Tag Archives: husband

What does it mean for a wife to submit to her husband?

The answer you receive will depend on who you ask. Evangelical Christians living in the United States generally fall into two camps when it comes to biblical gender roles: Egalitarians and complementarians.

Both egalitarians and complementarians believe in submission; however, each group defines submission differently. Egalitarians believe that biblical submission means mutual submission. Husband and wife are to lovingly and respectfully defer to one another. They cite Ephesians 5:21 (nlt) as the key verse: “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) is an organization that represents the main tenets of Christian egalitarianism.

Complementarians believe that biblical submission means that a woman should have the disposition and inclination to yield to her husband’s leadership and guidance.  They disagree with the egalitarians’ reading of Ephesians 5:21–33. The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) represents the basic beliefs of complementarians.

Within these two camps, there is no consensus on the specifics of gender and gender roles. Subtleties, differences, and even sharp disagreements exist even among those within the same camp. Again, the answer to your question depends on who you ask within these groups.

If you’re married, a good first step is to have a conversation with your spouse. What do each of you think about submission within a marriage relationship? Have you both studied Scripture and the primary resources written by both egalitarians and complementarians? We cannot make a well-informed decision if we haven’t studied the grounds for each view ourselves.

My personal belief is that husbands and wives ought to submit to one another with the utmost love and respect. Each of us is to ask God for the ability to selflessly love the other with a 1 Corinthians 13 type of love. If a wife has gifts in an area that a husband does not have, he should intelligently submit to her gifting and expertise, and vice versa. For example, some husbands who have gifts of hospitality are married to women who have gifts of teaching Scripture. Each should freely practice his or her gift as unto the Lord.

When there is a disagreement, I do not think a wife must automatically acquiesce to her husband just because he is a man. They need to work through it, and if they cannot, they should seek outside counseling that takes both of their views into consideration.

There are equally lovely, intelligent, orthodox, and committed Christ-followers who have the highest view of Scripture who disagree on this issue. Both complementarians and egalitarians make ample use of Scripture to support their positions. Consequently, we cannot demonize our brothers and sisters who hold different views.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (33 votes, average: 3.73 out of 5)
Loading...

Will We Still be Married in Heaven?

Jesus made it clear that no one will be married in heaven: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30 NIV).

But this doesn’t mean that we won’t know each other or will cease cherishing our earthly relationship. The rich man recognized Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, even though he was in a different place and separated by a “great gulf” (Luke 16:19-31 NKJV). The disciples recognized Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration, even though these two men had lived many centuries before (Matthew 17:1-5). Finally, we recall the striking promise made by our Lord to the repentant thief in Luke 23:43, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise” (NIV).

The apostle Paul said we will have more knowledge in heaven than we have now (1 Corinthians 13:12). This implies that we will know and recognize people more fully in heaven than here on earth. He also said it was “far better” to depart and to be with Christ than to remain in the body on earth (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:22-23).

In all of these passages, heaven is depicted as a place of greater experience than we now know on earth and a place where we will have more knowledge and understanding. This would lead us to believe that we will recognize other members of our family, even though we will not live in family units. Instead, all believers in this age will be united in the bride of Christ and in fellowship with our Savior as the heavenly Bridegroom (Ephesians 5:22-33; Revelation 19:7,9).

Scripture leads us to believe that we will enjoy such a state of wonderful intimacy with our glorified brothers and sisters that there will no longer be a need for the exclusive relationships that protect us from loneliness and despair in a fallen world. This does not mean, of course, that we will not know and share a perfect love with those with whom we have been especially intimate in our earthly lives. However, all of the joys and ecstasy of marital and family love will be far surpassed by the joys of perfect intimacy and trust in heaven.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 3.45 out of 5)
Loading...

What’s the Difference Between Normal Marital Conflict and Abuse?

Every marriage experiences some degree of conflict. Most marriages experience strong differences of opinion. Arguments are not uncommon. Spouses are occasionally grumpy and unkind to each other. Spouses lose their tempers and can sometimes blow up at each other. Everyone is capable of being hypercritical or falsely accusing his or her mate. Small skirmishes for control over a particular issue can break out from time to time. These are all a part of the normal tension and conflict that inevitably arise when an imperfect man and woman join their lives together in a marital relationship.

Marital abuse, whether or not it involves physical violence, is very different. One key difference is that marital abuse is a one-sided, oppressive relationship where one spouse establishes a pattern of unhealthy control. Even though there might seem to be times of peace and affection, these good times linger in the shadows of the subtle or not so subtle controlling tactics an abusive mate uses for the purpose of getting his or her own way.

For example, an abusive spouse may prevent his (or her) partner from seeing family members, going out with friends, or going back to college. He may try to regulate the people his spouse talks to, where his spouse goes, or how and when his spouse spends money. He may demand all of his mate’s attention. He may put his spouse on an irrational guilt trip for talking to or doing things with other people. He may consider his spouse’s needs as an infringement on or a betrayal of his own needs. He may act insanely jealous and falsely accuse his partner of cheating on him. He may constantly monitor and check up on the whereabouts of his spouse. Many are known to lash out and belittle their spouse when they don’t get their own way or when they feel betrayed or abandoned. Others threaten to divorce or to physically hurt their spouse or destroy a cherished possession, all in an effort to intimidate and punish their mate.

While normal marital conflict can at times seem far worse than what it really is, it tends to lessen in time because of the loving foundation of the relationship—“love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). That important foundation is painfully missing in a marriage marked by abuse. Because of the extreme levels of selfishness at work in the heart of the abusive spouse, marital abuse, if not confronted, will only escalate and get worse over time.

Another important difference is that normal marital conflict and marital abuse require different levels of intervention. While some married couples who experience normal conflict may require help from an objective and wise third party, many can eventually work through their differences by themselves within an atmosphere of mutual love, consideration, and forgiveness. Marital abuse, however, is a different story. Due to safety concerns and an abuser’s excessive self-focus and chronic complaints of being a victim, addressing marital abuse and restoring the relationship is a much more difficult and complicated process. It requires outside help from those who can provide guidance, support, and protection for an abused spouse as the abuser is confronted and held accountable.

While most abusive spouses will insist on joint-marital counseling once their pattern of domination and control is exposed, this is the last place to begin addressing marital abuse. For his or her own reasons, neither spouse is ready for the kind of honest and open conversation that is needed for marital counseling to be beneficial. Almost without exception, abusive spouses will derail the counseling process by trying to micromanage it. And most are far from being able to discuss their pattern of control without acting like a victim. On the other side, abused spouses will not feel safe enough to openly share their true thoughts and concerns, let alone admit to any faults they may have. They are understandably afraid that their partners will shut them down, twist their words, or later make them pay. Years of being controlled have also taught an abused spouse to see things mostly through the eyes of her (or his) spouse in order to avoid doing something “wrong.” Marriage counseling will not be beneficial until abused spouses recover the ability to think for themselves and the freedom to show up as a person in the relationship.

Abusive spouses who are truly serious about stopping their pattern of domestic abuse will agree to pursue a path of individual counseling (separate from their spouse). Their individual counseling is designed to increase their awareness and insight into how they try to control their spouse, the damage it has caused to their marital relationship, and why they feel such a deep and pressing need to dominate their partner and maintain a victim mentality. Joint-marital counseling is only possible once abusers stop playing the victim in the marriage, end all of their excuses, and consistently own up to their patterns of control and the harm it has caused. Only then are they ready to have honest conversations with their spouses and to continue their own journey of working through and finding healing and freedom from their own personal wounds and insecurities.

To read more about physical and non-physical abuse in marriage and what can be done to address it, please feel free to order our booklets When Violence Comes Home , When Words Hurt, and When Power Is Misused.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (17 votes, average: 3.53 out of 5)
Loading...

How Can My Family Be Happier?  

It’s important to understand that no family is 100 percent happy all the time. We all have our particular struggles and problems, which cause stress and anxiety for ourselves and our family members. This is part of living in a broken world. However, families can benefit from realizing that biblical love can make a happier, more content and healthy family.

Love is doing what is in the best interest of others. It is doing good for others, while never compromising or disrespecting the worth of another. Where there is love, there is mutual freedom of expression, choice, healthy boundaries, friendliness, and respect, which are necessary for the happiest of homes.

Every family member has significance and value. Children should respect and obey their parents (Ephesians 6:3-4; Proverbs 3:11-12), and parents should regard their children with high esteem (Psalm 127:3). Discipline should be done in a way that respects the child and honors them. Otherwise, children can grow to be angry (Ephesians 6:4).

A husband and a wife need to model love and respect by how they treat one another. They should seek to meet each other’s needs, without losing sight of their own needs (Philippians 2:4). They work with, not against, one another. They’re free to be honest with each other and do kind favors for the other. They love each other as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:2, 25).

A husband and a wife, as spouses and parents, are in a key position to set the tone of their homes. They have the ability to either create an atmosphere of power, control, fear, and hostility, or they can set the stage for a safe, loving, cooperative, and respectful home.

A happy home is not problem-free. But it is one where, for the most part, family members enjoy one another, cooperate with each other, and have a sense of camaraderie. And it’s where mutual respect between all family members guides behavior and interactions. In a happy, healthy home, love is the rule, not the exception.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

Does a Wife Whose Husband Views Pornography Have Grounds for Divorce?

Does Matthew 5:27-28 give a wife who finds that her husband views pornography grounds to seek a divorce?

Only God understands the pain that many women feel when they discover that their husbands are looking at pornography. Many wives are hurt by this discovery. They become angry and filled with personal doubts.

Women in this situation often find themselves on a difficult road, especially if there has been a pattern and history to their husband’s involvement. Betrayal of the marital trust cuts deep into a woman’s soul, and many have found that it takes time to learn to trust again.

Some have had husbands who slowly re-earned trust by doing whatever it takes to bring an end to the practice, by not blaming their wives for their own wrongs, and by patiently accepting responsibility for the emotional pain and struggles with trust they’ve created for their wives.

It’s never easy for a wife to walk this road. While some are committed to stay married and work through the pain and mistrust, others take a different course by appealing to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:27-28 , citing them as grounds to seek a divorce. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Their contention is understandable. Since their husbands sexually lusted over women while looking at pornography, then they are guilty of the sin of adultery. And because adultery is grounds for divorce ( Matthew 19:9 ), they believe they have grounds to seek a divorce.

They may have a case — depending on the severity and extent of their husband’s problem. A husband who is into severe forms of pornography such as pedophilia or sadomasochism has likely sunken into such a deep level of perversion that it causes just as much devastation as physical adultery. Of course, a husband who refuses to give up his affair with any form of pornography is blatantly betraying his covenant with his wife. Generally speaking, it is only a matter of time before he seeks to act out on the lust he’s been cultivating in his heart through pornography. In such cases, a wife has a basis to appeal to the words of Jesus as grounds for divorce too.

Realistically, however, if Jesus meant to imply that sexually lustful thoughts were grounds for divorce in every case, then every husband could be divorced on that basis. What husband can say that his mind has never wandered into sexual lust of some kind. As we try to understand the implications of Jesus’ words, we must remember the context in which Jesus spoke about sexual lust and adultery. Jesus’ main point wasn’t to give a wife wholesale grounds for divorce. He made the link between lust and adultery primarily to make the point that sin is more than mere behavior: it is also a matter of the heart.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (41 votes, average: 3.44 out of 5)
Loading...