How to answer - Telling your wife who to vote for

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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
What's wrong with using your helpmeet as a helpmeet to help you advance what you feel is best for your family?

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I just found another OP on the PB about this issue as well (voting, submission, etc), and a good quote is this one from a female PBer:

I've been following this thread, and I see some valid points and concerns on both sides. However, I'm not convinced that political issues are simply part of Christian liberty or a matter of conscience and not necessary to submit to. If as women, we are to submit to our husband's authority in other important areas of our lives such as daily living, child-rearing, and especially worship......why would we not submit in areas of politics? I truly don't see how one takes precedence over another. In fact, I would think that matters of worship would be far more detrimental than political issues. And I don't see it as a matter of micro-managing either because it does directly affect the family. Part of being a head, is representing the family as well as protecting them (spiritually and physically).....so part of headship would most certainly involve political issues, as they would eventually affect the family!

I just can't imagine marrying someone that I wouldn't trust to make the right decision as head including this area. And, I can't imagine marrying someone with whom there would be such a differing political view. I'm not advocating that a husband should FORCE his wife to vote in the way in which HE views correct. But, I would imagine that a godly husband and wife would discuss these issues together, and would search the Scriptures on how to vote accordingly. I expect that a godly man, wouldn't simply dismiss a woman's thoughts and concerns.....but would carefully weigh them. As a woman, I most certainly do have my own opinions and thoughts, however, I also believe that if God brought a husband into my life then I should submit to his final decision in ALL areas of my life....unless it causes me to directly violate the commands of God. But that is just my
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Dear all:


Okay,

I am getting ready to bow out of this discussion (and merely listen). I just found this OP below which covers most of the sides to this debate:


http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/should-married-woman-vote-independent-her-husband-47964/

On the above linked OP, too, there is a wide variety of opinions represented, some heat, many strawmen, and some very good quotes.

Here is what I personally believe:

-So far my wife and I have been 100% agreed everytime we have voted.

-I am not sure voting is merely a matter of conscience, since moral principles are at state. And if moral principles are at stake, this, too, seems to fall underneath the need for a wife to submit. However, since me and my wife have talked prior to voting, we have never disagreed.

-I am not sure what I would do if my wife and I did disagree on how we voted. If I voted Ron Paul and she picked Rick Santorum, or Rick Perry, this seems a reasonable difference (in the ballpark, somewhat conservative, etc). If, however, I had a wife who desired to vote for Obama, I would demand that she not do it. Some might fault me and say, "What sort of husband would demand such a thing" but my response would be, "What sort of husband treats major elections as trifling matters or matters of indifference or allows the household God has put under his charge to support abortion policies." I believe it would be fine for me to demand such a thing.

-It seems that all are agreed that husbands are not always to be with the constant attitude of "ordering around" his wife. But, most are also agreed that a wife is to submit and that a husband may make the final decision.

-Beliefs on enforcement seem to vary. Some say that one can take a tyrannical husband or an insubmissive wife before the elders or the church for discipline.

-It is agreed that not 100% of couples will interact the same, and some couples may appear more "traditional" while others appear more "modern" in how they discuss or share decision-making.

-It is also clear that this is an issue that is very emotionally charged. Terms used often bias the discussion (ordering around, etc). I should make it clear that my wife and I are agreed on our own marital roles and I started this OP out of curiosity rather than because my wife is trying to become a registered Democrat or something heinous like that.

Here is how we have done it...

-On major decision about moving, money, children, we discuss things and almost always come to quick agreement and seem very agreed.

-On domestic decisions regarding the home (unless she feels it will be "major") she is free to make the decisions about the house, shopping, what we need, what check-ups and medical decisions, what homeschooling curriculum to use, etc. We have decided before-hand on a shared plan of discipline and instruction for the kids and we both agreed 100% on this...so yippee. She is the Queen of the Home (she makes lovely nobility too, by the way)...

On ministry issues I sometimes discuss or inform her what I am doing. When this involves large numbers of local tribal people in our house or requires travel or hardship, I consult her to make sure we can manage.


Finally,
...back to the OP. I know what I personally believe. I have explored and "tried on" other perspectives that I am not quite comfortable with, and now I come back to the original question:

If you did meet a church couple who are disagreed on who to vote for and the husband is making a demand that the wife vote a certain way, or else abstain from voting a certain way, and she is resisting this desire of her husband, what advice would you give and what are appropriate actions for you to take towards this couple as their pastor, or for their local church to do/advise/counsel? What sort of words of wisdom would you give this couple?

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Also, if there are any final quotes or thoughts on wifely submission (and its bondaries and confines), husbandly love, family roles, etc, keep'em coming.

---------- Post added at 04:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:59 PM ----------

A Puritan's Mind » The Duties of Husbands and Wives – by Rev. Richard Steele

A great link is above.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Questions:

-Why are we tip-toeing around the "mood" of the wife? I can imagine many people under church discipline have their mood impacted. Males have their mood impacted when they are rebuked as well. Why is this any different for a wife?

-If a husband and a wife are not to withhold sexually from one another and this is a command of Scripture, why don't you think this is a fit subject for church discipline?

--As for "marital rape" we could start another thread, but a husband and wife have rights to the others' body that those outside the marriage covenant do not have. If a husband were, in fact, to force himself onto his wife, this might be classified as sin but I am not sure whether the sin of "rape" is the most appropriate term for this action. I am not sure. Let's start another thread if you want.

I am not sure how the right of a husband to make command decisions for his family leads to marital rape, however.
I respect your decision to continue this conversation or not but I felt a little compelled to answer this one.
1. The state defines that as rape
2. It is probably illegal for a husband and their church to force a wife to have sex with her husband.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Questions:

-Why are we tip-toeing around the "mood" of the wife? I can imagine many people under church discipline have their mood impacted. Males have their mood impacted when they are rebuked as well. Why is this any different for a wife?

-If a husband and a wife are not to withhold sexually from one another and this is a command of Scripture, why don't you think this is a fit subject for church discipline?

--As for "marital rape" we could start another thread, but a husband and wife have rights to the others' body that those outside the marriage covenant do not have. If a husband were, in fact, to force himself onto his wife, this might be classified as sin but I am not sure whether the sin of "rape" is the most appropriate term for this action. I am not sure. Let's start another thread if you want.

I am not sure how the right of a husband to make command decisions for his family leads to marital rape, however.
I respect your decision to continue this conversation or not but I felt a little compelled to answer this one.
1. The state defines that as rape
2. It is probably illegal for a husband and their church to force a wife to have sex with her husband.
We can start a new OP if you want. No doubt this is sin. I am not sure it should be a crime classified under the same category as rape (which is a felony, right?) and there should be something to mitigate this form of transgression against other forms done towards a non-spouse (which should be considered far more heinous). It is also sin for one party to defraud the other, and if on purpose and not due to medical reasons, this, too, is sin on the part of the withholding party.

Here is a snippet off the net:

Until the late 1970's, most states did not consider spousal rape a crime. Typically, spouses were exempted from the sexual assault laws. For example, until 1993 North Carolina law stated that "a person may not be prosecuted under this article if the victim is the person's legal spouse at the time of the commission of the alleged rape or sexual offense unless the parties are living separate and apart." These laws are traceable to a pronouncement by Michael Hale, who was Chief Justice in England in the 17th century, that a husband cannot be guilty of rape of his wife "for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto the husband which she cannot retract." (1) In the late 1970's, feminists began efforts to change these laws. Currently, rape of a spouse is a crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (2).
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Wow, this has become complicated.

I think perhaps the best analogy that I can think of is that the husband is the GM of the home 'company' and the wife is the daily operations manager. The husband moves are strategic the wife's are tactical. Every good general listens to his lieutenants, and when one does not, he loses battles. Thus the husband acting in an ungodly way is off base, but the wife who nags to the opposite direction is out of place as well. Mutiny is an ugly thing.

So far as I Cor 7 is concerned, I can't conceive that either party would be so selfish as to 'force' anything upon the other. If the wife is simply unwilling, that is one thing, but any real issues (physical or emotional) should be enough to give the husband pause, should they not? Likewise, is the opposite not true? I don't know that this is the same as voting, it is not about governance of church or state, it is a physical expression of love. 'Forcing' in this matter sort of negates the meaning of the whole thing, does it not? However, denial to either party could likewise lead to sins on the part of the other (feelings of abandonment and the thoughts that go with that, etc.). If they truly love each other, taking all this into consideration should trump personal desires.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Wow, this has become complicated.

I think perhaps the best analogy that I can think of is that the husband is the GM of the home 'company' and the wife is the daily operations manager. The husband moves are strategic the wife's are tactical. Every good general listens to his lieutenants, and when one does not, he loses battles. Thus the husband acting in an ungodly way is off base, but the wife who nags to the opposite direction is out of place as well.

So far as I Cor 7 is concerned, I can't conceive that either party would be so selfish as to 'force' anything upon the other. If the wife is simply unwilling, that is one thing, but any real issues (physical or emotional) should be enough to give the husband pause, should they not? Likewise, is the opposite not true? I don't know that this is the same as voting, it is not about governance of church or state, it is a physical expression of love. 'Forcing' in this matter sort of negates the meaning of the whole thing, does it not? However, denial to either party could likewise lead to sins on the part of the other (feelings of abandonment and the thoughts that go with that, etc.). If they truly love each other, taking all this into consideration should trump personal desires.
Ha, yes, Kevin, that's how I like to look at it as well. In our home we jokingly refer to our roles as "Department of Foreign affairs" and "Department of Domestic Affairs" and we tend to make decisions in those respectives spheres to the satisfaction of the other. We've never had any major disagreement on where our home was going strategically, so I can only imagine the difficulty if, in fact, I had a nagging wife or one who opposed the agenda that I thought best for our home.

Also, I second the thoughts of your last paragraph as well. Thanks.
 

iLoveAutumn

Puritan Board Freshman
David,

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.

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But isn't it God who sets the different authorities in place anyway? (He has the ultimate 'pull'.) He will have in power who He wills. Then we are left with what example we want to show as a Christian family.

This thread is a difficult one for me. I am new to the forum, I am fairly new to reformed teaching (most of my Christian life has been spent in raving pentecostal churches) and I am certainly new to the belief that a woman should vote according to what the husband says (I'm guessing this belief is covered by 'submit to your husbands'?). If I am honest, some of the posts I am reading here grind the wrong way in my stomach...lol. I know this is probably predominately my problem, and there is more to be said than simply 'do what your husband says', and perhaps to phrase it so that it sits nicely in my stomach would take too much time...lol. It's just a little difficult to read the way some of it's being written.

My husband is an unbeliever. He has no problem with me voting for whom I want to vote for. Some years we vote the same; other years we vote differently. I usually vote according to my conscience, and he usually votes according to what is good for his pocket...lol. :)
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
I think we should mention that your wife's single vote will not win or lose an election, so it seems like a dumb time to play the submission-trump card. It actually seems more like an opportunity for an ego boost or simply to show you have authority (My wife will do as I say) and not really about the morals or ethics of the election at hand, since her one vote will not matter anyway.
Pick your battles wisely.
 
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