Nope. Not the Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America… the chief of this tee pee.
This is a bit of a rant. I keep reading articles, books, hearing ‘messages’, and in every other way known to man, am innundated with admonitions to “help our men” be the leaders God intended them to be by “getting out of the way” and “letting” them lead. It all sounds so pious and godly. After all, who wants to be a stumbling block to her husband’s obedience to the Lord!
The problem comes when I see constant assumptions made. If a wife is confident and capable around her home, making decisions for the family without input from her husband, it is an automatic assumption that it is done without her husband’s knowledge, approval, or direction. If wives are trying to choose what gifts to buy for Sally’s birthday, the question arises, “What does your husband think?” Well, actually, he thinks he’s annoyed that I’ve asked his input on something that I know he doesn’t have any idea of and doesn’t want to think about anymore. He trusts me to make a wise decision. He doesn’t mind giving final approval- or maybe he does. Only I, as his wife, usually knows how much input he wants in this monumental decision.
Now, I’m going to raise the hackles of any anti-Pearlites who might be reading (doubt they’d care to read anything I write but who knows). Debi Pearl’s (yes, flawed if you compare it to scripture!) book Created to Be His Helpmeet is one of my favorite books. I don’t agree with every word in it- hey, I don’t agree with a lot in it, but I agree with the attitude and tone. I agree with the concept that women need to focus on their role in marriage and let the men alone. Why is it ok for women to whine about how “he doesn’t love me like Jesus loves the church” but it’s not ok for guys to whine, “she just won’t back down and submit to my leadership”? I digress. That’s not what I’m referring to though.
I’ve heard a lot of arguments about how horrible her “three male types” are. People don’t like to read her caveats about how most men are combos and that it’s just a generality… they want to grab onto this or that and rip it to shreds and if that makes them happy, let them. I bought the book solely because finally someone acknowledged that GOD made my husband who he is, with his peculiar strengths, and that it isn’t a sin that he isn’t a carbon copy of Susie Spiritual’s paragon of a husband. I was so sick and tired of being blasted in every women’s meeting, lectureship, book, and such for not “stepping back” and “letting my husband be the leader”. Apparently, to these women, there is only one appropriately Biblical way to lead and if your man isn’t leading in that particular way, he’s either in rebellion to the Lord or has a harpie for a wife who won’t “let” him do his job.
What do we say to our childen when we tell them to clean their room and they say, “Johnny wouldn’t ‘let’ me?” I don’t know about you, but I say, “Johnny doesn’t have the ability to prevent you from doing what you know you’re supposed to. It might not be as effective but YOU have a job and YOU do it regardless of whether someone else is doing theirs or making yours harder.” Why does this not apply to men and women?
Knock it all you want, but the Mr. Steady description is dead on. My “steady” guy doesn’t want me to call and get permission before I buy pizza for dinner. He expects me to know if we can afford it and if so, and we need a meal, he expects me to do it. That IS his leadership and it’s insulting for me to expect him to act like Sally Spiritual’s husband just because someone somewhere has determined that only truly godly men behave in only this way and all other men are either lazy bums or have wives who won’t ‘let them’.
So Hail to my Chief. I don’t pretend to always have it all down right but I know that there is nothing more disrespectful that I could do than for me to quit being ‘trustworthy’ to keep things going the way HE wants them. Focusing on how “others” live out the principle is a great way to destroy the principle in favor of a method.