Category Archives: Marriage

Reality Check for Husbands

(guest post by my husband)

1 Peter 3:7

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman, and show her honour as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

(Note: The following has been adapted by a sermon from James MacDonald called Reality Check for Husbands)

Whereas God gave wives the equivalent of six verses to describe their relationship to their husbands, He made the instructions to men short and straight to the point.

6 things for husbands

1.  Spend time with your wife

The phrase “live with your wives’ has the idea of sharing life with your wife. Just like any relationship, the marriage relationship requires an investment of time. Nothing will transform your marriage like time spent working on your marriage. A good guideline is 15 minutes a day, one night a week, one day a month, and one weekend a year of intentionally investing in your marriage.

2.  Study your wife

Peter tells husbands to “live with your wives in an understanding way.” This literally means to live with her according to knowledge. Men, study everything the Bible has to say about marriage and women. Also, gain knowledge through observation of your wife. What are her likes and dislikes, her interests, her goals and dreams? What frustrates her? What fills her with joy? As you put the time and effort in to obtain your PhD in the study your wife, you will begin to know her intimately and your marriage will be transformed.

3.  Honour your wife

The idea behind the Greek word used here for “honour” has the idea of public recognition in a military setting. Husbands are to publically recognize and praise their wives. This involves appreciating her with words in front of the children, telling them what a blessing God has given the family in their mother. It also involves praising her for who she is and the work God is doing in and through her. This goes beyond just praising her actions of being a good cook and doing our laundry. It is also a recognition of who she is as a person: her loving nature, caring heart, patience, insight, peacemaking abilities…this list is extensive if you really think about it.

4.  Protect your wife (physically)

The phrase “as the weaker vessel” refers to physically. Notice that in using the word “weaker” this implies that the husband is also weak. From God’s perspective, all human beings are weak, however the physical body of the woman is generally weaker than the man’s. Protecting your wife is more than merely going downstairs in the middle of the night to investigate a noise. Protecting your wife involves showing patience when things seem dangerous to her (kids getting injured playing sports), ensuring her safety in your absence, and managing your aggression during conflict. In short—does your wife feel safe around you? Does she feel protected and secure by your presence? Does she feel these things in good times AND in times of struggle in your marriage?

5.  Open up to your wife

Husbands and wives are “fellow heir(s) of the grace of life”, which refers to the good things God has given us. Women have equal access to all the graces of God. Since you experience God’s grace together, intentionally share and open up to your wife. Self-disclosure is the gold of relationships. Here are a couple starters to get the ball rolling for you: “The reason I find it hard to open up is…”, “My greatest desire is…”, “If our marriage could improve in this one area…”.

6.  Pray with your wife

Failing to be the husband God has called you to be will hinder your prayers. Praying with your wife requires being open and vulnerable with her, which is sometimes a risky thing. However, intimacy is born when husbands and wives plead together in prayer over a situation in their lives. This has been my weakest area in marriage by far so I know how intimidating and difficult this can be. The best cure for this is a pretty easy actually…pray. The more you pray, the easier it gets. Step up and start, it just gets easier after that.



Reality Check for Wives

1 Peter 3:1-6

1In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. 

(Note: The following has been adapted by a sermon from James MacDonald called Reality Check for Wives)

Husbands need to be changed and their wives know it, but …

1.  Words Won’t Work (1 Peter 3:1-2)

There is something in the sinful nature of a woman that causes her to go about changing her husband in a   destructive way (just as there is something in the sinful nature of a man that causes him to neglect). 1 Peter 3:1 says the husband can be won without a word by the behaviour of their wives. Words don’t work—in fact rash, harsh and critical words can destroy a marriage. God’s way is conduct. This does not mean that husbands and wives shouldn’t communicate, but husbands are influenced by the example and behaviour of their wives.   Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”   Peter even gives the worst case scenario in the text. Even if the husband is disobedient to the word. He is     talking about those who are unsaved. Even in this extreme case, the godly conduct of their wives is a powerful influence.

 2.  Beauty Won’t Last (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Peter says a wife’s adorning must not be merely external. In other words, ladies, don’t let the beautiful thing about you be your hair or your jewelry or your clothes. Don’t make external beauty your focus. Your crowning feature should be the inner person of the heart.

If words don’t work and beauty won’t last, what is God’s way to positively influence your husband? This is it:

Wife Inner Beauty


1.  Submissive (1 Peter 3:1)

To be submissive means to place yourself under the headship and authority of your husband. Submission is   never commanded or demanded, it is a voluntary choice that the wife makes out of obedience to God. When a multi-lane highway is reduced to one lane, some cars naturally have to take their position behind other cars or else there will be dangerous collisions. In the same way, in marriage, although both husband and wife are     influencing, guiding, and moving forward, when it comes to the point of collision, the wife finds her greatest joy in yielding and getting behind her husband and entrusting herself to God.

2.  Pure/Chaste (1 Peter 3:2)

A godly wife is pure in her actions and her attitudes in her work, in her home, in the kitchen, in relationships, and in the bedroom. The attitude that goes along with purity is respect—for her husband and for God.

3.  Gentle and Quiet (1 Peter 3:4)

Having a gentle and quiet spirit is the opposite of angry outbursts, combative, speaking your mind, blunt, and overpowering. The godly woman is calm. In short—a woman with a gentle and quiet spirit still the storm  instead of stirring things up. They fix relational strife instead of causing it.


1.  Persuasive (1 Peter 3:1)

Even in the extreme situation of an unbelieving husband, a wife can influence her husband for the kingdom. This is not a guarantee of transformation, but it means she will no longer be a hindrance to what God is trying to do in her husband’s life. Again, the wise woman persuades with actions, not words.

2.  Permanent (1 Peter 3:4)

This inward beauty is imperishable. While outward beauty is fading, inward beauty can be flourishing. We can’t buy inner beauty, we can’t get it surgically, and there is no multi-level marketing for inner beauty. Instead God shapes a woman’s character as she pursues Him. Inner beauty doesn’t hide imperfections, it removes them.

3.  Precious (1 Peter 3:4)

Inner beauty is precious in the sight of God. Let’s be careful to pursue what is important to God.

4.  Powerful (1 Peter 3:5-6)

Holy women of old adorned themselves with inner beauty. Inner beauty is powerful to attract the kind of man worthy of spending the rest of our lives with.

If we want to be the women God has called us to be, this is the pathway. Will you be a woman who is pursuing inner beauty?
















Daring to Talk About the “S” Word

So when you are asked to speak at a bridal shower on what the Word says about marriage, where do you turn?

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:22-24)

Somewhere between the silly (yet fun) shower games of ‘Who Has the Strangest Items in Her Purse?’ to watching the brides race to pull on pantyhose over their jeans with oven mitts, I spoke on submission.

Yup, talk about a difficult transition!

(By the way, it turns out my purse is fairly normal, which meant the prize went to the lady with the suitcase – but, in my opinion, should have went to the one with the breast pump stashed between her wallet and her makeup.)

I LOVE speaking about the biblical roles of wives and husbands in marriage because I believe it is vastly misunderstood in today’s culture, and even in the church. And if we as Christians did this marriage thing right – biblically – the world would definitely take notice. Christian marriage is radically different than marriage in the world.

In a Christian marriage each spouse puts the needs and desires of the other first.

In marriage in the world, your spouse exists to make you happy, and if he doesn’t, it is reasonable grounds to end the marriage.

Before we talk about the dreaded “s” word, remember:

  • God designed marriage and pronounced it “very good.”
  • there are no spiritual distinctions among men and women, only different roles in marriage.
  • marriage is a two-sided equation. If we are going to talk about the role of the wife we need to talk about the role of the husband as well.

Submission is not a word our society is particularly fond of. God commands wives to be subject to their husbands. This means the wife voluntarily places herself under the authority and headship of her husband out of love and obedience for the Lord. This does NOT mean the husband makes the wife submit.

Submission goes beyond actions to an attitude of the heart. The passage from Ephesians says wives are to submit to their own husbands. In other words, this is not a general submission of women to men.

Did you notice those two little words at the end of verse 24? In everything. Not only when we think our husbands are right. However there is one exception: if a husband is leading his wife into sin she must obey God rather than men.

Why do we as women struggle so much with submitting to our husbands (hopefully I’m not the only one?)? I think it goes way back to the garden. After Adam and Eve sinned, when God was handing out the consequences, He said to Eve, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). This is not a physical desire, but a desire to dominate and control. I have to admit, I feel that in me. I have that urge to control what my husband does and how he leads our family. It is only with the indwelling help of the Spirit that we as wives can walk in obedience to this command to submit to our husbands.

But we can’t stop here.

Ephesians 5 has more to say about marriage:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church (Ephesians 5:25-29).

The command to husbands is to love – but not as Hollywood loves – as Christ loves the church. This is a sacrificial and unconditional. This kind of love is willing to die for another. This kind of love nourishes, cherishes, and protects, putting the desires and needs of his wife first. This is the kind of love that comes home from work early to scrub the toilets when his parents announce they are arriving early and his wife is overwhelmed with her never-ending to-do list (thanks, honey!).

Notice husbands are one of God’s instruments in the process of sanctifying the wife (Ephesians 5:26). As he leads her in prayer and studying the word, she is purified, becoming more as God created her to be.

We must remember, this command would have been a shock to Paul’s readers. Instead of the women walking away in disgust at this passage as they do today, it would have been the men. In a culture where women were easily second-class citizens, the husbands were called to be “Christ” to their wives, treating them as precious and cherished.

A godly husband will take his wife’s opinions, knowledge, intuition, and discernment into consideration and they will make decisions together. It is when the two can’t come to an agreement that the husband will exercise his leadership role. A godly husband will listen to the wise counsel of his wife and lead the family in a way that honours God. And remember, he is held accountable before God for the decisions he makes on behalf of the family. Wives must respect the position of authority God has placed their husbands in.

Okay ladies, if your husband doesn’t love you like I’ve just described, are you still required to submit to him? Absolutely! We are all responsible before God for our own actions. And as you are obedient to the word, your husband may grow in his understanding of his role.

Incidentally, I truly think the role of the husband is much harder. We only have to submit, but they have to be Christ to us! Talk about a high standard! Being under the leadership and headship of my husband is a wonderfully safe and secure place to be.

In eternity past, as God was thinking about His design for creation, He knew He needed a physical picture of the spiritual reality of the relationship between Christ and the church. And so He created marriage. The husband represents Christ and the wife represents the church. God has so much invested in marriage and therefore we have an incredible responsibility to live out the biblical mandate for marriage. We have the privilege of displaying the gospel to a world in which marriage is treated so lightly.

When we do marriage God’s way, it doesn’t mean it will be perfect. It doesn’t mean we won’t have disagreements or struggles in  our relationship. But it does mean you will grow closer together and to God and we will fulfill His mission for our marriage.

And if you ever find yourself needing to put on your pantyhose with oven mitts, just know, it is possible to do in 39 seconds flat.