Have you ever covered for your husband’s sin? Has he ever asked you to do something wrong, or forbidden you from doing something that might be right?
And just so you know, he can’t forbid. He’s also not supposed to boss you around. He might think he can.
But lots of people think they can do all sorts of things – but that doesn’t make them right, either.
While your husband IS responsible for your family (check Genesis 3), he’s supposed to serve, lay down his life-style, not dominate and oppress.
But have you been taught that the phrase, “in all things” as in, “a wife must submit to her husband in all things” in Ephesians 5:24 means ALL things… even if he’s sinning?
Do you think it should? What do you do? Submit?
Maybe yes? Maybe no?
I confess, I’ve been taught “all things” means 100% of things. I’ve also been taught if it isn’t sin, then no. UGH. What’s a god-fearing girl to do? Wait a minute… let’s just check the Word…
Maybe YES – Think Sarah. She submitted to Abraham’s act of self-protection and didn’t rat him out to King Abimelech when Abraham told him she was his sister, and she was taken into the King’s harem. God protected her husband and her. Abraham even received a nice in-your-face lecture about his sin from the King.
Maybe NO – Think Sapphira. She lied in agreement with her husband about how much money they had to give. God struck her husband and her dead.
Maybe NO – Think Abigail. She knew Nabal had no intentions of being hospitable to David, so she clearly took matters into her own hands. She ended up David’s wife. Nabal died.
So what’s a girl to do? How do you know what is right?
The answer is found in the fact that Sarah is heralded a few times in the New Testament as being a woman of great faith.
The answer is not, however, in doing what she did – but rather looking at the source of her honor – her great faith.
She trusted God.
With her very life.
Some commentators suggest that the reason she didn’t “stand up for herself and the truth” when Abraham lied and let her be taken into harems of other powerful men, is that at first she didn’t know that the child would come through her line – and because she came from a warring people, she was tough, strong, and willing to lay down her life to protect Abraham’s so the nation could be born from him.
The second time Abraham did this, however, she had been told that it would be her that would become pregnant.
So she had to really trust God in the face of MUCH risk.
So how do WE know what He wants us to do?
Be like Sarah – women of great faith, who spend time with Him daily, listening, praying, receiving, and obeying.
When He tells us to overlook an insult?
Be brave, like Sarah, putting our faith in God alone. We know that even if God doesn’t protect us the way we thought He might (Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego-style) He means it for our good.
And when He tells us to confront our husband’s sin?
Read Matthew 18.
Know it will be as hard as overlooking it can be.
And how you go about dealing with it makes all the difference in the world.
Should we be communicate how wrong he is and how right we are?
How about being contemptuous?
NO. At the core of the verses in the bible, “a wife must respect her husband,” and “a wife must submit to her husband,” is first, submission to Christ. That means we need to respond in love instead of being critical (sin of judgment) or defensive (focused on self). When both husband and wife are mature believers, you see a relationship built on mutual respect, mutual deference, and mutual submission, but only because they are trying to work out what God would have them do – they are both following Christ first. And even within this “mutual” experience, God still holds your husband accountable first for your family.
And there will always be men who need to lord authority over anyone – including their wives. These are the “because I said so” employers, parents, spouses, and they exist irrelevant of gender.
But here’s the thing, just like the last way that you’d want to tell your husband that his timing is off when he wants to play and you’re on your way out the door, late for a meeting, is “You can’t be serious! Is that ALL you ever think about?”
He can hear so much more if we’ll but say instead, “Ooooh… that IS a good idea… you keep that thought – I’ll be home at 5pm, and we’ll sneak something in before the kids get home from basketball…” and out the door you can go. Or maybe you ditch your meeting. (Seriously, sometimes there are just more important things – not sure, ask Him! :))
But understand this: If you want a husband that is engaged in his family, you have to be encouraging. If you wait until things are perfect to show any appreciation, or wait until he does something BIG to show affirmation, you’re going to create a condition in him called LEARNED HELPLESSNESS. If you nag, criticize, complain and with hold the encouragement, you will create an environment where he stops trying. He will feel like nothing he does is ever good enough anyway, so why bother.
Affirm him for the small things. Little things done well over time result in a life changed. Understand that whatever you pay attention to grows.
Grow the right stuff in your family.
And learn to serve as Christ, loving your husband as your closest brother well. THAT is what this journey is about.
Hope you’ll subscribe to the blog over on the sidebar to the right and stick it out as we walk through The Respect Dare, remembering that perseverance grows mature faith.
Love to you,