Marriage, Part 4 – Wives, Submit Yourselves To Your Own Husbands, As Unto The Lord – Part C

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Marriage Study - Part 4

Wives, Submit Yourselves To Your Own Husbands, As Unto The Lord - Part C

[In today's study, I will be emphasizing that we are all wives, in the sense that the church is the bride of Christ.]

We concluded our last study debunking the false doctrine that "the neck turns the head", which has deluded many wives. That doctrine is the exact same spirit which tells us husbands that we can ignore our wives and by virtue of being their head, we can ignore the Word of God and expect our wives to "submit to us in all things", as if the words "all things" were sufficient to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. That argument does not work for an ignorant or rebellious wife, neither does it work for an ignorant or rebellious, overbearing and disobedient husband.

The doctrine of "the neck turns the head" is nothing less than the man of sin sitting in the temple of God proclaiming himself as God. That perverse false doctrine tells us that our words of commitment to our Head can be reversed so our flesh can be gratified. Our failure to keep our words of commitment to Christ is a failure to keep our commitment to our spouse - male or female. The scriptures call such mental gymnastics "treachery". Let's make ourselves the recipient of this admonition and not our spouse, but ourselves. If we are given the humility to do that, then these verses will help us to see ourselves as the Lord sees each of us:

Mal 2:10  Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his [spouse], by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
Mal 2:11  Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
Mal 2:12  The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.

We cannot tell our spouse one thing, then do the exact opposite and just expect our spouse to cave in to our lies simply because he or she is our spouse. Our words have to mean something to our spouse. How we treat our spouse is a direct reflection of how we are treating Christ. When our words mean nothing, we are being "treacherous [with] the wife of our youth", and "the Lord will cut off the man that does this", and He will cut off the woman who does this. God leads us all to do this, but He also tells us all "return you children of men" (Psa 90:3).

Mal 2:13  And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
Mal 2:14  Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

We all cry out to our heavenly Father when the burden of our chastening seems to be unbearable. Why would we not expect our spouse to do the same? Do not expect your wife or your husband to tow the mark simply because you are married to the wife of [your] youth. When we tell our mate one thing and then do the exact opposite, and then the Lord brings us into trials and we cry out to Him, He simply cannot receive that prayer with good will from us, and our "prayers are hindered".

1Pe 3:7  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Notice the words "according to knowledge", because we know that our wives are to be the most important thing in our lives next to Christ. A Godly wife knows that her husband is to be the most important person on earth in her life. When I am asked whether people with children by a former marriage should get married, I have always said that ideally the answer is a resounding, NO! Not unless you are willing to place your new wife or your new husband above your children. If you do marry, then your new wife or your new husband is now your number one concern. That must be made clear to your children or your marriage is doomed before it begins. Children are to be secondary to your spouse or your home is simply not in a proper Godly order:

Exo 20:12  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

That Godly order does not change when you marry a spouse with children from another marriage, and the children of such a union should be made aware that the new parent in their life is of the same mind as their original parent, and that they must now honor their new parent and be subject to both of the parents, including the new parent. If that order is not made clear and maintained above all else, there will be no Godly-ordained order in that home. There will be no single mind between that husband and wife. If you are placing your children above your spouse, then ask God for the strength to repent of that ungodly action and apologize to your spouse and explain to your children that you love them dearly, but that they will have to honor and submit to their new parent, and tell your children up front that you will not permit them to come between you and your new spouse. If you cannot do that then do not get married. If you are already married and you find yourself struggling with this situation, then ask God to give you the ability to "dwell with [your spouse] according to knowledge, giving honor unto the [spouse]... as unto the Lord [of whom we are told] the head of Christ is God."

1Co 11:2  Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
1Co 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Marriage makes a couple "one flesh". That is not the same with children of whom we are told:

Gen 2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen 2:23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

If you have children from a previous marriage, then you can very well add children to that list in the sense that your children must come in a distant second to your new wife. If you cannot do that, then do not marry this poor spouse just to satisfy your own 'belly'. Do not ruin the life of your new spouse and your children if you are not willing to maintain the Lord's own Godly order in your home and in your household.

We continue taking in the Lord's mind as He continues to confirm that marriage is meant to "make one... that He might seek a Godly seed".

Mal 2:15  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
Mal 2:16  For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

The words "putting away" are a proper translation and are not the words for 'divorce', as so many translations read. "Putting away" is something we do treacherously by ignoring our mate while still being married to that person. When we permit our children to come between us and our spouse, we are dealing treacherously with our spouse. Who is more important to us than Jesus Christ? How we value our spouse is a direct reflection of how we "dwell with [Christ] according to knowledge" (1Pe 3:7). "The Lord, the God of Israel... hates putting away... therefore take heed to your spirit that you deal not treacherously [with your spouse]."

Mal 2:17  Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

How do we "weary [our Lord]"? We weary our spiritual husband when we tell our spouse one thing and then do the exact opposite. We weary our Lord and our prayers are hindered when we use the affirmation of our marriage commitment as an excuse to deal treacherously with our spouse. Why should our spouse believe a word we say when we demonstrate that our word is worthless? We say we know God is sovereign and that He is working all things after the counsel of His own will, and yet we demand that our spouse submit to our own timetable for their repentance and submission. Such a demand is a manifest demonstration that we do not really believe that God is sovereign at all, and we refuse to submit to our own spiritual leader who, we say we believe, is really the one who is working all things after the counsel of His own will.

What are couples to do when both are at fault and neither is capable of the humility required to repent of demanding immediate repentance from our spouse? Overcoming our pride and apologizing for dealing treacherously with our spiritual husband is what we all must do with our physical spouse if we really want to do so to our spiritual husband who is using our spouse to show us our own lack of humility and our own lack of patience with Him.

No part of the body of Christ "turns the head". Here is the only One who does all the 'turning' which is done:

Psa 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

When we think we can turn our spouse in any direction, we are believing a demonic doctrine which is subscribed to by far too many wives in this modern Godless era. The flesh of all wives works to get its own way without even knowing it is doing so. The tendency to take the reins of leadership is as natural as breathing for every wife, both natural and spiritual wives. It is the curse of being a wife while yet in a vessel of clay:

Gen 3:16  To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you." (NET)

Regardless of what might be the best English translation, here is a Biblical demonstration of how the curse of Genesis 3:16 operates within a wife:

Isa 4:1  And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

Anyone who believes these are seven altruistic women who just want to help out their poor struggling husband have missed the point completely. These "seven women" typify "the seven churches of Asia" of Revelation 2-3. These women typify us when we want to "eat [our] own bread, and wear [our] own apparel". Because we have left our first love, we dwell where Satan's seat is and want to lord it over the Lord's people, including our spiritual Husband. When we succumb to the desire to lord it over the Lord's flock we are thinking very little of lording ourselves over our spouse. When we become comfortable with the attitude of being the head while acting like our father the devil, we, as men and women, have become nothing more than a harlot who thinks she is rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, when in reality she is spiritually poor and wretched and miserable and blind and naked.

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Solomon prophesied of this harlot wife of Christ many years earlier:

Pro 30:20  Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

An adulterous wife is the same as a treacherous husband, and our spiritual husband will have no part of either:

Mal 2:14  Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Mal 2:15  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
Mal 2:16  For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

The NET version is not a literal translation, but it is the only version I could find which catches even a hint of what is being said to Eve and to us all in Gen 3:16. A husband who deals treacherously with his wife is rising up against his spiritual husband, Christ, and Christ tells us how He feels when His wife refuses to be obedient to Him. In doing so He is telling us how the stubborn and rebellious ways of a wife make both Him and our own physical and spiritual husband feel. These are the words of the Lord to you wives who are struggling to overcome your inability to acknowledge that it is the Lord who is giving you your problems with your husband. It is not your husband himself, it is actually the Lord who is working with you and your own rebellion against your spiritual husband (Eph 1:11). But remember, husbands, these words also apply to us as part of the wife of Christ:

Pro 21:19  It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

Pro 26:21  As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious [wo]man to kindle strife.

Pro 27:15  A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

Pro 21:9  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

This verse is repeated word for word just four chapters later:

Pro 25:24  It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

I would be negligent to fail to acknowledge that the Lord knows that He is asking more of you wives than you of yourselves are capable of giving. The same is true of us husbands as part of the church, the bride of Christ. So Genesis 45:4-8 and Romans 7:17-23 are just as applicable to you wives as they are to all of us husbands:

Gen 45:4  And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6  For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
Gen 45:7  And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8  So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Paul tells us the same thing from a more personal perspective:

Rom 7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

But there is good news for both husbands and wives because:

Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Marriage is designed to teach both spiritual and physical wives the meaning of these verses of scripture:

Psa 15:1  A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
Psa 15:2  [S]he that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in h[er] heart.
Psa 15:3  [S]he that backbiteth not with h[er] tongue, nor doeth evil to h[er husband], nor taketh up a reproach against h[er husband].
Psa 15:4  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but [s]he honoureth them that fear the LORD. [S]he that sweareth to h[er] own hurt, and changeth not.

Did verse 4 say "[S]he swares to [h]er own hurt...'? Yes, it does, and of course we know that Christ did tell us "swear not at all" (Mat 5:34).

But He also said:

Mat 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

If in your wedding ceremony, you said nothing more than 'I will love you and you alone, till death do us part', then "except for fornication" (Mat 19:9), you are bound by your own words to live by those words "and change not". Yet a frustrated wife's flesh just naturally tells her, "If ever there was a vile person who should be condemned in my eyes, that would be my carnal husband." Indeed there are situations where men are so physically adulterous and physically abusive that physical divorce is in order.

Isa 50:1  Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

Christ Himself divorced Israel, and He gives us this admonition:

Mat 19:9  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

But notice that this is the 'exception'. The whole point Christ is making is that God wants us to avoid separating. The Lord wants you wives to do all in your power to improve and nourish your marriage just as much as He expects a Godly husband to do so. You wives 'leave [your] first love' also, and you, too, must strive to return to your 'first love'. Do not say, "I will apologize when he apologizes." When it comes to humbling ourselves and repenting of our stubbornness and rebellion and being obedient to our heavenly Father, we are all permitted to be leaders in the implementation of the virtue of humility:

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

The words "do the first works" have both a physical and a spiritual application as they relate to our discussion of the function of a wife in the marriage relationship. Every married couple needs to think back to the time they were smitten with each other, back to the time when they were experiencing this "first love". "First love" is not referring to your first boyfriend. It is referring primarily to the love you had for Christ when you first covenanted with Him to be your Head, and for you to be His servant, His wife. Submitting to [your] husbands in "every thing" is a physical type of this spiritual reality. This is not me speaking. Those are the very words of the holy spirit. Remember that after giving the Ephesian church all the instructions concerning the marriage relationship and what is the proper place within that relationship of the husband and the wife, the holy spirit tells us how that order operates. I will adapt these verses to fit our focus in this discussion:

Eph 5:28  So ought [wo]men to love their [husband]s as their own bodies. [S]he that loveth h[er husband] loveth h[er]self.
Eph 5:29  For no [wo]man ever yet hated h[er] own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a [wo]man leave h[er] father and mother, and shall be joined unto h[er husband], and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

The entire marriage relationship "speak[s] concerning Christ and the church". If you as a wife will not "be [subject] to your husband in all things", then do not mention the name of Christ and claim that you are His, because you are simply saying "Lord, Lord", but you are not doing the things He says. Your ultimate 'husband' asks you this question:

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

A rebellious or unfaithful wife is the same as a treacherous husband. Remember what we read in Malachi 2:

Mal 2:14  Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Mal 2:15  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
Mal 2:16  For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
Mal 2:17  Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

Do not "weary the Lord with your words" of disdain and derision against "the [husband] of your youth]". The Lord makes it clear that "He hates putting away". He is seeking a Godly seed which "He made one", and when that 'one seed' is not "one [in] mind and... one spirit and... the same judgment", your prayers will be hindered and will not be heard by the spiritual 'husband' you claim to be willing to obey.

1Co 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

There is no place where those words are more applicable than in marriage. For the sake of our focus today let's address these words to you wives:

1Pe 3:7  Likewise, ye [wive]s, dwell with [your husbands] according to knowledge, giving honour unto [your husband], as unto the [strong]er vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Having already left your first love you will just naturally say, "But if I let him lead me, he will lead us off a cliff, and we will end up in financial ruin and in bankruptcy." Every wife just naturally knows much better than her husband how the family and business ought to be run. That is the very meaning of "you will want to control your husband". This accusation against your own husband amounts to nothing less than you telling the Lord that He made a big mistake in placing your husband at the head of the family, and that if you submit to him you will manifestly come to financial ruin.

How similar are those thoughts to these words of Christ's wife to Him on the banks of the Red Sea after He had so powerfully brought them out of Egyptian captivity:

Exo 14:10  And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
Exo 14:11  And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Exo 14:12  Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

Num 21:5  And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

How quickly we lose our first love! "Against God and against Moses" reveals to us that when you wives speak against your husbands you are speaking against God, who made him your head. This is a story of all of us, but our focus today is on wives, and Israel typifies Christ's wife. This story in Exodus 14 occurred in a matter of just a few days after God had given Moses to perform all those miraculous plagues upon Egypt. It is very shortly after witnessing the death of all the firstborn of Egypt, and yet here is Christ's wife, typifying all wives, accusing him of "taking them away to die in the wilderness". That is exactly what wives tell both the Lord and your husband, who only yesterday was the sweetest, most considerate, most loving and most handsome man in the world.

One moment you are blinded by 'love', and the next minute finances are far more important than submitting to your husband in all things, as unto the Lord.

Let's be clear and acknowledge that "all things" does not mean that wives must follow their husbands into a life of immorality, crime or into heresies and denying or ignoring the Word of God, but that is very seldom the issue when a couple is attempting to restore their marriage. Our marriages are most often destroyed for lack of Godly knowledge:

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

When a husband expects a wife to put him before Christ, then she is required to follow Christ's instructions to us all in Matthew 18.

Mat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

These words are the original instructions to seek counseling when needed. They are designed to "win your brother", but they are adapted to winning and saving our marriages.

In no time at all the honeymoon is over. You have "left your first love", and this guy you thought was such a Godly man, a man worthy of your unquestionable dedication just yesterday, is suddenly the most inept, most illogical, most self-centered beast you have every known. All he wants to do is to dominate you and he expects you to be submissive and obedient to him even as he ignores you and your needs. It simply is not right or fair. Now you find yourself wondering why you ever said you would love, honor and obey such a self-centered, narcissistic beast for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do you part.

Look at how much things have turned around in such a short period of time. Just yesterday you loved and admired this same man. Now financial success and security are more important than your affirming words, "Yes, I do". Apparently what you really meant when you said, "Yes, I do", was "as long as I agree with him about how we spend our money." But if you cannot see how it is remotely possible to escape the Egyptians and the Red Sea, then how can your husband or God possibly expect you to blindly follow and submit yourself to this self-centered, narcissistic beast? You are now of the opinion that you are obviously better at business and finances than your husband and if you actually submit to and follow him, you just know that you will both be destroyed by financial disaster, as surely as Israel appears to be trapped between the Egyptians and the Red Sea.

I hope to help you wives to become better and more willing to follow your 'Moses' and let him return to being your head and your leader in spite of how things appear at this moment.  I hope to do this by simply demonstrating for you and reminding you that the Lord has deliberately set you up for failure in your own carnal efforts. You must acknowledge that just as He made your husband wicked for his day of evil, He has also made you wicked for your day of evil, and that it is not in you to direct your own steps. All of this is equally true for your husband, so that in the end the Lord will get the glory for all that is done. He alone can make good come out of evil, light to come out of darkness, and life to come out of death.

So permit me to remind every woman in this fellowship if you claim that you believe the Word of God, you must acknowledge that these verses which I quoted to the men last week, are written to you also:

Psa 90:3  Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

Pro 16:1  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. 

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Pro 20:24  Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

The Lord made me a wicked man for my own "day of evil", and the Lord makes you wives wicked for your day of evil, because this is the simple truth which we all know to be the truth:

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

Jer 10:23  O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

We all acknowledge all of these verses to be true, but every time you wives refuse to submit to your husband or you lose your patience with your husband, you are showing your family and your friends how hypocritical you really are. You expect the respect, honor, love and consideration from your husband, but you are not showing the same respect, honor, love or consideration toward your own husband. When you lose faith in your husband's headship, you just lost faith in your Lord, who we all know is really the one who 'made [your husband] to err from His ways'. You know your husband is marred in His hand, you know that it is the Lord who has turned your husband to destruction, you know that it is the Lord who has given your husband the answer of his tongue, you know full well that it is the Lord who made your husband wicked for his own day of evil against you. You know that it was the Lord who made your husband incapable of understanding his own ways or directing his own steps, and yet you act as if none of this were true. I pray that every wife who hears or reads the words of this discussion of a woman's function in the marriage relationship will just stop and think how your hypocrisy is blaspheming the name of Christ before your own family and before your friends who are watching every move you make and are wondering why you get so upset with their father while you profess and tell your children and your friends that it is really the Lord Himself who is sending you the trials which He is giving you for your good via your husband.

I want to end this study by showing you just how deliberate the Lord is in sending us our trials, and again, I am doing this in hopes of reminding you wives, and we men, as the wife of Christ, that any trial your husband gives you is not actually your husband's work at all, rather it really is the Lord "work[ing] all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph 1:11), for your good (Rom 8:28).

We referred to this story above. Here is how the Lord deliberately set Israel up to question His own headship and His leadership:

Exo 13:20  And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.
Exo 13:21  And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
Exo 13:22  He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Israel was not really following Moses at all. As we are told right here, Moses and Israel were following "the Lord [who] went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night."

Now notice how the Lord deliberately leads His wife into an obviously impossible situation:

Exo 14:1  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Exo 14:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
Exo 14:3  For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
Exo 14:4  And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.

The Lord set up His own wife to think she would be slaughtered by the Egyptians or else drown in the Red Sea. 'Egypt' is your own flesh. It is designed to destroy you, and that is how the Lord is still using 'Egypt' within us when He makes your husband to do things which try your faith and show you how little faith you have in the Lord Himself or in your physical husband to whom you once affirmed that you would love and honor and obey him until death do you part.

So take heart when your husband appears to be leading you into a boxed canyon of lies, treachery and financial disaster. Submit to your husband "as much as lies within you", and the Lord will honor your submission and your faith in Himself as your spiritual husband  as well as your physical husband.

Lord willing, with the help of your husband, you will begin to win back the love you just yesterday had for each other. The Lord has good thoughts of you and your husband "when you search for [Him] with all you heart" in His time:

Jer 29:11  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jer 29:12  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
Jer 29:13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jer 29:14  And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

As the Lord's Christ, we are given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God. We cannot hope, on our own, to ever understand how our sins and the destruction of our sinful old man becomes the fertilizer which produces grapes so large that it takes two men to carry them. That is as impossible for the natural man to understand as light coming out of darkness, good coming out of evil, or life coming out of death. The success of our marriages and our salvation are both miracles of our Lord so "that no flesh can glory in His presence":

1Co 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Co 1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

In Summary

Let's review what we have seen in our Manufacturer's handbook concerning what we must know and do if we are to nurture and restore our marriages:

1) Our own personal pride, for both husbands and wives, is our greatest obstacle to restoring and strengthening our marriage.

Psa 10:4  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

2) Our marriages are being destroyed "for lack of knowledge".

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

3) Husbands tend to be treacherous, while wives tend to be 'against their husbands'. We husbands are treacherous because we give our wives our word that they are "even as Christ" Himself to us, but when circumstances including rebelliousness, slothfulness, and our children, including children from a previous marriage who bring pressure upon our present marriage, all of a sudden, we are far too proud to thank the Lord for the trials He is giving us or, in the case of placing our children above our wife, including children from a previous mate, we are shown that we fear our children, and what they might think of us, more than we fear God and more than we honor our own affirmation to our wife that we will love her "as Christ loves the church". Because of this pressure, and because we do not know the proper priority our wives are to have in our families, "the wife of our covenant" is not at all loved by us husbands "as Christ loved the church". God has used "the wife of our covenant" to demonstrate to us that we have little faith in His leadership, we have perverted priorities, and the wife of our covenant has been proven to be less important to us then are our own personal pride, and less important to us than our children. Our pride is our worst enemy in this whole world, and our children are to be a distant second in a Godly priority "to the wife of our covenant".

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

We are not told that we are "made one" with our children. We are told that we are "made one" with our wives.

Mal 2:14  Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Mal 2:15  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
Mal 2:16  For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

4) We husbands cannot change our wives whom the Lord is using to change us. We husbands know that it is God who is making our wives do what they do, and we know that it is He who is trying us with the antics He gives our wives for that very purpose. The same is true for you wives.

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us [including wives and husbands] to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

5) We husbands know that the trials our wives give us are really given to us by God to show us that we, like Job, see ourselves as more righteous than our wives, and to demonstrate that we blame our wives for their problems when we know that they are nothing more than a tool of our Lord. When we do that, we are not reproving our wives. We are really "reproving... contending with... and condemning" God Himself (Job 40:1-8).

6) We husbands now know that when our actions demonstrate that we think we can make our wives submit to us, we are not 'dwelling with them according to knowledge', and we are blaspheming the name of God among the heathen by proclaiming God as sovereign and at the same time condemning Him for giving us a trial such as our wives are to us. Wives, the same is true for the trials God gives you through your husbands, who are also nothing more than a tool in the Lord's hand.

Rom 2:24  For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
Rom 2:25  For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law [of Christ]: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

Tit 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Tit 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

7) We husbands of ourselves cannot change ourselves any more than we can change our spouse. The same is true for you wives. But there is a solution, and we must humble ourselves and cry out for help and for mercy to That, the only solution:

Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24  O wretched [husband] that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Php 4:12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

8) And finally, the best advice we can be given to end this series of admonitions is that we have learned in these studies that perfection comes to us "by little and little... [and only after] "a long time":

Exo 23:30  By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

Deu 7:22  And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

Mat 25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

Luk 20:9  Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.

We know that any trial takes time to endure, and every trial is only a 'trial' because it requires us to wait upon the Lord. It is through such patience that we must be perfected:

Jas 1:2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Jas 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

[The next and final part of this series on marriage can be found here.

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