Evidently, it took a scientific study to determine that the woman is "in charge" in most marital relationships.
In this study, not only did women make more demands than their husbands, they also got their way more often.
And this is Breaking News??? I think women have known this for centuries; it’s just the men that are finally figuring it out.
After all, wasn’t it My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the mother instructed her daughter with the following words of "wisdom":
The man may be the head, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants.
There is a whole lot of truth to this statement. But what are the implications for a Christian marriage, where the husband is clearly designed to be the head of the home?
15 thoughts on “Women In Charge At Home”
I think about this a lot. My dh and I have always been partners in our job (church ministry…we even shared an office) until our daughter was born. So, there have been times when I felt “in charge” and there are, of course, times when he feels like “the head”.
I think the main thing is that we get hung up on husbands being the “Head” and not recognizing what that means. Ephesians 5 says that husbands are to give their LIVES for their wife. Then almost as an afterhtought, oh yeah, wives respect your husbands.
I know most men don’t act like this so it seems hard for women to respect (ie. submit) to their husbands. But it doesn’t matter. That’s still our jobs. And theirs is still to give their lives.
I think I’m rambling. The point I’m trying to make is that we’re ONE. When we get married we become a TEAM. The world throws INDEPENDENCE at us and it makes it hard to give up our life for our spouse OR to submit to them.
So, if we are pushing our weight as a husband or as a wife, we’re doing it wrong. The idea is to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5:21)
I think the Bible’s pretty clear, but people’s interpretations aren’t always lined up with it…
In my 6-year marriage (I know, I’m a veteran, aren’t I? LOL), it seems to play out this way: I make sure everything runs smoothly day-to-day, research for big decisions, educate my hubby on the kids’ personalities, and initiate conversations on household issues. His role seems to be to digest all that, and use the info he gets from me to make the best decisions he can for our family.
Does that make sense? I kind of do all the footwork, pray for him, and he kind of does the final stamp. And, since he trusts and respects me so much in that role, it’s easy for me to let him take the reigns and drive.
I hope that makes sense. I am blessed with an imperfect, but growing husband who loves me waaaay too much!
Wow, what a great question, and one I’ve thought about a lot. I think that quote from Big Fat Greek Wedding is right on. The woman is the neck and we have great influence and with that influence comes a lot of responsibility. But ultimately, (in our household anyway!) my husband makes the final decisions. And I save my influence for special occasions! Teehee.
Then there is the whole “wives submit to your husbands” verse that is so popular with some men. But it also says “husbands love your wives as you would your own bodies”. Our pastor has always said that real men submit to their wives too, because you do become one, like the first commenter said! When husband and wife are both following Christ, they both end up going in the same direction.
The neck has to respect that the head has eyes and might know the best way to go, and let it lead! And not be so busy turning that either the eyes cannot see, it’s difficult to see, or the view goes so fast that the eyes don’t get a chance to focus.
It’s hard because we struggle with feeling like they have their eyes closed! 🙂
I also think this issue is part of God’s curse after Adam and Eve sinned. To Eve he said right after the wonderful childbearing part, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” I heard a sermon once where the pastor said that the original language implied that this meant the woman would always want to be in charge, but that would be the man’s role and job. Anyway, I think that because it is part of the curse of sin – it is not an issue that is easily, if at all, resolvable. The world no longer works the way it was designed to.
Way to go, EVE! (Though I know I wouldn’t do any better…)
I also agree with previous commenters about how this plays out in a practical way.
I certainly think that I get my way more often and I probably ask for him to do more, but when he does ask, I usually comply. Like last night he jokingly said, “You know, tomorrow you could cut the grass for me.” And guess what, I did. Well, until I ran out of gas.
I guess my point is that we have a give and take marriage. We both try really hard to give one another what we ask for and I think we are equally the head of the home, just in different areas.
Ha- I thought the exact same thing when I saw that article!! I am not saying it should be that way, but many women act like it. My husband is definitely the head of our household, but we both work together as an amazing team. I never undermine or disrespect him and he does the very same for me.
Man! (I mean WOMAN!) Great question/discussion topics AND great comments. Now I can go back and comment on your “What Are You Learning” post, because I just learned a whole lotta something! In my household, husband serves as CEO and I am the General Manager. He’s the (clear thinking and strategic) visionary, and I’m the (detail oriented) one who figures out the tactics and devises the plan. And we both execute the plan together. It works well, but we had the benefit of having worked together with him as my boss for 7 years before we got married, so that sorta paved the way for our partnership as husband and wife. I’m thankful for that. Very thankful. I’m not sure letting him lead would be as easy in the beginning if I hadn’t already known he was very capable and trustworthy. God knew what He was doing when he paired us up. That God… He’s got it goin’ on!
There is so much great input here, I am having a hard time not responding to everyone individually.
The CEO/General Manager is a great analogy. I often say that he delegates a lot of the details to me, but ultimately he’s the one who answers to God for our family.
I see it everyday in the people around me, and too often in my own marriage. I tend to think that the “head of the household” applies to the spiritual life of the family as much as anything. Also, we each have our own skills and talents to bring to the marriage and should find a way to use those to the benefit of the family. We make decisions together, but in the end I trust in his judgment and ability to plan for our family. But the world encourages us to think differently and it can be hard not to fall into a worldly marriage.
That is all the coherent thought I am capable of at the moment.
Good comments. So many authors have said it well in the past about how men need respect (or support) and women need security. If both of these needs are met then the marriage moves forward, even in the everyday things that the mom is managing alone. We had a lot of things happen this year where we were tested in this way. And I can tell you that every time I asked “what do you think about this…” in a respectful way things worked out better for us. And my husband and I are sooo different and we have to argue some things out to find a solution. But giving way to making him feel respected in all things is definitely smart and biblical.
This is the topic that is discussed often in my group of friends. We all want to be Godly wives, but it seems the water gets muddy sometimes. There are some husbands that wouldn’t lead the family if they had a neon map placed in front of them. And I think the tendency would be for the wife to jump in and lead. Not to mention more women are working and contributing to the family income, also making the water muddy. But, the Bible is clear, the husband is the head of the home and we are submit to our husbands, as unto the Lord. I have often found this difficult. I’m have a more “leader” personality and my husband was content for years to let me make most of our family decisions. But about 8-9 years ago (we’ve been married 13 years), I realized that I was actually getting in the way of God teaching my husband to lead the family. So, I had to lovingly step out of that role and give God a chance to guide and teach my husband. He didn’t have an earthly Father to teach him how to be the head of the home, so I had to give our Heavenly Father a chance to grow him in that area.
A while ago I had wise Christian friend tell me that I misunderstood the word “submission”. I use to think it meant that I was suppose to keep quiet and not assert myself at all. But, over time I’ve realized that my opinion does matter and that I can respectfully give my opinion (as I do have some wisdom to offer), but the final decision was his. This was a gradual process, but the most important thing was I had to be willing to allow the Lord to work in both of our lives. And it’s been a long process (and I’m still learning). But, the bottom line is, I’m not responsible for his leadership, I’m only responsible for my actions and how I handle my part. But, I’ve seen God work in our marriage and we’ve come a long way.
PS. I guess this was my own personal therapy session :o)
Oo – I love the CEO, General Manager analogy! I think that’s a good one.
I have always loved that quote from “Greek Wedding” and in some way I think it is true.
I don’t have definitive answers. I can only speak from my own marriage. The Mister is the leader of our home, but usually we make decisions regarding the family by first praying for unity.
I am married to a gentle and humble man who desires to make decisions together. But I do know that my man needs to know he has my utmost respect. The Mister is concerned about, and actually wants, my input. That’s good leadership. I am concerned that he knows that I respect him, and his decision making skills, even when he relies on me in helping make decisions. I believe this is sometimes the crux of the issue with submission and leadership.
I don’t believe it is enough for me to say that he is the leader, and then not let go and encourage him in that leadership. It’s not that I am the neck that turns him (manipulates to get what i want) but I am the help-meet who helps him make decisions in way that makes it easier for him to lead. Someone mentioned the word ‘wisdom’. My husband has said that at times God gave him wisdom through our discussing the decision together. So being the neck is not so much about manipulation as it is about being the help-meet who doesn’t need the accolades. To put it in worldly terms: It’s about being the less seen co-star and not the diva. If I am being truthful, this is where I would say…that is sometimes hard for me! Sometimes when he makes a decision that wasn’t right, I REALLY want to say “I told you so”. And sometimes when he makes decisions that were heavily influenced by my opinion and things go well, I REALLY want to say, “Yeah! That was my idea!”
I have learned to hold my tongue. (Mostly.)
I have to remember to check my pride. My old fleshly self desires to rule over my husband. And I remind myself that he is a good leader, who looks always to make good decisions for our family, and that I respect him, but should show that respect in tangible ways.
I just counted on my fingers…I haven’t been married for thirteen years, but twelve.
I just feels like thirteen.
I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been mentioned, but just wnated to say great post! 🙂 The headline caught my attention, as well.
My thinking is this: often we hear of women complaining about the part of the Bible stating “wives be submissive to their husbands”. Well, it’s too often forgotten what follows, that husbands must love their wives as Christ did the Church.
So women taling on the lead in the home, imo, is the same way Christ would have always put the Church first. Know what I mean? In all HIS selflessness and charity, (true charity), HE always put others first. So as women w/ Godly husbands, they out us first and the rest follows. I hope I am making sense!
whew. Sorry. I guess I had more to say than I thought I would!
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