Okay, we’ll talk about wives, grandmothers and grandparents. The first thing that we need to understand is: if there’s two things that we could say about our society, and here I think the United States and Canada are pretty much familiar, is we are a culture that hates children. Four thousand, in my country, a day are aborted. They’re starting to build even restaurants that are child free. Resorts that are child free, condominiums-child free, don’t want any of those children around.
And we’re also a society that hates women. And you say, “Yea, those male chauvinist, they hate women.” No, women hate women. The people who hate women more than anybody else on this planet are feminist. They hate women; they want women to be men. They don’t want them to be women. And any woman who says, “I believe that it is my desire to be in my home, to raise godly children, to support my husband in the endeavors that he has to go through in order to provide for our family”, any woman who does that is considered a failure in our society; she’s looked down upon. And I know that from personal experience, I know the things that my wife has suffered. The things that people have said because, you know… they say, “Why don’t you help your husband?”
And she says, “I do.”
“No, why don’t you get a job. I mean, as a minister he doesn’t make that much money. You could provide other things. You could…”
Now, we’re going to look at a few things that are very, very important.
First of all, if we go to Genesis chapter two it says, or let’s go to chapter one verse twenty seven. It says, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him, male and female He created them.”
So, we see here that both man and woman were created in the image of God and both of them have an equal standing before God. The roles that they play in the marriage has nothing to do with a lack of equality. When we will get to the point where it says that the man is the head of his home and a wife is to live in submission to her husband, it does not mean that the wife is less than her husband. It does not mean that. If you think it does, than guess what? You’ve just destroyed the trinity. Because, did not the Son submit to His Father? So did that make the Son less than His Father? If you say “yes”, than you have just committed heresy. Within the trinity itself, the Son submitted to His Father and yet the Bible says the Son and Father are one and they are equal.
So, my wife and I, we are one and we are equal, we function in different roles.
Now today, everyone says, “No, you’ve got to have the same roles or you’re not equal”. That’s why there’s this push by feminist, and they’ve won the day to be honest with you, they’ve won the day, that women ought to be fighting on the front lines. That women ought to be doing what men do in everything and if you deny women that, then you’re not treating them as equal.
No, what you’re doing is you’re denying that men and women are different and that they were made different by a Creator God. We are different and we were created for different roles. But we are equal, we were all made in the image of God.
“God blessed them”, in verse 28, “and said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” That “subdue the earth”, was also given to the woman. But there is a different role in subduing the earth.
Now, I want to just, for just a moment I want you to think, before we get to the idea of a women submitting to her husband, I want you to just think about something. And this… men, this is also for you.
Let’s say that there is a woman who looks at the biblical command of a woman submitting to her husband. And then she looks over at her husband. He’s a guy who works all the time. But he works all the time, not necessarily to provide for his family. He works all the time and then he’s with his buddies and then he’s getting all kinds of things for his hobbies, and he’s all about what he likes to do. And in doing all the things he likes to do with all his buddies, he’s basically neglecting his wife and his children.
And a woman looks over at that and says to herself, “I’ve got to submit to that? To a selfish boy, who basically lives for himself?” That can really make a woman bitter.
Now, but if a woman looks over and sees a man, and imprinted upon his face is, “Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.” She can look at him and she can still become embittered. Why? Because he can say that and basically say the same thing. “I’ve got to neglect you and our children because I’m all about the Kingdom of Heaven”.
How many pastor’s wives have become embittered because the husband has sacrificed his family for Jesus sake? Okay. And that’s amazing because Romans 12: 2 says that the will of God is perfect, and what it means is this: you don’t have to disobey some of God’s commands in order to obey the other ones. So, you don’t have to disobey what God commanded you to do in regards to your wife and children in order to obey Him in what He commanded you to do in the ministry.
But if a woman looks over and sees a man, and the man is “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, hallowed be Thy Name.” and he begins to live that out within his closest relationships, that he strives that “the Kingdom come” in his wife in fullness of joy and he strives that the Kingdom come into his children, and the woman sees that he sacrifices friends, hobbies, everything else for the sake of blessing his family, then a woman looks at a man like that and goes, with a twinkle in her eye, “Yea, yea I can follow a guy like that, who is selflessly giving himself away to his family. Sure.”
Do you see, men, again the responsibility of leadership?
You say, “Well, you’re talking about us again. We wanted you to yell at our wives for a while.”
But see, again, if you’re going to be… you know this. Some of you men are over other men. You have jobs that place you over other men. If those men that are under you mess up, the boss doesn’t go talk to them, does he? He talks to you. Your men messed up. They are under your authority.
Do you see? It’s the same way. And so, you know, this is something that is extremely important.
Now, we get to verse 23 of chapter 2 and He says, “And man said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”
Now, even though I believe that there is a way in which I think we can say that our children are of our flesh. If we want to be purest in the biblical language, we have to recognize man and woman, husband and wife, are one flesh in a deeper way than you could ever think about children. I am not of one flesh, as it says here, with my children. I am one flesh with my wife.
Now, someone can think that they’ve been a wonderful mother even though they’ve been a failure as a wife- and that’s not true. If you’ve been a failure as a wife, you’ve been a failure as a mother.
Now, I have a friend in Peru, who is very bold, who on Mother’s Day, that’s what he preached. He said he was bold, I said he was crazy.
But the greatest thing that my wife can do for her children, is to love her husband and respect him. Why should children respect their father when they see the mother doesn’t even respect the father?
Now, so we’re one flesh. It’s the highest and most important relationship. And I am not a good father if I jump over the mother and dedicate myself to the children, which is very easy to do.
Now men, one of the things that again is very important, is often times, as men, we’re usually a bit more independent. And so… and some of us, very independent. And so we think, you know, “I’m handling my spiritual life, I’m an adult. My wife aught to handle her spiritual life too.”
Well, even though your wife may be very godly, she was not created for that. She, as a woman, who can grow before the Lord in her own life without us. That is true. She was also made to grow with us and under our guidance and under our example. And when we neglect that, we are neglecting something that’s very, very important. The fact that men and women are made by God to be different.
Now, why did he make us this way? Because marriage is not ultimately about marriage. Marriage is ultimately about us representing the relationship between Christ and the church. Can the church grow independently of Christ? No. Women were created to grow with their husbands, with the help of their husbands, under the tutelage of their husbands. That does not mean he lords it over her or he knows more than her, but she was just made for that reason. You leave her alone, or think that she’s strong and can make it on her own, which is often times my sin, and you’re going to mess up the whole thing of what God is wanting to do.
Okay, now, we go on and, let’s go ahead now and let’s go to Ephesians 5 in verse 22, well let’s go to verse 21, “And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” It says that believers are to be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. “Wives submit to your own husband as to the Lord.”
Now, a lot of people will look at this and say, “Oh, what he’s really talking of, because of verse 21, is that there ought to be a mutual submission.” And by saying that, they cancel out submission all together. If there’s mutual submission, then what do you do when there’s a disagreement? And how can there be headship and leadership when there’s mutual submission?
What you need to understand is that Paul is laying out something for us that’s very important. In verse 21, he’s talking about believers, that there should be a sense of mutual submission.
For example, if I come to you and show you with the Scriptures something that’s wrong in your life, you need to submit to it. And if three weeks later, you come to me and show me something that’s wrong in my life, what should I do? Should I say, “Well, I’m an elder and I don’t have to submit to you”? Absolutely not. You can show me in Scripture, there is mutual submission. Do you see that? Iron sharpening iron, brother sharpening brother, sister- sister, that’s very important. So in the church, there’s mutual submission.
Then he comes to marriage, and he says, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands.” Then he comes to the children in 6:1 and he says, “Children, obey your parents.” And then he’s going to go on and he’s going to talk about slaves, which in our terminology would be employees, submit to your employer.
And so he’s telling us something of the way we should function in society. That in the body we should submit to one another. When we go to Peter, though, we also learn that we ought to submit to our elders when they’re functioning according to the Scriptures and can show us with the Scriptures. We learn from Romans 13 that we ought to submit to the government; we ought to pay taxes and things like that. Well, here we’re learning that in the context of the family, “wives be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord”. You do it for the sake of the Lord.
Now, let me just show you a practical way in which this works. Let’s say that a big decision has to be made in our family. And I look at that big decision; I don’t just make that decision and say, “Well, I’m the boss.” No. What I do is… my most trusted counselor, with decisions regarding my family, should be my wife. So, we have to make this big decision. I go and talk to my wife. I want to hear what she has to say. And if we’re in agreement, bam, okay, let’s make the decision. If we’re not in agreement, it doesn’t mean, “Well, my wife’s not in agreement, so I’m not going to make the decision.” But what it does mean is this, if she’s not in agreement, that’s a real red flag for me. I mean, she’s my most trusted counselor in the family, so if we’re not in agreement, a red flag goes up for me. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to post pone that decision if I can, so that she and I can pray together, talk about it more, until we come to unity. And when we come to unity, I’ll make that decision.
But now, if the decision has to be made, and we can wait no longer, as the head of my family, it is my job to make that decision. And if I am right and my wife is wrong, I do not gloat over her. And if she is right and I’m wrong, she does not gloat over me, ladies.
Dear sisters, there’s something you need to recognize. Your husband is going to be judged more severely than you. When he’s wrong, you should not gloat over him. You should be broken hearted. Because he’s going to be called to account for the wrong decision he has made. You need to be praying for him. His is a fearful, fearful job. Even when he may not know it, even when your husband may just make decisions nonchalantly, because he really hasn’t learned the fear of the Lord, you need to pray that he does. And when he makes a wrong decision, you really need to be a blessing to him. It’s a hard thing, it’s a very hard thing. It’s a dangerous thing. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
Now, I want you to notice something here. It says, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands” and then in the end, at verse 33, it says, “Nevertheless, each individual among you is to love his own wife even as himself and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
Now, it’s interesting here that it doesn’t say that wives are supposed to love their husbands. It says they’re supposed to submit to them and respect them. And it’s interesting that here that it doesn’t say that husbands are to submit to and respect their wives, but they are to love their wives.
Now, that does not mean that husbands are not to respect their wives or that women aren’t to love their husbands. That’s not what it means. But it does tell us something that’s very interesting.
I do not need my wife to call me three times a day and say, “Honey, I love you.” I don’t need her to send me flowers that says, “I love you.” I mean, I’m sorry, I just don’t need that. I don’t.
What do I need? I need my wife to respect me. That’s what I need. As a man, I’m made different from a woman, I need my wife to respect me.
The whole world… I can wake up one morning, and sometimes with the internet I feel like I do, and every person in the world is standing outside my yard with “down with Paul” signs. “Paul should die”, “Paul’s a false prophet”, “Paul’s ‘this’”. I mean, I get everything you can’t imagine. That doesn’t really affect me. What does affect me is when my wife, when I feel as though she does not respect me. That kills me. It takes all the strength out of me.
You want your husband to be strong? Respect him. Honor him.
Now, here’s an interesting thing. But it does say that the husband should love his wife. What does the wife need? Constant reminders of that she’s loved. She needs constant reminders that she’s loved.
You say, “Well, you know, I’m just not the kind of guy that says that stuff.”
I know you’re not. Repent.
But here’s our problem. Here’s my problem. We get to thinking that our wives are like us. “Well, I don’t need someone telling me they love me all the time. I don’t need affirmation in that area.” And so we don’t give it. Not because necessarily we’re terrible husbands, we… I’m telling you, we’ve been raised in a culture where we’ve been lead to believe that we’re just alike, men and women. And we’re not. We’re not just alike.
Now, my wife needs respect, you’re wife needs respect, but primarily what they need is an affirmation that they are loved, especially today. I mean, a woman’s not even worthy of love in today’s culture, unless she’s five foot ten and weighs seven kilos or something. You know what I mean? You know that, right? Says, she’s not even worthy of this kind of stuff. That’s only for very special women. And that’s the kind of, you know… you’re women, you’re wives constantly are looking at women in magazines who aren’t even real. And they’re going, “I don’t look like this.”
You know Cindy Crawford, the famous super model? She said something one time that was really wise and true. They were interviewing her and she said, “What you need to understand is Cindy Crawford doesn’t look like Cindy Crawford.” And they said, “What do you mean?” She said, “You really think my legs are that long? You know, they can do great things with a computer. And when I’m bent over like this with a beach ball, yeah, I’ve got a little roll of fat here too, but they can move that away, they can take that off.”
And so what happens is, just normal women are being compared, and they compare themselves to these pictures that aren’t even real. Not even the super model looks like that, and they walk around saying, “How can my husband love me?” And then, if they walk in the living room and the husband is watching a television show where the women do look like that, don’t think, man, that that doesn’t impact your wife negatively. That it doesn’t make her think, again, “Am I even loved?”
So, we need different things. We need different things.
Now, there’s a whole... what’s amazing about this passage is that it really only tells the woman, just be submissive to your husband and respect him. And the whole chapter’s about men and how they’re supposed to die to themselves and love their wives as Christ loved the church.
So, again, we see that the greater responsibility is where? It’s upon the man, it’s upon the man.
I want us to look over, like I said, this is so full of truth it’s unbelievable. But, we just don’t have time to catch everything.
I want us to go over for a second to 1 Timothy chapter two verse nine. “Likewise,” in verse eight Paul says, “Therefore, I want men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath and dissention.”
Alright, now notice, men are prone towards wrath, impatience, anger, fighting, dissention, this type of thing. Then he goes on, he says, “I don’t want that out of you. I want you lifting up holy hands. I want you living a life of prayer. I want you to be in unity in your prayer.”
But now he goes to nine, he says, “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly; not with braided hair, and gold, or pearls, or costly garments.”
Wow! Well, hold on there. And this is something… I’m going to be very honest with you, that my wife and I have been… we’ve really been struggling with this. Not that we don’t want to obey it, we want to make sure we know what it means. Because does it… I mean, what does it mean? Because we’ve been given some terms here and, I mean they’re not…you know, we almost look at this and say why didn’t you give us more. I mean, give us a rule, give us, you know, something that we can just follow.
But I want you to look at some things. I want you to see first of all, “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves.” Now, he wants women to adorn themselves. Okay? So adornment’s not bad. But that adornment, we’re going to see is in verse eleven, but in verse ten it’s good works, godliness, a quiet and submissive spirit.
Now, but let’s go on. He says, “I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing.” That tells me that there is clothing that’s improper for a Christian woman. Alright? I mean, that’s just logic. There is clothing that is improper for a Christian woman.
Now, he says the clothing must be modest. Modest, this is a very important, it’s literally proper clothing with modesty, is the way it goes in the original text.
So, with modesty. My wife has a really good thing that she says and she goes, “If your clothing is a frame for your face, from which the glory of God is to shine, it’s proper, if it draws attention to your face. If your clothing draws attention to your body, to outline it, to make it noticed, then it’s sensual, it’s sensual. What you’re doing is wrong.”
Now, I want to step off for just a second. Women, you need to understand something. Men are not as dumb as you think they are.
My wife and I have a friend in Illinois and she’s a very pretty lady, very pretty. And if she walked in that door right now, every man in this room, if he turned and saw her, this is what they would say, “Well, that’s a very pretty lady. That’s a very elegant lady. That’s a beautiful lady.” And that’s what they would think.
But ladies, there are also women that aren’t half as attractive as that lady I just described to you, either in their face or their body, and they could walk in that door and the moment every man heard the door open and he looked over there, if he was a godly man, he would have to go like this… Because it’s not beauty, it’s sensuality. And even though you can’t exactly write down the rules and put it all on paper, when you see it you know it. There is a difference between beauty and sensuality. And God is not against beauty. He is against sensuality.
In Philippians we are told to think on things that are excellent, that are noble, that are just, that are right, that are true. The way a woman carries herself and the way she dresses ought to promote the following types of words- modesty, discretion, wisdom, beauty, elegance, refinement. But not sensuality, luxury, extravagance. You know, extravagance, ladies, is when your husband wants you to take off your earrings so he can make them into lures to catch northern pike.
Now, ladies, you know I’ve been giving your husbands a lot of tasks, let me give you one. Seek to find out what this means and go wherever the Lord shows you.
There is nothing more attractive than a woman who has this look of wisdom and discretion and nobility and simplicity. Simplicity; it’s just a simple beauty about her.
Now, I was teaching in Romania, I guess it was about two years ago and I was at a university, I think is was (?), the University of (?) I think, or something. And it’s European, you know. European techno punk kind of stuff, you know. All of these college students come in there and everything and there’s a whole room full of them and there was a bunch of girls there at the bottom of the auditorium in the first row with this purple hair and nails through their nose, stuff like that, you know. And I looked at them and, I didn’t get angry, it just really broke my heart. You know you just look at these little girls and you think, “Oh Lord,” you know, “where is their father? What’s happened?”
And this is what I did, I looked at them and I said, “How many of you have seen the movie Pride and Prejudice, BBC or the one, the recent one with Keira Knightley, or how many of you have ever seen that? Or seen Sense and Sensibility, you know those two movies?”
And most of them went, you know, “I have”.
I said, “After you saw those movies, did you feel sad, kind of?”
And a lot of them went “Well, yea. I did, come to think of it. When I saw those movies I felt sad.”
And I said, “Do you want me to tell you why?”
And they said, “Sure.”
I said, “Because much of what you saw in that movie has been killed in you. It’s been killed. There was a time when people dressed for the sake of beauty. Now it’s for the sake of lust. It used to be refinement, now it’s grunge.”
And I said, “Isn’t is amazing that even though this really didn’t happen in the movie, this was kind of the thing the movie gave you. Like if a girl was standing there and she reached for a book, let’s say a nineteen year old girl, and she reaches for a book and the moment she reaches for the book a boy also reaches for the same book and his hand crosses her hand like this, just by accident, and guess what happens? The moment that happens, she almost looses her breathe, she flushes and has to leave the room. Look what they’ve done to you. Look how they’ve robed you, and you’ve allowed yourself to be robed.”
The young man, his heart’s beating and he doesn’t even know what to do. Just jumps out of a window. The young girl, is all flush and she’s just feeling all of these emotions that are just about to explode in her heart and tenderness and innocents and all of these things that have been killed in you, young lady. They’ve been killed; sin causes death all the time. It kills everything. It kills beauty, it kills poetry, it kills refinement.
I would challenge you to get into the Scriptures, and it is a difficult task, because you start asking yourself a question. “Well, what is masculine? I mean, does it mean that I can never wear pants, does it mean this or that…” Those are very hard questions and you know what, you need to have a lot of grace, because when the Scriptures do not say something specifically, you better not be putting your specific rules upon people. Be very careful here.
And as you know, my wife’s here, she doesn’t dress like a puritan or something. But at the same time, I can say that she and I are in a transition. Because we’ve honestly, you know, you get around to trying to look at different aspects of your life and one of the things is, what is it supposed to look like to be a feminine, beautiful woman with discretion and wisdom and nobility?
And you know, you could dress a woman in a skirt that went all the way down to her heels and she could still be sensual and ungodly. I mean, nothing’s going to cover up a wicked heart. But how should the daughters of God dress themselves? And, you know, some people have gone really, you know, I think the other side and they just wear, you know, denim skirts and white tennis shoes and put their hair a certain way and everybody’s a home schooling mom. I don’t think that’s what the Scriptures had intended either.
But I will tell you this, take simplicity, take modesty, take discretion, put within that, beauty and elegance. Throw away from it all sensuality and luxury and extravagance and try to find where does the Lord want you to be?
And I’ll tell you this, just as a man, a women who most people would say is not that attractive in her face or in her body, if you see nobility in her, if you see discretion and wisdom in her clothing, in her way of being, it is attractive. It is pleasant. It is, it is. A noble, virtuous woman, who just doesn’t have it on the inside but it effects the way she dresses, it effects the way she holds herself.
And young ladies that are here, boys don’t play with you, they don’t wrestle with you, they don’t come up and grab you around the neck. You don’t do all these kinds of things. You are very special, very proper. Not in that wrong sort of way, but there’s a dignity to you.
So don’t allow the world to tell you how to dress, because they just want to make you sensual. Don’t let people tell you how boys are supposed to treat you. Let God tell you. And you demand that.
Now, fathers, here’s something else. You treat their mother very poorly, then don’t expect your daughter to rise above you in the mate she chooses. She needs to be able to look at you and then look at all of these twenty year old boys that haven’t got the brain God gave a goose, she needs to be able to look at them and go, “You do what?”
When that boy says, “I love you.”
“You what? Love me? You can’t even spell the word love. Go look at my dad. Follow him around for two years. He’ll show you what love is all about.”
Do you see? Guys, we do such a disservice to our daughters. We all do, when we neglect their mothers or treat their mothers common. So don’t be angry one day when some guy comes along and treats your daughter as common.
Now, look what it says here. It says, “Not with braided hair, or gold or pearls or costly garments.”
Now, does this mean, as some have interpreted, that a woman can never braid her hair? Well, if you go into the Greek world, you will see some braiding that went on that literally is frightening. The woman looked like Medusa. I am not kidding. They braided hair to the… they would spend days braiding this hair up and it was going all over the place and it looks like snakes coming out of her head. That’s what Satan will always do to a culture.
What he’s talking about here is not that you can’t braid your hair. It’s talking about just the simplicity of it. Not extravagant.
And then there’s gold and pearls or costly garments. Now, what does this mean? Well, I see that the servants of Abraham gave Isaac’s bride some costly bracelets, some rings for her nose, you know go figure. So, that wasn’t treated as an ungodly thing. I think it goes back again to extravagance, extravagance.
And costly garments? No, women should not be preoccupied with spending a lot of money on clothing. But you know what? A wise woman, a noble woman can take a little bit of something and make it look pretty amazing. Remember the Proverbs 31 woman? She didn’t just dress her household. She herself dressed in purple. But it was a frugality, a simplicity.
Like one time, we were… when Charo and I were on our honeymoon, you know, and I wanted to really, like… I’m going to buy her something. So we go into this clothing store and there’s this dress or skirt… I don’t know the difference between a dress and a skirt, what was it? Was it a skirt or a dress? Skirt, okay. I just don’t know, I just can’t figure that out. Alright, it was a skirt and it was really pretty and it just kind of went down long and it was really pretty.
And I said, “Why don’t we get it.”
She looked at the price tag and she says, “Eighty-five dollars, we’re not buying this.”
I said, “Good. I didn’t know they cost that much.”
But guess what? A few weeks later she found the same skirt, different color, exact same skirt with the price tag still on it in a Good Will, I think it was, for five dollars.
And I was like, “Praise the Lord.” You know, I’m like, “Here honey, here’s ten dollars. Go spend it all in one place.”
But it’s amazing what a wise woman can do with almost nothing. And it’s also amazing what a woman with no wisdom can not do with everything. It’s just amazing.
And so, you know and it comes down to… people always ask me, “Is it a sin for women to wear makeup?”
And I say, “Brother, it’s a sin if some women don’t wear makeup.” An old preacher said one time, “It never hurts to put a little paint on an old barn.”
But now, here’s the point again. You can see when a woman uses makeup and there’s discretion. And you can see another woman that looks like she just lost a paint gun war, you know. And that’s just what it comes down to. And then there needs to be a lot of grace when you make your decision.
I remember one time, I had preached in Romania and God had really moved and saved a bunch of people and the meetings were all extended and then the next year I came back and brought my wife. My wife had some little earrings in and things like that and this Romanian woman walked up and she goes, “Brother Paul, you preach power of God in your life. How could you be married to a woman like this?”
And I was like… I’m stepping back because there’s going to be a fight.
And my wife was so wise. She got her in a head lock and pounded her… no, I’m just kidding. This lady who said this was about twenty-five, thirty years old, twenty five. And she looked just haggard. But, I mean, in her face you could see she was an attractive lady, but she was just haggardly. I mean, just morose.
And my wife goes, “Do you have a picture of yourself?”
The lady goes, “Yea. Before I was converted.”
Charo said, “Can I see it?”
The lady said, “Yea.”
Charo looked at the picture and it was a vibrant young lady, smiling, happy. Charo looked at it.
She gave her back the picture and she said, “You know, I liked you better when you were lost.”
And then she came back to her and said, “Is this what Jesus does to a person? Kills their joy, makes them mean spirited? Okay, you don’t have any makeup and you don’t have any earrings on, but you look…”, she didn’t say this, but I know she was thinking it, “y look like a zombie from the Dawn of the Dead movie.”
You know, the fact of the matter is, this woman was in bondage. She had decided that she should wear longer dresses. And I think that’s wonderful. And she had decided that you need to be very careful; I think that’s wonderful. But look what she didn’t have. She didn’t have the good works as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. She didn’t receive instruction well and she wasn’t submissive and she didn’t have a quiet spirit. I mean, there was just no joy. There was no fruit of the Holy Spirit.
So see, you can go through your wardrobe and decide what’s decent and what’s not, but if inside your heart is not right, you can’t cover up your sin, you can’t.
Now, I want us to look over at 1 Peter chapter three verse one. “In the same way, you wives be submissive to your husbands, so that if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives.”
I want to tell you something, this makes me laugh. You think God isn’t all wise? Look what He says. He says, “If any of them are disobedient to the Word,” He says, “Wives, they may be won without a word…”
How do women seek to change their husbands? With their tongue, with their words. Isn’t it? I’ve even seen women, “Husband, I’m telling you, you are going to be the leader of this home. Now, get up and lead and I’m going to tell you how.” I mean, just fighting with their husbands constantly. You are not going to change your husband with your tongue. You’re going to change him with your behavior.
Let me give you an example. I come home from work and it’s been a bad day and I’m thinking about only one thing- me. Alright, and I deserve it. I have suffered all day working in the missions, things have gone bad, I’ve had to fight the devil, hell and everything else. And I’m coming home and things need to be right. And I come home, and they’re not right.
Now, usually my house is clean and usually there is food on…ready and everything else. But I come home this particular day and it looks like Godzilla came through my house.
And I say, “Honey, what’s the deal? I mean, I’m out there fighting the devil all day and I’m supposed to come home to an orderly house.”
And she spins around and looks at me with a fire in her eyes that would make a grown man run back to his mom. And she starts, “What do you mean coming in here… you don’t know what I’ve got to deal with. And you out there all day doing this, and yea you went to lunch. Yea, and you did this. But I’m stuck here and I’m home schooling and…”
And the moment she does that the fight is on. And I know none of you ever deal with anything like this. But the fight is on and guess what? Both parties are justified in their own minds. They are totally justified and no one is ashamed for their ignorant, foolish, ungodly actions.
But now, let’s replay it. And I come home, and I’m still all about me. King me. And I come home, the house is messed up and there’s no food and Rowan is crying and all of these things are going on and I say, “Look, I mean, I’m out there all day preaching the gospel, doing things. At least I could come home and have a little peace.” I’m making this up, because I never do things like this.
And my wife turns around and she goes, “Paul, I am so sorry. Some sisters… one sister has, I’ve been on the phone almost all day trying to figure out a problem with a sister in the church and Rowan is sick and I’ve just had to let things go. And I’m sorry, just give me time and I’ll get things in order.”
When she does that, this is what I do, “… um…” I go outside, go into my workshop, find…oak is usually the preferable wood that you want, but hickory also is a good wood to use, and you take it with both hands, like this, and then you go wham, wham, wham, wham. And then you crawl back into the house and you ask for forgiveness.
Look what she’s done. She couldn’t beat me with her words, but she beat me with her behavior. She heaped burning hot coals on my head with her godliness. Do you see that?
Now men, it’s the same way. Man, if we could ever get a brother to come up here, he’d teaches on marriage and… Norm Wakefield. And he was teaching me one day and he said, “Paul, when I’m preaching, and I really, when God’s really moved or somethings happened, and I drive home,” he said, “I’m preparing myself because I know when I open that door I know, I am hoping my wife will realize I’ve just come from a tremendous week of battle and she’ll meet me at the door and just be a blessing.” He said, “Paul, I know it’s usually not going to happen. I know some things are going to be going on. Now, you can say it’s the devil, but the devil’s got my whole house upset and my wife’s going to open the door and she’s going to be immediately telling me problems, she’s going to ignore my needs and everything else.” And he said, “But it’s not the devil, so much as it is God. And what God is doing is He’s allowing the devil to work to stir up my house so that when my wife opens up that door, and she does not receive me with pleasantness and she doesn’t appreciate the battles I’ve been through, God is giving me at that point an opportunity to be like Jesus, to love like Jesus.”
Do you see that? So see it goes both ways.
Now let me give you an illustration. If you go to Europe, one of the things that you’ve always got to see are castles. I mean, they’re just unbelievable. But there’s something unusual about castles. The first… the front door of a castle is like really big, on the first floor. I mean, it’s huge. I mean, twenty-five guys walking abreast can go through that door. It’s a big door! What’s amazing is, you go up to the second floor and the stair way’s about this big. And the door at the top is like this tall and like this big. You know, like, man if that wasn’t an architectural oversight. Why did they do that?
Well, here’s the way, here’s the reason. Let’s say that there’s a bunch of people in the castle and they’re in there locked up because there’s an army, a gigantic army outside the castle. Well, that gigantic army, it storms that door, the first door. And it, twenty-five men leaning against that door and they push it in and here comes the whole army, floods into that first floor. And let’s say there’s only ten people in that castle. But the army’s 300 men and they’ve just busted through the door. All the people in the castle, the ten people, they run up that narrow stairway. And here’s what you need to understand. That stairwell is so narrow that is just takes one man with a lance at the top of that thing to hold off an army of 300 men, because all 300 hundred of them can’t get up there, only one at a time.
I just described your marriage. Women, your husband is sitting in his castle and he’s just having a good old time. He’s sitting in his lazy boy chair, he’s watching football or a hunting program. And you have had enough. Alright, so you storm the castle door. And what does he do? He does what every man ought to do. He runs. He runs straight up those stairs.
I like what one man said one time. He said, “There’s these three men and they’re all talking about ‘My wife, you know, she submits to me.’ And ‘My wife submits to me.’ And this other guy goes, “Pshhh, you guys are a bunch of wimps! When my wife talks to me, she gets down on her hands and knees.’ They said, ‘Really?’ ‘Yea, she gets down on her hands and knees and she looks under the bed where I’m hiding and she says ‘Are you going to come out and fight like a man or stay there all day?’”
But here’s the thing. Wife, your husband sees you, sees that double-edged sword coming out of your mouth, and he runs up and he’s got his lance and you coming up that stairwell. And you’re coming up that stairwell fighting with him. That tongue of yours is moving like a weed eater. And the whole time you’re giving him the rights, you’re just telling him the way it ought to be.
The whole time you’re doing that, you’re also praying. “God, why don’t you help me with this man?, God, why don’t you help me with this man?, God, why don’t you do what you need to do? Why don’t you change this man? God I can’t understand.”
And every time you say, “God, why don’t you help me with this man?”, God’s going, “Get out of the way.” And you’re like, “Huh u, I’m not getting out of the way.” And you just keep fighting. “God, why don’t you get up here and help?” God goes, “There’s room for only one. Get out of the way.” And you won’t get out of the way, because you’d rather just wag that big, dangerous tongue of yours then you would get out of the way.
I thought about writing a book, I’m still thinking about writing a book to wives on how to act in such a way so that God will kill your husband. I’m just afraid it will be a best seller. We’ll have a lot of men dying. But remember what God says in Romans, well in Romans 12? “Give place to the wrath of God.” Get out of the way. He says, “Don’t deal with your enemies. Don’t fight fires with fires. Someone does evil to you, don’t do evil back. Just get out of the way.”
And what God is telling a woman is this. “Continue in your godliness, continue in your quiet spirit. Seek to honor him as much as you can. And call out to Me and I will be your help in the day of trouble.”
God changes people. And this works the same way with husbands, except more so.
Husbands, you are called… the wife is never really called to be an example to her husband but the man is called to be an example to his wife. You want your wife to change? Be an example, be an example.
And brothers, you know, I hate teaching this because it just points out my own errors. But I’m not teaching it because I live it perfectly. I’m teaching it because it’s true and I need to hear it every day. And so do you.
And ladies, it’s the same thing, so do you. You need to hear this.
He says, “Without a word, by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior…” Again, look at this, “Your adornment must not be merely external…”, and the word merely in Greek is not there. But He’s saying, “Your adornment must not be external, braiding the hair and wearing gold jewelry or putting on dresses.”
You know this comes out of, in a sense, in Proverbs. A woman without discretion, even the most beautiful woman without discretion, is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
And young guys, listen to me. Do not… if you are lead into marriage because of the sensuality of the girl, you will hate yourself in the end. You will hate yourself. But if you’re lead into it by her virtue, her intelligence, her godliness, you will find a mate for life.
Now, He says, “But let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
Women, I’ve seen women, I mean, act like street brawlers. “Come on, you want to fight? Is that all you got?” No, that’s not the way you’re supposed to be. A gentle and a quiet spirit is the thing that will most disarm your husband.
Now, again, let me say this. I’m talking in regard to just a normal marriage with its normal problems. I’m not saying that a woman who has a violent husband, who’s putting her life in jeopardy, ought to just stay there and be a punching bag. Not at all! And the pastors and elders should not just stand there and say, “You need to go back to your husband.” They need to protect this woman. She’s a daughter of God. They need to treat her as their own daughter. And those pastors, if they have a, if there’s a sister in the church being abused by her husband, they need to stand in even if it means they get punched. That’s what pastors do. That’s what they’re supposed to do anyway. Just find it amazing how many pastors will send women back into a horrible, abusive relationship and tell them to do the will of God and do nothing to protect them. Jesus never called us to that kind of absurdity.
But in a normal relationship, with our normal problems, you know, just getting mad over nothing, like most of us do.
Now, there’s so much to say here, let me say… it hurts me because this is like seven days we could be talking just about this women thing and… let’s go to the Song of Solomon. I want to talk to the young ladies, but this applies to everyone.
Men, it would do you well to read the Song of Solomon, it would do me well, because of all of the beautiful things that are said here that to us seem just too goofy. But it’s just because as men we’re just so hardened. You know, look at the things that are found in the Song of Solomon. You know, verse one of chapter four, “How beautiful you are my darling, how beautiful you are.” Verse seven, “You are altogether beautiful my darling and there is no blemish in you.” I mean, all these types of things that are said that I’ve failed to say. Because, again, I think my wife is like me.
Now, I want you to just look at something from the Song of Solomon again. Look at verse nine. “You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride. You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes.”
There was a time when that was true. There was a time, guys, when you acted like peacocks strutting around just to get your wife to look at you. You saw that she looked at you, and you almost fell over backwards.
It’s just like with the Lord, isn’t it? When we first met the Lord, and if He showed us anything in His Word we were so excited, we just didn’t know what to do. And now He shows us things we don’t even want to hear.
There’s something terrible about being in a relationship when it turns common.
Now, another thing I want you to look at here in verse nine, He says, “You have made my heart beat faster with a single glace of your eyes, with a single strand of your necklace.”
Now you say, Brother Paul, what does that mean?
Well, first of all, let’s look at it as with Christ and the believer. He says, “You’re altogether beautiful my darling.” Why? Because He shed His blood for her and cleansed her.
Notice that He did not die for a perfect bride? He died for a soiled one and He made her perfect. Husbands, that’s a good thing, isn’t it? It’s a very good thing.
Also, husbands, you think your wife doesn’t love you like she should? Guess what? It’s your fault. You say, “Why’s it my fault?” Listen to what the Bible says, “We love Him, because He loved us.” It’s not that we loved Him, but that He loved us and because He loved us we now love Him. That’s the relationship between a man and his wife, a husband and a bride.
The church loves Jesus, not… well, the church loves Jesus because Jesus loved her first and the church was won by that love. Isn’t that amazing?
And He says, “You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, with a single strand of your necklace.” Here’s the problem. She’s a shepherd girl; shepherd girls don’t have necklaces.
So, look at what’s going on here. Jesus looks down at His bride and says, “You’re beautiful. The necklace you have is beautiful. What you’re clothed in is beautiful.” And guess what? Everything she wears and everything she’s clothed in came from Him. So He gave her her beauty.
Now, same way, we give our wives their beauty. That’s why He talks about washing your wife in the Word, Ephesians 5, and that Jesus is washing His bride in the Word in order to present her before Him as spotless.
If a husband is not satisfied with his wife, it’s his fault because it’s his job to wash her in the Word so that she becomes more spotless and more pleasing to him.
It’s just like when you invest in your son and he says basically nothing. I’d say, “Well, what would you expect.” When we invest little in our wives, we shouldn’t demand much from them.
You ever heard the story about the eight cow wife? I love this story. This man in Africa, you know, they… you know, you want to get a wife you’ve got to kind of pay for her and you’ve got to give her dad a bunch of cows or chickens, or whatever. Well, this one man, he had this daughter and she wasn’t very pretty. And he’s like, “I’m not even going to get chicken for this daughter of mine. She’s not pretty at all.”
And one day, this guy shows up and he goes, “I want to marry your daughter. I want to marry your daughter.”
And he goes, “What?”
He says, “I want to marry your daughter.”
The dad goes, “You’re kidding right?”
“No, I want to marry your daughter.”
He’s like thinking, “Wonder how much I’m going to have to pay this guy so that he’ll marry my daughter?” And he goes, “Well, what will you give for my daughter?”
And the highest price you could give was eight cows. That was the highest price.
And so this young guy goes, “Eight cows.”
The dad goes, “What? Have you seen my daughter? I mean… what do you mean, eight cows?”
He says, “No, I want to pay eight cows for your daughter.”
And so he did and it was the talk of the town, the talk of everybody. I mean, that’s unheard of, and eight cow wife.
Guess what? She came to be known throughout all the land as the eight cow wife. And guess what? She became also the most respected woman in all the tribes.
Someone valued her and she lived up to that value.