Beautiful Wives, Understanding Husbands (1 Peter 3:1-7)
Topic: Corporate Worship Passage: 1 Peter 3:1–3:7
Good morning. We are making our way through 1 Peter and we are in chapter 3 and the title of this message is going to be "Beautiful Wives, Understanding Husbands." Let me start by this: it would be an understatement to say that there is much confusion in our day regarding the state of marriage. If you look at the news this past week, it's even more so. It has been said that as an average goes, so goes the culture and that is definitely true in our present time. Here are just some recent statistics that I found on the current state of marriage in our country.
Currently in the US, approximately:
- 40% of all marriages end in divorce.
- 24% of all children born today will experience the divorce of their parents.
- 40% of all children born today are actually born outside of marriage.
- 70% of couples live together before they get married and of those 70%, they experience a 46% greater risk of divorce than couples that did not live together before they got married.
Now, these numbers should concern us and cause us to ask the question: what are we doing wrong? What are we doing wrong?
So let's start here, let's ask ourselves this question: what is marriage anyway? What is it? And what role should husbands and wives play in it? Where do these roles come from? Or more importantly, where do these answers come from? Where do we get the answers to these questions from? Is it from the world or is it from the Bible? Well, this morning's passage is a magnificent text for us to understand God's plan for marriage. It's a beautiful text. In just a few verses, Peter is going to describe the complementary responsibilities of both husbands and wives and guard against abuses of each.
But at first glance, this passage of Scripture can seem very chauvinistic and very degrading. For one, it seems unbalanced with 6 verses devoted to wives and 1 verse devoted to husbands. It seems to say that wives should simply submit to their husbands, make themselves beautiful not by outward garments but by inner beauty and imitate other godly women like Sarah who called their husband lord. That's what it seems to communicate and so we want to get clarity here. What is Peter saying here? What does Peter want us to see in this passage? What we ask is: what is marriage really called to look like? What is it really called to look like? There is no question we have all experienced some level of confusion on this topic, that we are confused when it comes to marriage. Yet if we allow this confusion to hinder us, we will be blinded to what Peter and ultimately God wants to communicate to us this morning.
So this is a challenging set of Scripture but if the Bible doesn't challenge us in certain areas of our Christian life, it's probably because we are reading our Bibles wrong. If any time that you read your Bible and you're never challenged, you probably are just interpreting it wrong because we are constantly growing in our understanding of Scripture and our understanding of the Christian life. Remember, that if the way that you are living as a Christian doesn't get interrupted at times, you have probably designed your own Christian life. That has probably been a Christian life that you made up on your own.
Now, there are going to be a whole lot of ditches that we can end up in this morning and I'm going to do my best to not drive us into a ditch. That is a big priority for me this morning. But please realize that a topic like this is very complicated and because it's very complicated, it's going to take a lot of time, a lot of prayer and a lot of wisdom to know how to best apply these truths in our lives and we want to be patient with one another as we learn to figure out how is this best applied in our respective lives.
Now, I also realize that not everyone in here is married, okay? So I want to say a word very quickly that if you are not married, this is not the time for you to do what I would be tempted to do which is to check my phone and check Facebook and just do something and just check out because it doesn't apply to me, I'm not married, right? I actually want to do the opposite, I want to say this most applies to you because as a single person, you have the opportunity to be able to set yourself up for marriage in a way that many of us in this room never will, never did and so I want the singles of all people to listen most carefully this morning for a couple of reasons.
- It should help you to understand what a Christian marriage should look like.
- For another, it should help you to know what it means to be a godly husband or a godly wife.
- But probably the biggest thing is that it should help you to know what to look for in a godly husband and in a godly wife.
So I pray that that raises your interest this morning as singles.
Now, I also realize that there is a subset of people here that God may be calling to remain unmarried and I want to encourage you to listen as well because this should help you to understand how you can serve to encourage your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ better as they pursue marriage in their own lives. So this is applicable to all of us this morning.
So with that said, let's dive in. Here is the big picture. Here's what I want you to see: that Christian marriage is ultimately about displaying Christ through the unique roles that God has given both men and women as they seek to complement one another in displaying a visible picture of the Gospel to the world. Now, you don't have to write that down. All of these notes are going to be online. I'll give it to you. I'll email them to you so feel free just to listen and not feel like you have to jot everything down but just listen to what God wants to speak to us this morning. Here's how I have broken up the text this morning: 4 points. Go and write these downs.
- The Role that Wives have in Marriage
- A Model for Wives to Follow
- The Role Husbands have in Marriage
- A Model for Both to Follow
So with that, let's start at point 1. The role wives have in marriage.
The Role that Wives have in Marriage
Now, Peter has just laid out for us in chapter 2 how we as Christians are to submit to authority and he gave us 2 examples of what that looks like. He gave us an example of an employee to an employer relationship and he gave us the example of the citizen to the government relationship. And for some of us, those 2 are the same, which makes it, even more fun is that the government is sometimes our employer and so it makes this understanding of submission to authority really important. But if that wasn't challenging enough, he's now going to bring it closer to home. He's going to now talk about what does it look like for us to apply these principles in the context of our marriages? What does that look like? And he's going to unpack for us what submission looks like in the context of marriage.
Let's start in verse 1, "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives." Now, Peter is telling Christian wives to be subject or submit to their husbands even if these husbands are Christians or not. The fact that they are Christian or not does not determine whether or not these wives should be submitting to their husbands. Now, this exhortation makes sense because, remember, Peter is writing to those who are experiencing various hardships as a result of their newfound faith in Christ so it makes sense that a common hardship would be experienced in the context of marriage as wives would find themselves as new believers and their spouse not being a believer. So this would be a common hardship of many wives in that day. Some wives may have been thinking that since they are a Christian now, does that mean that they must submit to their unbelieving husbands anymore? And Peter's answer is a clear yes. Yes.
Now, not only are wives to submit to them but he tells them that the husbands might actually be converted to Christ as a means of the manner of their submission to them. Look at verse 2, "when they see your respectful and pure conduct." Now, whether the results in conversion or not is not the issue, the issue of obedience should be one of just pleasing the Lord but Peter is telling these wives that if their non-believing husbands won't accept the word, then they are to continue to show them Christ by the manner of their life. Now, this does not mean that a wife should not verbally share the Gospel with her unbelieving husband, right? We know Romans 10:17, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." But it does mean that even when that has been done, sometimes the best way to proceed is not by constant verbal proclamation but rather displaying a life that models Christ. While our lives are not what ultimately brings people to Christ, our lives can hinder people from coming to Christ. Remember, our mouths make the Gospel audible but our lives makes the Gospel visible and while it is God alone that saves, God uses means and one of the means that he uses is the conduct of a believing wife. It's one of the means that he uses in converting husbands.
Now, some may take this passage and use it as an example for a Christian to be able to marry a non-Christian. That is not what is being communicated here. Some people have said, "Well, in order to have someone become a Christian, I can marry them and maybe if I marry them, then they'll become a Christian." That is not what the Bible is communicating here. Just because the Bible tells us, it's just a good principle overall, just because the Bible tells you about how to deal with the problem, it does not give you permission to get into that problem, right? The Bible constantly is giving us a better understanding of how to deal with problems but it's not saying, "And therefore get into those problems." So don't see this as liberation or liberty to be able to marry outside of Christianity. This case is specifically applying to wives that have found themselves converted after marriage and that's what the issue he is dealing with here and Peter is telling wives how to deal with the challenge of being married to a nonbeliever. Remember, to be married to a non-Christian spouse means that his authority is different from your authority. That his final authority is different from your final authority. If you want to talk about a challenging marriage, you start there, it's the fact that we would each have different ultimate authorities.
But this is not the part of the text that people struggle with. Nobody would disagree that it's a good thing for wives to live in such a way that would merit their husbands seeing Christ. That is not the argument of this passage. What people do argue about is this word "submit." What does "submit" mean? And more specifically, what does it mean to submit to your husband? Well, as hard as it is to admit, the word is actually not very hard to define. It simply means obey. That's what it means. Obey is to submit and will see this in a little bit when Peter uses Sarah as an example of submission in verse 6 when he says, "as Sarah obeyed Abraham." We're going to see that in a little bit. And we have a problem with that word, don't we? We don't like that word. We don't. Whenever we hear the word "submit" or "obey," it can sound very demeaning to us, especially based on the examples that we have seen in our lives. So what we really need to answer this morning is this question: is submission meant to be used as a way of being demeaning toward other people? Because that really is the issue with it comes to the topic of submission. So I want to get us away from just dealing with the word, the definition of the word and rather see what is the definition of that? Does that mean that submission equates to demeaning because in our culture, submission has communicated that. It has and we can't deny that but that is not how the Bible defines submission. Not at all.
So, I thought this morning it would be helpful for us to first start with what submission does not mean. Sometimes the best way to find out what a word means is to find out what it doesn't mean. So here are 4 things that submission does not mean. Okay, you may want to jot these down. These will be good discussion points.
1. Submission does not mean that all women are to submit to all men. That is not what submission means. Peter is specifically telling these Christian wives to submit to their respective husbands, not for all Christian women to submit to all men. That is not what submission means.
2. Submission does not mean that a wife should give up efforts to influence or guide her husband. Submission is not based on intelligence or on competence, therefore a wife should freely give her input and her guidance and wisdom on things. Women should not view themselves as not thinking for themselves. That is not what we mean by submission.
3. Submission does not mean a wife should give into every demand of her husband. That is not what submission means. It doesn't mean that submission is a blind submission, which you are to give into every demand that your husband makes of you. Your husband does not replace Christ in your life. There are limits to his authority and even Peter recognized this. Remember, Peter commanded us earlier to submit to the government but in Acts 5 when he was challenged by that same government to stop preaching Christ, what does he say in Acts 5:29? "We must obey God rather than men." So there are limits to authority. There are. So let me make this perfectly clear, I just want to make this very clear: wives, if you are ever in a situation where you are being called by your husbands to do something that is sinful and wrong, you have every right from the word of God to disobey him and to not submit to that. I just want to make that perfectly clear because in those cases, to submit to him would mean to not submit to a higher authority. It would mean that in order to obey him, you would have to disobey God and God never calls you to obey your husband in order to disobey him.
Now, I wish all cases were that clear. I wish it was always that clear. Sometimes, most of the times, it's not. Sometimes the decision is between sin and not sin and that's easy, don't sin. Don't sin. Any time that you're faced with 2 options, sin, don't sin, easy, don't sin. But there are other times and this is probably where we live most often, the decisions are between not sin and, "This is really what I want to do. This is really what I really want but this isn't sin either," and we sort of live in that tension and that's where we need help. That's where we need wisdom. So what do we do in those moments? What do you do in those moments? Well, I'm going to be honest: it varies from situation to situation. It varies. What this looks like is going to differ in each marriage and because of that we have to have much charity and much liberty as we allow husbands and wives to determine what does that need to look like in their lives.
But those moments should be responded with 3 things, I think,
1. Prayer. Much prayer. What we are concerned about is not ultimately what our husband thinks or what our wives thinks but what God thinks and the only way that we know what God thinks is to hear from him.
2. Go to His Word. Maybe the thing that you saw as not sin really is sin and maybe the Bible is actually going to clarify that as being sin so go to his word.
3. Get wisdom from other people. Get wisdom from other people that value God's word and pray. I should say, get wisdom from the right people. Get wisdom from the people that will help you to see what God's word says clearer and pray for you through that.
Now, each one of these topics could just be a sermon in and of themselves but let's go on to the 4th point which I think is the most common misconception of what submission is.
4. Submission does not mean that you are inferior to your husband. That is not what submission means. Many people in our day believe that in order to have equality, you have to have everything the same and that is not what the Bible teaches. That is not true. Different roles do not mean different value. You can have equality even in the midst of God given distinctions and nowhere is this better modeled than in the Trinity. Nowhere is this better modeled. In the Trinity we see that God the Son submits to God the Father. We also see the way the Holy Spirit submits to the Son and to the Father. And these roles of submission don't change the equality of each person of the Trinity. Each person is still 100% God which is why Jesus could submit to the Father and still say in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." In this way, a wife's submission to her husband resembles the submission of Christ to God the Father, the submission of one to another who is equal in importance and in essence. So wives, whenever you are tempted to believe that submission has to mean that you are inferior to your husbands, think about this example in the Trinity. Let this remind you that submission does not mean inferiority.
Now, with that said, what does submission mean? If that's what it doesn't mean, what does it mean? Well, here's what I think is a good definition: Wayne Grudem says in his book on "Biblical Manhood and Womanhood," he says this, "Submission is an inner quality of gentleness that affirms the leadership of the husband." Let me just read that again, "Submission is an inner quality of gentleness that affirms the leadership of the husband. It should be the attitude and the demeanor of the Christian wife towards her husband. It means that a wife will willingly submit to her husband's authority and leadership in the marriage."
Now, it doesn't mean that she is always confident that every decision that her husband makes will be right. It doesn't mean that but it does mean making the choice to affirm her husband as leader within the limits of obedience to Christ. That's what it means. It includes the demeanor that honors him as leader even in cases where there is disagreement. It is where the wife stops fighting with the husband for the role of a leader in the marriage and recognizes and obeys the legitimate authority given to him by God.
Now, if that's not enough to talk about, what does submission look like? If that's what submission is, what does it look like? Peter is going to give us a model here and a model for wives to follow and this brings us to 2. A model for wives to follow.
A Model for Wives to Follow
Peter says that this submission is displayed through the respectful and pure conduct of the wife toward the husband in 2 ways. Okay, there are 2 ways that he gives us.
- The first way is by an inward beauty that is imperishable. We see that in verses 3 to 5.
- Another way is by outward speech that is respectful. We see that in verse 6.
An Inward Beauty that is Imperishable
Let's look at both of these. Look at verses 3 to 4, "Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." Now, Peter is going to give us 2 examples of beauty. He's going to give us the world's example and he's going to give us God's example. Two examples of beauty and Peter is calling women to pursue a greater level of beauty than what the world admires by urging women to pursue an inner beauty rather than pursuing and outer beauty. You see, God doesn't look at beauty the way that the world does. 1 Samuel 16:17, for the Lord does not see man as man sees man. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.
Now, Peter is not saying, let me make this clear again, Peter is not saying that there is not a place for women to dress themselves in a beautiful way. These verses have been used to say that women can't wear makeup or wear beautiful clothing. That is not what this is teaching. Women are beautiful and they should dress in a way that complements that beauty and as men we should encourage them in that. The Bible refers to it as modesty. It's the way that we would define modesty. Modesty is beauty that complements the woman. And Peter wants to pursue this modesty; he wants women to pursue this modesty over vanity. That's really the distinction: modesty over vanity. And Peter wants women to pursue modesty by forbidding trusting in the vain outward beauty that the world admires. You see, the problem does not lie with braided hair or gold jewelry. That is not the problem. The garments are not the problem. You can still be a very vain person without any of those things. The heart is what is the problem. That is the problem. The problem comes when a woman is tempted to trust in what the world promises as beautiful and gives her a false sense of what true beauty is. That's the problem and Peter is saying here to the women and I would say to the women here, "Who do you ultimately want to declare yourself beautiful for? The world or God? Who do you want to declare you're beautiful? The world or God?" Well, I'm sure we would say God. So with that, we have to say, "What does God find beautiful then? What does God find beautiful?" Look at verse 4, "but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." In God's eyes, a gentle and quiet spirit is true beauty and unlike the world's beauty, it is unfading, it is imperishable and it will never grow old.
Now, a whole other topic of discussion, what does Peter mean when he refers to a gentle and quiet spirit? Well, this gentle and quiet spirit can also be translated as a calm, peaceful spirit that refuses to quarrel. It doesn't mean that women should not speak. It doesn't mean that women should only speak softly. It doesn't mean any of those things. That is not what the text means. What it does mean is that there is always a beautiful gentleness and peaceful spirit about her so that in times when she speaks, that's what is displayed. That is what the text means and Peter is saying that this kind of beauty is very precious in God's sight and the reason that it is precious in God's sight is because he likes what he sees when he sees his daughters conduct themselves in this way. Which makes you ask the question: what does he see? What beauty is ultimately being displayed in this sort of beauty? Well, it's the beauty of Jesus. Matthew 11:29, "learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart." Wives, ladies, when you demonstrate a gentle and quiet spirit, you are demonstrating Jesus. You are displaying Jesus and God finds that demonstration very precious even when the world doesn't. What greater motivation to pursue this inward beauty than that it displays Christ and is precious in his sight? Let that be your motivation.
An Outward Speech that is Respectful
Now, second point: an outward speech that is respectful. Peter then gives a second way that this beautiful submission is displayed, by an outward speech that is respectful. And he gives us an example of this kind of beauty in Sarah. Let's look at verses 5 and 6, "For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." Now, in Genesis 18:12, we do see Sarah referring to her husband has lord but that should not be taken as any sign of deity or mastery or slavery. It should be taken simply as a sign of respect. That's all it's meant to communicate is that a wife is being respectful to her husband. When we see Sarah refer to her husband has lord, we are just seeing Sarah respond to him with respect.
But don't get distracted by that word. My fear is that you'll get distracted by that word and miss the bigger picture here. Peter wants women to see Sarah modeling something much greater than the word that she uses to respect her husband. What is Sarah modeling in this text, in this passage? If you read over verse 5 too quickly, you're going to miss it so let's look at it again. Verse 5, "For this is how the holy women who hoped in God." Circle that. Underline that. That is the point of Sarah's display of beauty, of godliness, is that she hoped in God. That is what Peter wants to communicate. And how do wives submit to their husbands like Sarah? It is only by hoping and trusting in God. That is what Peter wants to communicate here, that trusting in God is a necessary prerequisite for submitting to your husband. The only way that you will ever be able to submit to your husband as God calls us to do is for you to trust God as God calls you to do. That is the only way that you can do it and God delights to be trusted in. It makes much of him. You see, when it comes down to it, submission is not a trusting in man issue. Submission is a trusting in God issue. That is the issue with submission. Do we trust man or do we trust God? That determines whether or not we are willing to submit ourselves to authorities that God has placed in our lives. So when you submit to your husband on the basis of putting your ultimate hope in God rather than your ultimate hope in your husband, you are making much of God in that moment and that is what God wants to be displayed. He is not trying to make much of your husband when you submit to him. He is trying to make much of himself when you submit to him. That is what is being displayed. That is what Peter wants to convey here.
Now, Peter does not deny that that sort of submission is going to cause fear. It is. It's fearful to do that but he says that this spirit should not cause us to stop trusting in God and he reminds these women that even though they were exiles, they had been united to a new family which is why he reminds these wives that they are children of Sarah. Or another way of saying that is that they are children of the promises of God. "Don't forget that you are children of God." Look at verse 6 again, "And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." So do not let fear keep you from trusting in God. You are his child and Peter is telling Christian wives here not to fear but rather trust. Don't fear, trust in God. Wives are not called to put their trust ultimately in their husbands. The Bible never commands you to put your trust ultimately in your spouse but it does command you to put your trust ultimately in God and that's what is to be displayed and out of that overflow of trusting in God, that is the manner by which you should submit to your husbands.
The Role that Husbands have in Marriage
Now, Peter is going to turn to the husbands and at first glance it would appear that the husbands don't seem to get the same amount of treatment that the wives do but we must remember that Peter is writing this letter to address situations that are difficult and what's more difficult than wives submitting to husbands like us? That is why it is necessary for Peter to devote 6 verses to the wives to encourage them where we only need one verse because wives are not as difficult to honor as husbands are to submit to. So this should actually humble us, men, that we do such a poor job of honoring and loving our wives that Peter has to spend more time encouraging the wives to submit to them as they should. So don't see that disparity as Peter saying, "Husbands, you get a pass. Wives, I'm focusing on you." You see it as, "Wives, I feel for you. I understand how hard it is. This is why I'm going to devote so much time to encouraging you to do this because I know how hard it is to submit." So see that disparity as that.
But in case we think husbands are exempt from any responsibility at all, Peter gives us verse 7. Let's read it, "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered." Husbands, simply put: we are to live with our wives in an understanding way. That's going to mean 2 things. 1. We have to seek to understand them. We are not called to understand all women. We are called to understand our wives and so we are called to understand our wives, to understand them. But the only way that we're going to understand them is if we understand God's word. So we seek to understand more and more of God's word and as we gain clarity from this understanding, we will see that we are to honor our wives because of 2 reasons: 1. Because they are different from us physically. We should honor them because they are different from us but we should also honor them because they are similar to us spiritually and Peter makes the distinction here. Men, our wives are different from us in a physical sense. They are. Most men are physically stronger than wives are. Wives are usually the physically weaker one in the marriage. But I don't think that this is what that text is referring to. I don't think so. It also means that because of their role, they are positionally weaker. It's because of their God-given role, they are the weaker vessel. They are in a more vulnerable position than men are and because of that, we should seek to honor them in a way that does not abuse their physical or positional weakness. That is what Peter is communicating here.
But another thing he is communicating here is notice that the text does not call the wives the weak vessel. He calls the wives the weaker vessel which means husbands, you are weak also. So your wife is a little bit weaker and so don't see her as the weak one and you the strong one, see you as the really weak and her just a little weaker. That really is what it comes down to. That should humble us and cause us to lead both ourselves and our wives to the only source of true strength which is God himself. Husbands, if you see yourselves as the strong one and your wife is the weak one, you will seek to lead your wife to yourself rather than to God. But if you see yourselves both as weak, you will lead yourself and your spouse to God for the true source of strength.
Now, they are similar to us in a spiritual sense. We should honor them because they also share the same inheritance that we do. They are heirs with us in the grace of life and yet this is yet another example that you don't have to have the same roles in order to have the same value. Here are many women, different roles, same value, same inheritance. Different responsibilities, same inheritance. Men, when we honor our wives in this way, we communicate that to them. We communicate their value to them, God's given value of them when we honor them in these ways. When we see that marriage is not about displaying power but rather about displaying Christ, we will be able to model this for our wives.
Men, let us be very careful how we use this God-given authority. Let us be very careful of that and I don't know any other warning that would cause us to be more careful than the warning that Peter gives us here, "so that our prayers would not be hindered." Now, you don't need to really spend a lot of time trying to understand what that means. It means exactly what it says, so that God will not stop listening to your prayers. God does not leave his daughters defenseless in this area. If we do not honor our wives and love our wives and are considerate to our wives in the way that God has called us to, this text says God will no longer listen to our prayers. That's what it says. So husbands, please, honor your wives. Honor your wives. Pray. Pray to God that he would help you to be able to honor your wives. The last thing that we want as men is for our prayers to be hindered.
A Model for Both to Follow
Now, some of you are there sitting, thinking, saying this to yourself, "You don't know my husband. You don't know my wife. You don't know what we have been through in our marriage." To be honest with you, you're right. I don't. Marriage is difficult. I know that as a pastor and I know that as a husband. Marriage is difficult. But remember, Peter is not commanding this submission or honoring based upon the quality and character of our spouses. That is not the basis of our submission. That is not the basis of our honoring which is why he says that you are to submit even to unbelieving husband's. It's not their character that warrants this obedience, it's God. It's God.
So what does it mean when we have to give obedience to God? It means we need help. It means that we need help and I think we can find help in one word that is used for both husbands and wives in this text. Do you know what that word is? Likewise. Likewise. Verse 1, likewise. Verse 7, likewise. What is Peter seeking to communicate by this word "likewise"? Well, in one sense he's referring to chapter 2 to how employees should refer to their employers and how citizens should refer to the government. Sure, that's an example but that is not what he's ultimately referring to. What is far greater, what he is referring to is Christ and what better example do we have of trusting and submitting than Christ himself? 1 Peter 2:21-23, "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly." That is the likewise that Peter is pointing both husbands and wives to model and to follow. Do it like that. Model it like that. Christ submitted himself to unjust authority in this world because he ultimately submitted himself to a much higher authority that he knew that was perfect and just which is God himself.
Marriage is meant to display something. That is what marriage is for. It's meant to display the Gospel and God is glorified in marriages that need the Gospel daily. Do not think your marriage is a bad marriage because you need the Gospel, rather think about the fact that your marriage is being revealed to you in the areas that you need the Gospel in order for your marriage to be a healthy one. Do not be discouraged by your need of the Gospel in your marriage. Be thankful that the Lord is revealing that to you and that we will respond to it appropriately. If submitting to our husbands or honoring our wives was easy, we wouldn't need a Savior.
Let me end with this quote by Ray Ortlund, "Marriage is a Gospel issue. That is the ultimate reason why clarity about its definition matters. People who depart from or fail to stand up for the biblical view of marriage are taking a step away from the Gospel itself. Marriage is more than human romance, wonderful as that is. Marriage is a display of Christ and his bride in love together. A beautiful, tender, thriving, Ephesians 5 kind of marriage makes the Gospel visible on earth, bringing hope to people who have given up believing that there could be any love for them anywhere. That is why biblical marriage deserves our courageous loyalty today and that is why in our increasingly secular times, biblical marriage is under pressure. Its true meaning is understood and embodied and sustained only by the power of the Gospel."
Last point and we're done. Marriages aren't changed by sermons on marriage. If you thought that your marriage would be changed by this sermon alone, I'm sorry to disappoint you. But marriages are changed by sermons that point both spouses to Christ as he is revealed in the Gospel. So I pray that that's what you see this morning, that you see your need for Christ and husbands, you don't see your need for a more submissive wife or wives, you don't see your need for a more considerate husband but you both, we both see our need for a Savior and both see our need for Christ.