There was a facebook thread a bit ago about Christian wives and whether they had to “obey” their husbands or not. I looked in Scripture and couldn’t find where wives are told to obey. Submit, yes, but that’s not necessarily the same as obey. Someone asked me for clarification, so I thought I’d document my view point. Any thoughts?
Obedience — Doing what is asked. A child obeys for no other reason that it’s mom or dad who say to do something. Unquestioning obedience. Parent/child. Slave/master. No right to say no.
Submitting — Letting someone else’s preferences or priorities dictate actions. A wife may do what her husband asks, but she doesn’t have to. Example: He asks her to rob a grocery store, she doesn’t have to. A child wouldn’t have the right to say no (while still under the authority of a parent – which changes as the child grows older and accepts responsibility for herself).
Husband: “Wife, can you make chili for supper? I like that.” Wife makes chili because whatever he says, goes. No choice in the matter.
Husband: “Wife, can you make chili for supper? I like that.” Wife makes chili because it makes her husband happy and supports the goals of her family. OR the wife may say no because she knows he’s asking her to make chili which their dinner guests are allergic to. She doesn’t have to do whatever he says, but she can.
One thing was taught to us in our pre-marriage counseling that it’s really only submission if you don’t want to do it.
Option 1: Jeff & I both want to invest in a Roth IRA, so we do. This isn’t submission on my part. I didn’t submit. We just agreed on something and did it.
Option 2: Jeff wants to invest in a Roth IRA, but I don’t. If after talking about it, Jeff decides that we should and I write the check, then its submission.
Option 3: Jeff wants to invest in a Roth IRA, but I don’t. If after talking about it, Jeff decides that we should and I refuse to write the check, then I’m not submitting.
Before the Lord, a wife can’t be found guilty of not obeying because she isn’t commanded to.
Before the Lord, a wife can be found guilty of not submitting because she is commanded to do that. I’ll also be judged on how well I submit. Do I submit to my husband in action only, but not in attitude? Meaning do I write the check for the Roth IRA, but grumble and complain? I submitted, but didn’t submit well.
Sometimes I do this well, sometimes I don’t. But I can tell you that every time I don’t submit well, I’ve always (eventually) regretted it!