Submit to immorality?

Straight Talk

The Question:

My son believes that Biblical submission means that the wife should submit to the husband even when the situation is morally wrong and then the husband takes the responsibility for it. We are at odds over this and it has caused a major rift in our relationship. He can’t see the truth.

LF from China

The Answer
Part 1: Submission and a slippery slope

Submission and a slippery slope (Part 1)

I wonder what your son’s Biblical support for this position is and yet I bet he has a chapter and verse in mind. Crooked thinking has often been defended by quoting one passage or another. I also wonder what raised this debate between the two of you. Is your son involved in something immoral and commanding his wife to join in it? How are you involved; why isn’t his wife the one who is objecting?

I doubt if I will be able to change your son’s mind but there are some questions and comments I can pose for reflection. Consider the case of Adam and his wife Eve. Eve sinned first but Adam agreed and followed her into sin. When God found out, did he hold only Adam responsible and let Eve off the hook? (If so, she should have been able to stay in the Garden of Paradise). No, actually, they were each held responsible and each of them carried a different curse into the human race.

Here’s another thought: if the husband takes the hit for any sin he requires his wife to commit, can we reverse it and say he also takes responsibility for her salvation in case she never accepts Christ? When she dies, can she tell God; “No, I never received Christ but my husband did so that counts for me too.”

What about this scenario? The wife commits murder because her husband tells her to. She dies before her husband. Does she have to stand there and wait until her husband dies so he can take her punishment? Does she skate on through to heaven while her husband is sentenced to hell?

We must also consider this from a natural perspective. Suppose the husband decides to cheat on the couple’s joint income taxes. The wife submits and signs the tax form. Later when they are audited and tax evasion is discovered, can the wife get out of the penalty – even jail – because it was her husband’s idea? No! It doesn’t work in the natural and it doesn’t work with God either.

Remember that God has given each person their own free will. Free will is not rescinded when a woman marries. That woman is still responsible when she sins – she can’t hide behind her husband and he can’t take the hit for her.

See what a slippery slope it is to hold this tricky position? That’s probably why the whole issue is causing so much friction between the two of you. My suggestion is that unless we are talking about a real situation between your son and his wife; stop arguing about it. Time and life’s experiences may wizen your son up considerably faster than any logic you can propose.