1 Peter 3:1-6
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence in your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
The verse I am enscribing on my heart is 1 Peter 3:4, the part I highlighted. The whole passage is what God is impressing upon me, but verse 4 is what I'm working on. The truth is finally getting into my heart...that when I am submissive to my husband, I am being submissive to God also.
I'm reading Gary Smalley's Hidden Keys of a Loving Lasting Marriage. It's a classic. The book is divided into two sections, one for the husband and one for the wife. He does sort of address the wives as housewives...not necessarily using that word but definitely assuming all readers are not working outside of the home. However, that does not distract from his Scriptural references and main ideas.
One thing I've been terrible at in my marriage is showing admiration and respect for George. That's a pretty obvious "uh-oh" considering men NEED admiration and respect. So I can either beat myself up about it or find out how to CHANGE. Change is good!!!
The following quiz in the book was a big eye opener for me. See what you think.
1. Have you ever shown more appreciation or admiration for other men than for your husband--perhaps for a pastor, a teacher, or another woman's husband.
2. Have you belittled or criticized your husband, his abilities, his character, or his activities?
3. Have you ever had a tendency to exert pressure on him to do something until it gets done?
What? Isn't that my JOB? Oh, I guess not. answer: um, yes.
4. Do you find your trivial discussions turning into arguments?
Wow, yeah, this one's a yes too. Uh-oh.
5. Do you ever find yourself questioning his explanations of his behavior?
This is getting really bad.
6. Can you think of at least three things that you have complained about in the last week regarding him (his schedule, his time with the kids, his lack of help around the house)?
Lord, help me.
7. Have you ever compared your level of awareness to his?
Here are some practical way to begin expressing admiration for your husband:
1. Begin to seek your husband's advice and opinions on decisions.
2. Make an effort to remember your husband's past requests and desires and begin to fulfill them when possible.
3. Look for occassional opportunities to draw attention to your husband's positive qualities when you're with other people.
4. Make an effort to gain an appreciation for your husband's occupation, trying to understand how important he feels his job activities are.
5. Carefully consider what your husband says without hasty negative reactions.
6. Don't let two days pass without expressing appreciation for at least one thing your husband has said or done during those forty-eight hours.
7. Use your sensitivity to detect your husband's personal goals, and lend him your support as he pursues those goals.
8. Begin to admire your husband in nonverbal ways. Studies of communication between husbands and wives have proven that words alone are responsible for only 7 percent of the total communication. Thirty-eight percent of marital communication is expressed through voice tone, and 55 percent through facial expressions and body movement.
9. Genuinely desire and seek your husband's forgiveness whenever you offend him.
The big picture here, that God is really impressing upon me, is that he CAN and WILL use my obedience and faithfulness to Him to work on George's heart. The first step for me is to strive for purity; a quiet and gentle spirit. I will not engage in arguments with George. I will not try to say all that I can to get him to see things from my point of view. I will not punish him for hurting me. If I need to protect myself from George, I will, but I will do that with a quiet and gentle spirit also.
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.