Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by puritangirl, Jun 24, 2005.

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  1. puritangirl

    puritangirl Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't know if there is another thread for this question, if so, just direct me.

    Question: If a husband asks his wife to dance down the street singing at the top of her lungs, must she do it? Is she in sin if she refuses? He is not asking her to sin, though he himself is in sin for lording his authority over her.

    What do you think?
  2. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    God commands men to love their wives, which to me means not asking them to do stupid things like dancing down the street singing at the top of her lungs. And no, it would not be a sin to refuse.
  3. puritangirl

    puritangirl Puritan Board Freshman

    If it is not sin to refuse, then where do we draw the line? When is it okay to submit and when is it not okay to submit? Whenever the wife thinks the husband is in sin?

    For example, lets say a husband asks his wife to wear a headcovering. She thinks its ridiculous, cultural, etc. They study it together. In the end, she thinks that he is just being stubborn by making her wear a headcovering. It would be sin for her not to submit.

    A husband may be in sin as a head. Does that make it okay for the wife not to submit?

    Just wondering...
  4. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    True it might be sinful for the man to ask this of the woman (depending on the circumstances), but why would it not be sin for the woman to obey? Woman are sinful when they do not submit to their husbands, no?

    In my humble opinion, the woman should submit at all times, unless it is sinful in the eyes of God, or she is caused to go against her conscience.
  5. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree with this completely. A man asking his wife to do this is clearly a man who is trying to cause embarasement to his wife in some way. I know far, far too many men who try and explout the "submission" thing.

    I know it's turned into a sappy jellyfish saying, but seriously, what would Jesus do?
  6. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Then you should wear to please your husband. And your heart should be in the "this is what is pleasing to my husband...and is not against God", not "this is ridiculous".

    I would like to suggest two books to you....The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace and Created To Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl. I've read them and they are excellent for this area of your questioning.
  7. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    BTW, is this (the headcovering) an actual issue between you two?

    [Edited on 6-24-2005 by LadyFlynt]
  8. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    Adam is right on with husbands going too far.

    Husbands love.
    Wives submit.
    Children obey.

    Looks like God knows the difficulty of loving, submitting and obeying for each group.

    A husband who loves his wife will not subject her to such ridicule and embarrassment. A husband who exploits this commandment probably does not love his wife. Likewise, the submission of the wife may be directly related to the love given by the husband.

    Refusal to submit per this example is not sin.
  9. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    I disagree, it is amazing what a wife's submission can do to turn a husband around...even if it takes years.

    I have to go grocery shopping now with hubby...have a story for ya when I get back.
  10. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    Why not? Just because the husband is in sin in his asking?
  11. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    Hopefully, the husband will attempt to show his wife that wearing a headcovering is biblical. If he can not convince her then forcing her would be forcing her to do something that is not in faith. And what is not done in faith is sin. A husband needs to handle the issue of submission very carefully. He is not to lord it over his wife. That is not what Scripture is requiring. He is to treat his wife as Christ has treated the Church.

    I would say that if the husband continually makes weird demands on his wife and it is causing strife within the family, then it would be time for the Session to step in and try and find out what is going on.
  12. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    What are you disagreeing with?
  13. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor


    Husbands love (as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.)

    For husbands, Adam's question, "What would Jesus do?" seems very pertinent. Husbands should demonstrate their love for their wives to reflect how Jesus loved the church, and gave himself for it. Jesus has authority over us, but he doesn't use that authority to see us ridiculed or publicly embarrassed.
  14. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    John MacArthur speaks of woman of whom he counseled that said "I'll submit to my husband"¦when he's right!" He goes on to say that this isn't submission at all. This is just agreeing with him. He says that true submission occurs when the wife doesn't agree (again as long as it is not sin for her), but submits to his authority, because it has been placed over her.
  15. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman


    Just my perspective with the original example.... I do not see how this can be sin. A husband who "controls" his wife in such a fashion is giving her the appearance of being "out of control." To me this is acceptable grounds for refusal.

    In addition, the rule of a husband may also lead to things contrary to the law of God. If the husband is in sin, there is no reason for the wife to partake.
  16. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Jeff, do you have a daughter?
  17. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    [1] Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
    [2] when they see your reverent and chaste behavior.
    [3] Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of fine clothing,
    [4] but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
    [5] So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husbands,
    [6] as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you.

    I want to commend Colleen for affirming a very high Biblical standard in this arena!

    On many boards, I would expect to see some of the men pounding on submission, while the women complained and groaned.

    But so far, it looks like this board is behaving somewhat in the opposite direction, which is somewhat of a good thing!

    It is definitely good that Colleen recognizes the high calling (and command) given to Christian wives in Scripture. Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 are not unclear. Wives are supposed to submit to their husbands in everything (cf. Ephesians 5:24). Scripture does not just tell wives to submit when they want to, or when they decide they think their husband is being "spiritual" enough. That is not their decision to make! Of course, if a husband tells his wife to sin against God, then she must obey God rather than man. But that is the ONLY exception! The same goes for all of us (men included!) in regard to obedience to civil law. If the laws of our country command us to do something, then we are bound to obey. The only exception is when we are told to disobey one of God's commands. The same principle applies in both cases.

    Now, while I disagree with some of the men's comments above, I still think there is good to be gleaned. I disagree with their assertion that the wife should not submit in everything. But I do agree with their basic attitude: recognizing that it is *wrong* for a husband to lord his position over his wife. She may call her husband "lord" like Sarah did, but the husband has no right to call himself "lord". :) The men on this board (including myself) are very sensitive to the sin that the husband is committing in this hypothetical situation. And I think it is this sensitivity that encourages many men to say the woman shouldn't submit. I strongly disagree with their conclusion, on Scriptural grounds, but I strongly agree with their sensitivity of the husband's sin.

    Ephesians 5:
    [24] As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

    Notice that Ephesians 5 makes no exceptions for "singing in the street"! :sing:

    Soli Deo Gloria!!!

    In Christ,
  18. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    :amen: Joeseph! Well said.
  19. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I'll say this, the day my daughters husband demands she do something embarassing in order to please himself and exert his authority over her is the day he will recieve a visit from me with a clear lesson being sent that this will not happen again.

    Like I said, I know too many "supposed' Christian men who act like total fools and treat their wives like complete garbage and know no scripture besides the submissive passages. I know one man who had them highlighten in his bible that he never opened unless it was to those passages!

  20. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    One of the problems with dealing with hypothetical situations is that there is usually more going on than meets the eye. There are usually underlying issues that need to come to the surface (and I say this from the experience of being on a Session and dealing with situations similar to this).

    Based on the situation described, I believe the wife has grounds to refuse. But the husband also has the right to take the issue to the Church, since he will mostlikely think that she is sinning because she did not obey.
  21. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    What ground does she have to disobey?

    I don't see this thread as "should a wife submit if her husband wants her to do something stupid" as much as asking the question "when does the wife have the right to disobey her husband?"

    When? When she is caused to sin. Anything else is merely personal preference, and then she is the acting head.

    Make it fully known, that the balance of the man loving his wife as Christ loves the church is the duty of the husband, and I am not detracting from that in any way. Husbands should lead their families in a Godly way, and glorifying God should be his ultimate purpose in everything.
  22. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    Wife can refuse when the act is contrary to the law of God. It's just that easy.
  23. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    Well I read it that way.

    As far as sin is concerned, assuming we are talking about a mature Christian husband, would it not be sin to demand a wife to do something that was not done in faith?
  24. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Take the headcovering issue as an example. Even if the wife does not believe she is biblically required to wear one, would it not be the act of submission itself that renders her wearing of it an act done in faith? That is especially true in light of the fact that her wearing it would certainly not be sin, even if she was not in fact biblically commanded to do so. In cases such as these, if the wife's actions only qualify as being done in faith if she fully agrees with them, how is it submission at all? Is not submitting on non-sinful issues an act of faith as well, particularly in God's prescribed principled for marriage?

    I know the initially-described situation seems different, and I fully agree that it constitutes irresponsibility on the part of the husband, which should certainly be reported by the wife to the Church, who should in turn correct the husband. But until that goes through, is there a principled difference between her submission in this case and her submission in the headcovering case, in regard to their non-sinfulness and their act-of-faith natures?
  25. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    The point I was making was regarding a mature Christian husband. A mature christain husband would not be asking his wife to do something that was not being done in faith. He would hopefully bring her to an understanding that wearing a headcovering was biblically warranted and though she may still have reservations, she would submit knowing that he has her best interest at heart and is guiding her in a particular biblical truth. I believe this is the ideal situation and her submission would in "in faith" as she trusts her husband.

    The issue of authority for a husband should not be "what can I do" but "what I ought to do". As Scripture states to husbands "Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered." (1 Peter 3:7). The idea of "I say, you do" should not be apart of any Christian home.
  26. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    You are missing the point. It is a sin for him to demand it, but it is not a sin for her to obey him. That is the critical distinction.

    It is not sinful for her to sing in the street, so she must obey him.
  27. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    You also need to remember that a husband's spiritual state has nothing to do with a wife's duty to submit to him. 1 Peter 3 makes this very clear. She is supposed to submit to her husband even if he is an unbelieving pagan! So arguing that she doesn't have to submit because he isn't being a top-notch Christian is not a good excuse at all.
  28. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    I am not missing the point but am making another point regarding a mature Christian husband. In the situation that is being discribed, you say she must obey him. If she doesn't, is she sinning and subject to discipline by the Church?
  29. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    :ditto: to Joseph.

    I fully agree, Wayne, as I would certainly hope everyone else here would as well. But the question in this thread was about the situation and response from the wife's perspective, not the husband's.

    [Edited on 6-24-2005 by Me Died Blue]
  30. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    In this example, it is sin for him to demand such disrespect of his wife. It is also sin for her to act like a fool (this is a false witness). Both are in willful disobedience... the one that demands as well as the participant. :2cents:
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