This morning I was listening to someone answer this question from one of their readers:
What does a wife do when her conviction regarding a spiritual principle is different than her husbands? For example, I have a conviction that we should be tithing. For a while we were, but when money got tight, my husband said that we should not tithe again until all of our debt is paid off. We have school loans, so we’re easily talking a decade from now. So, what does a wife do when her conviction is not the same as her husband’s in an area like this?
And I disagreed with their response. So, I thought I’d write my own post on the topic. Here are my thoughts on the question.
Hierarchies are … hierarchical
The hierarchy given in the Bible is God, then husband, then wife, then children. Each “level” of hierarchy doesn’t supercede the previous one. If it did, then the children could ignore the husband in favour of the wife’s wishes. We know that’s not appropriate, so why would God drop off the map as soon as a husband is in place?
The answer is, He doesn’t. Just because you get married doesn’t mean that God isn’t the source of your morality. It doesn’t mean you can start ignoring Him or even following your husband instead of God. You follow your husband, so long as he doesn’t contradict God.
It’s like if you’re a worker in a plant and your manager tells you to do something that you know the CEO wouldn’t approve of. Do you do it? You shouldn’t. Arguably, the CEO is the final authority in that company. What if the CEO tells you to do something illegal? Do you do it? Of course not, because the CEO has an authority over him, the law.
In the same way, if a husband tells his wife to do something immoral, then she has a responsibility to God to say no. In fact, I’d argue she also has a responsibility to correct him. If done properly, that’s neither disrespectful or failing at submission. It’s doing your job as a helper. God help me if my wife ever things she can’t hold me accountable. Because no one else in the world sees as much of what I do as she does. She’s the perfect person to hold me accountable to the things I said I would do.
We are each responsible for our own actions
But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. – Galatians 6:4-5
This one is sort of backwards, but I think the principle applies. Just as we can’t point at someone else’s work and claim it as our own, we can’t claim someone else’s decisions as ours. We are responsible for our own decisions.
For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. – Romans 14:10, 12
The Bible is quite clear that we are all responsible for ourselves, our own actions, our own beliefs and decisions. There’s no depiction of judgement where God said “Are you married? Oh, let me ask your husband then.” There’s no parable for that. Rather it’s each of us standing before Christ giving an account of what we’ve done with what He’s given us.
You cannot hide behind your husband, your boss, your elected officials or your superior officer when accounting for your decision. If you don’t know any better, that’s one thing, but if you feel a conviction and you ignore it, the Bible is clear, you must act on it.
Wives have to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit too
The holy spirit is talking to this woman. She is being convicted to Tithe. That’s a proper, biblical commandment. It precedes mosaic law, and it’s in the New Testament too, though some will argue that point.
So, not doing it would be immoral, as I see it. If you were to listen to your husband instead of the Holy Spirit, then you train yourself to ignore the Holy Spirit. This is dangerous! In fact, I’d argue, that’s a path to rejecting your salvation. That’s not something I’d ever want to suggest to anyone.
“Don’t listen to God, listen to your husband” is not something I can find substantiated anywhere in the Bible. Christianity is about a personal relationship with God. That doesn’t chance once you’re married. Your relationship with God doesn’t flow through your husband. If you ask me, the question of “who do I follow, your husband or God” will always be “God first, then husband”.
What would I suggest you do about tithing
While I believe spouses should have joint accounts and make purchases they both agree on, in cases like this, you may have to make an exception. Here’s what I’d suggest. Tithe on any money you take in as income. If you’re a housewife, well, that might mean nothing. If you have a job or career, or sell crafts on Etsy, then you can tithe on your income.
While it’s not ideal, that way your husband can stick with his convictions and you can stick with yours. At least until they align again. I pray the Holy Spirit will be working on his heart in the mean time.
66 thoughts on “Should I listen to my husband or God?”
I’ve known couples to disagree about this topic. I knew a wife that said her husband didn’t want to tithe. He was a relatively new Christian and he didn’t feel convicted about it. This was very hard for my friend, because she knew it was wrong. What she did was chose to tithe off of the money she earned, and not what he brought into the house. I have no idea if that was the right way to handle it, but that’s what she did. Eventually, the Lord spoke to him and he realized that tithing is scriptural and they started giving for all of their earnings.
I wonder if the principle works like when Paul talks about the life of the saved one cleansing the unsaved? So you can respectfully disagree but by following the principle of what God wants you to do it’s enough for the one who isn’t submitting to God in that area. I like what you said, it’s a great way of doing things.
On the specific issue of tithing I agree, however when you bring in the concept of listening to the Holy Spirit per se, that opens the door to all sorts of potential problems. A wife could claim to be led by the Holy Spirit in all sorts of situations to circumvent her husbands wishes. While I agree a wife should not follow her husband in to clear sin, I would say she ought to be able to show that it is actually sinful. Too many times people equate being lead by the Holy Spirit with their own personal feelings on an issue.
Sure she could. But, if she’s going to fabricate lies about being prompted by the holy spirit, she could just decide not to follow her husband instead. It ends up being a moot issue practically.
Thought I agree, the Spirit must be tested. To make sure it’s not one of those other spirits.
You nailed it and that’s what I said to Jay as well. Here’s part of my response to him on the post…
Following your logic any wife who doesn’t want to submit can say, “I’m not going to submit because then I’ll have to ignore the prompting of the Spirit.” This is definitely something I’ve heard from wives before. Doesn’t the Holy Spirit also prompt wives to obey a command (submitting to their husbands) that’s given 5 times in the NT? Is that a conviction that’s ignored?
Additionally, Jay and I disagree on giving a tithe. The woman’s question was specifically about giving a tithe, and since Jay thinks NT believers are bound to that command, he sees it as an issue of conscience. I tried to share a post with him that I wrote: “Do Christians have to give a tithe?” Here’s the post if you’d like to read it: https://scottlapierre.org/christians-give-tithe/
In the thread he quoted a number of verses to support his position, but none of them mention giving a tithe since the NT doesn’t command giving a tithe.
I responded to your post. It was interesting you brought up half of a verse I would have:
You dropped that last part when you quoted it. Sort of changes things, doesn’t it?
But, even if it wasn’t there, it’s in Malachi, and not tied to the mosaic law.
As for the woman claiming to be convicted by the Holy Spirt, if she’s going to lie and say the Holy Spirit is talking to her, she could simply say she’s not going to follow her husband. But, the Holy Spirit should be tested. You can’t just go based on a conviction. This woman had a conviction about something she found in the Bible. God doesn’t contradict Himself. I think that’s a pretty clear indication that God’s speaking to her.
And, as you said, I do think this becomes a case of “listen to God OR listen to Husband”. I choose God over man any day.
I changed my post as a result of your observation that it didn’t include all the verse.
I don’t think it matters though, because – as I added in the post – Jesus was speaking to those under the Mosaic Law and they did have to give a tithe as a result. Besides this statement Jesus made to those still under the Mosaic Law, where do you see anywhere in the New Testament – especially in the epistles, which are the letters of instruction for Church Age believers – that we should give a tithe? Nowhere. It’s not even mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament, except when Hebrews mentions Abraham giving a tithe. But then it’s descriptive and not at all prescriptive.
That’s the core difference in our theology. You believe that Jesus’ death abolished the law. So, you don’t accept anything from the Old Testament unless it’s been confirmed in the New Testament (from what I gather from your comments).
My view is the opposite. That you shouldn’t take anything away from the law without good cause.
Read Numbers 30. It tells what should happen when a woman makes a sacred vow to God and her husband hears of it and disallows her. God expects her to obey her husband – even over her heartfelt belief of what she should do and even when it means not keeping a vow made to God. In fact, even if her husband allowed the vow and later changed his mind and ordered her not to keep it, she should obey her husband, and the sin will fall on him for disallowing her.
The Bible says a wife should obey her husband in everything, and that includes matters of conscience. Her conscience should submit to her husband’s leading. Unless it violates a clear moral command of God in the Bible, her husband has the authority to command her and she should obey.
In areas where God has already spoken and given His commands (e.g. 10 commandments), the husband doesn’t have authority to overrule God and the wife must obey God over her husband because of the hierarchy of authority. So if her husband tells her to steal, lie, commit adultery, or some other clear sin, she must disobey her husband in order to obey God. But in every other area, she should submit to her husband.
On the topic of tithing, there’s a good argument to be made that this was an OT ordinance and not binding on believers today. It isn’t reiterated in the NT and instead we are told to be cheerful givers. But even if it is a sin not to tithe, I think this is an area where husbands have the authority to determine what their household will do, and any sin will fall on him. The wife should obey her husband. There is certainly no indication in scripture that a wife should write a tithe check from her husband’s paycheck against his orders. If there is any argument to be made for tithing against her husband’s will, it could only apply to the money a wife earns herself.
Fair enough, but that’s a vow she has made when she didn’t have the right to make it in those times. She had no legal right to do so. Her vow had to be ratified. That’s a legal issue more than anything. Just like if my child signs a document, if I say it’s invalid, then it’s invalid. But, if I were to cosign it, then it’s valid.
But even if her husband ratifies the vow by letting it stand when he first hears of it, then later disallows her, she is to obey, and the sin will fall on the husband. If he had disallowed her when he first heard of it, there would be no sin.
Of course the sin would fall to the husband. He allowed it (thus co-signing the vow, as it were), and then he violated it.
What you said in this comment is also what I said in answering the woman’s question: the responsibility rests on the husband’s shoulders. Again, your thoughts are well stated.
But, then you seem to reject the Old Testament from what I’m reading, so
Is there a New Testament verse that says this doesn’t apply to wives?
Your comment is fantastic.
I tried to share with Jay, basically what you said, including regarding Church Age believers not being bound to give a tithe. Here’s the post I wrote on the subject that I shared with him: https://scottlapierre.org/christians-give-tithe/.
Jay disagreed with my post, which really looks to the reason he disagreed with me in the first place. The woman’s question related to giving a tithe, and I don’t think Christians have to give a tithe; therefore, it wasn’t an issue of sinning by submitting to her husband.
Let’s say I accept your tithe arguments (which I don’t). You do believe Christians should give. You say:
So, the woman in question was asking about giving. Her husband didn’t want to give anything. Still, you suggest she give nothing and follow her husband? That’s a direct violation of your conviction to give, which you say the Bible commands us to do. SO you still told the woman to violate a commandment in order to follow her husband’s desires to keep his money. In effect, telling her to follow a man instead of God.
You’re right Jay, that’s a very good point.
I wish I would’ve answered the question differently. She asked about tithing, I wish I would’ve answered it as if it was simply about giving. I think that’s caused confusion for you and possibly others. My fault.
To be clear, I do not believe the New Testament commands believers to give a tithe, but it does command them to give. I think I’ve made this perfectly clear in my comments and posts.
Acts 5, numbers 30,….. scripture interprets scripture and God tests the heart.
Acts 5 is a great example. Ananias had an opportunity to come clean. She didn’t, and so she died. Her sin certainly wasn’t “covered by her husband”.
It’s interesting you said Acts 5 is a great example here when that’s exactly what I shared with you from my book on the post itself: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1159404374095564&set=p.1159404374095564&type=1&theater.
Ananias conspired to sin with her husband. A woman who submits to her husband when he doesn’t want to give a tithe is not conspiring with her husband.
Yes, and I agree with your book on that point. My issue is that your Facebook Live response is in contention with your book. Even if you ignore the issue of Tithe, then it’s still an issue of giving. You have agreed that giving is a moral issue, and a New Testament commandment, therefore you still told a woman to violate scripture in favour of her husband. You put a man before God. You taught idolatry. That’s my issue.
I basically responded to this in the previous comment: I wish I would’ve answered the question as though it was about giving, instead of answering it as though it was about giving a tithe. To me they’re different, and I should’ve handled it as though she was asking about the latter.
I tithed in obedience to God but my husband didn’t care so long as our needs were being met. Unfortunately, our needs were not being met. Despite being faithful, we were falling farther behind financially and we almost lost our home. I
felt convicted to ask my husband about tithing and told him the gravity of our financial situation. He said we are to no longer tithe. Since he made that decision our finances have actually improved and some miracles took place. So…..God blessed our NOT tithing.
We have not reinstated tithing (our previous church defined it as 10% of our gross income) but give what we feel led to give each Sunday at church.
I used to try to tithe on my garden and give 10% of the best and first of my harvest, but no one wanted fresh vegetables! Lol!
I’m not sure I buy that one. God blessing you despite not tithing? Yeah, that I’m not surprised by. I mean God blessed us all despite not being perfect. So, of course we don’t need to be doing everything right in order to receive blessings.
Then how do you explain all the horrible things that happened to us while we were tithing. Over $13,000 in emergency repairs and problems in one month? Serious illnesses that lost months upon months of income. Having foreclosure processes begun on our home. Having to walk the streets for beer cans to have enough $$ for milk for the kids…..
But when we stopped tithing all those problems stopped.
We BELIEVED everything you believe about tithing. We were faithful. We didn’t expect God to shower us with new cars or anything, but we certainly didn’t expect to almost become homeless and for one of us to almost die! While tithing…life saving medication cost over $200 per month. After quitting tithing…life saving medication switches insurers and cost $10 per quarter!!
We stuck with it through all these difficulties. I did everything from scratch, even using washable everything (even toilet paper), washing laundry by hand in the tub, and scavenging the woods for firewood twice a day. We collected fresh road kill for dinner, or neighbors gifted us with squirrels or rabbits. Yet we continued tithing.
We stopped tithing and we don’t live like that anymore. Certainly not high on the hog, but not like a depression era impoverished family.
I can’t make heads or tails of it and have asked a few pastors about it and no one really has answers either.
The book of Revelation tells me that when we follow God closely, Satan attacks, because he wants to defeat us. When we give up, he stops attacking, because we’re already on his side.
Look, I don’t know the whole situation, I don’t know what’s going on. You decide for yourself. I don’t have the right to point fingers. All I know is God commands us multiple times in the Bible to tithe, and I have trouble accepting that God would bless you BECAUSE you didn’t tithe. That just doesn’t jive with what I know about God.
I do know though that God blesses us even when we’re wrong 🙂 Just not as much as He could. That’s my experience and what I see in the Bible. However, those blessings might not be material.
For anyone that reads Jay’s post, I hope you’ll do two things:
1. Read the woman’s question.
2. Listen to my answer. Please let my own words – and not Jay’s post – represent me.
Jay and I disagree on Christians being bound to tithe, and that’s why we disagree on my answer to the woman. I think he knows that, which is why it’s so disappointing to see him make the issue something other than what it is.
Jay believes New Testament believers are bound to give a tithe. I do not believe that: https://scottlapierre.org/christians-give-tithe/
Jay said, “[Tithing] is in the New Testament too, so no arguments about how ‘this was done away with.'” Notice Jay didn’t provide any of these supposed NT verses commanding giving a tithe, because they don’t exist. The NT commands giving, but it doesn’t command giving a tithe.
As a result, I do not think a woman is sinning when she submits to a husband who does not feel bound to give a tithe. If the husband in question was telling his wife to do something immoral/sinful, then that would be different. I have a section in the book I recently published (Marriage God’s Way: https://scottlapierre.org/marriage-gods-way/), titled, “Submission Does Not Mean that Wives Submit to Sin.” I sent a picture of that page to Jay on the post: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1159404374095564&set=p.1159404374095564&type=1&theater.
Jay knows I don’t believe wives should submit to sin, but he chose to keep that part out of his post and make no mention of the section of my book that I sent to him. He completely misrepresented me, saying things about me that he knows I do not believe.
Additionally, there are theological issues with Jay’s post. A number of you identified his errors in your comments to him. Let me narrow it down to two points:
1. Here’s what I told Jay on the post itself-Following your logic any wife who doesn’t want to submit can say, “I’m not going to submit because then I’ll have to ignore the prompting of the Spirit.” Lindsay aptly tried to point this out to Jay above in her comment.
2. The woman in the New Testament set down as an example for wives is Sarah. Here’s what Peter said about her…
1 Peter 3:5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
Why is Sarah so elevated? She obeyed/submitted to her husband. What did that look like? Twice Abraham said, “Say you’re my sister” and twice Sarah did it. The responsibility was on Abraham’s shoulders. He was rebuked by God and pagan kings. And Sarah? She was applauded – and vindicated – for submitting to her husband. Genesis 20:16 records the Angel saying to Sarah, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is a sign of your innocence in the eyes of all who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.”
This was an intellectually dishonest post by Jay. Again, I would ask you to please listen to my answer to the woman’s question.
I disagree, you made the entire argument about tithing, but it’s not. Regardless of tithing, it’s still about giving, and that you agree is a moral issue. The passage about Sarah is an interesting one. However, you are linking two things that maybe shouldn’t be. The 1 Peter 3:5 passage doesn’t mention the whole “sister” issue specifically.
That would be like saying Acts 13:22 says David is a man after God’s own heart. David committed murder, so therefore God wants us to commit murder. David wasn’t a man after God’s own heart because he committed murder. It was despite that. Likewise, Sarah, I don’t believe, is applauded because she propagated Abraham’s lie, but rather despite that.
If I did, I apologize. That was not my intent. Let me know where specifically and I’ll correct it.
Sarah is lifted out of the OT into the NT because of her faith in God in spite of her husband’s tremendous fear. Her faith in God enabled her to cover with love, Abraham’s sin. Because of her faith, God preserved her.
1 Peter 3 is the quintessential blueprint for wives to follow when husbands are sinning.
You cannot compare any other paradigm from any other relationship.
JD: ultimately your counsel would bring friction and disunity … every pay-day (or budget day) when her husband didn’t do what she deemed right. The whole purpose of submission is for unity … regardless if the husband is at a low level of maturity (in her opinion) or not. The whole purpose of submission is to create openness in a husband’s heart to hear God. Men can’t be ordered about or belittled without donning battle gear. If a woman is telling (nagging) him he’s wrong and he’s not open to her counsel, it just means war.
It seems to me that your starting point is from the perspective of a sort-of-egalitarian marriage. I say sort of because you’ve blended the headship with the agreement of the wife and if she doesn’t agree then he doesn’t get the leadership vote. So basically, the husband can lead if he does it right …. (like the wife thinks he should) and if he doesn’t do what she thinks is morally (righteous) than she is free to slip out from under his authority and fall under God’s. And this type of counsel DOES work, if both spouses subscribe to egalitarian.
I sense that Scott’s perspective is 100% full on complementarian. Your starting points are at odds.
If you aren’t following God, then you aren’t showing purity or reverence in your life as I see it.
Nowhere does it say that Sarah’s righteousness is because she followed her husband when he was sinning. Just as nowhere does it say that David was “a man after God’s own heart” when he murdered Uriah.
Either option brings disunity. I would rather be at odds with my spouse than with God.
I disagree that this is egalitarian. It’s a clear hierarchy, it just has multiple levels. The husband cannot supplant God as the moral authority. To do so would be idolatry.
Oh, I thought of something else while in the shower that confuses me about your stance.
Alright, let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Sarah was applauded for submitting to Abraham and participating in Abraham’s lies. What if they weren’t lies? What if it was a different sin? What if Abraham stole instead and she participated? Or, what if Abraham had murdered someone? What if Abraham had said, “Give me your earrings to make an image of God?” What if he said, “Well, forget this, we’re going to go worship Molloch”? Do you still think her sins would have been covered because she was following her husband?
Let’s make it more personal.
What if your husband decided to kidnap a child and kill them. What if he asked you to participate? A gruesome scenario, but still. Would you follow your husband? Would you submit to him? Or does it depend on the sin? Where’s the line? What sins are greater than others? Those are all part of the 10 commandments, so I’m assuming you believe they were either done away with or still in force en bloc. In what situations is it right to follow the husband, and in which is it right to follow God? Who gets to decide which situations those are?
These are the questions that I couldn’t answer from your perspective whilst showering. I’d love to understand.
Who sets the gauge for what is sin and what is not in your marriage? Obviously, the Bible, but whose interpretation of a particular action (or lack of action), I mean, when there is conflicting view in your marriage? Not an existing, or living type of relating conflict; but an event one.
Let’s say a wife doesn’t want a husband to give up his high paying job and go into the ministry full time. Yet, he is convinced that, that is the direction he is supposed to take. She on the other hand, knows just as well that God has not told him this. Whose interpretation becomes the “head” decision?
Let’s say a husband is tired of being broke and has decided that it would be more advantageous for his wife to work. She believes it would not only be very difficult for her to run a house and job, but that it is against God’s instruction for wives to work outside the home. Whose interpretation becomes the “head” decision?
So, murder the child then?
NO, you said, “lets make it more personal.” Darrell hasn’t asked me to do anything like that. And if truth be told, very few husbands would. Come on JD, if you are going to “make it more personal” it must also be more realistic. And would you answer my questions?
It was a hypothetical. What if he did. You say he never would, but sometimes people have strokes and become completely different individuals. It’s possible, even if not plausible.
And yeah, I will, but I want to understand your perspective first before I move on. So, if you won’t murder the child, then you won’t always submit to your husband.
When do you draw the line? Why is murder a valid reason not to submit but lying isn’t?
Why must the hypothetical be (1) a negative and (2) against the Law. In the beginning of the this thread, the question was about tithing. I merely chose to stick to a biblical ‘principle’ rather than one of a negative. Hypothetical examples need to remain in the realm of realism … we are talking about the Bible being the gauge; not the law of the land. But if it’s necessary for me to “go first” lol …. i will. I submit to anything my husband requests. Reasonable discussion if necessary, but he always has the final say, as the leader. BECAUSE I trust God and am obedient to Him; this would preserve me. Just like He preserved Sarah when she obeyed God by submitting to Abraham.
Because I wanted to understand the limits and tithing didn’t show them. So, if I understand:
You will follow your husband unconditionally, and follow God so long as they aren’t in conflict.
My paradigm is reversed. I believe you should follow God unconditionally and follow your husband so long as they aren’t in conflict.
From my perspective, to put your husband first is to place him above God, and thus violate the first Commandment.
I couldn’t find a comment where Robyn Gibson clearly acknowledged that a wife should not obey her husband if he asked her to murder a child.
However, that scenario reminded of two wives who were actually confronted with that.
Lauren Fristed’s husband told her to dilute her breast milk and withhold medical attention from their infant. While police say the little girl’s mother wanted to get her formula and medical care, even sharing her concerns by phone and text message with their spiritual advisor. However in the end, she obeyed her husband when he said no. The infant died of starvation.
BOTH parents were sentenced to 20 years.
Auburn homecoming queen’s unique abortion story is drawing national attention. Molly Anne
Dutton is the daughter of a young, married woman who survived a sexual assault in California and became pregnant, according to a news release from “Light up LIFE,” the horticulture club-based group that ran her campaign. To compound matters, the woman’s husband gave her an ultimatum: Abort the baby or get a divorce.
Rather than having the abortion, Dutton’s mom chose to move to Alabama and carry the baby to term. She worked with Lifeline Children’s Services, a Christian adoption group in Birmingham, Ala., to place the child in a home.
Robyn Gibson said, “Her faith in God enabled her to cover with love, Abraham’s sin. Because of her faith, God preserved her.”
Covering someone with love does not mean obeying, complying with or enabling sinful behavior. 1 Peter 4:8 tells us that “love covers over a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20 gives us more insight:
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Covering sins in love is about pointing out faults (Mt 18:15) and turning the person from the error of their way. Covering a person’s sins with love does not include obeying, complying with or enabling CLEARLY defined sinful behaviors or commands.
Robyn Gibson said, “Her faith in God enabled her to cover with love, Abraham’s sin. Because of her faith, God preserved her.”
I don’t see anything in scripture that tells us that Sarah covered Abraham’s sin with love. I don’t read anything in the text that tells us that Sarah pointed out Abraham’s faulty thinking to him and turned him away from the error of his way like Mt 18:15 & James 5:19-20 describe. Sarah just complied, and yes God did preserve all involved. However, Sarah did not have the progressive revelation/whole counsel of God/Bible that we have today. Since Sarah’s lifetime, God has provided us with other examples of how believers should and should not respond to sinful authorities.
For example, Abigail refused to obey her husband’s foolish wishes. As a result of her wisdom in action, she was able to keep David from killing her husband and the other men in the house. In that example, God preserved the wife and not the husband. 1 Samuel 25
Sapphira agreed with her husband about lying, and she received the very same punishment as her husband – death. God didn’t preserve Sapphira because Annanis was the the head and she wasn’t. Acts 5:1-11
Robyn Gibson said, “1 Peter 3 is the quintessential blueprint for wives to follow when husbands are sinning.”
There’s no denying that being silent (without words) is a biblical approach, and it has a lot of merit. However, it’s also important that the wife of an unbelieving and/or disobedient husband understand that SPEAKING UP to her husband in a wise, gentle, honest and gracious way is also biblical, and it can be just as effective.
Last time I checked, the whole counsel of God wasn’t limited to just the verses that Paul and Peter wrote about women and wives.
2 Timothy 3:16
The Bible tells us that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: (Ecclesiastes 3:1) a time to be silent and A TIME TO SPEAK
( Ecclesiastes 7B).”
Therefore, a wife can protect herself by speaking wise words.Â
Therefore, a wise wife can bring healing by speaking up.
Therefore, a wife can deflect anger by giving her husband a gentle answer.
When a wife gives her husband an honest answer, metaphorically, it’s like kissing her husband on the lips.
Proverbs 31:10 tells us that a wife of noble character “opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Therefore, one of the primary functions of a wise wife is speaking (opening her mouth) with wisdom.
12When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 FOR IF YOU REMAIN SILENT AT THIS TIME, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:12-14
Those who have read the book of Esther know that she didn’t remain silent (without words). She spoke to her husband the king about what was going on. As a result, Esther helped save the Jews from annihilation.
Being silent (without words) is Biblical, and it can beneficial. There is no denying that. However, the win without words response is NOT the only Biblical or beneficial response. The Bible also has a lot to say and illustrate about the value of speaking up in a timely, wise and gentle manner.
Robyn Gibson said, “Men can’t be ordered about or belittled without donning battle gear. If a woman is telling (nagging) him he’s wrong and he’s not open to her counsel, it just means war.”
I absolutely agree, wives shouldn’t nag because it’s ineffective and counterproductive. However, if a wife goes to her husband andÂ points out a fault in a gentleÂ manner, and he perceives it as an act of war, that’s an indication that he lacks wisdom because the Bible says that “a wise man will LISTEN and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5).”
Wisdom is a virtue that BOTH men and women should acquire. It’s not just for wives seeking to be like the Pr 31 woman.
James 1:5, Proverbs 4:7.
Also, you have a large contradiction in your argument from my perspective. I don’t know how to avoid saying things about you that I know you don’t believe. Because your statements can’t co-exist in a logical way. I don’t see how to represent both sides of your contradiction for you. I’m sorry if you feel that’s dishonest. If you can clear up my perception of the contradiction (specifically regarding giving and it not being a moral issue to not give, forget tithe), then maybe I can figure out how to represent you better. From my perspective, you have said things you don’t believe.
Tithing in the New Testament? Where? Anyway, it’s not a clear division that what’s in the Old Testament was for those under Mosaic Law, and what’s in the New Testament is for us today. During Jesus’ life, Israel was still under Mosaic Law. Jesus’ lived under the Mosaic Law, and went to the Temple to worship and teach, etc. It is only with the birth of the Church as told in the book of Acts that the Mosaic Law was set aside (Jesus having kept it for us). That Law was never imposed on Gentiles anyway. I am not bound up under the commandments of the Law. To the church, God says that He loves a cheerful giver, and that we should give as we are able to, etc. Liberty, my friend.
Matthew 23:23 is in the New Testament. But, that’s not the real issue. The real issue is your abolishment of the law. Christ Himself said he didn’t come to abolish the law. Here’s some of what I commented on Scott’s post:
I disagree that Christians are not under mosaic law. Christ himself said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” – Matthew 5:17-18
Now, generally Christians use this verse to say “look, He did away with the law”, but that’s not what He said. He said He came to fulfill the law. So, what did He fulfill. Did he fulfill Sabbath keeping? No, that points back to creation, not forward to Christ. Did he fulfill murder? No, that’s about respecting God’s creation, not about Christ. And so forth. So, what did He fulfill?
He fulfilled the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. So, everything connected with the temple ceremonial system. We no longer need to sacrifice animals, because they were pointing forward to Christ’s sacrifice.
We no longer need to worry about being ritually clean or unclean because those were about the temple system.
So, I disagree that we are no longer under “mosaic” law. It’s God’s law, not Moses.
Jesus kept mosaic law. After He died, his disciples continued to as well. So did Paul.
Acts 24:14, Acts 25:8, Act 18:21, Romans 7:25
Paul even tells us that we only know what is sin because of the Law (Romans 3:20), so if we don’t keep it, then we don’t even know we are sinning. (Romans 7:7)
And then of course, the pivotal verse is Romans 3:31, where Paul says that faith doesn’t abolish the law, it upholds the law. He says that the law is good and holy (Romans 7:12), that the Law is spiritual (Romans 7:14), That he delights in God’s law (Romans 7:22).
There are so many verses about this that a Christian cannot uphold the idea that the law is done away with. 1 John 3:4 says that if you sin, you transgress the law, because sin IS the transgression of the law. 2 Corinthians 6:14, the passage about being unequally yoked calls unbelievers “lawlessness”. Therefore, believers should “follow the law”. Because that is righteousness.
Romans 4:7 sys that blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven. Why would they need to be forgiven if we didn’t need to hold to them any longer?
Hebrews 1:9 says that God hates lawlessness.
Lastly, Romans 10:5 says “For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the Law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”” In other words, “mosaic law” = righteousness!
This is not a legalistic approach to faith. We don’t keep the law because it will keep us from heaven. Rather, we keep the law because we respect our Father, our Creator, who designed us and knows what’s best for us. It’s what I hope my children will do. If they break my rules, I won’t kick them out of the house, but I hope they will keep them out of respect and love.
Plus, it’s a direct commandment from Jesus to keep His commandments (John 14:15). Sometimes we forget that Jesus is God. He was there when that “mosaic law” was written. Those are His commandments too.
I do agree that we should follow the law cheerfully though 🙂 I do. I love the law, it’s fantastic! (Matthew 11:30)
In the Old Testament people were under the Mosaic Law, or what could be called the Old Covenant Law. In the New Testament, believers are under the Law of Christ, which could be thought of as the New Covenant Law. You can read more about it in this post I wrote: The Law Christians ARE under: https://scottlapierre.org/law-of-christ/
If you don’t garden a certain way, wear tassels, etc. then you shouldn’t say we’re under the Mosaic Law. You’re being inconsistent. In another post you said we’re not bound to the ceremonial portions. So then at least you’d have to say, “We’re only under some part of the Mosaic Law.” Or you’d probably say, “We’re under the moral commands.” I would generally agree with that statement in that the morality of the Mosaic Law was carried forward into the Law of Christ. But then again, we’re still under the Law of Christ and not the Mosaic Law.
You said, “Romans 10:5 says “For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the Law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”” In other words, “mosaic law” = righteousness!” What about the verse right before it: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
I also didn’t see you mention any verses from Galatians, which is our Declaration of Independence from the Law. The Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, “but after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”
I hope to write a more comprehensive reply, but I don’t have time immediately. However, Jesus did come to fulfill the Law, he did so (the only person who ever did or could), and then He took it out of the way, making salvation by grace alone through faith alone possible. He did it in such a way that God can look at us as though we ourselves had kept the Law, not because we did, but because Jesus Christ did, and we are in Him. We get the benefit vicariously. No-one was ever saved by keeping the Law, it was given precisely for that reason; so that we could learn that we can never satisfy God’s standard of holiness by doing good works and keeping rules. Once the Jews who were under the Law had failed to keep the Law, they would realise they had come to the end of their own resources, and that if salvation was possible, it would have to be from God. Having come to the end of themselves, they would have to look to God for salvation.
If you are under the Law, do you cut the corners of your beard? Do you observe all the feasts and holy days? Do you ensure your clothing is not made of blended materials? If you are under the Law, you must, of course, keep it fully and completely – you must not fail in one point or you are guilty of all, are you not? What a life you must live. I praise God I am free from the Law.
“If you are under the Law, do you cut the corners of your beard? Do you observe all the feasts and holy days? Do you ensure your clothing is not made of blended materials? If you are under the Law, you must, of course, keep it fully and completely – you must not fail in one point or you are guilty of all, are you not? What a life you must live. I praise God I am free from the Law.”
David never found it a burden, and I’m sorry you feel that following God’s commandments would be one.
That said, you misunderstand some things about our perspective.
Feasts and Holy days pointed to Christ, so yes, that was fulfilled. We don’t keep those either. Except Sabbath, which points back to Creation. Revelation gives the primary reason to worship God as because He is our Creator, not because He died to save us. So, we hold on to Sabbath which has been there since Creation out of respect for God’s wishes.
Beard and clothing are separation issues for the Israelites.
We do believe God knew what He was talking about when he forbid eating certain animals. I tell my kids not to eat crayons because they’re not food. Sometimes they don’t listen either 🙂
Plus, it’s odd that Jesus commanded us to do everything Moses said mere chapters before his death if He knew that wouldn’t be valid shortly.
Unfortunately, the English translations carried forward a typo. If you look at the Hebrew, it actually says:
It doesn’t make sense otherwise for anyone. But with that correction, all of scripture is in harmony again and Jesus upholds the mosaic law. Does not keeping the mosaic law then become a commandment of Jesus? If not, then isn’t everything Jesus taught before His death and resurrection “fullfilled”? What is the formula for deciding what is part of the “New Covenant” and the “Old Covenant”?
Great question Kevin!
Jay mentions Matthew 23:23, which Jesus spoke to people still under the Old Covenant. Nobody disagrees those under the Old Covenant were expected to give a tithe. The question is where are New Covenant believers commanded to tithe? And the answer is: nowhere.
Kevin, please look at this post I wrote: Do Christians have to give a tithe? https://scottlapierre.org/christians-give-tithe/
I think the tithing argument is gonna be as old as time itself very soon! How about we just listen to Holy Spirit and leave it at that?
You might give people an update that we’ve done quite a bit of discussing, and I think – and I hope you’ll agree – that the main difference relates to our theology. You being Seventh Day Adventist, and me being evangelical Christian.
You might even let people know that you showed some interest in my book, Marriage God’s Way (https://scottlapierre.org/marriage-gods-way/). I thought that was gracious of you despite our differences :).
After reading many of the replies, the basic of “tithing” (OT) and “giving” (NT) and a spouse willingness. Tithing or giving is not just a monetary issue. You, as a woman, can give to God in many ways through service. Giving of your time, giving of your talents, giving to various church or Christian organizations by volunteering. All are a form of tithing, not just financially. A homemaker can also tithe financially. When you use your coupons at the grocery store, write your check or debit the amount prior to coupons, cash out your coupon and let your spouse know you have found an exciting way to be able to give. Donating is another form of giving, canned goods, fabric for quilts for the elderly or homes for abused children, backpacks, school supplies, toiletries for Crises Homes for abused women and children. Tithing, giving, offering, most spouses will find peace and acceptance of one of these.
I’ve seen god bless me due to tithing, and there is protection over the monies I keep because of my obedience.
experience + Word, I believe, trumps any arguement for me!
Also, in my first marriage, the Lord had me stand up to my then-husband to tell him I did not agree with a decision he
was making (it was illegal). the Lord showed me that this released me from the consequences. I did, however, submit
to him in almost everything else. he wanted to get back together after we had separated, but said “if you stop this God-thing, we
can make it work”…uh NOPE!
So here I am in my second marriage, trying to relearn trust and submission. That is why I viewed this post. It balances out the
book I’m presently reading “Me? Obey him?” by Elizabeth Rice Handford. Good book, but I struggle with the “unlimited obedience”
thing I was reading this morning, and this post balanced it out for me. thanks, Jay!
You’re very welcome! Glad to be of service.
Actually, NVM, I just reposted here:
I believe there is never a valid reason to not submit (as long as we are staying in the realm of hypothetical) and not real personal experience in truth. In your hypothetical situations, why are they: (1) always to the negative ” “what if your husband asks you to do something like ((insert a degrading act or heinous crime here))” and not the positive. And (2) always against the Law.
The example originally started on this thread as to whether submission to a Biblical principal of tithing. It makes more sense to stick with hypothetical examples, which is why I chose them, rather than murder which is against the law of the land; yet tithing is not against the law of the land. It’s apples to oranges.
The reason I would always submit to anything after reasonable discussions and still submitting even if I disagree. BECAUSE ” God will preserve me (HAS preserved me) just like He preserved Sarah in her obedience to Him by submitting to Abraham.
And on a more personal note: when men discussion submission this way ( in a detached, lawyerly, throwing scripture back and forth at each other) they cultivate suspicion and fear into sisters. Biblical submission is an amazing invitation by God to women in the role of wives and a thrilling adventure of self-discovery to embark on with Him. These types of discussions are the very thing that encourage women to NOT depend on God and NOT trust their husbands.
Thank you very much for this comment!
You nailed it, especially using the example with Sarah’s submission to Abraham.
So, you agree with her position that if her husband asks her to kidnap and murder a child, she should follow him unconditionally and that God will not hold her accountable?
You’ve heard me say a couple times on this post, on the Facebook thread, in our private communication – I even showed you a picture of a section of my book saying – wives don’t have to submit to sin.
But wives have to submit to their husbands when they disagree with them. If they agreed, they wouldn’t have to submit. Submission is in place entirely for when a wife disagrees.
The issue between you and I is you think we’re commanded to give a tithe and I don’t. So you think I was telling the wife to sin and I think she wasn’t.
Then you don’t agree with her.
I was just curious because, as you said, your book doesn’t, but your comment sounded like you did. I’m doing my best not to be “intellectually dishonest” by clarifying.
This seems to be like a feminist strategy …. sidestepping and blurring at the same time, along with pulling out phrases. I already stated, in that response to your comment of “speaking hypothetically” …. that I too, would then speak hypothetically in my response to you. And you’ve not answered my two previous examples, which you said you would do. These questions:
(1) Let’s say a wife doesn’t want a husband to give up his high paying job and go into the ministry full time. Yet, he is convinced that, that is the direction he is supposed to take. She on the other hand, knows just as well that God has not told him this. Whose interpretation becomes the “head” decision?
(2) Let’s say a husband is tired of being broke and has decided that it would be more advantageous for his wife to work. She believes it would not only be very difficult for her to run a house and job, but that it is against God’s instruction for wives to work outside the home. Whose interpretation becomes the “head” decision?
Would you please answer these so I can better understand your position.
In either case, I think the wife needs to ask herself and God if she has a moral issue with the request, or a preference issue. If preference, then she should follow. If moral, then she should not.
I’m going to guess that the next question would be “what stops her from just deciding everything is a moral issue”? Nothing does. You cannot compel someone to submit, only to obey. If she’s going to lie to herself/God/her husband about what is a moral or preferential issue, then without that choice, she’d likely just decide not to do it anyways. It nets out to the same outcome and the same sin.
Robyn Gibson said, “The reason I would always submit to anything after reasonable discussions and still submitting even if I disagree. BECAUSE ” God will preserve me (HAS preserved me) just like He preserved Sarah in her obedience to Him by submitting to Abraham.”
This is a dangerous line of thinking and a misapplication of scripture. As I mentioned before, Sarah didn’t have the progressive revelation/whole counsel of God/complete Bible that we are so blessed to have today.
Since Sarah’s lifetime, God has provided us with numerous examples about the danger of obeying sinful commands given by authority figures. It’s referred to as civil disobedience, and it’s biblical.
There are other examples in scripture where God was severely displeased and became angry when people obeyed sinful commands handed down by those in authority:
Sapphira conspired with her husband and lied to the Holy Spirit. As a result, she followed her husband straight to an early grave. Although she was only doing what was generally considered a wife’s duty by cooperating and agreeing with her husband, she received the very same punishment as Ananias. She didn’t receive mercy because Ananias was the the head and she wasn’t (Acts 5:1-11).
Approximately 17 kings were evil and led Israel into sin – idolatry. God held those kings accountable. He also held the children of Israel accountable for obeying and following those evil kings into sin. God wasn’t pleased with the children of Israel because they obeyed the evil commands and practices of those particular kings. God didn’t reward the children of Israel for that kind of obedience. He punished the children of Israel for obeying and following those kings into sin by EXILING them.
2 Kings 17: 6-8, 2 Kings 17:21-23
On the other hand, there are numerous examples in scripture where God was pleased when subjects refused to obey sinful commands given by those in authority:
Abigail disobeyed Nabal, and David called her blessed. 1 Samuel 25:1-42
According to a law established by the king, Esther’s husband, no man or woman was suppose to approach the king in the inner court without being summoned. The penalty for approachingÂ the king in the inner court without being summoned was death, unless the king decided to grantÂ the person mercy (Esther 4:11). Esther disobeyed that particular law. She risked her life by approaching the king in the inner court without being summoned in order to intercede for her people (Esther 5:1). Long story short, Esther found favor with the king and was able to help save the Jews from annihilation.
Jonathan disobeyed his father and king. (I Sam 19 & 20).
Nabal’s servant disobeyed his instructions, and God preserved the servant. 1 Samuel 25
The midwives disobeyed the king.
Moses’ mom disobeyed the king, and she is listed in the Hebrew hall of faith along with Sarah.
Exodus 1:22, Hebrew 11:23
Rahab disobeyed and hid the Israeli spies rather that turn them over to her government (Joshua 6:25). Her name is also listed in the hall of faith along with Sarah.
Mordecai disobeyed a government official (Esther 3:2) God preserved Mordecai, and he was honored later. Esther 6:1-11, Esther 8:1-15
Daniel disobeyed the king.
The 3 Hebrew boys refused to bow to king’s golden idol. Daniel 3
Amos disobeyed the king.
Peter and John refused to stop speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:18, Acts 5:29
May I just say in here that as a wife who is eagerly seeking after God and has a personal relationship with Him, I can honestly say that when the Spirit leads me to an area that I think will oppose my husband I constantly pray about it and somehow the Lord always works it out that my husband doesnt take my obediance to God as disrespect or usurping his authority. My husband completley changed his mind on a certain issue and has baffled me with his immediate willingness on other things that he seemed so stuck on that I felt was not Gods will for our family. I add this because of the argument that a wife could just say “the Holy Spirit led me”. The truth is, when the Spirit leads us and it is Gods will and we are seeking Him, our obediance to Him will not bring disunity, it will bring God glory. The Lord will work things out for us. We serve a supernatural all powerful awesome God. If strife is stirring in your home over your convictions Id encourage you to get on your face before the Lord because that is not His will.
Yes, but that assumes the husband is listening to God. If He’s not… well, God does not make unity with those who are outside of His will.
We are all hugely guilty, the Holy Spirit has been working hard in me since May 13 2018 when I had a miracle healing in my life and came to christ – it has shown me none of us are really obedient to the two greatest commandments – to love the lord with all our hearts and all our soul and 2) to love our neighbour as ourselves. The new command from Jesus in the New Testament is to LOVE one another… Jesus loved everyone. If we were all honestly doing this we would not be spending on consumerism in North America, Europe and other Rich countries or building walls to protect our borders, and buying fancy cars, homes or even going for dinner and Starbucks/ for coffee daily knowing well that a family in poverty in parts of Africa live off a bag of rice that costs $25US for a family of four to live on for a month…. All of us are guilty of serious Sin and its time to make change… We need to Love one another
First off, welcome to the faith!
I feel Jesus sort of gave those “new” commandments sort of tongue in cheek. Sort of a “you guys should already know this, but I’m going to call it new not to embarrass you”. Those commandments already existed in the old testament. They’re found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:17-18. The truth is, Jesus didn’t bring anything new, but rather was a continuation of something very old.
Unfortunately, simply sending money doesn’t solve the problem either though. While I agree, that around the world, we are obsessed with consumerism, even if we stopped buying anything non-essential and sent everything we had, all we’d do is create new problems. These issues won’t be solved with finances.