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The Respect Dare Day 26 – Biblical Submission- a Huge Key to Peace

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Biblical Submission Begins

“Not My will, but Yours be done”  Luke 22:42

Jesus, though He was fully God and equal to God the Father – submitted Himself to God’s authority out of His love for the Father.  Submission began among equals and was born from holy love.

Every Christian is called to submit himself/herself to Christ in this same way.  A beautiful example of submission to God is Mary’s acceptance of the angel Gabriel’s message to her that God would make her the mother of the Messiah.   “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”  Luke 1:38

Loving, reverencing and obeying God leads to being filled with His Spirit – the wonderful results of which are the spiritual treasures of God overflow in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)  – no matter our circumstances.

God’s beautiful design:

If you haven’t read it, please check out Ephesians 5:22-33.  Since you are a wife, focus particularly on what God commands you as a wife to do.  That is what my focus will be on since I am only writing for women.  It is interesting to me that husbands have WAY more detailed instructions and much more responsibility in God’s design than wives do.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  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.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Eph 5:22-24

the wife must respect her husband. Eph 5:33b

But 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

For an in depth look at what Biblical submission means, please click here.

Notice that there is no condition.  God does not say:

  • “Respect your husband IF you believe he is obeying His part of God’s commands for marriage.”
  • “Submit to him when you agree.”  (by the way, that would just be agreement, not submission)
  • “If the wife thinks her husband is not qualified to lead, then she can be the head.”
  • “Respect your husband when he deserves it by your standards.”
  • “Respect your husband when he earns it according to the culture.”

Respect for our husbands is to be  unconditional.  (We are not required to respect sin – but the position our husband has as husband)

God does say to submit to our husbands “as to The Lord” or “in The Lord”  – so if our husbands ask us to commit or to condone obvious violations of God’s Word (sin), we must resist.

Thankfully, God also does not say:

  • “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church when they deserve it.”
  • “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church when you feel like it.”
  • “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church when they are perfect.”
  • “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church when they earn it.”

Husbands are not required to love sin – they are to love us because we are in the position of being their wives.

We don’t earn Jesus’ love.  It is unconditional.

In marriage – love and respect are unconditional and they are dependent upon the godly character of the person giving the love and respect NOT upon the recipient.

Jesus loved people and respected people who didn’t deserve it and didn’t earn it.  He is our example.  He loved and respected because He is love and He is holy.  He calls us to love and respect in the same way He did.  He loved people and He respected God-given authority, even when they were very, very wrong.

Also notice that the commands were given to the wife individually and to the husband individually.  God did not say:

  • “Wives, make sure your husbands love you as Christ loves the church.”
  • “Husbands, make sure your wives submit to  you and respect you.”

I am responsible to God for MY obedience to His Word.

My husband is responsible to God for HIS obedience to God’s Word.

WHY ON EARTH DOES GOD COMMAND WIVES TO RESPECT AND SUBMIT????  SURELY THAT DOESN’T APPLY ANYMORE?

Well, the SAME God who commands us as wives to respect and to honor our husband’s God-given leadership (which is what submission is – it is NOT slavery or women being “second class citizens”) – also commanded our husbands to love us with the same kind of love Christ has for us.  I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to kick out the “husbands love your wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her” part of God’s design.  And, it turns out – God gives us these commands because He is showing us His wisdom about what each spouse needs the most and how He designed men and women.

Did you know that men feel unloved when they feel disrespected?  And did you know that many women today have no idea all the things we inadvertently do that make our husbands feel disrespected?

God also knows that a wife’s willingness to honor her husband’s leadership brings peace and unity  for everyone in the family – allowing a husband a much greater opportunity and greater inspiration to love, cherish and protect his wife as his most prized treasure instead of competing with her for control.

Each spouse SHOULD show love and respect to the other all the time.  Unfortunately, reality is that we are all sinful humans and so are our husbands.  They will fail us at times, and we will fail them at times.  But even if my husband does not meet my needs, God commands me to meet my husband’s needs.  Why?  Because God may decide to use my obedience to Him to get me out of His way and to bring my husband back around and possibly heal the marriage.  My disobedience would certainly only push him farther away from God and from me.  When I obey God, then I become God’s partner instead of Him opposing me in my rebellion and pride.

I have to be willing to do things God’s way – even though there are no guarantees that my obedience to God will help my husband decide to obey God. First, I submit to Christ.  That is where submission begins for every disciple of Christ.  I say, “Not my will but Yours be done!”  I cannot control my husband.  God alone can change my husband.  Ultimately, I obey God simply to obey God because I love Him and desire to please Him.  God said to do this and He is my Lord – so I say, “Yes, Lord.”  There is no saying, “No, Lord.”  My motives must be just to honor Jesus.  I leave the results to Him.

The major time submission is an issue is when there is a disagreement between the husband and wife – then it is ultimately wife’s responsibility to cooperate with and honor her husband’s authority before God to make the final call in humility, love, selflessness and Christlikeness for the good of the family and the glory of God.

The amazing thing is that as we obey God – that is the path to blessing, peace, joy and godly power in our own lives!  And He will reward us for our obedience one day – no matter how our husbands respond or how well they obey Him.   God will judge my submission to my husband and my respect for my husband.  My husband will also stand accountable to God one day for his love for me and his godly leadership.  In fact, he has a much greater accountability as the God-given leader/authority in the marriage.  God holds him to a higher standard and will hold him responsible for the decisions in our families.   That helps me to understand that it is really crucial for me to embrace my role as a godly wife to empower my husband’s God-given leadership so that he can make the decisions he believes are best.

*****IF THERE ARE MAJOR ISSUES IN YOUR MARRIAGE – drug/substance addiction, infidelity, violence, uncontrolled mental health disorders  -please get godly, experienced help ASAP!  If your husband is not in his right mind – it can be dangerous to cooperate with him.  Those issues go way beyond the scope of this blog – but they are not beyond the help of God.  Please seek help!

THE CEO:

Nina Roesner, in The Respect Dare #25, talks about that “Corporations have one CEO.  Countries have one president,  states have one governor, and towns have one mayor… Even in nature, when two pack animals try to be in charge, there’s conflict, often resulting in a fight to the death.  The natural order of animals and social structures is such that they function best with one individual being in charge.  When two try to have the same authority, conflict erupts.”

“Experience indicates that this issue (submission) is critical to alleviating marital stress.  Many women … could have received the love and intimacy they deeply desired by giving away respect to their husband.” (Nina Roesner, The Respect Dare)

THE DRIVER’S SEAT

God placed husbands in the “driver’s seat.”  I may be a wonderful driver, but if I am sitting in the passenger seat, and I grab the wheel of the car, I am almost certainly going to wreck the car and hurt or kill my family.  God does not allow the husbands to give up the driver’s seat to the wives.  It is God’s decision whom He wants to put in the driver’s seat in the family.  And in His wisdom, He has decided to put husbands there.  Not because they are “better than” but because He wants them there  to represent the servant leadership of Christ for His church, and He wants the wives to represent the adoration, cooperation and respect of the church to Jesus.

Any time God gives someone authority over others – it is to protect, provide for and care for those who are under their leadership.  Whether it is at church, in government, at work or in the family.

God’s design for marriage is about WAY MORE than just my marriage.  It is about portraying the relationship between Christ and the church.  And it is about drawing people to Jesus.

A GODLY WIFE

  • JOYFULLY submits to Christ and obeys Him in everything – even when it is not politically correct, or she doesn’t understand it, or doesn’t like it, she trusts God completely
  • joyfully cooperates with her husband
  • has a spirit of being open to her husband’s ideas, wisdom, emotions, dreams and sexual desire for her
  • brings ALL of her personality, strengths, emotions, support, ideas, talents, gifts, heart, intellect and soul to her marriage
  • finds the good in her husband and admires that
  • focuses on Philippians 4:8 about her husband and marriage
  • spends lots of time with God and is filled with His Spirit – that is the only power source that makes it possible to be a godly wife!
  • shares her feelings and emotions in a respectful, calm, mature, non-blaming, non-criticizing, non-manipulative way
  • has opinions and ideas that bless her husband
  • supports her husband’s ideas and leadership gladly
  • trusts her husband (or seeks to want to rebuilt trust)
  • shows faith in Christ and in her husband
  • has grace, mercy and forgiveness to bestow upon her husband
  • sometimes must gently, respectfully confront sin in him (Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:15-17)
  • smiles a genuine, friendly, pleasant smile at her man, often
  • has a peaceful, gentle spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear – because she trusts the sovereignty of God and allows His perfect love to cast out every fear!

QUESTIONS:

1. Do you as a wife try to take control in your marriage?  Why or why not?

2. If you do tend to want to take charge or think you have to take charge, is your greatest concern that you don’t think you can trust your husband or that you don’t think you can trust God?

3. Do you believe that God is “sovereign enough” to lead you through your husband?  I believe that biblical submission and respect for wives is our biggest test of faith in Christ as women.  Is God sovereign enough to lead me through this imperfect man?  What might God do to take care of your very worst fears if you obey Him and cooperate with your husband?

DARE #25:

Pray that God shows you how to apply the concept of honoring your husband’s God-given leadership in your family.  Ask Him to help you to understand and absorb all that He desires you to learn.  Pray for unity in your marriage.  Pray for your marriage to reflect the profound mystery of Christ and the church for God’s greatest glory!

SHARE:

What is on your mind?  Let’s talk about it!  This can be a difficult concept for many women to swallow in our culture.  Some women feel really angry about it at first.  Dig down into your anger to try to find where it originates.  Determine to seek God’s wisdom over worldly wisdom.  Wrestle with this with God in prayer until you believe you can understand what God is saying.

RESOURCES:

Check out my “about” page to see the results in my life

Biblical Submission

Biblical Submission Does NOT = the Husband is Always “Right.”

A Real Life Example of Respect and Biblical Submission 

How Respect and Biblical Submission Impacted a Husband’s Soul

God’s Design for Masculinity

God’s Design for Femininity

One Wife’s Obedience to God Radically Changed Her Marriage

God’s Design for Marriage is Sexy

PS – DISTORTIONS of GOD’S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE:

In marriage, if someone is not officially designated to be the “leader” – there is chaos.  Here are the possible distortions that tend to happen apart from God’s design:

1. a dominant wife and a dominant husband => lots of fighting, yelling, arguing, maybe even violence, severe disunity and a very ungodly example for the children and others.  No glory for God.  “The gospel of Christ is maligned” Titus 2:5

2. a dominant wife and a passive husband => this seems more peaceful than option 1, but it is not God’s design. The husband is quiet, so he is not yelling and screaming, but the wife is generally bossy, controlling, critical, nagging, prideful, quick to speak and quick to become angry.  So everyone in the marriage and family suffers.  The wife is much more stressed than she should be because she is trying to carry weight that she was not designed to carry.  The husband becomes more and more shut down, depressed, resentful and uninvolved.  There is anger, resentment, lack of intimacy on every level many times, lack of unity and a very ungodly example for the children. “The gospel of Christ is maligned” Titus 2:5

3. a passive wife and a dominant husband => this situation usually involves a husband being very controlling, critical and tyrannical, demanding “respect” and attempting to force his wife to “obey” him and a wife who says nothing out of fear and/or shame, voices no opinions and contributes  almost no influence to the marriage or family.  It is as if she isn’t even there emotionally and spiritually.  Everything  tends to be all about what he wants, not what is best for the family and for others.  This is NOT HEALTHY for anyone and is a very ungodly example for the children and others.

4. a passive wife and a passive husband => in this situation, it is possible for weeks or months to go by without a word being spoken in the marriage.  No one takes initiative.   No one makes decisions.  Everything falls through the cracks.  It may seem peaceful compared to some of the other marriage dynamics above, but it really isn’t peace. There is no intimacy or connection.   It may be quiet – but there is great tension and resentment. This is an icy marriage and the frigid emotional/spiritual temperature greatly impacts the children and is a very ungodly example for them and others.

35 thoughts on “The Respect Dare Day 26 – Biblical Submission- a Huge Key to Peace

  1. Hi April, what are your thoughts on this concept when your husband is not a believer? I have a hard time renering control over to my husband and letting him lead because I know he does not consult God first. Does that make sense?

    1. Sarah,
      Thankfully, God speaks to this situation! I Peter 3:1-6 is a believing wife’s assignment from God if the husband is “disobedient to the Word.” God IS so sovereign that He is able to lead you even through an unbelieving husband. You cannot follow him into sin. But you can focus on cooperating with his leadership and honoring his leadership and respecting the good that is in him as you trust God to give him wisdom to lead you and your family. If you can not use words about God, spiritual things and the Bible, but SHOW him by your godly example of faith and trust in God and your respect towards him – that is the biggest witness a wife can give to her husband to draw him towards God and herself.

      I have some posts on this if you are interested. You can search my home page for “husband not a Christian” “Husband doesn’t go to church”

      I am praying for you!

    2. Hi Sarah, I’m jumping in because I know April won’t mind. I know it’s hard to be married to an unbeliever, it took 16 years before God moved in my husband’s heart. It was a rough road, b/c I chose to be difficult – don’t do that. The most stunning and jaw dropping thing I found out after my husband became a disciple of Christ was that, he didn’t really change that much (not at first) I had these rose coloured glasses that lead me to believe that yay, now EVERYTHING is going to change. It actually became harder in our marriage. Satan was working double time now.

      April is right in that God does speak directly to wives who have unbelieving husbands! What a great God!!

  2. Wow! I think we are a mixture of number 1 and 3. I will seek the Lord to find out the root . I did not have a father figure growing up and I know that shaped my perception of a man’s authority and leadership.

    1. Nekiwa,

      Yes – our parents’ examples powerfully impact us – and actually “program” us to be like they are. Thankfully, God can “reprogram” us with His truth and wisdom even if we didn’t have godly examples! I am praying for you my precious sister! 🙂

  3. April…
    I am in a second marriage. We were both new believers when we married – he had grown children, I had 3 young children. My husband had anger and verbal abuse issues which made for difficult child raising, blended family challenges. The children are now young adults (youngest is 16) and have no desire to have a relationship with their stepfather. He has made many changes for our marriage and I am being challenged to recognize my sin with The Respect Dare. In the past I always felt it was my responsibility to protect my children and it created division in our family. If I supported my children, my husband felt alienated. If I supported my husband, my children felt alienated. I always felt alienated because it was a no win situation. Do you have any advice on how to move forward? What does Biblical Submission look like in a blended family? …Cathy

    1. CGPAGS,
      I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart and marriage,

      That is a really important question.

      I believe that your primary responsibility is to your marriage covenant. You are your children’s mother- yes. But you do not have a covenant with them before God the way you do with your husband. A blended family is a MUCH more difficult dynamic. But, thankfully, what is impossible with people is possible with God.

      I believe that you will need to support your husband first. He needs to know he is more important to you than your children are. You can and should say what you desire to do and what you believe is best for them. But then, if he disagrees, do your best to follow his leadership.

      As much as possible, love your children. And, if they are grown and don’t want a relationship with their step dad, I would try not to pressure them. But make sure your husband knows that God is your biggest priority and that he is next. This is crucial for the marriage to survive.

      I have not lived this out myself – but I have walked with many women in this position. I am going to see if any of them might be willing to share their perspective, as well. I am sure their words would be extremely valuable to you in this position.

      Much love to you!

    2. cgpags

      Hi my name is Nina, I too come from a blended family as well. My husband has 1 (17yr old girl) and I have 2 (15 yr old boy and 12 yr old girl). I have struggled with this same issue..First and foremost my husband and I have come to realize that there must be lots of compromise in this marriage. I have had lots of problems in the area of defending my kids also and my husband also feeling alienated. So what God has shown me is GOD first Husband second Kids third! Marriage is Priority! I think that being in a blended family there is no difference in the way we are to submit to our husbands. We said I do under the Covenant of God so therefore we should live out that covenant the way God is asking us to. Now when the children are involved and there is a disagreement or I feel like my husband is favoring his child over mine(because it does happen) I have learned to bring it to his attention 1 time if it is really bothering me. And after that I leave it alone. God has really shown me over the last few months that He is in Control! Ultimately my husband has to answer to his actions to God blended family or not. 2) I pray and ask God for his wisdom in this situation, I ask him is it really a big deal or is it me fearing that my husband is hurting my kids? Normally I react out of fear. I have always felt like I still need to be the one in charge of them, but when we get married God says the Husband is the Leader over the home! It was a hard one for me to swallow but I am swallowing it..I trust today that God put my husband in our lives, mine and my children’s to love and protect and guide us. 3) My kids have also felt alienated and left out and like I am always taking my husbands side but thats because they had no knowledge of what our roles as a husband and wife were under God. So my husband and I sat down and read the bible with them we read Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Peter 3:1-6, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Matthew 19:6 and Colossians 3:18,19. I told my kids that I loved them very much and I am not taking sides I am living the way God wants me to live. I got them and hugged them and so did my husband. Now is that to say that it stopped right their NO. Their were plenty of arguments and stuff in the family until Me and my husband said we are sticking together under God. I dont know if this helps but feel free to ask me anything else!! I have learned that Blended family living is not easy, and God is there in the middle of it but he has given us roles as husband, wife, and kids and we are to live them out to the best of our ability strife free! My kids are learning more and more to Respect the man that God has given them to be dad in their life and i feel that it comes easier as time passes by especially as they see me doing it also. Its not always easy but with God all things are Possible.

      1. Nina and April…
        Thank you for your comments and perspective. My husband and I were on a date yesterday (yeah!) and had lots of opportunity to talk about this dare and your comments. We agreed that we both made lots of mistakes over the last 10 years. The best reminder was God first, spouse second, and family third. I have SO… not done that – to be totally honest the kids have always been first. The Respect Dare is opening my eyes to my faith walk as well as my sinful behavior towards my husband. It was easy to paint him as the bad guy with his verbal and emotional abuse. And it was validated by friends and family (my children and their father) who witnessed his behavior. I am starting to see how my behavior added to the problem. As for parenting a blended family my husband says that we can’t go back and “that ship has sailed”. Our focus going forward is to model a biblical marriage and seek to repair relationships with my children. First, me individually and then as a couple as God leads us. Would appreciate your thoughts and counsel. …Cathy

        1. Cathy,
          I agree with your husband – time to move forward now and do things God’s way from this point on. 🙂
          It is important to continually check to see where your motives and priorities are – they can EASILY get misplaced. I am so glad that was helpful for you!
          When kids are before God – that is idolatry. Time to repent of that. And when kids are before the husband, that is destructive to the marriage covenant, but I am so glad you see it now and are willing to correct the problem. THANK YOU, GOD!

          If you have repented to God and your husband, please also repent to your children and explain God’s design for marriage and family and tell them that is going to be your goal from now on. Tell them what your new priorities will be. Tell them you love them and want to set a godly example for them. That you are not perfect and have a lot to learn, but you want to learn to become the godly wife and mom God desires you to be.

  4. For me, the concepts of respect and authority do not easily mesh… They seem very separate although they should be connected easily. I have a much easier time with respect and having a respectful attitude than remembering that my husband is my authority. And you hit the nail on the head in saying that the major time submission is an issue is when there is a disagreement…. I can go along being respectful and submissive on small things very well day to day… but when there is a disagreement, that is when I struggle which shows me there is still work to do.

    1. Alicia,

      Great comment!

      To me, it makes sense that God made the husband the authority – that is why the husband also needs respect.
      Both of these biblical concepts for godly wives are totally anti-cultural, and counter-intuitive for us as women today.

      I am glad you see the issue – that is the most important first step! I pray God will give you wisdom about how to apply His Word to your situation for His glory. I am always glad to hear from you if you want to hash through anything. 🙂

    2. I have the exact same problem that I struggle witg. I know and understand that my hubby is the of our house but I often have difficulty submitting with a meek and gentle spirit when I disagree. I def have a long way to go. I’ve started to memorize scriptures pertaining to my responsibility as a wife and my role according to scripture like 1 Pet and meditating on it whenever I can to help me especially at these times when I disagree with him .

      1. Nekiwa,
        I love that you are focusing on your God-given role and responsibilities as a wife and focusing on scripture. It is fine to respectfully, gently say what you want and need and how you feel. But in a spirit of humility and grace and willingness to accept “no” – trusting that God will work in ways beyond your ability to imagine in the situation for your good.
        If he is asking you to clearly sin – then you would have to respectfully resist him.

        Much love to you! I am really excited about what God is doing in your heart! 🙂

  5. This is one of the best things I have ever read on Respect! Thank you so much for posting. My husband and I have read the Love and Respect book by Eggerich twice, and this post aligns up with everything he and his wife share in the book. So many of us aren’t taught theses truths before marriage, so thank you and may God continue to bless you with His wisdom on marriage.

  6. Gosh I have so been reading Ephesians 5:22-24 totally backwards. Always comparing how my husband doesn’t measure up but missing the part where I need to submit as to Christ. Wow.
    Imagine if husbands were only required to love and cherish if they felt we had earned it? I would never receive a day is love in my life!
    I was controlling in a passive way. Being weak meant that he had to be the strong one and always make the decisions and take action. I’m seeing that is not respect or submission. That is asking my husband to be God and me pretending to be God by expecting him to meet my every whim and fancy. I also expected Miracles from God to change my husband into what I think he should become. Fancy that! Trying to tell God what to do 🙂
    I didn’t submit to DH or to Christ. No wonder it seemed like nothing was working.
    A lot of my anger stems from seeing sin and hypocrisy in my husband. He had always been “perfect” before, now that I’m doing so much better why can’t he continue to be more “perfect”?
    Now I’m learning that my old idea of perfect had nothing to do with anyone except myself. Yuck.
    Lord,
    Thank you so much for the lessons you are giving me. You are opening our eyes to some heavy stuff but by your will I pray that it is for your glory. I pray for the other women on this journey too. Draw them closer to you so they may shine too.
    Amen
    ThxTam

    1. Tam,
      It is MUCH easier to look at someone else, especially our husbands, and demand that they obey God’s Word – as we interpret it, of course! Than to look at ourselves and focus on our own obedience. But that is what God calls us to do as His disciples!

      Yes – a wife who controls and disrespects her husband tends to treat God the same way. I sure did! I disrespected God and tried to tell Him what to do and make Him change Greg to be what I wanted him to be. YUCK!!!!!!!

      I am so excited to watch you grow and learn. This is very deep stuff – and VERY important! It is the foundation upon which to build our marriage and our faith in Christ.

      Much love to you!

      Here’s a Youtube video that may be helpful, too!
      <a href="[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBJfm73XMOQ&w=560&h=315]”>

      1. I’m have been reading your blog and listening to You Tube and they have been very helpful. I was hoping there was a way to contact via phone but if not, I’m trying this post.

        I’m trying to resolve the issue in my heart of submitting to my husband when I do not agree with his spiritual position and where he wants to lead us. Our issues are all based on spiritual issues, and nothing else really.

        My husband & I are both Christians and were when we got married 8 years ago. He has a very unique way of interpreting the scriptures that I do not agree with. It’s a very critical and religious way to look at things and filters everything through the law and not through God’s grace.

        We do not have any children as our lives and marriage have been on hold since I started to speak up against some of the decisions he’s made. We do not celebrate Christmas (or Easter) or have ANYTHING to do with it at all, not even listen to Christmas music like Joy to the World or be with family (unless they do not believe either, which is only his father – more on that later) because the holiday is pagan. He is very critical about almost all ministries, all churches, and all other Christians because they do not “have the light” like they do.

        They look down on going to the doctor because you need to have more faith in God than in the doctor’s. I believe God can do anything and He is our great physician, our great Healer but I do no think it’s Christlike to tell someone they are lacking faith if they get a mammogram.

        Almost all of his “doctrine” has come from his father, which is another issue because I don’t believe he has done the “leave and cleave” from his father’s strong spiritual and very controlling influence”.

        I knew my husband believed this way when we got married however I did not think he would take it to the extent he has. When he’s mad at me (for not submitting) he calls me names like Jezebel, a witch, a ding bat, stupid, and on and on he goes. He punishes me when I don’t submit to him and often times, for months (it’s been since Oct) he withholds himself from me. He’s taken the checkbooks from me however will give me a check if I need it but he needs to know what it’s for and for how much, he locked all the passwords to our home computer, which has all our finances. I work full time at home and he retired a few years ago because the plan was for him to take some time off to decide if he/we were going to open our own business. He tells me all that is on hold because of our marital problems, however I’m still working full time. I really don’t have any more friends because most of my friends don’t understand all that is going on.

        He reads his bible every day and some good solid Christian books but also listens to tapes over and over again that he got from his Dad that minister this strange doctrine, all based on the bible however all based on the law.

        I have tried to submit to him but have not been fully able to because I don’t agree with where he is going spiritually. And thus the reason for our problems. Yes I have been difficult during all this because I get so frustrated because of how he’s trying to control me and the situation, all in the name of Godly devine order in the home.

        His mom died a few years ago from massive breast cancer because they never went to the doctor and never had a mammogram. I do go the doctor and my husband does too however we don’t mention it to his father because of the comments we will get. I can hear his fathers voice through almost everything my husband says because that is all his father would tell me when we first got married. I’m not happy saying this but I do not want my husband to end up like his father and I do not want to end up like his mother.

        We have separated twice already for extended periods of time (2-8 months), both times he made me leave. We’re at the point of me leaving again for the third time but I believe this would be a more permanent situation.

        He tells me that I do not submit to him and I’m not a quiet and meek wife. And all he wants me to do is to submit to him and if he’s wrong, he tells me the Lord will work on him, but only AFTER I submit to him. He told me the other day (although we have not talked for months – living in the same house) that I do not have to agree with his beliefs but I do have to submit to his decisions. He is a good kind man however I believe his is being controlled by his father and he in turn is trying to control me. I’ve been reading and studying about how a wife can turn a situation around if I trust and keep my eyes on the Lord and not on my husband.

        I am trying to work through this in heart, with the Lord, on whether I should just submit to him (by not celebrating Christmas/Easter, not going to Catholic events (most of my family is Catholic) and every other rule he sets out, and trust God to deliver my husband from this yoke of bondage I believe he’s under or if I should just leave.

        When I ask him about the scripture that says Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church, he tells me that he is and I will have the marriage I want if I will just submit to him and yield and that God will change him if I just yield and submit. I can say that my husband often says it’s NOT submitting to the beliefs he has but to his leadership as a husband and if I do, God will change in him what needs to change.

        It’s a tough one.

        I have good examples in my parents Christian marriage however they are VERY concerned with what is going on. We tried counseling at our church (when we were going) however my husband did not agree with their counsel. My pastor thinks I should leave, my parents think I should leave, and everyone that knows what’s going on thinks I should leave. After a 3 days of fasting last week, I came across your blog and praying about whether I should just go to my husband and tell him that I will submit to him (I cannot see my parents by the way if I do because he thinks they are a bad spiritual influence on me) and submit to his decisions, and tell him my concerns and what I do not agree with spiritually and continue to pray that God breaks the yoke of bondage I think my husband is under with this false believe system from his father, and watch God do a work. There is no physical abuse.

        This has been going on for a few years, I feel my life is passing me/us by….

        I know it’s a long post but a lot is going on…

        Hoping against hope…..

        1. Linda,

          YUCK!!! 🙁

          What a miserable situation.

          Well – here are a few things to think and pray about. It is God’s will here that is most important, not my opinions, so I will do my best to point you to Him. But you may need some kind of godly pastor to counsel you on this one who is familiar with both of you – if your husband would go.

          I do believe God can heal this marriage. I do think you both have room for plenty of improvement. But I believe your primary power is in focusing on your own obedience to God and relationship with Him.

          I really hate it when husbands demand that their wives submit. And I really hate it when wives try to force their husbands to love as Christ loves the church.

          Each person can only obey God for his/her own part of the marriage. We make a mess when we try to force and coerce the other person to obey God, while ignoring our own role. That is what I did, anyway!

          Do I understand correctly that neither of you have been speaking to the other for MONTHS?

          Is there any drug/alcohol addiction going on?

          Any physical abuse?

          Is there any kind of mental health disorder or porn addiction that you are aware of?

          – Celebrating Christmas and Easter – these things are not mentioned in the Bible. God does not command us to celebrate them or to have a Christmas tree or give gifts. God does not command us to celebrate Easter the way that our culture does. To me – this item is a no-brainer – do this stuff his way and cooperate. He is not asking you to sin here.
          YOu can certainly pray that God might soften his heart.

          – It seems to me from what you are describing, that he is far from God in many ways – even though I am sure he would disagree right now. I Peter 3:1-6 would be God’s prescription for wives whose husbands are disobedient to the Word. You would not talk about spiritual things, but show him by your own faith, joy, peace, respect, hope and example what it means to submit to CHrist first.

          – What is your own relationship with Christ? Is He the most important thing/person to you by far? Is your primary goal/purpose in life to honor and please Him?

          – What is it that you most desire in your life and marriage? What do you believe you need to be content?

          – Are you both going to any church at all?

          – Are you willing not to go to the Catholic Church?

          – What do you do and say when he tries to control you and force you to do things his way?

          – What does he say about how he is withholding himself from you?

          This makes me so sad!
          I am thankful God can make something beautiful here.

          Much love to you! I am praying for God’s wisdom and for His Spirit to fill you and draw you closer and closer to Himself, that your life might honor Him greatly and that you might be found faithful to Him no matter what your husband does.

  7. This was really a gut kick for me. I had to ask myself the questions…Does my husband only love me when I deserve it? Only when I am perfect? Or I earn it? Or he feels like it? No, he loves me all the time. How do I know this? He will in the middle of a fight where he is very angry at me, do something if I need it. Oh that makes me so sad….. How many times have I denied him respect because I thought he didn’t deserve it or wasn’t perfect or didn’t earn it or I didn’t feel like it?

    1. DaisyMae,

      When you reverse things, it really shows our double standard in our culture, doesn’t it? I am so glad God is showing you His wisdom. These are important questions, 🙂

  8. I wanted to share an encouragement to those who would like to ponder how a wife who submits is an example of Christ according to Phil. 2:6. The Bible says there that Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God. He made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant. A wife can humble herself and do away with the “feminist mentality” by doing what Christ did. He WAS equal with God, as men and women are loved by God equally… but as Christ did, wives ought to obey Christ with that command to submit, and be like Christ to take upon them the form of a servant.

  9. STIONS:

    1. Do you as a wife try to take control in your marriage? Why or why not?
    I’m not married, but I feel like I still try to take control of situations and others due to fear. IIove that my eyes are open so I know what I am doing. the struggle is to stop what I’m doing and rest in the Lord.

    2. If you do tend to want to take charge or think you have to take charge, is your greatest concern that you don’t think you can trust your husband or that you don’t think you can trust God?
    I think well, I know I still struggle with trusting God .I know that I will be persecuted for Christ sake , but when I see Christians go through so much a fear in me rises. I think to myself”I know God can protect me, but will he? He didn’t protect them. ” This thought makes me go into controlling mood.

    3. Do you believe that God is “sovereign enough” to lead you through your husband? I believe that biblical submission and respect for wives is our biggest test of faith in Christ as women. Is God sovereign enough to lead me through this imperfect man? What might God do to take care of your very worst fears if you obey Him and cooperate with your husband? He will give me peace and rest in my soul.

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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