Pastors, Please Teach Wifely Submission Biblically

Pastors, Please Teach Wifely Submission Biblically

Written By Ken Alexander

Recently, I listened to a sermon on marriage by a well-known evangelical pastor as I was challenged by a friend that I had him wrong on his views of a Christian wife’s submission to her husband. I was so hopeful that he was right and that his pastor was not giving the same defensive and inaccurate message on wifely submission that is rampant in the churches.

At first, the pastor did a good job emphasizing that a Christian wife’s submission to her husband is clear in the Word and not optional, but it quickly became apparent in the fine print that he would buy back much of what true biblical submission is all about, leaving his audience confused if submission is to be followed at all in today’s modern world.  The sermon certainly was not in keeping with what sound biblical pastors and theologians taught us with theological accuracy for centuries until just some 30 years ago when feminism began infiltrating the Church.

The pastor began with a very clear and indisputable presentation of God’s desire for a wife’s submission to her husband:

“Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord.  You don’t do it because he deserves it, but because Jesus asked you to. In biblical submission, there is no way around it.”

Excellent, Pastor!  If all pastors would make it this clear and incontrovertible, the Church and family could flourish. But later, he goes on to muddy the waters so badly that it is hard to tell who is submitting to whom and if a wife is truly being asked to submit at all.

Pastor: “But I also want to take a moment and talk about submission’s fine print. If you read a contract, you can’t take one particular phase out of that contract and build everything upon it or you are going to get screwed big time. When it comes to submission, yes, it says submit, and, yes, submit means to put their needs and interests first and do what they ask you to do but the Bible is full of stories and statements that gives some clarity and boundaries to this, the fine print.

“Biblical submission is not blind or absolute. If you are asked to do that which is immoral or illegal you say no, or you look for a creative alternative and if that is not there you just accept the consequences.”

We love it so far!  And I have written a post about how a wife’s submission in everything does not mean EVERYTHING! But now the wheels are about to come off of a perfectly good sermon.

Pastor: “Biblical submission is mutual and husbands are to submit to their wives.”

WOW, Really? This is a far stretch when not once is a husband commanded to submit to his wife, yet a wife is commanded to submit to her husband some six to eight times. Even if one could conclude that mutual submission is to be part of a Christian marriage, can you tell me, pastor, what that should look like? Oh, maybe it’s deferring to the other as to which restaurant to choose for date night. But what about the harder questions of what church to attend, which schools to send the kids, or whether or not to homeschool, how often should we have sex each week, and where are we to live?

What about what roles we are to play when it comes to housework and if the wife is to work outside the home? How about spending money or savings, how to discipline a child, or how much housework should get done each day? Pastor? Pastor? Why are you silent in a passage on submission about any question of importance that the marriages of your flock are having power struggles with every day? Does mutual submission mean a husband is to submit to his wife in all these areas? If so, why does God tell wives to submit to their husbands six to eight times and never once to a husband, if husbands are to submit to their wives?

Okay, pastor, what should it look like in a marriage if a husband makes a decision a wife does not like? What should a couple do if the wife is regularly losing her emotional well being because a husband will not do what she wants him to do? The closest he comes to answering these important questions is to say, “I better be in the kitchen, especially when she gives me that look.” Humm… a sermon on submission and a pastor who is being controlled by the way his wife glares at him to motivate him to help with the housework.

In his explanation of what submission is not, he gives the classic Christian feminist arguments by going to Proverbs 31:

“She’s not a little mousy, submissive wife who is just sitting around… She is independent and has a real estate license.”

Really… a real estate license because she bought one piece of land? The passage is simply silent as to whether her husband gave his permission or not, but in keeping with the times, Mrs. Independent would have gotten her husband’s approval, right, pastor? She just did not go out and do it on her own, just like you would want your submissive wife to get your approval before buying land, right? And just how independent is this submissive wife supposed to be? So independent that what she is doing every day goes contrary to what her husband desires?

He goes on to put Christian men on the never-ending treadmill when he talks about “live with her according to knowledge.” For this pastor, this means that if you are married to a “high maintenance wife, figure her out and maintain her well.” Whoa! She is not to adapt to her husband and be his help meet, but he is to adapt to her and spend a lifetime trying to figure out what will please his high maintenance wife, when many times all that will really please her is if she is in control and gets her way. She may live an unhappy life in the marriage because it is her regular displeasure with him that keeps her man under her control.

Husbands are to “protect her as the weaker physical vessel, not that she is weaker emotionally.”

Now, pastor, I have to call you out here as you try not to offend your audience. You know full well that most women are weaker emotionally than their Christian husbands, but you just can’t say it out of fear. You make no reference to anything that the Greek text or context may have to defend this assertion that emotional weakness is not part of the context.

Here, let me help you out and give you some empirical evidence, even as you know from your experience that men and women process emotions differently and women struggle more with their emotional nature than men do in general. God forbid that your audience find out what they already know and have known almost all of their lives. It’s not by accident that 70 percent or more of divorces are sought by unhappy women who allow their emotions to rule over their once godly values for family, children, and most of all their Lord Jesus.

Then he shows his own bias. He had a dad who perhaps did not serve his mom and says, “In my world growing up, if you have the right plumbing you get whatever you want.” Classic! Put down Christian men as if it is a plumbing issue instead of recognizing it is a God ordained issue of headship.

The women in the room must be eating this up and poking their husbands in the ribs. Here we have a sermon specifically on a wife’s submission to her Christian husband and men are put on the defensive because his dad did not live out proper leadership in his home. The pendulum has swung the other way with “mutual submission” meaning no submission at all, and in many Christian homes, husbands are scrambling to keep up (or put up) with the control of their wives in almost every area of marriage, family, and their down time.

Finally, he makes the worst of all mistakes pastors too often make by saying, “Who would not want to submit to a husband who is serving his wife?” He supposes that all wives everywhere would just love the idea of submission if their husbands are serving and loving them well. WRONG! Not my wife!!! Nor the wives of a whole bunch of good and godly men whose rebellious wives have put them into an impossible position of having to put up or divorce and lose their children and half of what they own. No matter how hard they have tried, some wives just won’t play mutual and fair. Yet they still go to church and their Bible studies justifying their actions by their bitterness.

My wife heard many sermons like this one and read marriage book after marriage book searching for how we could get along and have a great marriage. It always came back to this classic lie that every one of them was telling her. “If my marriage is not going as Christian marriage should, it is because my husband is not serving and loving me well.” These books and sermons had her looking so deeply at the fine print that she missed the big bold letters, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord… in every thing.”

He concludes by saying, “The goal of marriage is that it should be a model to the world of our Lord’s love and relationship to us.”

I totally agree! I am 100 percent on board with a husband’s required role of being a servant leader who lays down his life for his wife, but the scriptures make it very clear that it is the role of the godly, Christian wife to live in submission to her husband, not vice versa. The idea of “mutual submission” is an oxymoron. Do master’s submit to their servants, bosses to employees, elders to their flock, or parents to their children? Of course not. Each of these roles can take on a servant leadership role, even a sacrificial and understanding role, but never would one postulate that they are to be submissive to those they are trying to lead.

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church” (Ephesians 5:23). Does Christ submit to His Church? He loves it, serves it, and has sacrificed for the Church, but He is the Lord of the Church and we are to submit to Him. If pastors could just get back to teaching what wifely submission is and stop spending most of the sermon on what it is not, maybe then Christian wives could see marriage though God’s eyes and come to value the protection and leadership of their husbands instead of trying to stay in control of the relationship. Or worse yet, waiting for their husbands to do “their part” as they see it, before they will obey what God is clearly asking them to do when it comes to submitting to their godly or disobedient husbands.

When a Christian woman uses all of the arguments here as to what submission is not, and what a husband should do and be in marriage, I always ask them just one question. “The Bible tells a wife to be submissive to her husband six to eight times and never once tells a husband to submit to his wife. Are you living in submission to your husband?” Unfortunately, the answer is almost always, “No way, it’s mutual submission! And of course. if it is mutual then I don’t really have to submit at all, but I do expect my husband to keep loving me as Christ loves the Church and lay down his life for me. After all, this is all so clear in the Bible!”

Please, pastors, the Church is dying because you won’t teach the truth just as the Scriptures plainly teach it. Stop throwing your fears, bias, and feminism into your messages and be the man of God that your Lord Jesus is asking you to be as a leader of your church. If not, only a small remnant will remain as the soul of the Church and the healthy, godly families who are committed to doing things God’s ways, not man’s ways. The churches’ soul is rotting.

I dare you to give it a try and see all the blessings God can give when a Christian marriage sells out to both husband and wife doing and being what God asks us to be. In my marriage, where I had given up hope of ever truly being able to love and be loved by my wife the way God says, is now most fulfilling and rewarding. It was turned on its head in just one moment of time.

“I finally figured it out!” she excitedly said.

“Uh, what did you figure out?”

“I figured out how we can have a good marriage.”

“Okay, what do I need to do now?”

“It’s nothing you can do. It’s something I need to do. I need to learn how to please you.”

“I like the way that sounds,” I said as I headed off to work in my office. Little did I know that less than a week later I would find myself at the kitchen table with four kids chattering away and looking into the eyes of my smiling wife as she returned my gaze. And then it hit me. I was falling head over heels with this woman like I had never loved her before. Fast forward almost 15 years later now and that love and admiration grows deeper every day as I watch her “look well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

I am not a high maintenance husband but I love her ministry in my life and the lives of our children, grandkids, and many others, who have all benefited greatly from the New Life that my wife found in obedience to the plain Word of God. But most of all, she is now happy. Really, really, happy with me and with life, and that makes me so happy just to watch her find the joy in serving others. A joy she never knew could exist at this level until an older, godly woman (Debi Pearl) showed her what submission does look like, and stopped her confusion of the small print over the big print. She is free to please the Lord not by trying to avoid all the evils that may befall a submissive wife, but by purposefully and actively trying to be that wife that God calls her to be.

We pray that couples everywhere will find this same joy unspeakable we have found in doing marriage God’s way. We sympathize with pastors trying to avoid this minefield of feminism we now have in our churches, but we ask that they stop watering down and obfuscating what God clearly wants of godly, Christian women: “Wives submit to your own husbands…” How many times must God’s Word say it for us to believe it?

We pray that God would revive the Church, yet fear that this revival won’t happen by evangelism or in the seeker-friendly churches, but must begin with the family and marriage doing things God’s way. Pastors, please teach all of God’s Word even the hard things that are difficult to teach in today’s modern world if you want your marriages and families to be healed. Be bold and unashamed to go against the cultural tide and side with God at His Word on this important matter of life, marriage, and godliness.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Ephesians 5:22, 23

66 thoughts on “Pastors, Please Teach Wifely Submission Biblically

  1. Someone will probably answer the “Where does it say that the husband should submit to the wife?” question by pointing out the verse that immediately precedes the scripture quoted here: Eph 5:22-23.

    Ephesians 5:21 tells us all to “submit to one another“.

    However, 5:21 is very clearly talking about all believers in the body of Christ, and their relationship to each other as fellow believers.

    Verse 22 begins a new topic, specifically about believers who happen to be married, and therefore, it is specifically aimed at husbands and wives, and is not speaking about “all believers in general”.

    Verses 22 and 23 are further instructions for those who are married, because their marriage is a model of the relationship between Christ and the Church in a way that single people do not provide. No one says that being single is in any way less noble or preferable than being married, but God uses marriage to teach us about the churches relationship, as a Bride to the Son.

    BUT… To those who do enter into a marriage contract, they need to understand that marriage is a work that God has given both of them a mandate to do and perform. Both the husband and the wife are expected to work and put effort into the marriage, to tend it as Adam was tasked by God with tending the garden. He expects us to fulfill our individual roles and tasks within the marriage. He expects there to be unity in the marriage because marriage is a model of the unity between the persons of the Godhead, and between Christ and the Church. It’s all one unity, from us at the bottom, to God at the top – We altogether in Christ, Christ in us, and we all together in God. UNITY.

    And in order to attain this unity, he has instructed several types of submission to authority for all believers, both male and female. And in the case of Eph 5, he is speaking of authority within marriage: that the man should lead, and the wife should submit and follow that lead.

    Unity does not always mean “agreement”, and where there is disagreement, that is where submission comes into play, for the sake of Unity in the marriage, and ultimately the whole body of Christ. We may not always agree. But when we disagree, that is where submission steps in to maintain the UNITY that God wants us to experience.

    Under authority is a place that all believers find themselves. Not just wives. And just as my wife submits to my lead in the marriage, I submit to those in authority over me, whether they be masters (employers), or the State, or my church elders, and ultimately all the way up to God himself.

    In the bible, God calls rebellion “witchcraft”. And the penalty for witchcraft, in the Old Covenant, was death.

    So, God takes rebellion (ie, submission to authority) very, very seriously. And the first safeguard against that crime is submission to authority. For all of us. And that includes the wife’s submission to her husband every bit as the husbands submission to Christ.

    The scripture could be interpreted as saying, “Wives, submit to the authority of your husband, in the same way that your husband submits to the authority of Christ.

    And there is a parable that shows exactly what this looks like, and what the result is: The Roman Centurion’s request to Jesus to heal his servant.

    Jesus agrees to go heal the man’s servant, but he stops him and says, “No so, lord…

    Now here is the wondrous part:

    “…For I too am a man under authority, and I say to this one, ‘do this’ and he does it. Or I say to that one, ‘go here’, and he goes. But only say the word, and it will be done.”

    Do you see what the result of that encounter was?

    It said that “Jesus marveled at the man.”

    If we want Jesus to “marvel” at us and our marriages, we need to understand that we are under authority, and that by being under authority, and submitting to authority, we fulfill the will of God in our lives, give an example to the world of what unity with God looks like, and we can expect our work (that is, our marriages) to be blessed.

  2. Debi Pearl’s book changed my marriage and I am forever grateful. I actually reread it at least once a year to bring my attitude back into check as somehow I find my old ways trying to come out again…and again.

    Funny thing is my husband spoils me. I have to tell him that I don’t want stuff….poor oppressed wife that I am❤️ I mentioned that we could use a couple chairs for our deck and this morning he ordered much nicer ones that I even asked for. I could go on and on….

  3. Excellent Robert. No Christian husband should ever be thinking that because God has asked him to lead his wife with sacrificial love, that this somehow makes him exempt from sacrificial love and service. It would be the same mistake this pastor and others make speaking of “mutual submission” as if there is no requirement for wifely submission at all.

    Biblical submission is alive and well in the Bible and in some churches and marriages, and still, husbands are out loving and out serving their wives because we are all called to lay down our lives for one another. But let’s stop this nonsense in the church that twists God’s Word in such a way that by the time the pastor is done with the sermon wives are leaving pointing their fingers at the fine print to their husbands as an excuse not to submit at all.

  4. “but it quickly became apparent in the fine print that he would buy back much of what true biblical submission is all about, leaving his audience confused”

    Years ago, this is exactly what always happened to me.

    As a new believer, I went to SO many pastors’ offices to speak to them privately and directly, to try and understand submission. And afterwards, would sit in my car and cry in the parking lot because what they said, just did not, did not, did not, make sense!! This is EXACTLY what it sounded like to me:

    It’s green, but its also blue, but in fact, remove some of the toothpicks, so it’s not too hollow. Or, so, you want to be wet, but not too wet because your husband will be tall … and it CAN BE BOTH … as long as the jello is set. So, submit, especially when there’s agreement, otherwise the directions will take you North.

    But you know what? I think I’ve figured it out. The ONLY verse that is ever used … EVER, is the one in Ephesians 5! Because it’s the only one that has ‘their’ wiggle room. They never look at ANY of the other verses about submission; least of all 1 Peter 3:1-6! They always, ALWAYS jump on Ephesians 5 to try and prove the case for interpreting submission as being mutual. Which yes, Ken, I completely agree is about as much of an oxymoron as being shrewdly dense.

  5. What a fantastic description of confusion! Love it.

    And Paul (the Apostle Paul) addresses this very thing in one of the letters to the Corinthians (I think). He tells us that if the trumpet does not give a clear and distinct call, no one will ready themselves for the battle.

    The Gospel must be preached intact and undiluted, or not at all. And the Gospel includes all of it, including the bits we wish weren’t in there (sometimes).

    As a man, it is wrong (and stupid) of the feminist movement to assume that because I am a man, I do not know the “burden” that biblical teaching places on women. I am keenly aware of it. I can imagine quite well what being told to “submit” must feel like to women who have grown up their entire lives being told, “you don’t need no man”.

    But, at the same time, I also know from experience the feeling of satisfaction and joy that can be had in the knowledge that my obedience is pleasing to the Lord, even if my salvation does not depend on it.

    We are all working to hear the Lord say to us one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” And each of us have different things we are called on to do in order to achieve that.

    I find that doing what pleases the Lord, while not pleasing to my flesh, most certainly IS pleasing to my spirit, because I take great joy, and even a sort of righteous pride in knowing that I am doing what I have been called to do, and God is pleased with my effort. In other words, “Let me, when I boast, boast in the Lord…”

    There is just something about the “Click”. When both sides, both partners, both co-workers in the marriage are “doing it right”, it just “clicks”, and you experience the joy, peace and love that God has designed for marriage.

  6. What fun! Marriage done God’s way. Does anyone think that our God is going to bless those who walk in fear instead of a hopeful faith? It is precisely your faith in your man that makes him want to sell out in loving you. But when one spouse draws back, the other almost also goes into hiding behind excuses instead of marching faithfully forward into all of God’s promises. Good for you two! and thanks for the fun comment!

  7. So well said Robyn :). It reminds me of when I went to see my pastor 30 years ago trying to figure out how to get my marriage to work. He listened politely and then said, “Well all I can tell you is to love her more.”

    Looking back on it I have to laugh. What we discovered was that he was being ruled by his wife and Mom and had a problem showing leadership in every corner. It’s may help keep the peace short term to “just love her more,” but at some point, both husbands and wives must confront God at His word and “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Christ, and wives be in submission to your own husbands… if we want to do marriage God’s way and reap his abundant blessings! It is sure working for us!

  8. Great post, Ken.

    Americas greatness was supported by the twin backbones of strong marriages, and strong churches. Both are imperiled by the refusal of women to be in subjection to their husbands, and the pastors are woefully negligent about laying out Gods order.

    Islam teaches the women’s place in marriage BETTER than American Christians, and Islam’s role for women is barbaric and imhumane. But, because they EXPECT it, they get submission. Islam demonstrates when the men of a society are united in expectations for women, they usually get what they want. Problem is, modern American men are lazy and lascivious, and are often too weak or ignorant to demand the place in the universe that God designed for them. Be that as it may, the role of men and women in society has never changed from the time of Creation and it never will.

  9. Hi Ken,

    I don’t think the article you referenced proves women are WEAKER emotionally, just that they have more varied reactions and a penchant to feel guilt, shame, sadness, fear, and rejection more strongly. This is not necessarily a weakness — shame and guilt can help right wrong behavior (whereas a man may not feel guilt and thus not feel the need to change wrong behavior). Another example is fear — fear can drive a woman to move her children to safety, while fearlessness could result in a man’s personal courage, but leaving those accompanying him in harm’s way depending on his actual skill set in relation to the type of danger. Of course, when out of control, these emotions are very bad (the same way a man’s out of control emotions, like anger, jealously, or pride, could be very bad). I do not mean to equate the sexes, just remove the us vs. them mentality — there should not be a wedge driven between men and women in this already very polar “women rule!” society.

    However, I agree that wifely Biblical submission needs to be taught, just the same as husbandly loving and serving needs to be taught. (And I mean serving in the sense of providing financial and spiritual security). A church with submissive wives trying their darn hardest to be joyfully following their husbands, with husbands who take advantage of that, is not going to be as strong church growing strong children. Similarly, a church with loving husbands trying their hardest to love rebellious wives will not have the best outcome either!

    I also think that Bible studies/ church groups need to really go in depth on the sex issue — so many Christians I know are really struggling because they are not taught simple sex ed, or they are taught destructive “purity” rhetoric that leaves psychological blocks. Women and men should know each other’s anatomy and how it responds, how the sex drives work together, and when to reach out to doctors for remedies to sexual dysfunction in different seasons of life. Sometimes there are myths about men and women’s arousal that even very innocent newlyweds have somehow internalized that later crash and burn their sex life. They should also know what Bible verses to reference to strengthen their understanding of each other’s sexuality!

  10. Except, submission doesn’t mean his wife is to heed to his every commandment and his every desires. It only means to follow after his leadership. In which the only way he should be leading is like Christ and Christ was humble and obedient he mentioned, mutual submission the word submission in the text means love and respect not obey his every commandment let alone it’s written in the middle voice which means it’s a willful reflective submission. Stop teaching heresy

  11. Dennis Prager, a brilliant Jewish man who has a radio program, speaks often about the different struggles that each sex has. Males struggle with their sexual nature and females with their emotional nature and you would have to be blind not to see that this is generally true. Honest men and honest women will admit this truth. Why do you think there are Bible verses warning about quarreling and contentious wives and men told not to lust after women?

    From what I have heard and seen, most churches clearly teach how men are to love and serve their wives but very few teach about wives’ submissive role to their husbands as my husband clearly showed in this post.

    No, Bible studies don’t need to go in depth on sexual issues. If a couple is having trouble, they should have one-on-one counseling or go see a doctor but in mixed classes, this would not be productive or good. And teachings on purity aren’t destructive since this is what God asks of us. The best way for a couple to figure all of this out is to learn to please each other in the privacy of their own bedrooms. If there is open communication, there should be no problems.

  12. Hi Lori,

    Perhaps you have not heard these “Purity” talks. They describe sex as dirty and ruining purity. They talk about young women and men being worth so much if they are pure, but worth nothing if they are not. When the time comes to have sex within marriage, the idea that is “dirty” “impure” creates guilt and sexual dysfunction. It also can make a married person feel worthless, if their worth was based on the crowning achievement of being a virgin, and now they are not.

    You can teach that purity is a gift you give your future spouse without this other harmful rhetoric!

    And of course any church classes would not be in mixed company! Many churches require counseling or meeting with a mentor before marriage, this would be the time.

  13. I have never heard purity taught that way, Kate. I was not and I didn’t teach our children this way. We taught them that sex was great but in the confines of marriage only. This is why God commands that we FLEE the youthful lusts. So much harm comes from sexual promiscuity.

  14. Robert Zeurunkl – “There is just something about the “Click”. When both sides, both partners, both co-workers in the marriage are “doing it right”, it just “clicks”, and you experience the joy, peace and love that God has designed for marriage.”

    YES, and that “click” is almost beyond words!

  15. I am confused as to why so much emphasis is put on submission of wives, and not on the salvation message of repentance, and baptism, which is clearly stated in the bible. Surely salvation is the first step, and the rest should follow?

  16. Hi Andi,

    We are sorry for your confusion and let me try to help clear it up. First, we do believe strongly in the message of the gospel of repentance and baptism. You may be new to this blog as almost all the people who frequent it are saved already or believe themselves to be saved having heard the gospel many times.

    The apostle Paul admonishes Believers “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment…” (Heb. 6:1-2). He is encouraging the Believer to keep pressing on in all we do to grow up into Christ and walk in His ways.

    One of his most important ways for us is marriage and family, and The Transformed Wife plays a very vital role in a fallen culture to try to direct women back to God’s ways. The blog is dedicated to following the admonition of Titus 2:3-5: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

    It is again of vital importance to the advancement of the Kingdom of God to have strong marriages that are based on God’s ways and Word. As it relates to evangelism, there is no greater evangelistic tool than strong families who pass on to the next generation salvation in all its glory. Did you know that about 90% of Believers come from Christian families? This is all part of God’s design.

    So if you want the gospel preached and repentance and baptism, think about supporting the Christian family, and that means we need strong marriages done God’s ways with a husband’s leadership and a wife’s joyful submission. A model of the Godhead that works in perfect harmony for all the world to see. All of God’s Word is good and profitable but healthy marriages are vital to God’s Kingdom.

  17. Submission is often–erroneously–taught to mean simple respect, for example, wives respect your husbands. But did Christ simply respect God the Father? No. He obeyed even though Christ asked (and wanted) not to be crucified. He did the Father’s will. He submitted.

    Likewise, the church is called to submit to Christ. This is the same wording used to represent the relationship between wives and their husbands.

    The heresy in modern churches is that wives and husbands are equally in charge, or that loving one’s wife means the husband must do whatever the wife wants (sacrificing his best judgment in order to serve her whims and make her happy).

  18. Hi Kate!

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    When I married, it was VERY difficult to “flip the switch” from sex = dirty and unchaste to suddenly be excited and show off my body to my husband when I was taught for years to be ashamed of my appearance only for being female. The emphasis on “sex within MARRIAGE is good” is not stressed enough in purity and modesty teaching.

  19. I think that there is a very basic problem. Church leaders of all denominations are so afraid of the feminist lobby that they do not feel able to preach Biblical Submission without trying to ‘modernise’ it into some sort of ‘partnership’ agreement or symbolic commitment devoid of practical meaning.

    Rather inconveniently for feminists God was much more clear. He saw the family as the basic unit of society, with the husband at its head and his wife and children under his authority and protection.

  20. Jelaya, a few comments one what you wrote.

    You say “submission doesn’t mean his wife is to heed to his every commandment”.
    If that is the case, then why does Ephesians 5:24 say “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”? Is the Church not really supposed to obey Christ? The Bible says that if you don’t obey Christ that you don’t even know Him (1 John 2:3-6). So obedience is absolutely a part of how the Church submits to Christ and if a wife is to submit to her husband in the same way, then obedience is also required in that relationship.

    The Bible says what it means and means what it says. “Everything” means everything… with the one exception of sin. We are all told to obey God first and then the earthly authorities that He has placed over us; so if a husband asks (or commands) a wife to sin, she does not have to obey but that is the ONLY exception to EVERYTHING.

    Then you say “the word submission in the text means love and respect”. Actually the word submission in the text is the Greek word “hupotassó”. According to Strong’s Concordance, hupotassó is a military term that means “to place or rank under, to subject” or in the middle voice that you mentioned… it literally means “to obey”.

    If you are “ranked under” another individual in the military, you obey their (lawful) orders. By definition, if you are “subject” to someone, it means that you are “under the power and dominion of another”. Now the middle voice here does indicate that a wife is to willingly and voluntarily perform the action of submitting and obeying upon herself. It is not something that is to be forced upon her but something that she is commanded to choose to do herself. But it does not change the meaning of the action from “obey” to “love and respect” as you stated. How a wife is commanded to “love” and “respect” her husband is covered in other verses.

    There is nothing confusing or ambiguous about the verses in the Bible that command a wife to submit to her husband… in everything… just as she would submit to and obey Jesus Christ Himself if He were standing in front of her. What the Bible actually teaches is that a wife is to treat her husband as if he were her owner and her master (1 Peter 3:6)… but that is a deeper topic for another time.

    You admonished that Lori should “Stop teaching heresy”. The definition of heresy is “belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine”.

    Orthodox Christian doctrine since the earliest days of the Church has held that a wife is to submit to and obey her husband in everything. This is shown throughout history in so many places they are too numerous to list. One such place is in traditional wedding vows (hardly heard anymore) where the wife vows to love, honor and OBEY her husband. As Ken wrote in the article, it’s only been in the past 30 years or so that feminism; this new “egalitarian” view has emerged in the Church and that is what is heresy.

  21. “It’s nothing you can do. It’s something I need to do. I need to learn how to please you.” Such a simple sentence to contain such a profound lesson in Biblical womanhood. I admit that I struggle with this issue. I am a submissive wife, and defer to my husband but I am also living with a great deal of frustration. He has serious health problems, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and extreme morbid obesity. His doctors have warned him repeatedly that he risks disability or early death if he does not act. He says that doctors are stupid and he is perfectly healthy and will live to 100 because he has good genes. He won’t eat healthy foods I make and prefers to go out for double cheeseburgers, fries, and soda or deep fried foods smothered in cheese, even for breakfast.

    I often end up cooking two separate dinners or a greasy high fat, refined carbohydrate dish that he has told me he wants for dinner. Even when I cook exactly the meal he has requested, he may go out for a “second dinner” afterwards. He eats bowls of cookies, ice cream by the half gallon, or chips and candy for dessert. He often gets sick after he eats , even throwing up at the table or in the kitchen sink, having breathing problems, or stomach pain. He goes through an entire bottle of antacids in a week or two. Attempts to “cook what he likes only a healthier version” at the advice of godly older women have not worked because he considers this controlling, hostile behavior.

    I continue to cook two meals or his main dish of choice with vegetables and healthy side dishes. He complains if I put vegetables or salad on the table because they “smell disgusting” and makes fun of the “rabbit food” I eat. I understand this is an addiction and his choices are out of my control. I understand that his own body is protesting the abuse he puts it through at this point. I am finding it very hard to navigate successfully between his food addiction, keeping our kids from falling into the same trap, and my responsibility as a wife to keep him happy and healthy.

    He says that he needs two things to be happy, lots of sex and bountiful portions of meaty, cheesy, rich, tasty food. Sounds simple, but both our sex life and relationship are suffering due to his addiction. His health issues are affecting his ability to perform and meal time feels more like a minefield than a calm and wonderful family time. I feel like I am failing him in my responsibility to keep him happy, healthy, and loved. I do a lot of praying that he will find a path to a better way of living before his luck runs out. I keep my mouth shut and am not living in open rebellion to his choices, but inside a part of me is crying out to the Lord for growth and change for the better.

  22. Keep crying out to the Lord, Kande, for strength and wisdom. You can’t change or convict your husband as you know. Only the Lord can do this. Lay this burden at his feet every day and try to keep it there. You are only responsible for your behavior not his. Pray that your husband will become moderate in his eating and learn self-discipline then rest in the Lord knowing He carries your burdens. Model healthy eating to your children. They are being modeled unhealthy eating by your husband and I seriously doubt they will want to be like him.

  23. I have a very good friend who is a Muslim and she insists that true Islam is NOT barbaric and inhumane towards women, but it has been made that way by evil, power-hungry men.

    I don’t know enough about the Muslim religion to know if she is speaking the truth or not, but knowing Christianity as I do (and how God’s word gets distorted by evil, power-hungry men, and the atrocities committed by Christians in the past all in the ‘name of God’) it wouldn’t surprise me in the least, if she is correct.

    Take female genital mutilation. How can any loving God (of *any* faith) want girls to go through that? Surely, if girls were meant to be disfigured in such a way, God would have created us like that? This is one example she uses to show how far wrong Islam has gone.

    And again, I don’t know much about Islam, nor do I know very many Muslims. This is just what I have been told by a woman who was born in Afghanistan, came here as a refugee when she was 13 and is now a doctor (and still a Muslim).

  24. No, not all denominations. My church has always taught Biblical submission. But we don’t have a denomination or a name (we’re just Christians), we don’t have a church building, we’re not a massive organisation with a huge bank account.

    I think it’s just the popular denominations, who rely on the attendance of a huge congregation to make enough money to keep going, and keep their flash buildings maintained, and the pastor and his family supported, who are scared of offending people.

    Those smaller churches, without the buildings to keep up (we meet in homes and public halls), without a pastor and his family to support (we have homeless, penniless, possession-less preachers) and without a social reputation to maintain, are free to teach the truth. All of the truth, without diluting it in fear of offending someone, and therefore losing out on money.

  25. My heart goes out to Kande. My husband is diabetic and a heavy nicotine user and doesn’t take care of himself. In his early thirties he already experiences problems that most do twenty years later.
    My biggest battle with his eating and nicotine is my worry about losing him. My kids are small and young and God has blessed our rocky marriage and made it wonderful. He’s a wonderful husband. But I carry the daily stress and burden of this and watch carefully to keep my emotions in check. It’s very easy to fall into the self pity trap and even accuse him of not loving me and the kids. Sometimes, I just take it one day at a time. My happiest times are when I put my full trust in God. When my trust and faith in God is where it needs to be I have peace. Peace to love him unconditionally whether he lives 5 years or 50.

  26. Can I be the dissenting voice here.

    It is right to preach that sexual activity of any kind, accept between husband and wife and open to Gods gift of life is wrong, sinful and if you want to use the word dirty. It is marriage which sanctified the act and which makes it beautiful and Godly.

    Similarly it is right to teach young men and especially women to value their purity and to bring it as a beautiful gift to their marriage. To throw it away in sin and fornication does lower them as sinners.

  27. Be aware that it is the Muslim women who perform the female genital mutilations on their daughters, that it is women mutilating their own kind, the most barbaric and inhumane treatment comes at the hands of other women. Feminism leaves that truth out.

  28. I am 100 percent on board with a husband’s required role of being a servant leader…

    I’m not. “Servant Leader” is an oxymoron. The term never appears in the Bible. What does appear, is Jesus telling His disciples, the future leaders of the church, that whoever wanted to be the cheifest (in the church) should be the servant of all.(Mark 10:44) The church is Christ’s bride. Christ is the only head of the church. The men who lead are not to interlope and pose as the groom, trying to usurp Christ and be Lord of the church, but to serve under Christ by serving Christ’s bride. The wicked hirelings are not serving the men of the church today, at all, when they invert God’s patriarchy because they are ashamed of God’s word. Marriage is not to be like a preacher(servant) and a church. Marriage is imaged by a man who is in the image of Christ, endeavoring to cleanse his wife, who is the image of Christ’s church.(Ephesians 5) The husband’s position is not to be a servant of his wife, that is a satanic inversion of God’s setup. The wife however was created for the husband to be his helper and to be subject to him in everything, as unto the Lord. Holy Sarah is commended for calling her husband Abraham “Lord”. The word Lord with the capital “L” is translated in Latin as Dominus (Lord master) from which we get our words, Dominate & Dominion. Rebelling against your husband’s rule in God’s institution of marriage is just foolishly tearing your own house down with your own hands. God set up patriarchy. Either accept your Creator God and all of His Word, or be an idolater and create your own god or goddess that does things your way. Choose you this day whom you will serve. Your homemade gods will not be able to save you from your eternal reckoning with God, our Father, whose Word you chose to deny. Few will find the narrow way.

  29. We pray that God would revive the Church, yet fear that this revival won’t happen by evangelism or in the seeker-friendly churches, but must begin with the family and marriage doing things God’s way.

    Every revival or restoration that ever happened, began first with repentance. John the Baptist and Jesus both preached repentance. Repentance means despising our own ways and turning from them back to seeking God’s ways. Jesus said “I am the Way”… (John 14:6) But before we can find the Way the Truth and the Life, we have to repent and turn from our way, deny our false beliefs, and die to ourselves. If you want revival, don’t pray as if God would revive the unrepentant, but pray that God would help you to repent of all your sin, that you would die to your sin, so that God can bring you to life eternal and cleanse you of all your iniquity. If you truly repent of all your sin, and seek God with all your heart, if you call on the name of Jesus Christ, God’s son, you will be made alive in Him. You will be revived from death unto life. The only prayer ever needed for revival is your prayer of repentance, of total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The churches are filled with people who are not fully surrendered, still clinging to everything worldly, ignorant of good doctrine, because they are led by false teachers. It should be obvious that the false teaching comes from those who are doing the teaching in the churches, not from outside the church by those who don’t go to church or care about church beliefs. The Truth is found in God’s Word. You have to read the Bible for yourself, and know it, or you will be drowned by the ocean of false teaching that our churches are awash in. The Truth will set you free from the vain beliefs that waste your days away, seeking after yourself, instead of storing up precious service to Christ via helping others, starting with your earthly head, your husband, then even down to the least of these on earth. Your reward will be great in heaven, if you repent of your own way and first seek the righteousness of God in all that you do.

  30. That is why sex within MARRIAGE must be preached as good and holy. More often than not, the “marriage” piece is clearly left out of the message. It makes sense to be specific to young women: “Sex and lust outside of marriage is immoral and sinful. Purity of body, heart, and mind is God’s commandment. Sex with your husband within the sacrament of marriage is pleasing to God.”

  31. Servant Leader is not an Oxymoron. To understand the two as opposites is not to understand that leadership by example is the primary means by which a good and godly leader leads. The perfect example of Servant Leadership is found in Christ Jesus and hence “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:23).

    Another example of what a Servant Leader looks like is found in 1 Peter 5:1-4:
    “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

    A husband is to be elder and priest to his home and such should fall under this admonition given to church elders and aspire to be an elder himself.

    The term servant Leader qualifies how the Leadership is to be done: serving, willingly, honest, eager; not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being an example. The list of examples and admonitions is endless in the Bible of Christ as King willingly laying down His life for those He loves, for those who are part of the family of God. And Jesus as Lord is our perfect model of how a husband is to be with his wife.

    Did Jesus back down from the tough issues? Never. Was he unkind and unsympathetic? No. Did he come to serve or be served? Yes, he came to serve and we are to follow His example. How does a husband expect to serve as Christ served if it does not begin with his wife and family? The only way you resolve your idea that Servant Leadership is an oxymoron is to say that husbands are not to lead as a wife, which I know you do not believe. The evidence for serving her as a fellow Christian and as her head is abundant whereas the leadership aspects in the Word as far as controlling the direction of things and making final decisions is far less supported, yet, well supported.

    So as with many truths in God’s Word, we find that they exist in tension with one truth qualifying another, and both to be believed and lived out fully. A husband is to be head and a wife a submissive follower, just as He is to serve her. And such service at times requires sacrifice and at timers asks her to sacrifice, not for his own ends, but because he is indeed helping her and the family grow up into Christ Jesus.

  32. Yes, repentance and turning 180 degrees is a necessary part of any revival, but my fear is that it needs to take place with a renewed focus on the Christian family if it is ever to happen again in America. We can win many more souls to Christ, but if we keep putting them into Churches who will not “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,” (Heb. 6:1) we will find the results in shallow roots that fall away.

    If the church is interested in creating deep and abiding roots it must recognize that those roots can be most easily established in strong Christian families who are centered around God’s Word and Mom and Dad are living active and joyful examples for their children to follow. Without strong Christian families who choose to do things God’s ways, our churches will regularly reach repentance but not help advance the Kingdom here on earth with the necessary building blocks of the family doing things God’s ways and seeing His blessings in their lives. Something that the world would love to see in their life too and be attracted to it.

  33. I agree that strong families are the building blocks necessary for a church that is to prevail against the gates of hell. However I don’t believe that “the foundation of repentance from dead works” is actually laid in the churches, and it is not the foundation that is being built upon. They build upon a “seeker-friendly” “I’m OK – You’re OK” mantra of unconditional tolerance for sinful hypocrisy. And when you point it out they call you “unforgiving” and say that you’re the hypocrite, for noticing that they welcome every sort of sin, but won’t welcome the fear of the Lord.

    The churches around us are apostate and lack the correct foundation. Even the leaders don’t know their Bibles, and the fact that their members are every bit as sinful as the unsaved, is evidence that their repentance was a laughably temporary “event” that is in their past. It is like their god tells whores “Go, and sin some more. I’m just delighted that you come here on Sundays.”
    I’m convinced my marriage would have gone better if I had never taken my wife to church. If she had been isolated from “church” she would still be under the false impression that the church still believes wives should submit, and is against divorce. However I took her there, and they schooled her in Feminism, rebellion, and outrage against any use of a husband’s authority.
    Sorry ken, the “church” of this age is on the broad road to hell, it is the ‘great whore’ spoken of in the Bible, not the true bride of Christ. They have not turned from their friendship with the world, which is enmity with God. Those who actually want to follow the Bible, need to come out from among them and be separate, or they’ll most likely just deceive your wife and kids.
    See the evil, and flee from the judgement and wrath to come. Don’t even fellowship with such false brothers, and thereby lend ‘the great whore’ your endorsement.

    Some Feminists think I’m only allowed to be a servant, They imagine Christ as that slave of the church who cleans up all our sins as we go on living as we please, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame, demanding that he shed his blood again and again to accommodate our flagrant licentiousness.

    Ken, I think your personal version of “Jesus” is skewed into an effeminate butt-kisser. Christ came meek and lowly to serve for three years of ministry and then to die as a sacrifice, but even during those three years he so offended His own Jewish people, that they cried out demanding His crucifixion. This is all in absolute contrast to how we are told He will reign upon the earth for a millennium.
    Revelation 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
    Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
    Psalm 2:5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
    Jesus served all human kind that ever will live with just three years of ministry, and it is finished.
    Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
    Jesus role has changed.
    Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    Jesus will rule for 1000 years on earth with a rod of iron, destroying those who oppose Him and blessing those who trust in Him. I don’t think Jesus is mistaken for only submitting 3/1000ths of His time administering here on this earth. If we are to follow Christ’s example, that’s about one day out of the year that a husband might be conciliatory, while ruling as Lord the rest of the time. Ken, I think you prefer the former meek Jesus, because you don’t yet trust the new one who comes to have absolute rule over His kingdom. Your worldly Feminist programming has got you distrusting Jesus absolute dominance over us all.
    Why not start obeying Him now? How does He ask women to pray? Why not a symbol for the sake of His angels? Is such a small thing too great a respect to show to our savior who died for us, and is coming again to rule over us with absolute authority? Is your personal Jesus such a lowly servant that you can’t see fit to lead your wife and daughters to show Him the respectful obedience His word asks us for? Or is it that you are so cowed that you won’t dare exercise the authority to ask it of your wife? I trust His word, and welcome his reign, and don’t want to let any disobedience stand between myself and my God. I’d at least ask, in light of our coming judgement. If even you won’t repent of all your brazen Feminist defiance and rule your family in full obedience to God, and yet, even you can see that the church needs revival,(because it is dead, except for a tiny remnant separated out for God) imagine how wicked and vain God knows that great whore to be?

    I stand by my word that the church needs repentance first. God will not refuse His Spirit, which He jealously desires to live in us, to indwell those who truly repent. Ken, I think you and I and your wife, are part of the church that needs to fully repent, rather than wasting your words praying for a revival while your wife prays contrary to the form of holiness God has asked for. God wants obedience not sacrifice. It doesn’t matter how hard you and Lori work for His kingdom, If you still are ashamed of 1 Corinthians 11:3-10.
    Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
    Please repent, for Jesus glory, and for your own blessing, as you trust and obey His word with child like faith.
    Faith is part of the foundation that isn’t there either, don’t get me started. The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Even the very beginning of wisdom is missing from the church.
    But, we recover ourselves from the snare of the devil through divine repentance and acknowledging the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

  34. Elias – Yes the women do it, but they do it because the men make them do it. It’s so ingrained into them by the men that it is “Allah’s will” and their daughters won’t be able to get husbands if it isn’t done, because it’s the only way to guarantee their daughters are virgins. The women are so oppressed over there, some of them don’t even know there is a better way.
    It is absolutely sickening. I would kill anybody who wanted to do that to either of my daughters (as would my husband) but over there, the women don’t have a choice.

    I read a book about it once, Desert Flower by Waris Dirie and it was the most awful thing I have ever read. I’d love to see the movie of it.

    As Montesquieu said – the men there expect absolute submission and obedience and they get it. What the men say, goes. No matter how wrong it is. Remember, they have “honour killings” there. The women have no choice but to do as they’re told or they will die horrific deaths. Many of the women aren’t even allowed an education.

    I watched an interview with a victim (a Muslim man originally from Syria) of the Christchurch (NZ) mosque shootings yesterday, his little 5 year old daughter had woken up from the induced coma she’s been in since March 15. He said the reason he wanted to bring his family to NZ was so his daughters could get an education.

    So you can twist it any way you like, but the reason Islam is so cruel and barbaric and inhumane is because evil MEN have made it that way.

  35. So as with many truths in God’s Word, we find that they exist in tension with one truth qualifying another, and both to be believed and lived out fully.

    My problem is not with you mincing word salad, but with your emphasis. “SERVANT Leader” You continually deemphasize “Leader”, as though it is an unfortunate thing that God made men to be leaders. And they shouldn’t be allowed to ever rule except in the rarest of situations, which will probably never happen in this third millennium.

    The evidence for serving her as a fellow Christian and as her head is abundant whereas the leadership aspects in the Word as far as controlling the direction of things and making final decisions is far less supported, yet, well supported.
    Again I find your emphasis so far off that the statement becomes untrue. Where are all the Bible stories about husbands serving their wives? They must be “abundant” because I hear a sermon demanding it almost every time I set foot in a church. Maybe it is only I who see it, but they’re intentionally inverting God’s way, and telling women what they want to hear, even though it is detrimental to us all.

    We live in an age where women don’t need more Feminism. And yet you just can’t seem to help yourself, dropping some of its talking points.
    While you do well in realizing that the church has left the rails and is hurtling into Feminist hell, you seem to imagine that your lower level of acceptance of satanic Feminism is the appropriate balance. Your wife is far less Feminist than you are, Ken, and don’t take that as a compliment on your Feminist credentials.
    I think you should focus on the problem: Feminism is a satanic attack against man, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God.
    The excuses need to be batted away.
    But what about ABUSE? – Endure it muffin. (1 Peter 2)
    In half a century I’ve only once met a woman with a black eye, and she claimed it was by accident. All the abused women I know live in a little box called the TV, where they are abundant. If somebody else out there wants to claim they’re surrounded by abused women, I recommend moving to a better neighborhood then, because you must be living in the universal nexus for abused women.

    Why are we so afraid of having a man rule over his household well?
    When did men become ashamed to be the image and glory of God? We’ve all been told satanic lies, to subvert families and God’s kingdom.
    We won’t get right with the God who gave us patriarchy, by ditching his holy way.
    I think a male dominated society would be divine compared to ours, and is just as God will have it when He rules our earth. The more the women submit in unity with their husbands the happier all will be.

    Leo Tolstoy wrote: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

    All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…

  36. Ken, I appreciate you tearing this sermon apart for us. My husband refers to this as ‘having a discerning spirit ‘. I liked how you pointed out the 6-8 times of wifely submission mentioned in the Bible compared to the no submission for the husbands. I also agree with the watered down version of Christianity that’s prevalent in today’s churches. We try and teach as close as possible to what the Bible says in our fellowship (being fallible in some things, I’m sure, because of man’s interpretation), but we were recently subjected to a watered down version of salvation at a funeral we attended. We didn’t even know if the pastor was truly saved as evident by his message. We finally figured that these types of churches are preaching to make the hearers comfortable in their sin not convicted. It reminded us more of a huge production. The women (not men) he had read the Scripture from the big Bible up front didn’t even know where to turn for their readings. We went away feeling sad for all the people in that congregation. We definitely need to pray. Thanks again.

  37. Elias you are so over the top with your comments that I can’t see you making much of any impact on Christianity, all the while believing you are right with no fruit to show for it. I certainly do not know the fruit of your life, but this is how you come across as a bitter soul who somehow was done wrong by your church and pastors, and they are the reason your marriage is failing or has failed.

    It sounds like you need the repentance at this point from your bitterness and skepticism. We may indeed be in the last times with an apostate Church, but there are plenty of good churches still out there to go to. If you took your wife to a bad one, or was not watching over her to protect her, own it and move onward into the New Life Christ has given you. Where all your past sins are forgiving on the cross in 30 A.D. and now it is time to help advance the Kingdom of God. Not throw rocks at fellow believers who cannot agree with your bitter view of what God is still doing in this world.

    If you have not found a good church, keep looking, but I hate to think that no church can be good enough for you, even if it is still good enough for Jesus and serving his purposes. We regularly hear outstanding Biblical sermons in both the churches we attend, and can find great sermons on line from other pastor teachers. There is no dearth of excellent Biblical teaching in the church for those who care to find it. But you must find yourself first in Christ, and be willing to see the world and Christianity through the lens of a loving Lord Jesus.

    Sure the day is coming when he will rule the world with a rod of rod and every knee will bow, but for now his love and grace keeps saying, “Whosoever will may come.” Stop making Christianity look awful just because you are hurt by your church and wife. Grow up into Christ and find the fruit of the Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance and faith (Gal 5. 22-23), yes all attributes of the living Savior whose live fills up our own if we will only let Him.

  38. Thank you RMR! Yes, there are way too many churches now that have either watered down the Word or do not know it at all anymore. But there are still plenty of strong churches like yours and mine, while not perfect, the pastors are truly are trying to teach the Word just as it is written. Hasn’t there always been just a remnant amongst the Tares? But this does not mean we shy away from the church, but instead keep involved with the good ones.

  39. Elias – Do you really believe women should endure physical abuse? Are you a father? What if it was your daughter who was being beaten up? Would you tell her to endure?

    You clearly don’t know a great deal about domestic violence if you believe it is as rare as you claim. Either that, or you live in utopia.

    Nearly every single woman who is married to a violent man will make excuses for her bruises. “I ran into a door” or “I fell down the stairs” or whatever else she can think of. Very, very few women will actually admit the abuse. Fewer still will cry out for help.
    There’s still a stigma attached to domestic violence of “you must have deserved it” which keeps women silent, and also the loyalty they feel to their husbands. Official estimates are that 80% of violence goes unreported.

    Here in New Zealand where I live, we sadly have one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the developed world. Much of that is due to alcohol and poverty, but it doesn’t change the stats. Here, one in three women will be a victim of domestic violence. Children are present at 80% of these incidents. What kind of message are we sending our children if we tell women to “Endure”?
    Jesus is very clear about his attitude towards children. They’re very precious to Him. Do you really believe Jesus would stand aside and ignore it while a man beat the living daylights out of his wife, in front of his children? I don’t. Do you believe Jesus would tell that woman to go back to her violent spouse? I don’t. I believe He would encourage that woman to take her children and flee to safety.

    Women are dying at the hands of their men and you think they should “endure”?? This is NOT a Christian attitude and I am SO GLAD that Lori encourages all women to seek help and keep themselves safe, publicly on her blog.

  40. Ken – thank you so much for this response.
    Thank you for pointing out the truth. I greatly appreciate it.

  41. No, Islam IS cruel and inhumane because of SIN, not men. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12) Oppression or no oppression, Islam is a false religion that blasphemes Jesus as just another prophet, and THAT is the most evil thing about Islam.

  42. KAK,

    I want you to know that I don’t read every word of every comment I publish since I receive so many comments every day on all of my social media platforms. Therefore, you can always email me if you see one that you don’t think belongs on my blog.

    Thank you!

  43. So many women get angry with this part of the Bible, and I don’t understand why! Submitting to a loving husband is wonderful! Even submitting to an awful husband can change everything!

    Submission is wonderful and makes a help-meet, but husbands must also realize that while not commanded to “mutual submission”, their duties and responsibilities to their wives are very important, as well! God has called us to live in peace (1 Corinthians 7:15) , and it is better to live in a desert (Proverbs 21:19) or on the corner of a roof (Proverbs 21:9, 25:24) than with a contentious wife!

  44. Christianity is not awful, but some churches are. However, I doubt that the blame for the destruction of poor Elias’ marriage is the fault of any church/preacher/etc.

    The enemy himself is the one to blame for such things. I, too hope that Elias can better know the Lord and move on from the pain and bitterness he seems to be suffering. I hope that you have fruitful fellowship, Elias, and I hope that you can forgive your wife and yourself for what happened. God loves us always. Praying for you!

  45. With all due respect, Elias, attitudes of denial such as yours are what keep many abused women from speaking up, just as guilt and shame keeps many in loveless marriages until they are murdered by their husbands. I made many excuses for my black eyes, too – it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t abused horribly.
    God heals all wounds! May he heal yours also!

  46. Your church sounds to me exactly like the earliest Christian churches – you are truly blessed to have such fellowship!

  47. I don’t blame the failure of my marriage on the church, but the church has failed to follow God also. My wife clearly has the choice to do as she wants, and even today she could chose to follow God. However it is like pulling teeth to get the church to ask a woman to repent of cheating her husband of his due. The church is even hard pressed to acknowledge anything is truly due to a husband. I do however think the church, or false church as I view it, have cheered, aided, and consoled my wife as she step by step destroyed our home and our children’s lives. I would be giving them flattery if I compared them to the priest and Levite in the parable of the good Samaritan who only crossed to the other side of the road to pass by, refusing to help, or even acknowledge who they were passing by. No, the great whore was there to preach and teach rebellion, however my wife chose to act unfaithfully from the moment we got married, and to intentionally taunt me with her unfaithfulness, and even the churches agree she has a disorder, as she often doesn’t even deny her wicked and destructive behaviors. However, like a dog returning to its vomit, their solution is always for me to rejoin them in their worship of womankind. To worship the creature rather than the creator. Most folks don’t see that they consistently place telling women what they want to hear above telling them what God has actually said. They are so deceived by Feminism that there are actually parts of God’s Holy Bible that they are ashamed to proclaim in this adulterous age. When is the last time you heard a good sermon on women staying silent in the churches? LOL You can literally read their Bible-shame, as they make apologies for, water down, give their own caveats to, and try to make more palatable what God has clearly said to sinners. These religious cowards are altogether useless to help my situation, because they would be ashamed to do what needs to be done, and would have been done, back when divorce was rare in the churches. They are getting silenced on more and more topics every year as the gates of hell prevail against the cowards. Jesus Christ was not a coward! They even fear women, more than God. LOL Even the older church women give rotten advice, and my wife refused to contact Lori for any good advice.

    Yes, I need repentance, but the dirty little secret these days is that I’m not the only one who needs it. Unless you’re God, you need to repent to Him. And few are actually bearing the fruits of consistent repentance from their worldly ways. Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Apostles all preached repentance, but apparently some feel they’re beyond needing much of that, as they scratch their heads about how to bring the “revival” they want. Might I suggest you start by repenting and asking others to repent of worldly ways and dying to this world, in order to be “revived” to a new life set apart from this world. But what do I know? I get my views from an old book written before the foundation of the world. Perhaps the wisdom you’re looking for will be published next month in a church growth industry magazine. /s

    …now it is time to help advance the Kingdom of God. Not throw rocks at fellow believers…
    So when I call for you to repent of being ashamed of parts of God’s word, I’m throwing rocks, but when you call for my repentance, you’re doing the Lord’s work. How handy! I’m trying to sharpen you, but you are convinced I’m making Christianity look awful, by unashamedly and unapologetically preaching God’s truths like that the husband is Lord of the wife.

    You recognize that some go too far in accepting satanic Feminism, but you fail to see where you do it. You recognize that some compromise God’s word to be “seeker-friendly” but then fail to see where you do it.
    Perhaps my comments often seem over the top, because few go as far as I do to be a rock of offense to this adulterous and sinful generation. I do like to be a counterpoint to all the mealy-mouthed ministers, who feel they need to give God’s word a facelift for our modern times, to revamp it, to peddle God’s word, like they’re peddling a defective product with questionable aspects that need to be left unexposed. God will be ashamed of those who are ashamed of His words. And I don’t want to be one of those. I don’t entice upfront with “pie in the sky” promises of bliss and then try to drop conviction on people later. God is not party to any “bait & switch” gospel. If preaching hellfire and brimstone is bitter, may I become even more so, to fill up the void where the fear of God is not taught. If pastors like to rail against the sinfulness of men, I’ll give the evils of women their equal time! There is a reason Righteous God put the men in charge, it was for righteousness sake. I’m disappointed so many can’t clearly see that. Nor will they teach women shamefacedness like the early church did.

    …I can’t see you making much of any impact on Christianity…
    When those who withstand me volunteer things like this, it lets me know I have made an impact. However, the impact I’d like to see is for others to also fearlessly proclaim God’s word’s, especially the parts Satan has worked so hard to make us ashamed of, I want us all to be unashamedly clad with zeal as a cloak.

  48. Elias – Do you really believe women should endure physical abuse?
    Yes, and men too. It isn’t only men who are to turn the other cheek. The Bible explains it clearly: (1 peter 2:13-3:6)
    1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: … 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

    The US CDC tells us that women start domestic violence more often than men, however usually suffer worse injuries. Women shouldn’t be starting so much violence.

  49. Elias the problem you don’t seem to see is that you first decide that you are right about the matter of Servant Leadership being an oxymoron, then go on to call me to repentance without ever defending the issue I destroyed in the first place. You go on and on about how bad the church is and call me to repentance, but in many cases, we agree, yet not with your extreme views.

    Yo see your views as a call to the church, and its teachers to see the Bible and the church just the way you do, and we can’t and we don’t. Whjen you are having a theological debate it is inappropriate to simply say, “Your wrong, repent.” I clearly showed you that Christ Himself was a suffering servant and I fully understand that He is now sitting on the throne at the right hand of God as Lord. But you seem to want to emphasize His Lordship over specifically what He has called to do and to be, “the servant of all.”

    I do not know your circumstance, and I do wish that most churches and pastors would stop shying away from the submission passages and honor God’s design for women in the family and the church, but I do know that when all of the church fails us, and our wife fails us, we have a specific admonition from God to live at peace with her:

    “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans12:18).

    “encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace” (2 Cor. 13:11).

    “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were
    called to peace” (Col. 3:15).

    and most of all,

    “If a brother has an unbelieving wife and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his believing wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him go. The believing brother or sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace” (1 Cor. 7:12-15).

    It’s pretty straightforward and plain in the scriptures without anyone but your wife and you to blame. If she would not accept your leadership in her life then you were to live with her as peaceable as you could, not being her wallflower, but also shining Christ to her that she and the kids may be sanctified. You cannot make someone submissive, and even if your church had taught the Word properly on the matter of submission she would have found a way out if she is looking for it.

  50. Elias the problem you don’t seem to see is that you first decide that you are right about the matter of Servant Leadership being an oxymoron, then go on to call me to repentance without ever defending the issue I destroyed in the first place.

    Coincidentally, I just received this from Pastor Michael Foster and Dominic ‘Bnonn’ Tennant this morning. Hot off the press. Perhaps God’s Spirit is bringing the church back to the truth. I’ll copy and paste it, if you will permit me to have somebody else teach it to you:

    It’s the last Saturday of the month. That means it’s time to slay some dragons.

    This time: servant leadership.

    This is a dirty little phrase that has slipped into evangelical culture like a silk pillow over the face.

    It tastes sweet in the mouth, like honey, because who doesn’t agree that men should imitate the Lord Jesus, who came not to be served, but to serve (Mt 20:28)? But it is bitter in the stomach, because it makes men subservient to those they are supposed to be leading.

    The insidiousness of servant leadership lies in its legitimacy as a term to describe the biblical role of men. A servant leader could be someone who serves others by leading them. The service is what he does, and the leadership is how he does it. This is an impeccably biblical understanding of leadership; kings are to uphold the cause of the needy and fatherless, for example—they serve those people who need their help by ruling them (Exodus 18:13ff; Job 29; Proverbs 20:28; 29:14; Isaiah 16:5). Kings serve society, and especially the most vulnerable in society, by rightly wielding the power delegated to them by God, so as to establish and maintain order*.*

    Biblical servant leadership means “service [by] leadership.”

    But evangelical servant leadership is not biblical servant leadership. If you doubt this, simply swap in a synonym for leadership next time you talk about it with someone*.* If you say “servant rulership,” for example, people start to get very uncomfortable. And if you dare talk about “servant lordship,” you’re obviously a misogynist who wants to make women his doormat.

    In evangelicalism, a servant leader is not someone who serves others by rightly wielding the power delegated to him by God, so as to establish and maintain order. Rather, the relationship between “servant” and “leader,” mission and method, what and how, is inverted. Because evangelicalism has detached gender roles from the creation mandate and reduced them to their smallest atoms, it thinks the mission of a man is to lead, and therefore the method of doing that—what leadership looks like—must be service.

    This razes leadership*.* Once it stops being a description of method, but rather an empty term whose function is explained by the “servant” in front of it, a transformation takes place. No longer is leadership about exercising authority or power per se. Rather, since it is defined by servanthood, authority and power become defined by subservience. A servant leader is authorized to exercise the power of being a servant, taking everything on his shoulders that others don’t want on theirs. Ultimately he is out in front not because people should follow him, not because is directing their way, but so he can take the flak. “Servant leader” becomes another term for cannon fodder.

    Evangelical servant leadership means “servitude [is] leadership.”

    This turns biblical rulership on its head, even to the point that servant leadership becomes a kind of bizarre parody of vicarious atonement. Evangelicals know that leaders are responsible for those under their care; but a servant leader, being subservient, cannot exercise power over them. What form does his responsibility then take? It must be the responsibility to make their lives easier, to carry their burdens, to make them happy, to suffer in their place.

    Now certainly a biblical ruler should be willing to do these things when it is good for those under him. “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also should wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). But a servant leader doesn’t have the discretion of saying no, of determining that it’s fitting for someone else to take the bowl this time while he sits back (cf. John 1:27). That would be an exercise of authority and power over people! He is making them his doormat. He is being a little tyrant! If he will not deal with the muck so others don’t have to, then he is in dereliction of duty. If he will not work so that others can lounge about, then he is in dereliction of duty. If he will not sacrifice his own desires to authorize whatever alternative path will make his wife or his children or his congregation happier (whether that path is right or not is really just a question of whether it will make them happier), then he is in dereliction of duty.

    By redefining masculine leadership in terms of servanthood, rather than defining masculine service in terms of leadership, **the evangelical servant leader ends up unable to actually serve, because he is unable to actually lead. All he has left is servitude.

    Thus, whereas a biblical ruler is charged with making people holier by reordering their lives, a servant leader is charged with making people happier by reordering his.

    This is what we mean by servant leadership becoming a parody of vicarious atonement: when happiness becomes the goal, rather than holiness, and when a man wielding power is treated as automatically despotic—which it is under feminism—he can no longer direct those under him to put on Christ (Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:24–25). He can no longer bid them to cast their troubles on Christ (1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6). Putting on Christ is hard and frequently discomforting. Casting their cares on him requires faith rather than sight. If they are discomforted, clearly the servant leader is not doing his job; something is wrong; he should be taking that discomfort on himself. If they cannot see that everything is ok, he is failing to make everything ok. So the servant leader finds himself having to put on the troubles of those under him, becoming a kind of counterfeit Christ to them.

    Needless to say, if your understanding of male headship ends up with something suspiciously like a totally different gospel, there’s a problem somewhere back down the line.

    This is why we consider sexuality a central, gospel issue. We are not differing with egalitarians on some secondary doctrine. This is not a minor intramural dispute. It is not a matter of freedom of conscience. Denying father-rule, however you do it, is an attack on the gospel itself, because without the Father declaring that he is well-pleased with his Son, a Father who really rules in righteousness, who makes us his sons by adopting us through Jesus, and who orders his household in a hierarchy that reflects his authority—without a kingdom in other words—there is no gospel.

    A view of rulership that produces evangelical servant leaders also produces a gospel of feelings over facts. The gospel of feminism.

    If you feel ashamed of the fact that God orders his household, and his world, through the rulership of fathers, then he is going to be ashamed of you at his coming (Mark 8:38). And if you refuse to exercise the authority he commands of you to build your own household, while still paying lip-service to his own authority and to building his household, the household of faith…then you are building on sand (Luke 6:46ff). You should not expect to be ushered into a kingdom built on and ordered by the father-rule you despise.

    “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed what God has appointed, and those who have opposed will incur condemnation” (Romans 13:1–2).

    Given the great seriousness of this issue—the very rule of God over his people, the gospel of the kingdom—we are going on record as utterly rejecting the term servant leadership.

    If you don’t want to talk about simple rulership, or patriarchy, or if you want to redeem evangelical terminology, we’re comfortable with servant lordship. Scripture explicitly commends husbands as lords of their wives (1 Peter 3:5-6). And because lordship upsets the feminist boat, using it provokes an immediate confrontation over the real issue: being ashamed of, or hating, how God has revealed his authority be represented on earth.

    That’s all we have for this round. Let us know what you think by replying back. We’re learning alongside you. Until next time, stand firm in the faith, be strong, act like men, and let all that you do be done in love.

    Bnonn & Michael

  51. We wrote a post on the subject of Servant Leadership and it says, “If you want to see your marriage blossom, start emphasizing the leader part of the equation and stop second guessing how your good husband chooses to lead and serve you.”

    Certainly I understand that the church has over emphasized Servant at the expense of a husband’s leadership, but just because one falls off the horse of truth on one side does not justify falling off on the Leadership side. Most Christian husbands are poor leaders to begin with, using anger and upset as their primary motivational tool to try and move their wife forward… I too am guilty some times. But I have tried to maintain a level head when she disappoints me and keep my sins under control, while speaking the truth in love and moving onward, instead of getting bogged down into endless arguments.

    The post you send starts out well, “A servant leader could be someone who serves others by leading them. The service is what he does, and the leadership is how he does it. This is an impeccably biblical understanding of leadership; kings are to uphold the cause of the needy and fatherless, for example—they serve those people who need their help by ruling them (Exodus 18:13ff; Job 29; Proverbs 20:28; 29:14; Isaiah 16:5). Kings serve society, and especially the most vulnerable in society, by rightly wielding the power delegated to them by God, so as to establish and maintain order.”

    In other words, Servant leader IS correct Biblically, but often gets messed up in the application…and Bnonn goes on to mess it up by overemphasizing the leader as Lord of his home. He does not seem to understand what Leadership is all about in the first place as they write: “No longer is leadership about exercising authority or power per se. Rather, since it is defined by servanthood, authority and power become defined by subservience.”

    No, True leadership has an aspect of exercising authority, but it is more about the ability to influence others to willfully follow. It is not some mantle you wear because you were appointed King, but rather a responsibility one has to move a group of people from point A to point B, and beyond, towards the purpose and mission of the family, and ultimately the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

    A Biblical Leader has little capacity to enforce his rulership beyond an appeal to God’s Word, and perhaps some older godly man or woman, or maybe the elders as a group who would be willing to try and step in and remind a wife of what God asks of her. This does not mean that husband gives up his leadership just because his wife will not follow, but how he leads must always look like His Lord Jesus who as the suffering servant was a great leader! But he was also put to death by those He came to rule. And yes, there were times, although few where his leadership meant cleansing the temple or using some tough and chastising words, but these were the exceptions and not his general demeanor.

    Humm.. where does “be like Jesus” come into this discussion? I get it. Some Christian husbands want to insist that they stand in the place of the risen Christ who is sitting on the throne, and that is how they believe a husband should rule his family well. I have seen nothing, zero, that tells an earthly King, President, Elder, Husband or Business leader that they are to be using the example of the risen Lord as their present leadership style, but let’s say we could somehow justify a husband’s sitting in complete Lordship over His wife. What would that look like?

    Guess what. Last I checked Jesus is not pounding you or me for our disobedience. Don’t get me wrong, I think too many miss out on seeing the many ways that the Father is disciplining us for our own good, but Jesus as Ruler of the universe is not forcing us to do anything against our will. Instead He is leading and asks us to follow, and more specifically, follow the examples he left for us as to how to lead as the suffering servant.

    It is true that the Bible itself does not use the words Servant Leader for a husband’s role. For that matter it does not call a husband a leader, but by the description of his role as “head” and responsibility of a wife to “submit” to him makes it unmistakably clear that the husband is to be the leader of the family. As if we even needed to prove such a point as the scriptures are so clear on a father’s leadership of his home. But the “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” and “husbands should love their wives as their own bodies” (Eph. 5:25 – 28), cannot me mistaken for anything less than sacrificial service. Servant Leader is a very accurate description of the dual role a husband plays in the marriage and home and falling off one side or the other too far leads to something God does not intend.

    Would Servant Lordship be a better description of a Christian husband’s role. I can accept that IF one is going to again go back and apply the same basic model of Jesus as Lord walking this earth, not sitting on the throne and barking commands. Husbands you can sit on the throne of your home after to give up your throne and become the same suffering servant Jesus modeled for us with your difficult and impossible wives. Go ahead, throw your life away for her and in time, hope, prayer, and through many tears, see if your Father God will raise you up, and put you indeed on the throne of your home, never forgetting the journey of love you had to learn to get there.

    It is a very simplistic view to think that one can be married in today’s feministic culture and where churches do indeed overemphasize the SERVANT over leadership for a husband’s role, and just by the church pressing on the leadership button our wives are going to magically change their culturally inculcated mindsets. But guess what! Our Jesus is still sitting on the throne and will be “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). That’s right. Every wife who truly loves God at His Word will eventually come around and follow her husband’s leadership, especially after she has seen his loving leadership in her life year after year. When that will be for your wife, no one can give you the answer.

    Do you understand that many godly wives have spent a lifetime being submissive to their disobedient husbands only to see God come through on His promise and their husband is won over? That certainly is my experience, and I wish I had earlier started reminding my wife that God asked me to be her head, her leader, and she was to be submissive to me. But I never gave up leading, and never blamed the Church for its failings, but rather stuck with the course God had me on. I thank God daily that he turned my wife around and that she allowed me to lead more fully in our relationship from then on out, but I was never giving up on her. That was my job as her husband, using Christ’s model of never giving up on me.

    So for you have your Christian wife living in disobedience to God’s Word, keep on with what God has called you too as both servant and leader. Don’t water down your leadership just because she is not following, but do lead as you see Jesus leading in God’s Word and in your own life. Jesus is not slamming you for your areas where you will not follow His Lordship, but is patiently, perhaps sternly, waiting for you to grow up into the One you call Lord. He may well be using discipline on your life and the life of your spouse. It’s ironic to think that too often the difficult marriage itself may be the hand of God on both disobedient spouses, all the while God is asking us to do all things His ways.

    Husbands love your wife, live with her in an understand and peaceful way and wash her with the Word of God. Wives submit to your husband, respect him, allow Him to be your head and love him. This is not hard to do if both spouses are willing to do things God’s ways, but when one or the other, or both, want to turn it into a power struggle, it becomes impossible until Christ takes His throne on your lives.

    Guess what you husbands who have difficult and impossible wives… You may well be married to an unbeliever. Here you are trying to take your place as head and leader of your marriage and she doesn’t want to you in that spot because she wants to lead. You can’t hold an unbeliever to a standard of God’s Word, even as you must try to remind her gently of what God is asking of her. I know, she may go to church every Sunday and throws her hands in the air praising God, and serves the poor and has your pastor and elders completely fooled, while coming home and being nasty or at least disobedient to your leadership. Pray for her soul and “as much as depends on you, live peaceably with her” (Ro. 12:18). “But if the unbeliever departs, let him/her depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace” (1 Cor. 7:15).

  52. Elias – I know Bnonn Tennant personally. He does not teach at all what you seem to think he teaches and he definitely does not endorse the kind of bitterness you harbour against women.

    From a personal standpoint, your bitterness against and hatred towards women only serves to make it harder for women like me to read this blog. I come here for encouragement – and there is a huge amount of it here – as I learn to be more submissive towards my husband who has turned his back on Jesus and has lost his decades-long battle against drug addiction.
    I come here to find different verses to look up in my daily Bible studies, verses I know will help me in my role as a wife and mother.
    I come here to read stories of other women who are like me – living in a home Satan has divided – and to be inspired by their strength and faithfulness.

  53. Most Christian husbands are poor leaders to begin with, using anger and upset as their primary motivational tool to try and move their wife forward…

    Most Feminists generalize men as being inadequate leaders to create a perceived need for their alternative to God’s patriarchal design.

    Quit it. Your Feminist talking points work counter to your wife’s ministry.
    I don’t imagine your wife writing that in a post where she is advocating that women to submit to their husbands.

    No, True leadership has an aspect of exercising authority, but it is more about the ability to influence others to willfully follow. It is […] a responsibility one has to move a group of people from point A to point B …

    That is where you and I often diverge. The end does not vindicate the means. By your definition, somebody with divine powers, offering eternal bliss, free of charge, who somehow only finds few takers, must be the worst leader of all. By that definition con-artists and politicians are our truest leaders. Satan, and not Jesus, should be our role model, if persuasion is the measure of true leadership. Satan is quite effective at persuading people. All have followed him astray. There is a reason “Rules for Radicals” was dedicated to Lucifer.

    For that matter [the Bible] does not call a husband a leader, but by the description of his role as “head”…

    So, we should rather concern ourselves with what makes a good head. And that would be one that gives the most righteous orders at the necessary time. If the body fails to react appropriately, that is a fault of the body. If Christ’s body, the church, is full of sin, is it because the head isn’t a good leader? Women’s rebellion is sin. Their sin. Don’t try to blame the head for a body that is in open rebellion. Why, in God’s name, do you further denigrate men’s ability, and mandate to be the heads over their rebellious wives?

    I agree with you on most things, but you seem to deny that you’re walking around with Feminist shrapnel inside of you,(like all of us) and don’t want it removed. As though you sit at some magical holy balance point which is just a hair to the right of the churches which are just a hair to the right of the world. I’m telling you, God is still further to the right, keep going.

  54. The “magical holy balance point” you speak of my friend is the Word of God. How much clearer can it be than “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… ” (Eph. 5:25). Can the balance point be even clearer than that?

    You can’t fault me, or the church for trying to teach all of God’s Word. Just because one side or the other can be perverted, misused or over-emphasized, does not mean it should take a back seat in its standing as the balance of truth that makes truth truth. That is right. You can take any piece of scripture or theology and overemphasize it or underemphasize it and it will morph into something that God never intended.

    You write: “one that gives the most righteous orders at the necessary time. If the body fails to react appropriately, that is a fault of the body.” I cannot agree with completely you on this. If a husband who claims to be a Christian is walking in open or hidden sins, he should not expect that his prayers will be answered, or be surprised when the wheels of his life and marriage start falling off.

    I am in full agreement that a wife is to submit to her husband’s “righteous orders” but you can’t expect me to see this in a vacuum without understanding why some wives may not be submitting as they should. How does a pastor do any more than say to such a disobedient wife, “I understand that your husband is being unrighteous, and I cannot get in between you and him in forming judgments as to what you are to obey or not obey as God has clearly asked you to submit to him in everything, but I certainly can pray for you as it must be very difficult submitting to him when he is walking in sin.”

    You see, a wife’s submission as is well taught on this blog is not conditional on a husband’s righteousness as she is to submit even if he is being disobedient to the Word. But don’t for an instant believe that when a wife rebels it is never because of his sins. When sin enters a marriage it often degrades into the “natural” instead of the spiritual, and as such, it is sad when a husband wants to stand on his rights as King of his home without realizing that he has to share the blame in her rebellion as her too is in rebellion to God.

    Yes, the wife set on following Jesus will submit and show the love of her husband anyway. For that matter, she will take on the challenge God gives her with a promise that she “may win him without a word” by her chaste and godly behavior. But how we live as husbands has consequences including the discipline of God in our lives for sin.

    So back to that balance of truth that God gives, not me. Each spouse is to do their part 100% without trying to “balance” the other spouse out, but don’t for an instant believe that a marriage will be completely healthy and holy if both spouses are not fully engaged at living out marriage God’s ways. Life and spiritual life have consequences for sin.

    So if a head is to be blamed let’s not shy away from it but look the problem in the eye and start working on getting it resolved. The greatest of leaders look in the mirror and ask the question, “Am I the problem?” and they keep this question at the forefront in their minds to simply ensure that they are not indeed the problem.

    I am sorry you have, or had, a rebellious wife, and I am willing to lay a good chunk of the blame for many failed marriages at the doorstep of our pastors and churches, but I am not one who is naive enough to believe that the desire to be in control, and stay in control of a marriage that was promised in the fall will simply disappear if our pastors do a better job of teaching and preaching submission. No, either a wife desires to please God and obey Him at His Word or she does not, and if not, she will always find excuses. And guess what, that same rebellion is found in men too who want to keep sinning but not have to deal with the consequences that come from their own sins.

    It is best to have each one look at their own responsibilities and accept whatever share of blame they should accept while moving forward into the things God has called us to. Husbands do not have the same promise that we can win our wives, and our history in mentoring, along with the history of other mentors, shows that wives do for some reason win their husband’s love far more times, maybe 5-1 or 10-1 more, than a godly husband can win over his rebellious wife.

    One is naive to think that a pastor telling such a wife that God is asking her to submit is going to change her, but I know how frustrating it can be hearing the words, “Well just love her more.” There is little emphasis on a wife’s submission and an over-emphasis on a husband’s need to show love in just the right ways. I get it and this post speaks to this issue already. You and your friends may have been the burned by the church and an unsubmissive or rebellious wife, but I can only imagine that if you had to do it again you would choose differently, or change some of the things you did in your marriage to help try to keep it whole and moving into what God calls it to be.

  55. The “magical holy balance point” you speak of my friend is the Word of God.
    I agree.
    1 Corinthians 11:5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.
    For 1900 years every church everywhere had women wear head coverings to their services. Research church history if you don’t believe me. Why does early church art depict women with their heads covered? Your grandmother likely wore a head covering to church all her life, if she was a churchgoing woman. The church has rebelled against God, preferring to obey women rather than God. Just like Adam, who harkened unto the voice of his sinning wife, and doomed us all to sin and death. Women are Satan’s preferred vector for corrupting men and keeping men preoccupied with mundane things. The church is apostate now continually submitting to women instead of God. The fact that the church won’t demand that women cover their heads like God’s word commands, is visible proof of rebellion, to all who have eyes to see.
    John 14:24a He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:

    You can take any piece of scripture or theology and overemphasize it or underemphasize it…”
    So, is my asking you to repent of this sin of our father’s generation, and ask your wife to humble herself, and obey this scripture for the glory of Christ Jesus, some sort of issue of emphasis? Or do I rightly ask you to obey the word of God most high?
    Why not pray the prayer of Daniel and seek restitution with God?
    Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; 5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: 6a Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name …

    A bald woman looks unnaturally robbed of her glory. Does not even nature itself teach you that women’s heads should be covered, by giving her hair to cover her head?
    Even liberal and worldly Wikipedia acknowledges the following:
    Christian head covering and hair covering was unanimously practiced by the women of the Early Church. This was attested by multiple writers throughout the first centuries of Christianity. …Although the head covering was practiced by most Christian women until the latter part of the 20th century, it is now a minority practice among contemporary Christians in the West, though it continues to be the normal practice in other parts of the world…
    1 Corinthians 11:16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God. (Christian head covering and hair covering was unanimously practiced by the women of the Early Church.) Why refuse God’s command and contend with the Almighty? Will you make Him kneel before your wife and confess His misogynistic sins?
    I have even seen some invert verse 16 into those who want to obey God and the practice of all the first churches, as being the contentious ones.
    There is more that you are ashamed of, and not abiding by, but that is just one obvious example, since I am quite busy today.

    If a husband who claims to be a Christian is walking in open or hidden sins, he should not expect that his prayers will be answered, …

    Job’s friends resorted to alleging “hidden sins” too, when they were having difficulty blaming Job for his trials. We must remember that trials come to God’s children, out of God’s love, to those who are counted worthy to suffer them for Jesus Christ, and we are to count them a source of joy. While it is difficult to enjoy trials, having the church pile on, is even more frustrating. Not everything you suffer is a trial, some is discipline, and other things are just part of the curse, so be careful to stick with God’s word and not your own understanding when assessing a person’s suffering.

    And if a husband and wife, or even a whole generation of the church, are ashamed of God’s word, defying God’s rules for prayer, and teaching others to do the same, is God obligated to answer their prayers?

    One is naïve to think that a pastor telling such a wife that God is asking her to submit is going to change her…
    Well then I guess that settles it, preachers are functionally useless and a waste of time and money, because they aren’t good leaders because they can’t get women to obey them. (by your logic)
    I say, do what the church is commanded to do and use scripture for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, Etc., and see if God will let his word go out and return unto him void of effect. Do we not have the faith to even ask the church to try God’s way, before we write it off as a failure? I suspect the reason it has so often failed in your past experience is because it probably got watered down and soft pedaled to the point where the rebellious wife knew that you Feminists wouldn’t really kick her out of the church and shun her like the Bible tells the church to do. She’d be back in church again like every week, if she pleases, raising her hands and wiggling her behind to the repetitive praise music, as the men of the church just sigh in defeat.

  56. Ken, God bless you for this post- much needed and I see so much of Jesus in your words. thank you.

    When I am reminded how much Jesus has doen for me and my inheritance in Him, it make sme want to please Him and love Him. When I see Jesus as a demanding taskmaster who thinks I am a failure (I am voluntarily childless due to health issues and unmarried), it make sme fel bitter and angry, and these are not fruits of the spirit. Therefore I focus on the loving Jesus who wants me to obey Him so I may rule and reign in Heaven with Him one day, and my attitiude changes from self pity and bitterness to hope.

  57. I am not sure how you got off on the tangent of head coverings, but for your information, my mother wore head coverings to church :). Yet, if you read the passage you find the apostle who Paul who gives this instruction also writing as his conclusion, “If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God” (1 Cor. 11:16). You appear to be the one Paul is writing this to, so and let’s heed his words and move on to much more important issues that face the church. Also, there is some question as to whether the apostle is referring to long hard as a woman’s covering or a hat or veil, but the bottom line is, if the church cannot agree on it, drop the matter and let’s move on to weightier things, especially not dragging this up in a whole different discussion.

    The naivete comes not from a desire to have pastors preach the whole word of God, and teach wifely submission properly, but the idea that one can do it in a vacuum with either a husband making “righteous requests,” as you termed yet, yet he is living an unrighteous life, and expecting his pastor is going to cure his marriage to sometimes an unbelieving wife, or a wife who is getting bad counsel from elsewhere. It sure is the place to begin and hence the purpose of the post above to try and get pastors to teach God’s Word properly when it comes to a godly wife’s submission, Unashamed and not buying back what they are teaching.

    Yet, even with a post like this, there will be some who want it to go further. Guys like you who have been burned by your pastors and wives, and all I am asking you to do as a good leader does, is be careful not to lay too much of the blame for the difficult marriage on others before first looking in the mirror and askings. What can I do differently Lord?” You can’t change your pastor or your wife, and the blame game is a losing game. Work on the things we can change in our own lives and ask the Lord how do we best deal with our difficult wives to show them our unconditional and gentle love even when they are disobedient. This seems to be the way our God deals with us in our sin and rebellion. Let’s take that model and do our part of the Word even when our wife may not be doing her part and trust in God’s promise that,
    “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). That is a big and mighty promise that you must hold onto in your time of need and pain my friend.

  58. I am not sure how you got off on the tangent of head coverings …
    I used it to illustrate that you still are possessed of some Feminism, if you don’t even tolerate the head covering, a Biblical symbol of female submission to authority, being required, as the bible does require, while also retorting to your statement that:
    If a husband who claims to be a Christian is walking in open or hidden sins, he should not expect that his prayers will be answered …
    Nor should we expect our prayers to be answered when we ask amiss, by praying contrary to how we are instructed, and the church has faithfully followed up until this sinful Feminist generation that has brought about the unprecedented destruction of so many families.

    … but the bottom line is, if the church cannot agree on it, drop the matter and let’s move on to weightier things …
    That is foolishness too. Now the churches can’t agree on homosexuality being wrong, transsexuals leading children’s church, whether divorce is wrong when somebody isn’t having constant fun, Etc. Some churches don’t even agree on whether the Bible is true, or whether Jesus is God. Should we just drop everything anybody wants to disagree with to be seeker-friendly or because the world advocates us dropping things? We not only should uphold what we still have, but we should fight to get back all we’ve forfeited, regardless if some deem certain things of the Lord, not weighty enough to be fought for, that’s how we lost them in the first place.

    You can’t change your pastor or your wife …
    I disagree, the Bible calls us to try:
    1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; 2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
    If we can’t teach others to change, then the “great commission” is a fool’s errand.

    Yet, even with a post like this, there will be some who want it to go further. Guys like you who have been burned by your pastors and wives, and all I am asking you to do as a good leader does, is be careful not to lay too much of the blame for the difficult marriage on others before first looking in the mirror and asking, “What can I do differently Lord?”.

    Yes, I’d welcome you preaching hellfire and brimstone, but preaching the fear of God doesn’t seem your style, so for the most part I’d just like you to avoid making concessions to Feminism that I feel are ungodly compromises.

    Those who have been burned by wicked “Christian” wives & Feminist pastors have had their eyes opened to the great evil that can be present in what others may still see as innocuous.

    I’m actually quite introspective, and quite frequently endeavor to adapt and reinvent myself for personal betterment. I pray quite unceasingly asking God what should I do, asking for wisdom to lead my family into righteousness. My posts are long enough without touting my own personal and spiritual efforts to win over a unique wife with a great subconscious fear and loathing of close intimacy that caused her to develop “intimacy anorexia” a behavioral addiction to withholding herself Spiritually, Emotionally, and Physically, and return evil for good, with torturous intentional “distancing behaviors”. A lot of it is so bizarre that it is realistically unbelievable. I often have to hold back on the truth, to stand a chance of being believed. She really is not in her right mind. However, I vowed to be there in sickness, and in health, and I have had to endure constant intentional torment as she hones her ability to destroy all possible paths to emotional bonding.

    I understand your frustration at taking flak from both sides.
    Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
    If you’re going to get persecuted, you might as well get it for being 100% aligned with God, and not for trying to ride the fence or compromise with the world.
    1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.

  59. I’m surprised at this article – pleasantly surprised! Most teaching I hear (even at my otherwise doctrinally sound church) changes, reinterprets, or ignores this obvious teaching from the Word. The same churches also avoid or change”children obey your parents” into something unbiblical. What happened to teaching all of Scripture correctly?

  60. Thank you Trey. I think I see your comments on several blogs I follow, and I always agree wholeheartedly with you. I have found it so difficult to find Biblical guidance within any church, and I do not have any women in my life who can guide me or that I can even speak to about this. My support comes from Lori’s blog and a few others (and daily meditation and prayer over Scripture). I have found it is also very difficult for my Husband to find affirmation of his Biblical role through church or friends, as well. He has listened to a few of BGR’s podcasts, but I believe he has stopped. It makes me sad for our three boys, as well.

    Lori, I always appreciate your writings. May God bless your and Ken’s ministry and marriage.

  61. I am happy I read this article. I have just defended my M.A thesis yesterday but it got to a period that the external examiner wanted to change my view from patriarchal view to egalitarian view about this issue of wifely submission. Although, I insisted that the feminism has caused a great havoc in Africa when the wives are being empowered that SUBMISSION had become “Old School” and emphasis had been laid often on mutual submission. This idea has resulted to high rate of separate living, dissolution of marriages and divorce and it still happening in many African CITIES. Once again, I want to appreciate the writer of this work. I found the work interesting and life impacting! May God bless you and your ministry.

  62. Submission is one of the controversial term among many people, for especially in the civilized world. However, based on God’s standard, wives must submit to their husband. However, this is not a license for the husbands to abuse their wives also.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *