Do you have a problem with the dirty ‘S’ word in the Bible?
“Submission” is often a word that makes women cringe, and there’s nothing like asking your husband’s permission that can make that already touchy concept just a little more sensitive.
Particularly in our feministic culture of “independent women,” the idea of asking a man for anything can seem degrading, particularly asking them if you’re simply allowed to do something as a GROWN adult. After all, are you his 10-year-old daughter?
But marriage blogger Ashley Willis is reframing the way wives think about ‘permission’ in a viral article that addresses several reasons why this can actually be beneficial to your marriage. After a friend gave Ashley a hard time for asking her husband Dave about a girls’ night out, the marital expert couldn’t help but set her friend (and the rest of the Internet) straight with [five] key reasons why asking your husband’s permission is ACTUALLY a good thing.
“My friend rolled her eyes and laughed under her breath as she replied, ‘Really? You need your husband’s permission?” Ashley writes. “Gah. My husband and I never ask for permission. I just do my thing. And, he does his thing.”
Ashley couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Why would this even be an issue?” she thought.
She reflected that while there are certainly minor things that she doesn’t ask Dave’s permission for, in general, consulting one another works for them.
“Sure. There are times I honestly don’t want to ask Dave’s permission, but I do it anyway because HE IS MY HUSBAND. I love him. We are one. Our individual lives are interdependent. Therefore, every personal decision we make automatically brings joint consequences,” she explained.
Her friend’s reaction got her pondering if she’s the norm for asking her spouse’s permission or the exception.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Ashely concluded. “But, I do know that my husband, Dave, and I have a better marriage because of it, and here’s why:
1. Asking permission is a sign of RESPECT.
Whenever Dave asks me if he can go somewhere and do something, I feel loved and respected. We are married after all. Why wouldn’t we consult each other first before placing something on the calendar, applying for a new job, or moving? These things affect BOTH of us, so we need to discuss it first out of respect for one another.
2. It ensures LESS CONFLICT.
The phrase ‘just do it and ask for forgiveness later’ doesn’t work in marriage. We need to ask each other first, so it will be less likely for us to fight about a decision later. When we make a decision TOGETHER beforehand…no matter what the outcome may be…we can stay unified and resist pointing fingers at one another later.
3. We both feel EMPOWERED.
Some may argue that asking for permission creates a marriage that is more like a parent-child relationship, but that isn’t true when BOTH ask for it. Please let me be clear here…it is NOT healthy or acceptable for one partner to constantly have to ask the other for permission when the partner being asked goes off and does whatever he/she pleases. This is manipulative and unloving and can lead to abusive behavior.
Whenever we go to our spouse to consult with him/her on a decision, we both walk away empowered. It doesn’t mean that we couldn’t make that particular decision on our own; it just means that we don’t want to. We love and respect our spouse enough to seek his/her guidance and desire to make a collective decision.
There will certainly be times when the husband and wife will be at a standstill when making a certain decision. In this case, the Bible tells us that the husband should make the call (Ephesians 5:22-33). Read my husband’s blog, ‘The Truth about Submission in Marriage,’ for more on this.
4. We make BETTER DECISIONS.
When we ask for our partner’s permission before deciding to do things like have a girls’ night out, go to the game with the guys, take on another job, change jobs, choosing when to go to the gym, switch daycares, go back to school, serve on the PTA, etc., we get more perspective and insight from each other and make a more informed decision. We help each other weigh the pros and cons to decide if something is a good fit or at the right time. Sure, some of the scenarios I listed are bigger decisions than others, but all are important enough to discuss as a couple.
5. It keeps us ENGAGED in each other’s lives.
Sadly, I hear from too many married couples who are stuck in a lonely, unengaged existence. Some are nothing more than roommates living separate lives like passing ships in the night. They wake up, say ‘hello’, go to work without a call or text to one another all day, come home, run the kids to where they need to go, eat dinner without a word or in separate places, maybe meet up with a friend or focus all their attention on the kids at night, say ‘goodnight’, and go to bed…in two different worlds…a million miles apart.
What happened? They stopped engaging in the ‘everyday moments.’They stopped talking. They stopped trying. They assumed they could do it all on their own, and they did.
Why be married if you want to go it alone?’
Ashley closes with a charge to couples that the “engagement should NEVER stop.” She shares that marriage calls for an even deeper engagement than our pre-wedding phase and that asking for permission from one another is a great way to stay connected and keep the ‘flame blazing.’
If you enjoyed Ashley’s insights, be sure to SHARE this with your married friends on Facebook.