Next to the vow you take to the Lord, the marriage vow is the most sacred and intimate on earth. In Scripture, the Lord’s coming is like a groom to his bride. The Lord cares about your relationship as man and wife.
We are entering chapter 3 of 1st Peter, and immediately we’re given clear instruction on how to behave in God’s presence – in marriage.
First to the wife and then to the husband.
Wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands, so that, even if some of them do not obey the word, they may be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives…rather let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight… Husbands, in the same way, show consideration for your wives in your life together, paying honor to the woman as the weaker sex, since they too are also heirs of the gracious gift of life – so that nothing may hinder your prayers.1st Peter 3:1-2, 4, & 7
Wife submit – accept the authority of your husband
The Lord is clear about the wife’s position as submissive to her husband, the head of the house. In love relationship, we submit wholeheartedly to our Lord and Savior.
The Lord recognizes the relationship He has with the woman.
She is an heir go the most gracious gift of life. She lives the “with-God” life, so her inner soul is pure, gentle, and quiet. Furthermore, she is obedient to His word. Most importantly, she has entrusted her soul to God.
As she submits to her husband, she trusts God to take care of her.
Sadly, many Christian wives today and in the past have had unbelieving and unfaithful husbands. They have been physically, mentally, and verbally abused. They have treated less than a slave and gratify the sexual desires of their husband.
Feminism and the “me too” generation do not have their foundation in lies.
Submission is voluntary selflessness. It is death to pride and a desire to serve. It is not fear, but love. Yielding to his authority and judgment out of respect and reverence, not fear. Basically, when you submit, you defer to or consent to abide by the opinion and authority of another.
But in the Christian wife’s heart, there is something more in the move to submit to their husband. It is an understanding that he is ultimately responsible to God for how he treats God’s daughter.
It’s not easy, but it is done in the presence of God. He is watching and will take care of you.
Note we are not told to leave the husband, preach to him, or even argue. Our relationship with Christ gives us the courage, patience, and love to endure in situations where the husband is out of line.
The Lord not only holds him accountable, but He refuses to hear their prayer.
If the prayer of a righteous man is effective, then what are the consequences of hindered prayer?
Respect vs. love
1st Peter is not the first place Sacred Scripture speaks to the man and wife.
Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Church. He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the Church is subject to Christ, so also the wife ought to be subject to their husband in everything. Husbands, love your wives as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her… So husbands ought also to love their wives as their bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the Church. Ephesians 5:22-25 & 28-29
Every day someone is getting married and every day someone gets divorced. The joyful day of marriage turns into the darkest day of sorrow. The death of a marriage brings heartache.
If every Christian husband wife took God at His word and followed it, then wives would respect their husbands and husbands love their wives. The Lord wants harmony in the home, and we do well to obey Him.
If there is no love relationship with the Lord, then anger, resentment, and fear wound the soul when the husband or wife is out of line. The gentle and gracious hand of the Lord will bring comfort and trusting Him will bring you peace.
What if the husband is unfaithful/abusive?
In some cases, like infidelity or abuse, as wife will divorce her husband. God hates divorce, even though he knows it is a reality even in Christian homes (Malachi 2:16)
Notice, even in Malachi, the Lord cares about the wife’s soul and the husband’s hindered prayer:
And this you do as well, you cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand. You ask, “Why does He not?” Because the LORD was a witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Didn’t one God make her? Both flesh and spirit are His. And what does God desire? Godly offspring. So look to yourselves, and do not let anyone be faithless to the wife of his youth. For I hate divorce, says the LORD, the God of Israel and covering one’s garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.Malachi 2:13-16
The quality of our relationship with God will be no better than the quality of our relationship with others. Your husband’s relationship with you affects the relationship he has with the Lord.
Respect and pray for your husband. You belong to the Lord, sister disciple, and you are treasured in HIs sight. Allow Him to work on Him if He is faithless, abusive, and disobedient to the Word.
Easy? No! I could spend pages discussing how unfair it is and grow angry, resentful, and bitter. But I refuse to go there, and so should you.
Christ left us an example
Christ left us a good example when He suffered for doing right. He was abused, but did not return the abuse or threaten. As He did in life, so He did in death by entrusting Himself to the one who judges justly (1st Peter 2:23).
Waves, submit to your husband, be subject to him and respect him. But most importantly, trust yourself to God. Allow Him to handle whatever happens in your marriage. Then return, return, and return again to the Shepherd and Guardian of your soul.
Your relationship “with-God” is first and foremost. He who loves you with an everlasting love is faithful to see you through whatever may come in your marriage.
The time you spend more in the secret place than seeking others advice will make the greatest impact on your marriage.
Next to the vow you take to the Lord, the marriage vow is the most sacred and intimate on earth.
In conclusion, I am not telling you to stay with an abusive husband or anything. But, let me assure you that the Lord understands your situation and relationship with your husband.
We live in a fallen world, and some of us live with unfaithful and unbelieving husbands. But God is faithful, and He will not leave nor forsake you. Trust Him – over and over again, trust Him. He is the Shepherd and Guardian of your soul – worthy of your trust.
If you do what is right in God’s eyes, then how can you go wrong?
Yours in Christ,
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about God’s Will in Marriage (1st Peter 3:1-7).