Let’s not be wives who just tolerate our husbands. Let’s embrace them as God embraces us. Since God treats me with grace, how can that change my marriage? Justification changes my relationship to God from one of law to grace. No more “or else-ness.”
That changes my marriage from one of judgment to mercy . . . from condemnation to acceptance. A gospel marriage looks like Christ and the Church in love together forever. Grace renews a marriage. A gospel-filled marriage is not filled with criticism and or else-ness.
Mrs. Law says—maybe not in her actual words, but I think in her responses: “Honey, for me to be a really happy wife, this is how it could work.” And she says, “You need to do it this way, or do it at this time, or listen in this way, or understand me here, or not forget this, and if you do all that, it’s going to be a great marriage.”
But she’s not following Jesus Christ into a grace-filled relationship. She’s following three different avenues. The first one is she’s following Eve into taking over the leadership in her marriage.
You all know the story in Genesis, and Mrs. Law is just like Eve. “I’ve got to get it done or it’s not going to get done.”
If the Trinity understands submission and practices it, why is that so offensive to us daughters of the King?
Submission is a yielding in love, a flexibility. It’s non-demanding. It’s very Christ-like. The right kind of submission is always a voluntary thing.
God is not going to stand us before Him and say, “I am so proud of how you changed your husband.” Don’t take on a responsibility God never intends us to have.
Do you want to live with a defensive and resistant man? Be his conscience. Rather than flexing with him, freely point out to your husbands the things that you think would really be great if he could change.
The Bible says that this kind of woman is worse than deep hunger, than tedious torture, and it’s even worse than physical and social deprivation. You know those proverbs?
When you want to correct, win his heart without a word by your respectful behavior, 1 Peter 3:1–6. When you want his attention, make yourself beautiful to him and to God with your gentleness and quietness. That doesn’t mean mousiness. I’ll talk about that in a minute. That doesn’t mean silence. But it does mean non-nagging. God prizes a woman like that. He notices that kind of beauty, and I can promise you your husband will, too.
And finally, when you’re frightened by the call to submit in 1 Peter 3, trust God. He is faithful to you. Ultimately, it’s not that you trust your husband, but that you trust your God. Think of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Think of her heart. The angel came to her, not to Joseph, first. He didn’t believe her, and he thought she’d been unfaithful to him. How would you like that?
There are many forces out there that would want to divide you and your husband. The Bible talks a lot about sexual intimacy as being a security against them. You are the only legal God-blessed source of sexual fulfillment that your husband will ever have if he follows the Lord carefully. Give him the joy and pleasure that he can only experience with you.
If you would like to see the Lord do a work in your marriage come take the 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge at Revive Our Hearts. Everyday for 30 days you get a note in your email to guide you in speaking positively about and to your husband. I think 30 days to strengthen your marriage is a pretty good investment! I’ve been doing this challenge yearly for three years and can attest that it has helped me to change the way I respond and speak to and about my husband.