Husband's leadership when he has "minority" theological views

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Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
I am interested in receiving comments from both wives and husbands regarding the husband's leadership on certain viewpoints that, although they may be confessional/Biblical, are not the majority, even within reformed circles.

Some examples using some of my distinctives:

1. Exclusive psalmody: Man (EP) courts woman who is not;
2. Headcoverings: Man (believes in coverings) courts woman who has not heard of this practice;
3. Christmas/Easter: Man (doesn't celebrate) courts woman who does.

In all of these issues, there is a certain sensitivity. How does the man lead in these positions while not bombarding the woman with "strange" theological views, but while still leading with integrity according to his beliefs?

The idea is to not "scare off" the woman, but to still be clear about the positions that are taken. And to be clear how the future/potential family will be led.

-----Added 4/10/2009 at 11:47:36 EST-----

I understand that before marriage (during courtship), the man is not in a true leadership position. He is just trying to communicate how he will lead if/when marriage happens.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Would the pair be involved in Bible study during courtship? I ask because some would prefer not to be alone like this at all, some would be willing to do this if chaperones were nearby, some would be comfortable doing this in public, etc. If so, studying together what the Word has to say on these issues could be beneficial. I might start off with something less controversial or work up to in context (studying all of 1 Corinthians, not just chapter 11).
 

Honor

de-cool
personally I think if he has strong standings on things and he is courting so it's cheif end is to end in marriage he should come right out and say what he believes. then if she's cool with that or at least open to moving in that direction. Or if she's like me she would know that that was not the man she was to marry. Right before I married my husband I asked him three questions :
1.) Do you belive that abortion is ok?
2.)Are you a Democrate
3.) Do you believe in predestination?
if he would have answered yes to any of them I would have walked out. (obviously we both learned about and slightly changed one of the answers ;) )
The point is... those were my top three BIG issues. if those are his BIG issues that he isn't willing to waiver on then he needs to lay it out on the table.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Tell her all of it upfront and if she is unwilling to submit, she isn't the one.

I told my wife, a new Christian at the time, 2 & 3 and that she would need to be a keeper at home and submit to me as the head and that there was a good chance I would want to go off to the mission field.

If she was not willing to submit to my headship in these things then lets not go any farther.

That is courting. Anything where this is left out is dating.
When would you be planning on springing it on her?

Now I had a lot to learn about headship, and making her feel heard and respected as a sister in Christ filled with the Spirit and being my helpmeet, to not help me do what I would do if I was single, but as a we, that God have given her smarts and intuition where I was dumb; that was the hard part that took time. And learning how to make her feel good about giving me advice and being able to be used by the Spirit as much as me.

Now the hard one is, if you are married and one changes convictions.

Patience, patience, more patience and get some of those gardening rubber knee pads. You will need them for al the praying you will be doing.
 

Idelette

Puritan Board Graduate
Well, I'll just tell you my opinion on the subject....I think the man should discuss these issues with the woman beforehand. And ultimately he should find out ,regardless of what her views are, if she is willing to submit to him. Ultimately, I think it would be a matter of submission.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
1.) Do you belive that abortion is ok?
2.)Are you a Democrate
3.) Do you believe in predestination?
if he would have answered yes to any of them I would have walked out. (obviously we both learned about and slightly changed one of the answers ;) )
The point is... those were my top three BIG issues. if those are his BIG issues that he isn't willing to waiver on then he needs to lay it out on the table.
I certainly hope you didn't change on #2 ??:eek::eek:

That would be the worst spiritual decline!
:)
 

Honor

de-cool
FTR I'm a very straight foward type of person. I don't like to tip toe around issues. I've had to tell people that thier loved one has died and it's always the same "(person X), so- and so passed away. I'm really sorrythey didn't suffer/didn't suffer for long/ died in their sleep." short and to the point.
So my post is just how I would handle the situation.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
First, he should share his views with the lady's father before pursuing her. Her father has the responsibility to give her to a man who will lead her well. If he usurps this then he has already shown that he does not understand godly headship and has disregarded the role of her father.
Second, he should just be up front with her. Let her decide if these are hills to die on for her. He may be persuaded later, and he may not. Is he a godly man and someone she would love to serve and raise a godly family with, to the glory of God? Will their marriage proclaim the Gospel as the love and submission of Christ and the church is exemplified in their relationship? If so, then these things become less important.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Amos 3:3
Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
NKJV

Yes but it isn't easy and takes lots of grace and praying.

And you have to submit to her sometimes too. I mean fair is fair.
If you don't like the term, switch to decide to do it the way she wants
 
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lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Complete and total honesty!!!

BE SURE!!! to promise her that if you have a conflict you will seek counsel together from somebody agreeable to both. I cannot begin to tell you what it has meant to me knowing that when we cannot come to unity on something major, we will both, together, talk to somebody. We have rarely had to do it- just knowing that he will submit himself to someone else helps me submit.

The times we did it was sooooo helpful. Men and women can see things so differently about kids and various other subjects. An objective person helps you both see the other side and where you might have a Romans 14 attitude problem.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
I am interested in receiving comments from both wives and husbands regarding the husband's leadership on certain viewpoints that, although they may be confessional/Biblical, are not the majority, even within reformed circles.



Some examples using some of my distinctives:

1. Exclusive psalmody: Man (EP) courts woman who is not;
2. Headcoverings: Man (believes in coverings) courts woman who has not heard of this practice;
3. Christmas/Easter: Man (doesn't celebrate) courts woman who does.

If these are the only three things you don't have the same understanding of, you indeed have something rare.

While I would not want to dissuade any convictions on these, they ought not be "deal breakers" for relationship. Not that God might not provide someone will all three of these convictions, but it would be, realistically, very rare.

One of the things that attracts two peoples is differences. Ordinarily, you are not attracted to someone exactly like you. That doesn't mean compromising your faith or even your doctrine. Practically, the fewer doctrinal differences the less you get to apply God's grace to in resolving. But, let not the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Generally, the man leads and serves and the woman helps and follows. This is a beautiful thing, and something we can only do by God's grace. We are called to live it, as a testimony of God in our life before the world. While a wife needs to follow her husband's authority in pattern, it does not mean she can be made to believe something she does not (and vice-versa).


In all of these issues, there is a certain sensitivity. How does the man lead in these positions while not bombarding the woman with "strange" theological views, but while still leading with integrity according to his beliefs?

The idea is to not "scare off" the woman, but to still be clear about the positions that are taken. And to be clear how the future/potential family will be led.

Also, again not trying to dissuade conviction, but there are a whole lot of things before these kinds of things to look for in a spouse; nor would I condition marriage on these sorts of things.

I would look for ways, by God's grace, to resolve differences that really matter. That's something tested in any close relationship, and the stuff of which good marriages are made.


-----Added 4/10/2009 at 11:47:36 EST-----

I understand that before marriage (during courtship), the man is not in a true leadership position. He is just trying to communicate how he will lead if/when marriage happens.
.
 

CNJ

Puritan Board Senior
It is wonderful when a husband takes the spiritual lead. When we were courting in 1999 my husband had me read The Westminster Confession Explained. The three issues that Tim mentioned (EP, head covering and holidays) we didn't deal with and still don't consider major and neither does my church. His grown children and grandchildren celebrate holidays, and those traditions I have always felt exemplify family.

My husband has been diagnosed with dementia this past December and I have new questions on headship and will consult with others as needed. My husband trusts me and that is a quality built up over time. Life is more difficult for him now, and for me also as I am becoming the caregiver.
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It is wonderful when a husband takes the spiritual lead. When we were courting in 1999 my husband had me read The Westminster Confession Explained. The three issues that Tim mentioned (EP, head covering and holidays) we didn't deal with and still don't consider major and neither does my church. His grown children and grandchildren celebrate holidays, and those traditions I have always felt exemplify family.

My husband has been diagnosed with dementia this past December and I have new questions on headship and will consult with others as needed. My husband trusts me and that is a quality built up over time. Life is more difficult for him now, and for me also as I am becoming the caregiver.
CNJ, you and your husband have just been added to my prayer list... Big-time...

Margaret
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
It depends on how important the minor issues are to you. And to her family. Would your declining to participate on Christmas or Easter be a sign of disrespect to her parents? And are these issues core values to you?
 
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Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
We have had some differences in our almost 25 years of marriage. One thing that is different from some of the other posts is that we came to know Christ about 10 years into it. I have learned that being a tyrant by inflicting my convictions on someone else never works. However on things like C&E, I find that I have to pick and choose which events to participate in and which ones I tell everyone where I stand up front. Family dinners I can go to (the pagan who invites you to a meal being OK from 1Cor), but don't ask me to do an egg hunt, play S**ta Cl**s, sing to a tree or the like. As far as doctrinal differences, most of them seem to iron out as we study Scripture and seek wise counsel on certain subjects.
My views were in the minority as we came out of Rome or the world (and are still doing so), but sometimes her questions went before me on certain issues. She was concerned about the covering thing before I gave it any thought. Whenever we can't come to unity on an issue, it needs to be studied, discussed and prayed about (and repeat as necessary). It must never be used as a weapon against the other, but used as iron sharpening iron in love.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I might start off with something less controversial or work up to in context
I disagree. These views are so uncommon that they should be disclosed fully and early in the relationship. If the woman isn't at least open to the ideas, there is no point wasting either person's time. And this certainly isn't a situation where you want to wait until the hook is set before springing them.
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
I might start off with something less controversial or work up to in context
I disagree. These views are so uncommon that they should be disclosed fully and early in the relationship. If the woman isn't at least open to the ideas, there is no point wasting either person's time. And this certainly isn't a situation where you want to wait until the hook is set before springing them.
I completely agree. I'm not sure the first meeting is the place, that's all.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
Ordinarily, you are not attracted to someone exactly like you.
I could go so many directions with this... UGH fight it! FIGHT IT!!! "Maybe I'm the only one, but..." :banghead:



And I agree with the Scottish lass. On the first meeting, such issues might seem pretty intimidating, especially since the situation is that these things would be unfamiliar to the woman. I really liked the suggestion to go through a Bible study and to tackle the issues that way. It would be a good way to get to know her and examine her spiritual maturity (at least to a degree). And Wannabee's advice = :up::up:
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
And I agree with the Scottish lass. On the first meeting, such issues might seem pretty intimidating, especially since the situation is that these things would be unfamiliar to the woman. I really liked the suggestion to go through a Bible study and to tackle the issues that way. It would be a good way to get to know her and examine her spiritual maturity (at least to a degree). And Wannabee's advice = :up::up:
Well as much as I would agree if you had met some woman who you didn't know and she was a full Arminian or Charismatic.

But then I ask, where did you meet this woman and why would you be courting her?

Did you go off to a heretical church to find a wife?

Or maybe you meet her at a heretical campus group. Or you were witnessing to her?

I suggest evangelistic dating and courting is not best. Help her come to the truth before considering courting.

If the D of G and your beliefs would be so shocking to her, you probably should be having nice social conversations, inviting her to your church etc and not considering courting yet.

What would be the grounds to court her?

She is female and professes to know Christ? I would hope you could do better.

But if not, then the Lassie's advice is acceptable.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
And I agree with the Scottish lass. On the first meeting, such issues might seem pretty intimidating, especially since the situation is that these things would be unfamiliar to the woman. I really liked the suggestion to go through a Bible study and to tackle the issues that way. It would be a good way to get to know her and examine her spiritual maturity (at least to a degree). And Wannabee's advice = :up::up:
Well as much as I would agree if you had met some woman who you didn't know and she was a full Arminian or Charismatic.

But then I ask, where did you meet this woman and why would you be courting her?

Did you go off to a heretical church to find a wife?

Or maybe you meet her at a heretical campus group. Or you were witnessing to her?

I suggest evangelistic dating and courting is not best. Help her come to the truth before considering courting.

If the D of G and your beliefs would be so shocking to her, you probably should be having nice social conversations, inviting her to your church etc and not considering courting yet.

What would be the grounds to court her?

She is female and professes to know Christ? I would hope you could do better.

But if not, then the Lassie's advice is acceptable.
What if she is like Bathsheba? Err--I mean, she can have clothes on or whatever, but is one fine lookin' senorita?


(And Don, the only issues that I was talking about were those of the "minority" as mentioned in the OP. The situation [I thought] assumed she was a solid Christian who had differing understandings or a lack of knowledge about those minority issues.)
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
Knowing the "type" of man who would have these views... and the ethos that typically surrounds such a fellow... I find it hard to believe that such a man would serious consider marrying a woman who didn't hold to those views. Unless, of course, he was just desperate.

Let me add that when I speak of the "ethos" that often accompanies adherance to at least the first two items on this list - particularly when these things are held at the same time - I mean that negatively.

I would strongly discourage my daughter from getting involved with such a man... or my sons from being with such a woman.
 
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DonP

Puritan Board Junior
(And Don, the only issues that I was talking about were those of the "minority" as mentioned in the OP. The situation [I thought] assumed she was a solid Christian who had differing understandings or a lack of knowledge about those minority issues.)
If she is reformed then I don't see why sharing what you believe pretty near up front, before courting would be a good idea.

I mean it also depends on one's practice. To me courting means

I have been around the woman, talked with her in groups, and maybe even her folks, believe her to be godly and a good wife and mother.

So now I have progressed in that relationship enough to ask her if she would consider marrying the possibility of getting to know me enough to decide if she would marry me.

If she says eys, maybe not the first discussion you have but soon these issues, if you are not willing to compromise on them, must come up.

In fact her parents may forbid her to court you since you are a old fashioned fundie zealot or something, terms some of us have been called here on this board even for holding to such views, now considered minority which until this past century were majority.

So why wait and get her hurt, or yourself. Will you deceive her and lead her on the once she is hooked on you say, but by the way you have to come to a church with me where head coverings are required or we sing only psalms.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
In a sense I see what you are saying Don, and I suppose a lot of the issue has to do with poor wording. I have the same general view of courting as you do (except the parents would be greatly involved and, in fact, the ones I approach first about courting their daughter way before I show any interest to her), so not talking about the minority issues "on the first meeting" doesn't make much sense. However, perhaps in the case of meeting someone online, I wouldn't start off by saying, "so, do you cover your head, sing only psalms in corporate worship, and refuse to celebrate Easter and Christ? If not, would you submit to me if we were married and do these things?" It is just so much of a culture shock to those who haven't been exposed to these views. Or what about if a woman is a new believer but clearly has attractive qualities and a willingness to submit herself to the truths of Scripture? The minority views can be troubling until they can really be explained and talked about. The hypothetical situations are endless, and a different approach will probably be needed for each. Soli Deo Gloria, the Lord is in control...
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
In a sense I see what you are saying Don, and I suppose a lot of the issue has to do with poor wording. I have the same general view of courting as you do (except the parents would be greatly involved and, in fact, the ones I approach first about courting their daughter way before I show any interest to her), so not talking about the minority issues "on the first meeting" doesn't make much sense. However, perhaps in the case of meeting someone online, I wouldn't start off by saying, "so, do you cover your head, sing only psalms in corporate worship, and refuse to celebrate Easter and Christ? If not, would you submit to me if we were married and do these things?" It is just so much of a culture shock to those who haven't been exposed to these views. Or what about if a woman is a new believer but clearly has attractive qualities and a willingness to submit herself to the truths of Scripture? The minority views can be troubling until they can really be explained and talked about. The hypothetical situations are endless, and a different approach will probably be needed for each. Soli Deo Gloria, the Lord is in control...
Agreed, that is what I said. You are not yet courting her, you are only getting to know her.
So of course, in this situation the Lassie is wise.

But as soon as you think you want it to be courting if not before this, they need to come up or you both may be wasting time.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I might start off with something less controversial or work up to in context
I disagree. These views are so uncommon that they should be disclosed fully and early in the relationship. If the woman isn't at least open to the ideas, there is no point wasting either person's time. And this certainly isn't a situation where you want to wait until the hook is set before springing them.
I completely agree. I'm not sure the first meeting is the place, that's all.
I don't disagree with your comment here, but I don't see it as inconsistent with my post. I may have made some rash assumptions about the situation. I was assuming that things had moved past the first date stage to one where the guy, at least, was trying to determine if this was 'the one'. At that stage, I'll stick with my 'early and full'. A blind date or a casual first date? I won't disagree with your point.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
Okay I see what you mean then. I concur! :p
Must have been the language barrier, Eh?? :rofl:

Are you getting ready to try this out ?? :):)

or is this truly hypothetical?
Well, it is all hypothetical in my case, though I am actively preparing to be a godly man capable of providing for a family, but oh how I pray my help-meet has great patience. :lol: I didn't write the OP though, so I don't know if his situation is hypothetical or not.
 
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