in a cult – she can’t submit to going to the cult with him. Of course, sometimes, it can be tricky to distinguish between a cult and a sect. Some sects are not heretical. Some are. Cults are heretical. If a wife is not sure – she would need to do much praying, maybe even fasting, and possibly ask for some strong believing women to pray with her so that she is hearing God clearly about what to do.

            If a husband is in a cult, she can respectfully let him know that she can’t participate in that false teaching with him. She may provide him scriptural proof about why that particular group is a cult or why she believes the teaching is heresy. Ultimately, she will need the Holy Spirit’s wisdom about how exactly to approach her husband. But she will not be able to go to a cult or teach her children anything that is heresy.

            Then, if the unbeliever wants to stay, let him stay, and if he wants to go, let him go…

            To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

            12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

            15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 1 Cor. 7:12-16

            More posts that may be helpful:
            Spiritual Authority
            Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority
            A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage
            When Would I Not Submit to My Husband?

            Much love to you!

  8. I know this hasn’t been touched in a while but what do you suggest when the husband is attending a church that is clearly not following Christ. For example, one sermon has cursing in it which was highly inappropiate, funds being used incorrectly, the pastor isn’t leading the flock and is often focused on his own agenda.

    The husband wants to stay but the wife isn’t growing there spiritually and she has tried for more than 5 years. I read about how the wife should submit and joyfully go with her husband but how is that possible when she and the children aren’t growing and the husband isn’t really either. He is just still around because it is a family church and he is a deacon there? It has been disheartened for the wife to sit in those pews every Sunday and be ridiculed from the pulpit, the pastor tell the church about counseling sessions, family business, and many other things.

    How can you submit to going to a church every Sunday and physically thinking of being in that place makes the wife sick to her stomach or cry?

    1. Tracy,

      Yuck! What a mess!
      I assume you have respectfully attempted to raise your concerns humbly to your husband? How did you share and what was his response?

      That sounds awful. I am praying for you, your husband, and this church – that God’s Spirit might fall on this place and bring repentance and restoration!

      Much love to you!

      1. Yes, in the beginning there was peaceful correspindence about the issues. The challenges got worse and worse. Then the anger came because of his selfishness in the matter. Since then I have been respectfully, humbly, and peacefully expressing my concerns. The issue is he isn’t a spiritually strong as myself so he falls easily to spiritual deception. It’s heartbreaking to even think that he doesn’t want to leave. It’s like he cares more about his role there then his role to lead the family.

  9. Bless you for this article April! Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons of why I’m headed toward separation and divorce. My spouse judged me, criticized me, called me a non-christian, and said that she doesn’t trust me to lead spiritually. She had the “super christian” syndrome and often said that “she was much closer to the Lord” than I was. Yet, she failed to operate in humility and gentleness. Pride was big thing for her as she felt/feels that she knows everything about faith and the Word of God.
    It got to the point that I would only pray over the meals. I just couldn’t take anymore of her constant disrespect…
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. BM,

      Yikes! You are describing me for the first 14.5 years of our marriage until God opened my eyes to my MOUNTAIN of sin. I have heard from many husbands who have endured this kind of treatment for many years – and it causes so much damage to them. 🙁 My heart breaks that this is leading to separation and divorce. 🙁 How I pray for a great awakening and for healing for you both in Christ and for God to bring healing to your marriage. I have seen Him heal marriages hundreds of times around the world in situations just like this.

      I pray for wisdom for you, my brother.

      I wonder if this post might be a blessing? “Why Is My Wife So Disrespectful?”

      Many men find great healing in Christ here – and many use my site to “reverse engineer” things in their marriage and to better understand what is going on spiritually with their wives so they can pray effectively and seek to address issues with love – but speaking the truth and confronting sin in a godly way.

      1. April,
        I rarely comment on blogs but had to let you know the depth of my appreciation for your insights and tremendous transparency on the issue of godly submission. As with so much of our spiritual struggles, at the core (and as you have mentioned) it is a sin and pride issue. What I have learned is God cares about our heart and obedience above all else…and we can spout Scripture and perform countless ministry duties but if we are not brutally honest in this area of our lives…we are simply kidding ourselves that things are OK in our walk. I absolutely needed to read this post and the subsequent comments this morning- and I thank you (and my Lord) for setting me back on the narrow road.
        I had been digging into 2Thes as part of my devos to start off the new year- and wanted to share these verses to encourage you:
        2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
        11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

        May our Heavenly Father bless and keep you…and may you be comforted knowing that your labor is not in vain. In His Grip, Jean S.

        1. Jean Sohnen,

          YES! Exactly! God cares about our motives, our thoughts, our heart, and our desire to walk in obedience. If we have external obedience without our hearts being right – we are like the Pharisees – like whitewashed tombs filled with dead men’s bones – in God’s sight.

          So thankful that this was a blessing. Thank you for the encouragement. 🙂

          I love this passage! Thank you for this. I will pray it for both of us.

          Much love to you!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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