|Volume 25 Number 3 March 2023
King Solomon said, “The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1 NKJV). How? For one, sensible women do not expose their families to the foes by their utterances, and they do not engage in physical combat with others. “He who loves transgression loves strife, And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction” (Proverbs 17:19).
A prudent woman bridles her tongue, realizing that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). A sensible woman is a wise woman who builds her house by being industrious, providing for the family (Proverbs 31:10-31).
Sensible women seek unity at home, in the church and everywhere (Ephesians 4:3). This is because in unity there is peace, rest of mind, growth and progress. “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Roman 12:16).
They serve the Lord persistently as Anna did, without allowing troubles and trials to obstruct their devotion, commitment and loyalty to God (Luke 2:36-38). Indeed, sensible women are godly women, seeking the things of the Lord always and first.
Are you a home builder or a destroyer? Be a builder of good things. Be sensible and wise. Rely on God’s in errant Word in whatever you do.
Wives, Do You Call Him “Lord”?
The first time we read about Isaac where the evidence suggests that he probably was an older teenager or young adult is in Genesis 22. That is the chapter where God told Abraham to sacrifice his “only son.” Before we go on, note that Abraham would have had to cut a lot of wood for a sacrifice as large as Isaac, which most likely was loaded onto the one and only donkey they took with them. Now if you continue to read between the lines, it’s obvious that Isaac was not some small child. First, he endured a three-day walk over rugged terrain. Second, though the mountain to which Abraham was going was “afar off” (Genesis 22:4 NKJV), he obeyed his father’s command to carry the heavy wood. Third, he knew enough about proper sacrifices to recognize that something was amiss, which he called to his father’s attention.
Now, here’s where the record gets really interesting. It appears that the young man willingly allowed his father to bind him so that he could be the sacrifice. Perhaps Abraham, probably with tears in his eyes, explained to him that he was only doing what God said, submitting to His command to sacrifice his only son. Anyway, Isaac was old enough to run away like most young men his age would have, but instead, he had the humility to obey his father and God, even to the point of death (Philippians 2:8).
Where would Isaac have learned such amazing humility? The religious instruction that Isaac’s mother taught him, at least, included the humility she exhibited. If you read 1 Peter 3:5-6, you see that Sarah exemplified humility by submitting to and obeying her husband Abraham, even calling him “Lord.” Isaac was raised from infancy seeing his mother display great humility and submission to authority, and even verbalizing it to him by the use of the word “Lord.”
Today, we see so many kids (and even adults) who rebel against and reject authority, especially divine authority – even among those raised by Christian mothers. They have little if any humility (and then they wonder why God is not on their side, James 4:6). Why? Could it be that they never were taught humility and submission to authority like Isaac was by his mother?
So, how does a mother teach such humility and submission to her children? It’s really not that hard (and it can almost be like a game). She should first show her children what God’s Word says. “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Then, she should look for opportunities to verbalize those sentiments in front of her children. For example, let’s say the kids want to eat at some fast-food restaurant, but dad says the family should eat something healthy at home. Mom should take advantage of that and say something to the kiddos like, “Look, your father is the head of the house, and we all, including me, have to do what he says.” (Have some fun with this, but make sure the kids don’t catch on.) If she disagrees with her husband, she can make her case, but not in a way that would undermine his perceived authority in front of their children. (Where she intensely disagrees with her husband on some matter, she should take that up with him in private, but more about that later.) Also on occasion, especially in front of her children, she should call him something comparable to “Lord” or “Master” that was culturally proper in Bible times. For example, “Sir, can I fix you a glass of iced tea?” or “Captain, are you sure we should turn here?” (Again, have some fun with this, but try not to laugh.) Raised in such an environment, a child will grow up to consider it natural to be humble, submissive and obedient, not only to God but also to parents, teachers, elders, governments, bosses, police, etc.
Now, I already know what many of you wives are thinking. “What if all this humility and submission stuff goes to my husband’s head, and he becomes an overlording dictatorial tyrant?” You’re in fear. What does God say about that? “…Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror” (1 Peter 3:6). Just continue to do good, and God will protect you. Do not give in to fear.
Not with outward adornments to accompany feminine attractiveness, but with godly inner qualities, God intends for wives to influence their respective husbands.
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:1-4)
A wife has a lot of persuasive power over her husband, maybe even too much sometimes, as Eve had over Adam.
Some husbands may be harder to persuade than others, and they may also misuse their authority or even become abusive. Still, there is no reason to fear. A wife has remedies. Of course, prayer is the first one, but she can also go to the elders at her church for advice. Often, a couple of elders talking to a husband can have a powerful impact on him changing his wayward ways (Matthew 18:17). In a worse-case scenario, law enforcement may need to be called. A few nights in jail can have a very humbling effect on people (2 Chronicles 33:10-12). Again, do not fear, because God is always nearby.
At the end of the day, always recognize that it is God, not your husband, Who commands you to submit to the man (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18). Maybe, through your example, this is God’s way for you to teach your children and even grandchildren on a daily basis how to be submissive and obedient (Ephesians 6:1). Husbands, recognize that God has provided you no enforcement mechanism if your wife fails to comply with this submission command. Her compliance is between her and God. No matter how she acts or behaves, you are commanded to love her sacrificially, honor her and never, ever even once, be harsh with her (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7).
So, wives, even if 1 Peter 3:1-6 and similar biblical references just sort of irk you the wrong way for some reason, don’t think about the passages in terms of yourself, but instead, think about them in terms of your children and their futures. Through your example of humility, you can make and mold your children – and even grandchildren – into the kind of humble, submissive and obedient servants of God that He wants them to be – just like Sarah did with Isaac. God bless.