Tag Archives: god’s best

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?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

01. Chosen for God’s best: Chosing to obey

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 1 (1 Peter 3:1,1:1-5).

We are chosen for provision, protection, obedience, and forgiveness when we choose to follow Christ. As wives, are we willing to obey what God shows us regarding submission?

Chosen for Provision and Protection

Christ chose to submit to God and death on the cross. This is explained in 1 Peter 2, and we are chosen to follow his example, to submit “in the same way” Christ did: “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands…” (1 Peter 3:1) By following Christ’s example, we receive God’s provision and protection.

As wives, most of us have convinced ourselves that this Scripture does not apply in our own circumstances. It can’t mean we are to submit to our husbands if their decisions are not in line with what we understand God’s will to be. Yet upon closer examination we realize this passage was written especially for us when our husbands are not Christians or fail to make decisions in line with what we understand to be God’s direction. Read the rest of the verse:

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,” (3:1).

Do you have the courage to look into what God is saying? If so, be prepared to make some changes. 1 Peter 3:1 is a key verse for us. To understand what God means by, “In the same way,” we must start at the beginning:

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance” (1:1-2)

This Scripture is written to those who have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord and thus have become part of God’s elect. He has elected those who accept his Son for special blessing, provision, protection, and honor.

Notice first that we have been “chosen.” From the beginning, the God who had all foreknowledge of the situations we would face in our marriages today chose you and me!.

Chosen for Obedience

What are we chosen for? First we are chosen for obedience. Because we are chosen, we are immediately faced with a choice. Our choice is: “Will I choose to be obedient or disobedient to God’s choices for me?” In the context of being a wife, and the question of submission to our husbands, am I willing to obey what God shows me? That is the only question that matters.

This is not a question of whether our husbands are capable; or whether they are worthy of leadership; or whether we can do a better job. Those areas are for God to decide. The question for me, ultimately is not whether I will submit to my husband. It is whether I will submit to my God. I have been “chosen…for obedience.” Will I choose obedience or disobedience to God? If we are unwilling to submit to God here, at the foundation of his call to us, how do we dare to judge our husbands for their failures in the leadership areas God has called them to?

Chosen for Forgiveness

God knew we would blow the obedience issue before we ever started. We have not always chosen to submit to our husbands. But the real problem is that by choosing not to submit to our husbands in the ways that God has ordained, we have chosen to rebel against God’s design for us. So the second thing that God chose us for is “sprinkling by his blood.” I thank my God that his choices for me have the power to overcome and rescue me from the wrong choices I have made!

I am chosen for obedience. Because God knew I would fail in obedience to God, he chose me for forgiveness, for redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you” (1:3-4).

Chosen to Choose

This is a hard choice God has called us to make. It always seems that it would be easier to have someone else’s choice — to be required to make someone else’s commitment. Commitment is never easy. Commitment to God by submission to another human has to be one of the toughest callings God has ever required. But it brings with it the richness of God’s protection and blessing in a way that frees us as nothing else can.

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).

Prayer

Lord, the topic of submission is a place that we don’t want to go. We would like to write something else into what you are saying in your word on this subject. But we cannot. You have told us that our submission is ultimately an act of commitment and submission to you.

Thank you for the privilege of saying “yes” to you, Lord. Thank you that we can give you the gift of our desires and even the security we feel at being in control. We trust in a greater security of your control and your desires for our good, Lord.

We don’t want to go to the topic of submission. But we choose to go there because that is where you have called us, and we go with you, Lord. Thank you for leading us safely through all the troubled waters we must travel as we submit to your plan for us. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What does it mean to you to be chosen for obedience?
  2. How does being chosen cause us immediately to be confronted with a choice?
  3. If our husbands are not following God in their lives, should we follow their leadership? How does this work?
  4. Why is submitting to our husbands so important?
  5. If God had chosen us for obedience without choosing us for redemption, where would that have left us?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.