Let’s get back to basics. Here is God’s pattern for godly femininity, marriage and romantic relationships preparing for marriage – which is the basis of my blog:
New International Version (NIV)
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
On Peacefulwife and Peaceful Single Girl – my focus is only on what God commands women to do.
Why is that?
1. God’s primary purpose in marriage is to bring glory to Himself through the way husbands and wives relate to each other. I desire to help women understand the importance of marriage from God’s perspective and that He desires husbands to portray the self-sacrificing love and headship of Christ and that He desires wives to portray the love, adoration, reverence, submission and honor of the church for Christ. This is so much bigger than our individual families. When we approach romantic relationships and marriage God’s way for His glory and by His power – we will draw many to Jesus to find a real, intimate and eternal relationship with Him. And when we approach romantic relationships/marriage with our own wisdom or worldly wisdom – the Name of Christ and God’s Word is maligned. (Titus 2:4-5)
2. I believe that – as one of the “older women in the church” (I will be 40 this month!) – God desires me to teach women “what is good: to affectionately love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.” (Titus 2:2-5) I long to see women experience the JOY and PEACE of living in obedience to God, filled with His Holy Spirit whether they are single, divorced, dating, engaged or married.
3. I believe that godly femininity includes a woman’s ability to show real respect for all people, especially God-given authority in her life -and that this respect and submission originates in her love and reverence for Christ. I believe a godly woman will cooperate with God-given authority cheerfully and willingly, trusting God to lead her through that human authority. If a human God-given authority asks a woman to sin, she must respectfully refuse whether it is her parents and she is still a teenager living at home, her teachers at school, her boss, the police, government officials or her intended-husband. Before marriage, women are not commanded to respect their men and honor their authority. Women may leave the relationship at any time if they disagree with their man. However, as a couple works towards marriage, a wise woman will allow her man to lead even in the dating stages and will have a general spirit of being cooperative with most of his ideas. She will also know how to express her heart and feelings with respect so that her message can be most powerfully heard by her man.
4. I believe that our power in relationships is when we focus on what God asks us to do, not when we try to judge whether our men are living up to their end of the deal. In marriage, God’s commands apply to us regardless of our husbands’ behavior. Yes, there are times we must respectfully, gently, humbly confront our men’s sin (Matthew 7:1-6, Matthew 18). But they are responsible for their behavior and we are responsible for our behavior.
5. It is very easy for us to focus so much on what our men “should” do that we ignore our own responsibilities. Or it is very easy to think, “I’ll respect him when he starts doing his part.” But in marriage, there is no qualifier that God only expects us to obey Him if our husbands are obeying Him to our satisfaction. God does NOT ask us to respect sin and we do not have to cooperate with our husbands when/if they ask us to sin. We are to honor our husband’s leadership once we are married and submit to them “as to the Lord.” Any human authority that asks us to violate God’s Word is trumped by the authority of God’s Word. If you are seeing a man whom you genuinely cannot and will not respect – it is time to really pray and seek godly counsel about the wisdom of continuing in that relationship. Keep in mind that all men are sinners, so are all women. You WILL be sinned against and hurt in romantic relationships. To love is to be hurt sometimes.
6. God called me to teach women, not men. (I Timothy 2:11-15 and I Corinthians 14:33-35). God convicted me of this powerfully in September of last year. I desire to honor Him alone.
It is not my intention for women to be the only ones who obey God. I only teach women, so I do not address men here.
I am sure you can see from this passage in Ephesians 5 that husbands have even more responsibilities in marriage than wives do – and they are held accountable by God for their obedience to Him and for their use of their God-given authority and leadership. We are held accountable to God for our own obedience.
ALL PEOPLE NEED JESUS
Some women believe that I am blaming women for the sins of their men. Nope! Each person is accountable to God for his or her own sin according to the Bible! I address women and ask us all to look at our own sin, our own relationship to Christ and our own obedience to God’s Word. Men are also accountable for their own sin, their relationship with Christ and their obedience to God’s Word and their godly leadership.
Some women believe that because I only address women and our sins, that I am saying men are perfect or deity. NOT AT ALL!
The Bible clearly teaches at ALL people (men and women) are wretched sinners in desperate need of the blood of Jesus to cover our multitude of sins!
- There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. Romans 3:10-11
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
- The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord! Romans 6:23
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8
Just because I only discuss what women are responsible for and our accountability to God for our obedience and our own sin does not negate the fact that men are also accountable to God for their obedience and their sin. Both men and women need respect and love. Both men and women ought to give respect and love to one another out of reverence for Christ.
However – if my legitimate needs are not met – God desires me (and any believer) to respond without sin by the power of His Spirit. There are times when my sinful man will not meet my legitimate needs. Just like there are times I will fail him, too and will need to repent to God and to my husband. When I am sinned against – I am not justified to sin against someone else. I will be most tempted to sin in those times. But God can give us the power to repay evil with good and to return cursing with blessing and to pray for those who persecute us. God’s Word commands us not to be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-12)
My prayer is that women will find the truth here spoken in love and with respect. I realize that many churches are NOT teaching women the full truth of God’s Word – to our great detriment! Some of these truths are VERY PAINFUL to hear. I also know that the things I talk about – though biblical – sound RADICAL to our ears because of what we have learned from our culture. These are things we should have been taught as children and should have seen modeled in all the Christian marriages around us. I believe that “the ball was dropped” decades ago and that we are now paying a steep price. It is time for us to pick up the ball and not allow our children to pay an even greater price.
It is time for US to become a godly generation of women who live God’s truth no matter what the cost.
I don’t want us to go back to the way things were 100 years ago. My goal is for us to live the way God wants us to, not to follow any specific traditions of men. There was sin and error in doctrine 100 years ago. That time gone by was full of imperfect people, too. I desire us to compare ourselves to the true, holy and perfect standard of God’s Word – not to other generations or to other people living today. I desire true holiness in God’s people – not legalism, not a set of rules to follow and try to make ourselves holy. I desire to see the Spirit of God move among us and empower us to be holy. We cannot do this on our own! We need the Holy Spirit’s power!
I am personally convinced that we as Christian women hold a huge key to God creating holiness in His people today. I believe that if God will open our eyes to our sin – our pride, our idolatry of self/of our men/of marriage/of romance/of feelings etc…, our disrespect towards Himself and our men, our unforgiveness/bitterness/resentment and all the sin in our hearts – we will repent. And when we as the women of God repent and begin to live as God desires us to – I believe that God will then empower our men to become the strong, godly, holy leaders that He wants them to be. And then I believe we can raise a generation of godly children. God may want to change us first, ladies. I pray that He will give us the courage, strength and faith to make this amazing journey with Him for His purposes and His glory!
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10