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Can Christian wives make any decisions?


kpmom

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Found this on the Christian Homeschoolers Forum. I'll quote this woman's entire post below;

"Dh and I have known for several years now that our current church, Church A, is not where we want, and are supposed, to be.

We have another church we've visited, Church B, in which we're interest and have visited. I've also visited Church C on my own. We've not, as a couple or family, visited other churches because DH--who really will be the first to tell you that we are very unhappy at Church A--drags his feet, and, quite frankly, keeps taking us to Church A (year after year) because it's his comfort zone.

I am really, really, really so emotionally and spiritually and mentally ready to cut ties and move on.

Additionally, DH and I have some personal problems that just never, ever seem to improve the way they should and a close confidante/friend pointed out to me, "Lisa, maybe your problems are persisting because you aren't in the church the Lord wants you to be in." I've mulled that over quite a bit as she made the statement based on her own experience of having been in a church for a while that just was *not* a fit for her family and has commented several times over the years that her spiritual life began to grow by leaps and bounds when they found their current church.

In all of this, (and I say this kindly with absolutely not even a hint at being dishonoring) DH's spiritual growth is severely stunted and I think in large part it's because he's not being filled at Church A which in turn can make it hard to have that zeal for the things of the Lord, which can make you less interested in growing, creating a vicious circle. (Side note: I am actually growing quite a bit despite our dissatisfaction at Church A but there are other factors involved to make that happen).

So if we're not in a church where we can all grow (including my dd who is also very displeased--sadly almost bitter--with Church A and loves Church B and attends their youth group), it's not hard to see that DH's lack of spiritual growth could be a huge, huge part of what is creating our never ending, never resolved personal problems (which includes him behaving in ways that are not Christlike).

All of that to ask this: would it be out-of-line or in anyway disrespectful of my husband's headship to say, "I can't do Church A anymore. I just can't. The kids and I are going to Church B from here on out to see if that is indeed where we're supposed to go. You are obviously free to go which church you want to go to [because again, for all of his huffing and puffing about his disappointment and dissatisfaction in Church A he just keeps going because it's easiest] but we are going to be more proactive."

On one hand I hate to force the issue because DH is the sort where, if it's not *his* idea, he will sit down and refuse to budge, or he'll just never be happy at Church B because he wasn't the one to make that final decision. At the same time, we can't go on like this, either and I'm willing to take the chance that some day he'll say, "I'm so glad you made the step of finally switching, for us."

I would appreciate your counsel. "

No surprise, the ladies of CHF tell her that yes, it would be disrespectful to her husband's headship to just up and say she's going to Church B. But, they do give her ways to ask him to make the switch.

Later she asks, more like begs, for someone to tell her it is scripturally o.k. for her to tell him they're moving to Church B.

I don't feel sorry for this woman. She makes her bed in this situation every day, let her lie in it. I do feel sorry for the kids. Although she says in a later post her daughter has told them she will be moving to Church B when she is 18 (soon).

So, at least this wimpy, namby pamby crap hasn't infested another generation. Yet.

Why, oh why would any woman put up with this? Why would any young, single woman want this for her life?

Here is the link to the discussion;

chfweb.com/index.php?t=msg&th=85064&start=0&S=e6dde429740dfc84ecb260009b5b5b98

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Why can't she say to the husband that this church is clearly not working for their family and they need to sit down and make a decision together about changing? Seems to me that is the truly egalitarian approach--not waiting quietly for him to decide and not running off on her own. It never ceases to amaze me that so much fundagelical marriage advice can be summarized as "whatever you do, do NOT communicate with your spouse!"

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It seems to me that this husband is not doing his job and being a strong spiritual leader as his ideology and community tell him he should. While his wife may not feel she has the authority to tell him so, perhaps a male friend would? An accountability partner or Bible study leader perhaps?

I'm not saying I agree with the roles in their marriage. Just trying to think of options for this woman within the framework, since she asked like-minded people.

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Submission is not only degrading to women. It is disrespectful to men also. Often the man is treated as a child who can't be argued with or he will fall apart and be unable to carry on with life. Some of these couples seem to be very passive aggressive with one another.

The wife and kids already hate church A and the husband is stuck in his comfort zone.The solution is for the wife and kids to go to Church B and let the husband go where he wants. They could also alternate churches each Sunday but if the eldest daughter detests Church A, she shouldn't have to go on those Sundays. 17 is old enough to decide what religious institution you want to attend. If the husband refuses to make a decision, the wife should make the decision for herself.

I think that the wife doesn't want to compromise. She wants it her way. Not only does she want to change churches but she is insistent that her husband be the one to make the choice for them but she wants him to lead in the way that she wants to be lead.(hopefully, that made sense) Marriages between equals who respect each other are not so convoluted

Additionally, DH and I have some personal problems that just never, ever seem to improve the way they should and a close confidante/friend pointed out to me, "Lisa, maybe your problems are persisting because you aren't in the church the Lord wants you to be in." I've mulled that over quite a bit as she made the statement based on her own experience of having been in a church for a while that just was *not* a fit for her family and has commented several times over the years that her spiritual life began to grow by leaps and bounds when they found their current church.

The change in church isn't going to magically help this couple. They have problems that need to be addressed that has nothing to do with their particular church.

In all of this, (and I say this kindly with absolutely not even a hint at being dishonoring) DH's spiritual growth is severely stunted and I think in large part it's because he's not being filled at Church A which in turn can make it hard to have that zeal for the things of the Lord, which can make you less interested in growing, creating a vicious circle. (Side note: I am actually growing quite a bit despite our dissatisfaction at Church A but there are other factors involved to make that happen).

I'm an atheist but it seems highly disrespectful for her to judge her husband's spiritual growth. What the hell does that mean and how do you even gauge someone else's spiritual growth?Shouldn't that be between him and his god?

So if we're not in a church where we can all grow (including my dd who is also very displeased--sadly almost bitter--with Church A and loves Church B and attends their youth group), it's not hard to see that DH's lack of spiritual growth could be a huge, huge part of what is creating our never ending, never resolved personal problems (which includes him behaving in ways that are not Christlike).

Again, she has decided what constitutes 'Christian' behavior and is judging her husband. This sounds like a miserable couple.

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Is it just me or does it sound like the husband is losing his faith and hasn't come to grips with it yet? The stunted "spiritual growth;" refusing to consider a new church. Maybe we're looking at a closet agnostic or atheist. Regardless, the safest bet for her would be to just say, "I'm curious about Church B. I'm going to take the kids there one day to see how it goes," and take it from there. That way it's just trying a new church for funsies and not a demand for him to leave his comfort zone.

While I don't have too much sympathy, I can understand why this woman is seeking help in getting what she wants while still following the rules of her religion. It's human nature, really. And I suspect that a lot of fundie women who are happy with their lives right now are so because they figured out how to manipulate things so they get a lot of what they want. I just find it impossible to believe that any women who doesn't have the natural disposition of a low-IQ doormat could feel any joy in a fundie marriage otherwise. So, when Michelle tells women to always let their husband get their way even when they know their husbands are wrong? I'm not sure that's what REALLY goes on in her marriage. I'm sure Boob thinks so, and I'm also sure that she does keep mum about a lot, but I see it more as a choosing her battles situation. I don't doubt for a second that she knows just how to phrase things so that she gets what she wants a lot of the time while making it so technically she's all sweet submission and it's all Boob's decisions.

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My mother was a Christian wife who attended the Church of Christ. My father was raised Methodist. He had no problem with her going to church and taking us with her. It did not affect their marriage at all. In my late teens, I left the church because I couldn't accept their teachings. I wasn't disowned or treated differently. Any way, all this to say that a Christian woman can absolutely make her own decisions. She just needs to put her foot down and say no.

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I honestly have never understood how the whole submission thing works in real life, and my husband and I (who are equals) have mused about it over the years, not wanting to get into that lifestyle, but just unconvinced it is a valuable exercise.

Elizabeth Elliot (now very old, if still alive) once said this in her radio show... back when Christian radio was making me question the very existence of God....

I can think of no more likely area in which we're going to have to learn this lesson, we married women, than relinquishing a preference. I would like to go out for dinner, or I would like to go to that restaurant instead of this one, or I would like to see that video or that movie rather than this one. Just don't have any discussion. Just say, "Sure. Of course." Give up your right to yourself. There're all sorts of tiny little ways in which it just simplifies life tremendously.

backtothebible.org/index.php/Gateway-to-Joy/Pouring-Yourself-Out-for-Others.html

I find this to be a miserable way to live and when I told my husband about it years ago, he said--if I ask for a preference, I want to know, I'm not just asking to hear my gums move.... what kind of bizarre people believe this is what god wants of them?

And, per the people who blog about their own submission... my egalitarian marriage is far less rocky and hard to navigate than theirs by their own description.

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I honestly have never understood how the whole submission thing works in real life, and my husband and I (who are equals) have mused about it over the years, not wanting to get into that lifestyle, but just unconvinced it is a valuable exercise.

Elizabeth Elliot (now very old, if still alive) once said this in her radio show... back when Christian radio was making me question the very existence of God....

I can think of no more likely area in which we're going to have to learn this lesson, we married women, than relinquishing a preference. I would like to go out for dinner, or I would like to go to that restaurant instead of this one, or I would like to see that video or that movie rather than this one. Just don't have any discussion. Just say, "Sure. Of course." Give up your right to yourself. There're all sorts of tiny little ways in which it just simplifies life tremendously.

backtothebible.org/index.php/Gateway-to-Joy/Pouring-Yourself-Out-for-Others.html

I find this to be a miserable way to live and when I told my husband about it years ago, he said--if I ask for a preference, I want to know, I'm not just asking to hear my gums move.... what kind of bizarre people believe this is what god wants of them?

And, per the people who blog about their own submission... my egalitarian marriage is far less rocky and hard to navigate than theirs by their own description.

Hell, by not expressing a preference, you're denying someone one of life's great pleasures-- the chance to please someone else. It feels good to do something nice for someone, whether it's going to the restaurant they want to go to, buying them a gift, or doing one of their chores for them. It shows that you care.

Acts 20:35-- 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' Why do they think they shouldn't give the men a chance to be blessed in this way?

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