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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Sarah and Rebekah – Manipulators

I was pondering Sarah (wife of Abraham) and her daughter-in-law Rebekah (wife of Isaac) and the similarities between the two. Their stories can be found in the book of Genesis. While Sarah and Rebekah never met due to Sarah’s death just prior to Isaac taking his bride, the two had much in common. Both women were sometimes good examples of wives who follow their husbands. Sarah followed Abraham out into the unknown without so much as an explanation when Abraham heard from the Lord. Rebekah followed Abraham’s servant to become the wife of Isaac, whom she didn’t even know. She didn’t even question the Lord’s plan but followed.

While in some ways these women were good examples, I can’t help but see how they were also both bad examples of manipulating their husbands. Sarah wanted an heir for Abraham and, instead of waiting on the Lord to fulfill His promise of a son, she persuaded her husband to conceive a child with her handmaid. This led to much heartache, pain and strife for generations to come (as we can clearly see in the constant warring between the Arabs (the descendents of Ishmael) and the Jews (descendents of Isaac).

Rebekah also manipulated her husband Isaac. She too was unwilling to listen to the Lord. He had promised that the younger of her twin sons, Jacob, would lead and the elder, Esau, would serve him. Still, despite God’s promised plan, when Rebekah thought her husband would give the blessing to Esau instead of Jacob, she persuaded her son Jacob to deceiver his father—her husband—again leading to a family and nations torn apart.

What can we learn from these two women? Ladies whenever we take matters into our own hands and think that we can accomplish God’s bidding in our own flesh through manipulation and wicked planning we will bring destruction on our homes and families. God never desires us to deceive our husbands or manipulate them, even to achieve what seems at the time a worthy mission. We need to trust the Lord, honor our husbands and leave the rest in God’s hands! Amen!

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