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The Powerful Concept of Submitting Under Protest – Part 2

couple walking

Click here for Part 1


Submitting under protest is not something I think we should need to use often, (hopefully).  But if we strongly disagree about something, then it can be important for us to use this concept.

*** If our husband is asking us to clearly sin or to condone clear sin, then I believe we must have a spirit of submissiveness toward them and toward God (desiring to honor their leadership), but respectfully refuse to cooperate with blatant sin (this is addressed in the post, Spiritual Authority).

*** If your husband is committing severe spiritual, emotional or physical abuse against you, or is actively addicted to drugs/alcohol or has an uncontrolled mental health disorder or is involved in major sin – please seek godly help!  This blog and this post are written for wives who tend to dominate, try to control or be in charge and who try to enforce their way on their husbands, not for wives who are victims of severe abuse and I cannot possibly begin to address marriages with severe problems in a general post.  You will need godly, experienced help, precious wife!

*** I only write for wives.  I don’t write about what husbands should do. I spent 14+ years focusing on what “my husband should do” and that didn’t lead me anywhere good. Submission is something that cannot be forced or coerced, it is something a wife does out of reverence to and obedience for Christ, just like a husband cannot be forced to love his wife.  God commands wives to do certain things in marriage and God commands husbands to do certain things in marriage.  He does not command husbands to enforce their wives’ respect and submission and He does not command wives to enforce their husbands’ love.  I am responsible for my part and for my sin and my obedience to God – that is where my power is in marriage and in my walk with Christ.  My husband is responsible for his part, his sin and his obedience to God. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

In submitting under protest – we are not usually being asked to sin or condone clear sin here – we simply disagree, maybe strongly – with our husband’s decision.

Submission in God’s Word is a military concept – similar to the First Mate on a ship and the Captain.  The Captain is ultimately in charge, yes, but it is the First Mate’s duty and responsibility to share her wisdom, ideas, perspective and concerns respectfully.  Ultimately, the Captain has the authority and responsibility to make the final call on a decision.  The First Mate can share her concerns and then can “submit under protest” if she does not agree with the Captain’s decision.

How does that work?

A wife presents her feelings, her desires, her concerns and her perspective respectfully – which is her duty and responsibility if she feels strongly about something (A Husband’s Authority and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage).  If the husband still does not agree with her after she has shared all of the relevant and necessary information she has, she calmly shares with her husband that she will submit to him out of reverence and respect for him and for God’s Word – but that she does not agree.  Then she supports her husband, prays for God’s will and trusts God’s sovereignty.

Some theoretical examples:

  • If a husband believes the family should move to another state for him to take a job, for example, and the wife does not want to go.  She can say, “I am excited for you about your job offer.  I want to support you in every way I can with your career.  I know this promotion means a lot to you.  I am REALLY proud of you for landing this opportunity!  I am feeling sad about the idea of moving.  I really would rather stay here for the following reasons…”  But if her husband decides this is what would ultimately be best for the family, if the wife strongly disagrees with this decision, she can say, “I will submit to you out of reverence for your position of God-given authority in our family and out of reverence for Christ.  I am submitting under protest.  However, I will support you, I will trust you and cheerfully cooperate with your decision and will do everything I can to bless and empower you to do what you believe is best for us.”
  • If a husband believes that they should discipline their child in a certain way, and the wife strongly disagrees, she can say, “I believe this would be the best route for us to use to handle this situation and here is why…”  But then if the husband still disagrees, she can say, “Out of respect for your God-given authority in our family, I will honor  and submit to your decision, knowing you are ultimately accountable and responsible before God for this decision, not me.  I don’t agree with this course of action, so I am submitting under protest – but you have my full support and willing cooperation.  I pray for God to give you His wisdom.  I want to do everything I can to stand with you in unity in front of our child.”

Here is a real life example I received about this concept yesterday:

This was me for the first six years of our marriage. I was so prideful and wanted my way and there were times my husband became passive and unplugged. He recently shared with me that He did this to avoid me exploding, it was just easier to let me have my way. BUT there were also many times he would respond in anger and now I see why, my disrespect was crushing him and no man wants their authority usurped.

GOD has been so faithful to convict me of my sins cleanse me and fill me with His Spirit and enable me to respond in gentleness and kindness. This is huge I never thought my husband and I could have a conversation without yelling sadly I accepted this as normal :( Praise God for His word and this blog.

Just this past weekend I had a chance to apply this.  Since beginning this journey God has showed me how my daughter has begun to pick up on my controlling and prideful attitude toward God given authority. LADIES THIS IS SO SERIOUS.  We are training our children how to respect authority as they see the way we interact with our husbands. they will learn by watching us more than anything else.

Well since I have stepped down as the main disciplinarian and let my husband lead in this area, he has really stepped up to the plate. I thank Him so much though I still correct and discipline my kids I’m not carrying the whole responsibility alone and it feels wonderful.

This weekend my eldest kept getting in trouble for her disrespect toward her father. After one particular incident he sent her out of the room and was preparing to discipline her in a way I felt was unnecessary for a certain offense and she had been in trouble all day.

When she was completely out if ear shot I asked him if he had a second to talk and explained how I felt. He listened to me told me thank you but he felt that He was gonna handle the situation the way He felt led. He was able to do this because he has begun to feel it is safe to disagree With me now. Though it was hard I submitted and trusted God. I may not be right, just because he doesn’t do things My way doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Later that day my daughter came to us with tears and her eyes and said she thanked us because she knows we discipline her because we love her. WOW what fruit I would have missed out on if I would have continued to fight my husband on this. And we have seen such a dramatic change in our children respecting both of us since I began to respect and submit to my husband like Christ desires.

  • If a husband decides, “We are not going to visit my family/your family this year for Christmas.  They are a toxic influence on our family, and I don’t want our family to have to endure that.”  A wife may disagree.  She may say, “I really want us to try to go to visit our family.  I hate for there to be conflict and for us not to be speaking to anyone in X family.  I wish we could try to reconcile with them and have peace.  I am so sad to think we might not go.”  But then if the husband says, “I believe this is something we have to do this year.  I know it is hard, but I believe this is the right thing to do to not go.”  A wife can pray for God to give her and her husband wisdom.  She can pray for reconciliation between the families.  She can say to her husband, “I don’t agree with your decision.   But I do respect you and your leadership.  I respect your decision.  I am sad about it, but I will submit to you under protest.  I will cooperate with you and do all that I can to stand with you on this decision and to make Christmas a blessing for you and our children.  Thank you for wanting to protect us.  Thank you for your leadership and for doing what you believe is best for us.”

This would be usually a one time thing for a wife to say to her husband.  After that, he knows her feelings and concerns.  There is usually no need to bring things up again.  Then she will trust God to work in his heart and to direct his path.

If God is not pleased with what the husband is doing –  He is able to change her husband’s mind and heart.  He can convict people – we cannot.  He can change people.  We cannot.  It is extremely important for me to “get” that I am not the Holy Spirit for my husband!

Sometimes husbands will make mistakes – in those moments, we have the incredible opportunity to bless them and offer grace – to not rub it in their faces, but to show faith that they will do better in the future and that we trust them to learn and grow and we will continue to stand beside them in support and respect.  Sometimes, it will turn out that the husband was actually listening to God – but as wives, we will only be able to see that in hindsight.  This is where we trust God’s sovereignty and trust Him to lead us through our husbands.


My Husband Wants to Go Where?!?!?

E.V. Hill’s funeral service for his wife – what an incredibly godly example of a wife who blessed, protected, respected and honored her husband.  I pray ALL of our husbands might be able to have such praise for us when our life on this earth is over. (Please listen to the first 4.5 minutes in particular)

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56 thoughts on “The Powerful Concept of Submitting Under Protest – Part 2

  1. These were spot on April. As far as the comparison to children, I find it fitting. After all, God is our “Father” and that makes us His spiritual “children.”

    1. Thanks, Robyn. 🙂

      It was these kinds of concrete examples that I needed desperately as I was beginning my walk. I am sure there are other ways to handle things respectfully, too, but I want to try to give some practical examples to get wives in the general ball park who may need some direction like I did 5 years ago!

      Thanks for your comments! If you have any insights you’d like to add, I am all ears. 🙂

  2. Hi April,

    I have a question for you. Sometimes I will make suggestions to my husband and give my list of reasons why I think my idea us a good one. I am prepared for him to either agree and go ahead with the plan or disagree and not proceed. I am ok with either outcome. But sometimes he’ll give me the go ahead but if the plan doesn’t work out well he’ll be angry and say “I knew we shouldn’t have done this!”. Then I get hurt because he is angry at me because it was my idea but he never showed any opposition to it initially! I am at a loss as to what to do. Shoud I stop making suggestions?

    1. Oh, I also want to add that I really appreciate your blog. I believe you are speaking God’s truth at a time when we, as wives, desperately need to hear it. I continually pray that god will strengthen you in your ministry and protect you from spiritual attack.

      1. Jessica,

        Thank you so much! I appreciate the prayers and need the prayers. This has to be all about God – not about me. I pray He might use me however He sees fit. I long to be faithful and obedient to Him with every word.

        Much love to you!

    2. Jessica,

      Great question!

      I personally stopped making suggestions for a time when I was in the Quiet Phase – because I had dominated so completely for so long that I felt I needed to totally back off and give Greg space and allow him to begin making decisions without my interference.

      That is not a permanent stage – but for me – I believed it was necessary for both of us.

      Husbands have a learning curve with all of this, too. They are learning to become godly leaders. At first, they may be afraid to disagree – or they may feel like they might cause an argument if they disagree – or they may agree too quickly and then think about reservations later.

      It is not your fault if your husband agrees or approves of something and then later says “I knew we shouldn’t have done this!”

      That is something that he will have to work on.

      You can say, “Honey! I had no idea that you didn’t agree. I wish you had told me how you felt. I wouldn’t have done it if I knew you didn’t really approve.”

      Or, when you are giving suggestions in the future, you can say,

      “This is what I would like to do. If you do not agree, please let me know. I am depending on your wisdom and insights. I won’t do this if you don’t believe it is a good idea.”

      Then, maybe give him time to think.

      It will get better as you both practice some more. 🙂

      1. This can be difficult for me sometimes too because my husband doesn’t want me to be quiet. He asks me specifically to think and pray about decisions, and he has gotten upset in the past when I haven’t given my opinion. I “can’t” really be silent about my thoughts.

        When I do give him my thoughts and tell him that the ultimate decision is his, he will typically respond by saying that we make big decisions together and if I am not all for something, then we won’t do it. I haven’t been given an opportunity yet to show him that I will support and respect him even if I disagree.

        On the flip side, if he tells me to make the decision about something without giving me his preference or opinion, and it wasn’t what he would have preferred, he will tell me that I know him better than that and should have known how he felt. I’m not really sure how to handle these two scenarios…

        1. Waiting,

          Unless you were completely dominating him before, and are giving him some space to be able to start making some decisions on his own without your input temporarily, your input is vital!

          It is ok to say, “Here is what I would like.” “I want to do X.” Or “I am concerned about this and wonder if Y might be something to consider?” But then just keep saying, “but I trust you to voice any concerns you may have and I trust your wisdom if you don’t agree.” Or”I trust you do do what you believe is best for us.”

          If he tells you to make a decision, please say, “I was thinking about doing X. But I would like to hear any objections or concerns you may have, please, before I make a choice.”

          Let me know how it goes, it may take a bit of practice (months, maybe longer) to get the right wording and approach and for him to develop confidence in speaking his mind, too and to feel comfortable taking more responsibility.

      2. Waiting: it sounds like you are “in trouble” when you make the wrong decision and for not making a decision – aka: you cannot win. If you are going to have to take the heat of being “in trouble” with your man, take the heat for being righteous. That’s to say, God sets the responsibility of leadership squarely on the husband and the way it worked for me when my husband, “expected me to know his likes what he would do,” was to relinquish that choice, and take the heat for being submissive.

        This is how I responded (more or less) when he asked my opinion.

        “If we do A, that and this could end up happening. But if we do B, this and that could end up happening. But also, if we do A, this and that could be a benefit. But if we do B, this also might happen and this could benefit us too.”

        (waiting, do you see what I did?) I delineated ALL options, so, I wasn’t “silent” I shared my opinion, like he asked, BUT I shared ALL of it so I couldn’t be ‘pigeon-holed’ into the corner of making the decision.

        And then there was the lesson in humility: “I-DON’T-KNOW what the best decision.”

        For us it was a matter of my husband trusting that I really did trust him. He didn’t believe that I did. But rather, that I wanted him to make decisions so I could blame him if and when things fell apart because of that particular choice. He believed I didn’t have the grace to give him for mistakes in decisions he would make. So he avoided (like a plague) making any decisions.

        It got to the point where he would be furious with me for not making a decision. Of course you know I don’t mean, “Do you want tea or coffee?” But decisions with ramifications. He was so furious because he believed I was ‘holding out’ on him so (again) I could say, “told you so.”

        1. Robyn,

          I think that approach could be helpful when a husband is beginning to take leadership.

          I appreciate your willingness to share about your experience.

          But you left us hanging!
          Is your husband still super frustrated or how did things resolve eventually, my friend?

      3. ooops, it wasn’t intentional.

        No, he’s not frustrated at all anymore. The funny thing is, is that it was getting so bad with this leadership (or lack there of) it felt like I was spinning in circles – I had to literally (mentally) step back and be quiet. It was in complete abdication of any decision making: I used my power as a women to relinquish my power. I don’t want to be contrary to what you said April, but he wasn’t taking or even attempting to learn or assume any leadership.

        This was what my husband said to me, years ago. This is the reason I chose the, “I DON’T KNOW what to do” method, and become silent:

        “I lead people all day at work. I am responsible for all decisions in my departments all day long. I’m not going to do it when I come home too. My brain is fried by the time I get here. As the leader I’m delegating all decision making to you for the family.”

        Now, years later … WOW, he is such a great leader. I said earlier, “the funny thing is,” it just happened naturally. Now, hehehe, sometimes we have to deal with micromanagement (over leading) …. more commonly known as: controlling. From time to time it does happen – OH no, heaven forbid, my husband is human!!!

        Just had a thought about what you said: “I think that approach could be helpful when a husband is beginning to take leadership.”

        -did you mean because Darrell is already in leadership at work or that he had begun steps at home to lead? (when I said I didn’t want to be contrary to you, that’s the part I was referring to)

        1. Robyn,

          I know some husbands want their wife’s input. I think if a wife was only mildly controlling, she may be able to share her opinions even in the beginning, depending on the man.

          I completely stopped making decisions for awhile and just said, “Whatever you think is best, Honey.”

          Then I would leave things alone and wait. A lot. I learned to embrace waiting on God and on Greg as a blessing. That was a huge change because I used to be very impatient!

          I eventually began to start speaking up if there was something I felt strongly about.

          But I think it was important for me to learn to trust Greg and it gave Greg a chance to begin to make decisions without pressure from me.

          I’m so glad you shared!

      4. Thanks for the insight April. I forget that im not the only one learning on this journey! My husband is learning too. So even though I might do something “right”, it doesn’t mean the situation is automatically going to turn out perfectly. I feel more at peace now 🙂

        1. Jessica,

          Husbands have as much as we do to learn as they begin their own journey in response to ours. Yes, you may do things “right” – but it may take him some time to figure out what you are doing and why and to know he is safe and to begin to have confidence in himself. It is a long process for a man to become a godly leader.

          Much love to you!

    3. Hi Jessica, I also experienced this on some levels. I found that what it really boiled down to was the ‘blame-game’. It’s a huge step for men, in our culture, to rise up to the challenge of not only leading, but taking full ownership which means to include the responsibility for the outcome of the choices. The blame game as been around since the creation of humans; if Adam (being in perfection) didn’t want to take responsibility for his choices, it’s a lot to expect my husband (who is born sinful) to get a handle on it easily. It was in this realization that I stopped “offering” my opinion and instead, “offered” my confidence in his ability to make that particular decision.

      1. Robyn,

        This is so true! For men who have not been leading – it can be scary to take on the full responsibility of leadership. It is much easier to try to blame the wife for her request than to take ownership for not voicing his objections.

        What I would suggest too, is – do not take on his responsibilities. As he sees that you are not going to ream him out if he does make mistakes, and that you are on his team and cooperating with him and that you have faith in him even if he messes up sometimes – which he will! – it is going to be easier for him to take on responsibility.

        But do not allow yourself to feel responsible when you clearly asked him and he ok’d you to do something.

        I hope that makes sense! 🙂

      2. Too true April. Also, don’t be tempted to be drawn into the ‘game-eee-ness’ of it, but sometimes you might asked your opinion even if you don’t offer it. Only to find out that, this too, comes back to bite you. I found it best, at least for an indeterminate amount of time, to sort of “plead the 5th” LOL

      3. Hi Robyn,
        Thank you for your insight as well! I think you accurately described the human sinful nature! It is easier to cast blame than to take responsibility.

  3. The scripture says to be in one mind. Also we as wies sre to submit in Everything. I do not totally agree with this post because it gives wives an open door to not want to obey.

    1. Sharon,

      Thank you for your comment and concerns!

      We are to submit to our husbands as to the Lord in everything. Yes. If our husbands are asking us to clearly sin (have an abortion, cheat on our taxes, have a threesome) – then it is our responsibility before God to obey God rather than men. That is where the phrase “as to the Lord” is very important.

      Submission does not mean that we must agree.
      Jesus submitted Himself to God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane – while He asked if there was another way. But then He submitted and said, “Not My will, but Yours be done.”

      If we always agree about absolutely everything with our husbands, there is really no need for submission.

      Yes we are to be of one mind in Christ – seeking to honor and glorify and obey Him together.

      But submission does not mean that we give up our personhood, desires, ideas and that we have no opinions, needs or wants.

      The minister who taught the class I went to about Spiritual Authority talked about how husbands have positional authority and wives have influence authority.

      Eve used her influence authority for evil to entice Adam to sin.

      Esther used her influence authority for good to save the Jewish people even though it meant risking her own life to approach her husband, the king.

      We are always responsible and accountable to God to obey Him in EVERYTHING. If we believe we must go against our husband in the case of clear sin – that is a very serious thing, something I do not take lightly at all. It is addressed in the Spiritual Authority post. We will be held accountable to God for our obedience to His commands for us.

      We are ALWAYS to be in full submission to Christ.

      It is possible to have a submissive spirit to our husbands but to refuse to obey a particular directive. That is what Daniel did when he refused to bow to the king’s idol. He respected the king’s positional authority and his command. But he refused to worship the idol because God’s authority is greater than the king’s God-given authority. Because of Daniel’s submissive spirit and desire to honor and obey the king (even though he couldn’t obey that particular order), his witness for God to the king was very powerful.

      It is possible to be submissive to those in God-given authority over us and not obey a particular directive. Submission is an attitude of the heart, obedience is an individual act. Normally, the two will match up. But when the Jewish leaders commanded the disciples not to preach anymore in the Name of Jesus, they were submissive to them – desiring to honor their leadership, but they could not openly defy God’s command to them to be His witnesses.

      Wives must be extremely cautious about not cooperating with our husbands’ leadership, realizing that we are under the authority of our husbands – and it is a serious thing to go against our husbands. In fact, it is sin and rebellion for me to defy my husband unless my husband is asking me to do something in direct violation of a major command of God.

  4. Yeah, but what if your husband is a man of God, how does this apply, my husband may take us in the wrong direction at times, but its my duty to follow and not look back, questioning his authority, I trust in God to lead my husband in the right direction, if its a mistake God will sway us both back. Like in church if the minister is teaching one thing your husband doesn’t teach you at home you are to follow your husband because he is the priest of the house. I respect you as a person April but of course I a m not gonna agree with everything. God will hold my husband accountable to anything he gives me that is wrong, but my duty is to follow, because God is leading him.

    1. Sharon,

      It is our duty to follow our husbands (unless they lead us into obvious and blatant rebellion against God.). I can tell you that my husband has never asked me to do something sinful in these last 5 years since I have committed to submitting to him. I am thankful for that!

      I also trust that God is able to lead us through our husbands. I don’t beleive it is generally wise to question our husbands’ authority. There are cases where a husband had an uncontrolled mental health disorder, is addicted to drugs/alcohol, is involved in infidelity or some other serious sin where a wife may have a responsibility and duty not to follow him. Submitting to a man who is high on meth would probably be unwise. In those situations, I implore wives to seek godly counsel.

      But, thankfully, generally, most of our husbands are trustworthy and responsible.

      I actually believe we are closer in agreement than you might think. But, we will not all have the exact same convictions on every issue, that is true.

      I have total faith that God will lead me through my husband, too. I do share my heart if I do not agree, but then willingly cooperate with and honor his leadership. And I, too, trust that God can work even through my husband’s mistakes for our ultimate good and His glory.

      I am so glad you are on this journey with me!

      Thank you very much for sharing your heart! 🙂

  5. Sharon-

    A GOOD husband will want input, feedback, counsel.

    The last thing in the world I want is a woman who says “yes dear” as her first reflex.

    I am not all-knowing, and Godly counsel from a supportive, loving wife is priceless.

    Questioning a decision is not the same thing as questioning authority. Also, a marriage is not all about me and what I think and what I want.

    If God wanted women to be subservient, he would not have given them their intellect and wit.

    I am not married, but I have a couple of trusted female friends whose advice and opinion has proven to be invaluable more than once.

    Also, I get bored with women who just agree with me all the time. I like a little spice, as long as it is respectful.

  6. And plenty of mistakes could probably have been avoided had a man listened to his wife when she said, “honey, I don’t think we should do ____”

    That is why being the first mate on a ship requires you to be pretty much as skilled and knowledgeable a seaman as the captain. If they were only looking for someone to say “yes sir”, you could grab any fool off the street and put them there.

  7. April, if you look at how Eve was first decieved, and then gave the bad fruit to Adam, and then Adam was decieved. I do believe that it is very clear that women are first decieved that’s why God called men to lead and enforce the way because as women we can think based on our own thoughts and it can be the enemy interfering to cause us both to go in the wrong direction just like Adam and Eve. we must understand that we are the weaker vessel and TRUST GOD to lead our husbands even when we think its wrong. how can a house divided against itself stand, it will quickly fall. There is one head not two to make the shots, and God is the head over man not women, and man is the head over women. I definately think this teaching can either help or actually ruin a marriage. I have no authority, when u give wives authority it cause them to actually misuse our position. we as women should b ready to flow and not look back like Lots wife. our heart should be willing as well, asking The Lord for strenghth, it gets tuff.I had to be willing to follow my husband ma y times, and yeah if I opened my mouth it could have caused him to to listen to me instead of God.

    1. Sharon,

      I am not sure why it is… But it seems that you think I am saying the husband is not the authority. I am saying most emphatically, he IS the authority. It is sin for a wife to defy her husband. The exception to that is if the husband is asking his wife to clearly sin.

      It is not sin for a wife to share her desires. I AM endorsing submission even when we don’t agree. I am saying it is ok for a wife to share her feelings and perspective in a respectful way. I know of no command in scripture where a wife cannot discuss her ideas and desires with her husband. God Himself allows us to share our concerns, questions, ideas and desires respectfully and reverently to Him.

      I do not endorse blind obedience because Greg and I do not believe that is what scripture commands of wives. I have wives reading my blog whose husbands demand that their wives allow them to bring prostitutes home and the wives think that they have to respect that. No. There are limits and boundaries.

      Is the wife the spiritual head? No. Does she have to submit when her husband asks her to help her hide a dead body of someone he murdered? No.

      The command for a wife to submit is “in The Lord.”

      It is a VERY serious thing for a wife to refuse to submit to her husband. So it would only be in a few extreme cases where I believe a wife would have to respectfully refuse to do what her husband asked her to do.

      You and I may not agree on this topic. Ultimately, no wife answers to you or to me, but only to God. I seek to present God’s Word as clearly as possible. I do realize there will be different interpretations. I respect that you may certainly interpret scripture to mean that you must submit to your husband even if he asks you to blatantly sin. But I don’t believe that is the intent of God’s command for wives, and I believe that is why the phrase “in The Lord” is so important.

      What we do agree about is
      – the husband is the head of the wife by God’s design
      – we are each responsible to God for our obedience to His Word.
      – wives are to respect their husband regardless of what the husband does or does not do
      – God intends wives to honor their husbands’ leadership (you would say in all cases even if he asked her to sin or approve of sin, I would say she must choose to honor God instead of her husband if he asks her to clearly sin – which would only be in some rare and more extreme cases.)

      I appreciate your sharing your perspective very much.

      I totally agree that Eve was deceived first and that women may be more likely to be deceived first. That is one reason that God gave our husbands to us to protect us. That is why I am upholding god’s commands for wives to respect and to submit to their husbands.

      When I talk about submission under protest, it is still submission. It is just a wife respectfully sharing her heart with her husband and sharing that she disagrees but that she will submit to him out of respect for God and for her husband’s position. That is obedience to God’s Word and the wife is being authentic and true to her own convictions.

      I can say, “I would rather not have our Christmas celebration involve Santa or gifts because that promotes greed and idolatry for children. But I know that you would like to have Santa and gifts for our children, so, I will honor your decision and celebrate Christmas the way that you believe is best for our family.”

      I am not saying wives should go against their husbands, disrespect their husbands or not submit to them… It would only be in a few extreme and rare cases and a wife would need to be quite sure that she understands the consequences and gravity of what she is doing before she refuses to submit to her husband.

      If a husband refuses to repent of adultery, a wife does not have to stay. If a husband is addicted to alcohol or drugs or is beating his wife, she may have to separate from him for a time as she prays for God to work in his heart and prays for reconciliation. These extreme situations are times that I refer women to seek godly counsel from a trusted pastor or godly, trusted Christian counselor.

      If a husband is extremely drunk, and he tells his wife and children to get in the car so he can drive them somewhere, I believe a submissive and respectful wife can say, “Please let me drive. It is not safe for you to drive right now.” And if he insists, I believe a wife could refuse to get in the car and could refuse to allow her children to get in the car. I also believe a wife may need to call the police in such a situation to prevent her husband from killing himself or someone else because he is not in his right mind.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. 🙂

  8. Sharon-

    Expressing thoughts and desires are not taking authority away from a husband.

    God lets us express our thoughts and desires to Him, and it does reduce the Lord’s authority at all.

  9. April, God does call us to be discreet and chaste. Titus. Take a look at the word chaste. dis·creet


    careful and circumspect in one’s speech or actions, esp. in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage. “we made some discreet inquiries” synonyms: careful, circumspect, cautious, wary, chary, guarded.

    1. Sharon,

      Yes, I completely agree that God calls us to be discreet and chaste. I am not aware that I have said anything that would contradict God’s commands.

      Thank you. 🙂

    2. Sharon,

      God is the ultimate authority, not our husbands. God gives God-given authority to different people in order to provide for, protect and lead His people. He gives delegated authority to kings and presidents, to leaders in the church, to parents of young children and to husbands. But God’s authority and the authority of God’s Word is greater than the God-given authority He gives to people. The authority He gives to husbands, presidents, kings, church leaders, bosses, teachers, parents, etc.. is not absolute authority. He alone and His Word have absolute authority.

      If a human authority tries to lead those under his care into rebellion against God, into idolatry, perversion, or some clear sin – God does not command His people to follow their leaders into sin. In fact, God’s people have a duty and responsibility to obey God in that situation rather than the command of a leader. God holds each of us responsible for our own sin.

      Ideally, those in authority would never lead others into sin. Hopefully, that is the case with your husband. I wish it were the case with every husband and leader.

      If you haven’t, I would encourage you to read the notes from my class about Spiritual Authority that I mentioned. 🙂 The minister who taught the class referred to a number of examples in scripture about this.

  10. I have heard this taught before, just never agreed. My husband I think its a fine li ne. What I don’t think is right is when the wife can voice her opinion or what she doesn’t want to do whenever something comes up. There was a lot of times when I have feared the descisions my husband was making. Whenever I wasn’t willing to follow it lead to control and and that is not of God. Whenever I just flowed my husband would be proud and it would help his leadership role smoothly without any other voices in his head(Eve= me). I know I’m first decieved so I don’t trust my own thoughts or way of thinking. I know my husband doesnt trust his own thoughts either. He does trust GOD’s way,and God’s thoughts. At the end of it all we must both trust in God, not our own opinions or thoughts in order to walk with the Father.God can use women when they speak In the spirit, but this walk is not based off opinions. Only if our husbands give us achoice I feel like we can speak. But I’m saying this because on counless occassions in the bible the women’s voice caused many men to fall. Jezebel in 2Kings is a good example of this. My husband isn’t called to listen and agree with me,. I’m in subjection of him,but he ‘s called to listen to God. I want him to hear God good and clear over me. Its nice to fellowship with u April.

    1. Sharon,

      It is a very fine line – because it is extremely possible for some wives who are controlling, fearful, not trusting God and being disrespectful could say that their husbands are asking them to sin when it is actually some minor biblical issue that is a matter of different interpretation.

      It is wise to question our own thoughts and ideas and opinions. That is the goal – for both husband and wife to be full of GOd’s Spirit and walking in total obedience to Him. 🙂 That is what God desires us all to do!

      There are many times a wife’s voice has caused a husband to fall. There are also times a wife has been a blessing with her words and wisdom – Proverbs 31, Esther, Mary (mother of Jesus), Samson’s mother’s response to her husband when her husband was afraid that God would kill them after they saw the angel who told them they would have a baby.

      A husband does not have to agree with his wife. THat’s true. And he is certainly not called to obey his wife. He is called to listen to God. I pray that all of our husbands would listen to God over us. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your heart. It is wonderful to fellowship with you as well, my sister! 🙂

  11. how can I know if its sinful……….what if we both don’t know if something iin particular is a sin or not.

    1. Sharon,

      That is why it would be important to know God’s Word well and to only consider going against our husbands in very, very clear and blatant cases of sin (murder, adultery, doing something illegal, committing idolatry, abortion, joining a cult, having a major addiction, stealing, blasphemy). God’s Word and His Spirit would guide us – and women in positions where their husband is far from God and leading them into sin may need godly counsel.

      If neither the husband or wife is sure, if it is something that is that difficult to tell, then I believe in most cases a wife would do well to honor her husband’s leadership. She can voice her concerns respectfully.

  12. April that os the fine line of the matter, I’m glad u see it as well. Thx for sharing that thpught. Thatsbthe fine line.

  13. It all comes down to the wife’s attitude. If she challenges her husband out of pride, we have a problem. Even if she does not challenge him, she could remain silently in opposition.

    However, if her concerns come from a place of love and a desire to always be reconciled to him, then it is fine for her to speak her mind.

    I want a wife, not an employee.

  14. Jack, my husband always told me that a man should go to another brother for certain concerns or battles, but not to a women because she is filled with emotions and feelings. The church is out of order today because you got women ruling over it. I trust my husbands leadership to not question every decision, and I always pray that God lead him in the right direction not praying out of disagreement or being judgemental toward his walk, because the bible does say HOW CAN TWO WALK LEST THEY AGREE.

    Does Jesus question God?
    Do we as children of God question God or do we just trust in Him and His way?
    The marriage is in comparison with the church.

  15. I think submission varies depending on the particular husband. God’s Word says a wife is to submit to her “own” husband. If Sharon follows the definition of how Jack is defining submission then she’s not actually submitting to her “own” husband because her “own” husband defines it different than Jack; but rather, she’s actually submitting to someone else’s husband. On the other hand, if Jack’s wife practices submission the way Sharon is interpreting it, then she [Jack’s wife] is actually practicing submission “unto” a different husband; Jack’s wife would be submitting “unto” what Sharon’s husband requires in a wife.

    This makes it confusing and muddies the water.

    God included the word a wife’s [own] husband (idios) because we are not robots and we are all at different areas of growth with Him. It is because of this: different husbands need different things.

  16. Just like ballroom dancing – follow your own lead. Not much good to try and follow the lead of the couple next to you.

    1. Jack, I’m a very visual person and after I read your comment thought, that’s right! How silly would it look if your own husband is leading you in a tango but you are trying to do the steps of the wife next to you on the dance floor; but her husband is leading in the waltz!!

  17. Thank you for this post. Last night my husband and I got in a fight about an ongoing disagreement we’ve had for awhile. We must move out of Alaska soon and before we leave, he wants to purchase some land as an investment and so he has a place to store his hunting toys so he can return each year for hunting (He absolutely loves Alaska and doesn’t want to leave, but we live the military life). I disagree with this decision for various reasons; we are saving up for a house and i think we should focus on this before we make any other investments. Also, a part of me is a little resentful, because I’ve lived in Alaska for six years even though I haven’t wanted to because he wanted to move here and I want to move forward and think about the future. I also think his reasons for investing are a little selfish.

    How do you submit to a husband when his decisions are selfish? Do I have the wrong way of thinking? I have shared my feelings about this respectfully before and he seemed to have considered them thoughtfully. However, lately I’ve resorted back to some behaviors of disrespect. When I do this, my husband tends to act like he doesn’t care about my opinions and sometimes does things to “rebel”, meaning he’ll go out of his way to do or buy something he knows I don’t agree with. Almost seems like he wants to do it more so knowing I don’t want to. However, maybe it’s because I have resorted to arguing and controlling and disrespect lately. I definitely admit I have to work in that area before I can expect him to value my opinion. I’m just worried he will still want to make this investment even if I am respectful. I’m not sure if this is a “submit under protest” because it’s for selfish and financial reasons, but inside me says it probably is . 🙂

    1. LinseyAK,

      You certainly don’t have to agree with your husband. But – let’s focus right now on – are you doing what God calls you to do as a wife? What do you believe God is asking of you in this situation right now? How is your time with God going? Have you repented of your disrespect and control?

      Are you willing to trust God with this?

      Check out my post today – it may help clarify things a bit, as well. 🙂

      Much love!

      1. LinseyAK,

        As you make sure you are walking in obedience and in the power of the Holy Spirit – then you can trust God to work on your behalf, my precious sister! And you will have a whole lot more weight in your approach with your concerns with your husband if he feels respected by you.

      2. Thank you! Yes, for some reason I have allowed fear to take over lately and disrespect creeped back in. I need to trust God more. Negative thinking has been getting the best of me. I think that I can disagree with my husband and respectfully verbalize that I dsiagree, but still submit to him and then trust God’s choices.

        1. LinseyAK,

          I think that would be a really powerful way to approach the issue. When a husband knows his wife disagrees, and he is a decent man, but sees her respectful, honoring attitude and faith – it really tends to move him to make sure that this is the best possible decision. Praying for God to move and use this whole situation for His glory and your ultimate good. 🙂

        2. LinseyAK,

          When you realize you have negative thoughts, anxiety, worry, resentment, bitterness, etc… go to God in prayer and maybe in a journal. Examine your thoughts. Take each one captive. Place your fears and any idols at God’s feet. Entrust them to Him. Allow Him to right any wrong thinking in your heart. Get rid of any lies of the enemy. Replace them with His truth. And renew your commitment to trust God to lead you even through difficult circumstances for His glory.

          I have a video about Taking Our Thoughts Captive that may be helpful on my Youtube channel, April Cassidy. 🙂

          Much love to you!!!!!

  18. I should also add that we both work full time. I tend to be the saver and he’s riskier with investments and likes to buy expensive things. Makes it harder for me to submit sometimes.

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