As a mom, I often get caught up in teaching and requiring obedience from my children.
Yet, seldom do I think of my obedience to my husband.
Submission, yes. Obedience, not so much.
To me, submission is giving up things being done my way, or just giving up my desires for my husbands wants/needs.
Obedience, is doing that which I am asked/required even if it isn’t what I want to do or agree with (provided it does not go directly against God’s Word)….
Thankfully I am continually learning to discuss issues less emotionally than at the beginning of our marriage. So now, if I disagree with my husband (especially if it is a Biblical issue) I am able to discuss the topic/decision at hand.
However, at times I still struggle with wanting my own way, and argue instead of obeying my husband.
Debi Pearl shares a lot of wisdom on this topic, I know I am convicted when I read her words….
Obedience: Yielding, willing and eager to accomplish injunctions or desires, abstaining from that which is forbidden.
According to God’s very words, apart from any cultural context, it is a woman’s nature to place her full attention and interest upon her husband, and she is to be under her husband’s rule. That is the will of God, no matter what the women preachers and the modern Greek and Hebrew scholars say to the contrary.
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3:16)
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor. 11:3)
There can be no cultural context that nullifies this verse, for it says that the basis of a man’s headship is rooted in the very essence of the woman’s created nature. Just as God is the head of Christ and Christ is the head of the man, so the man is the head of the woman (his wife).
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” (Eph. 5:22-24)
Here again ~ a second witness in Scripture ~ we wives are informed that our submission to our husband should be viewed with the same love and fervency as our submission and love for Christ. The text says that we submit “as unto the Lord,” as if we were submitting to the Lord. Since my husband’s authority is delegated by God, when I submit to my husband, I am recognizing God’s authority, and I am indeed submitting to God.
It also says that our submission is unto our own husbands. I do not submit to any other man as I submit to my husband. There is no pastor or minister higher than my husband. My husband is my head, in the same way that Christ is his head.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” (Col. 3:18)
The text says that a woman obeying her husband should do it as it is becoming, or is fitting, in the Lord ~ The fitting thing for a Christian woman to do! Think about it. This is not another culturally unique situation. It is timeless. From God’s perspective of marriage here on earth that he instituted, it is the fitting thing to do. It is the way His Son responds to Him.
Honoring God gives a woman power to change her man. <— Share this truth!
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.” (1 Pet. 3:1)
When a woman resists or tries to change a man, she makes him more stubborn, and her own heart will be filled with bitterness. If a woman obeys God, a man does not have anything to come against, to resist, to dominate, to conquer, or to beat down. A woman’s greatest power is in obeying God through obeying and honoring her husband. When she departs from God’s order, she is setting herself up to create a life of turmoil, bitterness, and defeat ~ for both of them.
Have a MAD Husband?
God can give a man total self-control. The man who walks after the Spirit will be meek as Christ, but let’s face it, most marriages start off with a man who is not Christ-like. That is the way of Adam’s sons. The question is, how should we wives respond to make our own lives better and to provide a window of opportunity for our husbands to respond to God and improve in this and other areas? Lesson number one, above all else: you cannot become his conscience or his accuser, expecting that pressure is going to push him into repentance. It will work the exact opposite ~ hardening his resolve, making his fighting instinct kick in, and then, for him, it becomes an issue of him winning in a contest against a challenging female. Furthermore, you would be competing with the Holy Spirit in convicting him of his sin.
Another Kind of Anger
It is common for wives to be the cause of their husband’s bitter anger. They talk and talk about some problem in the family, community, or the church until their husband finally gets stirred up and becomes very angry with them. To the normal, talkative wife, it was just something to discuss, but suddenly the man becomes angry, and the whole thing gets out of hand and scary…..it is so common to find the wife complaining about her husband’s anger, even while her words are stoking the fires of his wrath.
Once you are able to recognize the source of his anger and the contribution you make in words and attitude, you can make changes that will stop fanning the flames and allow him to cool down. Learn to think and speak well of all people. Practice looking at the good in people. Print Philippians 4:8 on a card and put it in a conspicuous place where you can read it frequently.
Is There Hope for Me/Us?
Is there hope? Yes, there is hope! It is not always the way we think hope should be. God gave us a plan by which, through our submission and reverence, he could change the heart of any man to some degree. In the end, the Scriptures teach that there is something bigger and more important to God than our happiness. It’s not about our happiness; it’s about our holiness. Regardless of how much it hurts, whether or not we see results, even if our man does not get saved (or change), God is worthy of our obedience, which in His eyes is worship.
While I believe wholeheartedly that GOD IS ABLE to change ANYONE, if you or your children are physically in harms way in your marriage; seek help outside this advice. God can work in your marriage, while y’all are physically safe elsewhere.
*All words in italics are from Debi Pearl’s book, “Created to be His Help Meet”
Past Studies through her book are here