Today’s post will mess you up.
I’m compelled by the Holy Spirit to bring some clarity to the words:
Winning Him Without Words.
I’m taking this detour in our posts away from our Holy Spirit theme because as I was on my walk-n-pray I was overcome with God’s righteous anger and His frustration over this passage in 1 Peter 3:1.
First, Winning Him Without Words can become a tool of the enemy. Now don’t get your pants in a twist, Let me explain.
Read with me 1 Peter 3:1-2: 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, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
I know, I know… You are thinking, “Oh here we go again with this submissive thing.”
Believe me, I would be thinking the same thing. Submissive teaching has been so overly misused in the church it’s a wonder we aren’t all seriously screwed up. But, this scripture actually is filled with such power and liberation for women when you realize its true meaning and how to apply it to our lives.
I think all we need to do is examine this passage in a real-life setting. In marriages such as ours that deal with problems like spiritual disconnect, arguments over moral ground and over issues such as pornography, alcoholism, mental illness, immaturity, etc. THESE are the real things we are dealing with in the 21st century. So how can this verse bring light and freedom to our lives?
We must read this verse for what it is AND for what it is not.
I’m convinced that this passage is specifically calling me as a wife to firstly respect my husband and specifically through genuine (not faked) humility. And as a Type-A wife, this is not an easy task. Humble respect begins through a surrendered life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Period. The end.
I also believe this passage is specific to one area of marriage. Belief in Jesus. Read it again. Now let this passage sink in and bring the power it was intended into your heart, soul and relationship. Hear me now. It is the surrendered life to Christ that creates a purity and reverence. And it’s our purity and reverent living that affects our husband’s faith.
What this verse is not:
It is NOT our preaching such as subtle digs about his lack of morality or spouting off scripture or sharing our “rightness” over his “wrongness.” Nor is it our nagging him for church attendance. And it’s not our complaining to our girlfriends that he is a failure as a spiritual leader of our home.
This scripture brings power into our marriage when we clearly understand that it is our husband’s view as he watches us love Jesus in our everyday, ordinary. When we are sold out, head over heels, in love with Jesus we become irresistible. To our spouse, our children and others that we encounter.
I Peter 3 is also misconstrued in that we want to apply it to every area of our relationship with our husband.
If you are dealing with your spouse who is caught up in an addiction such as pornography, gambling, alcoholism (any addiction), the absolute worst thing you can do is remain quiet. This also is the same for emotional, physical and controlling abuse.
I’m of the strongest opinion that when dealing with these issues in a marriage you need to not only be talking but talking loudly. And by that I mean talk to your spouse. If he won’t listen, talk to a counselor. Read Christian books to help you navigate these issues and find healing for your spouse and ultimately for yourself and your children.
When Jesus walked the earth He brought healing and he rebuked many who were in sin. He didn’t remain quiet. He used His words, His powerful words to speak healing and to turn many away from sin that would not only destroy a person in this life but also the next.
You may say to me, “Yeah, Lynn, this is easy for you to say but you don’t deal with all that I deal with. You don’t know how scared I am. You don’t know the paralyzing fear I face every single day. You don’t know a thing about the alcohol, the porn, the violence.”
You are right. I don’t understand but Jesus KNOWS. He knows every detail and has heard your cry for help.
This very post that you are reading right now may be His answer to your pleading cries of prayer. Jesus will help you walk the scary road ahead. But, to take the first step to your deliverance, you must realize that hiding behind scripture hoping and praying is actually a twisted tool of the devil. God is pleading with you to examine your situation and to have courage to take steps for healing.
Ask yourself a couple of questions.
- Is my struggle only a spiritual mismatch or are there more issues at play in your marriage? i.e. anger, addictions, infidelity, immaturity, financial neglect/abuse, mental illness, family influence/interference. I’m sure there are more. I just can’t think of more right now.
- Have I taken the proper and efficient steps in the past to address these significant problems?
Okay, right now some of you would like to take me to the woodshed and pound my hide. I KNOW that many of you who are living with some of these destructive behaviors have done your part and to no avail. Please, now accept my humble apology because I have talked with many of you and I absolutely know you have done all you can.
I also know that there are many who are confused about the application of this passage and have not stepped into the zone of intervention and recovery.
Do I believe God can instantly change and heal our spouses? I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE God can and He does. In my experience, however, God mostly chooses to work through people as that is how we grow in our faith and it’s God’s best teaching method (we don’t forget as easily).
Is God calling you to step into Joshua courage and deal with issues in your marriage that perhaps are more than a spiritually mismatch? If so, don’t be upset. God wants you to be healed. If I had an issue such as these, I would gather my courage, a few friends around me and make a phone call. Call AA or AL-anon, the spousal-abuse hotline, my pastor, or call today to set up a visit with a Christian counselor. Start attending Celebrate Recovery. I would call Focus on the Family counselors. I would read great books written by Christian authors and mostly, I would take some small action step toward healing.
Just understanding more about the issues you face and finding resources can change everything. Please, don’t be angry with me and feel free to share your thoughts about how we might discern the difference from a spiritual mismatch and other issues that affect our marriages. Hugs, Lynn
More information about Pornography: Help, My Spouse Likes _____ and I Don't. Simple Marriage.
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Marching Around Jericho is a spiritual guide. As you read through the pages, powerful and transformative instruction and equipping takes place. We follow Jesus as he leads us around the walls, imparting kingdom truths with each passing, finally arriving at the gates of the walled-off city, our spouse’s unbelieving heart. After the circles in prayer are complete, we arrive fully prepared to command the walls to crumble and be removed, making a way for our spouse to step from the rubble of lies and captivity, into faith and freedom!