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Posts Tagged ‘submissive wife’

Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that *I may live because of you.” So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels. Genesis 12:13-16
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Sarah is Our Example

In this story we see Sarah’s righteous conduct and Abraham’s appalling ways, but more importantly we see God’s faithfulness. In the Lord’s covenant with Abram He declared (among other things) that He would protect Abram and his family. And so He does…

But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. Genesis 12:17

Despite the fact that Abram was making incredibly bad choices, Sarai submits to her husband’s authority and as a result God honors her sacrifice and demonstrates His steadfastness. In the story God gave us an extreme example in order to illustrate an extreme doctrine.

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

In the 1 Peter 3 text, Sarah is again raised up as a model for the godly wife. The scenario she faced was bizarre, even by today’s standards, and orchestrated for her by God for this specific purpose. The passage should not suggest [to us] that if a husband wants his wife to break the law, or if he is breaking the law, that she should go along with those things. That is not the point of the story. Rather, it is God’s purpose to demonstrate that a Christian woman has His protection when she is obedient. Naturally, the same is true for any Christian man.

…A sacrifice is not a sacrifice unless it is a sacrifice.”

This may sound somewhat inane, but a sacrifice is not a sacrifice unless it is a sacrifice. In the case of a wife submitting to her husband, the very act of submission is a sacrifice to God. It was never about your spouse; its always been about Jesus. The notion that there is another way is an act of selfish disobedience. We take further note that not only was Sarah protected in her submissiveness, but is so doing, the Lord abundantly blessed the family as well.

He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels. Genesis 12:16

Needless to say there are Christian women who will not adhere to God’s will in this regard, just as there are countless men who do not obey Him. The good news is that your salvation is not in jeopardy necessarily (only God knows your true heart). However, there is an abundant life promised for our obedience.  A denial of that reality is to reject those blessings and the rewards of Heaven — I once heard it said that it would kind of be like being a kid in a candy store with no money to spend.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

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Wives, likewise be submissive to you own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe you chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:1-4Dangerous Waters

The shortest sermon you will ever hear will likely begin with the idiom, “Wives, be submissive to your husbands.” Upon hearing that phrase it is practically guaranteed that you are only moments away from, “The Lord bless you and keep you… make His face shine upon you…be gracious to you…lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. Amen.”

Pastors quake in their clericals for the fear of those six words, but that should not be the case, for these words are applicable to Christian men as well. So having said that, the best way to navigate these dangerous waters is to take the plunge, after all, are not men (also) the bride of Christ?

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7

But make no mistake about it Peter is addressing Christian women here; however there is enough meat on this bone to be shared. Christ calls us (men) to be submissive too, our conduct can draw the unsaved to the cross, and like the ladies, our concern should be for our inward appearance and not the outward. Needless to say, there would be very little spousal objection (to the submissive doctrine) if the husband practiced what he preached.

Cosmos

Changing gears only slightly, I wanted to briefly address the outer woman. What is God telling us about hair, jewelry, and clothes? I think the (above) text is pretty clear, but in this instance, I believe the King James Version of 1 Peter 3:3 says it better…Take note that the word ‘fine’ is absent from before the word apparel.

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel

Why is that significant?

It is important because some religious fanatics read this verse and take it to mean that women should not spend time fixing their hair, nor should they wear jewelry. If that was what Peter was saying, then he is also saying that women should not wear clothes—ever. Peter is not saying women shouldn’t wear clothes. Obviously the writer is merely declaring that the priority of the woman needs to be inward. As for make-up and such, some old-time pastor said it best when he said…

“If the barn needs painting, paint it.”

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30


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