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God's Pattern for Wives, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2021 4:00 am

God's Pattern for Wives, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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April 19, 2021 4:00 am

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God has always desired that women have a meek and quiet spirit, God has always desired that they adorn the hidden person of the heart is always desired that they are submissive to their own husband. This is always been the standard for this is new. This is some bias or chauvinism. It's always been this way it comes to being a Christian wife. There are some specific attitudes God calls women to adopt. Of course, in a world where influential voices call those attitudes old-fashioned or inappropriate or even insulting today's Christian woman has probably never faced more resistance to being the kind of wife.

God wants her to be. If you're feeling that pressure today's grace to you broadcast is going to encourage you. John MacArthur helps you separate truth from falsehood on this issue of wives and submission. It's part of his most popular study over the years, titled the fulfilled family now with the message here's John MacArthur it's our privilege to turn in the word of God to the great portion of Scripture as the starting point for our message on God's pattern for wife Ephesians chapter 5 verses 22 through 24 and there the word of God says 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.

In the passage that I just read to you there several obvious points that are made here, but the overarching point is one about submission, we draw that from verse 21, where the general responsibility of all believers to one another is to submit. We submit mutually to each other being more concerned about the other than we are, our selves more concerned about the things of others than our own things looking not on the things which concern us but the things which concern others. All of that we learn from the book of Philippians chapter 2 we are to approach all of our relationships with humility with self abnegation if you will, unselfishness, self-denial and a desire to meet the need of the other person so the general spirit of all relationship should be one of submission and then in particular wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord, you will notice that the words be subject or submit in some versions is in italics, because it is not in the original. It's not in the original. It doesn't need to be there. He is just sad be subject to one another and then he says wives to your own husbands, and being subject is obviously implied. All of us submit at some point wives submit to their husbands just to follow willingly the leadership the headship of her husband, this and this alone can minimize the curse and reverse the conflict and we see, then, first of all, the matter of submission there in verse 22 the matter of submission clearly introduced the subject to your own husbands, very specific, by the way, she is not available to all men.

She is not told to be submissive to all men, only her own husband.

The man she possesses her own husband, the one that is hers, and there is in that very phrase a lovely sense of possession. He belongs to her yet. She submits to him in there again is that magnificent mutuality now as we look at Ephesians chapter 5 and consider these instructions.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

We find there are some supporting passages to these and we want to look at them for a moment before we go on the text in first Peter chapter 3, first Peter chapter 3. They further open this truth to us and help us to understand it. First Peter chapter 3 it says in the same way you wives be submissive to your own husbands, and again you have the very same issue. What is quite interesting is that little phrase in the same way. Go back to verse 13, submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king is the one in authority, or to governors is sent by him for the punishment of evildoers. The praise of those who do right. In other words, all of us submit to the authority of government.

Verse 18 servants, submit to your masters with all respect not only to those who are good and gentle but also those who are unreasonable. Now keep this in mind we all submit to the government to the king to the authorities to the governors verse 15 this is the will of God. We are to fear God and honor the King. Verse 17 set doesn't tell us what form of government. What kind of government what the moral standards of that government happen to be. It says we are to submit and then in verse 18. The same kind of submission to your employer, whether he is good and gentle or absolutely unreasonable.

This finds favor with God. If, for the sake of conscience toward God. A man bears up under sorrows when suffering justly, no matter how difficult your employer might be you bear out that finds favor with God. When you suffer unjustly, you are increasing your eternal reward, and then the most marvelous illustration of suffering unjustly, sometimes under the oppression of a government, sometimes under the oppression of an employer or a slaveowner in ancient times, but the greatest illustration is the Lord Jesus himself. Verse 21 Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example for you to follow in his steps. He shows us how to suffer unjustly. He shows us how to bear the burdening you of unfair leadership. He suffered committed no sin. Verse 22 was no deceit found in his mouth while being reviled. He didn't revile in return while suffering he uttered no threats but kept entrusting himself to him who judges righteously and in the process he himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. For by his wounds you were healed.

In other words, Christ suffered undeserved punishment he suffered. It without retaliation without reviling back, he uttered no threats, he just turned himself over to God took his suffering and in the end, it had a profoundly significant result. It redeemed souls out of the human race. And then you come to chapter 3, verse one. Remember, there are no chapter breaks in the original text in the same way you wives what you mean the same way as someone under the authority of government as an employee under the authority of an employer whether the government is good, bad or indifferent whether the employer is good and gentle but abusive and unreasonable in the same manner that Jesus suffered unjustly and did nothing but commit himself to God for God to bring out of that unjust suffering a glorious and you wives be submissive to your own husbands. The implication here is that really doesn't matter what kind of husband is you say will I have a I have a husband is disobedient to the things of God is indifferent to Jesus Christ, to is not kind and loving is not good and gentle all the more reason Peter says in 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 one without a word, by the behavior of their wives line up under them all the more reason if they are not saved if they do not obey the word of God.

Some are unsaved implied there, but it could also imply a person who had made a profession of faith in Christ and was not obedient to the Scripture. All the more reason to be submissive and again I remind you, as is fitting and fitting has its limits you not to be submissive if he commands you to do directly, that which opposes the word of God or command you not to do that which the word of God does command you to do. But apart from those things for which you are under the command of God, you must submit to your husband who Picasso again line up under him and the key in verses two and three as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior that's that's what you want them to see you want them to see your virtue, your purity and then in verse three and let not your adornment be merely external only external braiding the hair and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses, 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. You have a you have a husband who is a trial to you, either because he's unsaved or is a disobedient believer, he fails to fulfill all of your hopes and expectations for what you would want as a husband become short of what you hope for.

And maybe what you thought he was, and you are gravely disappointed you chafe under his authoritarianism he cares little for how you feel.

It seems all the more reason to be submissive all the more reason to demonstrate to him a meekness purity. A respectful kind of behavior all the more reason not only to adorn the outside, and please do that, we all appreciate it, but do more than that, more than putting on a pretty dress her wearing gold jewelry or doing your hair adorn your heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God and I might say every man's dream.

It doesn't mean you you have to kill your your personality doesn't mean you have to become a robot.

It doesn't mean you have to become boring. It doesn't mean you never give your opinion but there needs to be deep down in your heart, gentleness, quietness that hidden part is precious in the sight of God. God prefers a woman like that by first Timothy two says silent learning.

In subjection this is of great price. Verse five for in this way. In former times the holy women also who hope in God use to adorn themselves being submissive to their own husbands.

This is always been the standard folks, this isn't new.

This this isn't some Pauline Petrie bias or chauvinism. This isn't something they just came up with. It's always been this way God has always desired that women have a meek and quiet spirit, God has always desired that they adorn the hidden person of the heart with those imperishable qualities is always desired that they are submissive to their own husbands and again that same phrase their own husbands not to all men. Women collectively are not under the control of all men.

A wife is under the control of her husband in verse six gives us an illustration. Thus, Sarah obeyed Abraham, may I suggest to you here that the concept of submission comes eventually to the point of obeying. She called him Lord, there's a thought. Yes my will hurt some wrong with that distance and the sound modern doesn't call him Lord, she obeyed him and you have become her children. If you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. And that's that's what comes up when you do counseling and inevitably when you're talking to a woman about how she should respond to the leadership of her husband.

Whatever kind of leadership. It is she says what you don't understand it's very difficult and sometimes I'm afraid of where he is going to lead me. I'm afraid of where he is going to take me and that is precisely why this verse says just obey call him Lord, do what is right and don't be frightened by any fear because you put yourself in the place of the blessing and protection of God as Abraham was the father of the faithful. Sarah is the mother of the submissive. She's the promo type.

Abraham is the prototype of faith. She's the prototype of submission. No terror. The word is literally terror the universe six great piece great security's tremendous passage tremendous passage and it cannot be argued against it is to clear and to direct first Corinthians chapter 11 is another passage that demands our attention as we think about what it means to be submissive in first Corinthians chapter 11 versus three and following is a fascinating portion of Scripture dealing with the woman. Let's start with a brief reminder that in current women's liberation movement had arrived, and perhaps there were certain Christian women who were enjoying their new liberty in Christ and thinking they were now free in Christ, they thought they no longer perhaps had to be under the authority of their husbands and since they were one in Christ with them their spiritual equality gave them complete freedom and complete equality on all fronts and so they were overstepping their limits and as a result they were bringing reproach on the church and reproach on Christ and apparently in Corinthian society of veal was the symbol of submission, the symbol of modesty, the symbol of meekness, and in the past I've done some reading in the history of that period of time left found out that there were basically two kinds of women who didn't wear a veil, feminists, those protesting the role of women and harlots. Those prostituting the role of women. So protesters and prostitutes through off their veils. That's the backward verse three.

I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man and the man is the head of a woman in God is the head of Christ. Paul just saying this to show you that there is an authority and submission principle built in all the way from God on down.

This isn't something cultural, it is something just recently invented. There has always been in God's plan and God's economy, a place for submission and authority along that line verse for every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head, but every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying, disgraces her head, for she is one and the same with her, whose head is shaved now are getting a little more deeply into what was going on. The protesters in Paul's time were shaving their heads in protest against the feminine role verse six if a woman does not cover her head letter also have her hair cut off, but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off for her head shaved letter cover her head. In other words, there is no happy medium. If you take the thing off. You might as well go the whole way and shave your head because you have done as much as protest the purposes of God. God accepts the fact that that culture at certain ways to identify women. They were covered and they had long hair and that was the sign of their femininity when they wanted to protest that they threw off the veil and shave the head.

He says we can throw off your covering. You might as well then go ahead and shave your head and joined the prostitutes in the protesters so he says to the Christian women, you can't do that your culture has an understanding of the distinction between men and women that is a divine distinction, though the particular custom is not ordained by God. The distinction is and in whatever way your society maintains that distinction.

You be sure you hold it up, lest they conclude that you are fighting against that if you take off your covering they will conclude that you might as will shave your head and join the march. On the other hand, verse seven man ought not to have his head covered since he is the image and glory of God but the woman is the glory of man. Man is not to wear anything that marks submission is not to wear that which identifies a woman back in Deuteronomy. It says a woman is not wear anything that pertains to a man or vice versa.

So the order of creation has put man in the place of headship leadership woman in the place of submission.

She is to sustain the mark that submission which in that culture was long hair and the veil that makes sense. That suits the created order, and you Christian should not violate that if you going to violate that just because you think you're free in Christ. They go ahead and shave your head and join the prostitutes in the protesters you've done as much in discrediting the distinctions of God is made then in verse 10, he adds another thought. Therefore, the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head because of the Angels that's most interesting what it's saying is that the Angels recognize the authority and submission principle, the Angels no doubt have been told by God about how he is designed man and woman to live together, it would be a great curiosity to the angel since it among the Angels, there is neither marrying or giving in marriage, and so it is outside their realm of experience in comprehension and consequently there extremely curious about the whole relationship. They understand authority and submission. The understand the authority of God in Christ and the Holy Spirit. They understand that there even ranks of angels.

There are principalities and powers and rulers of their our cherubim and seraphim and they would understand all of that but with regard to man and woman and how they relate they are very concerned to see God's order manifesting the church. No doubt God has expressed to the Angels that the curse in the fall which through marriage and the chaos can be minimized through the power of the Holy Spirit through salvation and you can look at the church and see at least a glimpse of what my original intention for marriage was and so for the Angels maintain the symbol of authority on your head. Women maintain your femininity, whatever the symbols of your femininity are maintained that society and in most societies is longhair and the covering even the Angels recognize that principle and the purpose would be of course so that the Angels, and seeing this wonderful work in which God has has brought about the mitigation of the Courson and brought a man and a woman together without the conflict in the war and the hostility in Christ and by the spirit. This would cause the Angels to give praise and glory to God. So the glory of God among the Angels is the issue.

Then in verses 11 and 12. However, in the Lord just to make sure you don't mistress or misunderstand it neither is woman independent of man Norseman independent of woman for is the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman and all things originate from God. In other words, there is mutual dependence. The man leads the woman. The woman gives birth to the man.

Don't think that this means because there is authority and submission that there is inequality spiritually that there is inequality humanly that there is inequality personally.

There is not. There is not beautiful interdependence. What is distinct are the role snotty intelligence not the spiritual capability, not the mental capability, not the social capability, not the wisdom but the roles so Christian women must not think that there inequality in spiritual standing before God, and their great freedom in Christ has obliterated God's created and sustained and spiritually beneficial design for them. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us.

John's been our featured speaker since 1969. He's also Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary is titled our current series.

The fulfilled family now. The key point from today's lesson was this that men and women are spiritually equal. They have the same value to God and yet he designed them for different roles and so with that in mind John. What are some practical ways churches and Christian families can honor the dynamic roles that God is given women both at church and in the home.

While there's no shortage of information about what the Bible says men are due they are to lead they are to teach there to take oversight there to be in the in the headship of the home. God is head of Christ. Christ, the head of the man. A man's head of the woman is not so confusing which doesn't put the woman in any second-class situation because in Christ is neither male nor female but simply understands that there is an ordained designed by God that makes everything that marriage should be a possibility. For example there are the roles that the man plays which provide provision, protection, care, safety, hope for the future security and the woman provides the comfort the compassion the child rearing intimacy. All of the same insistent and magnificent and glorious dual role in the fact that there are differences is actually clear from biology, even apart from Scripture right yeah you know who this is not clear to this culture we live in today we want to deny it well. They flatly do, deny it, as if sexual's identity is something that you decide notices the other day and in the state of California. They want to pass a law that if a child is born with some of the malformation of their organs. There is a surgery that would those always been done in America to correct that because you can't change chromosome so they know they're either male or female, to make it against the law to do that because the child needs to make that decision on its own when he gets older the idea of confusing the sexes is that the very basic reality of God's creation strikes a blow against his intention. When you do everything we can to be sure that men are men and fathers of fathers, and women are women and they are mothers and they fulfill the divine roles I want to make a suggestion. We have a wonderful little book called as a gift book called extraordinary mother the extraordinary mother. I think were sneaking up on Mother's Day here so we would just let you know you can order some of these the beautiful gift book the extraordinary mother passed them out to the mothers you know or even get them for the mothers in your church. Free shipping on US orders right in the title. Again, the extraordinary mother to order one or more copies to encourage the moms in your life. This makes a great Mother's Day gift.

Contact us today to place your order online@jidety.org or call our toll-free number 855 grace the extraordinary mother costs nine dollars in hardcover and shipping is free to receive the extraordinary mother in time for Mother's Day. I encourage you place your order right away to get a copy for your wife or your mom call today 855 grace or go online to TTY.org and remember why you're at our website TTY.org there are thousands of free resources there that will help you grow spiritually. You can read three different daily devotionals written by John or check out our recent blog series on God's compassion. You can also watch videos from John's conference appearances or download any of John's sermons including every lesson from his current series on the fulfilled family.

All of that and more is free of charge@ourwebsitetty.org now for John MacArthur and the grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson saying thanks for starting your week with Grace to you and join us at the same time tomorrow when John continues to look at a biblical pattern for wives.

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