In our family, this situation is handled simply with using the pattern laid out in Scripture of Mark being the head of the home and me being his helpmeet.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. ~Eph.5:22-24
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”~Gen. 2:18
There are two aspects of this.
The first is that when push comes to shove in making a decision, Mark has the final say (and also the final responsibility). When he makes that decision, it’s my responsibility to make that decision as sucessful as it possibly can be. Even if I think it’s the wrong decision.
The other aspect is that I was created to help Mark, that means that it’s important that I respectfully provide my insight. As we all know, women often have a different perspective than men do and that perspective provides balance. We were specifically created to be the perfect balance for our husband. If, in the name of being submissive, I don’t offer my perspective, then my husband isn’t able to benefit from the balance or the ‘help meet’ that God provided for him.
For a simple example of how this works itself out, I lookout of our second story window and outside, up above me, in a tree top is Colby (6). This worries me a bit, but I call Mark in and show him how high Colby is in our tree. I will often say something like, “This worries me a bit, but if you’re ‘ok’ with it, I’m ‘ok’ with it.” Mark then makes the final decision. (I’m not saying that I can’t make this decision myself, but I often check with Mark specifically on matters of boys being ‘brave’ because I don’t want to raise five scaredy boys.)
These principles apply to preferences (like how high your children climb a tree), but they also apply to principles. God has sovereignly placed your husband as head of your home and unless he is requiring you or your children to sin, God has given him the authority to lead your family.
I’ve seen some amazing examples/contrasts of wives who submit vs. wives who don’t on important topics like homeschooling, family planning and child discipline.
In one family they did all the ‘right’ things that the wife was convicted of, but the husband didn’t want/prefer. The other family continued doing the ‘wrong’ things despite the wife’s conviction because that was the preferrence of the husband. The long term of these two families is a striking contrast. The family that followed the husband’s leadership and continued to send the children to government schools family plan and allow their children to run a bit wild ended up being the family with a beautiful long term outcome with children who are commited to following the Lord and raising godly families of their own. The family that followed the wife’s convictions to homeschool, biblically disciple their children and have as many children as God would bless them with all against the husband’s preferences has continued to struggle with many family difficulties.
The beautiful thing about this is that God will use the leadership of the husband to bring honor and glory to His name because this is His (not man’s) design. Even when a husband makes a ‘wrong’ decision we can be certain that God will use it for our good.
For I know that all things work together for good to them that love God. ~Rom. 8:28
Be sure to visit the other 4 Moms to read about how they handle it when spouses have different standards.:
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.