The Role of the Christian Wife
The Heart Attitude of Submission
1. Defined: to rank under;
a. ὑποτάσσω – to place or arrange under, to subordinate; to subject one’s self, obey; to submit to one’s control.
b. This is a compound word (tasso – to place in order; to place in an orderly fashion) plus hupo (under)
c. Hence, it comes to mean to subordinate, to place under the authority of another.
d. Submission is similar to but not synonymous to obedience.
• It is possible to obey a command but not be submissive… to obey but without a submissive heart.
• Submission speaks of a heart attitude out of which obedience arises.
• It carries the idea of surrendering one’s will to another…
• Thus, it is to be done willingly… not forced… not coerced…
• The ACT of obedience is to come from a submissive HEART.
• Submission describes not so much what the wife DOES but what kind of person she IS.
2. It is linked to spiritual beauty. (I Pet. 3:3-5)
a. In this section, Peter is giving counsel to a godly Christian woman on HOW to win her unsaved husband to Christ.
b. Vs. 3 – Peter states here that the real beauty of a Christian woman is NOT found in her hairdo, her gold jewelry, or her fancy apparel.
• And by the way, Peter is NOT forbidding a woman from having her hair done up or from wearing gold jewelry.
• I visited a church where they believed that this verse DID forbid gold jewelry: Pilgrim Holiness Church…
• If the passage does forbid this, then it also forbids the wearing of clothing…apparel… which obviously is NOT Peter’s point.
• His point is that a godly woman’s true adorning, her true beauty does not lie in these externals.
• It is perfectly natural for a woman to try to make herself look pretty.
• I Tim. 2:9 – In fact, women are commanded to do so! In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel. (modest = kosmios = neat; well arranged; orderly; – our English word cosmetics comes from this term). Her clothing and outward appearance is to be well fashioned, neat, clean, well arranged—not a slob!
• Our passage in I Pet. 3:3 simply states that while a woman will naturally care for her outward appearance, THAT is not what makes her beautiful spiritually!
• The outward is NOT her true adorning. (Adorning = kosmos = order; arrangement; an orderly system; a decoration; used of the “world” as an orderly system).
• The adorning of a woman (that which makes her look neat, orderly, well arranged, beautiful) is NOT primarily the outward!
• If a godly Christian woman wants to win her husband to Christ, it is not her OUTWARD beauty that will do it.
c. Vs. 4 – It is the HIDDEN man of the HEART.
• It is her INWARD beauty that will attract him to Christ.
• It is her feminine, womanly, heart attitude of submission… that will win her husband.
• Peter’s point is that a man who observes this in his wife will have to acknowledge that she is a GEM!
• It’s almost as if there is a built in instinct in a man that recognizes when a relationship is right…
• There are not many women like her in the world. That’s what a woman OUGHT to be!
• There is something inwardly beautiful about this woman that RINGS TRUE… and her husband will notice it.
• Even without saying a word (vs. 1) her godly, submissive spirit sends a message: a right relationship to God makes earthly relationships right!
• When her life rings true, her message will ring true as well! This is the woman most likely to win her husband to Christ.
d. The life that rings true is characterized in two ways:
• Vs. 4 – a meek and quiet spirit before God. (Spirit = God-conscious part of the inner man). When God speaks, she bows… meekly and quietly—without any argument… without any backtalk. When God speaks, she says, YES Lord.
• Vs. 5 –a submissive attitude before her husband. She has a submissive heart before her husband.
• She acknowledges his leadership and willingly and joyfully submits to it… naturally… she doesn’t have to be forced.
• This is the TRUE beauty of a godly Christian woman. This is what a woman SHOULD be… God’s design.
• Submission to her husband is her hidden, inner adornment that makes her beautiful to her husband.
• Even the unsaved man in Peter’s example will be attracted to this inner beauty of submission… God made men to be attracted to that which is feminine.
• There is beauty in God’s original design in creation… male and female made He them.
• There is something supremely attractive about a woman BEING what God designed her to be.
• Peter’s point is that her submissive spirit is attractive to a husband.
• Her feminine, womanly submission is what makes her beautiful… not the jewelry and the fancy hairdo.
• That’s all fine in their place, but they are nothing compared to the hidden beauty of her heart!
e. A submissive heart is what makes a Christian woman truly beautiful… it is her real, spiritual beauty.
• The world says that submission makes a woman a doormat. The world says it makes a woman inferior. It will make her feel worthless.
• God says submission makes a woman beautiful and attractive to her husband. It is her most attractive adornment.
• It does not result in a feeling of worthlessness… but just the opposite: therein lies her real worth! It is in fact what makes her feel complete… whole… wholesome… satisfied… fulfilled…
• Don’t be conformed to the world.
3. It is linked to reverence and respect (Eph. 5:33).
a. Reverence defined: Pheobomai – to fear; to put to flight; to show reverence or respect.
• It is often used of fearing God – in the sense of showing deep respect and reverence for God.
• It is sometimes used of fearing people in positions of authority.
• The term is used in the Septuagint in Lev. 19:3 (of children fearing their parents) Josh. 4:14 (of the people fearing Joshua as they previously feared Moses).
• It speaks of acknowledging one in a position of authority (parents; Joshua; husband)…
• It is the respect shown for the person in that position of authority…
• An acknowledgement of, and deep, heartfelt respect for a person because of the position of authority he holds… is perhaps the best way to describe it today.
• It speaks here of a wife fearing (showing respect and reverence for) her husband.
b. In I Pet. 3:6 – Peter picks up on the fact that in Gen. 18, Sarah calls her husband Abraham “lord.”
• It was a term of respect… an acknowledgement of his position of authority and her submission to him.
• The acknowledgement came from a submissive heart.
• It was her overall attitude towards Abraham… it was how she viewed him…
• She lifted up or exalted, honored his position as head.
• She treated him with respect and dignity; she held him in high esteem.
• All of that is involved in the concept of fear or reverence.
• Most men will respond VERY favorably when the wife shows that kind of respect.
c. The first thing we want to note here is that verse 33 is the conclusion to this rather lengthy section on the role of husband and wife which begins in vs. 22.
• Vs. 22 – wives are to submit.
• Vs. 23 – the husband is to love his wife.
• As we noted last week, there is one main command to each. (submit; love)
• The one main command to each is repeated in vs. 24-25. (submit and love)
• In conclusion, Paul repeats the one command to each. However, he seems to use “reverence” as a synonym for submit.
• In some way, submission to her husband is likened unto fearing him or showing respect.
4. It is linked to humility (I Pet.5:5; Jas. 4:7)
a. In I Pet. 5:5, the context is not that of husband and wife, but the same concept of submission mentioned. (same word)
b. Here it is submission to elders – those who have authority by virtue of their age.
c. Hence, they are to be given deference, respect, esteem because of their position as an older person.
d. Those who show respect and submit to elders are to be clothed with HUMILITY.
e. In the Orient, respect is shown by bowing before a person. In Abraham’s day respect was shown by Sarah by calling him lord… and bowing.
f. Every example of this acknowledgment of a position of respect and authority is an expression of humility.
g. Submission of a wife today is an expression of humility.
h. In a sense, it is a bowing of self… and exalting the other.
i. They go hand in hand. Reverence is lifting up the other… and humility is a bowing down of self.
j. IN our culture, we don’t bow or call human beings lord. That is a term we use for Christ who is our Lord.
k. But there ARE ways that women can show respect, submission, and reverence to her husband… and it always involves humility.
l. In our culture a wife is to submit to her husband… clothed in humility (and so are we men!).
m. She does this by the way she talks to him… by the way she talks ABOUT him…
n. You can tell if a woman respects her husband or not.
5. It is linked to the fear of God (Eph. 5:21)
a. One who fears God dares NOT to step outside of God’s order… dares not to violate God’s chain of authority…
b. The wife is commanded to submit to her husband in the fear of God.
c. Fear in vs. 21 is phobos – noun; Reverence in vs. 33 is phobemomai – verb form.
d. A fear or reverence for God results in a fear or reverence for one’s husband.
e. The woman who genuinely fears God will submit to HIM first and foremost… and will submit to what He says.
f. And HE says that the wife is to submit to her husband.
g. A godly Christian wife will fear God; she will fear displeasing Him by not obeying His Word.
h. The fear of God LEADS a wife to reverence her husband… there is a direct LINK… it is all part of God’s chain of authority… and submission in ANY area stems from a submission to and fear of God.
i. So the woman (for whatever reason) who does not show reverence for her husband is not a God-fearing woman.
j. True submission is conducted in an atmosphere of the fear of God… which is the beginning of wisdom.
k. Paul says, “And the wife, see that she reverence her husband.”
l. Our relationship to God manifests itself in our relationship to others… especially to our spouse.
m. Do you want a happy home? Do you want to improve your relationship to you spouse? Then fear God and submit to whatever role in which God has placed you.
n. Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom… and it is the atmosphere out of which true submission arises and continues… and bears fruit… and thus fulfillment in your role as a wife!
Particulars of Submission
A. Unto your Own Husbands (Col. 3:18)
1. Paul commands the Christian wife to submit to her OWN husband.
a. Your own = idios – As belonging to oneself and not to another, one’s own, peculiar, unique… your own personal, unique husband.
b. This truth is repeated elsewhere in the New Testament.
c. Eph. 5:22 – your own husbands…
d. Titus 2:5 – obedient to your own husbands—obedient = submission, same word.
e. I Pet. 3:1, 5 – be subject to your own husbands…
2. This is not a command for all women to be in submission to all men.
a. It is a command for a wife, who willingly chose to enter into a one flesh relationship with her husband, to submit to HIM and not to others.
b. There are other realms where submission is involved (government; local church; police; etc.) But the husband/wife relationship is unique.
c. This is a special, personal, intimate, type of submission.
d. The reverential submission to the loving headship is the way the one flesh relationship is to be… God’s design.
e. When followed it makes for a wonderful relationship.
B. As It Is Fit in the Lord (Col. 3:18)
1. FIT defined:
a. fit, proper, becoming, appropriate
b. Submission of a wife to her own husband IS fitting… it IS appropriate… it IS becoming to a wife.
c. It is inappropriate and unbecoming for a wife NOT to submit… for the wife to take the lead and be the head.
d. It is inappropriate because it is out of sync with God’s original design.
e. But when everything is in its proper place, it is fitting and becoming. (loving headship; willing submission in the fear of God)
2. It is fitting IN THE LORD.
a. The concept of a wife submitting to her husband is NOT fitting everywhere!
• It won’t go over well in an office full of women.
• It won’t go over well in the left-leaning colleges and universities of today… unless they are conservative Christian schools.
• Not long ago, this concept was the NORM all throughout all of America.
• Now it is a minority view… it is even being rejected by those who profess to be Christians…
• To the world, this sort of behavior is considered inappropriate… archaic… Medieval… and is hated.
• Increasingly the culture and society in which we live sees submission as repulsive and even as immoral.
• The social engineers of our day are doing their best to wipe this concept out of the land… as Jezebel wiped out the worship of Jehovah in Israel.
• More and more we are seeing all around us that God’s design for the home does NOT FIT into the modern world.
• Be NOT conformed to the world! Don’t allow yourself to be seduced by the world’s view.
b. That which is UNFITTING and inappropriate in the world is STILL perfectly fitting and appropriate in the Lord.
• The believer has experienced a CHANGE of position.
• We were sons of Adam in the world…
• But we are now sons of God in Christ!
• This change of position changed everything…
» We DIED to the world and its ways. (Col. 2:20)
» We no longer think like the world.
» We are now ALIVE unto God and have been raised into heavenly places in Christ. (Col. 3:1)
» We are to set our affections (minds and hearts) on things above… and dwell in our glorious heavenly position.
» In the spiritual realm, things are very different than in the natural, earthly realm of men.
» It is from this heavenly perspective that we are to view our earthly relationships.
• Miles Stanford used to say, “Keep looking down” because heaven is our real home… where our hearts, minds, and affections are to DWELL…
• And from that position, as we DWELL on things above… abiding in Christ above… fruit is borne and our earthly condition is changed…
• It is changed by holding on to Christ the Head… and abiding in Him… and filling our hearts with our position… and the more our position in Christ the Lord sinks in… the more it will affect and produce fruit in our earthly condition… relationships down here!
• It will transform your marriage and your home life!
• If the Word of Christ does in fact dwell RICHLY in our hearts… and we are filled by the indwelling Holy Spirit, then for a wife to submit to her husband will be as normal and natural as breathing.
• Submission is fit in the Lord… in that sphere… In heavenly IN CHRIST.
• The wife is to submit to her husband because it is fitting in light of her heavenly position in Christ.
c. The Christian wife who continually focuses on things above… sets her affections on things above… seeks things above… and abides in Christ above… will find carrying out His will down below a delight rather than a burden.
d. The battle is to keep our hearts above and abide with Christ… and allow God to work in us here below… both to WILL (to desire and even delight in) and to DO (perform).
C. As UNTO the Lord (Eph. 5:22)
1. The wife is to submit to her husband AS unto the Lord.
2. This does not mean that the wife is to submit to her husband as if HE were God… in the same way she submits to God.
a. A woman is to submit to God in everything… no exceptions.
b. A woman is to submit to her husband in everything, but there IS an exception – Acts 5:29 – if her husband tells her to do something contrary to God’s Word.
3. This means that a wife’s submission to her husband is in reality a service UNTO Christ the Lord.
a. It is akin in meaning to the words of the Lord Jesus in Matt. 25:40: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
b. When a woman submits unto her husband… when she ministers to him… and she does so in the fear of God and for His glory… that service to her husband is received by God as ministry UNTO the Lord!
• Serving your husband is a way of serving Christ!
• Submitting to your husband is in that sense submitting to Christ.
• Ministering to your husband is ministering to Christ!
• This makes your everyday life a SACRED ministry unto Christ as a priest! Your selfless submission and service to your husband is a sacrifice unto Christ!
• When your heart is in heaven, it will transform your life on earth… from the monotonous, mundane, daily routines into spiritual sacrifices with eternal ramifications!
4. This truth is especially helpful for wives in those times when submitting to your husband does NOT come easy!
a. When the husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church, when the husband exhibits selfless, loving headship, putting his wife first in everything… submission is easy! Pleasant!
• When the relationship is as God intended, submission is a joy and a delight.
• But that assumes that both the husband and wife are filled with the Spirit and walking with the Lord… with the fruit of the Spirit evident in their lives…
b. But in reality, as we all know, that is not always the case.
• Some women have husbands who are not saved. Other women have husbands who are saved but walking in the flesh.
• The flesh can be very ugly and upsets the relationship—it throws a monkey wrench into the relationship.
• That can make submission VERY undesirable… even painful!
c. When a husband FAILS to live up to his God-given role and demonstrate selfless, loving leadership, it is often used as an excuse for the wife to FAIL to live up to her God-given role to submit.
• It’s bad when ONE partner fails to live up their God given role, namely, the husband.
• But it is doubly bad when the other partner retaliates by refusing to live up to her God given role!
• It creates a vicious circle… a spiral downward. The whole household is dominated by the flesh… Christ is out of the picture altogether.
• Oftentimes a wife will say, “I’m not going to submit to him until he loves me as he should! There’s no way I’m submitting to him until he changes and learns to treat me right!”
• But ladies, that’s the flesh speaking. And it is contrary to the Spirit. The flesh is ALWAYS contrary to the Spirit.
• The flesh loves to retaliate and to fight fire with fire.
• May I remind you of the WORKS of the flesh? Adultery, Fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, hatred, wrath, strife, envyings, murders, drunkenness and such like!
• Do you really want to aid the flesh in bringing all THAT into your home?
• Isn’t it far better to swallow your pride, go the cross, reckon yourself to be dead, and seek God’s grace and strength to be a channel through which the Spirit can manifest the life and character of Christ?
d. God’s ONE COMMAND to a Christian wife in Col. 3:18 still stands.
• Your husband’s bad behavior does not absolve you of your God-given responsibility to obey this command.
• The verse remains as is whether your husband is a godly, Spirit filled man who provides selfless loving leadership… OR whether your husband is mean, self centered, arrogant, proud, cruel, and verbally abusive!
• YOUR responsibility to obey God does not change with every change in his mood or behavior.
• His behavior can make your submission to him either delightful or torturous… but it doesn’t CHANGE your responsibility.
e. The Christian wife is to submit to her husband AS UNTO THE LORD… as a ministry unto the Lord.
• Submission is not based on the worthiness of your husband. It is based on the worthiness of Christ!
• And if your heart is right with God, and you are firmly planted in heavenly places in Christ, acknowledging Christ in you, yielded to the Spirit of God… then you will be ABLE to walk in NEWNESS of life!
• Instead of retaliating against his bad behavior, you can look right through that behavior… looking unto Jesus… and submit to your very unworthy husband AS UNTO the infinitely worthy Christ!
• Your service to your husband is a sacrifice well pleasing to Christ!
• Consider I Pet. 2:18-23 – the example of servants submitting to their masters.
» Anyone can submit to one who is good and gentle. (vs. 18)
» But it is thankworthy when you submit to the forward (evil; cruel) (vs.19)
» The servant or wife who submits to a cruel husband SUFFERS wrongfully… and does so NOT because the evil master or cruel husband is worthy, but out of a conscience for GOD!
» Look beyond the cruel human being and see Christ in glory! And submit for HIS sake!
» Taking this kind of abuse patiently is well pleasing to God and will be rewarded!
» Vs. 21 – This is our CALLING as a Christian… to follow the example of Christ—who suffered wrongfully…
» He did not retaliate or threaten. He submitted to the earthly abuse and committed Himself to the Father’s care… to the One who JUDGES righteously. God will judge all those who mistreat His people.
» God wants you to submit to your husband no matter what… and commit YOURSELF into the Father’s care… for He careth for you… even if your husband doesn’t… even if your husband cares only for himself.
» If you are willing to come to an end of yourself, your resources, your schemes, your plans, and leave them all as ashes upon the altar of sacrifice, and commit yourself to Christ, God will take care of your soul…
» Heb. 4:14-16 – Come to Christ’s throne of grace… seek things above… serve Him as a priestly service by submitting to your husband… Christ KNOWS exactly what you are enduring in that relationship…
» He too endured the grief, suffering wrongfully… He submitted to His Father’s will… was reviled… threatened… but He took it patiently…
» Follow Christ’s example – and commit the keeping of your soul to Him in well doing as unto a faithful Creator. (I Peter 4:19)
5. There are MANY Christian women who suffer in their relationship at home.
a. When a cruel husband treats you like a doormat and with harsh abusive language… don’t stoop to his level and retaliate. That’s the fleshly way of earth.
b. Set your affections on things above… look unto Jesus… focus on your heavenly position.
c. And from that position… in the power of the Holy Spirit, manifest CHRIST… walk in the power of the resurrection…
d. God will give you the grace and strength to turn the other cheek… to suffer yourself to be defrauded… to suffer wrongfully.
e. That’s the way of victory! Not I but Christ!
f. The wife that WALKS that way consistently, (not just once or twice to see if it works…) … the woman who is dedicated to manifesting Christ no matter what… usually discovers that most men will respond very favorably to that kind of submission.
g. He may continue to act like a jerk for a while… but when he discovers that your Christlike behavior is for REAL… and if it is going to LAST… it is bound to have an effect on him!
6. Remember ladies, you are to submit as UNTO the Lord… as a ministry to Christ… based on the worthiness of Christ.
a. We are here to serve the Lord… to pick up a cross and follow Christ… regardless of the cost.
b. We have the power of the resurrection available to us to do so.
c. Christ lives in us… and the Spirit produces Christ like fruit through us as we yield…
d. And that is what God wants of each of us: a heart that is so dedicated to Christ… that it is willing to suffer wrongfully in serving Him… manifesting the LIFE of Christ… to the glory of God.
e. If your ultimate goal is to make your earthly existence happy and comfortable, then none of this will work—because your motivation is entirely self-centered.
f. But if self is put on the cross… and your goal is to manifest Christ to the glory of God—then even those DIFFICULT times become OPPORTUNITIES to accomplish that goal… to make Christ seen in you… through suffering.
g. What a glorious manifestation of the character of Christ: loving the unlovely; giving respect to the undeserving; selflessly serving the unworthy;
h. That is priestly service that will not go unnoticed by our Great High Priest in heaven.
i. The husband who sees the REALITY of all that is BOUND to be affected… he has seen Christ in you!
j. Col. 3:23-24 – And if your husband is so thick headed that he does not see the beauty of it, it will certainly NOT be overlooked at the Bema Seat where you will receive a WELL DONE thou good and faithful servant!
D. As The Church Is Subject Unto Christ (Eph. 5:24)
1. The wife is expected to submit to her husband just as God expects the church to submit to Christ.
a. The church, members of the Body of Christ are to submit to Christ as Head of the Body.
b. God expects FULL submission of the Body to Christ the Head.
c. Our entire body is to be put on the ALTAR of sacrifice to Him. (Rom.12:1-2)
d. Paul and the apostles referred to themselves as SERVANTS of Christ… slaves of Christ… as an illustration of our responsibility to submit to Him.
e. Christ is our SHEPHERD. We are to follow our Shepherd and not to wander out of His fold… and not to listen to other shepherds.
f. We are to put on the YOKE of Christ… fully surrendered to Him and His will.
g. Another illustration of the submission of believers to Christ is the CROSS. Christ expects us to be willing to pick up a cross and follow Him. That speaks about being willing to abandon self interests in following Him… even to the point of death!
h. In various ways and through various illustrations God makes it clear that He expects the church to SUBMIT to Him.
2. The submission of a wife to her husband is to MIRROR that relationship…
E. In Everything (Eph. 5:24)
1. This shows the SCOPE of the submission expected: everything!
2. The church is to submit to Christ in EVERYTHING. So the wife is to submit to her husband in everything.
3. Christ’s will is to become OUR will… and when we know what God wants us to do, we are to DO it!
4. The husband’s will is to be the will of the wife. She is expected to comply… in everything (with the exception of Acts 5:29)
The Difficulty of Submission
1. I’m sure many ladies here today will look at the scope of this command and conclude that it is exceedingly difficult to obey!
a. And with all due respect ladies, allow me to suggest that you would all be wrong!
b. Submission of this sort is not difficult, it is impossible!
c. The present tense of the verb requires continuous action. That makes it impossible!
2. Another element that greatly adds to the difficulty of submission is a foolish husband…
a. Submission to authority is expected regardless of the circumstances in various realms of life.
b. Rom.13:1 – Government:
• Submission to government is expected of the believer, even if we don’t like the choices or the decisions of the one in the position of authority. (Titus 3:1; I Pet. 2:13)
c. I Pet. 2:18 – Servants are to submit to their masters.
• Submission is even expected if the one in authority is outright evil!
• Submission and respect for the position… even if the person is not worthy of submission or respect.
d. Of course, the exception of Acts 5:29 applies, but other than that, God expects submission to authority.
3. Rom. 8:7 – the carnal mind RESISTS submission to God’s law and order.
a. The fallen nature of man (and woman!) is UNABLE to submit. It is not just difficult, submission to God is impossible… beyond the realm of possibility.
b. Hence, the need for the indwelling Holy Spirit. Submission requires GOD working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
c. And God provides the power to submit in the person of the Holy Spirit.
d. This is the answer in the home too! The power of the Holy Spirit.
e. There is a natural tendency in our flesh to RESIST submission to God’s law and order… because we live in a cursed earth and we are all fallen creatures.
4. Everything is working AGAINST you ladies, in obeying this command.
a. The world – ridicules this concept… maligns women who submit… vilifies those who believe it… and does whatever it can to turn this command on its head.
b. The flesh – your worst enemy—your self! The flesh resists this command to the bitter end.
c. The devil – the enemy of God and God’s laws and order—is certainly going to do whatever he can to influence the world system to make it difficult for you to obey.
d. Your mind resists submission. It is foreign, alien, uncomfortable ground… contrary to your nature.
5. If that were not enough, there is something else that makes it difficult for a wife to submit, the most difficult obstacle of all: her husband!
a. In Eden, submission was natural for Eve. It was pleasant, joyous, and easy because Adam was what he ought to be.
b. Adam was a selfless, loving leader who always put Eve first. He honored her. She was his glory.
c. But when sin entered the world, everything was turned upside down.
d. Adam (and his sons) were no longer naturally loving leaders who always put their wives first.
e. We men learned to put ourselves first. Eve was no longer honored by Adam as she should have been.
f. Thus, submission was not a delight but a struggle.
g. And this scenario has been perpetuated for centuries and centuries!
h. For the Christian wife, God expects submission even to a husband who may be quite foolish; may make stupid choices and decisions with disastrous consequences… nevertheless, the wife is expected to submit.
i. If the husband had half a brain he would listen to his wife… and take advantage of her wisdom in areas where he might be weak (balancing the checkbook; dealing with the kids; etc.)
j. But if the husband refuses to listen and insists on plowing ahead with his foolish plan, the wife is to submit and leave it the hands of God.
k. This makes submission exceptionally difficult, because not all husbands are wise… not all Christian husbands are wise… and not all Christian husbands are willing to listen to good advice…
l. And to take this to a new level of difficulty. Some husbands are not only foolish; some are mean and cruel! Some husbands treat their wives like dirt… like doormats… some are even violent!
m. If your husband beats you—call the police! That’s a crime. The police are part of God’s chain of authority.
n. But if your husband is mean and cruel—abusive with language, call on the Lord… seek God’s face…
o. I Pet. 2:19-20 – this is thankworthy before God; the Lord will HONOR your quiet suffering for His name’s sake!
p. There are countless wives who are suffering like this—and sadly, sometimes even in Christian homes!
q. This kind of suffering and submission is a marvelous expression of Christlikeness… the LIFE of Christ manifested through your mortal body! (I Pet. 2:21)
r. Those Christlike women who suffer in their submission will be greatly rewarded at the Bema seat.
s. A foolish and cruel husband makes submission difficult.
t. But the Bible stands: wives submit to your own husbands!
6. It is an IMPOSSIBLE command.
a. Trying to obey this command will result in a life full of frustration, resentment, anger, irritation, and perhaps even depression.
b. Trying to obey this command will bring to a virtual halt, your happiness, your enjoyment of life… in a word, it is a MISERABLE life…
c. There is no way a Christian woman can obey this command consistently. You are doomed to failure.
d. And it isn’t good enough to say that you submit 90 % of the time. That is a miserable failure. It is that other 10% that counts.
e. Anyone could submit when the commands are reasonable… or in harmony with your will anyway… (Let’s go out to eat tonight…) that’s not the best test of a submissive spirit. It is when the command is difficult… contrary to what you want to do…
f. The only time submission to your husband really matters is when you DISAGREE with him! That’s when your spirit is seen for what it really is: submissive or unsubmissive.
7. It boils down to a life of never calling the shots… never being in charge… never doing your own will… always subject to another. You are to be subject to him in everything… every day. You are to submit to him as you would unto the Lord. And there are no exceptions, even if your husband is mean, cruel, childish, foolish.
a. To consistently obey this command requires wisdom, strength, and inner power that you do not possess. No woman does.
b. This is a recipe for a miserable life… IF you try to keep this command on your own.
c. What a Christian wife DESPERATELY needs is the cross!
d. There she sees herself crucified with Christ… dead to self… dead to self will… dead to the world and its ridicule…
e. There she sees herself as RISEN with Christ… and her new life hidden away with Christ in glory…
f. There she sees that in reality, CHRIST is her life!
g. It requires the supernatural power of God! And that is exactly what God provides through the indwelling Holy Spirit reproducing in us Christlike qualities…