In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. . .This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. ~ 1 Peter 3:1, 5-6 (NLT) ~
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. ~ 1 Peter 3:7 (NLT) ~
Have you ever called your husband, “lord”? The word sometimes slips out from my lips and surprises both of us. To me, it is a sign that I am getting (somewhat) better at accepting my husband’s headship and submitting to him. Still, there are days, like Monday, when the age-old battle of the wills ends in an impasse between us.
We were in the middle of a discussion about an important decision and before we knew it, we were arguing the pros and cons of that issue. It came to a climax when he said, “Maria, I think this is a matter of control.” He was right, but I was not going to admit it!
Then a Scripture came to mind for my husband, 1 Peter 3:7, but even as we looked at it, the Lord used 1 Peter 3:1 to reproof, correct, and instruct me. The battle within was fierce: My desire was to hold on to what I wanted at the expense of what the Lord was telling my husband to do. But the truth of 1 Peter 3:1 and the fact that I was sinning against my Lord by disrespecting and dishonoring my husband ultimately won.
It cannot be stated more plainly than this: In the battle of the wills between a husband and wife there is no winner. The only winner is the devil because he effectively divides the unity that ties a husband and wife together — unity that is found in Christ Jesus.
Unity can only be achieved when we submit “to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
As a wife, with the exception of submitting in something that is against God’s will, I am to submit to my husband. In doing so, I am submitting to my Lord, respecting my husband, and honoring and glorifying Jesus.
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything (Ephesians 5:22-24).
My husband is to deal with me with understanding — even if he does not understand what is going on inside of me. He is to love me as Christ loved the church.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word (Ephesians 5:25).
How can we possibly accomplish this?
Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude (1 Peter 3:8).
I know, easier said than done. But we can overcome the flesh, Jesus said it plainly, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
As I trust the Lord and submit to His headship, I will be able to submit to my husband. Submission may be an uphill battle, but the victory is gained little-by-little when my heart and mind are committed to Jesus. Philippians 4:13 assures me that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Heavenly Father, fill us with Your Holy Spirit, and empower us to become women who are submitted to You. Help us to do as 1 Peter 3 instructs us and trust our husbands to You. Let us not give in to fear, but surrender those fears to You. Be blessed and glorified in our marriages, Father, and bless them for Your name’s sake. In Jesus’ name we ask these things, amen.
This is a song that played while we took communion during our wedding ceremony twenty-two years ago.