Monday, June 24, 2013

Winning Husbands

Sometime this spring I did a Bible study in 1 Peter. I love the practicality of Peter's writing. He was a fisherman, not a scholar like Paul, and I love how God designs and uses different kinds of people. He doesn't want us to be the same! But I digress. That's not my point for this post. 

In chapter three (which contains a lot of controversial stuff for our generation) Peter tells us that wives can live in such a way that they could win an unsaved husband to Jesus. We must have a profound influence on our husbands for that to be true! I also think there are great marriage principles in here for wives with Christian husbands as well! 
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;  1 Peter 3:1
1. First we see how they aren't won. They aren't won with words. Women have a lot of words and we can use them like weapons. But it never works.  A husband isn't won by lecturing or scolding. Not by being preached at or obnoxiously prayed over aloud. 
  • No nagging. Let him be him. 
  • No mothering. My husband already has a wonderful mom; he doesn't need me to try to be one. Let him be a man. 
  • No sermons. No lectures on how he could be a better dad. No accusations about how he doesn't do certain things. 
  • No criticizing. There are plenty of people in the world ready to criticize my husband. He needs my support. 
The main thing I try to do with my speech is to "shut up for Jesus." So much does NOT need to be said. God didn't design me to be the world's conscience. Or my husband's conscience. (That's not my place. I can save myself a lot of mental distress by not obsessing with all the things I see wrong that I either can't change or aren't my place to change. This is one of my general life principles.)

2. But then they are won "by the conversation of the wives." Conversation means lifestyle. How they lived day in and day out. 
-how do they teach the children?
-how do they keep the house?
-how do they manage money?
-what tone of voice do they use?
-how do they handle discouragement?
-how do they manage their time?
-how do they respond to their husband? 
All of these things- and many others-  should show Jesus to others. Not our carnal nature. Not our natural reactions, but Jesus. Does my behavior match up with the Bible? That is the ultimate litmus test. 

This is such a profound verse to me because married people see the best in each other- but most often they see the worst. We reserve our contempt for our husband. We reserve our criticisms, our bad moods, our irritability for our husbands. And sometimes we feel justified in this because "they have to love us." 

I don't know about you but I don't want my husband to "have" to love me! I want to be easy to love. I make to win his heart every day. I want to be crown to him. (Pro. 12:4)

Now I am blessed with an amazing Christian husband! I don't need my lifestyle to win Him to Christ; He already knows Jesus. But I do want to live with my Christianity that genuine. A Christianity so real that the person who knows me best would say that Jesus lives in me. Who we are at home is who we really are. 

Also I don't want to treat my wonderful husband any less well than I would a husband that I needed to win to Jesus. Instead my gratitude toward God for my husband should spur me on to be the best wife I can possible be! 

One last thing- if, by God's grace, we live this kind of Christianity out in front of our husbands, it will also be visible to anyone else who knows us and needs to know Jesus. And isn't that what we want? 

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