When Your Husband Is in the Line of Fire
In the horror of war we see glimpses of biblical, masculine sacrifice and bravery for the greater cause and the common good. A man with the courage of his convictions, who stands firm when others fall away, is the kind of man that others should aspire to be, and that women should delight to have by their sides.
Recently my husband tweeted about biblical headship and submission in marriage. Given his previous career as a professional soccer player and BBC broadcaster, his views created a Twitter storm in the online United Kingdom national newspapers.
Some people suggested that I must be unaware of his archaic statements. Or else I must “gagged and chained to the kitchen sink,” as one commentator put it. Such thoughtful journalism!
In fact, the opposite is true: I delight to be by this courageous man’s side.
I DON’T WANT A WEAK HUSBAND
My husband’s headship is not a right, it is a God given responsibility and privilege to sacrificially love and lead me. My submission is not a burden, it is joyful response to Christ, because ultimately it represents my submission to him. My husband’s leadership and my submission will not always be what it ought to be. We are sinners. However, our trust is in God. He provides. He designed the goodness of biblical manhood and womanhood, which depicts Jesus Christ laying down His life for His Bride.
The most wonderful thing about my husband is that, above all, he loves God and delights to do His will, without fearing man. This shapes his loving, Christ-like leadership which is designed for my (and his) flourishing.
I don’t want a weak husband, swayed by every wind of doctrine, one who cowers in the public square. I want a man who will stand on the truth of God’s Word and defend it at all costs, even if he is the last man standing.
Isn’t that what happened to Jesus? The Apostle Paul? To Jim Elliot? Isn’t that what is happening today around the world in places like North Korea, India, Egypt and Syria, to name but a few? In the West we fear the raised eyebrow and vitriolic rhetoric, while our brothers and sisters in the East fear the fist and sword.
My husband has been in the line of fire for targeting biblical sexuality as the watershed issue of our day where the authority of God’s Word is challenged. He stands firm in the public square and resists the enemy with their bullets and bombs. Where the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, as well as the character of God and the gospel of Christ, are being undermined, every Christian ought to be willing to stand in the line of fire. But we need men to take the lead.
For that and for many other reasons my husband is my hero. It is to a man like this that I gladly submit.
Heroes come in many shapes and sizes. They don’t have to look like a Navy Seal, six feet tall and muscle bound. but a hero must be a real man, a man of God.
God uses men who fear Him and not public opinion—men like Hudson Taylor, a diminutive man of no extraordinary appeal, but the weight of God rested upon his shoulders. Or the one true Man, Jesus of whom Isaiah says “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”
Heroes come in many shapes and sizes, and women need only to look to Christ to see what a real man looks like. These are the kind of men the Bible calls women to gladly affirm and encourage in leadership.
HELPING THEM TO STAND
Not all men lead well. Some even abuse that privilege. Scripture tells us they will answer to God for how they use their authority.
Women, meanwhile, should not throw the baby out with the bathwater and give up on godly male leadership. No woman should want a coward by her side. Yet many women cultivate cowardly men when they usurp the roles God designed in headship and submission.
As Christian women, we should instead stand with our husbands and pastors in the line of fire against the prevailing culture that erodes the biblical distinctions between men and women. If wives are called to be suitable helpers, we ought to be their biggest supporters on the battlefield. We can encourage and respect our husbands, drawing out their leadership qualities, by our speech and actions. And, as women, we can teach younger women biblical femininity, and what to look for in a man worthy to be her spiritual leader.
Men and women are confused over biblical manhood and womanhood, sexuality, identity, headship, and submission because of the dearth of good teaching. That’s why we need people who are not afraid to speak plainly from Scripture.
We are engaged in a war to contend for the truth of God’s Word and His divine design for men and women. And we need godly heroes who will speak that Word, with its often inconvenient and uncomfortable truth.