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How a Wife Can Change Her Husband

March 17, 2011

Now there’s a book title that women would buy! And it’s actually a plan a lot of women try—without much success. Here’s the deal: Changed women help God change husbands. 1 Peter 3:1-6 includes four traits of a godly, changed woman and how they are powerful instruments for change in her husband’s life. The real adventure isn’t what God wants to do in your husband’s life; the jolts will come when you realize what He’s doing in your life!

The changed woman is submissive to her husband. “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husband.” 1 Peter 3:1 The Greek word for submissive, hupotassõ, means to be subject or subordinate, to literally place under.

The best illustration of submission comes from traffic. When you see the “merge” sign, you know that someone has to go first and someone has to go behind. Too often the I’m-going-to-go first battle causes frustration. Everyone knows that soon or later there is only going to be room for a single file of cars.

Submission has nothing to do with equality. The Son is not pouting around heaven going, “Why can’t I be the Father?” The Son is in submission to the Father and the Spirit to the Father and the Son. Yet Scripture teaches they are equal. Headship has nothing to do with equality. Men and women are equal under God in every way.

Submission also has nothing to do with worth. I love Proverbs 31:10, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” It’s not about gifts. In certain areas, my wife has gifts that far exceed mine. It’s about God’s design for the order in the home. Changed women help God change husbands by being submissive to their own husband.

The changed woman is chaste in her conduct. Your husband is going to be “impacted when he observes your chaste conduct accompanied by fear” v. 2. This describes the effect of what you do in the kitchen, the car, the backyard, and in the bedroom—every activity in every place. Chaste means holy, righteous, or pure. Chaste means having godly responses to conflict, being pure in your dress, your language, your choices of entertainment and being righteous in decisions. Chaste does not mean self-righteous or judgmental; not uppity or prudish—just pure. A wife’s purity is a powerful tool God uses for change in the life of her husband.

The changed woman has a gentle and quiet spirit (see 1 Peter 3:4). Her attitude is gentle—that is, she’s considerate, unassuming, not pushy or demanding, not unnecessarily rigorous. The opposite of gentle spirit would be combative. She’s quiet—not loud-mouthed or known for speaking her mind. She’s not overpowering or blunt in her words or actions. She is soft-spoken and calm. She bears the disturbances created by others and does not cause or contribute to disturbances. She trusts God with her home and entrusts her husband to God. We all know from experience and from observation, that there is a woman who stirs the pot and there is a woman who stills the storm. A wife’s gentle and quiet spirit focuses God’s work on her husband.

A wife might insist, “Well, God didn’t make me like that.” Then like her husband, she needs to be changed. God is not trying to give her a different personality. He loves the one that He gave her, but He wants godliness to be expressed through it. As for her husband, no matter how clearly she sees how she can “fix” him, God has a better plan. A godly woman uses each impulse to “improve” her husband as a reminder to pray, “Lord, change me into the person You want me to be.” Next week, we’ll look at the other potential best-seller: How a Husband Can Change His Wife!

For a complete message on the role of the wife in marriage, follow this link.


Read comments:

  • RhododendrinMay.22.2011

    Is there a clearer example of precisely what is meant in this article by a “submissive wife”? Can you devise a scenario where the idea behind a submissive wife can me more clearly defined?

    Proverbs 31:10, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”

    Is there a role for a woman with a good career in this definition of a virtuous wife? Or is the role of a virtuous wife merely that of caretaker? Is it unambiguously defined?

  • PollyJun.09.2011

    I was a very good wife to my husband, but nothing I did was good for my husband. He kept drinking alcohol and finally walked out on me 6 months ago. I continue to pray for his soul and hope that the Lord has mercy on him and opens his eyes to the family he walked out on. Ultimately our good LORD is in control of all of our lives.


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