Make sure to familiarize yourself with the first Basic Need of a Husband, according to Bill Gothard – A man needs a wife who is loyal and supportive. You can read my response to this nonsense here:
Now, let’s move on to the next Basic Need of a Husband.
[#2. A man needs a wife who honors his leadership.]
In my opinion, Bill is padding the numbers to get to God’s “perfect number” of seven. Honoring the husband’s leadership is only slightly different than the first basic need of a husband which was, a wife must be loyal and supportive. But, let’s give Gothard the benefit of the doubt and assume he sees it differently.
[Scripture instructs a wife to reverence her husband (emphasis Bill's). (See Ephesians 5:33.) What does that mean? To reverence a husband means “to respect, defer to, revere him; to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy him.”]
Bah! “defer to”? Looks like Bill did a great job listing all the words in the Strong’s Concordance. Lucky for him, “defer to” showed up. The rest of the words aren’t anything more than you would find in a sappy wedding card. But, the interesting part here is that Bill is only quoting half the verse.
The verse ACTUALLY says, “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” It’s a two-fer. Husbands, whatever you do to your wife, make sure you would do it to yourself first. If you wouldn’t flog yourself, don’t beat her with a stick. If you wouldn’t swear and spit on yourself, don’t do the same to her. If you want to come home from work, walk into the living room, toss your coat on the mantle, plop down on the couch, kick your shoes off, grab the remote, turn on the game, and pop open a brew, don’t get angry at your wife for a dirty house. Oh, and wives, respect that!
Who wouldn’t want a tit for tat marriage? If I’m going all out for my spouse, I’d really like it if I didn’t get spit in the eye when I bought her flowers and had them delivered to her office. We can look back at the New Testament culture and see that the writer was speaking from an era where the husband DID make all the decisions and the wife was really a second class citizen. I get that. But, here, I have a suspicion the writer was noting that, if the husband was going to do right by the wife, this unique way of treating her should be met with love and respect. I don’t see it as a rigid principle, though, as many do. I see it as a great thing to strive for – if I don’t feel the love from my wife, I’m going to figure out why, and change. If I don’t work at the relationship because, after all, I’m the MAN!, do I even deserve her?
[Honor your husband's God-given authority.]
Bill just doesn’t get it, does he? Everything is about authority. Everything. Reference those hierarchical wall charts baby!
Imagine this: A woman needs to make a decision on what brand of diaper to buy to eliminate the incessant diaper rash on little Johnnie. Unfortunately her husband passed away last week. Her father recently ran away with another woman and became a Zen Buddhist so he’s out. She can’t talk to her two brothers because one brother is an atheist and the other has a full body rash, which was obviously brought on by his low spiritual state. Her pastor just swore from the pulpit last Sunday so he’s out. The only church deacon made a pass at his step-daughter and was promptly beheaded by his wife. He’s dead and Saul didn’t get far with God when he hired a medium to call some knucklehead up from the bowels of the earth for counsel. The chart ends. The child goes diaperless, poops on the floor and loses the rash.
Why make it all so complicated! Life is difficult enough without adding a bunch of rules to it!
[When a wife observes her husband’s weaknesses, it can be difficult to reverence him, but God requires every wife to reverence her husband because of his God-given position of authority as her husband. The Lord will direct your life through your husband’s leadership and protection. As you reverence your husband—voluntarily and sincerely adore and be devoted to him—God will bless you. That is the plan, and it works. Trust God. Reverence your husband. (See I Peter 3:1-6.)]
Weaknesses is a broad word here. Abuse? Trust God. Gambling problem? Trust God. Beats the kids? Trust God. Cheats on taxes? Trust God. Oh, but we must do it because dear ole’ Bill says, “it works”. After all, his Scripture reference says so.
The reference is a theory posited by the writer that a woman who does whatever her man tells her to do will be sweet before God. What does the writer use as proof? Sarah obeying ole’ Abe. What did ole’ Abe have her do? Pretend they were brother and sister – lie (which, last I checked, God wasn’t all that keen on the idea) – so that the rich dude in the land they were passing through wouldn’t kill Abe for Sarah, but would take her for a wife without force. So Sarah obeyed and went.
Let me re-write that story and give you a woman to respect:
Abe: “Honey bags, we’s goin’ passin’ through dis lan’. Dude over yonder fancies thee. How ’bout we bro and sis so he think he can get thee fer a matin’ and not kill yours truly. If he belee’dat than, we’ll figger da res’ out.”
Abe: “So, yes?”
Sarah: “Why you such a wimp Abe? If that god you keep talking about told you to come here and your job isn’t finished, why the hell would you be worried about some wimp over that wall? You think you’re going to pimp me out to save your ole’ arse? mmmhmmmm… Heck to the heyyyyllll no!” *wag of finger, side jiggle of neck, rest of body motionless.
Now THAT Is my kind of woman. Sorry Bill, but a woman that can think is much better than a woman that looks at me with a “what the…” on her face and then decides to reverence me and go along for the ride. I apologize to the writer of 1 Peter too.
In Part 2b, Gothard teaches a woman to flatter her husband.
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I am a 30 something husband of one and father of 6 dynamic and loud children. My wife and I are still madly in love – at least in my view. My world is exciting, tense, and full of life. I love to write and hope to one day, do it full time. – Incongruous Circumspection
Snipped! by Incongruous Circumspection
Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage:
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NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce