Christians Gathered and Sharing Theirs Lives Together

A daily devotion for April 27th

In the Same Way…

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own 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, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

1Peter 3:1-2

The issue of a wife being subject to her husband raises the thorny issue of how this is to be done. Women quite properly ask, How far should I take this? The answer of Scripture is contained in the first phrase in this passage, in the same way. This indicates that an example has already been given and that women are to conform to the example in their subjection. It is the example of Jesus Christ in his subjection to the circumstances in which the Father had placed him. Wives are to submit to their husbands as Christ submitted to the Father. The wife's submission to her husband is a kind of gauge or measure of the degree to which she is submitted to Christ.

Using the example of Christ, it is clearly evident there is to be no moral departure on the wife's part from that which would offend her conscience. No husband has the right to ask his wife to disobey her conscience. Jesus never wrestled with his conscience in his submission to the Father. He never lowered his moral standards, although it meant that there were a lot of things which he did not himself enjoy or like, that he put up with because they were the Father's choice for him. So wives must trust their husbands and follow them as far as they possibly can. Where they cannot, in good conscience, they are still to love them and submit to them in every other way.

Peter hints at a false concept of submission in the phrase, without words. In this case we have a situation where women are married to non-Christian husbands. Perhaps both were non-Christians when they got married, but the wife has since received Christ and now is married to a man who does not see eye to eye with her in spiritual matters. Wives, he says, are to be submissive to such husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won to Christ without a word on the part of the wife. Without a word does not mean she is never to speak to him, it simply means she is not to nag him. Nagging is frequently a subtle evasion on the part of the wife of her responsibility to submit to her husband. It is an attempt to take over the reins without really appearing to do so under the guise of concern for some worthwhile end. Nagging does one of two things: Either the man becomes stubborn and obstinate, or he forms a habit of giving in to keep the peace. If his reaction is one of stubbornness, it is because he feels his masculinity has been challenged. If he gives in to keep the peace, and this goes on long enough, the wife finds herself catapulted into a role that she is unfitted for and unhappy in — the role of decision-maker.

Forgive me for the many times I read through passages like this, Father, and take them lightly, as though they were merely good advice and not a revelation of such basic importance that life becomes unbearable when I deviate from them. Amen.

Life Application

Do I believe that my actions are more powerful than words in changing the hearts of those who I love?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

What Every Wife Should Know

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