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

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Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
Okay, I am done addressing comments that I don't like.:)

The point I want to get back to is that sometimes, it is going to be the case that there will be a man who lives in an area without a reformed church to attend. Or perhaps there is a reformed Baptist church and he is Presbyterian, or vice versa. He will be the minority and people who live in this area will not be familiar with his views.

But he must continue to maintain fellowship with believers there. He can agree to disagree with the elders on some issues, but if he marries, he must really be in closer agreement with his wife.

The question is, how can this agreement be fostered? During courtship? During the early months/years of marriage?
 
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JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
How are they fostered? I would discuss them before marriage. If my husband had suddenly announced to me after we got married that he wanted me to cover my head, never sing anything but Psalms in worship and never celebrate Christmas or Easter, I would not have handled things too well.

I think sometimes there is a false idea about spiritual leadership and submission in a marriage, and I touched on it in my last post. Even though the husband is the head of the home and the spiritual leader and his wife and children should submit, the woman is not less intelligent, nor is the husband necessarily more spiritually mature than the wife. Nor does God tell him that he should order his wife around. God tells him to love His wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, and then he tells the wife to submit.

If a man walks into a marriage thinking he is going to change the woman to his point of view or if he thinks that he will be able to just tell her what to do when they get married, he is not showing respect, love or concern for where she is with the Lord or what she can bring to the marriage.

During courting, if you are not in a position to be in a church that practices your personal views, then you would have to sit down and share your position and show her your views from Scripture and come to an agreement as to how this would play out in a marriage. Frankly, starting off with how can I bring her around to my point of view is not going to make for a good marriage no matter what the view is.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I think that would take place during courtship and with patience and accommodation during marriage? If she is willing to learn and consider as you introduce topics, and is not unwilling to learn how to submit (she is not someone who says 'I will/can never do that' etc; but is willing to try to work towards things she might not at first be capable of) then I think that would be very important?

I think what Charlie said about people seeing your love for God and others is also key to them accepting your 'minority' views. My husband was not a fundamentalist and we had both always been in fundamentalist circles: at first my dad didn't want me to marry him. But after a while of getting to know Ruben in Christian fellowship and seeing the way he cared for the saints in general and for me in particular his concerns were alleviated.

I wanted to add that while I appreciate the concerns of fathers here because I've seen families wrecked when a man is divisive etc., there is danger also on the other side of mere 'menpleasing': growing up I knew of several situations where men were highly approved in their own circles, and yet they mistreated their families. This is not all that uncommon in an atmosphere where dissent is always 'insubordination' and the authority is always right. I was attracted to Ruben because he was gentle and patient; reasonable when contradicted; one of the very few young guys I'd met up to that point who didn't seem arrogantly unwilling to examine his own beliefs and attitudes -- a person who can examine himself with humility is less likely to oppress a wife. Yet other people thought he was arrogant because he disagreed with almost everyone in our circles. Holding to a minority position may be laudable evidence that someone has the humility to critically consider his own views, rather than blindly accepting a paradigm and only turning a critical eye on other peoples'. I think probably how a person tolerates disagreement etc. and how much fellowship they are willing to have with other Christians with whom they disagree is more of an indicator than a mere minority position.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
You asked for opinions, and got them, including from people with both tons more experience and knowledge than you and from people who are busy but still care enough about you to share their hard won experience, so don't whine too much. By all means ignore the advice that you don't like.

As far as the repeated pointing to the church fathers by Don, how many of them even had wives? How many thought romantic involvement with a woman was not optimum, or even bad? I think it too ironic that they'd be constantly referred to on a thread like this.

I'm out.
Hit an run eh??

He got opinions from some, Plus he got judgment based on a person's experience with other people and their judgment of them.

And what would the fact of whether the fathers were married or not have to do with what the majority doctrinal position of the church has been through history?

Anyway Tim my experience is that people who hold a stricter view in the Reformed faith, often do it because of strong convictions to obey God more than please men and fit in. It is sacrificial and they are often more studied on the subjects because they had to wrestle with both sides before settling on it after meeting people who oppose so they can defend it.

And those who hold looser views tend to be fearful of losing their freedom and convicted so they do not even want others around who remind them.

Else why would they care if a woman wants to wear her head covered in church?
Some just want to argue to make themselves right. Whereas the stricter person who does not hold the view in any legalistic way, usually has more acceptance of those who don't, since they know how challenging it was for themselves to come to solid conclusions and what the cost is.

Esp. now that these are minority positions in most churches and no longer majority.
But because they are well studied and strongly convinced they are passionate about helping their brothers to know these truths as well and return to the historic majority position.

But it points the need for these people to discipline the passion so it does not come out with an edge of leftover fleshly anger, self righteousness, impatience, etc, none of which are a means of Grace but do give cause for others to take offense.
Care must be used to show acceptance of the other person and not make them feel judged or not accepted. But mainly encourage to be open to study the issue then pray for them.
Remember what did it take for you to become convinced? How long? So do not be too excited or expect them to get it all at once.

Highly emotional issues it is best to use great care and respect for others and the power of the flesh to hold us in blindness and resistance.
More prayer less talk. Give them things to read and study.

And realize who makes you to differ? Only God.
So do not think that you are better, holier, closer to god, more used of God or anything because of your beliefs. Humbly thank Him for the responsibility He has given you and see it as a lesson for you to learn to handle since He is not giving this knowledge to all men today. Only He can cause one to see it. If He is not opening their eyes, who are you to oppose God ranting at someone.
Not accusing anyone here of doing this, just a reminder of what God had to teach me too.
Its actually quite amazing to gently put it out and watch them get all upset then be patient and calm and let them see their own ethos over the matter and then just ask them to ask themselves why?
If you are not upset and take yourself out of the equation, they are left with themselves before God to argue.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
Tim, to be as practical as possible, I am going to write an imaginary possible scenario:

You meet a nice African girl who loves God, you find her physically attractive, and you like who she is:there is nothing about her her-ness that you would like to change.
You aren't sure what her views are on these things that don't come up in most African churches.
You are friends with her, at least a little bit.
I think from there, you simply set out to have a discussion, just to find out what she does specifically believe about these issues that will definitely matter in marriage.
You tell her what you believe. Has she ever heard of that? I really can't imagine anyone who has never studied the issue, or especially even heard of it, being so quick to shoot the idea down. Maybe she says something like, "I can't believe people actually do that!" because it is such a novel idea to her. But I doubt she says, "Who in their right mind would only sing PSALMS????" *gasp*
So you talk to her and feel out her teachability. If she is at all interested in you, or interested in being interested in you, I would think, again, that she would be more than willing to learn about your practices.

Now what happens if she isn't convinced? Well, perhaps the Lord won't convict her for a while, or forever. But what do you do?? As you are growing closer to her, and she is no longer a hypothetical but a very possible future wife, you will grow in charity toward her, and she you, and you two would naturally be able to come to some type of agreement/solution, etc. (The heart does very strange things when it mingles with another's heart...much more than can be imagined or predicted. Until you actually want to marry a specific person, you can never understand exactly how you'll feel about that person when that time comes.)

If you believe that to sing hymns is to sin, it is not enough for her to merely be quiet in submission to you! You would hope for her to come to the same beliefs, else you'd see her as sinning. So I do see that submission works, pragmatically, but it is not the solution. Aren't we more concerned with hearts than behavior? If she throws on the headcovering, but is bitter, bitter, bitter about it, she is sinning in her supposed sign of submission! You do not want to cause bitterness, nor do you want a bitter wife--even if it is well-disguised.
If she resents you for not allowing her the fun of gifts and feasts and families in December, that resentment would only grow--for December comes around every 12 months.

Now on the otherhand, as the husband, you not only want respect and submission, you will deserve it based on your role alone! So it would be very damaging to your relationship to have a wife that won't submit.

So you are, in this hypothetical scenario, stuck. But again, in a real relationship, the two people will be so interested in serving the other--especially at first, when you are really trying to get to know each other and really trying to make it work, that something will work out!
I go back to my first post and reiterate: a woman who is hoping to love you will want to please you. She will, in fact, love you because of your commitment to your beliefs. I was very attracted to the seriousness that my husband had for the word of God, for worship, for piety, even though I personally lacked in those areas! I respected him so very much that when he started explaining predestination to me, I wanted to understand it! Even though it made me, like so many other former "non-denominational" un-educated, Christians, ANGRY! Now predestination is a lot more difficult a thing to grasp, in my opinion, than the fact that your husband believes that the Bible requires you to show him submission by covering your head in worship. And I was very willing to learn it, just because I thought he was the best guy I have ever met (he is, by the way) and couldn't imagine him being wrong about anything! There will be a girl for you that will someday feel the same way--but it may not be @ that first "pre-" courting conversation! (And, truth be told, it may not last forever--hopefully it will, though!)

But you will both need to continue working toward true belief and common understanding in order to prevent some sad resentment from taking root in your family. I think you will know from the beginning what kind of woman you are dealing with when you see her reaction to your own beliefs.

Hit an run eh??

He got opinions from some, Plus he got judgment based on a person's experience with other people and their judgment of them.

And what would the fact of whether the fathers were married or not have to do with what the majority doctrinal position of the church has been through history?

Anyway Tim my experience is that people who hold a stricter view in the Reformed faith, often do it because of strong convictions to obey God more than please men and fit in. It is sacrificial and they are often more studied on the subjects because they had to wrestle with both sides before settling on it after meeting people who oppose so they can defend it.

And those who hold looser views tend to be fearful of losing their freedom and convicted so they do not even want others around who remind them.

Else why would they care if a woman wants to wear her head covered in church?
Some just want to argue to make themselves right. Whereas the stricter person who does not hold the view in any legalistic way, usually has more acceptance of those who don't, since they know how challenging it was for themselves to come to solid conclusions and what the cost is.

Esp. now that these are minority positions in most churches and no longer majority.
But because they are well studied and strongly convinced they are passionate about helping their brothers to know these truths as well and return to the historic majority position.

But it points the need for these people to discipline the passion so it does not come out with an edge of leftover fleshly anger, self righteousness, impatience, etc, none of which are a means of Grace but do give cause for others to take offense.
Care must be used to show acceptance of the other person and not make them feel judged or not accepted. But mainly encourage to be open to study the issue then pray for them.
Remember what did it take for you to become convinced? How long? So do not be too excited or expect them to get it all at once.

Highly emotional issues it is best to use great care and respect for others and the power of the flesh to hold us in blindness and resistance.
More prayer less talk. Give them things to read and study.

And realize who makes you to differ? Only God.
So do not think that you are better, holier, closer to god, more used of God or anything because of your beliefs. Humbly thank Him for the responsibility He has given you and see it as a lesson for you to learn to handle since He is not giving this knowledge to all men today. Only He can cause one to see it. If He is not opening their eyes, who are you to oppose God ranting at someone.
Not accusing anyone here of doing this, just a reminder of what God had to teach me too.
Its actually quite amazing to gently put it out and watch them get all upset then be patient and calm and let them see their own ethos over the matter and then just ask them to ask themselves why?
If you are not upset and take yourself out of the equation, they are left with themselves before God to argue.
I'm sorry, but I disagree.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
She will, in fact, love you because of your commitment to your beliefs. I was very attracted to the seriousness that my husband had for the word of God, for worship, for piety, even though I personally lacked in those areas! I respected him so very much that when he started explaining predestination to me, I wanted to understand it!
Great point Jessi, and absolutely true. You take another person whole in friendship and in marriage: you don't divide them up and discard what you don't like as if you could have them without those things. If a woman trusts and desires to learn submission to a particular man who believes certain things, it will work out as he is patient and loving of the 'whole' her.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
I'm sorry, but I disagree.
Which part, the top or the bottom?

Thats ok. I disagree with your story's premise and feasablility. I would advise a man not to marry a woman who did not agree with him on these things before marriage or
Would not submit to Christ through him cheerfully and willingly though
she is not convinced of the other.
And not to marry a woman who lives in bitterness which is a sin and therefore has no right to hope she has been converted by the miraculous grace of God that gives us a new nature and makes us a new creature that desires to please God.

She is continuing in sin if she won't submit willingly

Either way this is not a woman you want to marry.

So if she faked me out and lied and said she would submit and stays bitter, then I would say yes she would be the one who would need to work it out with God, not the other to change his convictions for her.


WC on Liberty of Conscience

3. They who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, do practice any
sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty,
which is, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies,
we might serve the Lord without fear,

4. And because the powers which God hath ordained, and the
liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to
destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, they who,
upon pretense of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or
the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the
ordinance of God.p And, for their publishing of such opinions, or
maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature,
or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith,
worship, or conversation), or to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous
opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the
manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the
external peace and order which Christ hath established in the church,
they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against, by the censures of the church.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
NKJV

1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother NKJV

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. NKJV
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
I go back to my first post and reiterate: a woman who is hoping to love you will want to please you. She will, in fact, love you because of your commitment to your beliefs.
....
And I was very willing to learn it, just because I thought he was the best guy I have ever met (he is, by the way) and couldn't imagine him being wrong about anything! There will be a girl for you that will someday feel the same way--but it may not be @ that first "pre-" courting conversation! (And, truth be told, it may not last forever--hopefully it will, though!)
Jessi, I really liked your post, but this one part is a bit troubling. I understand exactly what you mean about a woman wanting to please her man by agreeing with him, and about how your adoration for your husband makes it hard for you to think he could be wrong about anything. However, I'm not sure this is necessarily a good thing.

I purposely took time w/ my wife Hannah. Our discussion of theology started when we were just friends, since I talk about Bible stuff with all my friends. So she knew where I was before there was romantic involvement. One of the things she realized in college is that she had never developed her theological mind. She just believed what she was taught and did what she was told and was a "good little Christian girl." I watched her begin the long, hard process of critically evaluating a lot of things. Several of my friends counseled me against getting involved with her too quickly, since there would be a very real danger of her transferring her implicit faith from her parents/upbringing to me. I wanted to make sure she was competent and confident in the Scriptures, not just a good little girl who would repeat whatever I said because she loves me and wants to make me happy. I mean, if I died married to a woman like that, how would she raise my children in the Lord? She might go fall in love with some Catholic guy and convert to Catholicism.

Anyway, as you have probably guessed, she made tremendous progress in this area and I had/have no reservations about marrying her. She's even willing to ask me hard questions and pick at my logic. What a blessing! So, when should these discussions take place? Whenever. I think a lot of Bible discussion should go on amongst "just friends." Attraction should be at least in part based on respect for one another's spirituality.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Hit an run eh??
I would never, never run from you, Don.

And what would the fact of whether the fathers were married or not have to do with what the majority doctrinal position of the church has been through history?
Because we were talking about marrying?
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
I go back to my first post and reiterate: a woman who is hoping to love you will want to please you. She will, in fact, love you because of your commitment to your beliefs.
....
And I was very willing to learn it, just because I thought he was the best guy I have ever met (he is, by the way) and couldn't imagine him being wrong about anything! There will be a girl for you that will someday feel the same way--but it may not be @ that first "pre-" courting conversation! (And, truth be told, it may not last forever--hopefully it will, though!)
Jessi, I really liked your post, but this one part is a bit troubling. I understand exactly what you mean about a woman wanting to please her man by agreeing with him, and about how your adoration for your husband makes it hard for you to think he could be wrong about anything. However, I'm not sure this is necessarily a good thing.

I purposely took time w/ my wife Hannah. Our discussion of theology started when we were just friends, since I talk about Bible stuff with all my friends. So she knew where I was before there was romantic involvement. One of the things she realized in college is that she had never developed her theological mind. She just believed what she was taught and did what she was told and was a "good little Christian girl." I watched her begin the long, hard process of critically evaluating a lot of things. Several of my friends counseled me against getting involved with her too quickly, since there would be a very real danger of her transferring her implicit faith from her parents/upbringing to me. I wanted to make sure she was competent and confident in the Scriptures, not just a good little girl who would repeat whatever I said because she loves me and wants to make me happy. I mean, if I died married to a woman like that, how would she raise my children in the Lord? She might go fall in love with some Catholic guy and convert to Catholicism.

Anyway, as you have probably guessed, she made tremendous progress in this area and I had/have no reservations about marrying her. She's even willing to ask me hard questions and pick at my logic. What a blessing! So, when should these discussions take place? Whenever. I think a lot of Bible discussion should go on amongst "just friends." Attraction should be at least in part based on respect for one another's spirituality.
I absolutely agree! I don't mean to say that you want someone who will just say what you want to hear. I didn't do that. (And of course, still don't :()
BUT, I think that the more a woman respects a man, the more she would be willing to learn what he is trying to teach her. I don't think that means that the Lord will convict her of your opinion just because she likes you, but I think the point is that she is willing to try to see your side.

And I did mean for a lot of these questions and things to happen while in "just friends" mode. I think, as a woman, that is how one comes to actually trust the man enough to think that his opinion counts for something and should be considered. I don't think it should be expected at first contact, nor should one wait for marriage to determine trustworthiness and respect.

I didn't say with my respect for him I was willing to believe it, but to learn it. I guess to be absolutely clear, I should have said I was willing to study it.
Thanks for helping me see the need to clarify!
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Hit an run eh??
I would never, never run from you, Don.

Just funning with you Bee man. :)

And what would the fact of whether the fathers were married or not have to do with what the majority doctrinal position of the church has been through history?
Because we were talking about marrying?
So they are unqualified to teach Biblical principles on marriage, or specifically what I referred to was the doctrines we are discussing as to whether they were in the majority???

And yes you can learn a whooooole lot from history and avoid the pitfalls of the past.
His/story does have a tendency to repeat Himself.
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
Hit an run eh??
I would never, never run from you, Don.

And what would the fact of whether the fathers were married or not have to do with what the majority doctrinal position of the church has been through history?
Because we were talking about marrying?
And marriage is NOT something to play with. For the OP, the question would be "what hill do you want to die on and why?" And how will I gracefully handle differing views within family is another question. :2cents:
 
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