Thursday, October 18, 2012

1 Peter 3:1-7

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. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

“Submission” in regards to marriage has almost become a dirty word according to culture. The idea that a wife would ever have to “submit” to her husband is often portrayed as barbaric, and uncivilized. It is like the word is used in regards to a WWE wrestling match: Two big sweaty guys in leotards fight and slap each other with chairs. As one staggers across the rink, the other climbs the ropes and leaps from the corner through the air collapsing his overwhelmed foe beneath his beer-belly. Injured and dejected, “submitted” and defeated, the sweat machine hangs his balding head in shame and leaves the rink while being jeered at by the opponent’s fans all the way to the locker room. Somehow in this perception of submission, to submit = to be shamed and made less of. This is not at all the biblical view of submission. Submission according to scripture is a holy and sacred act. It has nothing to do with being shamed or made less of; it has everything to do with honor and being made more of. It is not something that is forced on women; rather, it is something that is joyously engaged in by women. Submitting is not surrendering. It is an action, not a reaction. The Scriptures never read “Husbands submit your wives…”, rather, it always reads, “Wives, submit yourselves.” This is important, because just as much as wives are commanded to submit to their husbands, husbands are commanded (v.7) to give honour unto the wife by knowing them and loving them well. Both of these things are given as acts to be personally fulfilled by the individual, not as something that the spouse demands.
Frame your thinking now. Don’t let culture play semantic games that villainize God’s perfect designs like submission. Rather see the beauty of God’s designs and trust that He alone all wise knows what will bring the most joy to you and glory to Him in your future marriage.  
Food For Thought: What is the difference between the cultural perception of “submission” and the biblical explanation of it?