My hope is that this last Sunday continued to help us see how the gospel literally impacts every area of life. There are a couple of areas that were brought up afterwords that I thought I'd address briefly. Application for single men-
- As you seek a wife are you seeking one who will clearly embrace the role laid out in Scripture?
- Do things like gospel-centeredness, trust in Christ and submission to Christ sit at the top of your list?
- How do potential life partners respond to the authorities God has put in their lives currently?
Difficult Marriage Situations-
Debbie Levis sent me an email this week and wrote the following:
I was thinking as you were preaching - and part of this is that I have taught women several times on this subject and know the kinds of questions that come up in our minds. One is - what about submitting to an unsaved husband? We are still called to submit and this is truly where submitting to and because of obedience to Christ is so important and can minister to a woman in that position.
The other thing that is difficult and hard to navigate is submission when a husband is overbearing and difficult - or when he makes a decision that IS damaging and foolish for the family - not a sin issue but something that has real consequences for the children especially. Again, the wife needs again to submit to the authority of her husband as if submitting directly to Christ and in that obedience she can be at peace knowing that Christ will work all things to good. (Romans 8:28) A call to what the wife should do in an "I told you so" situation like this is a follow up to the original submission. Again, your call to the heart attitude is so important. ...encouragement to our husbands in these situations is so important!
These types of circumstances can become quite complex and it is impossible to address every situation. These are times when it is important to think through what submission looks like and what it doesn't.
It is difficult to imagine the kind of pain and anguish that women in these kinds of situations go through. When giving counsel to women in these kinds of situations compassion, gentleness and empathy are vital.
In the end the call again is to trust in and submit to Christ as one's greatest treasure. The example of our Savior's suffering is also a powerful aid in these situations. I'll leave you with a passage from 1 Peter that clearly speaks to these types of circumstances.
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. (1 Peter 3:1-6 ESV)