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This is a Controversial Topic

This Marriage Topic Generates Some Heated Discussions

This isn’t the most popular topic to talk about. Scratch that…it IS a popular topic to discuss, but the discussion is usually heated and can turn into a man-bashing session.

It is by far the one topic on which I get the most pushback on social media.

What is it? And why all the controversy?

It is the subject of men being the leaders in their homes, and wives submitting to their husbands. 

It’s controversial because it has been wrongfully used by men for centuries to excuse treating women as second class citizens.

It’s controversial because in an age where we have so many single-mother households, it’s difficult to get past the hurt that created these households in the first place.

It’s controversial because humans have made ugly that which God meant to be beautiful – the marriage relationship.

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 

-Genesis 2:18

The Biblical example of a man being the head of his home, the wife submitting to her husband, and her being his helper has been twisted, misused, and misrepresented by abusive men who needed an excuse for their behavior. It has been hijacked by women who have been hurt by the men in their lives, who should have been their protectors, but instead let them down; men who abused their headship or abused the women themselves.

In the zeal for making right these wrongs, and in the quest for women to be treated as equal human beings, the thought of women coming under the headship of a man has become a nasty concept. It has been dubbed “old fashioned” and “patriarchal”. It now carries the assumption that in order for a man to be the head of his home, the woman must be weak; must be a silent doormat.

It was never meant to be this way.

Women are not created to be weak, helpless beings. We are not meant to be silent bystanders in life. We are not second class citizens. 

God intended that men and women live in partnership with each other, that a marriage would have order (like everything else God creates), and that we all would thrive in the calling He has created us for.

Those that would argue the Bible upholds women to be treated as lesser human beings have not paid attention to women like Eve, Ruth, Esther, Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of Jesus, Sarah, Rachel, or Miriam. While these women may have lived in a time where the culture kept them lower than men, God never intended for them to be less important or less valuable.

Satan delights in tearing down that which God has created. As men and women, we are God’s most precious creation, His most precious possession. Satan hates that someone would be more important than him; his pride and self-righteousness is what got him cast from heaven.

God also loves order, so Satan works to create chaos. Misconstruing the roles of men and women have created some chaos in the world, wouldn’t you agree?

God loves you more than you can fathom; therefore, Satan hates you with an intensity you could never imagine.

Since Satan carries such hatred toward you and I, he does all he can to destroy us. 

One of the ways I feel he is attempting this destruction right now is by destroying marriage – what it is, what it is meant to be, and the definition of a healthy marriage. If Satan can destroy what it means to be married, he can destroy marriage, destroy the family, and destroy mankind from the inside out. When we give in to the lies Satan pours out about men, women, marriage, and family, we play right into his hand, and tear down our relationships with our own two hands.

Let’s not give him a win, sweet friend! Let’s take a stand and choose to live as godly women and godly wives.

Marriage is intended to be an example to us here on Earth of the relationship between Christ and the Church. In Scripture, there are several places where Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom and the Church as the Bride. The Gospels guide us on what a healthy marriage should look like. And we are guided as to what our roles are as women of the faith.

A pastor I listen to put it clearly…God creates and Satan counterfeits. Let that sink in a moment.  The world takes what God designed, at Satan’s prompting attempts to make it better by creating their own set of rules and standards, experiences chaos as the result of “making it better”, then attempts to add a human solution to a problem only God has the answer to. We stay in the same cycles hoping for a better outcome – which is the definition of insanity – and all the while Jesus’ heart breaks to see it, and Satan delights at the problems he has caused.

You cannot serve both God and man. Light cannot exist in the darkness.

So, what does it mean to be submissive and a helper to your husband? As God intended, not as the world intended. As we explore this, make a mental note of areas you choose to commit to improve for the sake of your marriage. We all have areas to work on, none of us is perfect. Believe that your marriage can be wonderful, happy, and healthy.

“Helper” means just that; be your husband’s helper. Just as husbands are commanded to be the protector of the marriage, of you, and of his home, and to love you as Christ loves the Church, we, as women, are commanded to support our husbands. This support will look different in each of our homes, and it should be discussed between you and your husband. Ask him how you can best support him. Much frustration comes from unmet expectations, and most unmet expectations stem from a lack of voices those expectations.

A great way to support your husband is to uphold him as the leader of your home. “Leader” does not mean “dictator”. It does not mean you are a doormat and a silent partner in the marriage. It means the two of you are a team. It is the misrepresentation of this meaning that has brought on abusive power in marriage relationships and mistreatment of women over the centuries.

“Submit” means to respect the decisions he makes as the head of the home. Does this mean he makes decisions alone? Absolutely not! A healthy marriage happens when husband and wife work as a unit. The two discuss decisions that are to be made, with both considering the other’s point of view, and in the end, the husband makes the final verdict. There have been a few times in our marriage where I haven’t agreed with my husband’s decision, yet I know that every choice he makes, he makes with the well-being of me and the kids in mind. If a decision backfires, he will correct it, and I can choose to not gloat, make degrading remarks, or to “take away” his decision-making “privileges” thinking I can do better myself. 

Have I always been perfect? No! Do I still sometimes get frustrated? Yes! I’m human. I have emotions, my husband and I see eye to eye on many things, yet there are other things we are on different pages about. I am still able to submit to my husband because he is an honorable, trustworthy, respectable man of God. If your husband is not there yet, are you willing to help him get there? Are you willing to show him honor and respect and allow him to make decisions, even if it isn’t what you would do? It can take some practice, but I assure you it is worth it.

Submitting to your husband does not mean you have lost any significance, it means you are choosing to follow the order God laid out for marriages. There is a reason God orders things as He does. We may not always understand it, yet we can trust it is the way for us to be.

Ladies, why do so many of us resist leadership from our husbands? Does it stem from past hurts at the hands of men you should have been able to rely on? Have they sullied your vision of what a man is? Have they kept you from allowing your husband to lead the family? It’s important to explore these questions and find where the root of your distrust in men comes from. Once you discover it, find ways to heal, open up to your husband about it and let him care for you as well. He loves you, sweet friend. He wants the best for you. Let him give it to you. And choose not to stay “stuck” replaying those past hurts on repeat in your mind. Staying in a state of hurt keeps the hurt coming.

This may have been a heavy or sensitive subject for some of you. Women have been hurt by men, and sometimes the hurt carries over and sullies future relationships with other men in your life. 

I appreciate your vulnerability and honesty with yourself as we explore ways to become more like Jesus and honor the change He has made inside us through our outward actions.

If you have personally experienced, or are currently experiencing abuse in your marriage, please seek help now! It can seem scary or overwhelming. I can assure you, getting out is the best thing for you. God never intended for you to live life in this manner. You were meant to live a life thriving in the freedom He so freely offers to each of us.

You are beloved, sweet friend. It’s a joy to be on this life’s journey with you!

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Pam Spinker
Author-Speaker-Mentor

I help Christian homeschool moms, just like you, thrive in your home and in your walk with Christ. If you question your abilities, or feel like you’re drowning in homeschooling, you’re in the right place! 

I’m here to help! 

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