Summary: God defined the role of the wife and in it gives her the key to unlocking the heart of her husband.
THE DEFINITION OF A GODLY WIFE
This morning in continuing our series in defining the family, I want to give you the definition of a Godly wife. Turn to Ephesians 5:23-25 and let’s read together God’s definition of a wife.
This morning, I am not going to put the notes on the screen as usual. Most of the time this is a great help. Sometimes, however, it is distracting and simply gets in the way. This morning I want you to see two basic truths. Everything I will say is designed to either explain why these two statements are true or show you how to apply these two statements to your marriage. This morning these two statements need to be so clear that they are penetrating. It is so difficult to disciple in today’s world. I only get 30 minutes or so a week in which to teach the depth of scripture and combat the images and messages you get from the world on a daily basis. The only thing I can do in 30 minutes is to paste these two statements to your heart and trust you to allow the Holy Spirit to teach them to you this week.
I. Role Defined
God defines your role as a wife: “Wives submit to your husbands in everything as to the Lord.” I believe that is what God said and it is therefore what He meant. You cannot interpret or define away biblical submission. But before you tune me out, let me give you these two statements and try to explain them to you.
Biblical submission means two things:
1) It is obediently displaying your role in marriage’s picture of salvation.
2) It is the key which equips you to impact your husband’s heart.
They are inherent in the teaching of marriage throughout scripture. Let me show you the same thing in another passage: I Peter 3:1-6. In a few moments, I am going to give you the 5 verse every wife should know and this s one of them.
Statement 1 is: Biblical submission is obediently displaying your role in marriage’s picture of salvation. See how Peter says “likewise” – that connects you to the example of Jesus at the end of chapter 2. You are being like Jesus and therefore furthering His example when you submit.
Statement 2 is: Biblical submission is the key which equips you to impact your husband’s heart. This is the key to your husband’s heart. Notice here that Peter gives a great promise to wives that they will literally win the heart of their husband and transform who he is with this key.
This is not what the world will tell you. Remember that we have defined the 3 major sources of our struggles in marriage: selfishness, Satan, and society. We see these 3 at work against wives. Selfishness is why submission is hard. Satan tempted Eve with this very sin and her sinful choice marred her heart in such a way that it is difficult for her to fulfill God’s plan for marriage by fulfilling her role of submission. Satan now uses society in a fallen world to try and convince wives to follow its fallen plan and not God’s. As a result, we loose the evangelistic testimony of biblical families in the church and you lose the power God has given you as a woman to impact your husband’s heart. Finally, Satan drives so much of this as our enemy “seeking whom he may devour.”
Let’s define biblical submission. It is a woman taking all of her needs, wants, and desires, and setting them aside as a voluntary choice of faith and making instead her husband’s needs, wants, and desires her highest priority. She does not do this because his are more important. She does this as a choice of faith believing in God’s plan of marriage. She is placing her faith in the biblical truth of statements 1 and 2.
First, let’s look at statement 1. The bible clearly teaches as we saw in previous weeks that marriage was designed as God’s most complete and beautiful picture of salvation. The husband plays the role of Jesus and loves with such selflessness that he pictures Jesus who “gave Himself for [the church],…” Eph. 5:25. This is why verse 23 says “wives submit yourselves in everything to your husbands, as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.”
When a husband loves his wife with such sacrificial love, and she loves him in response to that, the people around you that are watching your marriage are going to want to know how to have a marriage like yours. You now have the open door to tell that it is Jesus that has made your marriage so wonderful by His grace, power, and love. Their very next question is clear: “How do I bring Jesus into my life and my marriage?” They must be able to see the clear picture of how a person receives Jesus into his life and marriage – they submit themselves and everything that they are to Jesus. You must submit to Him totally. The wife models the truth of a person “taking up his cross to follow Jesus.”