“I Would Not Voluntarily Yield to My Husband’s Leadership If:
- He was mentally ill and not in his right mind (psychotic, manic, extremely depressed, suicidal, schizophrenic, hallucinating, etc…)
- He was on medication that was causing him not to be able to think properly or he was high or drunk.
- He had an illness like dementia that caused him not to be in touch with reality.
- He was truly endangering himself, me, or others. (He was doing something very foolish or reckless like asking me to get on the roof when I was 9 months pregnant or saying we shouldn’t put the babies in carseats.)
- He was asking me to condone clear sin according to God’s Word.
- He demanded that he had absolute authority over me and was to be my primary “lord.”
- He was asking me to commit clear sin according to God’s Word – (idolatry, immorality, stealing, lying, hatred, greed, criminal activity, lust, unforgiveness, gossip, slander, drunkenness, using illegal drugs, having an abortion, participating in pornography, etc…)
- He was obviously demon possessed.
- He was involved in a major drug/alcohol/gambling/sex addiction and the addiction was in control of his life.
- He was abusing me or our children.
- He was leading me into a false teaching or a cult.
- He wanted me to do or condone something illegal (unless it was to smuggle Bibles into a restricted country or something similar where the law was against sharing Christ).
- He was involved in unrepentant adultery or other major unrepentant sin like habitual lying, a major porn addiction, etc…”
April is right in the way she presents it for her marriage. She is under her husband’s authority and clearly spells that out that she is posting with her husband’s knowledge and approval. This is the list that they have created for themselves by agreement in their marriage, under the authority of her husband.
However, application of this goes awry when attempting to apply it to other marriages. Some of the comment examples.
I would add, if he is unapologetically lying. If he cant be trusted, tells lies frequently, and you are unable to discern truth because of his lies, i would be very careful about submitting to him, until you have asked God for clear understanding of the truth. I didnt know my husband was lying, but my gut kept telling me he wasnt being completely honest. I begged God for truth, and things started to become clear. It was not good.
I’ve been following this blog for a long time, and I have definitely found myself in a position outside of the Biblical submission category. Last night my husband verbally abused me and started to throw something at me, but stopped himself, all because I didn’t seek him out to see if he needed help moving some boxes and furniture. He said terrible things to me, which I won’t repeat here. There’s no way that I can begin to submit to him Biblically, as he did these things both to me and in front of our children. All day today he hasn’t spoken to me and acts as though nothing happened. He has yet to offer an apology.
Can anyone spot the problem?
Let’s look at what the Scriptures say:
1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right [b]without being frightened by any fear.
You see, the problem with applying what others have agreed to Biblically in the marriage to another marriage is that it is not necessarily Biblical.
It should be clear that the Scriptures tell wives with husbands that are disobedient to their Word should submit to them and win them with their chaste and respectful behavior and gentle and quiet spirit. However, the commenters are using April’s list of things that she agreed with her husband with in her marriage to disobey their husbands in their own marriage.
This is a good example of one of the main problems I have with so-called “intelligent submission.” It is apples to oranges because of the differences in marriages of a husband who is a Christ and and has agreed to certain things as opposed to a husband who is not a believer. Wives with unbelievers as husbands use this “intelligent submission” as a way to disobey their husbands, when the goal should be to use their behavior to win their husbands to Christ.
Instead, such wives are using disobedience as revenge for hurt and bitterness rather than taking the road that God tells them in Scripture to use their behavior to win their husbands. There is a reason why Jesus said to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Good behavior under difficult and adverse situations is a huge witness for Christ simply because we don’t respond how others think that we will in adverse situations. A husband who is acting disobedient from the word will think it natural if a wife disobeys and lashes back at him for his bad behavior. However, what will a husband think or do if she keeps treating him kindly, with respect, and submission even when he is mean to her? That’s how God uses a wife’s behavior to win her husband.
The Father wants everyone to come to Him like the prodigal son. Righteous behavior starts with the Christian in the situation. Obedience to God’s Word is one way to do that.
This is why Christian wives need to be very careful with what they are teaching. Titus 2 also speaks to older women/wives teaching obedience to husbands to younger women/wives. It’s easy to say one thing about your marriage without understanding that it may not apply to another wife’s marriage. Unfortunately, sometimes it leads other wives in the wrong direction.
 Obviously, if there is a potential [dangerous] situation, a wife should get help from family, friends, and the police if necessary.