How to answer - Telling your wife who to vote for

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sdesocio

Puritan Board Freshman
Why is submission the major defining paradigm so often for men and women. I'm a complimentarian, and if nec. my wife will submit to a family decision I make. But as a wise pastor once pointed out to me: If you've got a Godly wife but have to keep pulling the submission card out, the problem is just as likely with you as it is with your wife...
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
If you go back to land-owning rules, then many clergy and military families are out...including this one. That said, I generally do the election research in our household and present the list to Tim for review. :)
 

Elizabeth

Puritan Board Sophomore
I also do the research, and present it to hubby(he just hasn't the time to delve deeply into issues) and we discuss. We've never not agreed when casting our votes. Next year, he's considering not voting, due to the candidates. I'll go along with that without a bit of fuss.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
Why is submission the major defining paradigm so often for men and women. I'm a complimentarian, and if nec. my wife will submit to a family decision I make. But as a wise pastor once pointed out to me: If you've got a Godly wife but have to keep pulling the submission card out, the problem is just as likely with you as it is with your wife...
A very good comment. Wives and husbands should, for the most part, agree on such things. I am not yet married, but am I right in this?
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Same with us, Anna and Elizabeth. She did what you two do and in 23 years there was never any fuss. We'd discuss it and in the rare instances I disagreed with her take on things I went over things with her rationally and while I'd sometimes be persuaded by her opinion the final choice was mine. As in maybe once out of 500 or so times :) and she didn't mind.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
Same with us, Anna and Elizabeth. She did what you two do and in 23 years there was never any fuss. We'd discuss it and in the rare instances I disagreed with her take on things I went over things with her rationally and while I'd sometimes be persuaded by her opinion the final choice was mine. As in maybe once out of 500 or so times :) and she didn't mind.
Tim, out of curiosity, in light of how things ended up... is it possible that internally she actually did in fact mind?
 

JoannaV

Puritan Board Sophomore
I generally do a little research for my husband, and tell him my thinking, but after that it is his decision. If he for some reason went crazy and ordered me to vote I think I would have to decline, as that would be illegal and potentially cause me to be deported :B We don't always agree politically, as our line of reasoning sometimes differs, but we agree on the basic principles and it really isn't a problem.

As for your actual question. The actual advice you would give such a couple would depend on the individual situation. Often it seems that couples get mixed up; that is, the husband says "shouldn't my wife submit" and the wife says "shouldn't my husband love"...but there is a limited extent to which that is worthwhile thinking about.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Tim, out of curiosity, in light of how things ended up... is it possible that internally she actually did in fact mind?
No, but thanks for your godly concern.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Just my thought but husbands should not be telling their wives to do anything, whatsoever. The bible commands wives to submit, not husbands to make sure their wives submit. Those are two different things. Husbands are commanded to love their wives not make sure they submit, that is between them and God.
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
Just my thought but husbands should not be telling their wives to do anything, whatsoever. The bible commands wives to submit, not husbands to make sure their wives submit. Those are two different things. Husbands are commanded to love their wives not make sure they submit, that is between them and God.
How is she going to submit if the husband does not instruct her? If my employer asks me to make 10 sandwiches for an order, I submit to him. If he never tells me to make any sandwiches, how will I know to make them?
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Interesting thread. For years, my husband could not vote due to his citizenship status. Even so, we talked about it, and I voted. Now that he is an American citizen, he makes his own choices, but we do discuss and rarely disagree.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Just my thought but husbands should not be telling their wives to do anything, whatsoever. The bible commands wives to submit, not husbands to make sure their wives submit. Those are two different things. Husbands are commanded to love their wives not make sure they submit, that is between them and God.
How is she going to submit if the husband does not instruct her? If my employer asks me to make 10 sandwiches for an order, I submit to him. If he never tells me to make any sandwiches, how will I know to make them?
If we are to love our wives we are to encourage them to do good. If submitting is a good work that wives are to do, then we are to give instruction on how wives are to submit (i.e. we are to love them, by encouraging them to do the good work of submtting)...and that is to be considered love. If we are to love in specific ways, then it appears that we are to instruct our wives how to submit in specific ways as well.
 

Mediaeval

Puritan Board Freshman
Just a couple of thoughts.

1. In instructing one's wife, how far does this go? Should a husband leave a list of things each day for his wife to accomplish? Can a wife be trusted to make any decisions? (I'm thinking about Prov. 31 and the wife who considers a field and buys it.)

2. Is a husband allowed to bind his wife's conscience? Is it possible that a husband and wife might legitimately disagree about which of two equally good candidates they would like to support?

3. As for submitting, as Presbyterians all members of a congregation take vows to submit to the elders of the church. Considering this, shouldn't pastors tell their congregations who they must vote for?

4. For whether or not women should be allowed to vote, do the women in your congregations vote on congregational matters?

As for myself, my husband and I discuss politics regularly. I can't think of a time when we've ever disagreed about who we were going to vote for. And I would certainly listen to my husband if he felt strongly about a particular candidate or issue.
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
Just my thought but husbands should not be telling their wives to do anything, whatsoever. The bible commands wives to submit, not husbands to make sure their wives submit. Those are two different things. Husbands are commanded to love their wives not make sure they submit, that is between them and God.
How is she going to submit if the husband does not instruct her? If my employer asks me to make 10 sandwiches for an order, I submit to him. If he never tells me to make any sandwiches, how will I know to make them?
If we are to love our wives we are to encourage them to do good. If submitting is a good work that wives are to do, then we are to give instruction on how wives are to submit (i.e. we are to love them, by encouraging them to do the good work of submtting)...and that is to be considered love. If we are to love in specific ways, then it appears that we are to instruct our wives how to submit in specific ways as well.
I think I follow, Perg. If my post made it sound as though I was saying a husband should be barking out orders like a drill sergeant, in gentleness and love of course, in order that his wife will be able to submit to him something is clearly wrong. When I marry someday, Lord willing, I will hope that most of the submitting that occurs in my marriage will be from simply following my lead as I try to lead in love. But for someone to say that a husband should never tell their wife what to do, I think that shows poor leadership on the part of the husband.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
As a wife, who longs to obey when it comes to submission, I can tell you that based on how a few of you discuss submission, I would not survive a day in your household. As I look at the way Christ led His disciples and how He taught us about the law of God, I see love being the main theme, not barking orders.

The reason why husbands are told to love their wives is because love is what a woman needs, and loving involves guiding and instructing by example, not giving orders. In my mind, it all boils down to the attitude in the heart of both the man and the woman. If a man sees his wife as an inferior, he will feel the need to "bark orders" at her. If a man loves His wife "as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it", he will put his wife's needs above his own and live as Christ in front of her. If the woman's heart attitude is follow the lead of the husband and "submit", it will be quite easy to follow.

One of the things that I think is often left out of the equation is that we told in Christ to submit to one another in love, in marriage as well as in the church since we are in Christ. I believe it is one of the reasons why the wife is told to submit to her husband, because while we are submitting to one another in love, someone eventually has to have the final say, and God has given that role to the man. If a husband takes the view that he is somehow superior, and that his wife always has "to be instructed" he will miss out on the spiritual gifts that the wife may bring to the relationship.

By the way men, have you ever tried to submit to a boss who was barking orders at you all day? Imagine that boss always telling you what to do, scheduling every moment of your day, never listening to anything you have to say. Now, imagine being on the other end of that in your home, and you will understand why women fear the word submission. Imagine again, a boss who talked to you, listened to your opinion, asked your advice and included your ideas in the final decisions. Imagine a boss who when he left town, trusted you enough to let you handle matters. Now bring that in your home and imagine trying to submit to that and you will understand how it feels for the woman.

On the issue of voting, it is not wrong for a man to ask his wife to do the research and bring it to the table for discussion.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Ruben hasn't ever told me how to vote; one time I even voted differently than he did. Yet if he did, I simply wouldn't consider it that big a deal. There are so many more important things in life, and so much bigger matters of conscience for me before the Lord, than being able to occasionally vote for a slightly different candidate than I may have preferred. Some husbands do in fact leave their wives lists. Some women cannot be trusted as much as others to make good field purchasing decisions, nor would they want the responsibility (I am one of those). Some men do tell their wives how to vote. And though these and many other things are probably unideal in one or both parties, I have been told, and have witnessed the truth of it in the life of one of those ladies whose husband leaves her lists (though she is perfectly capable of purchasing fields quite on her own), that it's all small change in love; and that it only becomes a big deal when we are fixated on our own 'rights' and not on the duties we owe to our Lord, towards one another.

I think the man in this case should patiently instruct his wife, express his preference if there is someone he strongly wishes she would *not* vote for, and leave the rest with the Lord. If she is unwilling to follow, he can't jerk her along short of being abusive; but if he takes a longer and larger view of her welfare than the outcome of one particular election, and seeks to lead her with a daily, consistent gentleness, eventually he may find she is following quite willingly; and while the world has tottered on somehow without their two votes making much of a difference, something more fundamental to the real impact they have on the world around them has come right.
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
As a wife, who longs to obey when it comes to submission, I can tell you that based on how a few of you discuss submission, I would not survive a day in your household. As I look at the way Christ led His disciples and how He taught us about the law of God, I see love being the main theme, not barking orders.

The reason why husbands are told to love their wives is because love is what a woman needs, and loving involves guiding and instructing by example, not giving orders. In my mind, it all boils down to the attitude in the heart of both the man and the woman. If a man sees his wife as an inferior, he will feel the need to "bark orders" at her. If a man loves His wife "as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it", he will put his wife's needs above his own and live as Christ in front of her. If the woman's heart attitude is follow the lead of the husband and "submit", it will be quite easy to follow.

One of the things that I think is often left out of the equation is that we told in Christ to submit to one another in love, in marriage as well as in the church since we are in Christ. I believe it is one of the reasons why the wife is told to submit to her husband, because while we are submitting to one another in love, someone eventually has to have the final say, and God has given that role to the man. If a husband takes the view that he is somehow superior, and that his wife always has "to be instructed" he will miss out on the spiritual gifts that the wife may bring to the relationship.

By the way men, have you ever tried to submit to a boss who was barking orders at you all day? Imagine that boss always telling you what to do, scheduling every moment of your day, never listening to anything you have to say. Now, imagine being on the other end of that in your home, and you will understand why women fear the word submission. Imagine again, a boss who talked to you, listened to your opinion, asked your advice and included your ideas in the final decisions. Imagine a boss who when he left town, trusted you enough to let you handle matters. Now bring that in your home and imagine trying to submit to that and you will understand how it feels for the woman.

On the issue of voting, it is not wrong for a man to ask his wife to do the research and bring it to the table for discussion.
Please forgive me if I came across as to be advocating for an "order barking" approach. Loving as Christ loved the church, being out in front leading out of love and taken this opinions of my wife to heart, is how I long to lead my household someday. My only point is that sometimes I don't know what my employer would like for me to do and in those rare instances I do like when he tells me exactly what to do in order that I may best submit to him. However, if orders were being given all the time I don't think I would be able to handle it. As for the issue of voting, I do not see myself ever telling my wife for whom she is to vote as I trust that she will make a wise choice.

Thank you for sharing, I think I may have to put your post into a Word document labeled "READ THIS WHEN YOU GET MARRIED" because it was extremely helpful.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thanks, Zach, for your comments, and I do understand what you are saying. There are times when my husband "orders" me what to do, but it generally comes in the form of "Would you please take care of this?" And so, you are right in that respect, there are times when giving an order is appropriate for a situation, but when that is clothed in love, it doesn't feel like an order.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Heidi was that one time when you voted Traditional Conservative and Ruben later repented of his vote and praised you in the gates? :)
 

Zach

Puritan Board Junior
Absolutely. I think we were both getting at similar sentiments; that both the leading and submitting needs to be done in gentleness and love as Christ has loved us and as we are called to respond to his great love.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
As a wife, who longs to obey when it comes to submission, I can tell you that based on how a few of you discuss submission, I would not survive a day in your household. As I look at the way Christ led His disciples and how He taught us about the law of God, I see love being the main theme, not barking orders.

The reason why husbands are told to love their wives is because love is what a woman needs, and loving involves guiding and instructing by example, not giving orders. In my mind, it all boils down to the attitude in the heart of both the man and the woman. If a man sees his wife as an inferior, he will feel the need to "bark orders" at her. If a man loves His wife "as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it", he will put his wife's needs above his own and live as Christ in front of her. If the woman's heart attitude is follow the lead of the husband and "submit", it will be quite easy to follow.

One of the things that I think is often left out of the equation is that we told in Christ to submit to one another in love, in marriage as well as in the church since we are in Christ. I believe it is one of the reasons why the wife is told to submit to her husband, because while we are submitting to one another in love, someone eventually has to have the final say, and God has given that role to the man. If a husband takes the view that he is somehow superior, and that his wife always has "to be instructed" he will miss out on the spiritual gifts that the wife may bring to the relationship.

By the way men, have you ever tried to submit to a boss who was barking orders at you all day? Imagine that boss always telling you what to do, scheduling every moment of your day, never listening to anything you have to say. Now, imagine being on the other end of that in your home, and you will understand why women fear the word submission. Imagine again, a boss who talked to you, listened to your opinion, asked your advice and included your ideas in the final decisions. Imagine a boss who when he left town, trusted you enough to let you handle matters. Now bring that in your home and imagine trying to submit to that and you will understand how it feels for the woman.

On the issue of voting, it is not wrong for a man to ask his wife to do the research and bring it to the table for discussion.
There are ways for a man to lead his household without "barking orders" and we don't need to produce a false dichotomy of total non-submission with forced compliance.

However, if a wife were to try to vote pro-choice and her husband outright demanded that she not do so, and she disobeyed, which is worse, the wife's non-submission or the husband's command?

It would appear that if Sarah called Abraham Lord, then a modern wife can submit to a husband's moral leadership as it pertains to the selection of the leaders of this country.

If a wife only submits when she wants to, this is not truly submission after all, right?


The situation between a bad boss and a demanding husband are not totally analogous, since a boss owns a small sphere of an employee's life (their time, within bounds), but a wife's flesh is her husband's and the risk of "sphere violation" is less than a boss over-stepping his bounds (a husband's bounds are bigger).

If a husband is truly captian of his ship and leads the family in moral decisions, and if the county is faced with many moral choices and we are at a moral crossroads, why would the husband's lead in voting by contrary to his rightful boundaries? If a husband cannot persuade his wife to forsake her error by supporting a better candidate from her heart, he can at least retrain her evil by demanding that she abstain from voting. Right? Wrong? Why?

---------- Post added at 03:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:13 AM ----------

Ruben hasn't ever told me how to vote; one time I even voted differently than he did. Yet if he did, I simply wouldn't consider it that big a deal. There are so many more important things in life, and so much bigger matters of conscience for me before the Lord, than being able to occasionally vote for a slightly different candidate than I may have preferred. Some husbands do in fact leave their wives lists. Some women cannot be trusted as much as others to make good field purchasing decisions, nor would they want the responsibility (I am one of those). Some men do tell their wives how to vote. And though these and many other things are probably unideal in one or both parties, I have been told, and have witnessed the truth of it in the life of one of those ladies whose husband leaves her lists (though she is perfectly capable of purchasing fields quite on her own), that it's all small change in love; and that it only becomes a big deal when we are fixated on our own 'rights' and not on the duties we owe to our Lord, towards one another.

I think the man in this case should patiently instruct his wife, express his preference if there is someone he strongly wishes she would *not* vote for, and leave the rest with the Lord. If she is unwilling to follow, he can't jerk her along short of being abusive; but if he takes a longer and larger view of her welfare than the outcome of one particular election, and seeks to lead her with a daily, consistent gentleness, eventually he may find she is following quite willingly; and while the world has tottered on somehow without their two votes making much of a difference, something more fundamental to the real impact they have on the world around them has come right.
Thanks.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
However, if a wife were to try to vote pro-choice and her husband outright demanded that she not do so, and she disobeyed, which is worse, the wife's non-submission or the husband's command?

It would appear that if Sarah called Abraham Lord, then a modern wife can submit to a husband's moral leadership as it pertains to the selection of the leaders of this country.
I am in no way an advocate of a wife not submitting any more than I am in favor of a husband "barking orders". Let's turn the table around and assume that the husband is making a bad choice when it comes to how he votes and the wife is making the right decision. Does she have the right to tell him what to do? She has a moral obligation to tell him where he is wrong, but has no marital right to order him what to do. I guess what I'm trying to say is that voting is a matter of conscience, and the individual who votes is obliged to answer to the Lord on matters of conscience. The husband has every right to try to set his wife straight if she is wrong, and I suppose if he wants, he can order her, but if she has to be ordered what to do, then her heart is probably not right anyway.

If a wife only submits when she wants to, this is not truly submission after all, right?
I don't see where that fits into my original comments. I clearly point out that a wife is to submit to her husband.


The situation between a bad boss and a demanding husband are not totally analogous, since a boss owns a small sphere of an employee's life (their time, within bounds), but a wife's flesh is her husband's and the risk of "sphere violation" is less than a boss over-stepping his bounds (a husband's bounds are bigger).
I think you're missing the point which is that those who lead best, lead by example and love and enable those who are under their authority. A wife should be a better person for being under the leadership of her husband. A leader in any sphere who finds it necessary to lord it over those under him is weak. The fact is that it is more difficult to lead by love and example, and it is frightening to enable those under you to be strong in what they do.

If a husband is truly captian of his ship and leads the family in moral decisions, and if the county is faced with many moral choices and we are at a moral crossroads, why would the husband's lead in voting by contrary to his rightful boundaries? If a husband cannot persuade his wife to forsake her error by supporting a better candidate from her heart, he can at least retrain her evil by demanding that she abstain from voting. Right? Wrong? Why?
While the Lord commands His children to follow Him and obey Him, He does not demand it of them. He does not stand over us with a whip. Otherwise, we would be frightened into obeying Him rather than obeying Him out of love for Him. It does not in any way release us from obedience to Him, but it does leave us with the "freedom" to obey Him out of a heart of love.
 

"William The Baptist"

Puritan Board Freshman
I couldn't imagine Samuel commanding me what who to vote for... but then again we are like-minded politically and have enjoyed talking about politics/watching debates etc. If at all possible... it would be best to find someone like-minded to spend the rest of your life with in marriage. That way things like politics wont be a wedge-driving issue!

I loved Heidi and Joy's input.

If I was treated as one who was not capable of making intelligent decisions or commanded to do something in a demanding manner... I would find it extremely difficult to respect my husband and most likely pull away from such unloving behavior. What a terrible situation!
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
How does it work logistically for those of you in marriages where the husband controls the wife's vote? Do you all use absentee ballots so the husband can review the ballot?

My wife and I go separately to the polls (usually on separate days) and while we discuss the candidates and issues before hand, she isn't bound to mirror my votes.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Anna,

I too am the one in our household who pays attention and researches these things..

If I am going to make a truly informed decision, then I need to have knowledge of all the candidates (including those the news media do not find 'worthy' of reporting on. My husband does not have time to do the research required to become fully informed of ALL the candidates..

here is a link to the various candidates (many the media doesn't pay attention to)..not the just Republican and Democrat..

2012 Presidential Candidates
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I find it more helpful to focus on my own duties as a wife and think it is probably more helpful for men to do the same.

As we are not submitting 'as to our husbands' but 'as to the Lord', we simply have no right to lose love or honor for a mere sinful man when he demonstrates his mere sinful humanity. The Lord has given everything for us. We owe Him absolutely all. And there is nothing worth living for apart from absolute abandon to *this* love. I love Ruben so incredibly dearly; I love my family, and my friends more intensely than I can say. But these loves are not worth living for. These people are fallen like myself; our love fails; it is weak and ineffectual; and we would only hurt and destroy each other apart from His mercy and grace. The Lord's love is worth living for -- 'Because Thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise Thee.' And it doesn't leave us anything to hang onto outside of itself. It asks everything of each of us. If He asked us to walk through fire and water wouldn't we at least try? But all he asks of us, as wives, is to submit to a sinful man who sometimes gets irritated and barks an order, or treats us less tenderly and respectfully than he ought to (because we are made in God's image, not because we are anything in ourselves). Can we not do this for our Lord? Or do we absolutely draw the line at that, though He gave up heaven and was homeless, and tired, and spit upon, and mocked, and carried all our sorrows, and all our sins, and was forsaken of His father for us?

This is not about the duty we owe to our earthly husbands ultimately. It is about the duty we owe to the husband of our soul. And a meek and quiet spirit is especially precious to Him. Because of this, and because Sara is commended with no holds barred, though she submitted to Abraham even when he asked her to tell a half truth, I think women ought to make it more a matter of conscience to submit to their husbands (even when they are stressed and out of sorts; and even if their personalities are more authoritarian, and even if in some things they are wrong) than to do many other things.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
While the Lord commands His children to follow Him and obey Him, He does not demand it of them. He does not stand over us with a whip.
I think it is necessary to re-assert a point that has been made previously.

We should probably try to stay away from such language, as I don't think anyone is suggesting that a whip is the manner in which a husband would deal with his wife. Yet, many of the above posts have used this sort of description in the arguments that are provided. And, of course, all the women are going to argue against such a notion. I am not picking on you personally, J Baldwin.

What we should be discussing is whether this authority, lovingly exercised is appropriate.
 

Pilgrim Standard

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would rather hear my wife pray for the Lord to remove wicked leaders from office and replace them with Godly servants, nightly at family devotions, than for her to gain a 100% A+ voting record by me, once on election day.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
James is spot-on here. I submit to my husband because that is part of my covenant responsibilities.

I agree that the heads of landowning families should cast the vote. Notice, I do not say men specifically because a woman would have just as much at stake if she were to lose her husband and would need to represent the family's interest in political elections.

I vote so as to cancel out the "women's" vote that so often swings left. Otherwise, I'd be happy to leave the political voting to my husband. The only time I've aware of that we have differed has involved my leaving portions of the local section of the ballot blank. I could not in good conscience vote for either candidate and Brian understood that and was not at all perturbed by my choice.
 
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