To Wives of Unbelieving Husbands

This is an excerpt from a sermon I preached on a couple of years ago, as we studied 1 Peter.  This is geared toward those believing wives who have unbelieving husband and desperately want them to join them in their walk with Christ.  Often the thought is to hound them with the Bible, make them feel guilty for not going to church, leave tracts on the toilet or in their lunch sack.  But is this what should be done?

Science has shown that women speak more than men.  The average man will speak about 7,000 words a day.  The average woman: 20,000 words a day.  That means that the average woman speaks almost three times as many words as men do.  There is actually a scientific reason behind this, but the fact of the matter is that women talk more than men.

That being said, go ahead and talk, but be careful about what comes out of the mouth.  In fact, Peter says that when it comes to the gospel it may be best to keep silent.  “Likewise, wives be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,” (1 Peter 3.1, ESV).

God has set up people’s positions in the homes.  God created Adam and then Eve. From them came children.  So there is a sense of authority within the family.  Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God,” (1 Cor 11.3, ESV).  So even in the Trinity there is a sense of authority.  Christ did everything that the Father told him to do.  He spoke as His Father said.  He acted as His Father said.  The husband answers to Christ.  Christ is the head of the husband and if he does not submit himself to Christ he will answer for it.  At the same time, the wife is to submit to her husband.

The subjection in once sense is through silence.  Your husband may not love Jesus.  He may despise Him.  Remember that this is being written while the first generation of Christians is still alive.  That means that men and women were already married when they became believers.  It wasn’t that Christian men married pagan women and vice versa, but rather two pagans or two Jews would already be married and one would receive Christ while the other didn’t.  We know that Paul would go on to write not to get married to an unbeliever, but at this point the couples were already together.  And that still happens today where one person within marriage gets saved and the other doesn’t.

Men and women tend to act differently when they have life changes.  Men tend to give a quick synopsis to people who will listen and then continue on.  Women tend to talk about it.  They want to share what has happened with them in detail.  Men are all about big picture; women: about the details.  This can be grating to a guy.  What happens then is that rather than being more interested they become less interested.  The husband begins to get pushed away from the topic of discussion.  They want to shut the conversation down.  They will either argue about it or they will walk away or they will just simply tell you to stay quiet.  And so Peter tells the wife just to stay silent.  Pique his interest by not saying a word.

This goes against the desires of a woman to speak.  There is a war now within that the woman has to now fight in order to not say anything.  So there is suffering from within.  The husband may have already been a jerk about her faith by telling her to keep it to herself, and so there was suffering from without, and now that she is staying silent she is suffering within.

But if the wife is wanting to suffer well she will go to war with herself.  She will give the respect that God requires of her to her husband.  She is to realize that God has, in His great unknown design and plan, set that man to have authority in her life.  So by respecting him, she is respecting God’s prerogative.

How then is she supposed to win him over?  By having a changed spirit.

They may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.  Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious, (1 Peter 3.1b-4, ESV).

Peter of course isn’t saying that you can’t look nice or wear jewelry or do your hair.  What he is saying is that your husband’s adoring eyes ought to first look to the soul of his wife and not her hair or clothing or jewelry.  A husband should wake up in the morning and think he is the luckiest man in the world, not because he has a pretty wife, but because she has a beautiful spirit about her.  What once concerned her: her looks, her clothes, her accessories no longer concern her.  Her spirit is now in tune with God’s Spirit and it shows in how she responds to her husband.

If your attitude changes, your body language changes, your voice changes, your husband will notice.  It may take a while, but it will soon get the best of him, and he will want to know why.  Now is the time to speak up.  When he asks you what is different about you, or why you’re different, then is the opportunity.  He asked the question.  He wants to know.  He’s ready to listen.  He may not want to hear everything, but that’s okay.  Give him the gospel until he walks away.  Then start the process over again.  Be silent, be of gentle spirit.

And then find solace in the Lord.  “For this is how the holy women who hope in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.  And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening,” (1 Peter 3.5-6, ESV).  Peter wrote that these women found their hope in God.  It was not in their husbands.  It was not in their own dignity even.  It was in God.  They found rest and solace, hope in God.  That hope resulted in subjection.  Just as the citizen is subjecting himself for God’s sake, and just as the slave is subjecting himself being mindful of God, so the wife is to subject with the hope of God.  This was why Peter wrote earlier that you are to prepare, “your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” (1.13, ESV).

Everything within you says that it is not worth it.  Everything in you says that you are not appreciated.  Everything within you says to strike back, to quit, the walk away.  Why?  Because everything within you is hoping for something better, or maybe someone better.  Peter told us to hope in God—to hope fully on the grace that is to come.

Once again, if your mind is not set on the salvation that is yours by the mercy and power of God and the inheritance that awaits you in heaven, you cannot and you will not suffer well.  That’s any of us, not just wives.

But other wives put their hopes in their arguments, their jabs, their nags, their pleas.  Peter says to hope in God.  Be silent.  Be of good spirit.  Find solace in God.  If you do so, there is no need to fear: no need to fear that you will be taken advantage of, no need to fear what submitting may do.  The lack of fear is evidence of a life that fully hopes in God and the grace that He brings.

So then what are your thoughts?  Any questions or comments?  Just hit the reply and I will be sure to get back with you asap.

You’re Gonna Wanna Read This! 4/19/18

Some articles that you should take a look at:

Practical Advice for Family Devotions

A Walk Through the Museum of the Bible with Scott Redd (leads into a podcast)

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands– Including Your Kids

If You Love God, Listen to Him: Five Reasons to Read the Bible Every Day

How to Go From Fearful to Forgiven (a video clip included)

Top 10: Movies

A friend just posted on his blog about his Top 10 movies, and so I thought I would do the same. Here they are. My requirements are simply that I’ve seen it and I liked it. I’m not a complicated guy.

10. Big Jake

This is one of John Wayne’s later movies. It isn’t one of his best ones. I love “The Sons of Katie Elder,” “El Dorado,” “The Sands of Iwo Jima,” “The Green Berets” and a host of others, but I am very fond of this one. I was not a Western/Wayne fan growing up, but my dad loved all of his movies and often watched Big Jake. I sat down prob 3 or 4 times as a teen just to watch it with him. So while it isn’t his best by any stretch of the imagination, I still put it in my top 10 for sentimental reasons.

It is a story about Jacob McCandles whose grandson, Little Jake, was kidnapped and held for ransom. My favorite line from the movie is at the beginning when a couple of men were about to hang a sheep farmer. Big Jake is threatened by a man who about dares him to cut the farmer down. Jake replied, “No, you got me scared,” and threw the knife into the tree. “You do it.” The man asks who he thinks he is, and the reply comes, “Jacob McCandles.” The man’s expression changed, and fear covered his face, “I thought you were dead, Mr. McCandles.” And then the line: “Not hardly.”

9. 12 Angry Men

I’m not a Henry Fonda fan, but I do like this movie (and “The Grapes of Wrath”). It was based off of a play by the same name with the plot being that of a young man on trial for murdering his father. The jurors (12 angry men) are now deciding his fate. Only Fonda’s character thinks him innocent. The entire movie revolves around only those men (with a short appearance of a bailiff) arguing about the innocence or guilt of this young man. Of course, in the end he is found not guilty and set free. Many adaptations have been done, and one remake that I know of. Nothing beats the original. Don’t even watch the remake.

8. Schindler’s List

Oscar Schindler was an up and coming business man before Nazi Germany, and knew how to schmooze the big wigs. He joined the Nazis when they came to power for business reasons only. He single-handedly saved over a thousand Jews by putting them to work in his factory and kept them out of the ghettos and camps. At the end of the movie he looked back and rather than be proud of what he did, he wept because he wanted to do more.

This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people. This pin…two people. This is gold. Two people. He would have given me two more, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern, for this. I could have got one more person, and I didn’t. I…I…I didn’t.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird

Based off the book by the same title, I was surprised how closely it followed what Harper Lee wrote. A black man is being put on trial for raping a white woman, and Atticus Finch was his attorney. It is told from a Atticus’s daughter’s perspective looking back at this time when she was a young girl, not knowing what is really going on. At the end of the movie (and book) as Atticus leaves the court house late at night, tired after so long a trial, “Scout” (her nickname) was lying up in the balcony with “the colored folk.” She didn’t see them stand for her father, but the reverend gently chided her, “Miss Jean Louis. Miss Jean Louis, stand up. Your father’s passing.”

6. The Cowboys

Another John Wayne movie. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to watch them, and I finally saw what my dad did so long ago. This one is a story about a rancher who has to take the steer to market, except there are no men to help with the drive. He hires a bunch of boys to do it. It is obviously a “coming of age” movie that I usually do not like, but this one was good. However, what made this movie for me, was not Wayne, but Roscoe Lee Brown, who played the cook. I could watch this movie a dozen more times and not tire of it.

5. The Last Samurai

Tom Cruise plays an American military advisor to the Emperor of Japan as they are attempting to enter the modern world. He is injured in the first battle against the samurai and taken to their village. Just before his capture, he kills one of the samurai, but then is nursed back to health by that same samurai’s wife. There is much in this movie that I enjoyed. So much so that I blogged about it before. You can read it here.

4. Superman II

This was my jam growing up. I watched this thing dozens of time on our Beta Vision. I practically had the entire movie memorized. Superman gave up his powers for love, but soon realizes that he needs those powers because General Zod and his fellow-bad guys have escaped from the phantom zone. Of course, he regains his powers and defeats the villains. I love how he does it though. Zod thinks he has no powers, and orders him to kneel before him. “Take my hand and swear eternal loyalty to Zod.” At this point Superman takes Zod’s hand as if weak, and softly the Superman theme song begins to play. The next thing you know, Superman is crushing Zod’s hand; he picks him up and throws him across the Fortress of Solitude. I love it. I still sit on the edge of my seat for that!

3. Black Panther

I’m not going to say much about this movie, as I’ve only seen it once, but it was the best Marvel Universe movie to date. It had me spell-bound the entire time. I’m waiting for the DVD. Here is a blog I wrote after seeing it.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

A man is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. He spent 20 years digging a tunnel to escape. How it all happened and the lessons learned make this movie a must-see. This is one movie I will watch whenever it comes on. It never gets old. I’d rather watch the TV version though, as there is quite a bit of cussing.

1. A Few Good Men

This is another movie I will watch if it is on. Two Marines are court-martialed for the death of another Marine. This movie has an all-star cast, even stars before they were stars. Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Pollack, Noah Wiley, Cuba Gooding, Jr…. No one outdoes another. Definitely number one.

You’re Gonna Wanna Read This: 4/18/18

One of these articles that I recommend, I believe is critical. It is from a woman’s point of view on pornography–as a woman who was addicted. Also blogs on Martin Luther, corporate worship, etc. Happy reading!

Jesus’s Compassion for Those Who Love Porn

Luther at the Diet of Worms

Attending Corporate Worship (Personally, I can attest to the first reason, after being a command of course)

Being Heavenly Minded So That Your of Earthly Good

Why You Should Read the Westminster Confession

Who Will Save Superman