Yes Sir. Do we always have to do what husband says?


And no.

It’s complicated, but not too complicated for a woman.

So hang on and we will talk about the yes/no existence of woman.

First, the “Yes” Part

Yes, the command to wives is for me to subordinate my will to his. If we disagree, his plan rules the day and if I’m confused, I rely on his decisions. If he is wrong, I submit, anyway, and wait to see if God can’t change his mind or the man mightn’t be right, and I did not see that coming!

Awhile back, we extended our fenced pasture to reach the pond, built a sheltered manger, and got everything ready to buy a calf for raising some beef. Then at the last minute we decided it might not work out and we would be sorry we did it. I couldn’t believe all that went into NOT getting a calf. I was disappointed. I knew natural meat would be great. I thought he was wrong, but I waited. I knew God would set him straight. God is good at that.

I was wrong.

Immediately after that “absurd” set of preparations, we began accumulating drought. We did not mean to—it just came. For the last two years, and now again this year, hardly enough rain has fallen to keep anything alive. It’s been over 100° for months. The pond shrank and the beautiful pasture has conked out each year at mid-summer. The clover we seeded into it has totally given up and does not recur. It would have been a feeding/watering nightmare. Farmers everywhere are selling cattle at a loss. Coyotes are growing bolder.

Who knew?

God. Not my husband.

So I stand corrected, but not really. My predictions for the future were wrong, but my waiting, my not fussing, were what God meant when He said all He said.

The “No” Part

If you are diligent about saying “yes,” you earn some space for saying “no.” The wife who, when she says “no,” is acting out of character, has earned respect, has earned her husband’s ear. So when I say, “No, I’d really like the car to be white because of the heat we suffer,” he listens.

I so seldom say “no.”

And when I am adamant about something, he really takes note. When something saddens me, he’s panicking, because I try hard, really hard, to be pleasant and agreeable.

Over the 40-some years we’ve been married, I’ve bought his trust.

If I griped about everything that whole time, what would one more gripe mean to him?

I’m not trying to boast, just to give life examples.

On the other hand, every time I was right, God was able to change him and make him see it. But He did not do that through what I said (I was waiting, not talking.) It usually came through giving him sleepless nights, or something, until he figured it out. He’s a quick learner.

Yes Sir

The Bible gives one big, perfect example of life as a wife, in the life of Abraham’s wife, Sarah. We find a pithy mention of her in 1 Peter 3:4-6, where it talks about the “inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

The implication here is that we copy her.

Okay. She left her husband’s side and signed up for the Pharaoh’s harem, at Abraham’s recommendation. Not my idea of a great husbandly decision, at all!

But she did it and Yahweh intervened by speaking to the inventor of Raworship. How’s that for ironic? Basically, when God finished warning Pharaoh, he was ejecting Sarah as fast as possible, in great fear of God.

And not much has changed. Except wives.

We got mixed up about 70 years ago.

What If?

When can we really say “no” and make it stick, no matter what, and be sure we are right?

When . . .

. . . he is trying to kill you or the kids. Although you have an “until death” covenant with him, if he is trying to kill you, he is trying to break that covenant. Time to skip out. Also, it would devastate the kids to lose you both, and you also have a covenant with them, to protect and raise them, since you brought their lives into being. The same is true for death threats and drug or alcohol abuse—take them totally seriously and protect yourself and your children immediately. (Today.) Just talking nuts and bolts, here, sheer logic; we assume you love your kids and/or life itself, like crazy.

. . . he has been unfaithful to you. God allows you to walk if husband has already walked, which is what unfaithfulness is. He calls it hard-heartedness, but let’s just say one wife is enough, and you are it, or else someone else is, but not both. And using pornography is unfaithfulness.

. . . he wants you to break the law. This is what Peter’s answer was all about in Acts 5:29. “We ought to obey God rather than man,” he told the Sanhedrin, a figurehead Jewish ruling body in Rome-occupied Israel.
Under Roman rule, Peter had freedom of speech.
The Sanhedrin had decided to take matters into their own hands and ignore the law. Since God requires submission to the governing authorities, robbing Peter of free speech, an illegal, insubordinate act, was displeasing to God.
Peter disobeyed their injunction to rob him of his legal rights. And he was right to do so.
No wonder the Sanhedrin filled with furious and murderous thoughts.

Unless he disqualifies himself in one of those three ways, listen to your husband, accept him, love him, go with what he says. God will step in if he is wrong, you’ll see.

But only if you walk in submission.