Many Christian women wonder: “Do I have any say? I know I’m supposed to submit, but does my opinion even matter?!”
Of course your opinion matters. My husband often says that after the Holy Spirit and Word of God the wife should have the loudest voice in her husband’s life.
Here are a few problems though:
1. Women are controlling. It’s true. And if you think you aren’t then read Genesis 3:16 where it says that part of the curse is for us women to “desire our husbands but they shall rule over us.” Since it’s part of the curse this surely isn’t talking about us desiring them emotionally or physically, nope, it’s a desire to control. Look up Genesis 4:7. God uses the EXACT SAME HEBREW WORD for desire when He is talking to Cain about sin’s desire for him. Does sin desire us in some lovely way? No. Sin wants to control us and take over our lives…like many wives want to do to their husbands. We have to control that sinful desire rather than seeking to control our husbands.
2. Women are often nags. We just don’t know when to stop. The bible says we are to follow our husband’s lead. We are to adapt to him, not the other way around. But we like to push and push and sometimes push some more, often in manipulative ways. Each husband has a different threshold for nagging 🙂 Some men are just too passive to speak up and let their wives know. I like to ask my husband if I am approaching the nagging line and he lets me know. I have also given him permission to tell me no more talking about certain subjects if I am just pushing it too much.
3. We think we want our husbands to lead but usually we just want them to lead the way we would lead. This is just another form of control. I am guessing if most women who whine about their husbands not leading got to experience what that is like for even a week they would find out quickly it’s a lot harder than they imagined since our husbands leading often means us not getting what we want. Which leads me to number four.
4. Submission means NOT getting what you want. When God calls us to submit, He’s requiring that we bend when we don’t want to. He’s calling us to put ourselves under our husbands when we don’t agree. If we agreed that would be agreement, not submission.
5. Many women are overly concerned with how their husbands are failing and not concerned enough with how they are failing. Yes, your husband is not loving you perfectly like Christ loves the church, how are you doing with submitting to him as the church is to submit to Christ? Do you think you would be a lot better at it if he were a better husband? Well, you are called to submit to Christ every day and He is the perfect Husband and you fail in that…I fail in that, EVERY day. Don’t blame your husband. Blaming our husband’s for our lack of submission gets us no where but bitter.
After reviewing these five problems and prayerfully considering them I would say women are in a better mindset to “voice their opinion.” Usually voicing our opinion is a form of control, nagging, not wanting our husbands to lead and not being willing to submit. But, sometimes, we are genuinely passionate about something and rightfully so! Like moving. That’s a huge decision. When we were considering moving to WA from CA I voiced my opinion clearly but I told my husband in the end: “Ultimately this up to you, it’s on your shoulders and I will support your decision.” We need to have that attitude of support.
Other times maybe we are voicing our opinion on something we do or don’t want to do. Sometimes we are being flat out selfish. Sometimes we are genuinely concerned… only we can know our true motives. One time I voiced my opinion about something to my husband and I made it clear that I was concerned of having a panic attack if we did it. I wasn’t being manipulative or selfish, I just didn’t want to lose my mind. I have had 2 of those in my life and I am finding my threshold for things is lessening as I have more kids (I have 7 children ages 10 and under right now). My husband knows this about me and out of his love for me and wanting to take care of me as Ephesians 5 instructs him to do. he “submitted” and didn’t move forward out of concern for me.
Some of you are married to non-believers. This changes things drastically. In 1 Peter 3 God says the best way to “win your husband over” is without words. That’s right, words don’t work. He says your godly behavior is what will win him over. Nagging him, controlling him, complaining to him…are not godly behaviors. Submitting, encouraging and supporting him are godly behaviors. Does this mean to submit to abuse? No, by all means talk to your pastor about how to be safe and do what is necessary.
Too many of us wives are more concerned about our agendas and plans rather than God’s. We are very anxious about whether or not we will get our way. May we repent of that and see God’s desires for our lives and marriages!! His desire is to make us holy, not necessarily happy. We as wives are to picture the church’s relationship to Christ. A gentle, submissive spirit is how the church is to be toward Christ, not a rebellious, obsessive spirit that dominates and controls. May we be better at saying “Thy will be done” rather than constantly saying in different ways: “My will be done”.
The Lord will bless us as we submit to our husbands and seek to make God’s agenda our agenda. His agenda is for us to adapt to our husbands and have a gentle and quiet spirit that trusts in Him.