Unity In Marriage

The biggest mistake a husband can make is not cherishing his wife with the most protective Godly love and kindness that he possibly can achieve.

A woman should always feel so secure, so loved and so protected, that she just cannot help treating her husband with the greatest respect and honor that she can.

The biggest mistake a woman can make is not submitting herself to her husband as God instructed in the Bible.

Almost ninety-nine percent of the views of people (including the church) regarding this subject are not according to Biblical prescriptions. This post is an attempt to correct all the erroneous teachings on this subject.

The will of God for husbands and wives

I know I may not be popular after this post but somebody needs to preach the truth!

The all-important questions in this regard are, “How is unity achieved in marriage?”

“What is God’s will in terms of decision making and in terms of the managing, the leading, and the guidance of the family of God?”

In order to answer these questions we need to read and address a very important Scripture on this issue:

Ephesians 5:21-33

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

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30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Now what we immediately see here is that Christ loves the church as much as He loves Himself. This Scripture does not exactly say that but I can assure you it is true. He gave His life for the church. The church is His bride. It is His other half so to speak. He married the church!

Now we all know that the Father gave His Son to the world. We also know that He gave the church to Christ. The church belongs to Christ. It is His body. He is the Head of the church and He controls the church. We see in verse 24 that the church is subject to Christ.

Now we know that Christ manages and controls the church exactly like His Father expects Him to do. Jesus Christ made it very clear in many Scriptures that He only does what the Father wants Him to do. He only says what the Father wants Him to say. He only does what He saw the Father doing and He only says what he heard the Father saying. There can be no doubt here that Jesus Christ only manages the church like He knows the Father would like Him to do it.

Christ a type of the earthly husband

The above-mentioned facts about the way Christ cares for the church puts a lot of responsibility on the husband’s shoulders. We as husbands need to manage our families exactly like Christ manages the church. He loves the church. He gave His life for the church. He manages the church with love. He does it without manipulating His bride or His body. He treats her with the greatest love imaginable. He does not treat the church like a tyrant. He is kind to His bride. He also treats her with understanding and respect. He does not accuse her and he does not insult her. He makes life pleasant for her. The church feels safe in the presence of the Bridegroom. After all, He gave His life to save her.

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Now Christ knows that there are principles in place that were created and decided upon by God the Father. Every good and holy thing comes from the Father. Every living creature that exists is rooted in the Father unless such a living creature rejected the Father and is therefore uprooted. He is the prime source of all Godly things. Jesus Christ knows that. He made it known that He intends to live and to move securely rooted in the Father. He once said that the Father lives in Him and through Him. The good works that you see Me doing are actually the Father doing it in Me and through Me. He is doing the work.

Now the husband needs to have this same attitude. We need to allow Christ Jesus to live IN us and THROUGH us. We need to do and say what we saw Christ did and what we heard Christ say. We need to have the same outlook, the same attitude of humility, and the same humbleness that Christ demonstrated to the world. Although He was a God He came to this earth to serve. He came to do the will of the Father. He did not compromise even once. He was obedient in the little things and the greater things. He was obedient even to death. We as husbands need to do the same.

When Christ came to earth and He found this harlot woman that we know as the dead, man-made, self-righteous religion of the Jews (Judaism), He did not compromise. He did not accept this woman’s fleshly, hypocritical, rebellious, and false religion. He stayed loyal to the spiritual church of God. He dealt with this rebellious harlot woman strictly and firmly as Father expected from Him. Remember, this harlot woman is not the Bride of Christ. This is how every husband should treat any other woman who attempts to come between him and his true bride.

Jesus has always been obedient to the Father and He always acted the way Father expected from Him. Likewise, we as husbands need to deal with our families the way the Father expects us to do. We, as Godly husbands and stewards of the kingdom of God, need to ensure that the principles of God’s kingdom are adhered to. We as husbands need to implement the principles and the ways of God in our families.

This is a very important responsibility. We read in verse 23 that the husband is the head of the wife just like Christ is the Head of the church. Verse 24 goes even further and says that the wife must be subject unto her husband, in everything, just as the church is subject unto Christ. Now this is a mouthful and I am sure through the years many women could not and still cannot believe their eyes when they read this. How can God expect them to be subject to their husbands in everything like the church is to Christ? This is unbelievable! How can the husband be the head of the wife just as Christ is to the church?

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Now we all know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Head of the church. There is no such thing as a 50/50 arrangement when it comes to leading the church. The church does not have an equal say with Christ when it comes to church matters. The church is not ruled by Christ and the church. The church is not ruled by Christ and the five-fold ministry. The church is ruled by Christ alone according to the kingdom principles of God the Father. Christ does not sit down with the five-fold ministry and jointly decide with them how to rule the church. There is no democratic system in place that gives the church a say in church matters. There is not even a system of consensus in place. This means that Christ makes decisions according to the will of the Father and He enforces those decisions down upon the church. He does not enforce it down on the church like a tyrant does but still, we have absolutely no say when it comes to the church and the principles of the kingdom of God. We need to find the will of God and we need to comply with the will of God. That is the bottom line.

Christ is the steward of the church. He leads and directs the church according to the will of God. So is the husband when it comes to the wife and the family. He needs to lead and guide his family according to the will of God. There is not a 50/50 arrangement as we so often hear people say. The belief that the wife has an equal say when it comes to family matters (the spiritual side of it) is just not the truth. The belief that the husband cannot enforce his decisions upon his family if his wife does not agree with him is just not the truth.

Some people believe that the 50/50 arrangement means that the wife and the husband have an equal say. Now this is OK in government because a lot of people vote and the majority wins. It is as easy as that. A democratic arrangement means that decisions can be made when it is needed and the decisions can be implemented when necessary. This means that the situation can be managed and progress can be made. The downfall is that the majority are not always right and it means that the minority are always still unhappy and they cannot do anything to change it.

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Now a democratic system cannot work in marriage because there are only two votes. If the husband and the wife do not agree with each other then there is a deadlock. That is why the Bible says that the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church. That is why the Bible says that the wife must be subject unto the husband just as the church is to Christ. Somebody needs to be in charge. Verse 22 says the wife must submit herself unto her husband as she does to Christ Himself. The church cannot reject decisions that Christ made even if we do not agree with them.

Now there are a lot of people who do not agree with Christ and the will of God. These people are rebellious if they ignore God’s instructions. God will not accommodate these people but He will also not enforce His will down upon them. They will carry the consequences of their decisions and their actions. They will not get away with it. The church must adhere to the decisions Christ made. After all, Christ only complies with the will of God.

The husband also must comply with the will of God and the wife cannot stand against the husband. She needs to be subject to her husband. If she refuses to be subject to him she will face the consequences. She will not get away with it and so the children as well. Nobody can be rebellious against the order of authority implemented by God and get away with it. It is called rebellion and it is called sin. All of us will face the consequences of rebellious actions. Even husbands who fail to live as the heads of their families by being neutral or by allowing their wives to take over the leading of their families will face the consequences. This is an instruction from God and we all need to live according to it.

Now I have also heard women say that they accept the fact that the husband is the head of the wife and the family and that they need to lead and guide the family according to God’s will. They however feel that the husband cannot enforce his will upon them until they have reached a consensus about the decision. This means that the “status quo” should be upheld until the wife agrees with the husband. The husband must actually wait for his wife and he cannot go ahead with his decision until consensus is reached. This is called a system of consensus and it differs from a democratic system in the sense that both parties must be given the time and the chance to be satisfied with the decision.

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With consensus, there is no minority and no loser. At the end of the day, everybody is happy because everybody eventually agreed. This system is very popular with women because it leaves them with equal control over matters.

Now this may sound good and may be popular among women but it is not Biblical. Just as Christ will not make decisions by reaching a consensus with the church or with the five-fold ministry, so God will not allow the husband to accept a system or an agreement of consensus with his wife or anybody else for that matter. The husband may discuss matters with his wife or a five-fold minister or even with a friend if he is not sure about something. At the end of the day, however, he will have to make the decisions on his own and he alone will have to carry the responsibility and the consequences of his decisions.

The husband of each and every wife and head of each and every family is the solely liable person for all decisions made in the family. Now of course the decisions that I am referring to are all about spiritual issues. It is about faith, doctrinal issues, moral standards, spiritual attitudes, financial matters, the word of God, the spiritual development of the children and the wife, the word of God, and the will of God.

Although the wife is, as a child of God, equal to her husband, she is not equal to him in terms of authority in the family. She has her own spiritual relationship with God and she has the right to live out her faith life with God, independent of her husband, just as he does. She talks to God and she experiences God just as the husband does. The husband cannot influence her at all when it comes to her personal relationship with God. She however cannot enforce her beliefs onto the family. On the other hand, the husband can and he must. He cannot be absent or neutral when it comes to spiritual issues. He needs to be actively introducing the will and the ways of God in the family.

The words, “Me and my house, we will serve the Lord”, is usually the first statement that the husband should bring to the attention of his family. Then he should teach his wife and his family. Paul clearly said that women should be quiet in the congregation during the gatherings but learn at home from their own husbands. He was appointed by God as the head of the family to do just that.

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This is a huge responsibility that both the husband and the wife must carry. Verse 33 says that every husband must so love his wife even as himself, and the wife must reverence her husband.

This is the word of God. This is the system that God has put in place. We may not agree with it and we might not like it but this is the only authority that God will bless and anoint in the family. Any other way and any other doctrine are not from God and will result in chaos, disunity, and frustration.

I once read a “WhatsApp” message from a woman I know that she has sent to a friend of hers. This woman complained that her husband was busy selling their house without her consent. She reported that, according to him, he was doing that because God led him to do that. The bond payments were high and he felt that they should not carry on with it. He did discuss it with her but they could not reach an agreement on this. She felt that he had no right to sell the house if they did not agree on that.

This woman wanted to keep the house. Apparently, he told her that he has no choice and that he must obey God as the head of the family. He requested her to submit herself to him and the decision that he made in this regard. So he went ahead and put the house up for sale. This woman was very upset because she felt that her husband was forcing his will down upon her. She felt that he did not consider her desires in this regard.

The woman’s friend replied with the following message: “I know for a fact that God regards “unity” more important than “submission“. She implied that the husband made the wrong decision because it was not done in unity and that he shouldn’t have proceeded with his decision. Now this view is definitely not Biblical.

My opinion is that “submission” IS “unity”. Unity can never be reached in marriage without submission. In the church congregation unity is achieved by means of consensus because the brothers and sisters are all equal in authority. I am not referring to the institutional church system. That is a totally different story where decisions are made through a democratic system which is not really Biblical. I am referring to the New-Testament-based churches. The whole congregation during Biblical times took decisions together as a congregation by means of reaching a consensus.

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This is however not the case in marriage. In marriage, unity can only be reached through submission. There is no other way. The submission needs to come from the wife. The husband can be convinced by the wife and of course, he needs to listen to her advice. Sometimes the wife’s advice is the correct option. This is called a mutual agreement. If a mutual agreement is not reached then the wife needs to submit. This is the only way. Submission leads to unity. Unity is of the utmost importance. The wife cannot refuse to submit.

People make a lot of statements about unity in marriage. A lot is said about unity and a lot is said about submission. If one goes and analyzes all these statements it all comes down to the same thing and that is “equal rights” and “equal say” in marriage. It all implies that the husband cannot make decisions on his own and that he has no right to enforce any decisions upon his wife. He has to wait for her to agree with him. Before that, it is just not right to proceed with the decisions that he made. These statements however contradict the Scriptures. The Scripture tells us that the wife must submit herself unto her husband just as she does to Christ Himself. She must be subject unto her husband as the church to Christ. There are no gray areas at all.

Now what if the husband makes wrong decisions?

Romans 12:2

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

This is a very legitimate question. Let’s face it, husbands can and often do make mistakes. Some of them do not know the perfect will of God. Some do not know the acceptable will of God. Some do not even know the goodwill of God. Some do not even know God! This can be quite a dilemma for many wives. My advice to all unmarried women is, “You must choose wisely!”

In the first place, pray to God to give you a good husband. You must really, really, really trust God for a good man. It is of the utmost importance that you marry a child of God. Please if you can, do not marry a man younger than you. This is just my opinion and not necessarily a correct opinion. It is just that many women struggle to submit to a younger man and that is a big problem.

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Marry a man who is intelligent and who has proven to you that he can make wise decisions. Marry a man who has proven to you that he makes decisions based on the word of God. This is really of the utmost importance! You will have to submit yourself to that man for the rest of your life! Unless he is involved in an accident and loses his brain or unless he ends up in a coma, you will never have a legitimate excuse not to submit yourself to his leading and his authority in your marriage. God will not accept any excuses, even those that you think might be acceptable.

Never try to take over the reins from your husband. Let him clearly understand from the start that he is the head of the family and that you expect him to make the decisions and that you expect him to carry the responsibility for the whole family. Allow him to step into his calling. Help him to learn to seek wisdom at the feet of Jesus Christ. Pray for him. Do not make decisions about matters of faith. You make decisions with your husband regarding some issues like the choice of furniture and the choice of your family vehicle and so forth. You make decisions on your own about some women’s stuff and the curtains and some other household things. You make decisions about clothes for the children and so forth. You make decisions at your workplace and in your business.

But when it comes to family finances, matters of faith, and so forth, you may give him advice and you may tell him how you feel about things but then you leave those decisions up to him to make.

If you see trouble looming, advise him to talk to a friend or a five-fold minister but please, do not make the decisions for him. In the long run, you are going to regret it. Please understand that your husband must learn to make the right decisions. Do not crucify him when he has made a wrong decision. Yes, he must understand the consequences of wrong decisions but forgive him for that. All husbands must spiritually develop to be good husbands who make good decisions and who lead their families wisely according to the will of God. Also do understand that you cannot teach him and you cannot develop him. That is the work of God and the church. The most important thing you can do for your husband is pray, pray, pray.

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It is OK to disagree with your husband but you cannot force your view upon him. You can appeal to him to take your view into consideration but if he doesn’t you must submit yourself unto his authority and accept his decision. You need to do that because that is the only way how unity is achieved in marriage. “Submission” is the keyword for a successful marriage. Some women are fortunate enough to have married husbands who really allow them to actively take part in the decision-making process. They feel that their view is highly regarded by their husbands and they really feel fulfilled pertaining to this aspect of married life. He however makes the decisions and everybody is happy because these wives know that their views were considered in the decision-making process. This is however not the norm but rather the exception.

Mostly a lot of emotions and frustration are involved when it comes to decision-making in the family. This can be the result of women who pushed their husbands into making decisions they favored. Decision-making can be very emotional when women treat their husbands with suspicion regarding their judgment or their decision-making skills. Emotions usually escalated through the years because of frustrating decision-making processes caused by deadlocks and the lack of mutual trust and agreements.

Usually, this leads to husbands purposely forcing their decisions onto their wives and their families without even regarding their views. As the God-appointed head of the family, he has the right to do so if his wife constantly refuses to submit herself unto him, if he does it in love and with a Christlike attitude. He has no right to do so with a bad attitude. A bad attitude can never be acceptable.

The church has only one Head, Jesus Christ. Just as the church cannot be leaderless or led by many people, so the family has only one head, the husband. Families cannot be leaderless or led by more than one person. This is the only way to achieve unity and harmony in families. This is God’s way. Any other way of leadership or authority in families will lead to disunity and chaos.

Can women preach and teach in the church?

In 1 Timothy 2:12, the apostle Paul writes: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

This does not mean that women cannot serve God (the work of the ministry) because in Philippians 4:3 Paul writes that Euodia and Syntyche “labored side by side with me in the Gospel.

It does not mean that a woman may never speak in the church because in 1 Corinthians 11:5 Paul is writing about women who pray and prophesy in the church meeting, “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

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It does not mean that a woman can never teach a man about spiritual matters because in Acts 18:24-26 we read that Apollos started to preach, but he had no clear grasp of the Gospel. Then it says And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

I have seen many explanations by many church leaders about this subject and most of them fail miserably because they do not take the relevant factors that existed then, into consideration.

The early church functioned in a very informal way, until about 387 AC, when the Roman Emperor, Constantine, built the first church building. This is when things started to become formal. Preaching, as we know it did start a bit earlier than that but it was not the norm in the early church. On the other hand, teaching in a formal setting was done quite early for we read about Paul formally teaching Christians in the school of Tyrannus in Acts 19:9.

The informal meetings which were the general practice since the planting of the church, were held in houses, until the late 300s AC. It can be compared to families getting together, eating together, praying together, and ministering to each other in a really informal way.

This informality had wonderful results and implications, but, it also had to be monitored constantly to ensure that everything is done in the orderly fashion God intended it to be. You can imagine that when people are allowed to function freely and informally as described in 1 Corinthians 14, some people with strong characters, men and women, by the way, had to be addressed and corrected when they misused these privileges. Just take a look at how those early congregations functioned when they got together:

1 Corinthians 14:26-27

26. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

27. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

Everything about the early church was informal. They were operating and functioning in the streets and marketplaces, the public square, houses and basically everywhere you could find people. They were not in official buildings with formal settings. Everything about the church was family-like and very informal back then.

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Initially, quite a few things had to be addressed to get the members of these churches to conduct themselves as Christ Jesus expected from them. After all, Christ was and is the Head of the church and the Holy Spirit has to be followed as He leads the congregation or the church in general.

Some of the men and women caused an imbalance when they emphasized the speaking in tongues too much, and I am referring to “tongues” their prayer language, and not “tongues” the Gift of the Spirit that precedes prophecy. So “tongues” as the Gift of prophecy, and prophecy itself were neglected whilst they emphasized “tongues”, the personal prayer language which was supposed to be practiced at home or in private. So Paul had to address these things and he did it in his letters to these churches which was later accepted as divine Scripture.

Another thing Paul had to address was men arguing with each other in the meetings. Yet another thing Paul had to address was women arguing with men and their husbands in the meetings. This is why he instructed them to keep quiet in the meetings and to be taught at home by their husbands. After all, the husband was given the authority in the family. He is the head of the family and wives must submit themselves to their husbands. Obviously, all these problems led to frustration and dissatisfaction and Paul had to address them as Christ and the Holy Spirit led him to.

2 Timothy 2:23-24

23. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

24. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient…

So the Scriptures about Paul addressing all sorts of problems in the church are supposed to be in the Bible. They are not mistakes, but, in the organized church, these Scriptures do not always make sense. It has to be adapted to fit the organized church. How should we apply these Scriptures in the institutional church?

I am not sure but I can see that women preaching and teaching in the institutional church do not cause all sorts of problems when they do preach or teach. This is because of the well-controlled rules of conduct in the church. Nobody is going to stand up and start to argue with such a woman because this is universally not acceptable in the institutional church. Such a person, even if he is a man and the speaker a woman, the Pastor or elder or the counsel of such a congregation will not tolerate that.

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This is not about agreeing or disagreeing in silence with women preachers. Just as with male preachers, we have all the right to disagree with them but we cannot start arguing with them in the middle of a sermon or a teaching session. This is what it is all about because this is what Paul had to address in house churches in Biblical times. I do not think that women preachers want to force anybody to accept or believe what they are preaching or teaching, just as any male preacher does.

They do not take authority over men when they preach or teach. They are just preaching and teaching the word of God and not trying to compete with men. In fact, the authority that Paul referred to in 1 Timothy 2:12 was a result of women starting to argue with men (and other women) about the word of God and the will of God, which was quite easy in the informal house church setting that I explained. Arguing is bad because it has a very negative effect on the people who have to sit and listen to people arguing. This is why Paul said that women must keep quiet and learn from their husbands at home. The bottom line is that wives must submit themselves to their husbands (only their husbands) and the authority that God gave them but women are equal to any and all other men in every sense whatsoever.

Galatians 3:26-29

26. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  

It is because of verse 28 that women have all the rights and privileges that men have. We have seen that women are allowed to do the work of the ministry. They worked with Paul and with the other apostles. They are allowed to speak in the congregations and they are allowed to exercise the Gifts of the Spirit. They have the right, not only to pray and prophesy but even to take part in the discussions during the official meetings. They are even allowed to teach outside the meetings as we can see with Aquila and Priscilla (funny that Aquila was mentioned before her husband in the Bible, probably because she was the more prominent and well-schooled of the two). It is only when men openly start to differ from women and start arguing with them, that they are to keep silent.

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Women should not get involved in any argument with a man when it is about the word and will of God. In fact, even men should not argue about these things. Arguing is nothing but usurping authority over the man. There is a reason why Paul said that the man came first and the woman second. There is also a reason why he said that it was the woman who was deceived:

1 Timothy 2:11-14

11. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

My opinion is that women who teach and preach in the organized church are not causing any of the problems that Paul referred to because he was addressing problems in the organic house church meetings of the early church. The way we conduct our meetings today did not even exist at that time, and it is completely different. So I think women who preach and who teach may do this without feeling condemned unless they are members of house churches that function as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 14 and other Scriptures. In this case, they do have to comply with Paul’s instructions.

I hope that this post clarifies the true Biblical facts about this controversial topic.

This post was written out of necessity. I have never read anybody put it like this. I think the church needs to teach and to preach the truth as it is in the word of God. Obviously many people will not agree with what I have written because they do not want to hear this. Women do not want to hear that they must submit themselves unto their own husbands like unto Christ Himself.

They do not want to hear that they must be subject unto their husbands like the church to Christ. Some husbands do not want to hear that they are solely responsible for all decisions regarding matters of faith, finances and the well-being of the family. They do not want to hear that they cannot blame anybody else for their mistakes, their decisions and their actions as the heads of their families.

It is irrelevant what other people say or believe regarding this matter in the church of God. What matters is what you believe and what you intend doing about this.

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