Love Honor &
After getting saved, I knew that there were some things in my life that were going to have to change…I sought desperately in the Word of God to find what He would have me to do. He was gracious with me, teaching me slowly. I learned almost immediately that my husband was to be the head of the home. It became a great avenue of prayer for me to lift him up daily since we were both just learning so many things about living for God. I knew that for Bill to be what God wanted him to be it was extremely important that I, as his wife and helpmeet, find the correct path to travel. Much of what I am going to say here may sound “out of date” or impossible to perform, but I think the one thing we will be able to agree on is that what is said will remain faithful to the Holy Scriptures. We find in the Bible if you are willing to do what God shows you, then He will also make it possible for you to do it. So are you willing? Do you really want to be in His will? No ifs, and or buts?
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
We need to go back to the beginning to learn God’s plan…to watch things unfold. God walked through the garden one day and found Adam and Eve hiding…shivering in the nakedness of their sin. And God said…”Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” Gen. 3:16. Then of course we know that He clothed them with skins…that required shed blood.
Okay, lets get this much out in the open…I am the first to admit that this is not a easy path…I don’t always like it. But it is the best way…it is God’s way. And we again can all agree that the Bible says…”He doeth all things well”. So lets take a step of faith here and see just why we need to obey our husbands.
1. God has set a chain of command. The Bible says in 1 Tim. 2: 11-13,“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. (12) But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (13) For Adam was first formed, then Eve.And then 1 Cor. 11:3 gives the rest of the chain of command: ”But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” So we see here the order of authority in our universe, is set up in the verse we just read …
The truth of the matter is that there no shame or dishonor for a woman to be under authority, if the Lord Jesus…the very God Himself…submitted to the authority of the Father. Also, we can be sure that God thinks no less of us because we are women …we have His promise…Gal. 3:8”There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
And there is no reason a man needs to be or should be puffed up…because he is above the woman. Lets consider these verses…”1 Cor. 11: 7-12 ”For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. (8) For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
(9)Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. (10) For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. (11) Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. (12) For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.” So we see that there is no room for boasting is there? Each has a blessed responsibility, A purpose in life.
We can also agree that a woman is different from a man. I know that sounds like a stupid statement. But if you have read some of the writers of the women’s movement, you’ll realize they don’t believe it! They think a woman is different only because she has been conditioned to feel that way from babyhood, and exploited by it. A woman is different in her body, in her intrestests, in her thinking, in her abilities: not inferior—different.
2. Another reason God requires a woman to be subject to her husband is also found in 1 Tim. 2…It is not easy to understand or accept, but it is part of God’s plan, of finding peace in the home. ”Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to …usurp authority over the man…And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstganding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” The command in Gen. 3:16 was given in direct consequence of eve’s sin. She was the one who “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes…..She was deceived; Adam was not. Women are more often led into spiritual error than men. Maybe it is caused by her emotional thinking. It is important to recognize here that she does not have to be led into error. This is the reason God commanded her to not usurp authority over the man, so she can be protected. Why does a wife need protection?…2 Tim. 3: 6-7 ”For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
There is the account in Jeremiah 44 that Jeremiah answers with verses 15,16…When a woman takes the spiritual leadership of the home, it always leads to tragedy. Think about Sarah…she thought she had a solution when she was barren…she suggested Abraham take Hagar, the child of that union, Ishmael, brought nothing but heartache. And till this day there has been conflict between Arab and Jew. And what about Rebekah’s conspiracy against her husband Issac? There is so much to learn from her mistakes…Zipporah and Moses…He alone in the end, because she wasn’t allowed to go with him, on account of her disobedience. Not to mention that because of her interfering with her husbands wishes she nearly caused his death. Consider the terrible results when the wife of a king sets out to manage the spiritual life of the home. King Solomon was “beloved of God” god had promised he would always have a son to sit on the throne…But his wives turned his heart away to other gods. The division fo the kingdom, and a thousand years of civil war, were the price paid because one man let his wives assume the spiritual leadership of the home.
God expects a woman to obey her husband because the husband-wife relationship pictures the holy, sweet relationship of Christ and His bride, Christians. This is explained in Ephesians 5:22-23 ”Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”
The Lord intends for marriage to be as delightful, and as sweet and intimate as the relationship we are to have with Him. And, in turn, He wants our fellowship with Him to be as real and tangible as that as we have with our mate.
Okay, we have discussed why God commands obedience. Now lets look at what the Scriptures require:
1. Ge 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
2. 1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
3. 1Co 11:8-9 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
4. Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
5. Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
6. Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
7. 1Ti 2:11-12 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
8. Tit 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
9. 1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
10. 1Pe 3:5-6 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
There are many other Scriptures concerning obedience to authority; these specifically tell a wife to obey her husband. So before we go any further…Can we still agree that the Scriptures say a wife should obey her husband? Beyond any doubt, the Scriptures say so! Amen? There is not one that has a restriction or exception is there? Not one that says there is a time when a wife should not obey. Do we see any “ifs”? If the husband were not a Christian? If the wife thinks God is leading her a different way? If it doesn’t seem fair? IF IF IF …they are not there…agreed? It is impossible to find a loophole…that is if you are truly searching the scriptures!
What about if you feel like God wants you to do the opposite of your husband? God knows it is impossible to live under two masters…to live under two rulers…Matt. 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” God tells children to obey their parents…and it is clear in Scripture that when the man marries he is released from the parents authority. And a woman also is released from her parents authority to her husband. (Heb. 13:17). Now it is true that they will be subject to other authorities as well, in the workplace, in the church, by the government. But Jesus taught that a Christian ought to and can fill both obligations. Rendering unto Casear…(Matt. 22:22) and also (Rom. 13: 5,7). It is safe to conclude that when God told a woman to obey her husband, He intended for her to be able to do it without the risk of offending other authorities.
Lets suppose a woman feels God is leading her definitely opposite to what her husband has commanded. Whom should she obey? The Scriptures say a woman must ignore her “feelings” about the will of God, and do what her husband says. She is to obey her husband as if he were God Himself. She can be as certain of God’s will, when her husband speaks, as if God had spoken and she heard it from Heaven. Okay, hard to believe…he is not in a good mood, he has a temper, he isn’t real spiritual ….bla bla bla ! Now lets look at the Scripture again…Num. 30: 6-16 “ And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.
But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her.
But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her. And if she vowed in her husband's house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath;
And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her.
Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void. But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them. But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity. These are the statutes, which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father's house.
This passage teaches two major truths: one, that a husband is given the right by God to prevent his wife from taking a spiritual step she feels led to take; and two, that if he does, GOD HOLDS HIM ACCOUNTABLE—“HE SHALL BEAR HER INIQUITY.”
Hanna’s vow in 1 Sam 1:1 illustrates the practical working of thi8s principle. Hanna promised God that if He would give her a baby boy, she would give him back to Him. But it was not until Elkanah had approved the vow (“Do what seemeth thee good”) that she was able to keep her vow. It’s important to see that this passage is talking about a definite act of worship, or dedication, which a woman wants to make. It concerns her doing a positive good. It does not mention anything about a husband’s requiring a wife to brek one of God’s commands. Why not? Because God is not going to give anybody two conflicting commands so tht it is impossible to obey them both! And that is such an important biblical principle.
Now we are still in agreement right? God’s Word says a wife ought to obey her husband. We found the bibical reasons for the command. We could not find one exception…agreed?
Still we are all alike, something down inside says. But but but …..What if my husbands command conflicts with God’s commands? They won’t because the Scriptures and reason both tell us God would never give two orders impossible to obey. The single attribute of God ithe Scrip[tures most often tell us about is His perfect holiness, His absolute fairness, His unchanging righteousness. Psamm 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”would that God make it umpossible for His children to keep His commandments, and then punish them for it? No way!. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?
If we are given two commands, one of which is bigger, we may not use the keeping of the lesser command as an excuse for breaking the larger. Timothy’s mother Eunice was a believing Jewess, married to an unsaved Gentile, (Acts 16:1) Now God commanded that every Jewish baby boy be circumcised…If he were not, the covenant would be broken and that soul cut off from his people. Nevertheless, Timothy was not circumcised. Why? Because his father did nto permit it. Yet God honored the faith of Eunice, and greatly used her son Timothy. The law of obedience to her husband superseded the law of circumcision. God held the father, not he mother accountable.
From this we see how people have taken lesser commands of God and used them as an excuse to break a major one.Probably the most often command a woman will want to break is the command from a husband that wont allow her to attend church, or give in offerings. It is right to go to church. It is right to give to God. Heb. 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” I does not say it is a sin if a woman is not in church Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night also. Obviously there are situations when a woman cannot keep the command to assemble with Christians, sick children, no way to get there, out of town and so on. God is not going to punish a woman who misses church when it was humanly impossible for her to be there. Neither will He punish a woman who misses church because her husband forbids her to go. Of course when it is necessary to miss church as when sick…we need to fill in that gap as best we can. Our Scripture reading and prayer life will need to get careful attention. We are held accountable for that. Now it is important that one not use the excuse of not being able to attend church for living a worldly life. God will hold her husband responsible if she can not attend church because of his command. And not being able to give to the work of the Lord? We must remember “He owns the cattle on a thousand hills”. God will be no poorer because we cant give. However, we do enrich Him with our obedience.
Unless there is obedience all the time, there is no obedience any of the time. So, if you choose when to obey your husband, you are not obeying him at all. You are simply doing your own will, and sometimes it happens to coincide with his wishes. SO again we agree that a woman may not obey a lesser command to thwart a major command of God. Thus saith the Scriptures.
Now what if a husband beyond a shadow of a doubt commanded his wife to do something explicitly wrong, something plainly forbidden in Scripture? Do the Scriptures require her obedidnce under such circumstances?
One question comes to mind here. Has she been living in daily obedience to her husband as part of her wholehearted, loving submission to God? This is the most important question since God has no responsibility for her situation and cannot be blamed for it if her husband commands something wrong. Not when she has not been acting upon Scripture. Because when a woman takes God at his Word, submits to her husband without reservation, fears God and loves Him, then God takes upon Himself the responsibility to see that a woman does not have to sin!!!!! I know that ungodly men sometimes demand things or their wives that are revolting and wrong. And you can tell me of many other cases. But the fact remains that I have never known of a case where. When a woman said to her husband..I will obey you totally, as if you were God, and trust you to make all the right decisions…then set about to do it…in a loving sweet spirit, well I don’t know of a case like that where the husband has required them to do such a thing. If God tells a woman to obey, then He performs whatever miracle is necessary to make her able to Obey! Maybe we are no longer accustomed to expection the intervention of an Almighty God in our personal lives. We don’t expect miracles so God cant do any. Matt 13:58 ”He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief”. How blessed is the woman who will take God at His Word, believe Him obey Him, and leave the consequences to Him! God put a ram in a thicket so Abraham did not have to offer his son. God arranged it os David did not have to fight his own king. God made enough manna to fall on the sixth day so no one would have to break the Sabbath to get something to eat. God just does not make people choose between commands. He is not that kind of God!
Think for a moment the story of Nabal and Abigail, she took upon herself Nabal’s protection and quickly gave David what he asked. (By the way this is not an example of a woman disobeying her husband…He was so drunk he didn’t know what he was doing. And as soon as she could she told him of what she had done.) She did not berate her husband. But when she told him what she had done, he suffered a stroke of God, and in 10 days he was dead. Did God, looking down, see Nabal’s unyeilding heart and take his life to spare Abigail any more heartache? Surely so. So a woman who lovingly from the heart obeys her husband…God will and does keep her from the doing wrong.
Okay now you ask? “Don’t I have any rights? Am I just to be a plain old slave all my days? Listen carefully now….You don’t have any rights, no rights at all. You lost htem on the day you rebelled against God. You lost them, not because you are a woman, but because you are a sinner. Just as I am. Now if Jesus paid the penalty for you, you don’t belong to yourself any more, you belong to Him! The rights you once possessed now are His, the One who bought your salvation and freedom from death. We are slaves to Christ. But don’t forget wed already lost our rights. It was our poverty and bondage to sin that drove us to Him. Lets consider this passage. 1Pe 2:21-23” For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: “…”likewise ye wives be in subjection“ Like whom? LIKE JESUS!! The submission of the Lord Jesus is our example. He submitted not just to the tender ministrations of the Father. He submitted to the revilings and cursed, persecution and suffering. He was our example, not just to obey a gentle and kind husband but a harsh and mean husband as well.
2Co 8:11-12 “ Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”