I would very much like to encourage readers to go back and read the previous post. You won’t be able to fully appreciate this piece without reading the other. It serves as a companion and this post will also help to conclude the marriage theme. Thanks!
(Once again, I apologize for the lack of beard in this photo)
Now, last week we talked about the role of a husband. I’ll attempt to recap just a bit. A husband is, biblically, called to “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.”(Ephesians 5:25) A husband should be in the practice of dying to himself daily in order to serve his wife. There’s no longer any “me time” when it comes to being a husband. We’ve died to ourselves. We now live to nourish and cultivate our wives just as a farmer does with his land. All for the sake of the gospel. Now I would like to address the better half of all marriages: wives. You may be thinking, what gives me the right to write (see what I did there?) about what wives should or should not do? You’re right. I have absolutely no experience when it comes to being a wife. I’ve never done it. I won’t ever will. With that being said, I have brought a very special guest to write this piece with me: my very own wife. She may not have a beard, but she’s so awesome that she doesn’t even need one to write for The Bearded Christian. While I may be able to speak on the biblical model of being a wife, Tabitha will be able to do far much more when it comes to dealing with practical application. So I’m going to start us off and then my bride will take over. So, wives, let’s talk bible:
Ephesians 5:22-33, “(22) Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself the Savior. (24) Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (25) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, (26) that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water in the word, (27) so that He might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (28) In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. he who loves his wife loves himself. (29) For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, (30) because we are members of His body. (31) ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ (32) This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (33) However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Taylor: Man, that is a beautiful passage. Wives and future wives, I want to stress that the husband portrayed in this passage is the husband that men should strive to be. Do not settle for less. Do not settle for a husband that is not sacrificing himself for your sanctification in order to present you as spotless before Christ. But you are also called to a submission, to a sacrifice. When we submit to God, we turn ourselves over to Him. Our lives our no longer our own. We do this trusting that God knows what is best for us-this is the same when you submit to your husband. I implore you, women of God, to have a gentle and loving spirit when approaching your husbands. Because we’re supposed to be Jesus. And we are so very far from it. We are going to mess up continually. We are going to say the very wrong thing. We’re also going to be discouraged. And your support will be so incredibly vital in order to keep us going. I don’t care what any man says, if he truly loves a woman then her encouragement is so very important to him. It means the world to him. So please do not try and step into the role that God has called your husband to. Let him do what he has been called to do. I know that with the rise of Hollywood heroines and feminist marches that the role of men has been downplayed, but as women of God you must allow your husband to be the spiritual leader in your house. Let him lead. Let him do…stuff! Let him get it wrong. Let him get lost (which is a joke because we never get lost). Don’t push him into the passenger seat. That’s not your job. Your job is much more important than that. Be a wife that draws a husband in. Let your love and encouragement strengthen. Let your love make him want to be like Jesus for you. Encourage that, trust that, and even when he is wrong, trust that. You get to portray the church, the true bride of Christ, in this gospel depiction. You get to show the world the beauty in submission. And I know it’s hard, I get it. It’s hard to submit when the world is full of a bunch of boys instead of men. But I urge you to keep the faith. Encourage your husband. Stand by your husband. Love your husband. More importantly, love Christ. Always remember that this is a window into which the world gets to see the gospel through your marriage. You, as the church, sees what your husband, as Christ, has done for you. You see the sacrificial love that he puts in to giving himself up for you. And just as the church submits to the will of Christ, you submit to and respect your husband. Not because it’s the ‘thing to do ‘, but because you are so overwhelmed by the love that is displayed that your natural response is to submit and serve in love. Once again, none of this is easy. The false truth “happy wife, happy life” seems so satisfying. Take into account that keeping you happy is not your husband’s job. His job is to present you as Christ’s bride without spot or wrinkle. He’s here for your sanctification. So that means there will be stuff that your heart desires that may make you happy, but ultimately will not aid you in your sanctification. Your husband, in his spiritual leadership, may make decisions that won’t make you overwhelmed with happiness. Just know that he is doing what it best for you. Trust him. Submit to him. The gospel is at stake. I will now turn it over to my much better half and allow her to tell you how she works these biblical truths out in our marriage.
Tabitha: Like Taylor said, that is such a beautiful passage of scripture! When I first read it, as a “baby Christian”, I didn’t understand it at all which in turn made me not appreciate it fully. I think for all of us ladies the word submit is what stops us in our tracks and keeps us from striving to understand this passage. The word submit has been so construed by our society and been given a negative connotation. The word submit in its original context in this passage means basically to willing give yourself over to your husband within his spiritual headship. Did you catch that ladies? Willingly! Your husband cannot make you submit to him, but you must because that is what God has commanded you to do. Why? Because being “the head of the household” is not what our society makes it out to be. My husband is the head of our house just like Christ is the head of the church. Do you know what Christ did as Head of the church? He delivered her from death, from the danger of sin, from hell itself! As Taylor is the head of me he protects me, provides for me, sustains me, and loves me sacrificially. With that being said, everyday I willingly love on my husband and encourage him. I willingly do the dishes and do my best to keep the house looking decent. I willingly cook him dinner and do the laundry. I willingly ask him how his day was and give him a kiss when he comes home from work/school. I willingly ask him before I make plans (something I’m still working on) and willingly accept his answer whether it’s a yes or a no. I willingly allow him to make all of our minor and major decisions. I willingly trust him every day to love me and serve me because I trust that God is working and moving Taylor to make decisions to glorify Himself. Taylor is not Jesus, so he does fail… a lot. I am not perfect, so I fail a lot also. But I love my husband so much that I trust that he will learn from his mistakes and that he will love me and allow me to learn from my mistakes. I love serving my husband. It brings me joy to know that he needs me almost as much as I need him.
While we serve our husbands, we must be showering them with love and encouragement. Our husbands are not perfect and whether they like to admit it or not, they need our love and encouragement just as much or maybe even more than we need their love and encouragement. While you are loving and serving your husband, be sure not to idolize him. Be sure to love and serve Christ more than you love and serve your husband, because Jesus is the one who actually died for you to live holy and blameless before God.
So, wives, we pray that you will continue to love your husbands and submit to him, as to the Lord. Be strong. Keep the faith. Love Christ.
Taylor & Tabitha