She was a beautiful lady and well dressed but her eyes were so sad. “Can I ask you something?” she said. It was after I had finished speaking at an Apples of Gold ladies conference at our church that she approached me. “My husband portrays himself as a godly spiritual leader when we are at church but at home he is a different man. Am I still to submit to a hypocritical husband?” We talked for several minutes. I shared with her some Bible verses and ended saying, “Yes, we are to submit as unto the Lord. Scripture does not say we are only to submit to a perfect husband.” I explained to her that submission was easy when your husband was a godly man who strived to do with will of God and to love you as he should. But an ungodly man was no excuse for unsubmission. “Remember,” I said, “You will be accountable to the Lord for your obedience not your husbands.” After a few more minutes, she left with a glimmer of hope in those once sad eyes. I’ll probably never meet her again but have often wondered about this dear lady. Has she been obedient to the Scriptures in spite of her husband’s faults? Has God worked on her husband’s heart?
As heartbreaking as it is it happens often. You will have a wife who greatly desires to follow the Lord in submission to her husband. But he is either unsaved or simply does not obey the Word. Listen to what 1 Peter 3:1-6 says about this very thing, “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; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 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.”
Do you remember the story of Sarah and Abraham? Two times her husband put her in a dangerous situation by asking her to lie about their relationship. Once in Genesis 12 and then in Genesis 20 Abraham, because of fear, told his wife to say that she was Abraham’s sister causing her to be taken from him. “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.” If you will read the story you will learn that God protected Sarah in her obedience. And, God dealt with Abraham in his foolishness. Ladies, as hard as it is we must never forget that our submission is “unto the Lord.” Biblical submission is such a beautiful thing. Without submitting myself to Christ I could never be saved. Without submitting myself to my husband I could never be in the will of God. My husband and I have grown a lot in this area. He has not always loved me as he should and I have not always submitted as I should but can I tell you that the more we have grown in obedience to Scriptures that the easier it becomes. When I submit to my husband it is a lot easier for him to love me as Christ loves the Church. And when he loves me this way it is a lot easier to submit.
One of the best sermons on submission that I have ever heard is by S.M. Davis called “The 7-fold Power of a Wife’s Submission.” It will bless your heart. Go to http://www.biblepreaching.com to hear it.