A woman's submission & choosing who to marry

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QueenEsther

Puritan Board Sophomore
If a woman is convicted in a matter, say EP, should she only marry or concider marrying a man who holds the same views? It seems as though the men don't have to worry so much because their wives ought to submitt to them, and it wouldn't seem like a big deal for a person who isn't EP to only sing Psalms in obedience to her husband. But to go the other way when convicted on the issue, doesn't seem wise.

This would seem like a non-issue for those of you who live around and attend churches that hold to your convictions. But what if you don't live near one of those and are a young woman of elegable age? How can you persue anything in regard to marriage, if you don't agree with anyone? Do you turn down possible suitors because of this?
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Another hard question. If you can't 'submit' over the area than I suppose it is something that is going to interfere naturally. Personally I don't believe that some points of doctrine are as important as submission, or as being married to a pious, trustworthy, considerate man. That kind of man will make the best leader, even if you disagree over some minor points. More than likely he would not make you violate your conscience in any case, while a man who may agree with you down to the dotted i but without some of those other virtues would. In other words there are more important qualities to look for in a man you trust and will have to submit to throughout your life than whether you are in agreement on all points.
 

Mrs.SolaFide

Puritan Board Freshman
Personally, as someone who is EP (and PLEASE do not take offense to this non-EPers - this is just the example Rose gave :D ), I would not be able to marry someone who I thought would make me worship in a way that God has not commanded. For a woman who believes in EP, worshipping in another manner would be obeying man instead of the LORD. Likewise, I wouldn't (when I was single) have given a solitary thought to marrying someone who was not Reformed. You don't have to agree on every single point, but being equally yoked in your theology brings strength and harmony to a marriage.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Pray constantly, Rose, that God would raise up a godly man for you. I would not want to marry someone who was not EP either as Erin says. I would give anyone, who seemed to be a potential anything, all of the reading material and ask them their opinion after looking at all the evidence. If it is a no then you don't have to let that relationship continue past friendship. I give out the material and references anyway because of a strong belief in it, but you could give it out for other reasons as well.
Wink.gif
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Sola Fide and Augusta,

I do understand what you both say above; and do not by any means want to talk you out of your convictions (esp. on this thread) however just wanted to point out that I am in the same position as you are before God as a non-EPer, in that I believe we are commanded to worship God in the singing of hymns as well as Psalms, and my advice was in view of that. I would consider submission to my husband to be a more binding command before God , and that my husband will give account for what he requires of me in this area.



The problem with marrying a man who agrees with you on all these things in order to be able to submit to him is that very often men change their minds.... and we still have to submit. It is very distressing to see wives who fight with their husbands over for instance, which version of the Bible is used or which denomination they are to be part of or what shows on TV the children can watch or whether we are to support magazines supporing Israel or other things that they feel are a duty 'before God'-- as if submitting is only 'before man'.



There has to be something that provides an even solider basis for harmony and agreement in marriage given changeableness of both people, and I would take that to be the man's piety and his integrity and his care for those he leads: of course ultimately all of our submission is in view of God's sovereignty but in choosing a husband I think underlying character and sincerity before God are most important. God can easily lead that kind of man, and a godly woman can follow him. I would not have married a man who agreed with me in all things but was unlikely to listen to a reasonable argument against my positions. I preferred to marry a man who did not agree with me in all things but demonstrated a willingness to be careful in his reason, and to be reasoned with. My husband was not fully reformed when we got married (we used to argue about it before we were engaged) – he is now much more thoroughly acquainted with reformed doctrine than I am and has taught me numerous things about the tradition I grew up in. He is a reasonable man and a good leader, and if he becomes EP or paedobaptist or paedocommunionist tomorrow I will submit to him and trust God to take care of what is lacking in my worship, knowing that I am doing what He requires of me as a worshipful way of life. Perhaps, God would even be taking care of me by having my husband require of me something I don't necessarily agree with: my husband might be right. And in many cases where the husband is conscientious he does not require the wife to violate her conscience, at least no more than necessary for him to lead in accordance with his (which duty he has before God, just as she has to submit.) I certainly don't want to be in a position of 'arguing' with either of you esp. as I respect your convictions but I do believe submission to be more important, as someone who is just as convicted before God of the command to sing hymns, as you to sing Psalms.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Heidi, I don't disagree at all that a woman ought to be submissive to her husband in all things that are not contrary to scripture. If my husband had not also become convinced of EP at the same time with me, I would still have been silent in church during anything but a psalm. On something that important I don't think my husband would force me to sing something that I thought was profane to God. (Exodus 20:25) I would of course discuss it with my husband first and I really doubt he would forbid me to not sing in church during other than psalms. My duty is to my God first even in marriage is it not? Or should I sin knowingly and it will be my Husband who is judged for that sin?

In Rose's case though I don't think wanting to marry someone who is as much like you in theology as possibly is a bad goal. I know I would pray and ask God to send such a man for me if I was not married. There are plenty of challenges in marriage besides the theological. I think a woman of conscience though should go with what she thinks is good and right according to scripture. I think to go agaist conscience is neither right nor safe as Luther is thought to have said.

It is her duty to follow God first in every circumstance. Isn't that the duty of an unmarried or married woman? In matters of conscience and the scriptures only mind you.
 

HuguenotHelpMeet

Puritan Board Freshman
You've had a lot of tough questions lately, Rose!

I totally see both sides of this, but I think I'm leaning more toward Erin and Traci's view.

I think it all has to do with timing. If you or your DH become convinced of something after the wedding, I think submitting to him in the Lord is the best thing. But, prior to marriage, it would be better to find a closer match...if this conviction is something that you hold dear. It's one thing to find yourself unequally yoked after the marriage, it's another thing to go into the marriage knowing it to be the case.
 

Mrs.SolaFide

Puritan Board Freshman
Heidi - Thank you for your kind tone. I know that anytime EP comes up (and it always does!) things can get heated very quickly. I don't mean to give the impression that I would not submit to my husband if it were simply a matter of disagreement. My husband was "no holidays" before I was, EP before I was...a LOT of major things (that I DID NOT understand) before I came aboard. I submitted to him even though it was difficult and found myself eventually to be blessed in agreement with him (I seem to have been in a similar situation as your husband :). I wasn't attempting to assign submission a lower value than my theologial leanings or suggesting that a woman marry a man who agrees on every point so that she is able to submit (I think we'd all be single all our days!) I'm not even saying that EPs can't marry non-EPs - I only meant that marrying an EP guy is my personal preference. Since Rose is not married, I only mean to encourage her to take stock in the traits/beliefs that she wants in a husband before she is married & the sitiation complicates itself.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Erin it's very hard to get 'heated' about EP when I know so many truly outstanding EP people, on this board as well as elsewhere. Also I confess I don't read the discussions: I find it more helpful to keep my mind clear (less emotional) for reading more sustained arguments elsewhere, so I miss the um, intensity.

I agree with you ladies to some degree, that it would seem that in an 'ideal' situation we meet a man who is godly, honest, considerate, reasonable, who we fall in love with, and who agrees with us about EP or non EP, or whatever it is in question. However the fact is that we often we meet a man who is godly, honest, considerate, reasonable-- who we fall in love with, who falls in love with us-- and who does not agree with us about EP or non EP or whatever is in question. Would you in that case really advise breaking off the relationship over this point? In the real world don't all those virtues count for more, and doesn't that man stand a better chance of coming to the truth on the wide variety of issues, than this one point? Or is this the hill on which one dies, possibly an old maid, because of rejecting all the pious and otherwise suitable men, and finding afterwards that either no EP people come forward, or that the only EP people who ask are incompatible otherwise? It often happens that we simply do not have unlimited choice and what we would have thought was 'ideal' turns out to be unrealistic-- in which case I am not sure that it is 'ideal'? The man one can love and live with and submit to is ideal (and I think if a girl finds she can can submit to a good man who is EP/non-EP she should not work it up into an issue over which she cannot). I think from what Erin says above that she would not advise at least universally, for a girl to reject a man in that situation but I was wondering if that could be more clarified (I'm not sure what kind of situation this advice might be addressing?). Thanks.
 

Laura

Puritan Board Junior
However the fact is that we often we meet a man who is godly, honest, considerate, reasonable-- who we fall in love with, who falls in love with us--

Pardon the digression, but I must ask Mrs. Zartman on what planet she resides, so that I can start making plans now to move my daughters there... :D
 
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py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I would like to clarify one thing: I was more Reformed than my wife when we got married.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm tossed on the issue.

I agree you should find as close a match as possible.

I also agree that ppl tend to change their minds on certain issues as well.

The question is...what things are truely convictions and what things are merely preference.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
(ahem. My husband has been refreshing my memory. When I first said I would marry him we were still arguing about all of this stuff. But there were 9 months at least until we got married, and he never opposed reformed theology -though he hadn't grown up with it and was still learning - once Acts 13:48 turned the light on for him.)
 

QueenEsther

Puritan Board Sophomore
(ahem. My husband has been refreshing my memory. When I first said I would marry him we were still arguing about all of this stuff. But there were 9 months at least until we got married, and he never opposed reformed theology -though he hadn't grown up with it and was still learning - once Acts 13:48 turned the light on for him.)

hehe, you two are cute :)
 

Mrs.SolaFide

Puritan Board Freshman
:agree: :eek:

Heidi,

I think I understand what you are saying a little better now. Yes, I suppose our position is a bit idealistic - but I think what we're trying to say isn't so much "the man you've created in your mind is out there - don't relent until you find him!" as it is "don't lower your standards/expectations and 'settle' out of fear". There was a time when my girlfriends and I feared we would die old maids because our standards were too high and Wichita, KS was too small...but we must always remember that God provides good things for His children - and providing doesn't always mean checking every item off our list, but giving us what He knows we need.

Hmmm...clarification...I would no more tell an EP young lady not to marry a non-EP man who was faithful to the Lord and His Word than I would tell a Christian Republican young lady not to marry a Christian Democrat man who was faithful to the Lord and His Word. But the young ladies need to distinguish which personal preferences and/or convictions (like Colleen said) are important enough to them to have in common with their mate. And you're right - people do change their minds! Is that what you were asking?
 

PresReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
Rose,
A question you might ask yourself when thinking about marrying a man that is not EP would be, do you want your children singing anything other than the Psalms? I personally would not approve of my daughter courting a man that was not EP. When it comes to worship I couldn't make a compromise. I could let other things slide, but not purity in worship.
 

QueenEsther

Puritan Board Sophomore
Rose,
A question you might ask yourself when thinking about marrying a man that is not EP would be, do you want your children singing anything other than the Psalms? I personally would not approve of my daughter courting a man that was not EP. When it comes to worship I couldn't make a compromise. I could let other things slide, but not purity in worship.


I think that is what bothers me the most. Years down the road when my children notice me not ever singing in church, and ask me about it. I think at that point if I told them why and they noticed that daddy was singing other things, that would seem to me to be not honoring my husband. Aside from me having to be ok with my children going against what I believe about worship, and worship is pretty important (I think so anyway). I don't know if this makes any sense at all.
 

Mrs.SolaFide

Puritan Board Freshman
:ditto:, Rose. If you can see how this issue may tamper with unity in your family & what you believe to be pure worship, then it is better not to go against your conscience when choosing a mate, if it is possible. And you're right, worship IS important - Calvin even states that we are saved in order to worship. It's not something to take lightly :D
 

QueenEsther

Puritan Board Sophomore
my reasoning for asking this now..

Since I some what recently got out of a relationship, numerous people have suggested setting me up with someone. Either I friend they know, one of the boys at church or the sushi chef at work. Anyway, I was getting a little stressed about the issue of dating someone, especially given my convictions on worship. I wasn't sure if it really is that important or if it was just my imagination (there are plenty of things I think are important but when it comes down to it they really aren't). Anyway, I see here, that other people also see that it is a rather important issue, so I will pray about it and know, that if it is God's will, he will bring me someone.

And Heidi, I do realize that I may not have everything in common with the man I am to marry (hey if we agreed on everything then where would be the fun in submitting to him? ;) ) But something tells me that there are still some nice, honest, sweet and single EP guys left out there ;)
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Erin, yes that clarifies: thanks.

Rose, if it is an issue over which you feel you could not submit it would probably cause problems in the dating/courting relationship naturally. However I would simply point out, in line with the Calvin quote (which I love) – that submission is worship too. So even if my husband changed positions and didn't let my children sing Psalms, I would consider that my children saw me worshipping God every Sunday (and every day of the week) that I obeyed him. I agree about there being good EP guys out there. I wasn't sure what kind of situation you were asking advice for, if any.... but I do hope that you find the 'ideal' husband-- and I am sure God would not give you less, whatever He does give.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Can I ask what the father's role is in this issue (as a father of two girls, 9 and 6 years of age)?

I plan for latter suitors to be climbing over the corpses of the ones who came before them until we get a good one (at which point my daughters can give their 'yay' or 'nay'.)
 

QueenEsther

Puritan Board Sophomore
Can I ask what the father's role is in this issue (as a father of two girls, 9 and 6 years of age)?

In this particular case, my father lives in Montana, which is a few states away from me, so he might get asked as a formality to all this but as is boys have had to go through my brother (who own a kung fu school, btw ;)). But also in this case, he is not convicted as I am in this area of worship.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Can I ask what the father's role is in this issue (as a father of two girls, 9 and 6 years of age)?

I plan for latter suitors to be climbing over the corpses of the ones who came before them until we get a good one (at which point my daughters can give their 'yay' or 'nay'.)
Bingo! And we have a winner! :up:
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
The only point I struggle with is where reasonable control/protection ends and trusting in Him begins. The raising of a daughter is an incredible responsibility as she will nurture a new generation of believers. The raising of a son is no less weighty (they're aged 8 and 3 right now) as they will lead their own households. BUT my heart aches for my daughters and the difficulties they will face; I always think that trials will build my sons' character, but will somehow harm my little girls. (A little too much worldly sentimentality there, perhaps???)
 

QueenEsther

Puritan Board Sophomore
you could have your daughters read, or your wife read to them, Female Piety by John Angell James. It seems to be going through everything about a woman's life (I'm reading it right now, I put some quotes up here from the book)
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
We will get to it, I'm sure; the quotes look very solid (thanks for those.) Right now, Elizabeth is working on a Bible study with Esther, our oldest (just now 9) but when she's done will start on "Beautiful Girlhood" by M Hale (revised and expanded by Karen Andreola.) It was first written in 1922 (a little progressive for this dad!) and has a lot of the good old-fashioned guides for raising girls while remaining steeped in Scripture.
 
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