Summary: THE WIFE'S PRIVILEGED STATUS ENTITLES HER TO SPECIAL CONSIDERATION FROM HER HUSBAND INTRODUCTION: There are all sorts of Entitlement Programs in the United States today.



There are all sorts of Entitlement Programs in the United States today. Most of them Welfare programs based on meeting certain criteria - people are entitled to receive certain benefits.

We are going to talk today about a very special Entitlement Program that God has set up - one that some of you here today certainly qualify for; and you kids need to listen up, because some of you may qualify for these benefits later on in life as well.

I am talking about God's special Entitlement Program for the wives of Christian husbands:



Last week we talked about the responsibility of Christian wives to submit to their husbands - especially if their husband was not saved

Remember: submission is not really tested in areas where you agree with your husband. It is best seen in those areas where you find it difficult to rank yourself under the direction and leadership of your husband.

Not talking about being a doormat; not talking about weakness

Danger in our approach to Bible study: how can we let a week go by before explaining the rest of the passage that balances the few verses we have covered??

Importance of Balance in all of these instructions

cf. message to submit to govt authorities

balance = reminder that they are charged with fulfilling their mission of punishing evildoers and praising those who do right (v.14)

message to submit to employer

balance = they are not our ultimate boss; we are ultimately serving the Lord and responsible to Him = the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (v.25)

3:7 provides the balance to the responsibilities for wives laid out in 3:1-6 - It would be easy for husbands to take advantage of a submissive wife and to exploit her and to mistreat her

You might be thinking as we get started here that you are not receiving the benefits you should from this Entitlement Program God has set up -

Remember: just because things are out of whack does not give you the freedom to live as you please; verses 1-6 still apply;

it just means that you might be in a context where you are being called to suffer as Christ suffered

Key Perspective:

We should be more concerned about the spiritual destiny of those persecuting us than about the problems they are causing for us

Christ demonstrated this to the ultimate degree when He cried out from the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do"


A. Considerate Companionship

dwelling together with them in accordance with knowledge

according to knowledge:

knowledge of God's design

knowledge of your wife and her role and her strengths and weaknesses

cf. Leave and Cleave = the basis for dwelling together; forming a family unit; concept of one flesh

certainly there are some overtones and applications in this passage relating to sexual relationships as well and the consideration and gentleness and tenderness that must be expressed by the partner who is physically stronger and commands a higher level of authority

talking about staying at home; spending time together

understanding; considerateness

cf. the culture of NT times - husband was around the house much more - probably home for lunch a lot; worked out of a shop adjoining the home or worked in the fields around the home; a lot of interaction and active training of the children for their adult roles; a lot of apprenticeship

we are much more disconnected; easier for the husband to step out of his wife's world and to create a separate world for himself for the problems of the family and the priorities of the wife can't touch him

Wife values that companionship; requires communication

Is our wife really our best friend? Go away on business trip - miss the companionship; doesn't take long to get lonely

Examples of how not to live with your wife in an understanding way:

1) Treating your wife as a pack mule - you can carry the whole load - throwing every responsibility on your wife until she collapses (or a work horse)

2) Treating your wife as a jackass - unintelligent fool that doesn't know anything

3) Treating your wife as a mouse - Squelching her personality; being overbearing; allowing her just to squeek a little once in awhile - but not helping her to grow into the person God intended for her to be

4) Treating your wife as a lion = king of the jungle; bowing to every demand; abdicating our leadership in the home and allowing her to take over and rule the roost; some husbands are completely dominated by their wife; they live as a mouse in their home

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