- Each person, male or female, husband or wife, will answer to God for his/her individual life. One will not answer for another.
- As I wrote in an earlier post, a goal of a godly marriage should be a desire; my attainable goal must be to be a godly wife because that doesn't depend on someone else to achieve.
- My mate's choices are his alone. He will answer and be responsible, as I will for mine.
- Each in the marriage must respect himself/herself and be responsible. Then show respect to the other.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Guarantee: Wife Submissive; Husband Stays
The next guarantee to address: If I'm a submissive wife, my husband will never leave.
This was a very popular belief and teaching in certain Christian circles a few years back. I was a believer and a teacher of this so-called truth; I don't think I did, and I hope I didn't present it as a guarantee. But I realize how it could have been heard and could have easily been taken as God's promise or God's guarantee.
I could write volumes of examples of how I began to question what I was reading and interpreting from scripture. My earliest remembrance of a hard-to-answer counseling question was back in the seventies when two women came to my home and said their husbands were insisting they go to wife-swapping parties, which was the craze at the time. All four were believers and the husbands were demanding submission. That was a hard one!
Another example that stands out was when a youth minister's wife from another church came to my home for counseling. She threw three seminar notebooks on my dining room table, a blue one, a red one, and a brown one. I had attended each of those seminars. This young mother's youth minister husband had just run away with one of the girls in the youth group. This wife/mother yelled at me that she had done everything those notebooks had told her to do and asked how could this happen. This also was a very hard one!
Does the Bible say that if I as a wife am submissive that my husband will be faithful to me and never leave me for another woman?
The short answer is no.
The long answer is hard to concisely state. Perhaps summarizing some truths I've learned along the way will help convey my changed view of what the Bible is saying:
Reality check: I am told in scripture, Ephesians 5:33, to respect or reverence my husband. What I've learned is that I cannot give what I do not have. I must first respect myself before I can give respect. That one principle of life is a changer. If a person learns to respect himself/herself even as God respects their person, thought patterns and behavior will almost always change. Respect for myself and seeing myself as God sees me enables me to live in grace and truth with a partner, respecting and loving him.
Nowhere in scripture can one find a guarantee that if a wife is submissive, her husband will never leave.
Husbands leave. Wives leave. No guarantees do we have about our marriage partner.
Guarantees we do have: As a believer I know God loves me and He will never leave me. Hebrews 13:5, Amplified: …for He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let [you] down, [relax My hold on you].–Assuredly not!