Who’s The Boss?

What happens with disagreement in marriage? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday my wife and I got into a discussion with other men talking about the Garden of Eden and then the roles of men and women. Within the past week, I have been accused of being a misogynist for the great crime of daring to say that men value respect more than women. With all that being said, I figure it’s time in light of yesterday’s post on marriage to write up something about how that dynamic takes place.

Now first off, I am someone who does believe in male headship in the household. I do stand by this, but note what that means. This does not mean the man stands over the woman with a whip. Seeing as one of my wife’s favorite series is Dragonball, she will appreciate this illustration of what I am NOT talking about as how male headship should go.

If you are a husband like that, frankly, you’re a jerk.

This also doesn’t mean that the woman has no say in the household. A captain of a ship has a first mate and sometimes, he needs some wisdom outside of his own perspective. A husband should consult his wife on matters and see what she thinks. In fact, there are some areas he might just put her in charge entirely and let her do what she wants. Finances can be just such an area. I know many households where the woman is a master at handling the bills and so the husband just trusts her discretion in the matter. I have no problem with this.

It’s my stance that the husband is the king of his castle, but if he is the king of his castle, then that means his wife gets treated like a queen. Too many husbands look at the verse that says “Submit!” and use that as a whip over and over. Now my own wife knows that I do think that the wife does submit to her husband, but she also knows that I have never used that verse of Scripture like a weapon and it’s a shame that any man is doing that. Perhaps they should consider what 1 Peter 3:7 says.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Yes men, you have a responsibility, and you are to love your wives as Christ loved the church. It’s hard to think of an attitude more self-sacrificial than that, but that is in fact what the very text of Ephesians 5 says and if you hear those words and you don’t get any nervousness whatsoever as a husband, there is something wrong with you. It is too easy to treat the wife in the picture as a household servant or as a sex object. You did not marry someone just so they could be a maid. You did not marry someone so you could treat them just like you would a prostitute. You married a person and if you did the right thing and married a Christian woman, you married a child of the king. Treat her like one or else her Father might not be too happy with you.

Now does this mean there are no other differences? No. I do stand behind the idea that men do as a general principle thrive more on respect and women thrive more on love. I don’t see that as sexist. I just see that as stating a fact. With what I said yesterday, I urge women to give their husbands that respect, even when you think he’s being a bonehead. You men meanwhile give your wives that love, even when you think they’re being uncaring. I should point out that the stakes do change if somehow the situation gets abusive. No wife should have to submit to a husband that is abusing her. A man should avoid a woman that is abusing him.

I contend that if this is done properly, leadership will not be the rule of a tyrant and submission will not be the slave begging for mercy. In fact, both parties might not even realize it’s going on.

In Christ,
Nick Peters