Friday, June 17, 2011

Wives, Be Subject to Your Own Husbands

Bride represents the church, image courtesy of Barefoot Weddings Key West

As I’ve said, a woman has a tremendous capacity to love, and yet, she has an even greater need to be loved; God made her this way. A woman has the unique ability to help her husband; it is a gift from God. This gift can be changed to one of enabling. A woman uses her gift of helps by inappropriately directing it in the area of enabling. She enables her husband, her children, a parent, friend, or anyone who she sees in need of help. As she assumes the role of enabler, she quickly discovers that her help isn’t appreciated, and she invests more of herself in the effort to enable; believing the outcome will change, but it doesn’t.

What is it she really expects to occur?

She wants to affect a change that conforms to what she sees you need to be.

The purpose of a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The purpose of a wife is to help her husband. In creation, God established a pattern for all life, male and female, however the scripture says, “…but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:20) In other words, Adam didn’t have compatibility with any other created being. Compatibility in life is necessary. Vehicles need the correct type of fuel or there will be compatibility issues. Meals need the proper ingredients or there will be compatibility issues. Your climate will dictate the type of clothing you wear or there will be compatibility issues. Computers must run compatible software and hardware. A husband must have a compatible wife. She must be his helper, not his enabler.

The New Testament church encountered a problem because the Jews were ignoring the needs of the Greeks; they weren’t providing the necessary help to those in need. When this problem was identified, it was quickly addressed and resolved (Acts 6:1-6).

There are three reasons why a husband needs his wife to be subject to him. A husband needs a wife who’ll submit because:
  1. A husband needs to be honored
  2. A husband needs to be wanted
  3. A husband needs to be appreciated
A husband needs to be honored:

What is honor?

When the bible speaks of honor, the Hebrew word kabod, (kaw-bode’) means weight; but this is only figuratively. In a good sense, it means, splendor or copiousness:--glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able). The Greek word timao, (tim-ah’-o) means to prize, i.e. fix a valuation upon; by implication, it means to revere:--honor, value. Honor comes in the form of affirmation and encouragement. A husband needs to know how his wife sees him. His view of himself has and will continue to be influenced by a woman. It begins in childhood with his mother (or nurturing caregiver), but eventually must transition to his wife (Genesis 2:24). As a young boy, I can remember experiences when I sought the affirmation of my mother that I she was pleased with what I accomplished. I also know that when young men aren’t encouraged, they can find themselves engaged in rebellious and destructive behavior. A man wants to know his wife is proud of him. From royalty, presidency, CEO, ditch digger, miner, migrant worker, sewer employee, or layoff casualty, a husband wants to know his wife is proud of him. He wants that affirmation from you his wife. When he doesn’t get it, he’ll accept it from other sources, be it alcohol, drugs, gambling, strip clubs, or other women. His need has become perverted, but it is nonetheless a need he has. A husband needs to be honored in the eyes of his wife.

A husband needs to be wanted:

What does it mean to want?

The Greek word husterema (hoos-ter’-ay-mah) means, a deficit; specifically poverty:--that which is behind, (that which was) lack (-ing), penury, want.

This need to be wanted transcends the physical and propels a husband and wife into the realm of the spirit and soul as well. It is a want that can only be satisfied by a wife's need for her husband. She needs him connected spiritually, she needs him connected intellectually, she needs him connected emotionally, and she needs him connected physically. A wife who understands her needs for her husband in these areas of her life will communicate them to her husband. Her husband translates these needs she expresses by understanding that he is wanted by his wife.

How does your husband respond when you communicate to him that you want him?

Do your words and actions ignite him with desire for you?

Here is an excerpt from Song of Solomon:

While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.

It is here that we see the Shulammite expresses to Solomon that she wants him. Her intent is clear because Solomon gets her message; he understands what she communicates to him. "She wants me!" The phrase, “my beloved is”, is descriptive of how the Shulammite not only views Solomon (comparatively speaking), but the attitude behind her view; she wants him. A husband needs to be wanted by his wife.

A husband needs to be appreciated:

What does it mean to appreciate?

To appreciate is, to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of, to value or admire highly, to judge with heightened perception or understanding:--to be fully aware of, to recognize with gratitude, to increase the value of.

This does not imply the act of puffing up someone with false praise, or manipulating a husband to believe you see him in a way that is untrue. No, your appreciation of your husband is genuine, honest, and sincere. If you don’t have reasons to appreciate your husband, he will ultimately find that need met elsewhere.

These three needs of your husband form a building block that enables him to understand how you view him. How you view your husband is directly tied to your willingness to be subject to him.

A wife must possess these characteristics in order to be compatible with her husband, so that she will be his help. A wife cannot help her husband by enabling him solely for the purpose of changing him into the image of something she has in mind. Just as some husbands objectify their wives, some wives also objectify their husbands. We desire our wife or our husband to conform to an image in our mind of what they ought to be. A wife who is submitted to Christ understands that she may plant, she may water, but it is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). She must allow God to create in her husband a clean heart (Psalm 51:10). Just as the husband is a type of Christ in the marriage, the wife is a type of church in the marriage.

Wives are a type of church in the marriage because she ministers to the spirit, soul and body of her husband. Most Christian women and men have heard or read the description of an excellent wife (Proverbs 31:10-31). Of all the words used to describe her, the one that stands out is that her life is one of subjection; subjection to God, to her husband, and her family. This requires humility in a woman because subjection does not come naturally for husband or wife.

Father God,

You've given women such a tremdous capacity to love, it is resident in a wife, and fully expressed in her act of subjection to her husband. You reveal that the wife is a type of church, and in that role, she ministers to the spirit, soul, and body of her husband. She is subject to her husband, just as he is in turn subject to her. I'm praying Father God for those husbands and wives struggling to understand the purpose of marriage. You declare that Your people perish from a lack of knowledge. Open our eyes Lord, that we may see with a clarity of sight, mind, and commitment. I give You thanks for husbands and wives who represent Christ and His church to a world crying for truth and redemption. Bless those singles who live their lives in submission to Christ, choosing celibacy over sin. Thank You Lord for the blessings You lavish upon us, for Your love, grace and forgiveness. You are so good, righteous, and holy. We worship and adore You Lord. Thank You for Your righteous deliverance. In the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Spiritual Sunday'sNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).

  1. Genesis 2:20, NASB
  2. Acts 6:1-6, NASB
  3. Genesis 2:24, NASB
  4. Song of Solomon 1:12-15, NIV
  5. 1 Corinthians 3:6, NASB
  6. Psalm 51:10, NASB
  7. Proverb 31:10-31, NASB
  1. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, By James B. Strong, S.T.D, LL.D., Riverside Book and Bible House, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126
  2. Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago
  3. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  4. The Amplified Bible, by The Lockman Foundation, Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, ISBN-13: 978-0310951414
  5. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  6. The Message Bible, by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress Publishing Group, Colorado Springs, CO, ISBN-13: 978-1600060250
  7. New King James Version, by Nelson Bibles, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., PO Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN-13: 978-0840713704
  8. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  9. The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896
  10. Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6


dunlizzie said...

MTJ -- This exploration of the marriage relationship that you have been doing is SO good. Your ability to clearly explain the humanity in the way God has set things up is beautiful. Thank you, friend. --dunlizzie

Stephen Phillip Porter said...

I think your initial point about wives trying to enact change in their husbands can be applied to our relationship with God as well. He is who He is. He's unchangeable, and yet so often we try to change Him into what we want Him to be rather than honoring Him for who He is.

Thanks for sharing. It was a great post!

Manifest Blog

LivingSoAbundantly said...

Thank you for explaining things so clearly, yet gently. As a wife, I so badly want to honor my husband. I appreciate how you explained that puffy praise is not what he needs. I have noticed that he appreciates when I specifically praise something and not just say, "Good job!" If you ever write a book, I will definitely read it. You not only share what to do, but you break it down to practical applications.

Wanda said...

Wow, MTJ, I have gleaned so much from reading your posts marriage. Praying that I'll be able to incorporate these truths in the future.

Sleepyeyed Rhon said...

What an honor to be chosen to be the Bride of a Godly man! Awaiting the arrival of my spiritual bridegroom....

Charlotte said...

You make some great points in this post. This is good advice for everyone. Thank you for sharing it.

Crystal Mary said...

Hello, I have enjoyed reading your well researched subject is so good!!! and I totally agree...somewhere down the line of time, women began wearing pants instead of dresses and began to take over. They don't let the man be King of the castle, so he doesn't honour her as his queen. Its a double sided act, yet it begins in Gods Word..Wives be subject to your husbands, Husbands love your wives..
Gods richest blessings to you!! This is a wonderful teaching and I pray it helps many. Hug OO

Pamela said...

I am so thankful for my marriage and the God who makes it possible. I always say it's easier to be happy than unhappy! I hope many will read this and allow it to speak to them.


sarah said...

these are really good points MTJ....I think all of us men,women want more than anything to be loved just for who we are. Love frees.....Have a great Sonday

Saleslady371 said...

These scriptures are good. We humans need so much love. Praise the Lord that He loves us so much.

Anita Johnson said...

Another great post. I've been sending these posts to me just married, one getting married this October. Exceelnt Godly advice found here.

Joan said...

MTJ - I also have learned much from your posts on marriage. I appreciate hearing a man's perspective.


Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

What excellent thoughts you have here. We can all us these in our lives.
God Bless,

Sharon said...

This marriage series has been so full - I have learned so much. I appreciated this post because you presented a man's needs - from a man's perspective. It was a good reminder to me of how much my husband needs certain things from me - just me.

And, it is a good thing to bring up the topic of submission. It isn't a popular idea these days, but it is what we are called to as wives. You have perfectly pointed out that submission is an act of love and obedience - both to our husbands, and to our Lord.


Dave said...

Crystal Marry makes a good point, but unfortunately I think the situation goes deeper than woman just wearing the pants now days. Times have CHANGED! Woman are now equals! Unfortunately gender equality has made most woman think that being more manly is the answer, especially in a marriage or relationship. I think this idea of king and queen is old fashioned and way passed its bed time. Woman want to be honored, appreciated and wanted too, just as much as men. If this doesn't happen - take it from me, she'll be walking! Probably into the arms of another man - now that's pain. If real love is present both parties should have the same roles. Bot sides should honor, appreciate and want the other. Just my view. Lovely article, just wish this was still possible. From a guys point of view.

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