Tag Archives: control

06. Winning the inner battle: Set yourself free

By releasing control that God never gave us as wives, we are free. We no longer struggle to take what is not ours. We are free to experience God’s best – a Bible paradox.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 6 (1 Peter 2:10-16).

We Are Victorious

“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (2:10). We are part of the people of God and partakers of his mercy just as our husbands are.

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (2:11). Because of the wonderful calling we have, we are urged to live above our sinful desires.

I hate submission to my husband! I would like to take charge of my home and my life and tell my husband he can like it or lump it! That is sinful desire warring against my soul! I abstain from that. I have a higher calling. I am chosen for obedience to my worthy God!

“But you don’t know my husband!” you exclaim. Is your husband pagan (non-Christian) in reality or in action? Here is God’s desire for you:

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right” (2:12-14).

I’ll be honest, ladies. I could never submit to my husband for my husband’s sake. Much as I love him, I couldn’t submit out of love and respect for him. I am too independent. I’ve got my own ideas of how to run the show. But for my Lord’s sake? My Lord who chose the cross for me and became my Savior? For him my armor of resistance melts. “For the Lord’s sake” I choose to submit to every authority instituted among mankind — including authority in the home.

“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” (2:15).

Our own words often provoke our husbands to “ignorant and foolish talk.” If we are always fighting against our husbands, the Bible addresses us: “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife” (Proverbs 25:24). Again, the Bible says, “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day (Proverbs 27:15).

Ouch! Are you a quarrelsome wife? Are you constantly nagging?

The Bible does not have anything to say about a quarrelsome husband — only a quarrelsome wife. There is a good reason for this. Our husbands are correct in seeking to take control of our homes. Now, if they are lost, they may not be aware that this leadership is their God-given position. But they still instinctively seek control.

When we are quarrelsome with what God has given to them and not to us, we are the ones in rebellion against God. But when we choose obedience to our God and allow him to mold our hearts into the Proverbs 31 woman, our value will be far more than rubies: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).

We Are Free

When we present ourselves as this woman, offering the rubies of a Godly wife to our husbands, they no longer have to clamor for what is rightfully theirs. We gladly give it in God’s love. We exchange our quarrelsome nature for treasures far above rubies. We present this treasure as a gift to our God and he gives us the grace to humble ourselves and present it to our husbands as well.

“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God” (2:16). Only when we submit our willful nature to the loving control of our God are we really free to be all God made us to be. We are afraid to submit to our husbands. We hold onto what we perceive to be our “rights,” and in so doing we are keeping ourselves imprisoned in a household of bitterness and rebellion. We live in misery. We are constantly going against the grain.

We need to confess our willfulness to God and allow him to free us to experience his peace, joy, love, and hope in our homes. No matter what our circumstances, God wants to provide something better than what our quarrelsomeness can provide for us. He wants to make us free!

The Bible is full of paradoxes. Here is one: By giving up the control that God never gave us as wives to start with, we make ourselves free. We no longer have to struggle to get that which is not ours. We are free to experience God’s best for us!

Prayer

Forgive us, Lord, for our rebellion against the authority you have set in our home. Thank you that you have a better plan for us. Thank you for giving us victory through Christ who sets us free. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why are we, by nature, rebellious against the authority God set in our homes?
  2. Why does the Bible speak against quarrelsome wives but not quarrelsome husbands?
  3. If our husbands are quarrelsome with us, what does God’s Word teach us to do?
  4. How does holding onto our own rights keep us from being free?
  5. How can we find victory and freedom through submission to Christ?

Next


Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

02.Take control by submission: Given to God

We Are Submissive. Submission to God is not passive! Submission is actively taking control of our selfish nature and handing the control to God. Only then can he provide us his best.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 2 (1 Peter 1:6-15).

Submit in Faith

How can a wife submit to her husband, who is at best imperfect and sometimes fails to lead in right directions? We submit through faith in our mighty God! We submit joyfully in the freedom of God’s protection.  We submit actively in the holiness made possible by grace.  In our last session, we learned that we are “chosen…for obedience” through the “sprinkling by his blood,” into “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1:4-5).

In our own power, or our husband’s power, there is always vulnerability for the things we value to “perish, spoil, or fade,” no matter how wise our plans. As we submit to God’s plan in faith we are “shielded by God’s power.” No matter how poor our husband’s decisions may be, we are shielded! We may suffer some consequences with him, yes. But we will not be overthrown. Our God will see us through. We have his word!

Submit Joyfully

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1:6-7).

Our submission to our husbands is a monitor of our faith in and submission to our God. It is not enough to submit reluctantly or grudgingly. Submission sounds like a passive word. We want active control. Yet this is not different from what we want in every area of our lives. God says, “No.” He requires us to give control of our lives to him. Only then can he provide for us his very best.

Submit in Freedom

If our husbands have control, does that not override God’s control in our lives? No. As the leader of our home, our husbands are to submit to God’s control as well.

But what if my husband doesn’t submit to God’s control? That frees me from this requirement of submission. Right?

We are just looking for excuses. God says neither we nor our husbands are given ultimate control. God requires submission as an act of obedient faith. God never requires submission so he can get control. God already has control!

This frees us to submit to our husbands knowing that even if our husbands rebel against God, they cannot lead us into areas where we are not, by faith, “shielded by God’s power!”

Submit Actively

We don’t want to be passive. We want to be active, and that is exactly what God has called us to! The submission that God requires is never passive. It must be active obedience to and acceptance of God’s plan for us. How can we actively submit to our husbands and ultimately to God?

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1:13).

Ah, the control that we so desire! But not control of our husbands. Ours is a higher calling: self-control. We must prepare our minds for action by acknowledging that God is our ultimate authority. We must determine to cooperate with God by embracing God’s plan of submission to our husbands.

We must be self-controlled. No longer can we allow ourselves to assume the leadership role in our homes. We must relinquish control of our homes and take control of our attitudes, thoughts, and actions. We must discipline ourselves to submit to our husbands in accordance with the command of our God.

Submit in Holiness

We must not allow our minds to dwell on the possible consequences of what appears to us to be poor judgment on our husband’s part. Our hope must be “fully set” in God’s grace. Because of his grace, Jesus lives in us by faith. Jesus is being revealed in our lives every day as we submit to God’s authority. Ultimately Jesus Christ will be revealed in all of his glory in power on high. We will be there with him, partakers of his grace that gives us acceptance in his love!

So now, as wives, we are faced with a choice. God says, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1:14-15).

Prayer

Lord, give us the courage to submit, and teach us the way day by day. Amen

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why is it harder to submit to our husbands than to submit to God?
  2. Can we submit to God without submitting to our husbands?
  3. How does submission set us free?
  4. How can we be self-controlled?
  5. What is the ultimate goal of obedience in verses 14-15?

Next

See also: What we believe about submission

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.