“Supportive Roles in Marriage”—How does it work?

This September 26th, 2011; Dianne and I will have been married 47 years.  47 years of practical experience should give me plenty of understanding in “Supportive Roles in Marriage” and How it works!  Besides, after that many years of marriage, we still can hang wall paper together, without yelling and shouting at each other! PTL

I discovered through my investigation four needs that are essential to all life; especially in marriage.

#1.  Acceptance

#2.  Identity

#3.  Security

#4.  Purpose

Keep those four needs close by as look to uncover God’s Word in being supportive in marriage. 

Turn to 1 Peter 3:1-8 ; looking at some clues we might not have uncovered in the past.  I use the Amplified Version of scripture, not because I think it is the best translation, but because it gives me insight in my detective work and Holy Spirit does the rest. I will start the research in verse 1.

“IN LIKE manner, you married women…”  Alright husbands, God’s Word IS NOT talking to you here; that’s later. So find something else to do until I get to verse 7.  Okay, lets continue reading verse 1.

“…be submissive to your husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependant on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives.”

The King James version uses the word “subjection“, where other translations of the Bible use “submissive“.  The Greek word for both words is, “hupotasso” ; from two words, “Hupeo”, under; and “tasso”, arrange or to put in order. So with the original Greek in mind, keep your place in 1 Peter and go to 1 Timothy 3:4 to look at “hupotasso”, or “subjection”.  A better understanding in “WORD STUDY” often comes from comparing scripture verses.

Verse 4 in the King James says,  “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection (“hupotasso”) with all gravity;”  The word “subjection”  in this verse, is dealing with relationships; of parents and children. 

One more look at the word “hupotasso” in Luke 2:51,  “And He (Jesus) went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto (“obedient” Amplified and the NIV; “subjection” NAS) them; but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”  [KJV Version]

Since Jesus had volunteered to His Father in Heaven, the authority given to Him was set in motion. Now, go back to 1 Peter 3:1 with me and I will uncover something I thought was very interesting.  Are you ready for this wives?  No where could I find in the New Testament, where the Word says that a wife is to love their husband.  In Titus 2:4, Paul urges the older women to “wisely train the young womento love their husbands and their children.”  That was the only verse I could find in that regard. God’s Word says, wives are to be “supportive” to their husbands. If the wife is going to be “supportive”, by building their husbands up, then this communicates her love for him. It separates the roles in the marriage.

I love the Amplified Version of the next verse, in 1 Peter 3:2.

When they (husbands) observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].”

Ladies, that verse should reveal to you, how to use your authority [delegated “power”]; in seeing a change in your husband. If some of you wives are reading this blog for the first time and are thinking, “If you think I am going be “obedient, “submissive” or in “subjection” to my husband…You are NUTS!”  Might “selfishness” be sitting on the throne in your life instead of “LOVE”? Remember, you are being “subject to” or “under” the authority of Christ. There is NO room for both!   “LOVE” is the Law of the Spirit of life; “SELFISHNESS” is the “Law of sin and death.”– Romans 8:1-2.  That is why you are to be in obedience to “support“; “be subject to” or “hupotasso” your husband.

In verses 3 thru 4, the requirement says that women should be a “living epistle” in order to be a supportive wife. God’s Word tell you, don’t be like the Greek and Roman women in history; spending all or too much time investing in their outward appearance.  You’re to beautify your inward spirit. God says, your “inward beauty” affects your “outward beauty”. You might not be able to see it in the mirror but your husband will see it. It should become a manner of “inside-out” living.  I read a good illustration of this “inside-out” type of living.

A born-again wife in England wanted to go out to a ladies evening bible study. Her non-believing husband told her that she was not to go out. She tried to explain to him that it was important for her to be at church that particular night. His answer: “If you leave tonight when I told you not to go out, I will lock the door behind you!”  The wife tells him politely,that she is still going to bible study.  When she returned home that night, it was snowing and very cold. She went to the door and sure enough, it was locked as her husband said he was going to do. She sat down on the front stoop, staying in that position all night, in the freezing cold. The next morning, she slowly stood and knocked on the front door, her husband eventually opening it. Was she angry at her husbands stubbornness? Did she pout and shout obscenities? Did she rush into the kitchen to find a weapon to use? This was her exact words, as she smiled while entering the fire-place heated room:  “Honey, what would you like for me to fix you for breakfast this morning?” She said nothing to him about her experience of being locked out of the house in the snow. Her husband couldn’t speak!  A month or so later, he went to church on Sunday morning with his wife and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.  His name was Smith Wigglesworth, who later became a Pastor of that same church and world known author.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “MEEK”?  In Matthew 5, we can see and hear Jesus seated on a mountain teaching all of us who and how to be “BLESSED“. The Amplified defines “to be Blessed” as, (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous–with life joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions). Verse 5 reads, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  The next question for you wives is. what comes to mind when you hear or see the word, “PEACEMAKERS”? Still in Matthew 5, look at verse 9:  “BLESSED are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called sons (and daughters) of God!” Keeping these two verses in mind, turn back now to 1 Peter 3:4 and do some comparisons.

“BUT let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle [meek] and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.”

“MEEK” in the Greek language says it is an “attitude”. Friendly, warm, kind, gentle, forgiving; it’s power under control. And “PEACEMAKERS’ isn’t an option in “Supportive Roles in Marriage”. It is a required quality by God along with being “MEEK” in the relationship. Go to Ephesians 4:2-3:

“[Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.  Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.”

If your husband is a believer in Christ Jesus as you are, remember you are more than husband and wife. You are brothers and sisters  in Christ Jesus.  “Anger” in a marriage role, is the opposite of all the qualities I have uncovered in God’s Word. It is an emotion that can “boil” over out of your “selfishness”. The reason God gave Adam Eve was because Adam had become a “self-centered” male being. Selfishness is not a “supportive” position to take in a marriage and it works both ways. If  wives strive to reach the  required qualities in 1 Peter 3:1-4,  then your supportive role in marriage reaches maturity in Christ. That is how it works! It comes with a price as it did with Mrs. Wigglesworth; “Let it be an inward adorning and beauty of the hidden heart…” which is a sacrifice; not for your husband’s sake but for the LOVE you have for Christ.  By observation, your husbands will see and know how much you them through your relationship with the Father.

Okay husbands, I need your attention next as I continue with your “Supportive Role in Marriage“.  Know this, “Husbands and Wives are corulers in a marriage!  



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