Here we start off with a rather controversial topic in my 3rd post in this series. The ladies don’t usually like this verse, but it does tell wives to submit to their husbands. Now, I think that there are two main reasons why this verse is so controversial, wives don’t understand it, or husbands use it to ‘rule’ their wives. My wife has no issue with this verse. She has no issue with submitting to me. In fact, when she teaches on marriage, she actually stresses how important it is. You see, she understands what it means, she understands that it is not about being inferior or doing what I tell her to, it is about spiritual authority. I believe that there is a spiritual authority that flows through a family, and I believe that it flows first through the husband. Go and google statistics on the chances of a child becoming a Christian if the mother or father is a believer. You’ll be surprised. The chance is much larger with a Christian dad than mum. I think that this has to do with that authority. I also don’t use this as an excuse to govern my wife. I do sometimes tease here (like we husbands like to do) and tell her that Jesus left me in charge, but then she reminds me that Jesus left me in charge, and asks me what am I doing about it. Sobering thought. There is actually more responsibility when you are ‘in charge’. If husbands really understood this, they would take it more seriously, and if wives truly understood this, they’d breathe a sigh of relief that they are not the ‘head’ of the home. Anyway, it also says that we are equal partners, so there is no excuse for trying to use this to stamp your dominance.
This passage then goes on to say how we should treat each other. This is hard. I’m guessing that it is not too much of a stretch to say that we have probably all had some or another issue with another Christian at some point. It is even harder when it comes to people who don’t share our faith. Take a look at verse 9. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. This is really hard to do, I know. I can muster up the grace to forgive someone who wrongs me, but to go and bless them after they have wronged me. Very difficult. I need to work on this if I am honest. The verse also strongly hints that our blessings from God is based on how we bless others (that wrong us). If you read this in the New King James version, it is even more blatant. Food for thought. The next part elaborates:
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.”
The passage then goes on to say that we are to do good, even if it causes us to suffer. It is better to suffer for doing good than to suffer for doing wrong. If you’re going to suffer, I think that it is better to suffer for something that you have done that you know to be good. If you have done something wrong, and suffer for that, the guilt that the enemy lays on you is added to the suffering. This, in my opinion, is so much worse. There is an up side to all of this, verse 14, “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.”
Until next time, do what you believe is right.