Once upon a time a woman said that she was best friends with her husband and that she could talk to him about anything. “When did it change?” I asked. She said that she lost the friendship with her husband when they became married and he felt inclined to change his role to his interpretation of the biblical view of the male in a biblical marriage.
I asked him what his interpretation of the male role was in a Godly marriage. He quipped, “My interpretation before or after the marriage separation?”
Me: “The one you really believe in your heart and mind”
He went on to give an example of how he may have said things like “I am going to have to pull rank on you and we are going to do this”. He readily admitted that he felt that he needed to have an opinion about every little day to day thing and that if he wasn’t pushing to have his wife comply then he wasn’t appropriately exercising his leadership role.
Her interpretation is that she doesn’t do submission well. God didn’t wire her that way.
I am not about to judge right or wrong or to say I am an expert on submission (my husband might choke on something). I, like everyone else, strive to be more like Jesus, which would translate to wanting to have a Godly marriage. I see both men and women today struggling with their role in marriage. Society has such a strong influence on us and we get confused.
What Does the Bible Say?
Sometimes with the best of intention we try to block out the world and look to scripture for our answers but we interpret with our worldly view. Then we try to execute with some truth to our role, but it doesn’t seem to work in real life.
For some of us we trust God, so we lean in and in a dictatorial way we throw the Good Book at our spouse trying to show them that they aren’t doing it right. Others get discouraged and begin to doubt God’s design for marriage.
In my mind both of these paths can lead away from God’s plan for our marriage. As a matter of fact I hear a little rumbling of Satan trying to lead us astray by manipulating God’s plan just a touch, but enough to take us completely off course.
My former pastor (he moved away) always explained to me that it is difficult to interpret scripture without taking a verse in context of the whole bible. Meaning it is dangerous to just look up verses on marriage and not look at them in context of the entire body of scripture. I think that leads us to misinterpretation that brings us to the path of skewed application with Satan cheering us on from the side.
Do We Really Want Our Spouse’s God-ordained Role?
I understand that God created us with different roles in mind. It made me sad that the application this couple was putting in place led to the wife not believing in God’s plan for our roles in marriage. Being a type A personality myself I could relate to her view, but could quickly think of many scenarios where I would happily submit.
If we were in war and there were bad guys outside of our house coming for our family I am pretty confident I would instantaneously look to my husband to take the lead and throw himself in front of the screaming bullet to protect us. I don’t see us standing their with me arguing “I am just as capable as you are. If you think I am just going to sit here and not put myself in physical, painful danger, just because you are the man of the house, you can forget it!” Yeah right!
Grace and Mercy for All!
I think being more Christlike and being a Godly spouse are a life long journey. We won’t ever get it perfectly right. My prayer for marriages is that both spouses will lean in to God’s word. Continue to study His nature and intent for our lives in general, as well as specifically, and to try to exercise grace and mercy with each other as we clumsily try our best to apply God’s word to our respective roles in marriage.
Are you constantly striving to better understand God’s plan for your life and marriage? Do you give yourself grace and mercy, as well as your spouse, as you navigate this thing called life and marriage?