Monday, May 14, 2012

Wives, Contend with Your Husbands!

I hope that caught your attention. 

Over the past few days, I have become increasingly irked by the posts of a friend of mine decrying the institution of marriage as a sacred covenant between man and wife.  I'm not upset with him because of his assertion that gays should have rights; that's another issue altogether.  I am, however, very disappointed in the route he has taken in an attempt to make me feel as though my marriage is outdated.  One of the issues he focused on was Ephesians 5:22, which reads:  "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord."  What most people think of when they hear this passage is not of submission, but subservience. 

For example, because of my faith, I believe in the power of the priesthood which my husband holds.  This priesthood power entitles him to revelation for our family concerning spiritual and temporal matters, and I am fully prepared to accept his counsel in such things after we have taken time to pray together.  I am submitting to the will of my husband only after he has submitted to the will of our Heavenly Father.  However, if I come home exhausted after working a 16-hour day, and the first thing he does when I walk though the door is to ask me to make him dinner a la June Cleaver, I'm going to have a little problem with that.  And it's not going to happen. 

The opposite of submission is not progress.  It's not even equality.  It's contention.  I know from experience that when I am being contentious, Chris is suddenly no longer my best friend with whom I want to spend eternity.  He becomes my sparring partner, and the words I hurl at him don't make me feel powerful.  They make me feel weak and small-minded.  If I have let myself become upset to the point of contention, it's because I haven't communicated well.  Instead, I've assumed that he won't listen or doesn't understand.  I haven't even given him the benefit of hearing what I have to say. 

Let's look at the husband's role in all of this.  Ephesians 5:25 says "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it."  So...your husband is to love you so completely that he would lay down his life for you if necessary.  In return, you are to respect the priesthood which he holds (if he does), respect his walk with the Lord and his ability to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit, and counsel with him on those matters.  It doesn't make you less of a woman to respect your husband.  He is, after all, the man you love, the one you have chosen to spend at least this life.  He should be your best friend.  Be sweet.  Be kind.  And if your husband loves you as he should, there is nothing he won't do for you. 


  1. Replies
    1. You've made my day. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

  2. If indeed Paul actually wrote Ephesians, we can see that Paul often shared his own views on things, not necessarily gave doctrine.

    LDS have modern prophets, who teach things differently. Man and Woman are equals. Both have differing roles in some aspects (men cannot bear children, for instance), but in a home, both must work together as co-presidents.

    Second, Christ taught that those who would be leaders in His church must be servants of all. If we suppose that Paul is right, then the man should seek to serve the wife, and not just lord over her in unrighteous dominion. Sadly, that seems to often be the case in many marriages, and is even noted in D&C 121.

    We can definitely seek more equality in traditional marriage, so that both woman and man grow and give of themselves to raising a righteous nation.

    1. I am indeed thankful for the leadership and counsel of our prophets, seers and revelators, and I understand what you mean concerning Paul's perception. I was just trying to counter with a little more in depth look at the same Scripture that is so often thrown in my face. When taking the whole passage into consideration, I'm sure you can see that unrighteous dominion really has no place anywhere in marriage. Still, it is good to have the Proclamation on the Family, isn't it? Thanks for your comment.

  3. And what would a woman do if her husband DIDN'T treat her right?

    1. Go to counseling as a couple, if you can. Sometimes mediation helps. If it's a situation in which you are being abused, please remove yourself from the situation. Shelters and victim assistance programs exist for this reason, and there are some instances in which marriages should be annulled, including physical and emotional harm.