This is NOT from or going to be in the upcoming book and it's not one of my prayer installments. I came across this blog entry I wrote back in '09 and thought that someone today might need to hear this, RIGHT NOW, so I'm posting it hoping to be of help.
Help for the wife whose husband is misusing his headship role
I seem to answer a lot of private email regarding marriage and recently I was asked about a particularly bossy husband who is not a believer and yet is “using” the Bible and its teaching on wifely submission to his advantage. His wife is a Christian and he appears to know enough about submission to misuse the teaching.
Here is what I wrote back in 2009 but I feel there is someone here that needs to hear this today:
Women who find themselves in a situation (like the one described) need to find a trusted prayer partner, somebody very discreet and regular about prayer. A woman whose prayers get answered and will take the request very seriously.
If anyone’s husband is not a Christian then that main thing you need to do is this:
“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands…” I Pet 3:1-5
When a woman has a non-believing husband then we don’t talk to them, we don’t teach, we go the “without a word” route that is mentioned above.
Our conduct will be the only teaching they get from us.
Some husbands may never change. A wife may never impact her husband for salvation faith or change his attitude or his behavior. That is God’s job anyway….it’s not her responsibility. If you do impact your husband ... chances are that it will be because he sees you change *for real* into something that he is blown away by. As God transforms you, through His Power and you are gradually showing the fruit of the Spirit your husband will see that.
That is probably what the verse from I Pet 3 means and I’ve seen it in my own life and in the lives of others. It's all about YOUR conduct, not your words. Difficult for a verbal female…believe me, I know about that too.
All of this also applies to a husband who claims to be a Christian but is disobedient to the Word of God.
If you have tried being quiet…don’t stop. Pray for him and be the best at your own Spiritual growth that you can be. You grow, You read the Bible, You pray quietly, often, steadily. That is the Christian walk.
If your husband is a Christian (and there is no doubt about it) then you ought to be able to hold him to Christian accountability. Christian men/husbands have “rules” about their conduct too. If a Christian husband does not treat his wife with patience then his prayers will not be answered.
The Christian husband is to love his wife like Christ loved the church (the believers) and gave Himself up for them. Christian husbands are to love their wives as much as they love their own bodies. Christian husbands are supposed to live with their wife in an understanding way, remembering that we are the weaker vessel.
The wife needs need to feed herself a steady diet of Bible. Don’t stop praying. Remember that God is seeing every single thing. God loves you and there will be an accounting for bad conduct on the part of a wayward husband.
If a husband asks a wife to sin and she has to choose between submitting to the husband or following the Lord God’s clear teaching then the wife ought to choose God’s teachings and leadings. Even the concept of submitting to the husband came from God but there are times you cannot obey a husband if he asks you to commit adultery, or kill someone, or something clearly wicked like that.
I used a strong example on purpose to make the point. The stronger the example the easier it is to see what a Christian wife ought to do. When the unsaved or disobedient husband asks for sinful actions that are less clear then it is more difficult to decide.
For me, my Lord God will always be my true boss, my head, the one I will obey whenever I feel led and able, etc. If following one’s husband does not directly offend the Lord or His Word or His will for the Christian wife then I would suggest following the husband because that would fall under submission.