Gospel Centered Marriage
Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Decision Making - Part 5
We’re now in a position to discuss headship-submission. From chapter two, we know what we’re after (God’s will). From chapter three, we’ve assessed how to make wise, mature personal decisions which lay a foundation for joint decision making. From chapter four, we’ve examined consensus as the preferred first-choice for how to make marital decisions. But those approaches will not cover everything.
The big question now should be, “What’s left? If we do a good job with what we’ve already learned, shouldn’t that take care of decision making?” Not every couple is asking that question, but for couples where there is general unity “what’s left” should be the tone of thought at this point. Otherwise you’re expecting authority to accomplish what only maturity can do.
But even with a mature couple there will still be an answer to the question, “What’s left?” Here is a list of the kind of things that are left.
- After deliberation a husband and wife still disagree about what should be done.
- Time constraints do not allow for a more collaborative decision making process.
- When a member of the family needs to be protected from their own choices.
- When an uncomfortable example needs to be set for the family to follow.
- When an important question needs to be raised that is currently being avoided.
For many couples this articulation of when headship-submission is relevant challenges pre-conceived ideas about what biblical gender roles ought to look like. It is much less about who is “in charge” and more about what are the unique ways a husband and wife love/serve one another in the midst of a difficult decision.
“When the solution to a problem seems to boil down to the question of who is ‘in charge,’ it means that more important questions aren’t being asked (p. 17).” Winston Smith in Who Does the Dishes?
There are three questions we’ll seek to answer in this chapter.
- What Is a Biblical View of Authority?
- How Should a Couple Make Headship Decisions?
- How Should a Couple Follow Up on Headship Decisions?