Spiritual authority in marriage is an interesting topic because the idea conjures up different things in all of us. Some positive, some negative, maybe mostly negative. But I think that’s because we haven’t understood how authority is supposed to work within marriage.
I mean, why should wives willingly submit to their husbands if the purpose isn’t clear? And why should husbands have authority over their wives if they don’t know what that means?
Wives fear they’ll be held down, oppressed – not allowed to be the strong and beautiful women they are – if they submit to their husbands. And husbands feel inadequate to provide spiritual covering for their wives. So together they discard the notion. They say it doesn’t work in today’s marriage or their personalities aren’t right for it. But in so doing, they throw out a truly good thing.
Submitting to spiritual authority delivers five benefits (see previous entries for more detail):
Impartation to receive
Protection to thrive
A Platform to achieve
Accountability to grow
A Model to imitate
So in marriage, authority goes a long way. Imagine a husband who takes this role seriously. He
shares (imparts) spiritual truths or objects; protects his wife; helps to identify and facilitate her calling; provides encouragement, counsel and correction (accountability); and models a godly life. I don’t know why a wife wouldn’t want this. And for a husband, these are powerful ways to love your wife.
I think spiritual authority in marriage is a bit like getting married. It requires mutual participation. That is, unless both members sign on, it won’t work. Both have to do their parts. It also requires trust. There’s no way to know exactly what you’re getting into, but you know it’ll be good, so you go ahead with it. And it requires knowledge. You can increase success and well-being by learning new things.
So I’m going to ask a very personal question. How’s your marriage? Is there room for improvement? Or is it as good as it’s gonna get?
I think spiritual authority is so vital within marriage that if you bring it in, your marriage will improve. I mean, what would some added encouragement do to it? Some more protection? I’m sure personal spiritual truths or counsel or even some destiny wouldn’t hurt it. So what are you waiting for?
One of you, get it started.
Don’t throw out a positively good thing.