Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Catching Those Little Foxes

Song of Solomon 2:15   
"Catch us little foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines,For our vines have tender grapes."
I would like to walk through 1 Peter 2:22 - 3:7 and share what the Lord has been revealing to me.

First take a look at 1 Peter 3:1

1 Peter 3:1a
"Wives, likewise, submit..."

Because it says, likewise, we need to go back into chapter 2 to see our example for submission.

1 Peter 2:22
"'Who committed no sin,
nor was deceit (guile) ever found on His lips."

Guile: slyness, deviousness, ploys, schemes, maneuvers, tricks ect.

This sounds an awful lot like manipulation to me.

Manipule: maneuver, steer, direct, tamper with, interfere with ect.

Ladies, how many times do we try to maneuver our husbands? How often do we think we know what is best so we try to sway our husbands to do what we want? 

1 Peter 2:23a
When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]...

Need I say more?
This reminds me of the verse that I read:

 1 Corinthians 13:5
It (Love) is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

Oh, how many times I do the opposite!?! Do I throw a fit when I don't get my way? Do I insist on my husband knowing when I have been hurt or wronged? Do I become resentful and remember all the things he has said or "wrong things" he has done each day?

1 Peter 2:23b
...but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly.

Here is what it comes down to ladies: when we hold onto things, when we manipulate, when we insult in return... it is because we don't trust the Lord. 

Do I really trust that the Lord is in control? Do I trust that He will form my husband into the man that He wants him to be? Do I trust that the Lord sees when I am wronged and that He will take care of me? Do I trust that the Lord sees the decisions my husband makes and will protect me?

1 Peter 2:24-25
He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
    For you were going astray like [so many] sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian (the Bishop) of your souls.

Who can REALLY be like that in their marriage?!?

Keep this in mind: Because of Christ's death, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we CAN have victory over sin! We can be like this! Read more in Romans 6. 

1 Peter 3:1-2
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

I think this is a struggle because we secretly think: "Without a word?!? Are you kidding?!? My husband has no idea all that I do for him and you expect him to notice me respecting him without a word?!? And THIS is supposed to work? How will he know when he did something wrong if I don't tell him?"

Once again it comes down to your trust in the Lord and in His Word.

One thing that the Lord showed me as an example of the extent I am supposed to go to in this area is with my husband's driving. I often question his route plans because my husband goes with familiarity over convenience (aka he will take a long way because he knows it instead of a shorter, faster way... or he will go to the auto shop across town that he always goes to instead of the same one right down the road.) My husband ALWAYS tells me that he hates when I question his driving. The Lord told me that even in this area, when I know that I am right, when we may waste 20 minutes on a shopping trip, I need to be quiet and submit to my husband.

1 Peter 3:3-6
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

Have you ever read through Abraham's story in Genesis and seen all that Sarah had to go through? 

She just had to up and leave her family and friends when her husband thought he heard the Lord say to, "go". Do you think she questioned him or manipulated him telling him of all the circumstances that point to the opposite? Or do you think she said, "Alright Abraham. If that is what you think the Lord said, we will do it." (Do you see the trust in the Lord here?!?)

Also, when Abraham told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister and not his wife. Put yourself in that story! "Abraham! What a stupid idea! I can't believe you want me to do this! Don't you see all that could go wrong?" She didn't say that did she? She went along with it probably saying to the Lord, "Alright Lord, you know what is going on. I am going to trust that either You are leading my husband, or you will bless me for submitting to him and protect me." (Do you see the trust in the Lord here?!?)

Not only this, but Sarah called him "lord" or "master" and we see in verse 2 that she "feared" him.

Do you respect your husband like Sarah and like the women of old?
Can you even say to your husband "I respect you" when he asks you to say you are his sister and not his wife? What about "lord" or "master"??

With all the feminist movements that have gone through our culture, we have lost the beauty of a submissive, quiet, respectful wife! Not that we can never speak or that we are any less then men (read the rest of the New Testament and see how marriages work through the death of Jesus Christ), but we have lost the big picture! There is order here! There is order in the church, there is order in your workplace, there is order in the government, there is order in your marriage and your family. There is a pastor and a flock. There is an employer and an employee. There is a president, a congress, the people. There is a husband and a wife. There are parents and children. 

Ladies! I am so passionate about this because I screw it up all the time and I see the need for us to get our act together as represents of Jesus Christ and His flock! If not for the world's sake, for our children's sake! They watch how you treat your husband and I guarantee their family will lean towards functioning the same way. They may view their relationship with Christ based on your relationship with your husband! (Read Ephesians 5:22-33)

Please, I beg of you, repent from the way you have been as a wife and ask the Lord to speak to you in your individual relationship! If you cannot respect the man that you married, or you have lost that respect, then respect the office that the Lord has given him over you!

Lord, I am so sorry for how I have disobeyed You and dishonored You by disrespecting my husband. Please forgive me and teach me how to live out what Your word says. There are not many examples of a Godly marriage nowadays so please give me Your wisdom! Fill me with Your Spirit and wash me with the blood of Your son Jesus. Thank you for Your grace. 

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