I sat in the quiet of the morning with a burning conscience. My Bible sat open before me and I struggled to squeeze out the whisper I heard in the very corner of my heart.
Because conviction is often painful which is why we run from it, defensive.
But this day I was determined to allow that conviction to overtake me. To walk away from those early hours before my house begins to stir with a renewed purpose. Because I knew this one concession would radically change my marriage, and in turn, my entire family.
And so I read it again…
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he will have no need of spoil.
Safely trust. Such a loaded statement. So much meaning in so few words. It was a statement of affirmation which held within its fold a mighty rebuke for my stubborn spirit. Because what does it mean for my husband’s heart to safely trust in me?
I know I’m not the only wife with a gentle man who wants nothing more than to please me. A man who finds his deepest pleasure in easing my burden and lifting my spirit. A man who will take one to the gut without wincing simply because his resolve is so strong to put his bride before his pride.
We are blessed women, indeed, who have such a man. But we’re also in grave danger of abusing such a gift. Because women have been trained in our culture to perceive this kindness as a weakness. And a weak man needs instruction. Correction. Direction. Doesn’t he?
And gradually we become mothers to our husbands. But considering that God clearly did not design a man to wed his mother, this model of marriage is destined to crumble.
My role as a wife isn’t to lead my husband. And it isn’t to train, untrain or restrain him. My place is beside, and not above, him.
The apostle Peter’s words keep ringing in my ears. Listen…
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; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
1 Peter 3:1,2
What? Hang on just a second! Is Peter trying to tell us our job is NOT to mother our husbands? Not even just a little? Because what about those times when they aren’t leading family worship the way they ought to? Or they’re not spending enough time in the Word? Or their prayers are too long or too short? Or they pay tithe but fail to provide an offering? What about those times? Is Peter really saying we shouldn’t step in and rebuke these poor, drifting men so they might see the error of their ways?
That’s exactly what he’s saying. And because we found it said in the inspired Word, it means God is saying it, too.
Which also means, the conviction I found settling over my heart was not to be trifled with. And confession should always follow conviction. And then repentance leads to change.
But God wasn’t done showing me the message contained in 1 Peter 3 yet. Because when I looked closer I saw that it wasn’t a negative command at all. It wasn’t actually a passage telling me what not to do, it was clearly laying out what I should be doing.
And honestly, it’s so much simpler than what I had been doing.
Seek me, find me, abide in me…and then I can use your influence and example to win your husband simply by the very act of your submission to my design for marriage. That was the message I was hearing from God as I sat humbled before Him.
Because even an unbelieving man can be won to the Word, without the Word, if he is married to a woman who has learned to abide in the Word.
Which means He’s only calling me to sit at His feet. And He’s calling you to do the same.
But wait, what about verse 4? In verse 3 can be found an appeal to the nature of a woman which compels her to tap into her own personal beautiful and then verse 4 calls her to see how beauty goes way beyond the surface…
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.
If I was going to choose two words to describe myself, I’m afraid neither meek nor quiet would make the cut. Because while I’m shy, I am not quiet. And meekness is not my special gift.
But it’s certainly a gift He wants to bestow upon every woman willing to accept it. And it’s the kind of gift capable of freeing us of the full or part times jobs we’ve made of mothering our men.
I don’t know about you, but I sure could use a reduction in my work load!