Monday, April 25, 2016

To Obey or Not to Obey? ~ Chapter Twenty Three

Whenever I am the teaching about wives submitting to their husbands, someone will usually bring up situations when a wife shouldn't obey. Debi and Michael wrote an entire chapter dealing with this topic, probably since it is asked so often. I doubt most men will ask their wives to do something evil, but there are some gray areas so hopefully this chapter will clear things up. They also believe that a wife should not submit only when a husband asks his wife to do something evil. However, many wives easily "get into the habit of always doubting his judgments and of second guessing him. They let him 'lead' when they think he is right, effectively reversing the male/female roles. When is it appropriate for a wife to refuse to obey her husband? Is there a point at which she is no longer under his authority? Yes, but not as soon or as often as most women suppose."*

Women are commanded to be subject to their husbands in everything, so make sure you are obeying your husband in everything. God has commanded you to do this. However, if he asks you to watch porn with him or commit a crime, you need to refuse since these are evil. Pearl also adds that anal sex is unnatural and a wife doesn't have to obey her husband in this area either, which I agree with.

"Wives are to obey unreasonable and surly husbands, for they retain the headship until they cross the bright red line of criminal acts or imposing behavior on the family, bringing God or government to intervene."* Just as we are taught in 1 Peter 2 about how much Christ suffered for us, the apostle Peter makes it clear in 1 Peter 3:1 that wives may also suffer under disobedient husbands. I have mentored women with disobedient husbands and it is very difficult. It causes a lot of suffering. Most in our culture scream "divorce him" but this is not God's way. "Jesus did not live his life in ease for his own pleasure. He lived and suffered for the glory that was to follow. You were created to give glory to God. When God puts you in subjection to a man whom he knows is going to cause you to suffer, it is with the understanding that you are obeying God by enduring the wrongful suffering."*

We have a woman in the chat room who is truly suffering under a disobedient husband. All of us stand in awe of her strength and determination to fight for her marriage and her husband's soul. She is witnessing to many in the chat room of what it looks like to be married to a disobedient husband, how difficult it is, and how God receives so much glory from it as she stands strong in the Lord and in His mighty power flowing through her. She is continually heaping burning coals of love upon his head while he stands in amazement of her faithfulness to him. She counts her blessings along the way and lives knowing that God has it all under control as she lives in obedience to Him while praying for her husband's soul. 

The Pearls talk about a few instances where a wife should not obey her husband as in wanting a son to participate in homosexual acts {call the authorities}, cross dressing {refuse and pray for his soul}, steal things {call authorities}, false tax returns {be careful not to be your husband's conscience in this area if it is over not reporting "a little cash money"}, and finally, if an unbelieving husband doesn't want his wife to go to church. In this case, Debi tells her to stay home and minister to her husband. Many women think this is a terrible idea but a woman in the chat room has been doing this, even though she wanted to go to church badly. She just recently told us that her husband wants to go back to church! We all love hearing of women winning their disobedient husbands back to them and to the Lord by being in submission to their husbands with godly behavior. However, if you are living with a man that is physically abusing you, call the authorities. I have an entire post on women being abusive relationships.

If you're not sure about whether to obey or not, ask an older, godly woman for her advice but usually it's fairly easy to distinguish what is truly evil and what is not. Let the word "evil" make the decision for you. Don't try to take the leadership role away from your husband even if he is a disobedient husband. The Lord may use your subjection to him to win him. The Lord works in very mysterious and wonderful ways!

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands;
 that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word 
be won by the conversation of the wives.
1 Peter 3:1

*Quotes from the book.