Filed under Marriage
What does biblical submission look like in decision making—especially if you and your husband disagree? Of course, a wife must never follow her husband into sin; but what about when it isn’t that simple? And let’s face it, there are a lot of times when it isn’t that simple!
The most helpful answer I’ve found on this question comes from Heath Lambert in an excellent article on the CBMW website. Using a real couple as a case study, he offers five helpful guidelines from Scripture.
Particularly helpful is Lambert’s second guideline, where he provides a model for biblical, loving authority and submission in every day decisions. Lambert encourages couples to “distinguish between ‘during the day’ and ‘at the end of the day’”:
My wife and I are committed to a complementarian vision for our home. I want to lovingly lead our home, and Lauren wants to submit to my authority. We believe that my loving leadership involves listening to the thoughts, ideas, and suggestions of my wife. I trust my wife. She is one of the brightest and most insightful people I have ever met in my life. One of the reasons I married her is because of the profound gift of wisdom she has received from the Lord. But sometimes we disagree. Because this is true, we need to talk about those things that we see differently. “During the day” is the phrase we use to refer to the decision making process.“During the day"we talk and listen to one another. We ask questions, express concerns,and push-back on what the other one is thinking.“During the day” is the time when a husband listens to his wife (Jas 1:19), seeks to lovingly serve her (1 Cor 13:5), and live understandably with her (1 Pet 3:7).
“The end of the day” is the phrase we use to refer to the actual decision as it is made. At “the end of the day” I am the one responsible before God to make a decision that suits the best interests of our family. I know that, and Lauren knows that. At “the end of the day” there have been times when Lauren and I have disagreed regardless of what happened “during the day.” At that point, with great sobriety, I exercise authority, and Lauren engages in the act of submission saying, “Honey, the Lord has made you responsible for our home. I think you have listened to me, and understood me. I would make a different choice, but I am happy to support your decision on this matter.”
If things don’t go well ‘during the day’ or ‘at the end of the day’, Lambert encourages a couple to pursue help from their pastor. For more on what this looks like, you can read the entire article here.