Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.
What's precious to God is the inward unfading beauty of your spirit. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Brinn, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, The Elect Exiles, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. Now, if you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It could be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.
So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program, but right now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. Now that sin's in the world, there's a lot of pain in the world. And so in this most precious of times, there's going to be pain.
You're going to see that. So your productivity in this way that is unique to women, 100% unique to women, all right, to carry and bear a child in the world, there's going to be some pain associated with that. And then he says this, and your desire shall be contrary to your husband. And what some texts would say probably more accurately, your desire will be for your husband or to be before him or to be over him. So think in this broad category, I'm trying to take you to a deep place with this, that to the women, that this precious thing, you're going to remember that because sin came in the world, something that wasn't supposed to have any pain with it is going to have pain. And honestly, for mothers, it is probably true to say that they're for the most part, no happier than their happiest child, because you're so wrapped up in that. And the way that pain gets expressed through motherhood, it was never supposed to be there, it was supposed to be a perfect world. But there's a second thing, so associate with your productivity, but a second association here is that you are going to have a temptation to try to be controlling or manipulative, to have the place that you're going to be bothered about the man's place.
And to the man, to Adam in verse 17, he said, curse is the ground because of you. What's that? That's his workplace. That's his work. That's his job.
That's what he does. He's a farmer. And in pain, you'll eat of it, thorns and thistles, things going to be pricking you and bothering you in it. And by the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread. So to the man, he said, work, which existed in paradise, right? Work's not the curse.
He was already a gardener before sin came in the world. But it's after sin came in the world, your work's going to feel like work. And so men are so tempted to get in great consternation over their work, to be obsessed with their work, and to perhaps lose their families over their work, and to be jealous of someone else's success in work in some ways that on the average, women are not. And the women can become so full of worry or pain about their family that it robs them of life.
And the man can be so worried or concerned about his work, and on average of saying this is the way it is, and studies prove it out, of course. But it's important to understand that this is where it all fell apart. The propensity for gender differences in their particular expressions of sin and pain looks a little different.
And so now all of that is background to me to try to go quickly through this text, and hopefully this gives you the building blocks to begin to understand a text like this. God made this world beautiful by design to be dappled, and that He made men and women therefore differently distinct, and it is only sin that sees a problem with that. And God celebrates it, and yet because of sin, there would be confusion about these roles, and there would be—it would explain why there could even be hatred and so much fear in the world and in our lives, rather than just tremendous joy in all of it. And so I know this text is speaking particularly to husbands and wives, but I think that all of us, and usually when I'm preaching, about half the people who hear me are single, but I do think it is relevant to just think about this from the deepest perspective of men and women. Wives, verse 1, be subject to your own husbands. We saw last time in the text that said be subject to emperors, it does not mean absolute obedience. In fact, this is a text that is being addressed, this specific text is being addressed to wives who have become Christians in the first century and whose husbands are not.
That's the specific context of that, and it's very important to keep that in mind. And it's saying be subject to your own husbands because it's not applying to the way in which you would be relating to others, but to your own husband who is not a believer, here is what God is saying. That's what it comes across. And so it doesn't mean absolute obedience. As we saw last time, there are times like we're to honor human institutions and governments, but not if they're telling us to do things that aren't of God. They're very clear in the Word.
And the same here. Which is interesting here, just look at the general message of it that Peter's saying wives be in submission to your unbelieving husbands, but he's not saying be in submission to the fact that they're not believers and therefore you shouldn't be a believer. You see? So the whole thing is like, there's no instance in Scripture where being submissive carries that tone of being obedient, that's where all the abuse has come in. And so just be clear about that, that there's no sense in which this never means that wives are to cooperate with their husband's sin or to accept mistreatment, abuse of any type, or you're not called to live with no boundaries.
That is no way would this mean. What this means is women, as we're going to go on here and learn in the next verse, you have an inward, soft, and respectful demeanor that is honoring of your husband's virtues and instead of becoming, when you're frustrated with something or you'd like to see it different, instead of becoming ramping up manipulation or control or nagging, instead of beating him over the head with the Bible, you're going to have a much better chance of winning your husband to the Lord through the unfading beauty that's inside of you that's very much like Jesus. That's what it's saying. And then we move to verse three. Do not let your adorning be external, the braiding of hair and 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 is in God's sight very precious. So that's very, very precious that you have a superpower of inward beauty.
And it's sad, and I think abusive, that women have been so objectified throughout the history. But what's precious to God is the inward unfading beauty of your spirit. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. With so much worry about yesterday's failures and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks. Sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most right now in a hurried, worried season. God invites you into the present.
Modern day life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness living in the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment in the moment every day of your life. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues.
Here once again is Alan Wright. This is not saying it's wrong to wear jewelry. If it's wrong to like and wear nice jewelry, my wife's in trouble. Ann's great grandfather started a jewelry store in Roanoke Rapids that her grandfather ran his whole life.
And Ann grew up going in that store and peering up on her tiptoes and looking into those glass cases and seeing all those things sparkling. And she loves jewelry. And I love buying my wife jewelry. If I had all the money in the world, I'd just buy her a nice piece of jewelry.
She loves it. This is not saying it's wrong to love beauty or beautiful things. That's not at all what it's saying. It's probably a reference to women would, in that time, they'd braid their head and interweave it with gold sometimes.
She's not even saying that that particularly was wrong. What is he saying? What's the Lord saying here? He's drawing the contrast between trying to win your husband over by either beating him over the head with a Bible or nagging him.
Or if that doesn't work, that maybe you'll just use your outward charms and your sensuality. And he's saying that's not going to win him spiritually. So if you want to know the temptations towards the feminine soul, I think what we're seeing in the Word is that there is going to be a challenge in our sin to misuse outward sensuality or to try to disrespect the husband through controlling behaviors. And then we come to verse five, which I go quickly through these kind of confusing verses. This is how holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves by submitting their own husbands as Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him Lord. Well, that reference is really kind of odd because the one time that she used the word Lord for Abraham, Abraham wasn't even there. And what you need to understand is that the word Lord really just means sir in this context.
It's a word that can just be a term of respect for a man. Our dear friends Bishop J.C. Hash and his wife Joy are so precious, been leading St. Peter's World Outreach Center, one of the great, great churches in our country that we partner with all the time. And we just love their friendship. And you know, it's so good when you when you have people who have different cultures, different church cultures, you learn so much from them. And I'll tell you, one thing you really learn from St. Peter's and from them is the culture of honor is just so beautiful.
They're just so, so honoring. And so sometimes we were first surprised when we would notice this that sometimes Joy, who they'll call Lady Hash, if she was in public talking about J.C. and she might just call him Bishop, she said, Bishop and I are going to be leading a group on such and such. Well, that seemed a little odd to me, but I was taken by that, right? But it'd be like if, you know, Anne were just up here and she said, as Pastor Alan was preaching last week, this is important truth. What she's doing is she's holding an honor that office, right? But I guarantee you, my wife does not call me Pastor Alan at home.
Something would be mixed up, right? And I think that's the sense in which St. Sarah called him sir. It just was about it's about honor.
And husbands, verse seven, live with your wives in an understanding way. To understand means to stand under. And in the oldest English sense, under meant in the midst of. If you say something's underway, you don't mean it's like under something submerged. If you say, well, under those circumstances, I would say you kind of mean in the midst of it. So to understand is to stand in the midst of.
It is to listen and to learn. What this is saying is that husbands learn and grow and be a student of your wife and what she loves and what she needs and who she is and what her love language is and what she's missing and what makes her hurt and what makes her happy and what she likes to do and all the ways she's different than you that you don't think that way and think about all these things. Don't let your masculinity that has the capacity to sometimes just move on with something. Don't let that ever cause you to give short shrift to understanding her. And keep seeking to learn about her. Our uncle Stanley told me on the eve of our wedding, and he said, don't ever act like you know everything about each other.
You've got a lifetime to continue learning. And people are different. What makes one woman feel honored might not make another one feel honored, but it's important to know. My wife likes me to open the car door for her.
And I didn't know this early in our marriage. And then finally she just said, I like you to open the car door for me. Now, there might be another woman that would be insulted if you open the car door for him.
I can't figure it out in the world today. You know, somebody said, what do you think? I'm not strong enough to open my own car door, but my wife likes it. She likes it. She especially likes it if it's pouring rain for me to go over and stand in the pouring rain while holding an umbrella over her and she gets in. She likes that. So I open the car door for her. Understand, seek to understand.
Why? Understand what they need. Understand who they are. Don't be an insensitive clod and excuse it because you're just a man.
I'm not sensitive. No, that's what he's saying. And it says then this is at first can feel controversial to you, to the woman as the weaker vessel. Well, the first place men are also called vessels in the Bible, so that's not a negative term.
And so to say weaker vessel, it means one of two things and it might mean both. It might be just simply referencing that on the average, on average, men are physically stronger than women on average. Now I was at the golf driving range the other day, hitting my driver and I was feeling kind of weak. And, um, there was a little girl, a teenager next to me, and I thought, boy, she got a nice swing. And I looked at her and I noticed she was hitting it 20 yards further than I was.
And she probably could open the pickle jar better than I. And there are a lot of women could beat me up, but it could. It could mean here that on average, uh, men are stronger physically. And, uh, why, why could we not celebrate that sin? But it also, and this is what Sam Storm says, this probably means is especially in the first century now also, but especially in the first century, women didn't have the social rights. It's really bad.
It's really grievous managed to make you cry to think of it. A woman didn't have rights, couldn't vote, couldn't hold office, couldn't do all these things. So he's saying that sociologically the women were in a weaker position. So what he's saying is whether it has to do with not being a physically as strong or whether there's not being able to hold the same places in society, whatever you do, man, you show honor to her. You never, ever use your masculinity, which might make you physically stronger than her or the place that society had given you. You never use that to put her down, to try to win the day.
You don't, instead you honor. Because, says, she is the same as you, an heir of the grace of life. And, um, this is to say that you are both spiritual heirs in the exact same way. You just are made differently. So in summary, women, you might have a tendency, this text is saying, if your husband's an unbeliever and you're a believer, to try to start controlling them into being a believer or being overbearing or to try to just use your outward wiles or sensuality.
And that's not, that's not going to work, but you have an, you have a superpower of unfading spiritual beauty inside of you that is immensely spiritually attracting. And men, sometimes you might be physically stronger and historically you've had a, uh, a greater place of privilege in society that thankfully that is changing. But you love your wives in such a way that you seek to understand with gentleness, you never use your strength to overpower.
You use it for her advantage. And, um, and Paul says, love your wives as Christ loved the church. We're out of time, but this, this all must be said that verse one and verse seven, you see this word that I didn't mention until now. Likewise, wives be subject to your own husband. Likewise, husbands live with your wives in an understanding way.
What's the likewise? What Peter's saying here is in the preceding verses, you just saw the nature of Jesus who humbled himself. He was the one who could have called down a legion of angels, but instead said, father, forgive them. Father, forgive them. Father, forgive them that he was a servant, that he was humble, that he showed honor. And so whether man or woman, there is how you have been saved. Don't think you're going to help anybody in some other way because Christ, he didn't control you. He didn't just dazzle you.
And he certainly didn't overpower you by his brute strength. He died for you. And that's the gospel. Alan Wright and our good news message today is titled the winners without words. It's from the series, the elect exiles and Pastor Alan's back in a moment, sharing a parting good news thought for the day.
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It's free and just a click away at pastorallen.org. With so much worry about yesterday's failures and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks. Sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most right now. In a hurried, worried season, God invites you into the present.
Modern day life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness living in the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment in the moment every day of your life. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Back now with Pastor Alan and our parting good news thought for the day is we can put the conclusion here to the winners without words. And I think there may be something to be said for celebrating the differences that we have, that God made us differently. We have different strengths and weaknesses on that. I think that there has been a lot of error errors in gender stereotyping. And as we've shared in this message, there have been too many occasions, even in our own beloved country where women have been devalued or mistreated. And that's led to some of the confusion of where we are now. I just often wonder, you know, if we had, as men, always loved our wives as Christ loved the church in such depth and sacrificial life-giving virtue, would we have some of the discussions and the disparaging things that we have being said of one another?
I don't think so. God has a beautiful design and our souls are different in the same way our bodies are different. And then ultimately in Christ, spiritually, we're all the same. This is a beautiful plan of God, celebrate the differences. And it's not confining, it's liberating to us when we understand it. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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