April 16, 2024

Godly Wife: Is He Your Master?

This entry is part 1 of 18 in the series Godly Wife

I told you this would be hard. In I Peter 3:5-6 Peter commends Sarah as being a holy woman by saying that she obeyed Abraham by calling him lord.

We’ve come a long way from this. It used to be that part of the vows that a wife took were to obey her husband. Now it’s a joke that they do not. Whether it’s feminism or just the fact that we have been trained to think of the partners as equals, this statement and the idea of there being a division and hierarchy in the family is gradually being replaced, even in Christian circles, by equality and emphasis on the women.

Here are the musings of ckhnat on this issue:

Sarah called Abraham “lord” (sometimes translated “master”). Should wives today follow Sarah’s example in calling their husbands “lord”? What does this title mean to a woman? For Sarah, it was a sign of her submission. To comply to her husband’s wishes, to please her mate, to encourage him, to yield to his preferences–some modern women might be willing to sign their names on the dotted line to the above. However, to call him “lord”?

Now, I’m not suggesting that husbands should force their wives to not address them by their first names, to call them only “master” or “lord”, but what I do think is appropriate for discussion here is what her saying the term meant and how it should be applied today.

Obviously the term connotes submission– to the Lord and to her lord. It showed what was stated in Genesis about the woman’s desire being toward the man was there. It was part of what was necessary after the fall, and for families to function.

Ladies, if you lump your husband in with your children as far as telling him what to do and when to do it– you’re not treating him with the respect God told you to have for him. You need to respect him, love him, build him up. He can be the person you expect him to be, but he doesn’t get that way by being belittled.

If you want your man to be a man, he can get that way by being encouraged when he makes decisions, by knowing that you stand with him, by hearing that you trust him, and by following his lead– regardless if you know better, and without hearing “I told you so.”

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10 thoughts on “Godly Wife: Is He Your Master?

  1. Wow! Do I HAVE to answer that one?! A whole lot was said in just a couple paragraphs. And it gave me a whole lot to think about and pray about. I wish young women, preparing for marriage would really think about that question before they walk down the aisle. Are they marrying someone that is a Believer, someone that they respect and someone they can follow and call ‘Lord’? To remember that it is not demeaning them, but giving them the freedom to be what God wants them to be. And to remember that they are showing submission to God the Father through that submission to their husband. Great series!!

  2. Thanks so much for the reminder! Lately, I have been seeing such a turn of women focusing on what they should have and what is “owed” to them, discussion on edifying and respecting one’s husband seems to be slipping by the wayside a bit. Anyway, thanks for bringing up this important topic! 🙂

  3. This is a tough post to write from a man’s perspective, as you probably can guess. And yet, at the same time, you wives need to know how your man thinks and feels.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Deborah and Jenna. I plan to be as tough on the men as I am on the women. Let me know if you have some things that you wish your men knew or took into account!

  4. I highly respect my husband’s judgement, but he’s the first one to pick up on any instance in which he thinks I’m second-guessing him. It’s really opened my eyes to how important it is to our husbands to know we trust their judgement.

    Debi Pearl’s book, Created to Be His Helpmeet, goes into detail when she explores her definition of the “three types of husbands”. She labels them: Mr. Steady, Mr. Command, and Mr. Visionary. My dh is a great blend of Steady and Visionary. I learned that even when Mr. Visionary’s goals are hard to appreciate and understand, we wives need to back them 100%. It was definitely a perspective that helped me understand and more appreciate that side of him.

    Great series. You have a real gift for getting to the heart of these topics you choose!

  5. Good stuff. As I read in another post somewhere, this all starts in the mind, bringing every thought into captivity. It is easy to fall into the trap that says, “Well, I am not saying or doing disrespectful things about him or to him.” But the whole time we are disrespecting him in our thoughts. It’s hard to remember that in a marriage, both partners married sinners. We expect, no demand perfection from the other as our “right”. We forget that the Christian life is not about our rights, but about our bringing honor to the King and His kingdom in all things. Such good things to remember.

  6. Just as long as you’re not required to salute, Meg! 🙂

    Seriously– modeling correct Biblical roles to our kids is probably one of the most difficult things to do in that we fail! However, it’s also one of the most rewarding because actions speak louder than words.

  7. I did vow to obey my husband. Doug and I took our vows straight from Ephesians 5. I also highly recommend Debi Pearl’s book Created to be His Helpmeet. Doug happens to be a cross between Visionary and Commander! Supposedly these are the most exciting husbands! I sure enjoy our adventure together!

    Now that I have a daughter I have to think even more carefully about how I express respect towards my husband. How I treat him and such. I have considered going so far as to call him “Sir” as a sign of my respect and submission, but I feel quite silly doing it! Though it is certainly VERY helpful as a reminder of my submission. A reminder to myself!

    Mrs. Meg Logan

  8. What happens when you give him the upmost respect but yet you get treated like crap in return. How can you submit to God and your husband when he’s a selfish pig who cares about material things more than his family?

    1. This is a very hard situation indeed. You see, our obedience lies not in whether someone else is obedient– that wouldn’t be agape (or self-sacrificing) love. Jesus loved us when we were unlovely, and He is our standard.

      That being said, if he is asking you to sin, you have firm foundation to refuse. If he is in sin, you may need to involve others in your church to talk with him to get him to see what’s happening.

  9. You said this would be hard…but I so disagree! I long for submission to my beloved..it is a huge part of the flame of love that burns between us, and such delight to my heart to give myself to him and to obey his authority. This is no cross…obedience to my head is such sweet pleasure. I am so blessed to have a man too who is not ashamed for me to look to him in this way, who finds my desire towards him a pleasure to his soul as well. It is our Eden, our paradise of God`s fulfillment for our hearts in this beautiful dance of His perfect design…loving authority and eager submission met together in tender hearted passion and love. It is my priviledge and ecstasy to kiss him and call him my lord, in our Lord`s pleasure and kindness.

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