Marriage (Part 4)

XIII. Consider A. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (v. 22). the duty of the wife to submit to her husband. EPH 5:22-24. Marriage Page 9  1. submit: To place oneself under the control of a person in authority or power; to become subject, surrender oneself, or yield to a person or his rule, etc. 2. Mind how this counters a tendency for a wife to be more willing to be submissive to a married male employer or law enforcement officer than her own husband. B. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (COL 3:18). 1. fit: Befitting the person or the circumstances, agreeable to decorum, becoming, convenient, proper, right. 2. Our culture might not deem a wife's submission proper or right but it is proper and right in the Lord. C. The older women are to teach the younger women “...to be obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (TIT 2:3-5). 1. The reverence of God's word is tied to this issue. Considering the value that God places on His word, this must be important. PSA 138:2. 2. The rebellion of women against men has led to many blaspheming the word of God as being outdated, sexist, anti-woman, etc. D. Peter likewise commands wives to “...be in subjection to your own husbands...” (1PE 3:1), as were holy women of old “...in subjection to their own husbands” (1PE 3:5). 1. This subjection is by the commandment of God and not conditioned upon his obedience: “...if any obey not the word...” a. This would apply to an unconverted husband. b. This would apply to a converted husband who is disobedient to something the word of God commands. 2. What about a deadlock situation where a wife is struggling to submit to a husband because he isn't loving her as Scripture commands (obeying not the word)? a. First, this could be a matter of her perception and/or his unawareness of his deficiency. (1) She would do well to respectfully talk to him, get the concern out in the open, and hear his side of the matter. Respectful dialogue clears up many issues. (2) If need be, third-party counselling for unresolved issues may be appropriate. b. If he is genuinely disobedient to the word, she is still commanded to be submissive to him. In other words, her submission comes first, as noted already. c. Her godly submission is not only her commanded duty but also the best way to win him. 1PE 3:2-6. d. Her faith, i.e., her trust in God, ties into this submission. 1PE 3:5-6. (1) Her faith and fear of God will (per 1PE 3:2) keep her chaste (pure from unlawful sexual intercourse, continent, virtuous). She is not likely to win him by trying to fill an emotional need through adultery. (2) Her faith convinces her that true beauty and submission is inward and that outward appearance or apparel are no substitute for that. 1PE 3:3-4. (3) Her faith will strive for a meek and quiet spirit, not a loud, rebellious, contentious spirit. v. 4. (4) Her faith will encourage her that God will honor those that honor him. 1SAM 2:30. Marriage Page 10 (5) Her faith knows that God can change a heart. PRO 21:1. (6) Her faith knows that she must be patient. HEB 6:12. (7) Her faith knows that God can deliver from unreasonable men. 1SAM 25:36-38. (8) A woman who trusts in God and finds her ultimate security in Him is better able to let go of the need to control everything and can, therefore, submit to her husband. E. Women are commanded to be under obedience in both testaments. 1CO 14:34. 1. Paul here reasons that the duty of women to be silent in the church is a result of their being placed under the authority of the man. 2. The headship of the man comes first from the order of creation before sin entered. 1TI 2:11-14; 1CO 11:7-9. a. Adam was formed before Eve. b. Eve was created for Adam, not Adam for Eve. c. Eve was deceived in the transgression, not Adam. 3. Woman's subjection to man was reinforced as part of the curse. GEN 3:16. 4. This has been God's law from the beginning and no amount of rejection or tinkering will alter it. wife's submission to her husband is an unpopular subject in our day. F. A 1. We are in a time of a general breakdown of Biblical authority. We are seeing 2PE 2:10 fulfilled before our eyes. 2. Women's liberation and feminism defy the headship of the man. c/w ISA 3:12. 3. Children are allowed to defy, encouraged to defy and (shock!) do defy parents. 4. There is a revolt against ministerial authority. a. Cult leaders cause authoritative pastors to be suspected. b. Heavy media attention given to scandals revolving around ministers brings reproach on the office of the ministry. 5. The entertainment industry often makes husbands, fathers, and ministers look stupid, incompetent, immoral or even dangerous. 6. The commandment for women to be submissive is often ignored by stubborn, rebellious women to their own peril. a. But it is also abused by oppressive, selfish, insecure men. b. Thus, it is necessary to clear away the glosses that have been placed upon this holy commandment and set it in its true light. G. Stubbornness and rebellion are serious matters, as 1SAM 15:23 forcefully declares. 1. rebellion: Open or determined defiance of, or resistance to, any authority or controlling power. 2. stubborn: Of persons or animals: Pertinacious or dogged in refusing obedience or compliance; unyielding, inflexible, obstinate; chiefly in bad sense, unreasonably obstinate. a. pertinacious: Persistent or stubborn in holding to one's own opinion or design; resolute; obstinate. Chiefly as a bad quality. b. dogged: Like a dog. Having a persistency or tenacity characteristic of various breeds of dogs; obstinate, stubborn; pertinacious. c. obstinate: Pertinacious or stubborn in adhering to one's own course; not yielding to argument, persuasion, or entreaty; inflexible, headstrong, self- willed. Rarely in neutral or good sense. 3. “...rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft...” (1SAM 15:23). Marriage Page 11 a. witchcraft: The practice of being a witch or witches; the exercise of supernatural power supposed to be possessed by persons in league with the devil or evil spirits. b. The practitioner of witchcraft seeks Godlike power. c. Rebellion, like witchcraft, is an illicit grab for power. 4. “...stubbornness is as iniquity...” (1SAM 15:23). a. iniquity: The quality of being unrighteous, or (more often), unrighteous action or conduct. b. Iniquity comes from a combining of the prefix in with equity, and thus means without equity (equity = equal, fair, just). c. The stubborn feminist agenda defies male authority in the name of equality and justice when it is their cause that is unequal, unjust and unrighteous. d. A heirarchy of authority is necessary to equity and justice in the earth. e. When every person is his/her own lord, then anarchy results. (1) anarchy: Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder. Trans. Absence or non-recognition of authority and order in any sphere. (2) Anarchy comes from a Greek word meaning without a chief or head. (3) Consider the lack of equity and justice in the days of the Judges when “...there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (JDG 21:25). 5. “...stubbornness is as...idolatry” (1SAM 15:23). Stubbornness is as idolatry in that the self claims sovereignty and thus tries to usurp God's place. 6. A rebellious and stubborn person is acting under the influence of Satan as is a practitioner of witchcraft or idolatry. 7. 1SAM 15:23 was addressed to Saul, who professed to be obedient to God in the very context of the utterance. 1SAM 15:20-21. a. Professing Christians can also be characterized by rebellion and stubbornness. b. This warning applies directly to women who profess Christ as Lord yet rebel against the legitimate authority of their husbands, which authority is derived from the Lord Jesus Christ. 8. Wives, when conflict arises between you and your husband, honestly examine yourself to see if rebellion against authority is not a key factor. H. The authority of a husband over his wife is a limited authority. 1. Wives are to submit themselves unto their own husbands “...as unto the Lord” (EPH 5:22). 2. The phrase as unto the Lord imposes a limitation on the submission. 3. “With prepositions, 'as' has the general sense of 'as far as, so far as,' and thus restricts or specifically defines the reference of the preposition; e.g. 'as against, as between.' 'As anent, as concerning, as for, as to, as touching' have all the sense of 'as it regards, so far as it concerns, with respect or reference to.'” 4. A wife's submission unto her own husband extends as far as her submission unto the Lord. a. No wife is required to obey her husband when such obedience places her in disobedience to God. b. Sarah, the model of a holy, submissive wife (1PE 3:6), was justified in Marriage Page 12  resisting Abraham's dedication to Ishmael. GEN 21:9-12. 5. Remember, only God has absolute, unlimited authority. 1TI 6:15. All legitimate human authority is delegated by Him. ROM 13:1-2. God delegates authority to different spheres of life: minister, husband, wife, parent, employer, civil power, etc. Reason dictates that none of these offices have all authority of themselves or there would be no separation of powers. All human authority is subject to God's law. PSA 103:19. In a just society, rulers themselves are restrained by law. DEU 17:14-20. From this, it follows that no human authority has a right to unqualified submission from its subjects. Only God has such a right. is to submit with fear (1PE 3:2) but she is to be “...not afraid with any a. b. c. d. e. a. amazement: The condition of being mentally paralyzed, mental stupefaction, frenzy. b. Being submissive to her husband does not mean that she becomes mentally numb, powerless and helpless. c. In the face of immediate clear peril to herself and her family, Abigail wisely worked contrary to her foolish husband's wishes to the saving of her house. 1SAM 25:4-35. d. A sensible, intelligent, godly wife is an asset, not a rival, threat or liability to her husband's success. ACT 18:26; PRO 31:10-31. e. The woman is the weaker vessel and is to be honored as such. 1PE 3:7. (1) The effectiveness of prayers hinges on knowledgeable cohabitation manifested in the honor (respect, reverence) that a husband renders to his wife. (2) Praying for children to grow up into godly adults with healthy emotions and marriages while dishonoring a spouse in front of them is an example of hindering prayers. f. A wife's holy fear should not be a fear that her weakness will be exploited by her husband. He is not to be bitter against her for being as God made her. COL3:19. g. The man who terrorizes his wife into submission is abusing his authority and a woman is not required by God to submit to an abuser. h. As a last-ditch recourse for a woman who cannot live under her husband's authority without losing her mind, health or life, she may separate from him by divorce and remain celibate. 1CO 7:10-11. 7. Woman was given by God as “an help meet for” the man. This requires the use of her God-given intelligence. GEN 2:18. a. A wife should have a part in making decisions in the home. b. Paul exhorts younger women to “...marry, bear children, guide the house...” (1TI 5:14). (1) guide: To act as guide to; to go with or before for the purpose of leading the way. 4. To conduct the affairs of (a household, state, etc.). (2) This is why children are to obey and honor father and mother. EPH 6:1-2. c. Being under authority does not mean being totally without it. GEN 41:40; MAT 8:9. 6. A wife amazement” (1PE 3:6). Marriage Page 13 d. The woman under the authority of her husband exercises authority with her husband for her husband's interest. GEN 2:18. e. If being under authority to your husband seems demeaning and repulsive to you, then you need the mind of Christ. PHIL 2:5-8.
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