Authority and Accountability - by Amy Rienow - Visionary Family Ministries

Authority and Accountability – by Amy Rienow


Have you ever considered that our society is composed of institutions? There are the institutions of government, education, and business. God created the primary institution of society when He created families. Our society is not really made up of individuals, but of families.

In every institution of society there is always a leader. There is always a president, a CEO, a principal, or a chairperson of the board. The leader of any organization represents two things to the people of that organization. The leader has the ultimate authority and the ultimate accountability.

Ephesians 5:23 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church…” When God created the family, the primary institution of society, He established the husband as the leader of that institution. Your husband has the ultimate authority over your marriage and the ultimate accountability for your marriage.

I must admit that I have always struggled with submitting to my husband’s authority. There are two professions that I am convinced I could have excelled in if given the opportunity: lawyer and talk show host. I never shy away from an argument and I try to convince people that I am right. (We now have a daughter who is blessed with this ability.) My poor husband would often be forced to give in to my opinion out of sheer weariness. So at the beginning of my marriage, I did not think that I really had to submit to my husband because we were supposed to mutually submit to each other. But then, even after the Holy Spirit convicted me that I needed to learn to submit to Rob, I would argue him to death until he would agree with me…and then I would submit! If you are waiting for your husband to think like you before you start practicing submission, you will be waiting for a long time.

When I finally figured out that submitting to Rob meant doing it his way even if I disagreed with him, I began to see more blessings in our marriage. First of all, my respect for Rob dramatically increased. My heart for Rob changed, too. When I realized that he was accountable for our marriage in a way that I would never experience, I began to empathize with the load he carried. I might have wanted the authority, but I never wanted the greater accountability. Have you ever been persistent about doing things your way and then blaming your husband if the outcome was not what you expected? Of course, none us would do anything as ridiculous as that. So the next time you bite your lip and choose to submit when you disagree, please think of this simple truth. You are responsible to your husband, but your husband is responsible to you and for you. In other words, your husband carries a greater weight for your marriage than you do. You will never carry the weight of your marriage that God placed on your husband’s shoulders.

As I am writing this I am afraid you may be getting a picture of my home that would be quite opposite from reality. There are many times that Rob does things my way. There are many subjects in our home where Rob submits to my opinions and my expertise. Most of the time (well, pretty much all the time), Rob asks me where I want to go for dinner instead of choosing the restaurant himself. My willingness to submit has not led to “Rob-domination.” Rather, it has led to my husband’s growing love and confidence in leading our family as a servant.

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