When there is a united group of people there is nearly always a leader of that group: a husband, a father, a president, a committee, a board of directors, etc. In the case of a marriage the default leader is the husband as directed by God. As Ephesians 5:23 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife . . .” (See also 1 Corinthians 11:3). For the purposes of this discussion we are considering a family group where there is minimally a husband and a wife.
Eric, my husband, is the wisest man I know. As he told me over coffee on the porch this morning, “When something goes wrong it’s the man that takes (or should take) responsibility for his wife and family. He takes (or should take) the brunt of failure whether spiritual, physical or financial.
I, having lived with father, five brothers, a husband and three sons . . . have recognized that the male side of the human race is the default when things go wrong.
These days men have frequently taken a beating. There is more than one way you can say, “You’re stupid,” to your husband: if you speak it in rash anger, if you disrespect him, if you show no trust in him. “No, I do not trust you to make a final decision in our marriage.” The effect of this is to start a digression. Changes start in him quietly: he will be less visionary and less confident . . . he may grieve internally in ways that change your future. His natural desire and passion would honor, love and protect you; now he is unsure what to do, how to proceed.
He is born to lead. You affirm his leadership or undermine it: he is head of nothing if there is no one interested in how he leads, thinks. He is stymied.
What does the ancient word from Scripture mean; “For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the Church . . .” I mean, did God call women to give responsibility to a stupid male?
There is much leverage and power for you as the wife in a marriage; a woman created in the image of God.
If you choose to step up “speaking the truth in love” you are the safety net for the future of your life with him. With your ideas, advice, counsel (and warnings) you strengthen him, his resolve, his vision, and his gifts, and you thereby strengthen your marriage. Your vision sharpens and merges with his, producing a powerful future together.
“Prove me now . . . ;” says God. In our forty two year marriage, I have experienced the fear that trust requires. But I knew Eric was my head. I learned through acting on faith in the Bible how much power I had.
Practice trust . . . it’s an adventure. Eric told me, “I’d better be careful, this woman is listening to me.” Taking a chance is worth it; you learn the reality of faith. Men are not stupid; on the other hand, if you were stupid enough to marry a stupid man that is another story.
Of course, when a husband or father makes a decision not based on the facts of a family situation, but based solely on the fact that he is a male, then that particular man probably really is stupid.