When Should a Wife Disobey Her Husband?
The question of when a wife should disobey her husband comes up frequently. It seems that people are more concerned about when a wife should disobey her husband than obeying and submitting to him. We are told to submit to our husbands in everything (Ephesians 5:24), be obedient to them (Titus 2:5), and we are Sarah’s daughters as we obey our husbands as she obeyed Abraham (1 Peter 3:6). We are told that our husband is head over us (Ephesians 5:23). God has made it very clear that the husbands are the ones to lead their families, not the wives. But when should wives disobey their husbands?
As you know, I fully teach and believe that women should be keepers at home and raise their own children. What if a husband asks his wife to put their children into daycare and work full time? Should she disobey him because she believes it is sin? What if he asks her to fully vaccinate her children even though she believes this would be sin to pump her children “full of poison”? What if he asks her to put their children into the public schools even though she knows how sinful they are? What if he asks her to not spank their children when the Bible clearly tells us to use the rod on them? There are many things that are clearly stated in the Word of God that we should obey but what if the husbands ask their wives to disobey them?
I believe the only time a wife can disobey her husband is if he asks her to disobey a clear command of the Lord such as given in Romans 13:9 because God’s clear commands trump a husband’s. “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
A wife never has to obey her husband if he asks her to do anything that will defile the marriage bed as in having an affair, watching pornography, engaging in anal sex, or participating in a threesome. She would never have to obey him if he asked her to get an abortion, steal, bear false witness, or do anything that is clearly evil. Anything that is not loving others (harming the children or others), she would not have to obey BUT she must obey him in everything else.
Yes, she would have to work full time and put her children in daycare if he asks her to do this in submission to his leadership. Yes, she would willingly vaccinate her children if this is his will. She would put her children into public schools if this was her husband’s desire. She would not spank her children if he asked her to not spank. If he wants her to wear leggings and skirts above her knees, she would obey him. He is the one who will decide if she wears a covering on her head or not, what church they attend, where they will live, how to spend the money, etc. He is responsible for how he leads his family and she is responsible for submitting to his leadership. God is very clear about this! If she doesn’t like some of his decisions, she gives them to the Lord in prayer and allows Him to convict and change his mind if this is the Lord’s will.
If she wants to be a keeper at home and homeschool her children but her husband wants her to work full time, she lives carefully within his income and asks the Lord for daily strength and wisdom while she submits to her husband and works full time. If she must vaccinate her children because this is her husband’s desire, she feeds them as healthily as she can and gives them a lot of healthy probiotics like kefir to help keep their immune systems strong. She daily prays protection over her children whether they are in daycare, public school, or vaccinated. If they go to public school because this is what her husband wants, she reads the Bible and prays with them every morning before school and reminds them to clothe themselves with the full armor of the Lord daily. She continually teaches them the truth of God’s Word. If she can’t spank her children because her husband doesn’t want this, she is consistent in making them obey her even if it is time consuming and tedious. If he likes her to dress in clothing that she considers immodest, she wears it as modestly as she can but still pleases him. Remember, he will answer to God in how he leads her.
In all areas, she does her best to submit to him in everything, even the hard things that she disagrees with him about and in the areas that she doesn’t believe are biblical. Remember, we are told how a wife is to “win” her husband who is disobedient to the Word and it isn’t by disobeying him. No, it’s by living in subjection to him – obeying and submitting to his leadership (1 Peter 3:1-6) so she works hard to obey him in everything as long as it is not evil or harmful to others and prays daily that she will win him without the word. In the meantime, she finds her strength and joy in the Lord and doesn’t allow anything or anyone to steal her joy!
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; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
1 Peter 3:1, 2
19 thoughts on “When Should a Wife Disobey Her Husband?”
This was so clearly stated. Thank you. If only women could see how much more powerful it is going about marriage this way, than fighting and fuming. It’s a matter of choosing God’s power vs. our own.
Hi Lori. Some food for thought: the women’s movement has changed the very nature of many men— they don’t seem as manly, in my opinion. We are stronger as one flesh when we are strong in our God mandated roles. God has clearly commanded for women to be keepers and guides of their homes. God, the supreme being, sanctioned this as our primary purpose. God has commanded the man to be the provider. It gives them worth and pride ( in a good sense) and manliness and responsibility providing for their families. Many men, nowadays, will let their women work outside the home, if they so desire. Because many decisions today stem from the love of money, we know the root cause and reason is evil. Where God has already spoken and commanded, man must be careful not to legislate. Thanks for allowing me to comment.?
Exactly! Fighting and fuming with our husbands accomplishes nothing beneficial. It only tears our marriage apart.
You’re so right, Holly, and you know how strongly I feel about this topic but many women are married to men who want their wives to work outside of the home but I have heard from some of women that they have been able to win their husbands without a word by living in subjection to them with godly behavior! They are so excited to take the step of faith and come home.
It’s much better for wives to follow God’s prescription for winning their husbands rather than demanding what they want even if it is according to God’s will. It would just cause contention in the home which is never good.
Thank you for this post, it is very helpful to me.
I agree with Holly. The men of today are letting the wife “wear the pants” in the house. This has caused most of the divorces with our friends and family. Whether woman want to admit it or not, having a strong man by there side is better than having none.
This was excellent! Just a word on discipline. My husband absolutely forbid me to spank the children (he grew up in a home with severe domestic violence). We have 3 children, 2 of whom now grown, and none were ever a severe discipline problem without spanking. Was it always easy? No, especially when they were toddlers, but consistency was key!
You make it sound like husbands have a choice.
Not all men are just LETTING their wives “wear the pants” in the home and some (if not most) of those that do, understand that given the choices they have these days, letting their wives have their way (might be) the lesser of the two evils and the only choice they can make.
As with most everything it touches, government involvement in marriage has virtually destroyed it. Men today understand (have learned the hard way) that the government took away any authority in marriage that the man might have once had and gave it ALL to the woman; another triumph of Satan thru feminism.
With the advent of no-fault divorce (enforced by the government at the barrel of a gun) and this so-called egalitarian, but in reality, gynocentric society that we now live in, men understand that women have the full force of government behind them and if a husband does not do everything he can to make his wife “happy” and let the her do what she wants to, she will just divorce him. In divorce, the government (most often) gives her the house, the kids and half (or more) of what he has accumulated in life. Then he has to pay (up to) 18 years of child support and some number of years of alimony. In some states, the husband has to pay “lifetime” alimony to the wife.
So when a Christian husband tries to follow God’s instructions and insists upon being the one who “wears the pants”, and his wife leaves him and/or threatens divorce, he has a choice to make. Is it better for the others involved (wife and kids) to keep the marriage together and (for the sake of peace) let his wife “wear the pants” or should he just stand on principle so that she will (for sure) divorce him, knowing that he is ultimately responsible before God for both her and the children?
For many men, it’s a lose, lose situation. He is doomed if he tries to lead and he is doomed (one way or another) if he lets her lead. At least if they are still married, there is a chance that she will repent and fall in line with God’s plan (husband leading) but if she divorces him, all is lost. That is the dilemma that many men face in this post-feminist world that we live in.
To add insult to injury, in some cases, even if the husband “lets” her have her way (hoping that one day she will see the error of her ways and repent), she finds that living this way does not make her “happy” either, so she blames that on the husband also and she still divorces him. Then not wanting to be alone and have to support herself, she goes to look for another sucker… err man to marry and (make her happy). Then when that marriage does not make her happy, (has to be the man’s fault again) it’s shampoo, rinse and repeat.
So you see, it’s not as simple as just blaming it on the men for LETTING their wives “wear the pants”. Men today realize that the only option they have is to choose the lesser of the two evils (letting their wives have their way) and praying that God will open their wives eyes and change their hearts. Then they have to sit back (still knowing they are responsible and will be held accountable before God) and watch all of the destruction it causes to their wives, their children and the marriage as the women lead and tear down their homes with their own hands. Not much of a choice is it.
Some of the things that you are suggesting that the wife do if the husband asks her clearly go against scripture. There is no excuse for a wife to disobey God if her husband asks her to. To obey in everything means everything good not everything evil. Remember Abraham and Sarah when Abraham told her to lie by keeping out part of the truth that she was his wife? Both of them were held accountable for their sin against God. Abimelech rebuked Abraham and Sarah was reproved through Abimelech. A husband has no authority from God to instruct his wife in unrighteousness.
Thank you so much for your interpretation of those scriptures and as I always say life is about choices, choose to as I ask because you’ve chosen to do as God commands.
It would depend on what he wanted her to do and if it’s truly biblical or unbiblical. I do not believe that it’s wrong for a wife to go to work, as long as she is somehow around when the children leave for school in the morning, and when they get home from school. But I think also that if he is truly concerned about her opinion, he has theobligation to listen to her in her concerns. But if he asked her to go to work, there’s nothing sinful about that. I think it people take scripture the wrong way when it comes to that. Sometimes both have to work. I know you’ve written about it before, and I’ve disagreed then, and I still disagree now. There’s nothing wrong with going to work for a wife. There’s nothing unbiblical about it. It would be better if she could find something to do at home and make money, but it would depend on what he wants her to go to work for and what kind of job he wanted her to do.
And the whole thing about the anal sex, as you mentioned briefly. There is NOTHING wrong with in the marriage bed. Nothing sinful within the marriage bed, as long as there is just the two of you. I do believe that there are some things that are uncomfortable physically for women or it’s hard for them to do, like certain positions. But ANAL BETWEEN A MARRIED COUPLE HAS NEVER SIN. And there’s no proof saying otherwise in Scripture, that anal sex between a man and a woman who are married to each other is wrong. Nothing is wrong within the marriage bed or sinful within the marriage bed, as long as it’s just the two of them. The only way that anal sex is a sin, back in the Old Testament, and now in the New Testament days is between same-sex. A woman with a woman or a man with a man. They are the only ways the anal sex is a sin, because homosexuality and lesbianism is a sin. But to have a married couple, with it just being those two alone, having anal sex, there is nothing wrong or sinful about that. There’s nothing wrong within the marriage bed. You can’t prove it. it was only for homosexual relationships that it’s a sin. People do not understand the scriptures when it comes to that kind of thing. And they become legalistic And they become manipulative and how they talked about it and how they teach people. If I wanted to have anal sexy with my wife there’s nothing wrong with it. I would not be sinning and neither would she. And like I said, you cannot prove it. There’s nowhere in scripture where it says that it’s a sin, whatsoever.
The only time it’s okay to disobey is when you’re asked to violate the word of God. But you have to make sure that what you are going to disobey him for is really something that’s a violation to scripture, and not just your personal opinion, because you’re having an attitude or you just missing the scriptures.
What if a husband admits he forgets to pray. Or argues that the Sabbath is a day that no one knows because the Bible was written by man? I feel like I am constantly defending the Bible and its commandments.
Keep living out 1 Peter 3:1-6. It’s your behavior that has a much better chance of winning your husband than any words you can say.
I know this is an old post but this one of your best, spot on. God bless sister.
Living in the modern world is a pressue cooker ,However if husband and wife van agree to listen to one another ; it would take a lot of the pressure off and husband shouldnt weild his authority over his wife !
Marriage is a love relatioship and the or wife should stand. Hard. And unbending ! That is not love but a battle of selfishness in which their is no compromise ! And loving understanding !
As a Christian woman for over 42 years, and wife for 34 years to my first husband , a minister, before his passing ; then a wife currently to another minister, I have had to deal with husbands who did not always live according to the holy scriptures. I am seasoned enough in God’s scriptures to know that I must be submissive to my husband which is no problem for me. But as a mature Christian I also understand the difference between being obedient to my husband as long as he is asking me to do what is right! A husband does not have the authority nor the right to make his wife sin against God! ” To him who knows what is right to do but does not , it is sin.” God expects the husband to be a Christian in the first place before he marries. Second, he should only marry a Christian woman. After marriage the two are one and they both seek to make God happy by making each other happy. This is biblical in 1 Corinthians 7. It is also scriptural that the husband treats his wife with the utmost honor and respect since she is a gift from God! He must not be harsh, rude, mean, abusive in any way towards her for God will punish him severely and it will hinder his prayers from going to God! God knows our hearts and He understands so well the situations that we godly wives are in when our spouses turn away from loving God enough to remain faithful to Jim and obedient to Him. Weather our husbands were Christians before we married them or if they pretending to be Christians towards us to begin with- they will have to give an account of their behavior. They are responsible for their wives and children , to know God and to be obedient to God. ” Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is grown he will not depart from these lessons!” Teach a child the scriptures early in the morning, in the noon day, in the evening and at bedtime!” So many husbands are in trouble with the Lord for not being godly, loving, caring, Christian husbands to their wives but many are not even aware! As far as obedience to our husbands, they can make it so much easier for us if they would humble themselves as well and show humility as the lead us along the way.” It is more early to catch with honey than vinegar!”means that it will make a wife more submissive to her husband if he shows her that he loves her very much and wants to please her in every possible way ( as long as it is right) and does not want to hurt her! When she sees his love and devotion and gentle and caring , compassionate treatment towards her – then love will intervene and both will find it more easier to please each other as they obey God. Marriage can and will work as long as God , Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit is in the mix! May God bless you!
You are so right. The scriptures say-Hebrews 13:4 NIV
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
Adulterer-a married person who has sex with someone who is not that person’s wife or husband : a person who commits adultery.
Sexual immoral-1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NIV
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Romans 1:18-21,24-27 NIV
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. This includes having sex with the same sex- men with men , women with women and humans with animals!
Leviticus 18:22-24 NIV
“ ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.  “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.  “ ‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.