I have been thinking over this post lately. Specifically this part:
"A husband and wife team came to audition together and compete with each other. Something I would highly advise a wife to NEVER do."
I am curious about what you would suggest if the roles were reversed in a marriage and the wife had any undeniable talent where it was clear that she is far better than her husband. I understand not competing at a national level against him in something like american idol but what about more everyday stuff? If a wife is noticeably far better than her husband at something, should she not do it if it is obvious that it might affect his ego or affect him negatively in any way?
There are a couple of things to address here but both are advised with the same wisdom. One is about a wife competing with a husband and the other is a wife doing something that she is good at that might negatively affect her husband.
On competing and specifically the example in the post: this wife was not at all emotionally mature enough to compete with her husband. She, sadly, was in denial of who is actually the better singer for the competition, and had not prepared herself to be gracious in the event of her losing and him being chosen. This should have been thought out and planned for before the audition.
Moments like that will reveal what's inside a woman's heart - in that sense it is good, there are times we all need to know if we harbor ugly things such as coveting, jealousy, haughtiness, arrogance, etc. Having it revealed on a national stage certainly failed the task we as wives have at hand: Respecting our husbands.
Wives represent their husbands everywhere they go and in everything they do. Within a spectator there is something innate that gauges a man based off his wife's behavior and composure. Anything off putting or ugly does reflect poorly on the husband and with or without his acknowledgement of it, is disrespectful.
The motivation to compete with one's husband needs to be carefully analyzed. If the activity she wants to compete with him in is in anyway emotional to her, then no, she should not compete with him. If she at all still defines herself by her success in X, Y, or Z and isn't yet fully defining herself as "helpmeet", then no, there is no benefit to come from competing in X, Y, or Z with her husband.
A wife can not be a completer at the same time as being a competitor.
I am not saying that friendly competitions and games shouldn't be played, of course they should. RLB and I compete all the time in playing cards, pool, darts, other games, fishing etc. But I am not emotionally vested in any of those things. We'll even keep a running tally on some of those things to see who is ahead in the long run (he is) but losing in these events does not create one iota of drama in our lives. If it did, that activity wouldn't be performed.
If a wife is noticeably far better than her husband at something, should she not do it if it is obvious that it might affect his ego or affect him negatively in any way?
The answer to this is clear if a wife internalizes the commitment to not do anything that would negatively affect her husband. Men won't usually feel the emotions of inferiority when their wives do that which they are better at doing. As a helpmeet, it is very beneficial for wives to bring their talents to the table. But there are husbands who are still working through some things such as pride and for that we turn to heart of the message in 1 Peter 3 - "...that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives..." In addition to the message in 1 Corinthians 13 - love ..."doesn't seek its own..."
A wife who has the ability to recognize something her husband is still working through (immaturity, pride, anger, coveting, jealousy, inferiority) will do well to patiently endure it with a quiet spirit so that he "may be won". So often wives literally get in the way of the work of the Lord with her impatience and she prolongs the spiritual growth her husband could go through.
Let's take an everyday example into consideration. The wife is better at managing the bills and the finances. Her husband has decided that he needs to be the one who does this task. He isn't as organized as she is and will, at times, be late in paying bills. She has suggested she could show him the methods she uses to keep everything organized but he's not interested. What should she do?
She should spend her time learning what it means to not live in fear. She should keep quiet unless to ask if there is anything she can help with. If he says "no", then without judging him, criticizing him, complaining or fretting, she should continue on without concern. She should pray for God's help for her to learn how to maintain a "without a word" commitment and for Him to do His work in her husband. If the lights get turned off, she should light some candles. If the bank calls about the mortgage, she should take a message and without attitude, pass it on to her husband.
The actions are all pretty simple. That which will challenge her and will allow for tremendous spiritual growth on her part is truly walking out a non-judgmental attitude and spirit.
Commentator JDG asks the obvious question:
Let's pretend for a moment that the first comment doesn't directly contradict what is clearly stated in 1 Peter 3 and consider a way in which a wife might determine if her husband is subjugated to Jesus Christ.
What are some things we might look for in a man that would give us a clear indication?
Would he talk about Jesus?
Multimillionaire preachers Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis sure do. However, in addition to talking about Jesus they do say a number of peculiar things:
In fact there are scores of prosperity preachers who talk about Jesus but in my very limited discernment, strike me as untrustworthy and give me the heebee-geebees. Since we're talking about me determining whether my husband qualifies as head of my family, just my opinion applies right? In that case should my husband follow these preachers' leads, talking as they do, I would be left to determine that, no, they do not qualify. Perhaps it's just a cultural difference of opinions, some women might (and do) believe these types of men are in subjugation to Jesus Christ.
There is another man I know of whom you have never heard. I don't recall him ever talking out loud about Jesus. I've never witnessed him read a Bible. I have gone to church with him but not for many years. He's a giant of a man in my eyes though. He is quiet, usually soft spoken, and humble. He's the hardest working man I have ever known who has been instructed to stop working due to his health conditions. Not working has been very difficult for him. He knows nothing if not to be the worker, the provider, the one who tends the cattle. Throughout his marriage of 53 years he has led his wife and his family through times of struggle and hardship while still celebrating joyfully and treasuring the little moments in life that matter most to him. He's given his daughters in marriage and has lovingly held all of our babies. He's highly respected in the community and has filled in as a father and mentor to countless young men in his life. He'll never own a private jet yet in the depth of my soul I know he talks to God and believes Jesus Christ is his Savior.
For me, whether or not a man talks about Jesus would not be enough of a determining factor of if he qualifies to be the head of a family.
Perhaps we can determine if a man is subjugated to Jesus Christ if we know whether or not he's a sinner?
No, no, that won't work. He'd have no need for Jesus if he wasn't a sinner...
Maybe if a good priest or a pastor declares that he is? That might work but where should a wife go to find a good priest or pastor? One of my local churches has a woman leading the congregation. Certainly she would be the best choice in analyzing my husband for me, right? I mean she must really be gifted and in touch with God to be above the Word and teaching men!
I'm drawing a blank. I mean sometimes you can just tell, can't you? That's it, if a wife can just tell that her husband is in subjugation to Jesus Christ then he is the head of the family and she should be in submission to him.
Okay, I'm done pretending.
Commentator Just a Regular Guy has an excellent response:
The men my daughters marry will be their head. They will be in rebellion to God if they are in rebellion to their husbands. That's just how it is. It would do them well to look to the man who leads them currently who is the head of our family in determining who they choose to submit to for the rest of their lives. Regardless how they choose him though, he will be the head without condition or qualification - 'cuz God said so.