Tag Cloud
: Mothers Abandonment Abomination of Desolation Abortion Abuse Accounting Activism Adultery Affection Affliction Afterlife America Angels Anger Anointing Apologetics Apostasy Armor of God Ascension Ashamed Atonement Authority Babylon Bad Baptism Betrayal Bible Bitterness Blasphemy Blessing Blessings Blindness Boasting Body of Christ Bondage Borders Born Again Bridegroom Calling Capital Punishment Celebration Character Children Children of God Chosen Christ Christian Life Christians Christmas Church Civil Disobedience Clay Cleansing Comfort Commands Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Complaining Conception Condemnation Conduct Confidence Conflict Conformity Confrontation Confusion Connection Conscience Consequences Contentment Conviction Cornerstone Correction Cost Counsel Courage Covenant Creation Creator Cross Crowns Crucifixion Culture Curse Darkness David Day of the Lord Death Deception Defense Delegation Demon Demons Denial Dependency Design Desolation Destruction Devil Direction Disaster Discernment Disciple Disciples Discipleship Discipline Discontentment Discouragement Disease Disgrace Disputes Distraction Diversity Divine Division Doctrine Double Fulfillment Doubt Drought Drugs Duties Duty Earth Earthly Earthquakes Easter Edom Education Elders Elect Emmaus Emotions Employment Encouragement End Times Endurance Enemies Enemy Environmentalism Equality Equipped Eternal Eternal Life Evangelism Everlasting Life Evil Evolution Exaltation Exalted Exclusion Excuses Exorcism Expectations Eyes Failure Fairness Faith Faithful Faithful Servant Faithfulness False Christs False Doctrine False Religion False Religions Family Famine Fasting Father Fathers Favoritism Fear Fear of the Lord Feasts Fellowship Finances Fire First Coming Flesh Flock Folly Foolishness Foreigner Foreknown Forgiveness Fornication Forsaken Foundation Freedom Friends Friendship Fruit Fruitfulness Future Gentiles George Wood Giving Glory God God’s Word Godliness Godly Good Good Shepherd Good Works Gospel Gospels Government Grace Gratitude Great Commission Greatness Grief Growth Guilt Hardship Harvest Hate Hatred Healing Heart Heaven Heavenly Hedonism Hell Herod Hidden Holiness Holy Holy Spirit Homosexuality Honor Hope Hopelessness Humility Husband Hypocrisy Ignorance Image Immanuel Immigration Impossibility Incarnation Individuals Indulgences Inheritance Injustice Inner Battle Instructions Insults Integrity Intercession Israel Jerusalem Jesus Jewish Temple John the Baptist Joy Judas Judgment Judgments Justice Justification Justify Key Keys Kindness King Kingdom Kingdom of God Kingdom of Heaven Knowledge Lamp Law Lawlessness Leader Leaders Leadership Leftism Legalism Leprosy Lies Life Light Like-minded Lord Lost Love Loyalty Lust Lusts Luxury Malachi Manipulation Marriage Martyrdom Martyrs Mary Materialism Maturity Meditation Men Mentoring Mercy Messiah Millennium Mind Mind of Christ Ministry Miracle Miracles Mission Mocking Money Mothers Mystery Nations Natural Gifts Naturalism Nature Near-Far Fulfillment Necessities New Covenant New Man New Testament Obedience Obstacles Obstructions Offense Old Man Old Nature Old Testament One Mind Outcast Pagan Pain Palm Sunday Parable Parables Paranormal Parenting Passion Passover Patience Patriotism Peace Pentecost People of God Perfect Persecution Perseverance Persistence Personal Testimonies Perspective Perversion Pestilence Peter Pharisees Piety Pilate Politics Poor Position Possession Possessions Posture Power Praise Prayer Preaching Preparation Pride Priority Privilege Prodigal Promise Proof Prophecy Prophet Prophets Protection Protestant Reformation Proverbs Providence Provision Punishment Purgatory Purpose Questions Racism Reason Rebellion Rebuke Reconciliation Redeemer Redemption Refuge Regeneration Rejection Rejoicing Relationship Relationships Reliability Religion Remember Remnant Renewal Repentance Reputation Resolve Rest Restoration Resurrection Revelation Revenge Revival Reward Rich Riches Righteous Righteousness Rights Riot Rivalry Robbery Roman Catholic Church Rule Sabbath Sacred Sacrifice Saint Salvation Sanctification Satan Savior Schemes Science Scripture Seasons Second Coming Secret Seed Seek Self Self Control Self-centered Self-Control Selfish Ambition Self-Righteous Servant Servant-Leadership Serve Service Serving Sexual Immorality Sexual Sin Sexuality Shame Share Sharing Shepherd Sickness Signs Signs and Wonders Simplicity Sin Sincerity Singing Singleness Sinners Slavery Sober Society Sojourner Sojourners Son Son of God Son of Man Sons of God Sorrow Soul Source Sovereignty Speech Spirit Spirit Realm Spirits Spiritual Spiritual Battle Spiritual Birth Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Growth Spiritual Rulers Spiritual Warfare Stewardship Strength Stress Strife Stumbling Block Submission Suffering Supernatural Supper Surrender Syncretism Tags: Patience Taxes Teaching Tears Technology Temple Temptation Temptations Terminal Illness Test Testimony Testing Tests Thankfulness Thanksgiving The Curse The Day of The Lord The End The Fall The Holy Spirit The Law The Way The Word The World Theology Time of Visitation Times of the Gentiles Tithing Tongues Tradition Tragedy Transfiguration Transformation Traps Treachery Treasure Tree Trial Trials Tribulation Trifles Trinity Triumphal Trouble Trust Truth Uncertainty Unity Unpardonable Sin Utopia Value Vigilance Vindication Virtue Virtues Volunteer Warning Warnings Wars Watching Water Baptism Wicked Wickedness Widows Wife Wineskins Wisdom Witness Witnesses Women Word of God Word of the Lord Works World World View Worry Worship Worth Wrath Yahweh Yeast Zion

Weekly Word

Entries in Wife (1)

Tuesday
Nov272012

Submission In The Home 1

As we begin 1 Peter chapter 3, I recognize that as a man it would be easy to tune me out at this time.  A lot of garbage has washed under the bridge of submission in the home.  So let me first try to bring us back to Peter’s main point.  He is concerned with our ability to submit because of the way in which our refusal to do it will cause Jesus to be seen as a rebel.  If we rebel against authorities in the name of God’s Word then we can give the wrong impression of who God is.  In fact we will attract all the wrong people to the Church (rebels).  Jesus, who was God in the flesh, submitted himself to wicked authorities because he trusted the plan of the Father.

Yes, we can use God’s Word to justify rebellion against governments, and we can use God’s Word to justify a slave’s rebellion against his master.  But the goodness of the government or master was never the question.  It was an issue of the heart.  It is hard for modern man to hear these words, especially Americans.  We are so used to getting our way that we don’t understand how we more easily embrace rebellion and despise submission.  Submission as a virtue does have boundaries.  But even then our response needs to be more about submitting to God’s will above the will of an earthly authority, rather than one that is about my flesh rebelling against authority.  America was not founded upon a rebellious “no one will be in authority over us.”  It was the desire to submit to God over the top of a wicked king.

So as we approach this subject of wives submitting to husbands, let’s approach cautiously and with a listening heart.

Wives Should Be Submissive To Their Own Husbands

It doesn’t take rocket science to see Peter’s first instruction.  He tells wives to “take their place under” the authority that a husband has been given.  The gospel taught that in Christ there was no longer slave and free, Jew and Gentile, or male and female.  Such teachings could naturally lead to strife in the homes of Christians.  It is important that we represent Christ well in this world.  If we send the wrong message in order to get our justice now, then we have sacrificed God’s reputation and ability to draw people unto him for ourselves.  Peter speaks against such selfishness in each of the cases of submission he has brought up.

Now notice that the context is not men and women.  Women are not told to be submitted to men in general.  But a wife should not strive with her husband for authority in the home.  Why would he say this?  Paul makes it clearer in Ephesians chapter 5.  Paul pointed back to creation and explained that God made the species of man as male and female on purpose.  He wanted the relationship of marriage between a man and a woman to be a picture of Christ’s love for the Church.  Thus when we marry we are not just agreeing to love each other.  We are also entering into an agreement to work together to model the relationship between Jesus and his Church.  Thus God gives man, not just the authority, but also the responsibility for the home.  Religion is not the “woman’s” place.  Each husband will be responsible before God for how he lead his family in worship of God or lack thereof.

Peter recognizes that a believing woman married to an unbelieving husband would be tempted to divorce him, or at least fight his authority and ungodly leadership.  Peter asks the wife to submit to the ungodly husband in order to win him over to Christ.  Imagine telling your husband on one hand that he should turn from his sins and believe on Jesus (who submitted to death on a cross) and yet you are unwilling to submit to something far less.  Now are there obvious exceptions to Peter’s point?  Of course there are, however, Peter is not dealing with submission in the home as his main point.  It is a side point to the greater problem of Christians embracing rebellion and justifying it with God’s Word.  If a husband is physically abusing his wife then God is not telling her to submit to it.  However, it would be foolish to tell her to fight back.  In fact without repentance a divorce may be the only solution.  Can we hear the heart of Peter’s point without trying to completely dismiss it?

Wives Should Have Virtues Of The Heart

Peter turns to women more fully and speaks to them as daughters.  Verse 3 begins to challenge them to be more concerned about their inner heart than their outer appearance.  This is not just about adornment but is connected to the issue of submission.  Must I force the conformance of my marriage to an outward appearance that I want, all the while losing the transformation that Christ is doing in my heart?  Peter is not asking women to “stuff it” and submit.  Rather he is asking them to focus on their inner heart and make sure it is following Jesus and not their own flesh.

Now verse 2 encourages “chaste conduct accompanied by fear.”  Let me just say that God does not want women to be afraid of their husbands.  This is simply a misreading of what is being said.  Part of that is a cultural issue and part of it is our own sinful nature.  The Hebrew people had an understanding of fear, far more broad then we do.  It is the same with love and hate.  Do you remember in Genesis 29 when the Bible talks about Jacob loving Rachel more than Leah? The very next verse says that when God say Leah was hated he opened her womb.  Now we reserve the word “hate” for a strong revulsion against something.  But the context clearly shows that Jacob merely loved Rachel more.  Rachel was special to him.  He didn’t hate Leah in the way that we would think.  But he did love Rachel more than her.  This word for Hate can be exactly what we are used to it meaning, but it can also mean to love less.  This is the same with fear.  It can mean to be scared and in terror of something.  But in the context of authority it usually means respect for the job or position the person in authority has.  So the point is not to be afraid of the husband but rather to respect the gravity of the position he holds.  He will be accountable to God one day for how he leads.  Are you helping him to understand that and not be condemned or are you pushing each other to further error, in which you will both give account before God?  So a Christian wife should have chaste conduct that flows from a heart of respect for the duty God has placed on her husband.  She should be working with him and not against him, even when he is making poor choices.  Again, submission does have its boundaries and God is not calling women to be slaves.  Historically this has been misinterpreted and taken advantage of by men, for which they will give account.

Peter points to the importance of inner beauty over the top of outer beauty.  This is not a prohibition against outward adornment.  But rather, it is a call to spend more time on inner beauty than outward.  Outward beauty is fading.  You cannot spend enough money to counteract the effects of aging forever.  You will lose it.  What will you be left with?  If you spent all your focus on outer beauty then your life will be crushed and there will be no inner beauty within.  You can grow more beautiful with age.  God’s plan is not for men to have a mid-life crisis, divorce their wife, and marry a 25 year old.  His plan is for us to recognize the beauty in each other that is beyond the skin.  Will I be desirable when I am 50, 60, 70, 80….?  I will only if I focus on the inner above the outer.

Next he mentions a gentle and quiet spirit.  The word gentle is fairly clear.  It is basically strength under control.  A strong person can learn to be gentle and still strong.  We do not look for the weakest people to be our brain surgeons; rather we train them to be extremely careful and gentle in their movements.  The word “quiet” does not mean silence.  It actually means peaceful and tranquil.  Even when we disagree with one another we can interact in a peaceful way rather than with a rancorous fight.

Peter then gives an example of Sarah the wife of Abraham.  The main point is that she trusted God.  Her trust in God enabled her to peacefully walk with Abraham through some mighty, stupid plans of his.  I can hear Sarah now.  “We are moving, but God hasn’t told you where we are going yet?  O, great plan, Abram.”  Or, “I’m supposed to pretend to be your sister?  Please, do you think that cockamamie plan is going to work?”  Sarah trusted God and in the end God was faithful to her.

Lastly, Peter mentions that he doesn’t want the wives to be in fear and terror.  Mostly likely he is referring to the duty of submission although it could apply to their husbands as well.  Terror is not God’s plan for women.  He wants them to embrace it out of love to him.  But also out of a love of him, because God is not a rebel.  He is a submitted being at heart.  Historically, men have used strength to terrorize women into submission.  Is that Christ?  No, it is sin that will be judged by Christ when he comes.

Final Thoughts

Satan has wedged men and women against each other since the garden.  It is time we recognized that and fought back by uniting together in love.  A Christian marriage can be a beautiful thing for both husband and wife when they love each other in heart and action.  We should never justify horrible marriages under the banner of submission.  Rather, we should correct each other according to the word of God.

Don’t be driven by the desires of your flesh.  Rather,  be driven by the desire to properly represent the Lord and his gospel.

Submission Home I Audio