How to answer - Telling your wife who to vote for

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Pergamum, Dec 19, 2011.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Okay, how to answer this one:

    Wives are to submit. US laws say a wife has one vote as well as her husband.

    Wives are to obey their husbands - unless they are commanded to do something immoral. Presidential elections invovle many moral/philosophical/religious issues.

    What if someone insists on telling their wife who to vote for, or forbids their wife from cancelling out their vote due to voting for a different person?

    What if a wife insists on voting in a way opposing her husband?

    What advice would you give such a couple?

    ---------- Post added at 11:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:44 AM ----------

    p.s. a follow-p question: Should women have been given the vote in the first place?
  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    But you are the head of decision-making. Steering one's home in a godly direction is your duty. Voting for an abortion-supporter could be seen as sin.

    You might not have a problem with your wife voting differently than you - but should you? Ever?
  3. Stargazer65

    Stargazer65 Puritan Board Freshman


    Seek to lead her in a Godly and respectful way towards making a right choice. After that, what she does I would consider it on her own conscience.

  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    How would the Puritans have responded to the idea that a wife has just as much say in choosing their governmental leaders as them?
  5. Tim

    Tim Puritan Board Graduate

    Andres, brother, this is not the way to start off this thread. Do you see how you have unfairly taken to extreme the question in the OP?
  6. Douglas P.

    Douglas P. Puritan Board Freshman

    For the most part my wife and I don't vote (we believe our political system is so evil and ungodly, non-participation often says more than participation). But in the incidents where we have voted, our votes have been the same. However, were she to want to vote a separate way as I or just vote while I'm convicted to abstain, I would ask for a godly rationale as to why. However, I think it would speak loudly to our Christian witness if we as a household acted in the same accord.

    As for woman voting; I think it would serve the nation best to go back to one vote per land-owning/tax-paying household, man or woman. That everyone 18+ gets a vote, and that households can be split on issues such as these gives evidence to the ungodly individualism that is destroying our once great nation.
  7. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Well I guess I wasn't considering this. I agree it would be sin. My wife would never vote that way and that's one of many reason why I married her. So I guess the issue then becomes if your wife supports abortion, it seems one has a bigger issue than who she will vote for.

    ---------- Post added at 06:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:23 AM ----------

    Yes, I read the OP's question in haste, so I failed to see that Perg mentioned votes that have moral/religious implications so in those cases it would be a much bigger issue. I deleted my previous post. Thank you for pointing it out.
  8. FCC

    FCC Puritan Board Freshman

    My wife doesn't vote in either civil or church elections. This is a conviction we arrived at after much prayer, bible study and searching through history. Acts 1:15-26 describes the voting procedure followed in the early church and it appears that Peter addresesed only the "men and brethren" (v. 16) when beginning the process. I, personally, refrain from voting for any candidate who doesn't support a biblical view of government and the law. This is course precludes my voting for any current candidates that I am aware of.

    I do discuss the issues with my wife and take into account her opinion on the matters at hand. I will vote on changes in the law and statutory issues, which means that has the head of my household I have a duty to represent everyone in that household. I am not a tyrant who only looks out for himself, but my duty lies in taking care of my family. Thus the discussion with my wife. It has helped to bring us together in many ways and gives us the ability to talk about these matters together!
  9. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    Funny you mention this. My wife has maintained that the voting record of most women has caused her embarrassment.
  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    If all Christian families followed your example it would mean that pagan families with two voting parties would have twice the pull in society if all believing wives abstained.

    ---------- Post added at 01:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:55 PM ----------

    So in 21st-Century America, how would you gently answer the question in the OP in a way that does not heap needless offense on one's self if one (a) desires to control the behavior of one's wife, even in voting, and (b) if one doesn't even think non-land-owning women should vote anyway.
  11. moral necessity

    moral necessity Puritan Board Junior

    Good call! Since about half of the US do not pay taxes, and a high percentage are on welfare, this would eliminate them voting themselves more money.

  12. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    I shudder at what kind of marriage it would be where (1) the husband "tells" his wife how to cast her vote and (2) that the wife would refuse. All around it seems like a messed up situation.

    Fundamentally, I see telling someone how to vote - in the sense of ordering or commanding as opposed to commending for their consideration - as an illegitimate attempt at usurping their conscience. I am deeply convinced that appealing to "wives submit to your husbands" in this case - as if this verse gives a husband carte blanche permission to do just about anything - reflects a sophomoric understanding of a whole bunch of issues, from headship, submission, conscience in regards to the morality of voting in general and the perceived morality of a particular vote, etc.

    What I've done is simply teach my wife. I advocate my views. I criticize opposing views. We dialogue. Do we agree on every little thing? No. But I've convinced her on enough that I can comfortably say that she has claimed personal ownership of the views I maintain.
  13. moral necessity

    moral necessity Puritan Board Junior

    In response to the OP, if someone's wife were contrary about the issue of voting, I'd remind them that not everything is a hill to die on.

  14. FenderPriest

    FenderPriest Puritan Board Junior

    I'm largely with Ben here. Compelling one's wife in a matter like this seems to go against the nature of love, which is to allure the will towards right actions. Moreover, it would indicate a deeper issue than a mere vote if a marriage were seriously divided in their social and ethical convictions. At that point, why strain out the grain of voting when the camel of marital disharmony and the thicket of sins therein? As for whether women should vote, I hardly see why they should be barred from it, but I guess that's a different discussion. In the constraints given, it seems gracious counselling needs to be the focus where love for the good things of the Lord is appealing, alluring, and satisfying in the matter of social and ethical voting for both husbands and wives.
  15. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    We are to restrain sin, right? If your wife voted pro-choice, or supported planned parenthood or abortion, this would be the support of sin, and thus also be considered sin). As the captain of your ship, would you tolerate such sin if you had the power to restrain it?

    ---------- Post added at 02:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:24 PM ----------

    Do you think you are a child of the age in which you live, and are merely reflecting 21st-Century Western ideals (which seem relatively new in the history of the world).
  16. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor


    You don't have the power to restrain it. If your wife is fine with killing babies do you really think she cares if you "command" her to vote for someone else?

    That aside, I know plenty of folks who (using a rationale that I find truly convoluted) think that abortion is not as evil as some of the things for which conservatives stand. These people think they're making the morally preferable choice and think that voting to let "poor people die from lack of medical care" is worse than "aborting a fetus."
  17. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    I would hope that one would be smart enough in the selection of a spouse so as to get a husband/wife with whom politics will not be a serious problem.
  18. FCC

    FCC Puritan Board Freshman

    In answer to this, which has been presented to us many, many times, we put our trust in the Lord. "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help." Psalm 146:3 (along with multitudes of other verses exhorting us to trust in the Lord and not in man) This can be extremely difficult at times, given the current state of our nation, yet it is biblical counsel none the less. I frequently struggle with the entire trust in the Lord issue, but in the end, it is God in whom I trust not the vote! As a side issue, many Christians do not vote the way I do anyway, so I would not gain anything by having my wife vote.

    I am not sure how to answer the second question. It is nearly impossible to not cause offense when dealing wtih this topic, as we have learned. When dealing with your wife I think it is important to teach and instruct meekly and gently, with much prayer and much trust in the Scriptural commands of the duties of wives and husbands. If you truly desire obedience and believe that non-land owning women should not vote then stand on your principles and be faithful. Be prepared to give an answer to those who are seeking the truth and above all stand!
  19. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    Actually, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband about the subject of womens' rights in the 18th Century. The suffrage movement was in full swing by the mid 19th Century. Presently most countries that allow voting also allow women to vote. So it is neither a "21st Century" ideal nor a strictly Western phenomenon.

    If you want to put it your way, the idea of treating one's wife as a friend and equal is relatively new, even in the "Christian" world.

    But as a matter of principle - not EVERYTHING about our modern American culture is worse than in previous or foreign cultures.
  20. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    Using legitimate means does not mean NOT trusting the Lord. Plus, wasting resources and exercising poor stewardship is often to be equated with sin.

    But, thanks for your thoughts.

    ---------- Post added at 02:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:43 PM ----------

    Superiors and subordinates can also be friends. And equal in worth does not mean equal power in decision-making.

    Was the early church less Biblical on the roles of husbands and wives than 21st-Century American culture?
  21. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    Why is the assumption being made that it is sin to vote for someone who is pro-choice? Frankly, I don't see how you can argue that it is absolutely sinful to vote for a particular candidate.

    That said, I am a strong proponent of women's suffrage. I don't tell my wife how to vote, not would I want to. As others have said, my hope is that my wife understands and agrees with my political leanings and will vote in a similar way. If she were to vote differently, that is her choice, and I don't see submission factoring into it.
  22. FCC

    FCC Puritan Board Freshman

    Define legitimate. Is it legitimate to sin by voting for a candidate who promotes anti-biblical theories and practices? Is it legitimate to "force" someone to vote in a way that does not adhere to their consience? Trusting in the Lord is not escapism as it is so frequently twisted to mean. I see voting as legitimate, if it is done according to valid biblical principles and illegitimate if it is not. I also fail to see how it is a matter of poor stewardship. Is trusting in the Lord poor stewardship at any time, especially when your only other course of action is to violate biblical principle or to violate your spouses conscience? I am very involved in local politics, from writing letters to the editor, to interacting with local political leaders and a variety of other ways. This is not poor stewardship, it is taking an active role in the polictical realm, regardless of whether I vote or not. I hope that you examine the issue biblically and with much prayer. These kind of responses are lightly thrown around as a way to avoid the deeper issues involved, especially when those conflict with our current view of things.
  23. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    Some women in the New Testament were heads of their own households (as Lydia). I would think that they should be given a vote? I think this is like everything else in marriage. If a man leads by controlling, he will probably order his wife how to vote. If a man leads by going before, and taking care to make sure his wife is able to follow, he will help his wife know how to vote, at least with regard to major areas of conscience (if they were not already agreed on those to begin with). In either case, if the wife is not meek and does not wish to please her husband, there is not much the man can do, short of locking her in her room and depriving her of her Bugs Bunny cartoons etc.

    Daniel, the only way I could see empowering someone who is pro-choice to make decisions for me as a non-sinful thing to do is if they will not be making any decisions involving the welfare of the unborn. The virtuous woman stretches forth her hands to the poor and needy. I believe women voters in our society should have a special concern, by all rights of their own interests and sphere and of the compassion which characterises this Proverbs woman in her more societally prominent place, for the rights of the unborn.
  24. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Thanks Heidi.

    It is so ironic that women often lead the pro-choice movements when their very natures ought to cry out against it.

    P.s.: Being deprived of Bug Bunny is, indeed, an awful fate to ponder.
  25. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Very few people understand the issue of abortion well enough to use it as a litmus test of a candidate. My facebook has been full of unusually ignorant people, even Reformed Christians blasting Ron Paul over the issue. Just yesterday an article made the rounds about some stupid "pledge" against abortion that and angry, irrational Michelle Bachmann and a serial adulterer Newt Gingrich signed, but Paul wouldn't. So, unless you've spent the years and sweat studying the issue best to focus on other things (since a candidate really doesn't have that much power to change abortion laws in any event, right?)

    We're in Babylon, and we're to seek the peace of the city. Voting helps. Having your wife stay home for some barely understood principle doesn't help.

    As to the question, one of the few things I got right in my 23 years of marriage was on that issue. You get the info provided, study it together and come to an agreement and mark your votes in advance on the sample ballot, then vote as a family unit.
  26. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    Yes, maybe the question of pro-choice or voting pro-choice = sin is a topic for anther OP.

    But I like your idea of pre-voting discussions and voting as a family unit.
  27. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    Yes Pergs, that is a chilling irony. If our right to vote proves to be inextricable from the idea that women can only be ontologically equal with men by inhabiting a man's role, and losing all touch with the interests which should be most fiercely dear to them, then I'm all for our not voting. It only works out to society's advantage to have women voting if we are speaking in keeping with, and not divorced from, the issues of our smaller but very important sphere.

    Unfortunately value voters are often taken advantage of in our system. But that is not problem unique to women value voters.
  28. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    1) Husband is head of the home
    2) This means that He shall have authority over her to teach and discipline her by God's Word
    3) Husband can't force wife how to vote
    4) Husband should guide his wife in what is wise, and call her to vote for the 'right' person
    5) "Wives should submit in everything to their husbands"
  29. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    ---------- Post added at 03:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:23 PM ----------

    Can you clarify point 3?

    He can say, "You vote for Candidate A" or "You are not allowed to vote for Candidate B."

    A husband can no more force his wife to vote in a certain way than he can get her to obey him in certain other matters, unless physical persuasion were used.

    But a husband can order and demand things.

    When should a husband order and demand things?

    When sin is involved and major moral decision-making takes place?
  30. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    The answer is no if it's a candidate for Elder in your church. The answer is yes if it's for political office, or who will fill the position of head of the chemistry department at the local university.

    That is, if the question you asked wasn't loaded by adding "to sin by" in the above quote :)
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