I know that the title of my post is exaggerated. I'm very aware that not all women submit and not all men check-out. The husband/wife dynamic is an interesting one to say the least. Throw into the mix the standards by which God expects us to uphold within that relationship according to the Scriptures and you have yourself a mess. The Scriptures in Ephesians 5 lays out the standard by which husbands and wives are to relate to one another. The popular passage from this chapter is tells wives to submit to their husbands. Every man, Christian and non-Christian, has likely quoted that passage to his wife at some point in their relationship, only to have her chirp back with something clever in return, leaving him grasping for a reply.
The Bible does tell women to submit to their husband's leadership in the home. The wife is supposed to respect her husband and fall under his leadership. The problem is: most guys do not lead in such a way that merits their wives to submit to them. Most guys checkout of their role as husbands and leaders of the home. The Bible gives men an even more difficult role than wives. The Bible says for men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ gave his life for the church, and this is the example given for how husbands should love and honor their wives. 1 Peter 3:7 even tells us that the prayers of the man who doesn't honor his wife will be hindered. In other words, being the man God has called you to be to your wife and children is a HUGE responsibility.
Back to the Garden
I want to wrap up this post with a reminder of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Who ate from the forbidden tree? Eve. However, Adam, who was checked-out, was there beside her. Eve is having a conversation concerning their obedience with the serpent and Adam is sitting by passively. Eve eats of the forbidden fruit, and gives some to Adam too. Then they recognize their sin, hide from God, and await what they know will be a dreadful encounter. What happens next? God comes and they are hiding. God addresses the issue. Who does God question about the incident? Eve? No. "What have you done?," is asked of Adam, the husband. God went to the leader of the family and made him given an account. Eve was the culprit, and God was fully aware of this, but He went to the man, the husband, and held him responsible.
Men, are you checked-out at home? Step up. Quit playing it safe from the sidelines and be the man your wife wants and needs you to be. Wives, submit to your husbands, even when they fail in their leadership. Don't chastise him or belittle him. Let him lead, be supportive, encourage him to lead as God desires. This is the picture of the marriage God designed to exist. We need to relearn what healthy relationships look like and quit defining the parameters for ourselves.