I felt the anger begin to churn in my core. My muscles became concrete, my jaw locked. I tried to stop the emotion, but it kept coming. I diverted my eyes because I knew they would burn a hole right through him if I looked up.
The Bible study I had been in – I had led – 5 days earlier spoke of times like these. What was I supposed to do when I felt like this? I couldn’t remember.
But I knew enough to keep my mouth shut. Experience had taught me that much. I needed to talk to the Lord about my anger before even thinking about talking to my husband.
Several hours later, God helped me gain some perspective.
It went something like this:
Sometimes families have to make decisions. And sometimes the grown ups in the family disagree about what to do. So, to prevent stalemates, inaction, and civil war, God said: when the husband and the wife disagree about something, defer to the husband so a decision can be made and we can all get on with our lives.
That’s not a direct quote.
But, more or less, it’s one of the several points of Ephesians 5:22, 24 and Colossians 3:18.
Hierarchies like this are employed all the time in successful businesses and effective governments. There is one ultimate boss who gets the final say so things can progress. If he’s a good boss, he respectfully listens to all sides of the topic, considering carefully his options, and then chooses what he feels is the best course of action.
In the case of the family, God chose the man to be that boss. We can speculate why, but why isn’t all that important. It is what it is.
As the woman in my family, I am not the boss. But I have a CRUCIAL role that equally determines the quality of life my family has.
While my husband may have the final say on decisions, my reaction to his decision determines the emotional temperature of my home and the confidence of my husband moving forward.
One of my biggest earthly responsibilities is to help my husband be the leader of our family. I can do that by supporting him in the decisions he makes. I can’t control what choices he makes for our family, but I can underscore that I believe in him, I trust him, and, even when I disagree, I support him no matter what. I can maintain our team mentality and encourage him to make decisions he feels are best. By doing so, I free him up to embrace his God-given role as leader of our family, not fear the responsibility and the backlash from me if he makes a decision I don’t agree with.
When I do my job well, my husband feels loved, and my kids feel secure. The atmosphere of our home is not icy or tense because the parents are disagreeing. On the contrary, I show my kids how to trust God’s design for our family and His sovereignty over our lives.
God blesses obedience. If my husband ever happens to make a “wrong” decision, God will still bless our family if I have been a supportive wife. What is there to fear?
Want to help your husband be the leader of the family? Whatever choices he makes, be peaceable.