Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Submission to Husbands - 1 Peter 3:6

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,  when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.  Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—  rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.  For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,  as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.--1 Peter 3:1-6

Dear Suzanne, Rebecca, Anna and Mikayla,

I love these verses and make no apology for loving them.  They are some of the most beautiful, family friendly verses in the bible. This is marriage God's way and it can only be done in surrender to the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you.  There cannot be two heads to a household...just like there cannot be two presidents of the United States...the result is chaos.  A household that serves the Lord must be submitted to the order that God has deemed to be right and best.  These verses are just practical.  Jesus submitted to His Father in everything...He was not diminished by it, in fact He was exalted above every name on heaven and on earth. The safest place for anyone to be is in the will of God.  The will of God for wives is to be in submission to their husbands as to the Lord.  This is where they are protected.  This is where they can serve God best.

 By submitting to your husband's authority you are submitting to God's authority. Not submitting is rebellion (sin) plain and simple. Submission does not in any way imply inferiority nor does it say anything about the man's personal worthiness or even his spiritual condition. We submit to our husbands as a loving act of obedience to our God. This is His will for us. Submission to your husband is God's desire for you.

As women, we need to be honest with ourselves.  Our husbands do not and cannot meet all our needs. They do not satisfy every desire that we have.  But many of us expect just that...and some of you lay it all at your man's feet.  Go back to Genesis.  Your man is a sinner just as you are.  You will have difficulty in the flesh as long as you live on this earth.  You will have even more difficulty if you are a believer and are not obeying your Lord.  Marriage can really only work God's way.  He has the directions and the blueprints for it because, you know...He established it way back in Genesis.  The bible tells us in several places that there is no partiality with God.  We are all equal in His sight. There are, however, different roles that each of us are given.  The woman's role is to be her husband's "helpmeet".  This is her first and most important ministry.  When Adam and Eve fell into sin in Genesis 3, God pronounced curses on each of them.  Here is what He said to the woman:

"To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

Did you get that last part.  As wives we will want to usurp our husband's authority. This is never ever pretty.   The best way to bypass this curse is to obey God.  Submit to your husband as unto the Lord.  Obey Him as you would your Father in heaven.  In fact, the best thing you could do for your marriage and your children is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  Look to Him to fulfill your need and their you will find rest for your soul.  Your marriage and the children that God blesses you will flourish and bear much fruit. Modern society will laugh...but God's word has stood the test of time...a marriage based on it will be blessed.

The second verse here is something that I can attest to personally.  My husband and I were married for 7 years before I came to the Lord.  Marriage without the Lord for us was disastrous. When I came to the Lord, my demeanor toward my husband became quieter and gentler...really through no effort of mine.  It was all God.  I did not even know that biblically this is what I was suppose to do.   God led me and because of the work that He had done in my heart, my husband was saved a short while after I came to the Lord. The change that God wrought in him before my very eyes convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was real and He did perform miracles.  I was just getting over the miracle that God had worked in my own selfish, prideful heart but now to see Him do that same work in my husband's heart brought me joy that was unspeakable.

Peter goes on to tell us not to let our adornment be only outward but to let it be the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious to the Lord.   This is what is valuable to our Lord.  Our gentle and quiet spirits.  This is what will attract our husband's to us. This is what will erase the lines on our faces and dissolve the hardened look  It is amazing what God does with a life that is submitted to Him...that is seeking Him first above all else and giving Him pre-eminence. When both a woman and a man find their ultimate satisfaction in God their Savior and are immersed in His word,  their marriage will flourish.  The pressure is removed from both of their shoulders and the fighting and the hidden agendas cease.  They are a joy to be around.  His love and joy  flows from both and their times together are sweet and rich.

Peter uses Sarah as the model of a submitted woman in verses 5 and 6 which say that Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord. In Genesis 18:12 Sarah says this in her heart...Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"  She spoke of Abraham as her lord in her heart...she recognized the role God had given him and honored him even when she was not speaking aloud. True submission cannot be commanded...it comes from the heart and it  is beautiful to behold. Jesus Christ submitted to death so that we could be saved.  The key to this kind of submission is trusting God and putting Him at the center.  

Purpose in your heart ahead of time to submit to your husband.   Decide ahead of the opportunity to respond rightly. When you are tested, you have already decided that you are going the way of obedience. The way that wholly pleases your God. (Deciding to submit ahead of time really does help! The hard decision has already been made.) This is what Sarah did by calling him lord in her heart.

This is so needed in marriage today.  You will probably not agree with everything your husband might want to do or share his vision.  When your husband does share a desire or vision he has with you, share your thoughts and perspective on the subject...but end with something like, "whatever the Lord leads."  If he decides to do whatever he spoke of, your job as his wife is to come alongside and help.  Embrace his goals...his plans...his decision.  Stay by his side. Travel when he travels...be there for him...despite the difficulty it might mean for you.  If your husband leads you and your family down a wrong path, the Lord will deal with him directly.  You are under God's protection because in submitting to your husband you are in His will.  Your family will be blessed by your submission. Don't strive with your husband.  Don't get in his way. Don't let him go it alone...he was not meant to be alone.  In fact the man being alone is the only thing God said was not good in Genesis. Do what you can to help him realize the goal or the vision. The Lord will bless this kind of attitude abundantly.


Note: Christian submission never involves disobedience to God, nor does it include remaining in unsafe situations or participating in anything that our conscience bans.