Many a husband is a poor spiritual leader, but every husband is ordained by God to be the leader in matters of the Spirit.
If he leads poorly, still he is the leader, by God’s decree.
That is why God wants Christian women to be married to Christian men—so that the men can lead the women in the right direction. Perhaps, just now, you are barely seeing this truth. It is stunning in its ramifications, but it is Bible truth:
Every husband is the leader.
We have a little saying around here that goes like this, “If you are not submitting all the time, then you are not submitting at all. You are trying to lead and trying to disguise the fact.” The truth is that it is not possible for me, in your words, “to know when to keep my place as wife.”
I am not keeping it at any time if I do not keep it all the time. It’s like honesty: You’re either honest or you’re not honest. There is no such thing as “somewhat honest”.
The opposite of submission is rebellion.
Every time I experiment with not submitting, I slide deeper into rebellion and it becomes easier not to submit the next time. It becomes easier to rebel the next time.
The only way out for me is to repent. It is the same for all people, no matter what the sin.
Not submitting is sin. If the marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church, then the rebellious wife is a picture of the Church thumbing her nose at Jesus.
That revolting picture wakes us up. The wife who takes off in some other direction than following her husband, is trying to be the leader, when God has already made the husband her leader.
Of course, misery would come easily if there were two leaders in the house. Is that it?
The answer to your questions, though, is that it is better to keep the child with both parents at the same time, if it is at all possible. If the wife and the child are in no danger of permanent harm, arrest, etc., then this is the way to go.
Yes, the unsaved husband may make many, many wrong leadership decisions.
That is why it is so important that the mom not make wrong decisions, too.
Otherwise, while the dad might be setting an example of TV watching, the mom might be setting an example of rebellion.
Who can say which is worse? Which would be easier for the child to unlearn? Which displeases God more? Who dares say?
Photo credit: @alviseni