by: Dr. Allen Domelle
1 Peter 3:1
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;”
Marriage is one of those relationships that can be thoroughly enjoyed if both husband and wife will fulfill their roles. The world has tried to redefine the roles of the spouse, but their redefinition has led to many dysfunctional marriages and divorce. The first seven verses of 1 Peter 3 show the roles that both a husband and wife must fulfill to have a happy marriage.
The first role is found in the verse above when God commands the wife to be “in subjection” to her “own” husband. Sadly, some ladies will follow the leadership of other men better than they will their own husband. Ladies, don’t allow the familiarity of marriage cause you to treat another man with more respect than your husband. You should submit to your husband’s leadership more quickly than you would any other person.
There are three ways you should submit to you husband. First, submit to him in word. The verse above talks about obeying with your word. In other words, don’t allow yourself to become the lady who voices her disapproval when your husband makes a decision. Second, submit in action. Let your conversation or actions show your submission. I’ve seen ladies do what their husbands want, but their actions show their total displeasure with his decision. This will not allow for a happy marriage. Third, submit with your spirit. The lady who has the submissive spirit will not pressure her husband into doing something he doesn’t believe would be good to do. How you submit to your husband is an indicator of your submission to God.
God then addresses the husband’s role in the marriage. Many husbands want a submissive wife, but they don’t give their wife a reason to follow. If the husband fulfilled his role, he would find his wife would be more willing to submit.
The first thing a husband should do is spend time with his wife. God commands the husband to “dwell with them.” Men, you should desire to be with your wife more than you want to be with anyone else. You didn’t marry her to spend time doing things away from her. Your marriage will suffer greatly if you don’t learn to make time to spend with your wife. Moreover, you should learn your wife’s habits. One reason men struggle to get along with their wife is that they’ve never learned her habits. Learn how she responds to your leadership. Realize she needs time to come around to your decisions. If you learn what her responding habits are, you wouldn’t be so frustrated with her when she doesn’t immediately follow. Furthermore, don’t expect your wife to be like you. She is the “weaker vessel.” Many men ruin their marriage because they expect their wife to be like them. You must realize that she will not be like you because God made ladies to be different from men. Accept her for who God made her to be. Finally, be a team player. You are supposed to be “heirs together.” Don’t be the lone ranger who does everything yourself, but include your wife in all that you do.
Marriage is a lifelong relationship, and in any relationship there must be roles that each person fulfills if they want that relationship to continue. These roles that God gives will make any marriage happy. When the roles in a marriage are clearly defined and followed, it makes it much easier to get along.