Letter Re: Frustrations of Prepping with an Unsupportive Spouse

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Hugh,

Thanks to the author for sharing such a personal experience that a lesser man would not own up to. I think it is important for both husbands and wives to feel that they are one flesh called by God to work together for His plan in their lives and their community. There is no physical preparation that can overcome a lack of unity in marriage. A dictator is not a good leader, and often spouses feel unsupported when they make unilateral decisions without considering the demands and strains it will place on the family. If you believe that a wife is given by God as a “suitable helper” to her husband, then a wise husband will seek her counsel and consider her discernment as a gift from the Lord, and use it to help shape his vision for the family’s path. Getting your team to understand and respond to your vision is great leadership. I recommend the “Power of a Praying Husband” and “Power of a Praying Wife” books by Michael and Stormie Omartain to enrich any marriage, at any stage of development. – E.S.

o o o

HJL Replies: This is an area that is near and dear to my own heart. Our society has become so ignorant of the scriptures and God’s design for the family that we often confuse the roles God intended, and as a result we have made a mess out of our families. In Ephesians 5, Paul again lays out the master design for the family that has been in place since the beginning.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church … Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…” Ephesians 5:22-26 (KJV)

From the very beginning, God’s plan was to have one person who had the final say in the relationship, and he designated that as the man. Part of Eve’s curse in the Garden of Eden was that she would desire her husband’s authority:

“…and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Genesis 3:16 (KJV)

We have struggled with this concept and through the feminist movement (and the man’s willingness to abdicate his leadership responsibility) and have greatly distorted God’s plan. Marriages are not the 50/50 proposition that is put forth by secular society but designed so that each must put in 100% of their effort to make it succeed. No organization survives well with two masters; marriages are no exception.

Current society states that if a marriage works the way it is described in Ephesians (as God intended), the man is a dictator over his wife, therefore, the wife should not be submissive. Actually, it is well known that the best form of government is a benevolent dictator, and this applies in marriage as well. This (God’s structure) creates an authoritative hierarchy: The wive is submissive to the husband, and the husband is submissive to God. Let’s not forget that God’s command to the husband is to love his wife more than himself. If the husband loves his wife, he will not make decisions that are in any way harmful to her, unless it is for the good of the family. He is also held responsible by God for those decisions and will answer to God for them. If the wife is submissive to her husband (and supportive), you have harmony within the house.

We have all seen this order break down: A husband who is selfish and makes decisions without regard for his wife and children, or worse, makes no decisions at all. We often see a wife who “wears the pants” in the home and makes the hard decisions that her husband should make but doesn’t. It never works well. There is always chaos, always shame.

I have lived in a household that has run both ways and there is no doubt about which one works. The family is harmonious when I step up to my God-determined responsibility and lead while my wife is submissive and supportive of me. I am the protector of my wife and family, by God’s design. I shoulder the responsibility of that duty, and part of that duty is that I prepare for unknown events as best I can. Call me a prepper or survivalist, if you will, but I just call it living up to my responsibility. With my wife standing behind me, I will charge hell with a bucket of water in defense of the family. By the same token, if my wife is not submissive to me, nor supportive, I am hamstrung. I second guess myself and withdraw into a “safe” cocoon where my feelings can’t be hurt.

This isn’t just my opinion. Mrs. Latimer spoke with me, when she read the article, that she wished she could speak with the writer’s wife. Mrs. Latimer’s heart was saddened that this wife was missing out on knowing the blessing of a husband whose heart was zealous, not for play toys for himself (though I do certainly enjoy my share), but for doing whatever it takes to provide for and prepare to see our family cared for in uncertain times. She asked me to share the following: “What a blessing to have a husband who boldly leads under prayerful guidance from our Heavenly Father, sacrifices himself regularly for the good of his family, does his part and encourages me in mine, is trustworthy, and has faith and hope for our future such that I can rest comfortably at night knowing that I have the protection of a great Heavenly Father guiding and watching over me and a great, loving husband guiding and watching around me.”

The commitment, devotion, and willingness to fill the appropriate, vital, and God-ordained role of husband or wife without taking the other’s responsibility is critical to the success and blessings upon a marriage. God made man and woman distinctly different with complementary characteristics to fill the roles He assigned to them. Stepping outside these roles undermines the other person and, whether intentional or not, weakens the relationship by weakening the parties. A wife that assumes leadership over her husband indirectly tells her husband that she doesn’t trust or have confidence in him. Keep in mind that one of most every man’s greatest desires is to have his wife’s confidence.

My heart goes out to those families that are not operating as the Lord intended. They will not see the full blessings of a God-intended family. Their children will not witness the authority of God in their household and will cleave to worldly standards, just as their parents do. The true answer to the conflict inherent in prepping is the same answer to the vast majority of marital conflicts. The family needs to operate within the boundaries set by God. If they will choose to do that, the conflicts that seem so big today will literally melt away. God promises:

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.” Leviticus 26:3-13 (KJV)

By the same token, the rest of Leviticus 26 lets you know how life will go for you, if you do not follow the Lord’s commands. Is it any wonder that our families and communities are in such chaos today?

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