The good that comes from hearing from older ladies who are still struggling to be in submission and do the Lord's will in their lives, is that you younger ones can easily see that we KNOW we don't have all the answers.
I know you younger women believe that when you reach our age you will have "arrived". That is really not so, but hopefully, we are better! We feel like Paul when he said in Philippians 3:
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
To please the Lord is the final quest for all of us!
May I offer my humble opinion about the financial control in marriages?
This has never been an issue in my marriage. For 32 years my husband has taken charge of these things. That is just the way he is! He is a take-charge kind-of-guy! It is one of the things I really love about him.
So you see I haven't had the experience to be able to tell someone exactly how they should handle this, if their husband is not like mine.
However, I have counseled some young women in this area and do have "opinions" about this problem.
The way I see it, is that our first instruction about our marriages, is always to submit, submit, submit. Check it out! In every passage in which the Lord teaches about marriage, he starts with the commandment for a woman to be in submission to her own husband.
When I apply this basic principle to the financial concerns in a marriage, the commandment is always to submit, submit, submit! Therefore, I feel confidant in my counsel to young women, that they should submit in the financial issues in their marriages, no matter what it is. For me, because my husband took control, it was to submit whether my husband spent our money the way I thought it should be spent or not.
For another woman, it may mean for her to keep the books and write the checks. If that is what her husband wants her to do, then to submit is to do it. Every husband is different, every marriage is different. We cannot judge one another or tell one another EXACTLY how to handle this in our marriages. Each must be handled differently.
In a well run company or business, the president of the company will have subordinates whom he "entrusts" with certain jobs and functions that are necessary to run the company. He will likely have "board meetings" to determine who will do what, to ask for advice and to makes his wishes known to them about how the company is run, etc. The secretary, for instance, may be asked to write the checks and pay the bills. She would agree to do whatever the president assigns her as her duties. She would never say, "No, I won't do that" to the president. She most certainly would consult with him or her superior, (in a larger company), about which bills to pay if there is not enough to go around, or if financial decisions have to be made. She would not take on these financial decisions by herself solely.
In a good marriage, where the husband is president and head, if he desires for his wife to be his secretary, and handle these matters, then she should do it. She would never say, "No, I won't do that. That is your job." Her attitude is, "I will work for you and do whatever pleases you and whatever you ask of me." If problems arise in financial matters, then she should take them to her husband and ask his advice as to how to handle them. Yes, I am saying this is something a wife should talk to her husband about, with a meek spirit, in a husband-honoring way of course.
So you see, this is one area in which communication is absolutely necessary. You have to know your husband. You have to submit to HIM only and not to other's opinions of what submission is. God has created woman for the man.
"Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." I Cor. 11:9
God has given woman to man to be his help "meet". Gen. 2:18 tells us, "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help MEET for him." (emphasis, mine)
The word "meet" does not mean, "mate", as some say in misquoting the verse.A study of the word "meet" in scriptures shows it to mean, "fitting, perfectly fitted for, well-suited for, perfectly sufficient, completely right for an intended use". See II Tim 2:21, and Col. 1:12, Matt. 3:8, and in the old testament, II Kings 10:3, Ex. 8:26, Jer. 27:5, and others.
God created woman to be a man's help meet. Each man's needs are different and therefore each requires a different kind of help, "meet for him". Therefore we can draw from this that if we will submit to the Lord's Word and will for us, then He will make us perfectly fitted to meet our husband's unique needs. Combine this word "meet" with the word "help" and we get a better picture of what the Lord intended for our role to be in marriage. We are to "help" our husbands, and the Lord has equipped us to become the perfect help for our particular man.
Consider also, Proverbs 12:4, "A VIRTUOUS WOMAN IS A CROWN TO HER HUSBAND: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." (again, emphasis, mine.) In this verse, we women can see that this whole thing of marriage is not about us, it is about our husbands! In other words, we need to take ourselves off of the throne and decide to be the "help" that is "meet" for our husbands.
You see, I think some women get confused when they think of their husbands being the head of the home. They may believe that this means he is to be the sole handler of the finances in the home. That is fine, if that is the way the husband wants it. What if this is not what he wants? A woman should not try to MAKE her husband become what HER idea of the ideal husband is. We should never try to make our husbands do anything or become anything. Only God is in control of that. Our job is to submit, submit, submit!
We are to help our husbands in whatever way suits him and become whatever it takes to become a crown to him!
I hope and pray that all of us will become "crowns", rather than a hindrance to our husbands. I also pray that this helps to clear some things up for many women.
Only because of Him,
Help meet to Steve Atwood, pastor of
Grace Bible Church, Chattanooga