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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Nov. 12, 2007

  • 2007 Nov 12
  • COMMENTS
 

IS MARRIAGE YOUR priority?

Conclusion Part 5 continued from November 11th

 

What Is a Biblical Wife’s Mandate in Marriage?

 

  • BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS A LIFESTYLE.
    • Scripture indicates that it is the wife’s responsibility to make herself submissive. Nowhere is the husband commanded to physically force his wife into submission. Rather, the wife is commanded to make herself submissive. (Compare Eph. 5:22 and I Pet. 3:1.) Scripture indicates that the wife's submission is to be continuous. The Greek verb in most passages about submission is in the present tense. Submission is to be the continuous life style of the wife. (Compare Eph. 5:22 and I Pet. 3:1.) Wifely submission is mandatory, not optional. The Greek verb is in the imperative mood. (Compare Eph. 5:21, 22 and I Pet. 3:1.) Her submission is not to be based upon the way her husband treats her. Nor is it to be conditioned by the husband's abilities, talents, wisdom, education, or spiritual state. (Compare I Pet. 3: 1 and Luke 2:51.) Wifely submission is a spiritual matter. It is to be done ''as to the Lord" (Eph. 5:22). The Lord commands the wife to be submissive. Refusal to submit to the husband is therefore rebellion against God Himself. Submission to the husband is a test of her love for God as well as a test of love for her husband. The wife then must look upon her submission to her husband as an act of obedience to Christ and not merely to her husband. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15), and one of his commands to wives is, "Be subject to your own husbands. ..." (Eph. 5:22).
  • BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS A WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
    • Wifely submission is a spiritual matter because it must be performed in the power of the Holy Spirit. The context in which submission is commanded indicates that it can be performed only by women whose hearts have been cleansed, by the blood of Christ, by women who are being strengthened in the inner man by the Holy Spirit, by women who are being filled up to all fullness of God. (Compare Eph.1:1-5:21;IPet.1:1-3:6.) Submission is a positive, not negative concept. It emphasizes what the wife should do rather than what she should not do. In my opinion, Bill Gothard's definition of submission is right on target. He asserts that submission is "the freedom to be creative under divinely appointed authority."
  • BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS STRATEGIC.
    • Submission means that the wife puts all of her talents, abilities, resources, and energy at her husband's disposal. So now there are two hearts, two minds, twice the strength, twice the endurance, twice the capacity to accomplish ONE PURPOSE!
  • BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS UNIFYING.
    • Submission means that the wife yields and uses all of her abilities under the management of her husband for the good of her husband and family – and thus she sees herself as a part of her husband's team. She is not her husband's opponent fighting at cross-purposes or trying to outdo him. She is not merely an individual going her separate way. She is her husband's teammate striving for the same goal. She has ideas, opinions, desires, requests, and insights, and she lovingly makes them known. But she knows that on any good team someone has to make the final decisions and plans. She knows that the team members must support the team leader, his plans and decisions, or no progress will be made, and confusion and frustration will result.
  • BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS DELIGHTFUL.
    • Jesus Christ was thoroughly submitted to the Father. He said, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work" (John 4:34). But how did He serve the Father? In a spirit of resignation, servility, or heaviness? No, He served the Father with gladness. He delighted to do the Father's will (Ps. 40:7,8). So biblical submission involves the wife's attitudes of finding great satisfaction in using all of her God-given resources to fulfill the needs of her husband and family. Ephesians 5:33 contains a very important injunction concerning the attitude in which a wife should submit to her husband. It says, "Let the wife see to it that she respect her husband." As she submits to her husband, she is to do so with respectful attitude. What this means is clarified by the Amplified Version of the New Testament when it asserts that the wife is to notice, regard, honor, prefer, esteem, praise, and admire her husband exceedingly.
  • BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS COMPLETE.
    • Wifely submission is to be extensive. She is to be subject unto her husband as the church is to Christ (Eph. 5:24). And how broad should the submission of the church be to Christ? Well, the submission of the church to Christ is to be total; it is to be comprehensive. Christ is "head over all things for the church" (Eph. 1:22), and the church is to do whatever it does in word or deed in the name of the Lord Jesus, in total dependence upon His person, acknowledging and recognizing Him in all its ways, doing all for His honor and glory (Col. 3:17; Proverbs 3:5,6; I Cor. 10:31). In like fashion Paul says, "the wives are to be subject to their husbands in everything." The wife's submission to her husband then is to be extensive but not necessarily total or unlimited. She is to obey him in everything except that which contradicts the Word of God. And even then she is to disobey in a loving, submissive fashion, explaining calmly and clearly her reasons for disobedience, assuring her husband of her love and loyalty, and seeking to demonstrate that love and loyalty in a variety of continuous and tangible ways. She is to be her husband's helper (Gen. 2:18), and this she can never be if she manifests a contentious, inconsiderate, uncooperative spirit.
  • BIBLICAL SUBMISSION IS LIFE LONG.
    • Submission is not to be an on-again off-again matter for the wife. Nor is it to be a selective, choose what you like, reject what you do not like proposition. Submission is to be her life style at all times, in all places, and in everything. Certainly this does not mean that she must obey her husband when he commands her to do what God forbids or tries to keep her from doing what God commands. She is to be subject to her husband ''as is fitting in the Lord" (Col. 3:18). Her husband's authority is a delegated or ministerial authority. He has authority because he is under the authority of God. As long as he does not ask her to do what God forbids or forbids her from doing what God commands, she is to submit. Failure to do so would be rebellion against God as well as her husband. However, since her husband's authority is delegated to him, he loses his authority at those times and in those areas when his directives are clearly contrary to the revealed will of God as it is found in the Bible. When the husband asks her to do that which is unmistakably contrary to the Word of God, the wife must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:28-29).

 

Wives, God calls you to be in submission to your husband, to be his unique and suitable helper. To some extent in this unit we have seen what that means. But knowing what it means is of little value, unless it is applied to your relationship with your husband. Knowing these facts will not promote oneness in marriage. Performing them will. I ask you wives to examine your relationship to your husbands in the light of these truths.

1.    Are you really practicing submission to your husband?

2.    Are you really his helper?

I suggest that where you find yourself to be failing: Make confession of your sin to God and your husband. Seek cleansing from this sin and all your sins through the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9). Ask the Holy Spirit for power to be different (Gal. 5:16, 22, 23). Move out in obedience to the Word of God, and make the necessary changes (Phil. 2:12, 13; James 1:19-24).

 

The Wife’s Mandate

 

So how can we as wives love our husbands with Christ's love? Here are just a few ideas. A wife who believes her primary ministry is marriage will CHOOSE TO HAVE:

1.          A PRIORITY OF THE IRRESISTABLE HOME.

2.          A PRIORITY OF REVERENCE.

3.          A PRIORITY OF CHEERFULNESS

4.          A PRIORITY OF COMMUNICATION.

5.          A PRIORITY OF CONTENTMENT.

6.          A PRIORITY OF PATIENCE.

7.          A PRIORITY OF CARING.

8.          A PRIORITY OF INDUSTRIOUSNESS.

9.          A PRIORITY OF HELPFULNESS.

10.     A PRIORITY OF BEAUTY.

11.     A PRIORITY OF DEVOTION.

12.     A PRIORITY OF AGREEMENT.

13.     A PRIORITY OF LOYALTY.

14.     A PRIORITY OF GRATITUDE.

15.     A PRIORITY OF CONFIDENCE.

 

The Husband’s Mandate

 

There are, of course, many passages in the Bible, which speak of the man's part in marriage. Some of the key passages are Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5: 23-33: 1 Timothy 3:4,5; Psalm 128; 1 Peter 3:7: 1 Corinthians 7:3,4: Proverbs 5:15-19; Colossians 3:19.

 

So how can we as husbands love our wives with Christ's love? Here are just a few ideas. A husband who believes his primary ministry is marriage will CHOOSE TO HAVE:

 

  1. A PRIORITY OF HUMILITY.
  2. A PRIORITY OF SERVANTHOOD.
  3. A PRIORITY OF KIND WORDS.
  4. A PRIORITY OF KIND DEEDS.
  5. A PRIORITY OF YOUR PRESENCE.
  6. A PRIORITY OF HELPING.
  7. A PRIORITY OF SACRIFICE.
  8. A PRIORITY OF SHARING.
  9. A PRIORITY OF LOYALTY.
  10. A PRIORITY OF HER.
  11. A PRIORITY OF TENDERNESS.
  12. A PRIORITY OF PRAISING HER.

________________________________________________________________________

[1]This section and the rest of this message are all adaptions, quotations, and allusions to sections of the fantastic outline in Wayne Mack, Strengthening You Marriage, Phillipsburg, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co... 1977, Page 1-4

[2] From Wayne Mack, Strengthening You Marriage, Phillipsburg, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co... 1977, Page 13-18.

[3] From Wayne Mack, Strengthening You Marriage, Phillipsburg, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co... 1977, Pages 27-36.

[4] From Wayne Mack, Strengthening You Marriage, Phillipsburg, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co... 1977, Page 13-18. (Grateful acknowledgment for the substance of suggestions 13-15 is given to Robert D. Smith, M.D. Dr. Smith has granted permission for their inclusion. He indicates that his remarks are a distillation of concepts taught by Bill Gothard.)  

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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