Submitting to my husband and learning to respect him, as God said for wives to do (it’s in the Bible), strengthened my marriage, and maybe even saved it from disaster. I love my husband. I’m thankful that God pointed out to me His design for marriage, because I had somehow overlooked those verses before.
It’s not easy though, to submit to my husband, especially without there being a consequence for disrespect or hurtful words and actions. If I keep it up, then I run the risk of “tearing down my house with my own hands” like a fool (that’s in Proverbs). I do keep praying and trying, but I have to stay very aware of the issue, or I slip into disrespect again. Given the choice between my husband shutting me out (which is what he sometimes does now) and eventually leaving me, and turning me over his knee and spanking my rear end, causing it to sting and me to cry… I’ll take the spanking any day of the week. I would prefer it. To me, it’s an active intervention to say “You will NOT jeopardize our love and our marriage with reckless words.”
I like to use analogies, and I explain better if I do use them. So here’s one.
God also says for us to obey the authorities and laws of the land (as long as they don’t conflict with His law), so we are supposed to, for example, drive the speed limit. So we are essentially obeying what God says to do when we don’t speed, because speeding is against the law of the land. With me?
And yet… many of us DO drive over the speed limit (not fast enough to be ‘dangerous’, just a few miles over).
A few have gotten a ticket or two and they don’t speed anymore. (And, there is the rare person who feels it is morally wrong to drive over the speed limit, and so they generally never ever speed, except maybe in emergencies). When we see a police car, we are startled and look down at the speedometer, while slowing down just to be sure. Why? We don’t want a ticket! And there are some of us who don’t bother slowing down unless we are more than 4 miles over the limit!
So, we know better, and God agrees that we should obey the law, and yet we still speed unless the police are around, or we’ve learned our lesson taught to us by the police and the courts that speeding is expensive.
Let’s imagine then, that a new law is enacted that keeps the police from issuing citations for speeding. The law is still there. Okay, I know you know where I’m going with this….
How many of us would speed then?
Most of us, I do believe. Would we still slow down when we saw a police car? Not really, especially after we got used to the new law. Hmm…. okay. And let’s imagine for a minute that the police are held responsible for the number of speeding motorists by the courts. (Hebrews 13:17)
So, how many of us are going to obey God by pulling over for the police man and never speed again because the police man gently rebuked us? “Now, sir/ma’am, it’s against the law to drive 65 mph in a 55 mph zone…” What on earth would the police officer be able to say to us without using humiliation or guilt or punishment? If I were in shoes like that, I would leave the profession all together, wouldn’t you?
And yet… my husband is going to have to “give account” for his household on judgment day. And although I am responsible for my own actions, my emotions get in the way on occasion. Once, I DID offer spanking as an option to my husband. And the very next time I was angry and risked being disrespectful and hurtful with my words,
I REMEMBERED that offer. Just the potential for a consequence was enough for me to learn some self-control.
The real issue here is the dynamics of marriage. I don’t believe that God has a problem with corporal punishment when it is used as a tool to help a wife to be submissive to her husband’s authority, authority given to him by God. Do I believe that it is required in every marriage? No. And neither does Leah.