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To Obey or Not to Obey? - Simply Helping Him: Marriage Experience from a Help Meet



Mar 18

To Obey or Not to Obey?

This week we are continuing on by breaking down the topic of obeying our husbands…

There are some things stated by Michael Pearl in this chapter, that I personally do not believe are correct. Having lived life through an abusive marriage previously, I honestly do not believe that God would have a woman and/or child to live in that situation.

However, there is still some great wisdom to be found, and I hope it helps you see what God’s will is for us as obedient wives.

As I have stated before, if you find yourself in a situation in your marriage that you do not feel safe, please reach out to your pastor, his wife, or a friend and get the help that you and your children need.



Peter said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

This and other examples establish the fact that there can be exceptions to obeying the authority that you are under. Many women disobey their husbands on grounds that they are obeying God instead. They get into a habit of always doubting his judgments and of second-guessing him. They let him “lead” when they think he is right, effectively reversing the male/female roles. When is it appropriate for a wife to refuse to obey her husband? Is there a point at which she is no longer under his authority? Yes, but not as soon or as often as most women suppose. 

All authority is derived from God and must answer to him, but he has delegated some authority to angels, some to government, some to the church, some to husbands, and some to wives. Angels have authority that prophets don’t have, and husbands have authority that governments don’t have. Likewise, governments have authority that neither angels nor husbands have. God has defined the jurisdiction of each authority. For examples, neither governments nor husbands have the right to legislate belief or morality. God retains the right. The church does not have the right to intrude into family matters, unless false doctrine or immorality is involved. A husband does not have the right to break the just laws of man or God, nor does he have the right to constrain his wife and children to do so. 


In those areas where God has delegated someone to be in authority, he has relinquished a certain amount of control to that authority ~ for better or for worse. God does not micromanage all spheres of authority. He allows certain latitude for the authority to be wrong and still retain the office. 

Our entire lives are bound up in a chain of command. We must answer to others, who, in turn, must answer to God. 

A wife does not have to choose between God and her husband. Render therefore unto your husband that which is your husband’s and unto God the things that are God’s. The authority God gave to your husband is his alone, and God will not interfere and take back to himself that power, even if your husband abuses his powers within certain permissible parameters……know, that a husband has authority to tell his wife what to wear, where to go, whom to talk to, how to spend her time, when to speak and when not to, even if he is unreasonable and insensitive, but he does not have authority to command her to view pornography with him or to assist him in the commission of a crime. 

God does not step in and divest a father of his authority when he proves to be short-tempered and neglects his children, or when he is excessive in his corporal punishment, as long as it does not cross the line that would violate the just laws of the land or slip into the category of violence against another human being. Children are still required to obey an unreasonable and surly father. Likewise, wives are to obey unreasonable and surly husbands, for they retain their headship until they cross the bright red line or criminal acts or imposing immoral behavior on the family, bringing God or government to intervene. This is Scriptural in every way. 

If a wife has an attitude of rebellion, she can find a thousand different exceptions to obedience. But if a woman is really seeking God and asking for wisdom from on high, she will be able to discern the difference between her own controlling spirit and those rare instances that a husband may command outside his sphere of authority ~ requiring legal intervention. 

* All words in italics are from Debi Pearl’s book “Created to be His Help Meet”

*Past Studies through her book are here

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  1. Elizabeth

    Thanks for being willing to tackle this difficult topic where you may not even agree totally with the authors. I think your post was balanced and accurate. I really like where you point out that what is in the heart that really matters. As you say, a woman who wants to submit and honor her husband, will usually find a creative way to do so, while the woman who wants to control her own life will always find an excuse not to obey her husband! Great point! Fortunately, God gives us the power of making wise appeals and the power of a virtuous life (1 Peter 3) to balance out the power that our husbands have as the one in authority. Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom and for linking up for Marriage Monday.

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      🙂 We must learn to glean the wisdom from those that we may not always agree 100% with. Though it is not easy to do, it is something we as Christians must learn to do. Thanks for stoppin by! Blessings!

  2. laura

    I think it’s good that you can glean so much even though you don’t disagree with all he says. That shows a lot of wisdom on your part.

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      🙂 We’re not all cookie cutter 😉 Life would have no meaning or purpose if we were all alike. 🙂 Thanks for stoppin by 😉 Blessings!

  3. Working Mom

    Thank you for posting on such a controversial topic. It is important for us to hear this every so often.

    I admit that I let me controlling spirit take hold of me WAY too often, but still, we need to strive to submit.

    Thank you, again.

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Yes, it is a very controversial topic. Yet, so important as you stated to be reminded of what God has called us to do and be. Thank you for stoppin by! Blessings!

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