It may seem strange for some that I would take time to write this piece. After all, you would not expect to find this article on Manly Training. Nevertheless, here it is and here am I taking time to write to you about the role of a wife and the wisdom you need to succeed at it. This article will speak to everyone, not just the women. My primary objective here is to bring to light God’s wonderful wisdom that you will need if you want to be the wife that God created you to be.
The New Pastor
The other day I heard the story of a new pastor who was at his first business meeting at his church. He asked if there were any prayer requests and an older women named Mary asked for prayer for Annette, a lady who was in the hospital with terminal cancer.
The new pastor heard some audible groans from the others as he wrote Annette’s name down. Then this women proceeded to tell of her son being away in the military and the fact that she had not heard from him in a long time. And that was not all. She continued telling the pastor that her husband had just visited her in the hospital and told her he was divorcing her.
The pastor was shocked at how anyone could treat someone this way. Just then, another older lady told Mary to sit down and shut up.
The new pastor was flabbergasted at this point. He had just heard the most disturbing story ever and someone from the congregation is telling the other lady to sit down and shut up! The pastor, being new, didn’t want to offend anyone, but felt he must step in so he said, “ma’am, please, let Mary share her requests for this lady”.
Then the other lady said, “Mary is my sister and the prayer request she is giving is for a lady on her soap opera”.
Now while this lady may have been a bit removed from reality, we are not always far from that either in our view of reality. We watch a movie or a TV show and we think real life should operate like that. Maybe you wonder why your wife can’t look like the models on Deal or no deal. Or you wonder why your husbands can’t look and act like the guy on the bachelor”.
Well, Real life is not found on TV or in the movies or in fiction books. Real life is lived day by day and it is often not very neat. In fact, it is quite often very messy. And nowhere is this more true than in our marriage relationships.
As we get into this series, we are going to begin with the roles of wives and husbands. Now if you are not a wife or a husband, don’t stop reading. There are practical things found in here for those who are unmarried. Besides, maybe you will be married one day and this will help you to have a good foundation for your marriage.
Every Role Has Difficulties
Now as we begin, we need to understand that every role, every part that God has for us to play, has difficulties associated with it, and the role of a wife is no different. But let us remember that these difficult things are there to help us to rely on the Lord.
Two weeks ago, I wrote an article about wisdom ( The Roles We Play in Life and The Wisdom We Need to Succeed at Them ). Paul told us to be careful in how we live, not as unwise, but as wise.
The Man Who Might Have
This reminds me of a man who had some terrible physical symptoms so went to the Doctor. The Dr. examined him carefully and then went to speak to the man’s wife alone. The Dr. told her that her husband had a rare disorder and that if he did not undergo a drastic change in his lifestyle, it would lead to certain death very soon.
He said that luckily, they could treat this disorder with much rest and proper nutrition. The Dr. told her that if her husband was going to live that she could make sure and fix him a hot healthy breakfast each morning with fresh squeezed orange juice, each day, and that she should make sure that he took a healthy lunch by fixing it for him, and that she could help him get the protein he needed by fixing a meat and potatoes dinner each night. He told her that in order to help his immune system respond to these things, she should keep the house extremely clean for the next several months. And it would be extremely beneficial to just not upset him and just do the things he wants.
One Good Shot
With all of these things, he had a good shot at recovering and living a long life. Otherwise, he had little hope.
The Dr. asked the wife if she wanted to tell her husband the seriousness of his disorder or should he. The wife said she would.
They walked into the exam room. The husband could sense the seriousness of the situation when he saw his wife’s eyes welling up with tears.
He said, “It’s bad, isn’t it?”
His wife said, “Yes, honey, I am afraid it is. The Dr. says you’re going to die.”
You Want me to do What?
There are times when we aren’t willing to do anything that we don’t want to do despite the circumstances surrounding it.
Now I am not suggesting that doing all of those things makes you a godly wife, but that sometimes we get so closed off in our minds as to what we will do, that little will cause us to re-examine how we should live in the role God has placed us.
That is what I want to do today. Throughout this series, I want you to examine how you are playing your part and be open minded and pray for God to show you how you can best live life playing your part.
The Role of a Wife According to God
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as 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.
We live in a culture today that cringes when they hear the word submit. And as I said a few minutes ago, each role has some difficult things about it and for wives, this is it.
The Hard Part of Being a Godly Wife
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
Well that stinks! Do you mean wives have to do whatever their husband say? Well, this is the part we have so much trouble swallowing and it’s twofold.
First, we want to be in control of ourselves. We don’t want anyone else telling us what to do.
Second, I believe we have totally taken this word out of the context of the Bible as a whole and made it mean something else. We associate the word submit with being less of a person than the person we submit to. However, this is not submission like the Bible talks about.
Biblical Submission never means one person is less of a person than another! It never has us replace God with someone else and it has nothing to do with claiming that men and women are not equal!
Unfortunately, the church, and some Christian men, have had a hand in perpetuating that thought! They erroneously teach that women are not equal and that they are to do whatever we say. But that is not the case at all.
Well if that is not true, then What does it mean to Submit?
Biblical Submission means that we voluntarily place ourselves under the care and rule of someone else as they follow the Lord. There are several places in the Bible that speak of submission.
- We are all to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)
- We are to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1)
But this does not mean that we must do whatever those in rule over us tell us to do. We see in Acts that if what someone tells us to do contradicts what God would have us do, then we don’t have to submit.
13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
When Peter and the other apostles were preaching in Jesus’ name, the Sanhedrin told them to stop, but they would not. They said, Acts 5:29 – “We must obey God rather than men!
Don’t Do It
So wives, submission does not make you a slave. God has not designed you to be a doormat! He has not put you in your role to be abused. If what is being asked of you in your marriage does not honor the Lord, or harms you physically or endangers you or others, or draws you away from your relationship with the Lord then you have no obligation to follow it or allow it.
On the other hand, even if your husband is not a follower of Jesus, if he is making a decision that does not dishonor the Lord, you do have an obligation to follow.
Being submissive does not mean that you don’t offer advice or make suggestions or just do things mindlessly. A husband and wife should be talking and communicating and working together with the husband recognizing the wife as the helpmate that God designed her to be.
But there are times when a decision is not agreed upon yet a decision has to be made. It is in those cases wives that your husband needs to make a decision and you need to follow.
I know that this can be difficult sometimes. It’s one of the hardest things a wife does. But there is also the good part.
The Good Part of being a Godly Wife
And what could that good part possibly be? The good part is that God has told you how to fulfill your purpose and glorify Him and you develop and inward beauty that affects your outward appearance and how others see you.
1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
This does not mean that you should not do anything to your outward appearance, but that your inner beauty, is the base for true beauty.
Cove it All Up
You can’t cover up for long the reality of what is inside you with makeup or clothes or a new hairdo. Women sometimes think those things will make them beautiful and bring them fulfillment. These are things that everyone is looking for! The world may tell women that they are going to find fulfillment if they are outwardly beautiful. According to the world, this fulfillment will come to you because you will be able to have a better career or become powerful or be in control.
But that is not the case! Those things really don’t bring fulfillment, because that is not how God has designed you. You are going to find fulfillment in life (if you are a wife), by being submissive to your husband. Submissive as we have discussed here so far, not submissive like a mindless slave.
When you face the Lord on the day of judgment, you are not going to have to answer for many of the decisions that were made in your home. If money was spent foolishly because of a decision by your husband, he will answer for that. If you attended church and never gave financially and you felt bad about it, but your husband said no, you will not have to answer for that.
How it Is
Now on the flip side, did you know that if a wife makes poor decisions and the husband allows it, then he is going to be held accountable for that? Yes he is! So, praise the Lord, wives, that you are responsible for the role God has placed you in and you being obedient to that.
Husbands are going to have to answer not only for their decisions, but how they led their families in making the decisions they made. More on that when I address the husbands, but for now, count it for joy that God has made you to be your husband’s help-mate and it starts with biblical submission.
In part two we will take a practical look at how God designed the role of a wife and how you can have the wisdom to succeed at it.
Until next time….
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