Holy Wives Who Hope In God

Dr. Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor

1 Peter 3:1-6 | January 14 - Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning,
January 14
Holy Wives Who Hope In God | 1 Peter 3:1-6
Dr. Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor

Our Father in heaven, give us now ears that we might hear and receive Your Word. We do not want to be those who are hearers only, look at our face in the mirror and then turn away and forget what we have seen. May we be doers of this Word. Speak to us, give us humble hearts. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

This morning we begin a short series on marriage. From time to time, I think it’s good to take a brief break from a longer series. We’ve been in the Gospel of John since the beginning of the fall, and we will be in it, Lord willing, for many months ahead, and so from time to time I like to take two, three, four weeks. It helps to break up a long series, it helps you to feel like, you know, you’re not going to just hear from the Gospel of John for the next 14 years or something, and it also gives an opportunity, perhaps, to mark an important anniversary, like we did with the Reformation, or from time to time to remind us of some of the most important foundational things of our faith. And so you’ll find over the years that I’ll probably take little breaks and do a few weeks on evangelism, or prayer, or the Bible, or missions, or as we’re doing this morning, marriage.

After your relationship with God, there is no more important relationship than the one you share with your spouse. If we could have all of the married people here take a piece of paper and write down a number between 1 and 100, ranking your happiness quotient, how happy are you? Give yourself a one if it’s really bad, 100, if, I don’t know, you were just in Hawaii or something. But just your happiness in life. If you were to do that, and you don’t have to do it right now, you already have the tithe cards to fill out later, and the best thing to do with those tithe cards is before you put it in, just go and put one more zero on the end of it, and you just put that in. If you were to fill out a happiness quotient, maybe you want to talk to your spouse afterward and indicate the number. If you were to just talk about how happy you are in life, my hunch is that there would be a very strong correlation to that number and how happy you are in marriage.

Now certainly, even in a good marriage, you go through seasons that are hard or just difficult things or illnesses in your family, but it is almost impossible, almost impossible, to be happy in life if you are unhappy in marriage. And conversely, if you have a good marriage, you are very, very likely to be fairly happy most of the time. And one of the things we’ll see in this series is that the secret to a happy marriage is actually not to focus so much on whether you are happy in marriage, but on whether you are holy in marriage, as is the case in so much of the Christian life. We find ourselves most freed, most joyful, most happy, as we begin to look away from ourself and look to Christ.

I’ve entitled this short series “Marriage: To the Glory of God,” and this morning we turn our attention to “Holy Wives Who Hope in God.” Next week will be “Godly Husbands Who Understand,” and that will be from verse 7, and then a third week, a little different, “Living for the Lord When You’re Not Married.” So, yes, we’re going to take one of the weeks in this marriage series to talk about “well, what if I’m not married?”

As we begin this series, let me give you one question to consider: Do I actually care about holiness in my marriage? That is to say, do I actually want to be a godly husband or godly wife, or as we get to week three, a godly single. So often this is the heart of the problem. We aren’t really interested in what God has to say about marriage. We’re interested in getting our marriage fixed, we’re interested in not fighting so much, we’re interested in having better relationships, but we often value short-term happiness more than long-term holiness and it is the secret of the Christian life that if you focus on long-term holiness, you actually find yourself much more long-term happiness. So often we want our needs met more than we want to serve. We may want to go to counseling because we want our spouse to be set right. It’s not often that we go to counseling and say, “well, I called us here together to have marriage counseling because I just want you to help me learn how to die to myself more.” Not usually. We’re not often looking for the hard thing, which is usually the godly thing to do.

So before we do anything else we need to think about whether we really want to be godly. Let me just put this out there: Don’t come to the church for help with your marriage if you don’t want to be godly. That ought to be one of the first questions we ask. Do you want your marriage to glorify God? If you say, “Well, I just want it to get fixed and I want her to stop doing that, and I want him to stop being such an oaf.” If you just want to learn how to talk to each other better, okay, there’s some common sense principles and there’s any number of counselors all over the world who can help you with that. Do you want your marriage to glorify God? Because that’s what God is interested in, that’s what the Bible’s interested in, that’s what the church is interested in. The church is interested in nurturing godly husbands, holy wives. We want to equip couples so that their marriage can be lived to the glory of God. And that’s why we turn to the Bible.

So if you’re not there already, turn to 1 Peter, chapter 3. We’ll be looking at verses 1 through 6. Yes, I know the wives get six verses, the husbands get one. It may not seem fair but maybe that’s indicative of how much the husbands can handle. So the wives get the first six verses in 1 Peter, chapter 3. Follow along as I read.

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the Word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”

The title for the sermon is “Godly Wives,” or “Holy Wives Who Hope in God.” What does that a godly wife look like? Let me show you three things from this text. First we will look at the actions of a godly wife, second the adornment of a godly wife, and third the attitude of a godly wife.

So first, the actions of a godly wife. This is in verses 1 and 2. It’s put very succinctly in verse 1, “wives, be subject to your own husbands.” If you see later in verse 5 it uses the word “submitting” to their own husbands, it’s actually the same Greed word, it can be translated subject or submit. It is the main quality highlighted in this passage. Not it bears mentioning it’s not the only quality. We don’t want to see everything through the lens of submission, but neither can we ignore this command. It’s emphasized here because it is the theme of this whole section. If you have your Bibles, look at chapter 2, verse 13: “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution.” And then verse 18: “Servants, be subject to your masters.”

And that’s why chapter 3 begins with “likewise,” because this is a section, as you have the heading in the Bible, about “Submission to Authority.” All of us have relationships of authority. Every single one of us. We have authority over us in different spheres, whether it’s in the church, in the home, in the state, certainly with God as our ultimate authority. And so it’s emphasized here that the wife is supposed to be submissive to her husband. Many of you will know that this is further detailed in Ephesians chapter 5—there the church submits to Christ, so in the same way the wife submits to her husband. It is an essential aspect of living marriage to the glory of God.

Let me also say in passing, I think it is emphasized so much in the New Testament letters because the address to the wives, and next week we’ll see to the husbands, are addressed to our particular sinful inclinations. That’s why the husbands commands have to do with cherishing, with understanding, with loving. Because go back to the Garden… What is the particular sinful proclivity of the man? Well, look at Adam, and his sin. The sinful inclination of the husband is to be either a dictator or a doormat. To be either a doormat who just gets walked all over, doesn’t have any leadership, doesn’t have any strength, doesn’t have any spiritual maturity, or to be the sort of dictator, bossing around, thinks that makes him really macho and manly, and so, of course, if those are your default sinful dispositions that we see already working out in Adam, then the instruction to the man is going to be love, cherish, understand.

And if, as a result of the fall, the wife’s inclination may be to try to usurp the husband’s authority and claim for her own what does not belong to her, then her command, unique to her specific inclination, is to submit.

Now if you look at verses 1 and 2, you see this command has a specific focus here. Now, yes, it is for wives everywhere, but what Peter is doing is really to take the hard case. Okay, it’s one thing, submit yourself to a wonderful, mature, Christian husband, who makes you breakfast in bed and brings you flowers and never forgets an anniversary, and is just wonderful all the time. Have you found that man? There are not many around. That would be relatively easy. But what if that’s now what your husband is like? What if he’s only like that, like once a decade? Or what if, now Peter takes the hard one, what if you’re married to a non-Christian? That’s the implication here, that this person does not know the Lord. Now it’s not advocating for a second that we ought to marry non-Christians, but as would happen here, somebody came to know Christ and it was the wife and it wasn’t the husband. That’s what we presume has happened.

And so what is she to do now? She doesn’t have the perfect scenario. She doesn’t have the ideal husband. In fact, she’s married to a non-Christian. Well, even here, Peter says, that wives are to be submissive to their own husbands. He says “that they be won,” look at verse 1, “won without words.” You take this within the context. It’s not saying wives can never speak, they can never correct their husband, they can never offer an opinion, of course that would be unhealthy. What it is saying is that sometimes, in their newfound passion for Christ, a wife, and it could happen, too, to the husband if he becomes a Christian and not the woman, but here it’s the wives, perhaps run roughshod over their unbelieving husbands. I’ve seen it before. Someone says “Pastor, what should I do? My husband is not a Christian?” or maybe they just come and say “Pastor, what should I do? I feel like I know the Bible so much better than my husband, and I feel like he won’t lead.” That’s probably the more common scenario in churches.

Well, in their zeal, sometimes wives overstep their bounds, and say “well, I’ve had him watch “Fireproof” 14 times and I unplug the TV and said until he reads this John Piper book I’m not plugging it back in. I give him a C.S. Lewis book every year for Christmas and his birthday and anniversary. What else should I do?” And into that, God’s Word says you know what, step back and why don’t you pray more? And try a little less. Be godly. Not that you can never speak. Certainly you should articulate the Gospel at some point. But it’s a fine line between articulating the Gospel and belittling your husband because you think, or indeed he is, less spiritual than you are. So it says strive to make Christianity as attractive as possible.

It’s the old adage in writing a story, or writing something, you know, show not tell. Now it’s extreme, you really should do both, but the adage suggests, you know, don’t tell people that something is wonderful, write in such a way, describe it in such a way, that they read your story and they say, that’s amazing. So in the same way it goes a little ways to tell your unbelieving spouse how great Christianity is and how much you need it and all that it’s done. But Peter says even more importantly, after they understand the Gospel, is that you demonstrate to them how the Gospel has changed you. This is true not just for wives but for any of us. Sometimes it happens as students go off to college and they grow in their faith by leaps and bounds, or they become a Christian, and then they go home and instead of showing that this new Gospel, this new faith has made them a better son, a better daughter, just like a wife now it’s made me a better wife, we become opinionated, obnoxious, we think we’re liberated from proper authority structures. We feel as if it’s our job to be the Holy Spirit in everyone’s life and to nag about everything, and it doesn’t give off an aura of “hey, I want more of this in my life,” it just says “hey, I liked you before you had all this Jesus, because now you’re really obnoxious.”

So the Gospel ought to make us more loving, more sensitive, more respectful. The aim is that the husband would say “my wife is different and it’s a good different, and even though I’m not sure that I really want to accept all this mumbo-jumbo about Jesus, I can’t deny that it sure has done an amazing thing in her life.” Win over your husband without words, by a submissive spirit.

Now I need to say here what submission is not, okay, what it’s not. It does not mean you give up independent thought. It does not mean you give up trying to influence. In fact, isn’t that what this is about? The wife wants to influence the husband. It doesn’t mean that the wife blindly gives in to every demand. We’ll see in verse 6 that the wife is not to be timid or fearful, it’s not that kind of relationship we’re after. We’ll see in verse 7 next week that she is a co-heir, she is equal with the husband.

So note this very well, okay, this is a sermon for wives, but husbands I want you go get this in particular: Submission in marriage is freely given, not forcibly taken. It is not a command. The command is not “husbands, see to it that your wives submit to you.” There’s a lot of mischief, sometimes abuse, happens if husbands think that’s what the command is. The command is that the wives would freely, graciously, genuinely, intelligently, of their own accord, submit themselves. It is the wife’s command to give, not the husband’s command to enforce. And we know from the rest of Scripture that submission is not without limits. Wives are not obligated to accept a husband’s sinful behavior just like you’re not obligated to, you know, to follow your elders if they’re reaching heresy, or to submit to the governing authorities if they command you to violate God’s law.

So the wife submits to her husband, but not in violation of God’s law. Wives submit to their husbands not because they are inferior or less intelligent or less spiritual. They submit out of reverence to God. You see this in chapter 2, verse 13: “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution.” So this whole section of authority and submission has waving over it as a banner that line: “For the Lord’s sake.” A wife submits to the husband not because the husband is automatically deserving of it, or automatically more spiritual or more knowledgeable or prays more. In fact, he often doesn’t. But the wife freely gives this submission out of reverence to God.

The reason that Peter spends most of his time in chapter 2 and 3 focusing on those who submit rather than those in authority is first of all because that was the situation they were in. In the early church there weren’t many people who had positions of great authority. And I think it’s also because it’s in keeping with the ethic of the Christian life. How do we as Christians embrace weakness in a way that is still faithful, respectful, and gentle? This is the action of the godly wife, to be subject to her own husband.

Second category, action and then adornment. This is verses 3 and 4. How ought the godly wife to adorn herself? Well, you look at verse 3—it begins with a negative, “not like this,” not external. And then it says about braids and jewelry and clothing. Now we know that Peter is not making an absolute prohibition against braids, as women here start “oh, no, wrong week to do my hair,” because it literally says “or clothing” so we know Peter is not saying women cannot wear clothing. No, that’s a good idea actually.

What he’s saying is your beauty, your focus, is not to be upon these things. Peter is not saying that Christians have to be as ugly as possible. Beauty is praised throughout the Bible—Esther, Rachel, Sarah, often godly women noted for their beauty. What the Bible is against is not seeking to be beautiful, it’s against letting external beauty be your overriding passion. What it’s saying is “women, don’t let your look be what you are most known for.” If somebody were to just talk about you in a group and try to describe, you know, I know we all have to make some sort of, you know, short or tall or glasses or not or what color hair, but what is it about you that is most striking, women? Most attention-grabbing? God’s Word says let it not be your look, let it be your attitude, your demeanor. If you are spending lots of time, lots of money, lots of energy on your external appearance, God’s Word says you need to think if you have your priorities right. What is it about you that you hope people remember when they walk away? Is it your mascara? Your heels? Your hair? Or your heart?

Let me put this in a way that will perhaps step on a few toes. Some of you would never dare leave your house, or your room, or your apartment, without checking your outfit, checking it twice, doing your hair, applying your makeup, getting everything in place. No shame in that. However, are you willing to leave your house or your room or your apartment day after day without prayer? Without spending time in the Word? Without thinking of how to be a gracious help-meet to your husband? In other words, are you taking all the time in the world, “I cannot leave this house looking this way externally” without giving any thought to how “could I leave this house looking this way internally?”

Proverbs 11:22: Like a gold ring in a swine’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.

Think about it. Not that, verse 3. That’s not the focus, but this, verse 4. And notice the contrast, inside instead of outside. Imperishable beauty instead of fading beauty. No one likes to get old, like to get, you know, hair nice and silver like mine, you get wrinkles, things don’t work right. Beauty is perishing. So God’s saying just be smart about it. Why don’t you spend more of your time working on that beauty which gets better with age? What’s valuable in God’s sight instead of valuable on your credit card.

And he says in verse 4, it is the beauty of a gentle, quiet spirit. Now gentleness is required of all Christians. This isn’t just for wives or just for women. But it is often enjoined upon women in particular as something marking their character, especially the wife. Now note, this is not personality. Peter is not talking about personality. I have seen loud women married to shy husbands, and yet when you get to know them, you can see absolutely that that husband is the gracious leader in his house, and that loud, more dynamic wife is a very humble, gentle support. So this is not saying women, you need to go out and you need to get a different personality.

I think quiet spirit is basically a synonym with submissiveness. It means you show deference to your husband. You look to him for leadership. You’re not all “angsty,” you don’t have an agenda, you’re not trying to put him in his place all the time. A gentle, quiet… There’s a certain, a certain calmness about a godly woman. There’s a certain “I’m okay with who I am in Christ” about a holy wife. Women ought not to be vain, they should not be flirts, they should not act as though they are actually in charge of their dopey husbands.

Now I hardly watch any sitcoms anymore so the memory bank I have is from when I was a kid or growing up, and if memory serves and the pattern still holds, almost every family sitcom on TV has a dopey husband. I just think of, now these are just the things I grew up with, “Family Ties,” “Growing Pains,” “Home Improvement,” okay, whatever shows you watched before that or after that, and I just think through and there is always the, you know, the husband was always doing dumb stuff, always kind of getting in trouble, and the wife was the one who was always sort of having to put him, and it was all funny, but that’s sort of the air that our culture gives us. And a wife with a gentle and quiet spirit, we say, sure we can laugh and we can see those things and my husband does his share of goofy things, and yet she possesses about her a quiet confidence, a strength that comes not from putting her man in his place, but comes from her trust in Christ. That’s the distinguishing character about her.

Beauty. I think there’s a reason why the Bible so often is addressing women about beauty. Now again, maybe this isn’t true across the board, but it is in general true. Most women are thinking often about their beauty. What do they look like? I’d like to lose a few pounds. I’d like to get a new outfit. There’s something wired in most women to want beauty, and the Bible doesn’t say “hey, shame on you, you shouldn’t care about beauty.” What the Bible says actually is “You know what? Maybe you’re wired that way to care about beauty. Let me, let me direct your attention to search after and strive for the beauty that really matters. The beauty that is imperishable.” So take that instinct that you have, “I want to be beautiful,” and God says “I want you to be beautiful, too. Here’s what it looks like.” It’s a quiet and gentle spirit, it’s an attitude of confidence and strength, not in your prowess, but in the Lord.

And this means that we have to realize we have a culture that is profoundly at odds with this message. And we’d be fooling ourself if we didn’t think that this seeped into the church. Single guys, single guys, what are you looking for in a wife? Some of you have a list of 17 things you want. Okay, I hope that at the top is this: You want a godly wife. And then I hope you actually have a list of 17 things you want to be as a husband, and you know, and make the list of things you are looking for in your wife, you know, three or four. And let it be at the top this characteristic, of an internal beauty.

And women, single women, what are you trying to win a husband with? There’s that old adage that’s often said about church, it can be said about relationships, too: What you win them with is what you win them to. It’s often said about the church: If you put on a big show and entertain, that’s what you win them with, that’s what you’ve won them to, that’s what they think they are getting. If you win them with the Bible, you win them to the Bible. So it is in a relationship—what are you trying to win them with? What kind of beauty?

Now I promised my wife that in this series I would not have many illustrations about her, but I do just need to say this. When I met Trisha, I thought, I thought she was cute as all get out. Of course, you can recognize that. But what, what made me fall in love with her was to get to know who she was on the inside and to see so quickly her, her character, and her heart, and her demeanor, and I will sometimes tell her, only half-jokingly, I would have settled for a lot less. The Lord’s given me all of this and more.

When you want to win a husband, win him with a beauty that is going to get better with age. That’s the adornment of a godly wife.

And then finally the attitude of a godly wife. Look at verses 5 and 6. He gives two examples. First, in verse 5 a general example. He says this is how the Holy women of old, he’s probably thinking of Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, Rachel… Now you read about these women, they were far from perfect. But they adorned themselves the right way, submitting to their husbands. And then verse 6 gives us a specific example: Sarah obeyed Abraham. Now it’s not the same as a parent-child obedience, but submitting to your husband’s will at times means giving your husband the final say.

Whenever we, my wife and I, have had to make a hard decision, you know, taking a new call, where to go, where to live, it’s always been a dialogue. I never, you know, just go away and just come and say, “Honey, here it is.” No, we’re, we’re talking, we’re praying. There’s a lot of give and take. She has every opportunity to give input. But Trisha has always very wonderfully presented herself in such a way as to communicate “Kevin, I will follow you, and I do know as we try to sort this out together, that you’re going to have the last word on this, and I’m willing to go with that. I want you to listen and I want us…” There’s a lot of give and take, a lot of push and pull, but I’ve always appreciated that attitude of a submissive wife. It’s not something to be abused, to be taken advantage of, but to cherish. The wife who is eager for her husband to fulfill his God-ordained role as the head of the household. To say, when push comes to shove, “okay, you know that at those rare moments where we reach an impasse, I’m going to give you the final word.”

And if that seems hard, “obeyed Abraham,” we kind of “mmm, submit sounds a little better than obeyed,” but there’s an element of it there, and the next word seems even worse, “calling him lord.” Hmmm. What do we do with that? Well, you understand that there is some different cultural language. This isn’t a word that we use for anything really in America. You only can think of it with a British accent, that your wife “Yes, m’lord.” “More Coca-Cola, m’lord?” You know, that’s not what Peter has in mind. You can try it, maybe on his birthday or something, but other translations “master,” “sir,” “head.” “The Message” almost gets it. “The Message” has it as “my dear husband.” Something that conveys affection, that conveys respect, conveys a sense of authority. That’s what the point is. Not to get hung up on the word “lord,” which is not a common word that we use anymore, but that Sarah spoke of her husband in this respectful way, in a way that honored him, afforded him respect by position, by virtue of the position that he held in God’s economy.

So wives, do your husbands know that you respect them? Does he know that?

Listen, underneath a lot of bravado that a lot of men do, “we can face anything, we’re going to go conquer, we’re going to climb ladders, and we’re going to do all this stuff,” listen, most men can survive some criticism from their friends, they can survive discouragement at work, they will be absolutely emasculated if they go home and they have a wife that doesn’t respect them there. They sense “I go everywhere else and people want to hear what I say, and I go home and my wife doesn’t even think I’m a man.” That’s absolutely devastating.

Will you show this attitude of respect for your husband? I wonder how many daughters of Sarah are out there. You see that? “As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you are her children.” We talk about Father Abraham, what about Mother Sarah? How many of you wives are daughters of Sarah, who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You notice there’s a condition at the end of verse 6: “And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”

So the “do good” means if you are pursuing purity, submissive to your husbands, respect, you’re a model of godliness, so you’re a daughter if Sarah if that, and then this is a strange, “if you do not fear anything that is frightening.” There’s a lot of disagreement about what this might mean. If you don’t fear anything that is frightening. I think, remember the context back up in verse 1, we’re talking about a wife in particular who doesn’t have a Christian husband, so I think you’re saying the wife is godly, not afraid that her husband will dislike her because she’s become a Christian, or perhaps even more likely in our context, you’re not afraid that “well, my husband won’t change” or “I’m not afraid that my husband won’t notice my efforts.” In other words, you do what you can, what you’re responsible for, as a daughter of Sarah. You are not responsible to change your husband.

This is one of the little pieces of advice I’ve been thankful for my whole married life. Many of you know, and the rest of you are learning, that I eat like a 4-year-old, like a 4-year-old who can’t have gluten, which means I eat Skittles, Lucky Charms, all these terrible things. And people often say, “Trisha, what do you do? How do you?” Well, thankfully the kids eat better than I do and they eat these things and I’m not saying I’m a model for anything, kids close your ears, don’t do as the pastor does in this way, but I’m so thankful someone early in marriage, looking at all these food things, said to my wife, “you’re his wife, not his mother.” I thought, “oh, thank you.” Some godly woman, some daughter of Sarah out there, gave that great piece of advice, and so my wife has felt free, “I don’t need to try to change what he eats. Give him enough vitamins to keep him alive, but I don’t need to change him.”

God’s not telling you to change your husband. What He’s saying is that you, for the sake of your relationship with Christ, need to be responsible for your own change. You only can change you, with God’s help.

One of my criticisms with so many marriage books, even Christian marriage books, is that they focus almost solely on needs motivation. “He needs respect, she needs love. He needs sex, she needs conversation.” And so it’s just about, you know, “you scratch my back, I scratch yours,” and you know, there’s some sanctified common sense, I’m sure, but you notice that’s not the motivation here. Not asking wives to submit to their husbands in respect to them because the husband needs it, though he may. God, rather, is expecting wives to submit to their husbands and respect them because you trust Christ. You see that? In verse 5: “For this is how the holy women who hoped in God.” That’s that this is about. It’s not just about here, and all of a sudden Peter says “well, I’ve been writing a lot about, you know, suffering and writing about sanctification, now I’m just, I’ve got a little marriage section.” No, this is all about the same thing. This is about how do you live a life glorifying to God. How do you hope in God? Well, hope in God now applied to your role as a wife.

You notice it doesn’t say that they hoped in their husbands. It does not say that they hoped in their children. Children are wonderful gifts and they’re very cruel masters. It doesn’t say that they put their hope in the latest skin cream. It says they hoped in God. They hoped in God, to vindicate them. They hoped in God, to see their righteousness even if the husband didn’t. They hoped in God, to pay attention to perhaps their long-suffering. They hoped in God, that He would hear their prayers.

Now certainly, please hear me, I’m not advocating for silent suffering in marriage, I’m not suggesting wives cannot do anything to make their marriage better or that the husband can never be confronted. Surely, he must. What I am saying, on the authority of the Word of God, is that how you treat your husband is a measure of your hope in God.

So let me ask you these questions. Wives, does your love for your husband reflect the submission, patience, and obedience of Christ? Do you honor your husband as the church is meant to honor Christ? Do your actions, your adornment, and your attitude, bring glory to God and make the name of Christ look attractive? What sort of husband would people think you had if all they had to go on is what you say about him when he’s not around? Would they think, “wow, she’s got a terrible, terrible husband” or would they meet your husband after hearing you talk about him all those weeks and months and years and realize “Oh, he doesn’t actually walk on water. I always heard what an amazing man he is.”

Do the newly-wed wives at Christ Covenant hope in God? Do the old married wives live as daughters of Sarah? Do the single women adorn themselves with a beauty that will last? Do the couples here on the rocks care about godliness and glorifying God? Or for each of us, do we only want what is easy? What is comfortable? And what will make us happy in the short-term instead of happy for decades?

There is nothing quite like marriage to show us who we really are, and there’s nothing quite like marriage to show the world what a great Savior we serve.

Let’s pray. Our heavenly Father, work these things deep into our hearts. We pray throughout this whole series we would not listen for someone else and think “if only my wife were paying attention,” or next week “if only my husband were paying,” but we would listen for our sakes. What do you have for us to learn? How might we grow? How do we need to be challenged and changed? We want to be a people who hope in God, in every relationship, and in our marriages, to Your glory. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.