A Wife's Final Option
I Peter 3:2-6 “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.”
A dear woman I know became convinced that she was Biblically out of place working outside the home in the secular work force. She made her case to her husband, and he told her to stay at her job – a decision which went against what she was convinced was God’s will. What is a wife to do in that case?
If after a proper appeal, your husband is making a decision that you are sure is wrong, what can you do? When your husband has made the final decision and you still disagree, then the verses in I Peter 3:2-6 are of great help. Let’s look at several key phrases.
“Be in subjection”
Recognize that it is God’s plan for a wife to be in subjection to her husband. Know that as you obey your husband you are obeying God. If you are obeying your husband “as unto the Lord,” (Eph. 5:22) then God counts that as obeying Him directly. So decide before you come to your husband with a subject that you will choose to be fine with whatever he decides. The only way to do this is to trust God to work everything together for good. Since God designed the home, and since He set your husband in charge, and since He told you to submit to him, even knowing full well all of the circumstances involved; then you obey God by obeying your husband and you trust God alone to work it all out.
Realize that, as the leader, your husband has been gifted by God, irrespective of his spiritual state, with wisdom that God has not given you. Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” God may be moving your husband’s heart in this direction to avoid some evil or access some good that you have no idea about and won’t for years to come, if ever. Take the long view, follow your husband’s leadership, and have faith that God knows what He’s doing.
“Without the word be won by the conversation of the wives”
Also, if you truly believe your husband’s decision goes against Scripture, your “conversation” (your living example) will preach much more loudly and clearly than any ‘wifey sermon’ ever could. Have faith to let go and let God work His perfect plan out in your husband’s life. Prov 26:20-21 “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” Don’t needle him, and don’t explain to all your friends how right you are and how wrong he is. If you’re fussing and nagging so loudly he’s going to have a hard time hearing the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Stop talking about what your husband should do or be, and start living out the truths of God’s Word to you, the wife. When you step down, you place your home in a position where God can step up. When God’s swinging at your husband, then DUCK! Get yourself out of the way so God can get at your husband. God can work more effectively, and you’ll have a much happier home in the meanwhile.
“The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit”
Decorate your obedience and your correct lifestyle with your gentle, kind spirit. Being ‘right’ on an issue does not excuse treating any person wrong. Disposition matters as much as position. Whether or not you say it, your heart attitude should be, “I may not be okay with your decision, but I am okay with you.”
Also, the humility to admit that you just might be wrong comes in handy here! 🙂 After all, in the first sin I Timothy 2:14 points out that “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Timothy uses that fact (along with creation order – vs. 13) to explain why a woman is not to take authority or take teaching positions over the church. It is wise to recognize that, whether or not feminists agree, we women are more easily deceived than our husbands are. The tricky thing about a deception, you don’t know you’re being deceived! There might be something you can’t see.
“Not afraid with any amazement” “trusted in God”
Don’t worry over the ‘what if’s’ and ‘maybe’s.’ As Moses said, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.” (Exodus 14:13a) As you obey your husband, you are obeying God, and God is responsible for all results and outcomes.
So what did my friend do whose husband advised her against her conviction? She wisely chose to follow his leadership and stay at her job, but she also wisely looked to God. A while later he called in the middle of her work day, and he said, “Quit your job, and come on home. God convinced me otherwise!” Ladies, it’s not over until it’s over. 🙂
Note – If illegalities are being committed, that is not a time to keep silent. Turn that over to the Godordained civil authorities (Rom. 13:1-4) to deal with, and turn to your spiritual authorities for help.