When I study, I use my King James Bible and a Noah
Dictionary. Both are quoted in this study.
Before I start, I want to share a little something with you. I was saved
on April 1, 1980. John and I had been married for 6 years already. I was
no longer in love with my husband and I wanted "out" of my marriage. I
longer loved my husband and, in fact, hated him! I was married to an
unbeliever for six years before he got saved. During these six years, God
taught me how to be a submissive wife and what His Word said about being
the wife of an unbeliever. God not only taught me in these areas but he
healed my marriage and restored my love for my husband. Praise His Holy
Name that He not only saved me, but He drew my husband to salvation six
years later. I speak to you today because I have been through this. I
speak from experience of the wonderful things God can do in your marriage
if YOU allow Him to do it. That's the key. We must allow God to work in
our hearts, our husband's heart, and our marriage. God desires for you to
have a great marriage. God desires for your marriage to be equally yoked.
For you ladies who are married to a saved husband, please read the study
anyway as it involves submission ... and we can ALL stand to have refresher courses in this very important area in our lives. :-)
Are you ready to commit to that? Are you tired of your marriage being
rocky and miserable and unequally yoked? Are you desiring a husband who
will serve God and love Him? These wonderful things CAN be achieved if
you do your part with your heart and leave your husband to the Lord.
Let's get on with the study then :-)
Heavenly Father, I know that all things work together for good for those
who love You. I pray, Father, that You would use this study to Your glory
and that You would heal the heart of the lady who is desperately trying
to draw nigh to You. I lift up each marraige represented here in Lilacs
and pray God that Your Holy Spirit would work in the hearts of the women
to be the help meet You want her to be. I ask all these things in Jesus'
Precious, Precious Name. Amen.
What does the Word define a wife is? A wife is a helpmeet
according to Genesis 2:18 "And the LORD God said, It is not good that
the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.." It
doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what help meet means. She will
help her husband and she will meet his needs. :-) Simple, isn't it? Does it
say that she is a help meet only if the husband is saved? Not in my Bible
Therefore, we are to be help meets regardless of where he is
spiritually. Before I begin, I need to stress that God's Word for wives does
not only apply when we are married to a wonderful Christian man. It would be
very easy to be a wife of such a man. God's Word applies when we are married
to an unbeliever, a back-slidden believer, drunkard, gambler, drug addict,
etc. It applies to the woman who has been married for many years and is no
longer in love with her husband (and vice versa). Well, Kate you might say,
just how in the world can I be a help meet to a man such as my husband? He's
simply awful! The answer is quite simple. Let God work in you to be the kind
of wife He wants you to be and HE will take care of your husband. :-) This
is not an easy thing to do... I know that. However, I've been there and I
know what worked in my heart and for my marriage.
The best place to find information on what is expected of
you as a wife is to go to the Source where the information is perfect and
absolutely correct :-) ... and that, my friend, is your beautiful Bible.
Let's look at probably one of the most important passages of Scriptures for
1Pe 3:1 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;
1Pe 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the
hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
1Pe 3:4 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.
1Pe 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who
trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own
1Pe 3:6 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.
1 Peter 3:1 God starts the verse with Likewise. Likewise means: In like
manner; also; moreover; too. ....
hmmmm, likewise to what? To see what Peter was referring to,
you must go to chapter 2 and read the latter part of it. When these letters
were written, they weren't divided by chapters and verses as they are now so
we lose that continuity. As you see, Peter is referring to Christ's work on
the cross and how we are now returned to the Bishop and Shephard of our
souls :-) Isn't that beautiful? As Peter lays the groundwork here, he then
moves on to chapter 3 verse 1. SOOOO, now that we are saved we have some
instructions to follow. Next, the instruction is to "ye wives" ...
it does not say husband here. This is a definite instruction to US. Further
more, that verse goes on to say that you are to be in subjection to your OWN
Why do you think Peter would need to tell the wives this?
Could it be that they were listening to other men but not listening to their
own husbands? I use to be that way. My husband could tell me that the sky
was blue but I wouldn't listen to him. But let another man (especially a
saved one) tell me that the sky was blue and I listened to him. Isn't that
sad? I'm ashamed to even say that I did that, but I did. :-( (Thank You Lord
for Your patience with me.) In fact, Peter thought this SO important that he
says it again in verse 5.
I believe Peter had a tender heart for wives ... he had a
wife of his own. He knew exactly what we needed to hear and God spoke
through Peter as he wrote these instructions for us. Verse 1 continues to
say "that if any of your husbands don't obey the word" ... let's
stop there. Does it say that if any of your husbands are not saved? No, it
does not. Therefore, this could also apply to women with husbands who ARE
saved but are backslidden. Both the unsaved and backslidden husbands are
disobedient to the word.
So what does Peter tell us to do if we are married to a man
who is disobedient to the word? He says that they "may without the word
be won by the conversation of the wives;"! Do you see that? When I
first read this verse, the words WITHOUT THE WORD jumped off the page at me
and convicted my heart! This can mean several things: no preaching to hubby,
no correcting him, no nagging him because he's not going to church, no
nagging PERIOD, no belittling him, and all those other nasties that tend to
come out of our mouths when we are not happy with him. Why? The answer is in
the latter part of that verse ... so that they may be WON by the
conversation of the wives. Well, if we're not allowed to speak, what
conversation is Peter referring to? God's not saying that we cannot speak at
all. He's telling us that He doesn't want us "speaking" THE WORD
to our unsaved husbands. Why do you think God doesn't want you to quote the
Scriptures to your hubby when he's sinning? Aren't we suppose to correct our
brother in Christ like Matthew 18 says?
Not your husband! Let the Holy Spirit deal with your
husband. You must remember that the Holy Spirit IS God! His way is perfect
and His way will bring peace and reconciliation in your marriage ... not
YOUR preaching. I truly believe that when we "preach" to our
unsaved husbands, it comes across to them as "fingernails on a
blackboard." I believe this because this is what my husband told me
after he was saved.
Now let me stop here a moment to clarify that I am not
saying that you cannot tell your husband that he has hurt you or share with
him something that you would like him to do. For example, if your husband is
constantly using the Lord's name in vain, it is OK for you to ask him to
please restrain himself from doing this because it hurts you. BUT, you don't
have to quote him the Scriptures that deal with using the Lord's name in
vain. Make sense? The Word says that you are not to preach to him...
example: Hubby doesn't want to go to church but yet you remind him that Heb.
10:25 says that he should go to church. THIS is what God is referring to.
Let the Holy Spirit convict your husband's heart. He will accept it a whole
lot better coming from God than coming from you. In fact, when we preach to
our husbands about their sin, we distance ourselves from them. They will
resent us for "being more spiritually minded" than they are. God
knew what He was saying in this verse.
Let's move on to verse 2. Our husbands need to observe our
conversation coupled with fear. What is God talking about here? Chaste
means pure ... pure conversation ... I'm thinking sweet, clean, holy and
uplifting conversation, aren't you? But not just that alone ... God says
"coupled with fear" ... what do you think He means here? God is
that your husband should hear pure conversation from your mouth to the
point where he actually can tell that you fear God (respect Him,
reverence Him, obey Him). Do you think your husband thinks that you fear
God when you're snapping at him? I don't think so.
Verse 3-5 go on to describe the chaste conversation of the wife and how
it does not mean "how she looks, fixes her hair" but how her HEART
God is saying that the wife is to have a meek and quiet spirit ... a mild
and peaceable spirit. Can she truly have this type of spirit if she is
preaching to her husband or correcting him spiritually? Of course not.
Well, Kate, this is easier said than done. You know what? You're right!
It is. However, my Bible says that ALL things are possible with Christ.
My Bible says that ALL things work together for good. Therefore, I must
allow God to do the changing in MY heart. Forget my husband's sins.
Forget my husband's faults. Forget my husband's disobedience. Holy
Spirit, work within ME to change ME and I will leave my husband to Your
We've all heard the Scriptures that God is the Potter and we are the
clay. God needs to mold you to be the wife He wants you to be for your
husband. He's YOUR husband, not someone else's. You cannot trade him in
for another model, ladies. I hate to put it in these terms, but you are
stuck with him. You chose him to be your life long partner. You would be
out of God's will if you divorced him so the only alternative is to give
in to the Holy Spirit and let Him work a miracle in your life by healing
your heart of the sin of being an unsubmissive wife ... yes, I said sin!
It IS sin to be unsubmissive. We've been commanded in several Scriptures
to submit to our own husband, amen? Confess this sin and forsake it. Let
God work in your heart. Don't worry about your husband. God will take
care of him. I'm speaking from experience. :-)
Lastly, verse 6 gives Sarah as our example. She called Abraham
(little "l" not L). Webster defines lord as (1) master (2) husband
title of respect, as applied to kings, or as to a respectable person. God
is not saying that we should call our husbands lord with our lips but He
IS saying we should call our husbands lord with our hearts. He is saying
that we should recognize our husband's position as master of our home and
to give him the respect due him. One of the definitions of master is
"husband"! Does that make an impression on your heart? Your
given this position as lord of your home by God Himself. So if any of you
ladies believe that you just HAVE to rule your home because hubby's doing
a horrible job, you need to ask the Holy Spirit to change your heart. It
is not your job to rule your home. It is your job to "help" your
fulfill his role as master of your home.
Your unbelieving or disobedient (to the Word) husband has the rule over
you, your children and your home. Your husband has direct authority from
God to be master of your home. Just because he is not saved doesn't mean
he doesn't have the God-given responsibility as your head and head of
your house. Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife,
as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the
Why would Paul have to tell the Ephesians that the husband was the head
of the wife? If husbands ruling over the wife WAS being practiced, do you
think Paul would have to tell them this? Good question, huh? It is your
natural fleshly desire to have the rule over your husband. We think we
know better than our husbands at times. We think we just have to get our
way or his way will lead us to ruin! Sound familiar?
God says that your husband shall rule over you. If you think of a master
of a house (either during the time of slavery or even an employer of a
company), you think of someone who makes the decisions and runs the show.
No employee would tell his boss what to do and get away with it. No slave
would tell his master what to do without being chastised for it. Although
we are not slaves or employees to our husbands, the concept is pretty
much the same. Someone has to make the final decision if there is a
split-decision. For example, your husband wants a Pontiac and you want a
Chevrolet. Your husband has to make the final decision since the two of
you are not agreeing in this matter ... and guess what, ladies, YOU HAVE
TO LIKE IT! Not just "like it" in your head but "like
it" in your heart.
You have to submit to the point where it shows on your face. You can say
"All right, get the Pontiac, but I don't have to like it!" ... and
face looks as though you've been sucking on lemons! That is not
submitting. Submitting is leaving the decision (whether it's the right
one or the wrong one) with your husband and trusting God to take care of
this decision. Let me take it one step further. Submitting also means not
"throwing it in his face" when his decision ends up being the
If you want to be in God's will in your marriage, then you must desire to
have your unsaved husband be the head of your home and ruler over your
home. What does that mean? It doesn't mean that you must get permission
from him on what time you should eat lunch. It means that you SHOULD ask
him if it's OK with him if you spend money on a new dress... these are
just examples but I think you get my meaning here. :-) Even if your
husband is not saved, he is still the head of your house. The sooner you
accept this fact in your heart, the quicker you will be able to learn the
meaning of submission. You cannot submit to someone you don't WANT in
authority over you... does that make sense?
I clung to 1 Peter 3:1-6 in the first few months of God's dealing with me
on submission. I read them daily and asked God to change my heart. I
memorized Psalms 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a
right spirit within me." What is a right spirit in this study? It is
spirit of accepting what God has planned for your life as a wife to an
unsaved husband... Accepting that God's will is that you submit to your
husband whether he is saved or not. Accepting that you are not your
husband's personal little holy spirit in charge of making him spiritual
or godly. This is God's job ... and, after all, once God does the
changing in your husband, it will be perfect and permanent. :-)
Submission applies to all wives ... not just to those whose husbands are
not saved. It is the will of God. It is harder for women whose husbands
are not saved because she is unequally yoked. The wife of an unsaved
husband goes through a spiritual battle every single day. She is placed
in situations that an equally-yoked marriage does not experience. Does
this mean that she should sin if her husband asks her to? Of course not.
This is when the wife must obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29 we see
that Peter was told that he could not preach the gospel and his response
was just that.... I will obey God rather than men. I like what Paul wrote
in Colossians 3:18 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as
it is fit in the Lord." .... as it is fit in the Lord ... this is what
called a qualifying statement. Paul didn't end his sentence after the
word husbands. He continued with "as it is fit in the Lord" for a
So Paul is telling us that in our submission, we must obey the Lord's
commands and not go against His will. The husband abuses his authority if
he commands his wife to sin. She must obey God. She can sweetly say to
her husband that she fears God's chastisement on her life if she disobeys
HIM. God will take care of the wife if that husband gets upset with her.
She is being obedient to God in this instance. However, in all other
instances (where sin is not involved), the wife must obey what her
unsaved husband asks of her. Her obedience and subjection is service done
to Christ. When a woman submits to her unsaved husband, she is submitting
to Christ. She is fulfilling God's desire for her life. This brings much
comfort and peace in a woman's heart. It brought great comfort to me. I
had such child-like faith when I was first saved. I just KNEW in my heart
that God would take care of me when it came to submitting to my unsaved
husband. I just knew that God would not allow me to go through certain
things that would place me in a situation I could not handle.
The wife of an unsaved husband experiences things that no other wife
experiences. There are times that her husband verbally abuses her because
of her faith. There are times when her husband mocks her because of her
faith. There are times when her husband tries to provoke her to anger and
sin so that he can appease his own guilty conscience. These times are
extremely difficult for this poor wife. We women are created by God as
emotional beings, therefore, we get emotional during these trials and
tests. I have three verses that will help you during these moments. I
encourage you to memorize these two verses and they will bring you much
comfort. Psalms 119:165 "Great peace have they which love thy law: and
nothing shall offend them." Have peace in your heart because you love
Lord and don't let anything your unsaved husband says offend you or upset
you. Tell the Lord about your hurt feelings. Tell Him how much you're
hurting inside. Tell Him how you can't bear it any more. He WILL comfort
you. He WILL give you that peace. He WILL take care of your problem. I
promise this! God is not an oger. God is not insensitive. God is not
heartless! God IS LOVE! He loves you! He doesn't want to see you hurting!
How many of you enjoy seeing your child hurting? None of you. God doesn't
either. He comes running when He hears us crying to Him. What a lovely
and comforting thought, huh?
God will NEVER give you more than you can handle. The trials we
experience will also have a temptation to go with it. A temptation of
possibly giving up and leaving the marriage, giving in and try to take
rule of your house away from your husband, giving in to the desire of
yelling back and saying unkind words, etc. However, the Word says that
God won't give you more than you can handle and WILL provide you with a
way to escape this desire to yield to temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but
is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are
able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may
be able to bear it." This is the second verse you should memorize. Turn
to Him and share with Him your deep hurts. He WILL listen. He WILL not
allow you to be tested beyond what you are able to handle! That would be
cruel if He did and we know that God is love ... He is not cruel.
If you are experiencing a difficult trial with your husband (whether
disobedient to the Word or unsaved) today, take shelter in the shadow of
His wings. Psalms 57:1-2 "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto
me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I
make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God
most high; unto God that performeth all things for me." Take refuge in
God until your calamities (trials) are past. A dear friend of mine shared
these verses with me when I was going through a trial recently, and I
felt that it would apply beautifully in this study. God will perform His
will in your life for your benefit ... you have to want it and you have
to allow it.
God bless you as you grow in Christ in this area of being married to an
unsaved man or a disobedient man.
Heavenly Father, again I lift the dear lady here who is in this
situation. Help her, Lord, to have a teachable heart and a willing heart
to be the submissive wife she needs to be to her unsaved husband. Bless
her, Lord, in Jesus' Name I pray.