When I spoke, I said too little

The biggest surprise for me when I participated in Reactionary Ian’s last live-stream was just how hostile some of the other panelists–self-described patriarchal Christians all–were to Biblical patriarchal headship in marriage, and how quickly they tripped over themselves to proclaim a need for a wife to limit her submission in order to prevent her husband from “being a tyrant” and how insistent they were that a wife must “call out her husband’s sin.”

A wife “calling out her husband’s sin” is no less heretical than a female “bishop.”

 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.  And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. —1 Timothy 2:11-14 (NASB)

“Calling out” sin is a form of teaching, and an exercise of authority.

A husband is a man. A wife is a woman.

This is milk, folks.

About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. —Hebrews 5:11-14 (ESV)

And how can you have a home free of rebellion, if you yourself rebel against the authority and responsibility God has assigned you, and actively encourage your wife to rebel against you?

You can’t.

Oh, I get it. It’s uncomfortable to think about having all that authority and responsibility. It is for me too. Believe me, I’ve caught myself tripping over myself to tell my wife how important her input is. I’ve remained silent when I should have corrected her, hoping that she would come to the right conclusions without me actively teaching and leading. The impulse to abdicate half of my kingdom must be beaten down violently in me.

And I know it’s not just me, and the guys on that live-stream. In a recent post, Cane Caldo wrote,

While it is murmured elsewhere that I am an oppressive dolt, the fact is you can’t keep me from tripping over myself to make clear my haste to demonstrate my lack of need for submission…which is a lie that I’ve been telling myself since I began thinking about submission. I do need my wife’s submission if I want a wife at all!

I’m a bit timid of this line of thinking. There is some sickness in me that wants my wife to find me…what? Equal? Unworthy? Something. At the same time: The sickness makes me bitter when it gets its wish! It is a stupid sickness of the Old Adam and it must be crucified within me. Healthy marriage is too important.

Too important indeed.

Beat down the impulse to allow your fear of your own weaknesses and shortcomings drive you to abdicate your God-given authority and responsibility. Instead, use that fear to drive you into closer reliance on God, into more fervent study of His Word, into more diligent overcoming of those shortcomings and weaknesses.

God gave you your mission, your authority, your responsibility. To deny it is to disobey Him. Accept the role He has given you, and claim His promise that He will assist you in rightly fulfilling it. Your ability to be worthy of the authority and responsibility God has entrusted you with is dependent only on your belief that God will make you worthy.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. —Mark 9:23 (KJV)

7 thoughts on “When I spoke, I said too little

  1. Oh, I get it. It’s uncomfortable to think about having all that authority and responsibility. It is for me too. Believe me, I’ve caught myself tripping over myself to tell my wife how important her input is.

    Yep. When I wrote, “prepare to be offended”, I didn’t mean at reading my words or at thinking about the topic in general.

  2. Thanks for this. Similar veins of thought have been coursing through my quietness of late.

  3. Genesis 3:17 And to Adam he (God) said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you;

    Postulate 1) Listening (heading) to your wife leads to curses.

    Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish

    Postulate 2) Love directed toward your wife means sanctifying her with the Word.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man (anthropos not gender specific) of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

    Postulate 3) Sanctifying with the Word includes correction and reproof.

    Conclusion: Men who will not correct their wives are failing to love them by sanctifying them with the Word as commanded in scripture.

    Corollary: Men who listen to their wives and do not correct them and reprove them are inviting a curse, for which the whole world suffers.

  4. The biggest mistake I have made in my marriage has been to give my wife veto power. I would ask her input (counsel) and if she felt strongly about X, I would decide that we would do X. Failure of authority and leadership by me.

    Now; I listen to her input, pray about what to do, and make the final decision my own. Not always what she wants.

    There have been several times I have had to remind her that God made me the husband and that means God put me in charge. I am fortunate that she believes in submission to her husband, believes that she should be respectful to me.

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