Wives Submit to Your Husbands

“Wives Submit to Your Husbands” is the third message I preach at Marriage God’s Way Conferences. This message is the complement to “Husbands Love Your Wives.” Watch this video to have a marriage conference in the privacy of your own home!

Below you will find:

  1. Lessons for the message
  2. Discussion questions for the message
  3. Message notes
  4. Information about a Marriage God’s Way Conference you (or your church) could host
  5. Information about my books: Marriage God’s Way, and the accompanying workbook.

Lessons

Lesson 1: Submission is __________________ (Ephesians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3).

Lesson 2: Submission is not:

  • (Part I) Done ______________ and __________________.
  • (Part II) A matter of ______________________ (John 6:38; Matthew 26:39).

Lesson 3: Submission means:

  • (Part I) Husbands still ____________ to their __________ (Genesis 2:18).
  • (Part II) A wife puts her husband in a ________________ to ________.
  • (Part III) A wife ________________ her husband even though she disagrees with him.
  • (Part IV) A wife ____________ ______ (1 Peter 3:5–6).
  • (Part V) A wife keeps her strength __________ ______________.

Lesson 4: (Part I) Husbands ____________ __________ when they’re wrong (Part II) and wives shouldn’t say, “__ ________ ______ ____!”

Discussion Questions

Husband asks wife:

  • How do I make it hard for you to submit to me?
  • How do I make it easier for you to submit to me?
  • Do you feel like I listen to your thoughts when it comes to making decisions?
  • Do you feel like I admit when I’m wrong, or do I make excuses and shift blame?

Wife asks husband:

  • Do you feel like I submit “kicking and screaming”?
  • Do you feel like I put you in a position to lead?
  • Do you feel like I take control of situations or decisions that should be left to you?

Continue reading “Wives Submit to Your Husbands”

Temptations Facing Husbands and Wives

“Temptations Facing Husbands and Wives” is the first message I preach at Marriage God’s Way Conferences. Watch this video to have a marriage conference in the privacy of your own home!

Below you will find:

  1. Lessons for the message
  2. Discussion questions for the message
  3. Message notes
  4. Information about a Marriage God’s Way Conference you (or your church) could host
  5. Information about my books: Marriage God’s Way, and the accompanying workbook.

Lessons

Lesson 1: As we begin, make the decision to:

  • (Part I) Focus on ________ ____________________ more than your spouse’s.
  • (Part II) Turn your frustrations ________ ____________.
  • (Part III) Recognize your marriage is a reflection of your ________________________ with ____________.

 Lesson 2: God created headship before ______ ________ (Genesis 2:16-17).

 Lesson 3: Wives are tempted to:

  • (Part I) ______________ their husbands (Genesis 3:16 cf. 4:7).
  • (Part II) ______ their husbands (Proverbs 19:13b, 21:9, 19, 25:24, 27:15–16).

 Lesson 4: Husbands are tempted to:

  • (Part I) Be ________________ (Genesis 3:16).
  • (Part II) ________________ their wives (Colossians 3:19; Genesis 3:16).
  • (Part III) Be ______________ (Genesis 3:17).

Lesson 5: Reverse the effects of The Fall by ______________ God’s ________________ for marriage.

Discussion Questions

Husband asks wife:

  • Do you feel like I am stubborn?
  • Do you feel like I am harsh or authoritarian with you?
  • Do you feel like I am passive?

 Wife asks husband:

  • Do you feel like I try to control you?
  • Do you feel like I nag you?
  • Do you feel like I stir you up for good…or evil?

Continue reading “Temptations Facing Husbands and Wives”

What The Fall Teaches About Marriage

The Fall took place when Satan attacked Adam’s headship. Genesis 3:1–4 says:

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”

There’s an important contrast between the creation account in Genesis 2 and The Fall in Genesis 3:

  • In Genesis 2:16, “the Lord God commanded the man.”
  • In Genesis 3:1 and 4, “[the serpent] said to the woman.”

God spoke to Adam, but Satan spoke to Eve. Why? Satan knew Eve was “the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7). Part of the reason God placed Eve under Adam’s headship was for her own protection.

The Choices Adam and Eve Faced at The Fall

When Satan tempted Eve, she had two choices:

  • She could trust her husband who had given her God’s command, thereby submitting to him.
  • She could trust the Satan, submitting instead to him.

Sadly, Genesis 3:6 reveals her choice: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

At this point, Adam also had two choices:

  • He could obey God who gave him the command, thereby submitting to Him.
  • He could obey his wife, submitting instead to her.

Adam chose to obey his wife instead of obeying God. Genesis 3:9–12 gives us the outcome of that decision:

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

It’s significant that the conversation about The Fall took place between God and Adam. God didn’t address Eve until Genesis 3:16 when He explained how sin’s curse would affect women.

Who was Blamed for The Fall?

Continue reading “What The Fall Teaches About Marriage”

5 Reasons Deborah Supports Male Leadership

Judges were Israel’s primary rulers for almost three-and-a-half centuries. They also commanded armies, making them some of Scripture’s strongest leaders. So why did Deborah serve as judge? Her position is often the first mentioned to support female leadership. Does she conflict with God’s pattern of male leadership? Let’s take a look!

1. There’s no mention of Deborah being appointed by God

Throughout the book of Judges, as men rise to leadership, verses identify them as chosen or empowered by God:

  • Judges 3:9—The Lord raised up a deliverer . . . Othniel.
  • Judges 3:15—The Lord raised up a deliverer . . . Ehud.
  • Judges 6:14—The Lord [said to Gideon], “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel . . . Have I not sent you?”
  • Judges 11:29—The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah.
  • Judges 13:24–25—Samson . . . grew and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to move upon him.

But with Deborah there is no recognition of God’s appointing. Judges 4:4 simply says, “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.” Her introduction emphasizes that she is female, but in a negative light. Wayne Grudem, co-founder of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, explains in Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth (p. 134): Continue reading “5 Reasons Deborah Supports Male Leadership”

Male Leadership Is God’s Pattern

The pattern of male leadership and headship in the community of faith began at creation. Then it’s maintained throughout Scripture:

  • There were patriarchs instead of matriarchs.
  • The tribes of Israel were named after men.
  • The only legitimate mediators between God and people were men (i.e., priests instead of priestesses).
  • God appointed kings instead of queens.
  • God called men to be the focal points of His covenants with mankind (i.e., Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus).

So why do we see examples of female leadership in Scripture? What about queens, prophetesses, at least one female judge—Deborah? Were these women an anomaly? Are they examples of rebellion against God’s design, or is there another explanation? To answer these questions, with the exception of Deborah who I discussed in a separate post, let’s look at them individually.

Queens Support God’s Pattern of Male Leadership

Scripture mentions three prominent queens, and they fall into two categories:

  1. Jezebel (1 Kings 16–22; 2 Kings 9) and Athaliah (2 Kings 8, 11) were evil women who seized control and became tyrannical leaders. Jezebel instituted the worship of the false god Baal across Israel and persecuted followers of Yahweh. Athaliah murdered her grandchildren upon the death of her son and then seized the throne of Judah. Clearly, neither woman serves as a good example.
  2. Esther stands in contrast as a godly queen. She supported male leadership through her submission first to her adopted father, Mordecai, and then to her husband, King Xerxes of Persia. In doing so, God used her to save her entire people from annihilation (Esther 5:1–8, 8:1–8).

Priestesses Support God’s Pattern of Male Leadership

Under the Mosaic Covenant, only men could be priests because they were the teachers: “[The priests] may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken” (Leviticus 10:11).

When female priestesses are mentioned, they are associated with pagan religions such as the worship of Astarte or Baal. Wayne Grudem, co-founder of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, explains in Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth (p. 82):

Think of the Bible as a whole, from Genesis to Revelation. Where is there one example in the entire Bible of a woman publicly teaching an assembled group of God’s people? There is none.

Prophetesses Support God’s Pattern of Male Leadership

Continue reading “Male Leadership Is God’s Pattern”

4 Ways God Established a Husband’s Headship at Creation

Twice the apostle Paul stated the headship of a husband:

  • 1 Corinthians 11:3—But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
  • Ephesians 5:23—For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

Although these verses are found in the New Testament, a husband’s headship didn’t have its beginning under the New Covenant. Neither does male headship have its beginning in the Old Testament under the Old Covenant. It doesn’t even have its beginning at the fall.

Male headship began at creation itself

Understanding this is important, because if we think headship began after the fall, then it becomes part of sin’s curse. If we see headship beginning at creation, we understand it is part of God’s natural, healthy, divine plan for husbands and wives.

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and the rest of Genesis 1 gives an overview of all six days of creation. God created man and woman on the sixth day. Then, in Genesis 2:7–25, God zooms in on the creation of Adam and Eve since mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation. It is in this account that God established man’s headship.

1. God established Adam’s headship by creating him first

Continue reading “4 Ways God Established a Husband’s Headship at Creation”

Why are wives commanded to submit to their husbands?

“Why are wives commanded to submit to their husbands?”

This is an understandable question when people first learn Scripture commands wives to submit to their husbands. Watch the short video of Katie and I discussing the answer and/or read the transcript below…

Wives are commanded to submit because it’s necessary

We see the clear need for submission in all other areas of life. No organization can be successful without authority or headship:

  • Businesses have CEOs.
  • Sports teams have coaches.
  • Governments have presidents or prime ministers.

Just as we recognize the need for a leader, or a head, we also recognize that there cannot be two heads. We don’t see two head coaches, two presidents, two head pilots, or two head surgeons. Imagine how uncomfortable you would feel:

  • Flying on a plane with two head pilots arguing over the flight plan
  • Being operated on by two head surgeons quarreling over the proper procedure

Instead we always see a:

  • Head coach and an assistant coach
  • President and a vice-president
  • Pilot and a co-pilot
  • Principal and an assistant principal

Continue reading “Why are wives commanded to submit to their husbands?”

“What if my husband isn’t interested in the Bible?”

The video contains our answer to, “What if my husband isn’t interested in the Bible?” You can also read the transcript below the outline.  If you’d like to skip to a certain part:

  • 0–14:15—I answered the question
  • 14:15–16:00—Katie shared briefly from Marriage God’s Way
  • 16:00–28:15—I discussed Genesis 30:1-2, which contains instruction for husbands and wives
  • 28:15–31.5 – Closing thoughts

Part I: 0–14:15 – “What if my husband isn’t interested in the Bible?”

Here’s the full question:

“My husband isn’t interested in the Bible. I’m becoming more interested in theology, but my husband feels like the topics that interest me don’t matter. He feels like a Christian is a Christian regardless. My question is, for a wife whose husband doesn’t agree with her theologically, what should I do? Should I just relax and let God work?”

Here are three suggestions:

  1. Pray! If your husband husband isn’t interested in the bible, you can’t make him be interested. Spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst is just that: spiritual. You can pray God gives him that hunger and thirst, but it’s not something you can give him.
  2. Encourage him! Be enthusiastic whenever he discusses Scripture. That will hopefully excite him about discussing it with you in the future.
  3. Ask him questions! Give him the opportunity to share. Keep your expectations low if he isn’t very studied. Do your best to prevent it from turning into an argument. That will only discourage him from talking about the Bible with you in the future.

Continue reading ““What if my husband isn’t interested in the Bible?””

Pastors and Wives in the Church

This past Saturday was the 4th Annual WCC Ladies’ Conference, the one time per year there’s an interesting twist in my relationship with Katie: I’m the one listening to her go over a message she’s prepared. I feel like the conference went wonderfully, and it reminded me how thankful I am for all the women in the church, and how blessed I am to consider them friends and sisters in Christ. With that said, I’d like to elaborate a little on something from the end of last week’s sermon: I discussed wives going to their husbands with spiritual questions. It’s important to notice I said “spiritual questions.” If a woman wanted to ask me about something relating to the church that I would know as the pastor – like for example a question about an upcoming activity – of course that’s fine.

I hope the reasons for this are obvious. First, husbands are supposed to be the spiritual leaders or heads (according to 1 Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:23) of their wives, and that’s not a role I would want to usurp. I want to be the pastor of WCC and the head of my wife and children, but I want the men of WCC to be able to lead their families. Second, I wouldn’t want to deprive couples of the opportunity to discuss spiritual matters together. Some of the best conversations Katie and I have revolve around time spent in the Word and I don’t want any spouses missing out on that with each other. If husbands didn’t know the answer to their wives’ questions, I’d feel privileged to have the husband come to me, provide any help or support I could, and see the husband go back to his wife “equipped” in the language of Ephesians 4:12. In this scenario the husband is still able to be the spiritual leader of his wife, and the wife can appreciate the seriousness with which he took his headship.

Now I’m anticipating two questions. First, what about widows or women whose husbands are not in the picture? Those are unique situations where the elders can help in the husband’s absence. Second, some wives might say: “Well, what happens if I go to my husband, and he doesn’t get back to me?” Great question. First, we’re going to address this at our Men’s Breakfast on Saturday, February 1st, encouraging husbands to lead their families well. Second, at least in some of the situations the husbands might take their roles more seriously if they felt like the responsibility rested solely on their shoulders and their wives wouldn’t be looking anywhere else. Third, it’s a little of a “two-wrongs-don’t-make-a-right” situation in that just because husbands don’t respond to their wives, pastors shouldn’t assume that role. Fourth, possibly speaking to these situations is Titus 2:3-5 regarding older women…admonishing (or teaching) the young women. Older women who have “been there and done that” make wonderful resources for not just younger women, but women whose husbands are absent.

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