The  Fruitful  Vine

"Thy wife shall be as a FRUITFUL VINE by the sides of thy house." Psalm 128:3a

The Voice Of Authority

By J. Kirkpatrick

"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.

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

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 a great price.

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

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." *** I Peter 3:1-7

"...That your prayers be not hindered...".

Today we women, wives and mothers are bombarded from every side with advice from every corner prescribing the best way, the new way, the only way to become the "ultimate woman and super mom". It is very important that we line up any advice we are given with God's Word. Even in the Christian community new concepts are being heralded as Words of Truth. Please be forewarned! All that sounds good and biblical may not be the whole truth. Only by searching deeply into God's Word can we be assured that any advice is indeed God's wisdom, ***John 5:39. The Bible warns us that in this last day that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived, ***Matthew 24:24.

S U B J E C T I O N

"Subjection", what does it mean? In our day, we have had the experience of men, husbands and fathers who have exercised a totalitarian rule over their families. This is not God's intended application of "subjection". Subjection to the huband must come from a wife with a willing heart. Subjection is not to be administered as ironclad rules to be adhered to and strictly executed by the authority in charge. Our relationship with our husbands are to be as our relationship with the Lord.

"Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord:" I Peter 3:7

The Lord is a perfect gentleman. He never forces our love towards him. He only woos us in love. Therefore "subjection" must come from us women, willingly submitting ourselves with a truly voluntary heart. But, if we are completely honest with ourselves, we come to the sad realization that we only mouth the words "submission". That is as deep as our submission goes. If we are perfectly honest with ourselves, we would certainly say, that it is our rule that governs the household. It is what we want our homes to be that ultimately prevails in each and every situation. Ladies, we need to come to this realization and begin to desire to change, and this change must be a change of mind and heart.

God's Word is emphatic! We must come to the place that Sarah had to come to, where she began to call Abraham Lord in her life. Can you do this without any amazement? You may look and search deeply in the Scriptures but you will not find any other way to walk in unity and God's order for your family, than to come into this submission to your husband.

We have all given our heartfelt words of commitment to the Lord, saying, "Lord, I will do anything you say; I will follow you, Lord, wherever you send me." These are the words that we need to genuinely commit to our husbands, because in light of God's Word, they are as the "Lord" in our lives. There is no way of getting around this statement. We must have a change of heart and mind in our thinking.

What does the word "Lord" mean? The word Lord means "supreme authority" in our lives. Search deeply within your heart and soul. Are you willing with all your heart, soul and mind to call your husband "Lord", supreme authority in your life?

"But", you say, "My husband is not a Christian. He is not walking with the Lord. Should I then call him, "Lord"? God's Word will give you true advice. It says,

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord."

"...As it is fit in the Lord..." We need to address the fact that there are husbands who are unsaved and have godly, dedicated wives. How can the godly wife submit herself unto him in Spiritual matters when he does not have Christ as his head? When the unsaved husband cannot be his wife's Spiritual head, the believing wife must then look for Spiritual leadership in the eldership of the assembly she is attending.

What if the husband requires something that is not "fit" in the Lord"? The word used for "as it is fit" is the word ANEKO and means "pertaining to what is due, or duty". God never intended that women be physically or sexually abused. The wife has the right to say no to those things that are against the way God intended the marriage relationship to be. God's Word says:

"But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace." I Corinthians 7:15

God's desire is that we live in peace. There are situations where one must leave the marriage. Don't allow yourselves to be put under condemnation if this happens. If you have an unsaved husband, does this relive you of submitting to him? No! Even though your husband cannot be your head in Spiritual matters, it does not change the fact that he is still your husband. He is still your head by the commandment of God. Godly woman who truly trust in the Lord will be in subjection to their own husbands. We have the hope that:

"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;" I Peter 3:1

"Conversation", what does that mean? "Conversation", is our way of life. If we women are living our lives by the Word of God, then we will wholeheartedly submit to our own husbands, resting in the assurance that they may be saved because they will see that we are indeed, walking in God's Truth. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we would say that most husbands have a gentle heart and that they truly love us. The Truth of God's Word operating in our lives will cause our husbands to change. Therefore, submission is most applicable in every situation but physical and sexual abuse. This is the only reason that "submission" may break down in a marriage. And if this happens, God's desire is that we live our lives in peace. A wife is not required to remain in such a situation.

In all other situations we are commanded by God in His Word to wholeheartedly, without reservation "submit" to our husbands as unto the "Lord", supreme authority in our lives. "Submission" must come from us, not as required or enforced by our husbands. And if we do this we are assured that our husbands will come into their proper place as Christ as their head.

Too many times, we make excuses for not wholly following our "Lord". We say, "It is not fit in the Lord". But, we again, have Sarah as our example. God's Word informs us that because of fear, Abraham allowed Sarah to be taken into Pharaoh's harem. Sarah was very beautiful and Abraham feared for his life, so he told the Egyptians that Sarah was his sister, Genesis 12. This was not a manly thing to do. Pharaoh was all powerful in his realm and could do as he pleased with whom he pleased. So it would appear that Sarah was in his total charge. But God intervened because Sarah was obedient to her head, her Lord, Abraham, and no harm was allowed to come to her. God returned her to Abraham because of her obedience. God also put it in Pharaoh's heart to give unto Abraham much wealth. When we become submissive to our heads and obedient to God's Word, we place ourselves in God's total care and God will never leave us, nor forsake us.

Even when Abraham made a decision that could hurt Sarah, she obeyed. She had great assurance, knowing the Scriptures, that her prayers would not be hindered, and she would be protected from any hurt. Can you wholly place this trust in God's Word? If, and only when, we begin to completely, wholeheartedly submit to our own husbands as "Lord" in our lives, will this principle of protection work.

God is desiring for families to live in peace. It is our responsibility to come into "submission". It is up to us, and us alone, if "submission" will do its perfect work. I encourage you to become His instruments of reconciliation for future generations.

Will you in total obedience say to your Lord:

"Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest." Luke 9:57

Will you make a total commitment with all your heart, soul and mind, saying:

"O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle." Psalm 140:7

When we come into "total submission", not just mouthing submission but willingly and wholeheartedly covering our head, then He will truly become our covering of protection in the day of battle, and there is, indeed, a great battle against our marriages and families today.

I encourage you to pray the prayer of total commitment to total submission from a willing heart, not just mouthing words of submission, but completely, wholeheartedly, from the deepest part of your being, begin to walk in complete submission to your head.


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