Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Won Without the Word

“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.” 1 Peter 3:1-2

This verse says it all. What precious words of wisdom! Wives, be in submission to your own husbands. If they do not obey the word, they may be won over without the word by the chaste conversations of their wives. Now this is an interesting verse indeed and one that is sometimes looked at in the wrong way. It says “if any obey not the word.” The “word” is the Greek word “logos” which can mean just a portion of speech, but in most cases refers to the holy Word of God, or the precepts given to man by God. It is also the same word that is used as another name for Jesus Christ in John 1 when it says, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” So, the scripture is describing a husband who is not obeying God’s Word and certainly not obeying Jesus Christ.

Now look at the second part of that sentence. It says he may “without the word be won.” Many people look at this passage and think it is saying the husband may be won without his wife saying anything, meaning without her nagging or instruction and so forth. Interestingly this is also the word “logos” and notice it says “THE word” not “A word”. Therefore according to context it makes sense that the scripture is saying the husband may be won over without the Word of God being constantly presented to him, simply by the conversation of his wife. Conversation doesn’t just mean speech either. It is the Greek word “anastrophē” which means, “manner of life, conduct, and behavior.” Husbands can be won over by the example their wives show in their own lives. What manner of behavior or conduct is that? Chaste and reverent behavior is what does the trick. A godly wife can win her husband to the Lord by her pure, good and honorable behavior and by the reverence she shows her husband as she submits to God’s plan for her life. Now that is incredible.

See the picture here ladies? If you husband is in sin, it is not fruitful for you to be preaching at him day and night, usurping spiritual authority over him. Rather, as you honor him, according to God’s Word, and live your life in a way that pleases the Lord, your husband may be won over. This is true also if your husband is a godly man in most respects but has an area of struggle with sin. Do not nag him or criticize him. Pray for him and continue to be the wife God wants you to be, remembering that your submission and respect unto your husband is not based on his love for you or his submission to God. If you refuse to submit it is God whom you are sinning against. If your husband refuses to go with you to church, do not lose heart. As he observes God’s love and truth in your life, he will see the Word being lived out in you. Ask the Lord to use you in this way to minister to your husband.

If your husband asks you to sin, respectfully refuse, explaining why you cannot comply. Pray for him and continue to walk in submission and reverence in all other areas. If your husband is in sin himself, share your concerns with him once in respect and love, if he will listen, and then leave it to the Lord. Pray fervently and be a good example in your own daily conduct. Do not treat him with contempt or look down at him. You should honor him because God says to, not because you feel he has or has not earned it. Just remember that God never wants us to sin under any circumstances, so this is the one area where you must not submit to any other authority.

Your husband is your leader. He is the one whom God desires you to follow. This is a crucial point. God desires you to follow and submit to your husband. By serving your man, you are serving your God. Where he goes, you should follow. His dreams must be your dreams. He is your primary ministry. You are his help-meet, by his side and close to his heart. One flesh blessed by the Lord of all Creation. Being your husband’s helper is so beautiful. Embrace it, ladies. Discover the peace and satisfaction that comes with knowing that you are in the center of God’s will for you, and experience the joys of having a heaven-blessed marriage. Meditate on this passage from the book of Ruth. In it, Ruth is speaking to her mother-in-law, but this is a lovely commitment that a wife can also make to her own husband.

“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go. And wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.’” Ruth 1:16-17

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Do Christians Focus Too Much on Marriage?

I have heard more than a couple times people criticizing some Christians and churches for focusing too much on the God-given and God-designed union of marriage. I’ve heard people make statements like, “oh it’s all about marriage at that church” or “they elevate marriage too much.” I wanted to address the issue of why marriage is an important topic to discuss, but first I’d like to talk about why there are people who seem to be offended by too much marriage talk.

People like myself, who feel called to the ministry of marriage, may sometimes struggle with being understanding of a person who seems almost anti-marriage. The truth in most cases is those who have a hard time with a church or a group focusing a lot on marriage  are usually people who are single, widowed or in a lonely, struggling marriage. It’s important that instead of getting frustrated, we understand that these ladies are going through pain. Perhaps hearing about marriage all of the time and seeing married couples always clinging to each other causes them to long even more for that relationship. Perhaps it makes them mourn for a lost love. Even worse, it reminds them that they feel trapped in an unloving marriage. Sometimes there is a problem with the church not meeting the needs of ALL the members. The singles and widows need focus too. They need ministry and opportunities to serve too.

I think I understand their perspective more so being a woman who has struggled with infertility. While children are such a blessing, and I was always happy for a sister in the Lord who had a baby, there was also such hurt and longing in me that it was sometimes difficult to be around pregnant women or people with babies. It was hard to see the children being such a focus when I couldn’t have any. I’m so grateful now for my precious little girl –  a gift straight from God! I do, however, see how a single person or widow would feel neglected and hurt by a church family that focused all its attention on marriage.

That being said, while I feel we should not neglect or ignore anyone, there is an important place for marriage. Here are some reasons why marriage is an extremely important issue to focus on:

1. Marriage is Gift from God: God focuses a lot on relationships in the Bible, and He speaks a great deal on the topic of marriage. He created marriage in the book of Genesis and He make it sacred. He made it to be a lifelong covenant, and in Malachi 2 we see that God hates the act of divorcing. When Jesus is asked about divorce in Matthew 19:8, He said that divorce was allowed because of the hardening of hearts, but from the beginning it was not so. God never wanted divorce. That’s why marriage vows typically say “til death do we part”, and yet to some 41-44% of couples who marry today, those are just empty words.

2. Christian marriage produces godly offspring: In talking about marriage Malachi said, “But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15a. Christian marriage is important to the youth of this generation. According to the US Census Bureau, grown children of happily married parents are about 14% less likely to divorce their own spouse. Of all children, close to half will witness the end of their parents’ marriage and, of those kids, half of them will witness the end of a parent’s second marriage as well. According to an article by the Huffington post, children of divorce are seven times more likely to suffer from depression. Also, of all the adolescents in substance rehabilitation clinics, some 75% are from single-parent homes. Similar statistics are true for prison. Marriage is important because a godly marriage is good for children.

3. Marriage is a reflection of our relationship with God: Ephesians 5 and other parts of scripture show us that earthly marriage is a reflection of the relationship of Christ and the church. We are the bride and He is the Bridegroom. “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” Revelation 21:9

4. A godly marriage is a requirement for church leadership, elders/pastors and deacons. (Titus 1:6, 1 Tim 3:2, 1 Tim 3:12). A man whose home in not in order should not be serving in church leadership until he puts things right. That means a wife who is not living her life according to God’s statutes can disqualify her husband from leadership by her conduct. Does this mean that a man has to be married to serve? We don’t know if the emphasis of the verses in on the “one” wife or “husband”. In other words, is it important that he’s married, or just that he only has one as opposed to many? Well, God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and he needed a helper. On the other hand, Paul said that some are called to singleness. So, the answer is: I don’t know. What we do know for certain is that if a man is married, and he wants to serve in ministry, he should have his home in order.

5. Sex: That’s right! “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2 According to God’s Word, sexual intimacy is only good and right inside the union of marriage. Today more and more couples choose to live together and put off getting married. They are living in sexual sin because marriage has lost its place of importance to much of the younger generation. Today people are shocked when two virgins in their twenties get married. It’s rare for people to hold onto their purity. So it’s important to focus on marriage and to teach the young people that sex is only okay inside marriage.

There are many more reasons that marriage is an important topic, but this is quite a long blog already. While we need to be careful not to exclude singles and our widows, we also need to focus even more on the union of marriage. We know that it’s important to God, so it should be important to us too.

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When Your Husband is in Sin

No doubt there are going to be times when your husband is in sin. We all sin and we are married to sinners. The Word says if we claim to have no sin we make ourselves liars, which is a sin! So dear, imperfect wife, your imperfect husband will most assuredly sin from time to time. If he is not a Christian, then he will be often in sin and without remorse or conviction, and you need to know how to deal with that.

First of all, it is important that you never attempt to take over the spiritual leadership of the household, even if your husband is not walking right with the Lord. He is still head of the house, and you must still be in submission. If he is in sin, and is open to it, share with him respectfully and lovingly where he may be in sin. Then leave the matter alone and commit it to the Lord in prayer. Do not nag him or continue to push the subject. Pray fervently and allow God to do His work in your husband’s heart. Remember, if your husband is not saved he will not have the conviction of the Holy Spirit, therefore attacking individual sins is only dealing with the symptoms of the real illness. He needs to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, so make that the top of your prayer list for however long it takes. And have hope sister! God hears the prayers of a wife who is in obedience.

“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.” 1 Peter 3:1-2

This verse says it all. What precious words of wisdom! Wives, be in submission to your own husbands. If they do not obey the word, they may be won over without the word by the chaste conversations of their wives. Now this is an interesting verse indeed and one that is sometimes looked at in the wrong way. It says “if any obey not the word.” The “word” is the Greek word “logos” which can mean just a portion of speech, but in most cases refers to the holy Word of God, or the precepts given to man by God. It is also the same word that is used as another name for Jesus Christ in John 1 when it says, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” So, the scripture is describing a husband who is not obeying God’s Word and certainly not obeying Jesus Christ.

Now look at the second part of that sentence. It says he may “without the word be won.” Many people look at this passage and think it is saying the husband may be won without his wife saying anything, meaning without her nagging or instruction and so forth. Interestingly this is also the word “logos” and notice it says “THE word” not “A word”. Therefore according to context it makes sense that the scripture is saying the husband may be won over without the Word of God being constantly presented to him, simply by the conversation of his wife. Conversation doesn’t just mean speech either. It is the Greek word “anastrophē” which means, “manner of life, conduct, and behavior.” Husbands can be won over by the example their wives show in their own lives. What manner of behavior or conduct is that? Chaste and reverent behavior is what does the trick. A godly wife can win her husband to the Lord by her pure, good and honorable behavior and by the reverence she shows her husband as she submits to God’s plan for her life. Now that is incredible.

See the picture here ladies? If you husband is in sin, it is not fruitful for you to be preaching at him day and night, usurping spiritual authority over him. Rather, as you honor him, according to God’s Word, and live your life in a way that pleases the Lord, your husband may be won over. This is true also if your husband is a godly man in most respects but has an area of struggle with sin. Do not nag him or criticize him. Pray for him and continue to be the wife God wants you to be, remembering that your submission and respect unto your husband is not based on his love for you or his submission to God. If you refuse to submit it is God whom you are sinning against. If your husband refuses to go with you to church, do not lose heart. As he observes God’s love and truth in your life, he will see the Word being lived out in you. Ask the Lord to use you in this way to minister to your husband.

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Submitting to My Husband

 “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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Ephesians 5:22-24

If you are a Christian woman the idea of submitting unto your husband’s leadership shouldn’t be too difficult a task for you. You should already be used to submitting unto the leadership of the Lord God and His Word. When we become believers we no longer belong to ourselves, but to Jesus. We commit ourselves to putting His plan for us ahead of our own plans. We ask that His will be done and we commit to submitting to Him in all things. Well, as we read in Ephesians, part of submitting to God’s will is submitting to our own husbands.

The Greek word for “submit” used in verse 22 is the word “hypotassō” which means, “to arrange under, to subordinate, to subject one’s self, to obey, to submit to one’s control, and to yield to one’s admonition or advice.” I love this word “submit.” Before God changed by heart, I feared the word. The word held only bad connotations for me.

The idea of being in submission was akin to being in slavery to some degree. The difference, however, between slavery and submission is monumental. Slaves are forced to be under another person’s control and have no control over their own lives. Submission occurs when someone places themselves under the leadership of another person voluntarily, out of their own free will. When we became Christians we put ourselves under the power of Jesus Christ and submitted our own will to Him. We surrendered control. When Jesus went to the cross, He too surrendered control and willingly submitted to the will of the Father, despite the horrible things He had to endure. What a beautiful act of love! How beautiful it is for wives to submit themselves unto their own husbands just as Jesus submitted Himself even unto the cross!

God commands wives to submit to their own husbands. Not only that, but we are to do it as unto the Lord. In the same way we submit ourselves to God’s authority, so ought we to submit ourselves to our husband’s authority. Unless our husband asks us to do something that is in violation to God’s Word, we should obey him and give him the reigns to direct the marriage and the household as the Lord leads him. The husband should have the final say and make the ultimate decision when a mutual agreement cannot be achieved. He has the right to veto any suggestions and to lead the household as he sees fit in areas of spiritual growth, finances, house rules, the raising and disciplining of children, where to live and how the household should be run. These are not merely my opinions, but the truth straight from God’s own Word.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. It is a good and loving thing for a husband to happily hear the suggestions, advice and opinions of his wife. Usually, if he is truly a good-willed Christian man, he will want to hear what his wife thinks and will care about how she feels. My husband loves to hear my outlook, as long as it is given in a respectful way and without nagging. He almost always asks my opinion when it comes to decision making and often will go with my preference if he doesn’t have a strong conviction either way. At the end of the day, he knows I will support him in his decision and be by his side as his helper whether I agree or not.

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