Christians Gathered and Sharing Theirs Lives Together

A daily devotion for April 26th

What Every Wife Should Know

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.

1 Peter 3:1-2

No matter how often you read that, it always comes out the same: submit yourselves to your own husbands. The King James Version says, be in subjection; the Philips Version renders it, adapt yourselves to your husbands; the New English Bible says, accept the authority of your husbands. All of them are interpreting one word in Greek which literally means to stand under, to take a position under the leadership of your husband. This does not mean a tyrant-slave relationship. Scripture clearly indicates otherwise, especially in the word to husbands in verse 7. But it does mean that the wife is willingly to abide by the husband's final decisions in matters concerning the family and the home.

This necessity of the wife to submit herself to the husband's authority has been blown up to undue proportions. Dwelling on that aspect of marriage is like disliking roses because they have thorns — they also are very beautiful and have delightful fragrance. There are two important matters that Peter suggests about a woman's submission: The first is that this is necessary in order that the man might be a man. The first responsibility of a husband in marriage is to exercise godly leadership. And there cannot be two leaders. As someone has pointed out, When two people are on a horse, one has got to be behind! So in marriage, one must lead and one must follow. Thus, the degree to which the man fulfills his leadership is up to the wife! No leader can go farther than his followers permit him. It is the followers who make leadership possible. Therefore it is only as the wife is willing to permit, and even to encourage, her husband to lead, that he is able to fulfill his manhood.

This subjection is also necessary in order for the woman to be a woman. If the husband is going to be a man, and it takes a wife's subjection to make it possible, then it also takes this subjection for a wife to be a woman. No woman is ever really content in the role of a man. The claim that women should be free to do everything that men do, and thus to express freedom by imitating men, is a misunderstanding of the relationship of man to woman and woman to man. This does not mean that a married woman cannot work in business and industry. It means, however, that she will never find there the satisfaction and fulfillment that she can find in her home, if the conditions in that home are as God intended them to be. This is not always possible, I know, but it is always best.

Teach me to walk in these things: as a wife, to submit to my husband; as a husband, to love and cherish my wife; and thus to form marriages that become examples of what was in your heart when you made man male and female. Amen.

Life Application

Is my life adorned with the purity and reverence that represents a Christ-follower? Would it be possible for someone to see this and be won over by it?

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

What Every Wife Should Know

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