This blog will be most relatable for wives who tend to be strong willed/in charge whose husbands are passive.
If your husband is controlling or you are more passive – many things I talk about will still apply (God’s Word always applies)- but you may have to approach some of the practical issues from a different angle. This blog may not be as helpful for you.
I only write for wives – I don’t write for husbands. A husband cannot force his wife to respect him and submit to him any more than a wife can force her husband to love her. She must do this willingly and voluntarily out of her love and respect and obedience to Christ. I am not writing for abused women. I write for women who are dominating and controlling. This blog won’t be a good fit for wives who are overly submissive or whose husbands are very controlling or physically abusive. I have no experience with those dynamics.
Let’s get back to basics. Here is God’s pattern for marriage – which is the basis of my blog:
New International Version (NIV)
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
On Peacefulwife – my focus is only on what God commands wives to do.
Why is that?
1. God’s primary purpose in marriage is to bring glory to Himself through the way husbands and wives relate to each other. I desire to help wives understand the importance of marriage from God’s perspective and that He desires husbands to portray the self-sacrificing love and headship of Christ and that He desires wives to portray the love, adoration, reverence, submission and honor of the church for Christ. This is so much bigger than our individual families. When we approach marriage God’s way for His glory and by His power – our marriages will draw many to Jesus to find a real, intimate and eternal relationship with Him. And when we approach marriage with our own wisdom or worldly wisdom – the Name of Christ and God’s Word is maligned. (Titus 2:4-5)
2. I believe that – as one of the ”older women in the church” (I will be 40 this month!) – God desires me to teach women “what is good: to affectionately love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.” (Titus 2:2-5) I long to see women experience the JOY and PEACE of living in obedience to God, filled with His Holy Spirit.
3. I believe that our power in marriage is when we focus on what God asks us to do, not when we try to judge whether our husbands are living up to their end of the covenant. God’s commands apply to us regardless of our husbands’ behavior. Yes, there are times we must respectfully, gently, humbly confront our husbands’ sin (Matthew 7:1-6, Matthew 18).
4. I believe that a wife’s level of respect and willingness to honor her husband’s leadership are direct indicators of her level of respect and submission to Christ. I believe that the way a woman treats her husband reveals the way she treats God. Respect and submission for our husbands must begin with respect and total submission to Christ. Then, out of my love and adoration for my Lord Jesus, I learn to respect my husband and honor him as the God-given authority in the marriage.
5. I believe that children learn to respect and submit to God and God-given authority by watching their mother’s example of respect and biblical submission in her marriage. We are part of a huge key for our children to be able to understand God’s nature and for them to learn to trust Him and understand His sovereignty and holiness.
6. It is very easy for us to focus so much on what our husbands “should” do that we ignore our own responsibilities. Or it is very easy to think, “I’ll respect him when he starts doing his part.” But there is no qualifier that God only expects us to obey Him if our husbands are obeying Him to our satisfaction. God does NOT ask us to respect sin and we do not have to cooperate with our husbands when/if they ask us to sin. Any human authority that asks us to violate God’s Word is trumped by the authority of God’s Word. (For more in this, please see Spiritual Authority at the top of my home page.)
7. God called me to teach women, not men. (I Timothy 2:11-15 and I Corinthians 14:33-35). God convicted me of this powerfully in September of last year. I desire to honor Him alone.
It is not my intention for women to be the only ones who obey God. I only teach women, so I do not address men here.
I am sure you can see from this passage in Ephesians 5 that husbands have even more responsibilities in marriage than wives do – and they are held accountable by God for their obedience to Him and for their use of their God-given authority and leadership. We are held accountable to God for our own obedience.
ALL PEOPLE NEED JESUS
Some women believe that I am blaming women for their husbands’ sins. Nope! Each person is accountable to God for his or her own sin according to the Bible! I address women and ask us all to look at our own sin, our own relationship to Christ and our own obedience to God’s Word. Husbands are also accountable for their own sin, their relationship with Christ and their obedience to God’s Word and their leadership in their families.
Some women believe that because I only address women and our sins, that I am saying men are perfect or deity. NOT AT ALL!
The Bible clearly teaches at ALL people (men and women) are wretched sinners in desperate need of the blood of Jesus to cover our multitude of sins!
- There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. Romans 3:10-11
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
- The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord! Romans 6:23
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8
Just because I only discuss what wives are responsible for in marriage and our accountability to God for our obedience and our own sin does not negate the fact that husbands are also accountable to God for their obedience and their sin. Both husbands and wives need respect and love. Both husbands and wives ought to give respect and love to one another.
However – if my legitimate needs are not met – God desires me (and any believer) to respond without sin by the power of His Spirit. There are times when my sinful husband will not meet my legitimate needs. Just like there are times I will fail him, too and will need to repent to God and to my husband. When I am sinned against – I am not justified to sin against someone else. I will be most tempted to sin in those times. But God can give us the power to repay evil with good and to return cursing with blessing and to pray for those who persecute us. God’s Word commands us not to be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-12)
My prayer is that women will find the truth here spoken in love and with respect. I realize that many churches are NOT teaching women the full truth of God’s Word – to our great detriment! Some of these truths are VERY PAINFUL to hear. Sadly, even though what I teach is straight from God’s Word, I know that these concepts sound RADICAL to our ears even in the church. These are things we should have been taught as children and should have seen modeled in all the Christian marriages around us. I believe that “the ball was dropped” decades ago and that we are now paying a steep price. It is time for us to pick up the ball and not allow our children to pay an even greater price.
It is time for US to become a godly generation of women who live God’s truth no matter what the cost.
I don’t want us to go back to the way things were 100 years ago. My goal is for us to live the way God wants us to, not to follow any specific traditions of men. There was sin and error in doctrine 100 years ago. That time gone by was full of imperfect people, too. I desire us to compare ourselves to the true, holy and perfect standard of God’s Word – not to other generations or to other people living today. I desire true holiness in God’s people – not legalism, not a set of rules to follow and try to make ourselves holy. I desire to see the Spirit of God move among us and empower us to be holy. We cannot do this on our own! We need the Holy Spirit’s power!
I am personally convinced that we as Christian women hold a huge key to God creating holiness in His people today. I believe that if God will open our eyes to our sin - we will repent. And when we as the women of God repent and begin to live as God desires us to – I believe that God will then empower our men to become the strong, godly, holy leaders that He wants them to be. And then I believe we can raise a generation of godly children. God may want to change us first, ladies. I pray that He will give us the courage, strength and faith to make this amazing journey with Him for His purposes and His glory!
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10