The other morning, my husband and I went out for a quiet breakfast together. That was really delightful!
While we were out, I was trying to sort out some harsh words I had heard from a Christian brother who was unfairly criticizing people who are not in his family, and who are in no way under his authority.
In trying to help me understand what might be happening, Jon shared some ideas about what can result when women don’t respond appropriately to their husbands.
He was talking about what happens when habitual inappropriate responses from the wife prevent the husband from leading effectively in his home.
Jon’s idea is that a man is built with the capacity and desire to lead, and the need to lead. We all know this.
And this husband should be leading with love and kindness and gentleness, leading the ones who are dear to him. But when that husband’s leadership, in the place where he is made to lead, is impeded by the woman who should be following him with a smile on her face, he often responds by leading more harshly and sometimes in places where his leadership is not appropriate.
He may try to supervise the behaviour of others, like siblings, co-workers, neighbours, in ways which are unwelcome and unkind. He may even become overbearing. He’s got the desire to exert authority appropriately, but when it’s thwarted he may force authority in another setting. And if these other individuals….the ones who are on the receiving end of unwelcome, inappropriate leadership……. are endeavouring to respond biblically, they might find that harsh leadership to be something that stumbles them, until they come to understand it rightly .
I find it’s helpful to me to keep it in mind that when I am cheerfully submissive and working as a good team-mate alongside my husband, I am protecting our home, my husband, and also protecting other people.
I don’t mean to say that if a man is exercising harsh and inappropriate authority, that it’s his wife’s fault.
He is accountable for his own behaviour.
But Jon’s perspective on how one person’s sin can trigger the sin of another was interesting to me.
The question of how one individual may respond biblically and rightly to habitual offences of another is also a good one to consider.
I wonder if anyone else has thoughts on this topic.