When a husband and wife disagree on the teachings of certain churches, should the wife submit to her husband since he is the spiritual leader in the home?
As I understand the Scriptures, the wife is to demonstrate her submission to her husband by respecting him, and by obeying him in any way that is not contrary to the Bible. There may be a time when a wife must choose to obey God, rather than her husband. The Christian should not follow the chain of command (submit to authority) when that authority demands that we disobey God. Thus, Abigail did not do as her husband Nabal would have wanted, because he refused to honor David as Israel’s next king (1 Samuel 25). Daniel and his three friends could not obey the king’s command when it required them to disobey God (Daniel 3 and 6). Peter and John could not obey the command of the Jewish religious leaders, because they had to obey God (Acts 5:29).
I do not believe that a husband has the right to dictate to his wife what she believes. Trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ is a decision everyone has to make for himself, and this cannot be ordered or required by one in authority. The same is true with regard to other doctrines as well. In 1 Corinthians 8-10 and especially Romans chapter 14 the Apostle Paul teaches about personal convictions. We are not to argue about them, nor to pass judgment on others because of their convictions. We are not to seek to try to compel another person as to what their convictions should be. Thus, I do not believe that a husband should attempt to dictate to his wife in matters of belief. If a wife differs from her husband on certain church truths, that is her personal conviction, and he should follow the teaching of Romans 14, especially verses 1-12 and 22 by not attempting to change her convictions. He should especially not cause his wife to stumble by forcing her to violate her own convictions (see 1 Corinthians 8).
It is important to remember that our beliefs and practices should be based upon the Bible, and the authority of the Word of God, and not on the authority of any man (including one’s husband). The husband who is a true spiritual leader will not seek to lead by force, but by example (1 Peter 5:1-4). A wise and godly wife should respect her husband, and give due consideration to his beliefs.w
Related Topics: Christian Home