Khutso Mokgehle
29 Feb

The beauty of a submissive wife

By Khutso Mokgehle

I often hear young ladies and even wives at times complaining about the submission verse in the Bible. I wonder why, let's talk about that today. 

Naturally, I am not a quiet and submissive person. I speak my mind. When I got married, I remember having a conversation with one of my family members who was concerned if I will be able to submit to my husband. In as much as I understood her concern, I knew that submission was non-negotiable, if the Word of God says I should, then I will.

Almost 10 years into marriage and I must say, I have seen the beauty of submission. But instead of sharing my experience, allow me to show you the beauty from the Word itself.

Last year, I preached about Esther at a married women's service. I will write an article on this soon, but we were looking at how submission made her husband listen to her. Yesterday while thinking about the issue of submission, for the first time in life, I saw the same pattern with Sarah. 

First Peter 3 is a beautiful chapter. Let's break it down:

1. Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands (verse 1).

2. that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear (verse 1 and 2).

3. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God (verse 3 and 4).

 4. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands (verse 5).

 5. as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror (verse 6).

These verses here are revealing a secret "love portion" - submission! 

The first verse tells us, wives, that we need to submit to our husbands. But what I love the most is what the Bible says can possibly happen if we do so - even if your husband does not obey the Word of God, without you even saying a word, he could be won over! Did you hear that? You don't even need to preach to him, maybe not even pray for him, the secret to his change in mind and character can be based solely on your conduct. 

Verses 3 and 4 bring an even better perspective that we do not often hear in our generation - your beauty should not be outwardly. Have you noted how wives are often given pressure to look a certain way? Yes, I mean at church events. The Word of God advises the contrary, let it be the hidden person of the heart, a gentle and quite spirit. This does not mean you should not take care of yourself, but rather, understand that what will make your husband enjoy being your husband, is how you treat and talk to him more than how you look. 

One advice I give newly married women is; there will always be a woman who looks more beautiful than you, with a more flirtatious body, and if your husbands has eyes, he will see those other women. However, let there be no other woman that will honour and respect your husband more than you! Thinking about this, this is why God is letting us know of the REAL beauty, something that you don't have to spend money on, something that is within your power to control. Submit to that man! 

Now back to the crux of the matter: Mrs Sarah Abraham. 

Peter closes his advice to wives by referencing Sarah, the wife of Abraham, the father of faith. 

A quick recap, Sarah is the woman that asked her husband to sleep with Hagar, an Egyptian that was her maid. When Hagar was pregnant, she became prideful, Sarah asked Abraham to kick her out, Hagar left but she came back. When Hagar's son, Ishmael was older, and Sarah had her own son, Isaac, it was clear that the two women with two sons could not coexist in the family, Sarah asked Abraham to kick them out, AGAIN! The Bibles tells us that this was not an easy one for Abraham because it involved his son, but guess what, he did send them away. 

This is indeed a sad story - be as it may, it shows us the power of a submissive wife. 

The Bible tells us that Sarah obeyed her husband and called her lord (or master). Sarah was doing something right if her husband was willing to listen to her so much, even to the point of separating from his own son. The secret love portion - submission. 

Submission is not abuse.

Many women feel that being submissive is being abused, but it is not. If anything, a submissive wife is always in her husband's good books. 

Men love peace and quiet, they generally hate arguments and confrontation. A woman who is constantly nagging her husband can never be listened and treated with love by her husband. Consider this verse: 

"It is better to live on a corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman." - Prov 21:9 - 

When your husband feels respected and honoured in his home, he is inclined to reciprocate by loving you beyond measure. 

God, the giver of life gave us this secret, I am referring to the very One that created us, He knows that where a husband is respected, the wife is loved and where the wife is loved, the husband is respected. This is a formula for any married couple, it is the secret love portion, love and submit.  

Submit to that man and come back to testify. 

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