Are you thinking of getting married? Have you met the man that you’re certain is the one that the Lord selected for you? Are you going into marriage with the thought that it is a permanent one and not one where you can get a divorce? These are all questions that you should ask yourself before you move forward. Too many women are in love with the idea of marriage and don’t stop to think there will be repercussions.
This is a devotional originally written in 2007 and is geared specifically toward these unmarried women who are seeking to be married. It comes from a different perspective since I was saved after I was married. It also reveals the difficulties of being married to someone who isn’t saved.
Are you a Christian ready for the Master to use? Do you allow yourself to be used of Him? So many are aching and in need of a tender touch or kind word in today’s world. This is a two-week devotional originally written 2008 in hopes that a Christian would come across it and find it helpful!
Don’t look for a way out of this marriage. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. (1Co 7:12)
And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. (1Co 7:13)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10)
Ask the Lord to reveal to you how HE wants you to act so He can complete His task through your current situation.
Be practical. Is it practical to think that your dear husband will act like a Christian? Do you expect your dear husband to get saved right now? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (Act 1:7)
Rest in this … God is at work in your dh’s life as He promised.
Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. (Hab 1:5)
Do you remember why you are married? Do you wonder why God allowed you to become a Christian while you were married to an unbeliever? For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (1Co 7:14)
The word sanctify means “set apart.” Your husband will receive extra opportunities to witness God’s grace and mercy. Another reason to stay married to your dear husband is for the children. This same verse says children living with a Christian parent are holy rather than unclean. Therefore, remember that your presence in their lives is of great influence.
Concentrate on your behavior. You MUST walk the walk and forget the talk. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1Ti 4:12)
You need to be salt and light in your home. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Mat 5:13)
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14)
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (Mat 5:15)
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Mat 5:16)
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; (1Pe 3:1)
While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (1Pe 3:2)
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: (2Co 3:2)
Your life may be the only Bible your dear husband or children will ever read.
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (Phi 1:27)
Share your faith. There does come a time when you CAN share your faith but remember to do so “without the word” (1 Pet. 3:1). There are two very appropriate situations when you can verbally witness to your dh:
(1) Dear husband may notice something in your life (an attitude or behavior that glorifies the Lord) and he’ll tell you how much he appreciates you. At this moment, remind him that this was not the way you were before coming to Christ. Explain to him how much better your marriage would be if you could share these changes together.
(2) Wait until your dear husband is struggling with the emptiness in his life or is experiencing difficulty in a relationship with another person. Remind him that you once felt the same way, and this is why you surrendered your life to Christ.
A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Pro 15:23)
The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. (Isa 50:4)
Don’t hate your dh. If he continues to resist your words and rejects Christ, be VERY careful not to become resentful or angry toward him. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (1Sa 8:7)
He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. (Luk 10:16)
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Co 4:4)
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luk 23:34)
Therefore, give your dear husband a little consideration based on your knowledge of his lost condition. Give him some space and patience, and pray that God will open his eyes.
Pray. Prayer is your greatest tool in the struggle to keep your unequally yoked marriage going. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jam 5:16)
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luk 10:19)
Pray without ceasing. (1Th 5:17)
Never give up!
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psa 27:14)
What is a friend? I think we can all think of one special person (not our husbands) who we can say is a very dear and close friend. I think of my dear friend, Vicky, who lives in my home town in Maine. Not only were we best friends all our lives, but our mothers were best friends also. We were always together. The Lord used Vicky to lead me to Him! What a wonderful friend she is and she is also my sister in Christ as well as my spiritual mother.
I think before we can look at the verses which talk about what a friend should be to YOU, let’s look at what God’s Word says about what kind of a friend WE should be. Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” The Lord tells us that before we can have friends to call our own (I’m not talking about acquaintances here), we must FIRST be friendly. Why do you think God threw this verse in here? The ball is in our court here. We have to be the initiator of friendships. Don’t wait for someone to come to you … go to them.
I remember when we switched churches and how I dreaded the thought of starting over in getting to know a new group of ladies. I’m a friendly person but I have to really work at being outgoing and the “first one” to start a conversation. Some women, on the other hand, are extremely shy and would rather die than to start a conversation with new people. Instead, they wait for those others to make the first move. Then you have those ladies who are just naturally friendly and outgoing and can talk to anyone! Which lady are you like? Whichever lady you are like, you must FIRST be friendly, right?
Let’s look on to what God’s Word says about the “qualities” of a friend so that we can learn to be this kind of friend. Firstly, we’re told a friend’s love doesn’t have a time table. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. God says that you must love your friend at ALL times. You cannot be a “fair weather” friend, can you? You must love this friend at ALL times. I like that little three-letter word, “all”. It’s so small, yet it packs such a punch! You must love your friend whether she has her makeup on or whether she just got out of bed!
You must love her when she’s having good days as well as when she’s having bad days. You must love her and DEFEND her then walk away when others are “having her for lunch” in their gossip session! You must love her when YOU’RE having bad days. She should not just receive your love when you feel like giving it to her. It should be constant and consistent.
Next, God’s Word says that you must be faithful to your friend in spiritual matters as well. Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. You should love your friend so much that you will reprove and correct her spiritually when she sins. Of course, you do this with love and it is received with love. If she were to be walking off a cliff, you would stop her right? You should do the same for her spiritually. How you ask? Here’s a good example (one that I have experienced myself). Have you ever heard her dishonor her husband in her conversations with you when he’s not around? You KNOW better and you know that this will not bring God’s blessings upon her when she does this. Do you lovingly correct her with the verses she needs from God’s Word? Or do you let it go because you’re afraid to hurt her? Do you think you’ve helped her by not saying anything? No, what you’ve actually done is leave the door open for God to punish your friend.
Do you want God’s punishment on her? Of course you don’t. That’s why as a true and good friend, you should share with her things even if they will temporarily hurt her or cause her embarrassment. I have been spiritually corrected by two or three women in my life time whom I have respected. I didn’t despise them for their correction but was thankful that they loved me so much to help me and guide me. This is one characteristic of a friend which needs much prayer and forethought before exercising it.
Thirdly, a friend is spiritually wise, which means to be a good friend you must be in the Word and walking with the Lord. Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. A friend gives sound biblical counsel to you when you are in need. At times the Lord works through a dear friend to speak to us. It reminded me of another verse: Proverbs 15:23 “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”
A true friend will have words spoken in due season for you. They will be spiritual words that have been thought about and prayed over before speaking. I’ve seen too many times where women have opened their mouths and voice opinions and have only served to hurt the very person they were trying to help. Be sure you know this is what the Lord would have you say. Think before you give counsel. Pray before you give counsel. Look up verses before you give counsel. God will direct you for the benefit of your friend.
Fourthly, you must sharpen your friend’s countenance. Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” How can you sharpen a friend’s countenance? I can think of encouraging words, sweet words (Scriptures) in time of need, rejoicing when she rejoices, weeping when she weeps. The countenance is another word for face. You can see a bright and happy face here if the sharpening has been of the Lord. I see someone whose friend has been encouraging her, uplifting her, rejoicing with her to the point where her countenance is affected. This means that this friend is close to her and knows her very well. Haven’t you ever been down in the dumps only to open your mail and find a sweet card from a dear friend that says exactly what you needed it to say? Didn’t that make your gloomy face change to a smiling one? Your countenance had just been sharpened by this friend! In turn, this is the kind of sharpening you must do to your friend.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the verses dealing with friends. I picked the qualities of a friend that I enjoy in my dear friend and expounded on those qualities. I’m sure you can all contribute several other verses and qualities that you see in your dear friend as well. Take a moment and meditate on what your dear friend means to you and what you like most about her. Thank God for her in your life and make a commitment to be that kind of friend to her or to someone else that the Lord has laid on your heart.
Now that we have seen what a friend IS … how can we, personally, BE that friend to someone else? This will take work on our part. Anything that we want bad enough, we must work for. As we first saw in the beginning in Prov. 18:24, we must FIRST show ourselves friendly before we can be blessed with a friend such as this. What can we do to teach ourselves to be this kind of friend to others? Let’s read on.
Incorporate your gift(s) from the Lord in nurturing your friendship. What gift(s) has the Lord blessed you with? Are you craftsy? Do you love to write poetry? Do you love to play the piano? Do you love to send cards? Do you love to cook? Do you love to sew? Take this gift that God has blessed you with and use it to bless your friend! I told you earlier that I wasn’t excited about having to get to know another group of ladies. I love to send note cards to folks. So I used this “love” to write to each of the ladies in the church thanking them for welcoming me and my family into their church family. This opened doors with these ladies and it did not take long before we got to know each other better.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
If you love to sew, make your friend(s) a Bible book cover or apron… you know, a “just because” you love her gift. If you love to play the piano, record yourself playing some of her favorite hymns and give her the cassette If you love to cook? Next time you make lasagna or whatever, make a little extra for her and her family. We always seem to wonder what we can do to bless our friend. There are so many ways. Can’t think of anything? Does your friend have children?
Babysitters are so expensive, why not offer your time to her? Watch her children while she goes out shopping or watch them so she and hubby can have a date. Many times, the BEST gift we can give our friend is our “time”!
Praying is the BEST thing we can do for our friend(s). The BEST thing we can do for our friend is to lift her needs daily before the Throne. There are always things that we don’t ask God about for ourselves… your friend probably has things she would never ask God about but YOU could ask God on her behalf. Ask her periodically what she needs you to pray about. Ask her to be specific, for example, baby needs new shoes this month or your friend would really like to have material to make a couple of new dresses. Lift your friend up to God frequently and thank God for placing her in your life. Ask Him to show you ways to be a better friend to her. Ask Him to show you what areas He wants to use you in. God loves a willing vessel.
Now … take your abilities of prayer, gifts, & love and get to work at being the best friend you can possibly be.
In closing, your gift of friendship does not need to be limited to just one or two friends. Be a blessing to someone in need. Be a friend to someone who is in need of a friend. I’m sure there is a lady in your church who needs befriending. I’m sure you can think of someone right now that appears lonely. Is there a widow in your church family? Is there a lady whose family lives out-of-state and she’s alone? If you can’t find someone, ask your pastor or your pastor’s wife if they know someone who could use a friend like you.
God bless you as you hone your “friend” skills in light of God’s Word.
I am so excited about this mini study I just finished! It’s like God gave me a golden nugget today and I am whoopin’ and hollerin’!!
As I studied this verse, I noticed that Eve’s desire would be to her husband. Hmmmm, he was the only man there at the time. She had not given birth to any children yet. Why would God tell her that her desire would be to her husband? Surely the word desire here cannot mean that she would only want him. That got me to thinking that maybe this word “desire” was not really what I thought it meant.
Eve’s desire could not possibly mean that she would desire Adam because he was the only man around – of COURSE she would desire him. We women automatically desire our husbands in the physical and emotional sense. It is something that is natural within us. So what could this word “desire” mean?
I have been taught that we should obtain our definitions of certain verses in the Bible by finding other verses that use the same word and let God’s Word interpret the meaning. As I searched out the word “desire,” I found that the English word “desire” is found in 109 verses. There are 38 different Hebrew and Greek instances of this word which are translated into just the one word in the English language! Each of the Hebrew and Greek instances vary in meaning. I found that the Hebrew word for this particular word is #8669 in Strong’s (teshûqâh “pronounced tesh-oo-kaw”) and is found in only two other places in the Old Testament (Gen. 4:7 and Song of Sol. 7:10 – I pasted the verses below.) These two scriptures clarify the meaning of this word.
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
The definition I found basically meant “to want to be in control of or to have the rule over.” God chose this particular Hebrew word in these three particular verses for a reason. So I found it interesting to see that #8669 was used only three times – twice in Genesis where we learn about our beginnings and the third time in the beautiful Song of Solomon, depicting a beautiful marriage.
Here in Genesis God tells Cain that he still had the rule over Abel because of his birth right.
In Song of Solomon, her beloved has the rule over her.
What have I gotten out of this mini study? It is clear to me that Eve was told that her desire would be to take the leadership role in the home, to rule over her husband and household. Just as Satan tried to take the rule over God to guide and direct Adam and Eve. I loved how God immediately followed that statement with “and he shall rule over thee.” The world’s definition of desire would not fit here. If Eve is told she would desire Adam emotionally and physically, why would God then say that Adam would rule over her?
I’m convinced that Adam and Eve’s marriage was perfect in the Garden of Eden. Adam was the head of his home and Eve was content with him ruling over her. After Eve submitted to temptation from Lucifer, she strayed from God’s and her husband’s will and sin entered the picture, she sinned. She sinned by exercising her own will – it was her choice. Because of her choice, she would now have to fight that choice even greater. She would now have a battle with wanting to lead the home. It makes perfect sense to interpret this verse in this manner.
As a result of this willful sin in Eve (which was passed on to all women), there are many women who chose to exercise their own will rather than allowing their husbands to lead. The husband’s role is knocked down, he is crushed into a wimp and his rightful leadership role is taken over by the wife. I was reading an article just yesterday that in the U.S., the “single” families exceed the families which have both a husband and wife. Is it any wonder? But women do not have to be this way… it is a choice that we make. We either do God’s will by submitting to our husbands or we don’t. We are not destined to repeat this sin – with Christ, we can overcome our self will and be the submissive wife He wants us to be.
We women are not equipped to be leaders. We were created to be their helpmeets, not vice versa. Granted, in today’s world there are women who are presidents of their own firm, doctors, etc. But if they are married, the husband is their head. From the beginning, God has said that the husband would rule over the wife. The man is equipped with leadership skills and decision making for his family. It’s not to say that we women cannot possess those skills. But it is to remind us that there must be order in the home, just as there is order in the universe, order in the world, order in the government, order in law enforcement, etc. God is a God of order as is evident throughout Scriptures.
When we go outside God’s plan for us, we will be unhappy and discontent. Our role is to be a helpmeet to our husbands and to honor him in all we say and do.
I pray this study will speak to your hearts and give you a clear picture of what God intended for us women.
When I study, I use my King James Bible and a Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Both are quoted in this study. This is a long study so you may want to break it up into several sessions so you can read each verse and highlight them in your bible.
Before I start, I want to share a little something with you. I was saved on April 1, 1980. John and I had been married for 6 years already. I was no longer in love with my husband and I wanted “out” of my marriage. I no longer loved my husband and, in fact, hated him! I was married to an unbeliever for six years before he got saved. During these six years, God taught me how to be a submissive wife and what His Word said about being the wife of an unbeliever. God not only taught me in these areas but he healed my marriage and restored my love for my husband. I speak to you today because I have been through this. I speak from experience of the wonderful things God can do in your marriage if YOU allow Him to do it. That’s the key. Allowing God to work in our lives is a CHOICE. We must allow God to work in our hearts, our husband’s heart, and our marriage. God desires for you to have a great marriage. God desires for your marriage to be equally yoked. For you ladies who are married to a saved husband, please read the study anyway as it involves submission … and we can ALL stand to have refresher courses in this very important area in our lives. 🙂 Are you ready to commit to that? Are you tired of your marriage being rocky and miserable and unequally yoked? Are you desiring a husband who will serve God and love Him? These wonderful things CAN be achieved if you do your part with your heart and leave your husband to the Lord.
Let’s get on with the study then 🙂
Heavenly Father, I know that all things work together for good for those who love You. I pray, Father, that You would use this study to Your glory and that You would heal the heart of the lady who is desperately trying to draw nigh to You. I lift up each marraige represented here and pray God that Your Holy Spirit would work in the hearts of the women to be the help meet You want her to be. I ask all these things in Jesus’ Precious, Precious Name. Amen.
Definition of a Wife:
What does the Word define a wife as? A wife is a helpmeet according to:
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what help meet means. She will help her husband and she will meet his needs. 🙂 Simple, isn’t it? Does it say that she is a help meet only if the husband is saved? Not in my Bible 🙂 Does it say that she is a help meet only if her husband is doing right? There are saved husbands out there who are not following God’s will for their lives. So where does God draw the line on being a help meet? As far as I’ve read in the scriptures, He does not make any prerequisites.
When Does a Wife Submit:
We are to be help meets regardless of where he is spiritually. Before I begin, I need to stress that God’s Word for wives does not only apply when we are married to a wonderful Christian man. It would be very easy to be a wife of such a man. God’s Word applies when we are married to an unbeliever, a backslidden believer, drunkard, gambler, drug addict, etc. It applies to the woman who has been married for many years and is no longer in love with her husband (and vice versa). Well, Kate you might say, just how in the world can I be a help meet to a man such as my husband? He’s simply awful! The answer is quite simple. Let God work in you to be the kind of wife He wants YOU to be and HE will take care of your husband. 🙂 This is not an easy thing to do… I know that. However, I’ve been there and I know what worked in my heart and for my marriage. We need to stop trying to change our husbands and let the Holy Spirit do the changing in him. If we concentrate on our OWN spiritual growth, we won’t have time to worry about our husband’s spiritual growth – or lack of it.
The best place to find information on what is expected of you as a wife is to go to the Source where the information is perfect and absolutely correct 🙂 … and that, my friend, is your beautiful Bible. Let’s look at probably one of the most important passages of Scriptures for married women.
1 Peter 3:1 God starts the verse with Likewise. Likewise means: In like manner; also; moreover; too. ….
Hmmmm, likewise to what? To see what Peter was referring to, you must go to chapter 2 and read the latter part of it. When these letters were written, they weren’t divided by chapters and verses as they are now so we lose that continuity. As you see, Peter is referring to Christ’s work on the cross and how we are now returned to the Bishop and Shephard of our souls 🙂 Isn’t that beautiful? As Peter lays the groundwork here, he then moves on to chapter 3 verse 1. SOOOO, now that we are saved we have some instructions to follow.
Submission to Whom?
Next, the instruction is to “ye wives” … it does not say husband here. This is a definite instruction to US. Furthermore, that verse goes on to say that you are to be in subjection to your OWN husbands. Why do you think Peter would need to tell the wives this? Could it be that they were listening to other men but not listening to their own husbands? I use to be that way. My husband could tell me that the sky was blue but I wouldn’t listen to him. But let another man (especially a saved one) tell me that the sky was blue, I listened to him. Isn’t that sad? I’m ashamed to even say that I did that, but I did. 🙁 (Thank You Lord for Your patience with me as I grow in Your will for me.) In fact, Peter thought this SO important that he says it again in verse 5.
I believe Peter had a tender heart for wives … he had a wife of his own. He knew exactly what we needed to hear and God spoke through Peter as he wrote these instructions for us. Verse 1 continues to say “that if any of your husbands don’t obey the word” … let’s park there for a moment. Does it say that if any of your husbands are not saved? No, it does not. Therefore, this could also apply to women with husbands who ARE saved but don’t obey God’s word. Both the unsaved and backslidden husbands are disobedient to the Word.
So what does Peter tell us to do if we are married to a man who is disobedient to the Word? He says that they “may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;”! 😯 Do you see that wives? When I first read this verse, the words WITHOUT THE WORD jumped off the page at me and convicted my heart! 😥
This can mean several things: no preaching to hubby, no correcting him, no nagging him because he’s not going to church, no nagging PERIOD, no belittling him, and all those other nasties that tend to come out of our mouths when we are not happy with him. Why? The answer is in the latter part of that verse … so that they may be WON by the conversation of the wives. Well, if we’re not allowed to speak, what conversation is Peter referring to? God’s not saying that we cannot speak at all. He’s telling us that He doesn’t want us “preaching” THE WORD to our unsaved husbands. Our behavior doesn’t stop with our mouths. Our behavior continues in our attitude – sulking, rolling eyes, etc. Why do you think God doesn’t want you to quote the Scriptures to your hubby when he’s sinning? Aren’t we suppose to correct our brother in Christ like Matthew 18 says?
Not your husband! Let the Holy Spirit deal with your husband. You must remember that the Holy Spirit IS God! His way is perfect and His way will bring peace and reconciliation in your marriage … not YOUR preaching. You are not your husband’s personal little ‘holy spirit’! We have many opportunities to speak the Word – we can speak it to our children. Sometimes your husband will even overhear you from the other room. I truly believe that when we “preach” to our unsaved or disobedient husbands, it comes across to them as “fingernails on a blackboard.” I believe this because this is what my husband told me he felt.
What CAN I Share With My Husband?
Now let me stop here a moment to clarify that I am not saying that you cannot tell your husband that he has hurt you or share with him something that you would like him to do. For example, if your husband is constantly using the Lord’s name in vain, it is OK for you to ask him to please restrain himself from doing this because it hurts you. BUT, you don’t have to quote him the Scriptures that deal with using the Lord’s name in vain. Does this make sense? The Word says that you are not to preach to him… example: Hubby doesn’t want to go to church but yet you remind him that Hebrews 10:25 says that he should go to church. THIS is what God is referring to. You can invite him to church but leave it there. Let the Holy Spirit convict your husband’s heart. He will accept it a whole lot better coming from God than coming from you. In fact, when we preach to our husbands about their sin, we distance ourselves from them. They will resent us for “being more spiritually minded” than they are. God knew what He was saying in this verse. Just go to church and let God deal with your husband.
It’s All In The Attitude
Let’s move on to verse 2. Our husbands need to observe our chaste conversation coupled with fear. What is God talking about here? Chaste means pure … pure conversation … I’m thinking sweet, clean, holy and uplifting conversation, aren’t you? But not just that alone … God says “coupled with fear” … what do you think He means here? God is saying that your husband should hear pure conversation from your mouth to the point where he actually can tell that you fear God (respect Him, reverence Him, obey Him). Do you suppose your husband thinks that you fear God when you’re snapping at him? I don’t think so. Verse 3-5 go on to describe the chaste conversation of the wife and how it does not mean “how she looks, fixes her hair” but how her HEART is. God is saying that the wife is to have a meek and quiet spirit … a mild and peaceable spirit. Can she truly have this type of spirit if she is preaching to her husband or correcting him spiritually? Of course not. Well, Kate, this is easier said than done. You know what? You’re right! It is. However, my Bible says that ALL things are possible with Christ. My Bible says that ALL things work together for good. Therefore, I must allow God to do the changing in MY heart. Forget my husband’s sins because I have enough of my own to deal with!
Forget my husband’s faults. Forget my husband’s disobedience. Holy Spirit, work within ME to change ME and I will leave my husband to Your care, Lord. We’ve all heard the Scriptures that God is the Potter and we are the clay. God needs to mold you to be the wife He wants you to be for your husband. As He is working on you, He is working on your husband so give God a chance to work! He’s YOUR husband, not someone else’s. You cannot trade him in for another model, ladies. I hate to put it in these terms, but you are stuck with him. You chose him to be your life-long partner. You would be out of God’s will if you divorced him and married another so the only alternative is to “submit” to the Holy Spirit and let Him work a miracle in your life by healing your heart of the sin of being an unsubmissive wife … yes, I said sin! It is sin because it is rebellion against God’s will for you as a wife.
The Extent of Submission
It IS sin to be unsubmissive. We’ve been commanded in several Scriptures to submit to our own husband, amen? Confess this sin and forsake it. Let God work in your heart. Don’t worry about your husband. God will take care of him. I’m speaking from experience. 🙂
Lastly, verse 6 gives Sarah as our example. She called Abraham “lord” (little “l” not L). Webster defines lord as:
(1) master (2) husband (3) a title of respect, as applied to kings, or as to a respectable person.
God is not saying that we should call our husbands lord with our lips but He IS saying we should call our husbands lord with our hearts. He is saying that we should recognize our husband’s position as master of our home and to give him the respect due him, just as you show respect to the President of the U.S. One of the definitions of master is “husband”! Does that make an impression on your heart? Your husband is given this position as lord of your home by God Himself. God is Lord over your husband, whether he is saved or not and whether he obeys God or not. God will deal with your husband so you don’t have to.
So if any of you ladies believe that you just HAVE to rule your home because hubby’s doing a horrible job, you need to ask the Holy Spirit to change your heart! It is not your job to rule your home. It is your job to “help” your husband fulfill his role as master and ruler of your home. Your unbelieving or disobedient (to the Word) husband has the rule over you, your children and your home. Your husband has direct authority from God to be master of your home. Just because he is not saved doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the God-given responsibility as your head and head of your house.
Why would Paul have to tell the Ephesians that the husband was the head of the wife? If husbands ruling over the wife WAS being practiced, do you think Paul would have to tell them this? Good question, huh? It is your natural fleshly desire to have the rule over your husband. We think we know better than our husbands at times. We think we just have to get our way or his way will lead us to ruin! Sound familiar? God says that your husband shall rule over you. Maybe you are better at doing some things but that does not take away the fact that your husband is still head of your home. You may have insight to a situation that your husband doesn’t have. You can speak out in meekness and kindness. However, if he disagrees and makes a different decision than you wanted, leave it there and be sweet, not angry because things didn’t go your way.
If you think of a master of a house (either during the time of slavery or even an employer of a company), you think of someone who makes the decisions and runs the show. No employee would tell his boss what to do and get away with it. No slave would tell his master what to do without being chastised for it. Although we are not slaves or employees to our husbands, the concept is pretty much the same. Someone has to make the final decision if there is a split-decision. For example, your husband wants a Pontiac and you want a Chevrolet. Your husband has to make the final decision since the two of you are not agreeing in this matter … and guess what, ladies, YOU HAVE TO LIKE IT! Not just “like it” in your head but “like it” in your heart. This is where submission comes in.
Attitude of Submission
You have to submit to the point where it shows on your face. You can say “All right, get the Pontiac, but I don’t have to like it!” … and your face looks as though you’ve been sucking on lemons! 😯 That is not submitting. Submitting is leaving the decision (whether it’s the right one or the wrong one) with your husband and trusting God to take care of this decision. God is still God and He can work through the wrong decision just as much as He can through the right decision. Let me take it one step further. Submitting also means not “throwing it in his face” when his decision ends up being the wrong one. Ouch If you want to be in God’s will in your marriage, then you must desire to have your unsaved husband be the head of your home and ruler over your home. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean that you must get permission from him on what time you should eat lunch. It means that you SHOULD ask him if it’s OK with him if you spend money on a new dress… these are just examples but I think you get my meaning here. 🙂 Even if your husband is not saved, he is still the head of your house. The sooner you accept this fact in your heart, the quicker you will be able to learn the meaning of submission. You cannot submit to someone you don’t WANT in authority over you… does that make sense? As a side note here – Your submissive spirit will be a testimony to your daughter on how she should be as a wife. Always remember that. It also shows your sons what to look for in a wife.
I clung to 1 Peter 3:1-6 in the first few months of God’s dealing with me on submission. I read them daily and asked God to change my heart. I memorized:
What is a right spirit in this study? It is the spirit of accepting what God has planned for your life as a wife to an unsaved husband… accepting that God’s will is that you submit to your husband whether he is saved or not. Accepting that you are not your husband’s personal little holy spirit in charge of making him spiritual or godly. This is God’s job … and, after all, once God does the changing in your husband, it will be perfect and permanent. 🙂
Submission applies to all wives … not just to those whose husbands are not saved. It is the will of God. It is harder for women whose husbands are not saved because she is unequally yoked. The wife of an unsaved husband goes through a spiritual battle every single day. She is placed in situations that an equally-yoked marriage does not experience. Does this mean that she should sin if her husband asks her to? Of course not. This is when the wife must obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 we see that Peter was told that he could not preach the gospel and his response was just that…. I will obey God rather than men.
I like what Paul wrote in:
…. as it is fit in the Lord … this is what is called a qualifying statement. Paul didn’t end his sentence after the word husbands. He continued with “as it is fit in the Lord” for a reason. So Paul is telling us that in our submission, we must obey the Lord’s commands and not go against His will. The husband abuses his authority if he commands his wife to sin. She must obey God. She can sweetly say to her husband that she fears God’s chastisement on her life if she disobeys HIM. God will take care of the wife if that husband gets upset with her. She is being obedient to God in this instance. However, in all other instances (where sin is not involved), the wife must obey what her unsaved husband asks of her. Her obedience and subjection is service done to Christ. When a woman submits to her unsaved husband, she is submitting to Christ. She is fulfilling God’s desire and will for her life. This brings much comfort and peace in a woman’s heart. It brought great comfort to me. I had such child-like faith when I was first saved. I just KNEW in my heart that God would take care of me when it came to submitting to my unsaved husband. I just knew that God would not allow me to go through certain things that would place me in a situation I could not handle.
The wife of an unsaved husband experiences things that no other wife experiences. There are times that her husband verbally abuses her because of her faith. There are times when her husband mocks her because of her faith. There are times when her husband tries to provoke her to anger and sin so that he can appease his own guilty conscience. These times are extremely difficult for this poor wife. We women are created by God as emotional beings, therefore, we get emotional during these trials and tests.
Have peace in your heart because you love the Lord and don’t let anything your unsaved husband says offend you or upset you. Tell the Lord about your hurt feelings. Tell Him how much you’re hurting inside. Tell Him how you can’t bear it any more. He WILL comfort you. He WILL give you that peace. He WILL take care of your problem. I promise this! God is not an ogre. God is not insensitive. God is not heartless! God IS LOVE! He loves you! He doesn’t want to see you hurting!
How many of you enjoy seeing your child hurting? None of you. God doesn’t either. He comes running when He hears us crying to Him. What a lovely and comforting thought, huh? God will NEVER give you more than you can handle. The trials we experience will also have a temptation to go with it. A temptation of possibly giving up and leaving the marriage, giving in and try to take the rule of your house away from your husband, giving in to the desire of yelling back and saying unkind words, etc. However, the Word says that God won’t give you more than you can handle and WILL provide you with a way to escape this desire to yield to temptation.
Turn to Him and share with Him your deep hurts. He WILL listen. He WILL not allow you to be tested beyond what you are able to handle! That would be cruel if He did and we know that God is love … He is not cruel.
If you are experiencing a difficult trial with your husband (whether disobedient to the Word or unsaved) today, take shelter in the shadow of His wings.
Take refuge in God until your calamities (trials) are past. A dear friend of mine shared these verses with me when I was going through a trial recently, and I felt that it would apply beautifully in this study. God will perform His will in your life for your benefit … you have to want it and you have to allow it.
God bless you as you grow in Christ in this area of being married to an unsaved man or a disobedient man.
Heavenly Father, again I lift the dear lady here who is in this situation. Help her, Lord, to have a teachable heart and a willing heart to be the submissive wife she needs to be to her unsaved husband. Bless her, Lord, in Jesus’ Name I pray.
According to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, submission is:
SUBMIS’SION, n. [L. submissio, from submitto.]
The act of submitting; the act of yielding to power or authority; surrender of the person and power to the control or government of another.
Acknowledgment of inferiority or dependence; humble or suppliant behavior.
Acknowledgment of a fault; confession or error.
Obedience; compliance with the commands or laws of a superior. Submission of children to their parents is an indispensable duty.
Resignation; a yielding of one’s will to the will or appointment of a superior without murmuring. Entire and cheerful submission to the will of God is a christian duty of prime excellence.
WOW! Look at #5 – it says “without murmuring” … SO I looked up murmuring in Noah’s dictionary and got:
Uttering complaints in a low voice or sullen manner; grumbling; complaining. “in a low voice or sullen manner” — sullen meaning angrily in a quiet manner.
Do you think God is telling us to submit and not to complain under our breath or in our actions?
Today’s Merriam Webster dictionary is far from the definitions that Noah has from this 1828 dictionary … these are the definitions of the words used in the King James Bible. Not today’s filtered and watered down definitions. A good study to see the difference is to look up the word sin in both dictionaries and you will be amazed at what the devil has done. Merriam-Webster doesn’t elaborate and so their definition pretty much leaves it to the reader to determine exactly what is meant. The heart is perfectly wicked, the Word says. So no one will search out their sin in Merriam-Webster’s definition. However, Noah’s is very defined.
Can you tell I love to study the Word??? I may have bored you all to tears but at least I got it out of my system!
In any case, submission according to Kate is:
Yielding my will to my husband because he was given the authority over me (appointed as my superior) and I am to yield with my mouth and my heart because what’s in the heart comes out the mouth.
One cannot be submissive without obedience – one cannot be obedient without being submissive. They go hand-in-hand, don’t they?
Our children are commanded to obey. We are commanded to obey God. We are commanded to submit ourselves to God. Woman are commanded to submit themselves to their own husbands. We can glean much if we read verses dealing with this topic and applying it to our lives. If we practice true biblical obedience and submission, how can an unsaved husband or disobedient husband to the Word help but see God’s goodness through our actions? If we, as wives, are not obedient and submissive to our husbands, how can we expect our children to be obedient to us? If we’re not practicing what we preach to our children, are we not hypocrites?
But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1Sa 12:15)
When we know that God wants us to do something, yet we don’t do it, we are being disobedient. We are sinning.
Therefore, if God tells us to submit to our own husbands in all things, and we don’t submit in one little area, are we not sinning?
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
We can play the game of sacrifice all we want, but if we disobey in one area, we are not a delight to the Lord. Let’s say my husband tells me to do something I don’t want to do. Instead I make up for it by going the extra mile in doing other things for him – that is the game of sacrifice rather than obedience. I may have all the warm fuzzy feelings in the world because I did all those extra things for him, but I did not do what he asked me to do.
When we obey, God says it will be well with us. We will have peace in our homes and foremost in our hearts. Women are emotional creatures. God made us that way. If we are trying to be a yielded vessel to God, we know automatically when we are not doing right. We do not have that peace that our actions are what God wants. We lie to our own selves when we say that we are doing the “right” thing yet we know it is not our husband’s will.
Don’t expect your children to obey you if you don’t obey/submit to your husband. Your children do not have to witness your unsubmissive spirit – it will be evident in other ways and you will reap with disobedient children. When your children are disobedient, look inward – examine yourself first. Are you a submissive wife? If you are, then deal with your children accordingly. If you’re not, then deal with yourself accordingly.
Obedience and submission is such an important lesson for us to learn. Without it, there is chaos. That is the reason the world is in the shape it’s in. We have lost our singleness of heart (purity of heart – separation) and our fear of God. We do not see our disobedience as sin. We think we know better or have more wisdom than our husband. But the Word does not say to submit only when we think it’s right.
Why would Peter say this? The “conversation” of a meek and submissive wife speaks volumes to her unsaved or disobedient husband. He does not need the Word. He sees the Word in action by her submission!
Twice Paul commands the wives to submit their own husbands. Take notice and obey. To do otherwise, is sin.
When we submit ourselves to our husbands, we are submitting to God’s will for our lives – as unto the Lord. God did not create us to rule our homes. No matter if we could do a better job than our husbands can, it is not our place to rule and go against his wishes. We do not have the God-given wisdom and discernment that God gives to men. We were made to nurtur, not lead. We women are emotional and do not base our decisions on logic as a man does. The devil will whisper in our ear and say that we know better but we should not succumb. We are to resist the devil – submit ourselves to God by submitting ourselves to our husbands.
The word reverence is only ever used in Scriptures as it relates to God, a king, superiors or our husbands. That should tell you something. Noah Webster says reverence means:
…to regard with fear mingled with respect and affection. We reverence superiors for their age, their authority and their virtues. We ought to reverence parents and upright judges and magistrates. We ought to reverence the Supreme Being, his word and his ordinances.
If a woman willingly submits to her husband, she reverences him. She shows him that she gives him the respect he rightly deserves. He should not receive it only when he earns it – his position as husband and head of your home says he deserves reverence. This is God appointed and God commanded. Without this order, there is chaos in the home.
Godly submission, obedience and reverence are our goals in life, ladies. We are to practice, practice, practice! When you go against your husband’s wishes, can you honestly admit that your heart and your home are at peace? Honestly? If you are experiencing strife in your home, look to your heart first and see if you are being the submissive wife God has commanded you to be. Only then will you know for sure. If you’re not, repent and ask forgiveness from God and from your dear husband.
If you are submitting to your husband as unto the Lord, God will give you grace during your trial and will provide for every need you have. He does not forsake us!!!
Most Christian women who are married to an unbeliever have husbands who are good and kind – and they are willing to live at peace with their Christian wife. Their husbands are not abusive and are decent men. I know a handful of women who are in this situation. In fact, I was in that situation, too.
The topic that kept cropping up in my own spiritual life was being an obedient wife to my unsaved husband. What does the Word of God have to say about this? I use to say, “Ya, but what IF he tells me to do something that’s wrong?” The fact of the matter was that many of the “what if’s” never came to pass. I was worrying over situations that never occurred. This worry is old slew foot’s way of distracting the Christian woman and keeping her from moving forward in her role of submission.
Let’s look at what the Scriptures have to say about being submissive and obedient to our husbands:
I find it interesting that six times we see the appearance of the phrase “own husbands” – we are not to submit to someone else’s husband. There have been a few times that my husband told me, “You listen to your Pastor but you don’t listen to me!” Ouch! Out of the mouth of an unsaved man, God was still teaching me!
God’s Word says we must obey our husbands – not just on the outside but on the inside as well. Submitting and obeying are easy as long as it goes along with what we want. However, when the rubber meets the road, are we as willing to submit and obey when we do not agree with what our husbands want? That is where the Holy Spirit’s work comes in.
Submitting and obeying are not options – we are commanded to do so. When we do not obey, we will be spanked by the Father. Just as our children’s punishments get harsher when they continue to do what we tell them not, so will our punishments be more severe if we refuse to obey God’s Word and obey our husbands.
I hope all this makes sense to you ladies. I find it is much easier to obey the Holy Spirit and submit/obey my husband than it is to resist and suffer punishment as a result. Once we “get this,” our relationship with our husband improves dramatically. I don’t know why the Lord put this on my heart this morning. I pray it is a blessing to someone today.
This study was originally done in June 2006. All scripture is from the King James Bible. As with all studies, take your time to do it. Get a notebook to record your thoughts. As you’re reading, highlight or underline the verses that speak the most to you.
Let’s start by reading Proverbs 31 together.
Verse 10 – Is my personal “virtue” worth more than rubies? Or is my personal “virtue” a fake like a cubic zirconia? Your walk speaks louder than your words because people are watching how you carry yourself in all of life’s situations. Your actions reveals your true self in whatever God puts in your path.
Verse 11 – Does my husband know that I will be frugal with the money he works hard to bring home? Or do I spend it without prayer or forethought and end up with too much week at the end of my allowance/paycheck? There is nothing wrong in being thrifty and frugal. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines frugal as:
FRU’GAL, a. [L. frugalis. See Fruit.] Economical in the use or appropriation of money, goods or provisions of any kind; saving unnecessary expense, either of money or of any thing else which is to be used or consumed; sparing; not profuse, prodigal or lavish. We ought to be frugal not only in the expenditure of money and of goods, but in the employment of time.
Verse 12 – Do I do my husband good ALL the time? Or do I just do my husband good when I feel like it? Doing “good” for my husband means that I can be trusted by him – so much so that he feels he can leave the care and management of his home to her without doubting her.
Verse 13 – Do I willingly work with my hands for the benefit of my family? Or do I complain of all the laundry that needs to be done or the mending that is sitting in the basket waiting to be mended. Our children are with us but for a short time, even though it feels like they will never leave home. Don’t rush it – time goes by way too quickly. Enjoy them and do your work willingly so you will never have any regrets.
Verse 14 – Do I try to help out when finances are slim? Or do I complain to my husband that there’s not enough money (all hubby hears in my complaint is that he is an awful provider!). Make do with what you have and think of innovative ways to contribute. There is always some way we can help our husbands with finances. What do you do best? Are you a good cleaner? Clean someone’s home – it costs you only your time and helps out financially. Do you enjoy doing gardening? Do you enjoy baking? Sell your goods and wares.
Verse 15 – Am I in control of my schedule to the point that I can get up early to take care of the needs of my family before they rise and the hustle bustle of the day takes over? Or do I hit the snooze button a couple of times only to have my entire household in a rush. I am in charge of setting the “tone” in my home. If you just can’t break that habit of oversleeping, take care of morning tasks the night before. Remember, your family is the one who suffers when the morning starts off crazy.
Verse 16 – Do I consider what I buy and spend the money I make from my “craft” (whether that be from my garden or sewing or whatever) wisely? Or do I buy something that I hide away in a drawer or closet and never use?
Verse 17 – Do I exercise to keep myself physically fit for my family’s sake? Or do I indulge and overeat only to put on more weight? Too much weight reduces my stamina, adds stress to my heart and my legs, and plays havoc with my blood pressure. My family needs me strong and healthy to be able to meet their needs. If genetics puts you in this category, then be sure to strengthen your body with proper nutrition.
Verse 18 – Do I make sure that the products I sell are done to the best of my ability? Or do I try to get away with providing lesser quality for the same amount of money? Let’s face it, that’s deceitful, amen? I love the use of the word candle here. The scriptures usually refer to “God as the light” when using candle. So even though nighttime came, the Proverbs 31 woman had God’s light shining in her. As Christians, we have God’s light within us and are anointed with oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Am I so well organized that I do not run out of oil for my candle during the night? Or does my lamp go out at night and my family is left to wander through a dark house?
Verse 19 – Do I learn to use the talents that God has blessed me with faithfully? Or do I make excuses that I simply just can’t learn? I have seen some women say that they have no talents and can’t help out with finances when times get rough. With today’s technology, one can learn virtually anything on YouTube!
Verse 20 – Do I care for the needs in my own church as I should? Or do I turn my head and hope that someone else will take care of those needs? My husband doesn’t allow me to reach out to the needy on the street because of the “way of the world” today. However, there are needy people in my church. We all have neighbors and can be observant as to whether or not they need help.
Verse 21 – Do I plan ahead and buy winter clothes on sale in the Spring to prepare for the needs of my family? Or do I end up buying winter clothes at top dollar value in the Fall? This wife clothed her household with scarlet.
Verse 22 – I find it interesting that this verse came next. This tells me that she spared no expense for her family – she put them first. She also made sure to be well dressed so she could represent her husband well. Am I watchful as to how I dress? Or do I leave the house to go shopping wearing my grungiest jean skirt and no make-up?
Verse 23 – Are my deeds such that someone who knows my husband would say “He sure does have a good wife!” Or do his friends see a man whose shirt has not been ironed and his pants look like they sat in the dryer for a few days?
Verse 24 – Are my creations done to the best of my ability where they are a wonderful example of Christ through my work? Or do I create things half heartedly and say “it’s good enough”? Her wares were excellent and she knew her clients. She sold to as many different people as possible and, therefore, learned how to make items for each of those. We see that she knew the merchants needed a girdle (a belt of some kind) so she learned the trade and sold her wares to them as well. You could say she was a smart businesswoman.
Verse 25 – Am I clothed inwardly as well as I am clothed outwardly? Or am I guilty of hypocrisy? We have to nurture our spiritual life first. The amount of time we spend with the Lord will be reflected in all that we do: spend little time with Him, produce little for Him. As well, she strengthens her physical body as well so she can keep up with the tasks of the day.
Verse 26 – Do I think before I speak making sure I have a kind response? Or do I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and have to clean up my mess later? Today’s social media has made people speak their mind, which is not always a good thing! People have gotten mean. Wisdom is no longer spoken but we, as Christian women, must be sure to practice this. Notice that in her tongue “is the law of kindness.” We all need to show kindness and to let kindness flow from our lips.
Verse 27 – Do I make sure that my list of chores for the day are completed? Or do I procrastinate on a few of those chores so I can watch something on TV? There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks. But I dare say that more would be accomplished if we stayed away from whatever distracts us from our tasks. I have a dear friend who is rarely idle and it shows in her home and outside her home.
Verse 28 – Do my words and actions warrant receiving praise from my family? You may very well have a family who doesn’t show their appreciation or praise you. But don’t let that stop you! Look to the Lord and leave it with Him.
Verse 29 – Do I strive to excel in my spiritual walk? Or do I do just enough to get by? My mother-in-law was always doing something with her hands. She crocheted, knitted, sewed, cooked and baked. Her fingers were very rarely idle. I always admired her diversity of skill. But her generation grew up without television or distractions. The young girls were taught all these things at a very early age. Why should we be any different?
Verse 30 – Do I fear (and honour) the Lord enough for it to guard all my words and actions? Or do I leave those things undone and concentrate only on appearing spiritual? My spiritual life is more important than anything. Everything else will follow.
Verse 31 – Do I let my spiritual walk and work speak for itself? Or do I look for praise from others? Looking for praise will always end in disappointment. Humbleness of heart seeks God’s approval.