Why we're here...

Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

We're honored to be a member of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association...click on their logo to visit them.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Love, Honor, and Obey

That last word - the O-word - gets left out of a lot of wedding vows.

It shouldn't, because what marriages need today is a lot more obedience.

Whoa! Pitchforks down, people! And those torches...uh, douse them for now?

Obedience in marriage got a lot of bad press. A couple of thousand years' worth. Yes, Paul talked about it in the New Testament, along with the husband's 'headship' in a Christian marriage.

All very well and good, for practicing Christians. Unfortunately, most Christians seem not to have practiced much, because they weren't very good at it.

Headship was turned into subjugation, and gave a psuedo-religious imprimatur to male dominance. That meant that the guy could pretty well do what he wanted - and his wife was a possession. This was enshrined in law, in countries like England, through most of the Christian Era.

And, oh, yes...in the US, as well. 

This wasn't what Paul meant at all. He intended for a husband to have the headship of Christ - headship that was expressed through servitude. The headship of a king...first in the attack, last in the retreat, and, in famine, eating only what his poorest subject ate. It was not a headship that conferred rights.

Only responsibilities. Including the responsibility of sacrifice, up to and including life.

Know any husbands like that? Remotely like that? I don't, even when I look in a mirror.

What I see in the mirror is a guy who has his own agenda, and who hopes to see parts of it through, sliding it under the tent flap in a shadowy corner, so that I can say, well, it was always there. I'm not being humble. I'm being honest.

Self-interest...not naked, but disguised. Sometimes harmless enough, but with the potential of taking on a malevolent life of its own.

And obedience is the cure. I'm not going to take the easy way out and say, patting myself on my pious head, 'obedience to God, of course!'

That goes without saying, and there's no virtue there.

I'm talking about obedience to my wife.

Obedience to her wishes, that if she says No then it's no. If she says Don't then I don't. If she says Now, I jump. No weaseling backchat. 

Weakness on my part? On the way to being henpecked?

Not at all, It's trust.

I married her with the implied trust that she loved me, and that she would not do anything that she thought was against our best interests, and my best interests. I married her believing that she would sacrifice her interests for my own - and she did.

In return, I have to trust that when she says No with a captial N, she has a good reason.

I trust her. I trust her love.

That is my duty, and my desire.


  1. This is an interesting post, and you have an interesting writing style. (I have read your book, Blessed are the Pure of Heart.) However this post does not reflect what we have been taught through the Scriptures. Scripture tells us that women should be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church... Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it... So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife, loves himself... and they shall be two in one flesh... and let the wife fear her husband. (This does not mean the same as being afraid, but means respect.
    I think that you love your wife and wish to please her, and so do things for her that she asks for, but to say that you are obedient to her is not right order.

    1. I think you have a good point - and I could have said things better.

      I used 'obey' because of its place in the vows - what I was trying to express was the need to put the heartfelt interests of one's spouse first. 'Obedience' is not the right word, when I think about it.

      So - thank you! I will be more careful in the future. I don't want to be un-Scriptural, even by accident.

      And thank you for reading the book! I hope you enjoyed it.

  2. I am curious... what is your background? Is your writing a sideline? You write with such authority in your blog. Are you a full time counselor?

  3. No, not a full-time counselor - I wish I were!

    I was a college professor for many years, and before that a security contractor (paramilitary). Currently, a writer, restorer of old aeroplanes, and servant to 27 dogs.