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Monday, June 23, 2014

FLR (Female-Led Relationships) and WLM (Wife-Led Marriages)-- Peacefulwife Philippines' Top Searches

A Wedding Cake Topper of  a Wife-Led Marriage
In Filipino, "hawak sa leeg" or translated as "held by the neck/collar" or dominated.

I first wrote about Wife-Led Marriages in February 2014. Up till now, it still gets the MOST number of hits, that's why it continues to be on top of the POPULAR POSTS in The Peaceful Wife Philippines blog.

Every so often too, when I am online, I check the traffic sources on this blog, and I almost always get the same search keywords results: female-led relationship, FLR, wife-led marriage, WLM... And so it got me thinking that maybe this is more common than I think, or than we think!

These are the top search keywords in my blog every single day.

Before I wrote "The Wife-Led Marriage:Where Does It Lead?", I did not even know that there were already words coined for such relationships or that there were websites written on it! How naive could I get, right? Considering that I, myself, was in such a marriage for several years before the Lord convicted me of my sins of rebellion and pride! 

To my mind, what Dong and I had during those "wife-led years" was the 'modern set-up' or 
the 'non-traditional set-up' -- 
the one wherein roles were interchangeable and unnecessary and androgynous
Despite the happy faces, I was not exactly interiorly joyful or peaceful.We were still in a WLM here. - January 2011

I know of SO MANY couples in similar set-ups that it has become the NORM rather than the EXCEPTION to the rule. It wouldn't even be classified as odd anymore; more like usual or common or ordinary. You know, dominant women with full-swing careers and men who are too passive, who may or may not be "housebands" too. 

Back then, I felt that whoever had more talents, smarts and guts should lead
and obviously that was ME!!!!

I even rationalized that such was my lot. Maybe, the Lord in His Generosity just decided to rain down on me a huge number of abilities, and I would do Him a great disservice by NOT using all of my "God-given capabilities" for "His Greater Glory". And so, I spread myself too thin, being everything to everybody... except my husband. Honestly, it was also not really all for God's Greater Glory... It was more for MY GREATER GLORY. I wanted to be a superstar. I wanted to shine. I wanted to matter and to be somebody because I almost always felt worthless. I was working independently of God. I had myself as god.


To my mind, I was just being this fun and fearless female who was on top of her game, having the time of her life and "having it all." In the Philippines, it's possible to "have it all." Most middle-class families have live-in household helpers at home who can do the chores and nanny duties. One can still have a full-fledged career AND a marriage AND children AND hobbies AND outside interests. 
With Jenefe at the right, our yaya/live-in helper/nanny at that time -- March 2014

But if I really "had it all" back then, why was it that I still felt so empty? :(

Why was it that I had ZERO tolerance and patience for my children by the time I got home? 

Why was it that I had ZERO libido and energy for my husband when he wanted to be intimate?

Why was it that I still felt that I did not matter even though my plate was super full and my cup was overflowing?

It was because I was running on MY OWN fuel, with MY OWN agenda, tagging God along to go with MY WILL, not His, and I wanted it done according to MY WORD.

Let me be very clear that during this time, Dong ALLOWED for it to happen, since he felt that it was what I WANTED. All the while he was thinking, that should I become any more disrespectful than I already was, that was when he'd really put his foot down! But, as he told me just recently, in a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being MOST DISRESPECTFUL, I was "just" a 5 or less than that. However, I was really VERY headstrong and take-charge in my attitude. I wanted things done MY way. I left no room for him to contribute to decisions which were a done deal in my mind. To "keep the peace", he went along with my very self-reliant and independent plans.


We were NOT designed to live independently of God! That is a LIE! That is what satan would have us believe, that we can make it out on our own, apart from God.

Ephesians 2:10 
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do.

As wives too, we were NOT designed to live our lives independently of our husbands! That is another LIE! That is what satan would want us to do, in order for us to usurp our husbands' God-ordained authority, and emasculate them in the process.

Genesis 2:18
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone.

 I will make a helper who is just right for him."

How many times have we heard that:

Women are better than men?

Women are more morally upright than men?

Women are better at leading (the family/organizations/companies) than men?

Oprah is probably the most respected female TV personality on the planet.
I used to consider all her quotes as gospel truth. I still admire Oprah a lot,
but I now base my truth on THE Truth - Jesus - of the Bible.

But, who was it who in her open rebellion, defied God first, in her desire to be like God?

Who was it who in her disobedience even led her husband to sin too, just like she did?

Who was it who in her vulnerability mixed with pride, allowed the devil to tempt her; and who was it who succumbed to the temptation first?

It was Eve.

And we are all daughters of Eve.
Photo Credit: Shipley Art Gallery

1 Timothy 2:14

And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. 
The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.

I am not saying it was ONLY Eve who sinned. She had sinned FIRST, but Adam sinned too. I mean what was he doing just biting into that forbidden fruit anyway? Wasn't it he to whom God had spoken to, in NO UNCERTAIN terms, NOT to partake of that fruit, in the first place?!? And why did he have to eat it too? Eve must have been so alluring when she offered it to him that all logic flew out of the window (if there were windows back then). Shouldn't he have gotten mad at Eve for biting into that "bawal" (forbidden) fruit and refused her offer "na mandamay" (to make him sin too)?!?  He obviously did not fulfill his God-given role as protector and head of Eve, and by way of Command Responsibility, God called Adam to his sin first, and only after that did He talk to Eve:

And so this was the First Man's curse:

Genesis 3:17-19

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it

    all the days of your life.

It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

    and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow

    you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

    since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

    and to dust you will return.”

And this was the First Woman's Curse:

Genesis 3:16 

To the woman he said, "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; 
with painful labor you will give birth to children. 
Lamaze birth of our third baby, Reuben. SO FREAKIN' PAINFUL!!!
May 20, 2010

Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

Desire here does not mean 'SEXUAL DESIRE' but a desire to CONTROL one's spouse:

Here's another version, from the New Living Translation, just to clarify that point.

Controlling Nikka 2011

                                      Genesis 3:16 

Then he said to the woman, "I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, 
and in pain you will give birth. 

And you will desire to control your husband, 
but he will rule over you."

Man was cursed to toil the earth in order to make a living; and 

Woman was cursed to experience pain as she gives birth to the living.

And more than just this excruciating pain ( I delivered four children normally, one via lamaze, (view the pic above) and boy, was it MIND-NUMBING!) ...
woman would also have the "desire" to RULE OVER MEN. 

Adam and Eve's marriage was the first documented WIFE-LED MARRIAGE
Eve fell to temptation and sin and tagged Adam along with her. Adam just followed.

This reversal of roles and subsequent Fall of Man and Woman, began for humankind the constant POWER PLAY we have been experiencing since time immemorial. The struggle for dominance or control within marriage. 

This Power Play is what has given birth to the Wife-Led Marriages and Female-Led Relationships, we know of now.

Is it WRONG to have the WIFE lead the marriage? The Bible says yes.

1 Timothy 2:11-15
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Is it BAD for the WIFE to be the head the family?  The Bible says yes.

Ephesians 5:23

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, 
his body, and is himself its Savior.


Does that mean WLRs and FLRs will NEVER work? 
Isn't it a case to case basis?!?

First of all, let me point out that in cases where 1) the husband is dead; or 2) the husband is severely incapacitated or disabled either physically or mentally, a wife, in these cases will have to lead her family and move independently of her husband. But in Number 2, when the husband is "just" severely physically unable to move but is of sound mind, the wife must still exercise all prudence and wisdom to still respect her husband's authority over her, despite his disabilities.
I am happy being my husband's help meet, not
his leader/dictator! June 2014

I personally believe a WLR and FLR can work to a certain degree, but since it is not biblical nor is it godly, it will always leave some/ a LOT of room for a lack of peace. To go against God's design for marriage is to go in rebellion against God Himself. 

We can argue all we want that a husband's headship and a wife's submission is passe or "laos" and outmoded or "di na uso", but the proof is in the pudding. The most joyful, most peaceful, most orderly marriages and families are those that follow God's Order of Marriage wherein the husband as the God-ordained authority leads, and the wife as help meet, supports and follows. 

* This should not be confused with a lack of equality in dignity between the husband and wife! We are equal in God's Eyes, but we are not equal in roles.

Genesis 1:27

So God created human beings in his own image.
 In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

We can liken it to the Relationship between God the Father and God the Son. Surely, any Christian believes that Jesus is not less of a God, than God the Father! And yet, Jesus in the form of Man, "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped." Such humility.

Philippians 2:5-6 
"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped..."

If Jesus Who is God, had no "hang-ups" over biblical subordination, why is that
we who are but mere creatures get SO riled up over it?!?
Not only did Jesus NOT "mind" His Equal Ranking with God, He even allowed Himself to be made human (a great demotion for sure!), in order to fulfill the Will of the Father, and save us all from being slaves to sin and satan!

To continue Philippians 2:5-6... with verses 7 to 8:

"...but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

If Jesus did not have any "qualms" about biblical subordination in order to fulfill the Father's Will, why should we?!? We, who are but clay in the Potter's Hands? We, who are nothing, but dust?

Genesis 18:27

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,
Gen 2:7 "Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground.
He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person."

I have said this in my earlier post on Wife-Led Marriages, and I'll say it again...

It may lead to financial gains; it may even lead to a semblance of "order" and"harmony" in the home; it may even lead to some level of "happiness", but for as long as the wife is the leader and not the husband, it won't give as much peace or joy
that a husband-led marriage can give. 

After all, it is written in the Bible that:

                                           Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 
31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Take it from a wife who led her marriage (That's me, by the way, in case you do not yet know ;)) I was always miserable, always worried, always bitter and resentful of my husband who was to my mind, not capable of leading!, always depressed, always fearful of the future... 

I had ALL the qualities of a "good" leader: I was and still am: hardworking, organized, dedicated, persistent, industrious, thorough, creative, and so much more... and yet our marriage, despite my "great" leadership skills, always felt as though something was missing in it, and both Dong and I were not really that happy nor that peaceful. When we were "happy" or "at peace", it was only temporary, and we'd feel antsy or restless again.
I am now a peaceful biblically submissive wife.
- March 2014

It was when I submitted to God, then to my husband, that both he and I felt a continuing
JOY and PEACE brought about by:

    1) my ceasing of rebellion against God and against my husband (who is my God-ordained authority) and;

   2) my husband's stepping up to the plate in our marriage, because I was no longer fighting for his headship at home.

I hope and pray that those who will be led to this post after searching for "Female-Led Relationships" or "Wife-Led Marriages", will somehow be enlightened and convicted by the honest musings and witnessing of  a former miserable WIFE LEADER or FEMALE LEADER by the name of Veronica "Nikka" Cleofe-Alejar. 

They say a good leader is a good follower.

It's good to follow our Leader. Jesus had already laid out His Plan for us. We have just got to follow His Game Plan. Let us follow too our earthly leaders, our husbands, because Jesus commanded for us to submit to them, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

The Sin of Adam was redeemed by the Blood of Christ. We don't need to follow the path of the First fallen Man (Adam), because God Who Became Man (Jesus), has already shown us The Way. In fact He IS the WAY, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6)

1 Corinthians 15:45

The Scriptures tell us, "The first man, Adam, became a living person." 
But the last Adam--that is, Christ--is a life-giving Spirit.

So, a shoutout to all daughters of Eve... Stop leading. Start following. We do not need to live by the "curse"; that is to always want to wrestle the authority from our husbands. We are not in any way inferior to them when we allow them to take on their God-given roles as heads of the family. 

In fact, it is acquiescing that role to them that we experience true freedom from turning over the reins, and accepting our God-given roles as help meets to our "Adams". What our first parents failed to do, that was to obey and to listen to God's Will for them and to fulfill their God-ordained callings, please, let us NOT REPEAT. 
We aim to have a godly marriage setup so the
children will learn God's design for men and women. Dec 2013

We can do all these through Christ Who strengthens us! In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen! :)

May we all be richly blessed! :)

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