AS HIS EQUAL
1st Peter 3:7
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life (a fellow heir of grace). Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
A huge lesson that God taught me at the beginning of our marriage was the power of submission. I admit that deferring my opinion for my husband’s isn’t a walk in the park, but the journey has been worth every lesson
As soon as we settled down, my husband and I differed sharply on “what to invest our finances in”. If you are wondering if our financial basket was ONE – oh, yes it was. We didn’t have secret accounts, our finances were very transparent, but couldn’t agree on what projects should run first.
The contentious issue was which projects would take the chunk of our finances and why.
We both had strong convictions. They were both right, so no one was about to “lose”. Surrender equaled to a weakness. I couldn’t bear that mark on me. No!
As I had earlier mentioned, submission isn’t a personality issue, but a heart issue. I had a heart issue – at least that was what God convicted me…Not deferring to my husband, was an issue of pride.
We fought, and the best way to win was by invalidating each other’s opinion(s). It worked. Effortlessly. See, negativity doesn’t need an extra push. Evil just waits at the door patiently, once let in, it rules!
As you know, the enemy doesn’t care about the little glossy victories on matters such as not agreeing in projects, what to cook, who will cook, who will take out the trash, who’s turn it is to scrub the bathroom. That’s too boring for him. It’s too petty to waste his thousands of years’ experience on. Yes he knows, that as soon as he puts you two head to head against each other, petty issues become the major issues.
He is after the trophy – your marriage. Its priceless. He hates to be scorned, but would love to scorn at Christ every time he claims a broken heart, a broken woman, a broken man, broken children, a broken family, a broken church…Alas! A broken world!
He was after ours too. Invalidation bred resentment and nothing hemorrhaged our marriage faster than the inability to laugh together. Yes, I mean exactly that. Laughing together! We were each other enemy. Mission – destroy!
In short, our hard stances in regards to financial matters, lead to a thunderous flop of the project. It flopped big! And the effect didn’t just dent our finances but was love shattering. Our marriage was taking a nose-drive.
I taunted my husband for not listening enough, for not being planned enough, and for not being keen enough. I used the common killer pills on him labeled, “You see, I told you so!” I made sure he took a dose a day, faithfully, not knowing how toxic it was for him – my pride didn’t let me think otherwise. Even when he didn’t want it, I pushed it down his throat – “You see, I told you so”….baaabe!
I walked around feeling so ‘empowered’, yet with a strength that left little desirable qualities in me as a wife. A strength that drained us, and subtly, drained me too.
The devil had managed to warp my heart of submission with pride, siting right at the center of it. We were going down.
I actually thought the ‘temporal win’ would generate the much needed enthusiasm in my husband to “adhere to what I say”, but I was wrong. We were growing detached too fast. There was a red-flag in our marriage. Glaring hot red!
Now, at this point you might be asking me, “Why do I have to submit to my husband and defer to him when I clearly have the better idea?”
Or, “I am the stronger one, my husband is so passive!”
Or, “I earn more than my husband, so I should have THE SAY, in how MY money is used!”
These are genuine concerns. They are issues to talk about and straighten. They cannot be ignored nor swept under. But this is what the Lord taught me after battling every day for the lead baton.
Submission has nothing to do with how much clout the wife brings into the marriage.
Submission, has little to do with my husband as a man, and more to do with his God given place, his function in our marriage. So whether he has the best, or the worst idea, submission is recognizing that I have the “give way” sign when it comes to him.
What does this mean?
Recently we went for some work away from town and some of us were put as the Team Leaders. Being a team leader meant that one would make sure their team had everything catered for before; the mission, what needed to be carried, what the team should accomplish, know the specific JDs’ and all that.
However, the team leaders didn’t do it alone. Being a team leader didn’t mean that one needed to assert their authority. It didn’t make one superior.
For any team to win, there had to be open dialogue, plan, talk, adjust but the last word was carried by the Team Leader. If the leader felt that a certain decision would impede the cause, then he/she didn’t implement it –but carefully considered all options and did what felt would produce the BEST RESULTS for all.
We did some great work, worked so seamlessly and even got an extra day to rest in.
That is what submission is. Submission has to do with function, not a being. Not your husband as a man, but your husband’s position, given to him squally by the Lord.
I love how the Bible calls us, FELLOW HEIRS OF GRACE – in 1st Peter 3:7. The Bible acknowledges fully, without a shadow of doubt, that a wife is an EQUAL PARTNER to her husband.
We are both equal in God’s eyes, you are most certainly of equal worth in your marriage.
Therefore, submission is not about asserting your way into being of equal importance, because you already are. Its in knowing that you are not inferior, second class, small, but that your input is as important in your marriage – however, you will need to defer to your husband’s final decision.
It certainly doesn’t make you a doormat or that your views are inconsequential. It simply means that you will incline yourself to your husband’s decisions.
A wise husband listens, a foolish one thinks his way is the only way – but when all has been laid down, your husband bears the responsibility of having the last say.
“What if his decision is clearly not well thought through?” Well, this is where wisdom takes the front seat. You are not to shut it down but gladly welcome it. Appreciate him for wanting to have the best for your family – then bring in your suggestion. Not with a manipulative tough tongue, putting your dos’ and don’ts down as if he is a little boy you are scolding, but with a tongue full of carefully weighed in words.
Be forthright, and concise but full of grace. He cannot read your feelings or emotions. You can say, “I appreciate that you have this idea in mind but I feel a, b, c would have worked better…what do you think?”
“What if he suggests something that is contrary to my faith, do I need to follow?” The answer is No! In the book of Acts 5:27-30, Peter had been given explicit authority by a high priest in the Sanhedrin not to preach Christ. They were against Christ. But Peter and the apostles didn’t follow through with it.
The calling was infinite. We are submitted to one authority, who is Christ and His way is absolute, we cannot negotiate with his precepts.
In verse 34, The bible says, “But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.”
Peters speech was counted worth before Gamaliel that he offered to speak to his fellow Pharisees, and averted the calamity of death that would have befell on them.
That right there is a tongue full of wisdom.
The bible says that a wise woman has a faithful instruction on her tongue, therefore she will rebuke, instruct, edify, and correct without destroying her husband or invalidating him. A wise woman, full of understanding will be sensible enough to air her concerns wisely without poking into her husband’s ego or decisions.
How? Her tone, her speech, her voice and her attitude will speak.
“What if he never listens, he is a poor financial manager, and I need to keep my family moving?” I know that is a hard one! The Word doesn’t give us a leeway to go all rebellious on foolish husbands. A submissive heart will understand that in as much as your husband is a “Nabal type” you as a wife, can win him over, with your gracious acts as the bible says, and leave the rest to the Lord to shape him.
This happened to Abigail too. She had Nabal- the foolish man as a husband, but was open to tell him his wrong doings at the same time covered her family.
Ask yourself, before you go pure knuckles on him, do your actions preach Christ? Can your actions win him to Christ on not?
Has your rebellious attitude yielded love or resentment?
A wise woman’s actions lead her husband into godliness and trusts in the Lord enough to shape his hardened heart.
Show him how his actions are affecting your family’s stability. Bring him up to speed at the right time, on the family budget and be open enough to tell him that a, b, c will require you two to put aside some cash for a project. How you present your case matters a lot. See, you have not been secretive, but very open to him – truthfully but still with the wisdom of saving your family. You are open about saving; it will not come as a surprise to him.
God will hold you accountable on how obedient you were to do your part – you are responsible for you.
This is definitely not cut on stone, but just pointers as to how we should handle delicate situations in a marriage. We are called to have faithful instruction, wisdom and grace.
Submission, in as much as it’s a command from Christ, it a willful disposition to you as a wife. You can choose to do or not – whichever way you choose to go; the effects will be felt.
Christ, in as much as He is God, willfully submitted to His Fathers will. He had the choice of saying No! He had explicit authority of not shedding a drop of blood for us, sinners, who cared less from the get go. But he didn’t.
He did this to please the Father – John 8:29, and in pleasing the Father, His name, the name of Jesus was exalted above every other name. God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:10
Real strength in us as wives, displays its latent reserves when we submit—when we lay down rather than contend, when we defer our opinion rather than have “our way”. Lack of submission in us as wives, is essential weakness, the scarecrow of power.
Submit and see the power of Christ moving in your marriage, for He too understands submission! He is EQUAL TO THE FATHER!
We are delicate vessels of honor. He needs your delicate feel to be in touch with the world. For a king isn’t one without his crown.
Submission as wives in Christ…