About Us
Search Library
Library Index
Whats New
Statement of Faith
About Us
Admin Login
Believersweb Header

God's Design...(The Role of the Wife)

Written by: MacArthur Jr., John    Posted on: 04/01/2003

Category: Sermons

Source: CCN

The following message was delivered at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, by John MacArthur Jr.  It was transcribed from the tape, GTY-43, titled "God's Design for a Successful Marriage" (Side 1) "The Role of the Wife."  A copy of the tape can be obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412 or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE.

I have made every effort to ensure that an accurate transcription of the original tape was made.  Please note that at times sentence structure may appear to vary from accepted English conventions.  This is due primarily to the techniques involved in preaching and the obvious choices I had to make in placing the correct punctuation in the article.

It is my intent and prayer that the Holy Spirit will use this transcription to strengthen and encourage the true Church of Jesus Christ. Tony Capoccia

                  God's Design for a Successful Marriage                           (The Role of the Wife)

                              Copyright 1979                                     by                           John F. MacArthur, Jr.                           All rights reserved.

We come this morning to a famous or infamous passage, depending on how you view it, in Ephesians 5:22-24.  This is the beginning of the Biblical look at the pattern that God has designed for marriage and the family.  We live in a day when this is a very difficult thing to proclaim because the world is not willing to accept it. 

God has some very clear, distinct definitions of a family and how a family functions, and we are going to be seeing these as we look all the way down through the ninth verse of the sixth chapter, and that will take us several weeks to cover.

Now, as we look at the principles for today we are going to see the wife and, by the way, we are going to get to the husband next time, so just be patient.  We are going to do the worst last: we are going to deal with the easy part now, and we will get to the husbands later.

Let's talk about the duty of the wife and look at verses 22 to 24: the duty of the wife.  I want you to stay with me, for I think this is very needful for our time.  Basically, it says "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."  I want to just remind you as I said earlier, the word "submit" is not here, it really reads: "Wives, yourselves unto your own husbands."  In other words, you do your submitting to your husbands.  It's implied there, but the idea is very general: "wives," that's it.  Not, "wives whose husbands are fulfilling their functions."  Not, "blue-eyed wives," not "blond or brown hair wives," not "wives who feel that this is the best thing for you to do."  "Wives,"  that's it, categorically.  "Wives," anybody who falls into that classification falls into this verse.  There are no other conditions.

"Wives, yourselves unto your own husbands."  And the idea of "submit" drops down from verse 21, "Submit yourselves to your own husbands."  So let us talk first of all about the matter of submission. 

1.  The Matter of Submission.

Now what does this really refer to?  Well, the word "submit" is not the word "obey."  It is not "hupakouo" (Greek), which is the word "obey."  It is the word "hupotasso" (Greek), which is a functional lining up underneath; it's the idea of submissiveness, subjection, not the idea of any essential difference.  It isn't the word "obey;" the word "obey" is used of children by Paul in this passage, and of slaves.  It connotes--the word "hupakouo" (Greek) simply means "to answer," "to attend," or "to obey."  It's a word used of a servant.  The wife is not a servant; she is not a slave.  She doesn't stand in the center of the house awaiting commands: "Do this!  Get that! Go over here!  Would you get me this!  Fix me that!  Could I have this!  Is my so and so done?" 

She is not a slave--that is not the term that is used.  This is much more intimate than that, this is much more personal, much more inward, much more vital, as indicated by the term "your own husband."  In other words, there is a possessiveness here.  It assumes that a wife would absolutely willingly respond in submission to her "own" husband--one whom she possesses.  Now this is, as I say, not a reference to any kind of inferiority at all; it is simply a God-ordained distinction in function so that society can be preserved.  In Genesis 3:16 this was ordained; it says, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."  In other words this was the God-ordained function, and yet it was also in Genesis where God said that they two would become what?  One flesh!

While you have that amazing, intimate, inward vitality, that oneness, that uniqueness that makes two one, it does not violate the function of authority and submission: "He shall rule over you."  For the sake of unity, for the sake of workability, she is subjected to the headship of her husband--not as a slave, but as one who is (get this one!) provided for, cared for, secured by her husband.  It has not nearly so much to do with what she does for him, as with what he is responsible to do for her, and we will see that now, and in the weeks to come.

The headship is the man's.  Physically, God made men stronger.  Physically, constitutionally, they are designed by God to work for, protect, provide for, and give security to a wife whom the Holy Spirit calls (in 1 Peter 3) the "weaker vessel."  That's true physically, and some feel that's true even emotionally.  Man is constituted in such a way to be the stronger partner--somebody has got to be the protector, the one who provides, preserves, and cares.  This has always been God's standard (Genesis 3:16). 

Now, let us look at Colossians 3:18, the parallel passage.  Paul says basically the same thing, but there is a word there that I think is very important.  In Colossians, chapter 3, and verse 18, we read almost the same terms, "Wives, submit yourselves under your own husbands (now watch this, it doesn't say as unto the Lord there, it says), as it is fitting in the Lord."  "As it is fitting in the Lord."  "Aneko" (Greek), a very important verb, and I did a little research this week on a lot of these terms and I'll be sharing with you this morning, and this was the first one I really kind of went after.  It is a word that means "it is fitting," "it is seemly," or it is "proper."  Primarily, in the Old Testament it is used of something that was legally binding.  It was a legal concept, the Septuagint uses it that way: "something legally binding."  By the way, it's used in Philemon, verse 8, in the New Testament, of something "legally binding." 

Now watch: then what he is saying is this, "this thing is in a sense legally binding."  In other words, this is the accepted law of human society.  Now where does human society get its laws?  Historically and basically, any society that had God as any part of its laws, finds that its laws are basically a reiteration of some divine principle.  Now we are fast seeing that go away in our society where we are now having morality by majority vote, but if we look back we will find that laws governing human society, for the most part as we have known them, societies in which God, the true God has any influence, such as Western culture, are laws that come from Biblical basis. 

For example, we have a law that you can't kill people; where does that come from?  The Ten Commandments--"Thou shall not kill."  We have a law that says you can't steal, where does it come from?  The Ten Commandments--"Thou shall not steal."  We have a law that says you can't commit certain kinds of acts of sexual evil to those people who are outside of your frame of reference: those come from the Law of God in the Book of Exodus. 

We have made laws commensurate with God's divine revelation.  The Bible says, "Thou shall not lie," and today we punish people for perjury.  You see, law that is legally binding is based upon some divine principle revealed through God's truth.  What we are seeing here then is, that to have the wife submit to the husband is not something that is only a legal issue, but it is only a legal issue because it is based on a divine created principle.  It is fitting, it is proper, not only by the divinely created order, but by that which man has assumed as an obligatory design.

Now let's go to 1 Peter 3 and redefine what God said.  "In the same manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands."  Here you have the same word "hupotasso" (Greek), it is very consistent in the New Testament, it means "to come under in rank."  It's a "function" word and not an "essence" word.  It doesn't mean you're any worse than him, or any dumber than him, or less spiritual; it isn't talking about that at all.  Or that you should do more menial things than he does, or you should do any different thing than he does; it's not talking about that kind of thing.  It is simply talking about a "function" for leadership and authority in the home.  Again, he emphasizes, "your own husbands."  That possessiveness, that sort of mitigates the submissive role because you really possess the man: he is really is your possession; you really own him, and there is that sense of responding.

Now, in so doing, it says, "If any man obey not the Word, they also may without the Word be won by the behavior of the wives."  I am so glad Peter says this because inevitably someone will say, "Well look, you don't know my husband.  If I submit to my husband it is going to be awful.  The man is not a Christian.  The man doesn't obey God.  He doesn't obey the Word of God.  How am I in the world going to submit to this man?"  That's exactly what this verse is written for, "If any man doesn't obey the Word," submit anyway, and without saying anything you'll win him--see!  Instead of putting "REPENT!" on the bottom of his beer cans, instead of pasting little notes in his lunch pail or whatever, instead of always giving him some gospel presentation--if you set you life in response to God's ordained pattern for marriage, you may, without even using the Word of God win him by your behavior!  See, that's what he is saying.

"Well, what kind of behavior John?"  Well, this kind, verse 2, "chaste conduct coupled with reverence."  You have reverence for your husband; you have a certain awe for your husband; you have a certain respect for your husband as you do for the Lord.  This is what he is getting after.  Not only is your life chaste--that's pure: pure behavior; pure conduct; pure living--but there is a reverence, and there is an awe (that's a lack of pride; that's humility that looks up and respects somebody and has awe for that person).  I will tell you another thing: not only by the attitude you have but by the way that it manifests itself.  If you are concerned with him and in awe of him, and your conduct is chaste then your outside activity will follow (verse 3).  Your "adorning" will not be the outward thing; in other words, you won't live life for what you wear.  Boy, if this isn't a curse in our society: I mean all you have to do is to walk into a department store and it is absolutely like a big billboard saying, "We Covet Clothes!"  That's our society--it's incredible, beyond imagination.  We have such preoccupation with that.

"Adorning, let it not be the outward adorning of plaiting the hair," which was taking the hair and weaving all kinds of rich gold and silver bands into it, and wearing gold.  Listen people, I never saw so much gold in my life as I have been seeing lately--hanging on everybody.  Gold all over the place, not only women, but all over men.  It didn't even talk about that in the Bible because men didn't do it, but now it's all over everybody.  Now, I am not against a gift, or a present, or a expression of love and affection.  I am not against something that enhances you to some degree, but people, we can get to the place where it's nothing but more and more and more.  That's exactly what the Bible says that we are not to be adorned with. 

Now, I am not advocating Wanda Wallflower.  I am not trying to say that we are supposed to look like we just arrived from the field--that isn't the idea, but there is to be a basis of commitment to the inside, not the outside.  "Putting on apparel"--here is a society like we live in: the hair, the gold, and the clothes--man, if that doesn't sound like today, I don't know what does.  I mean, it gets to be at the place where it is beyond belief--they will even sprinkle gold in your fingernails if you want now.  But he says, if you preoccupy yourself with that, then you are in violation of the standard, because you are not submissive.  Why?  You are calling attention to yourself--you are putting yourself on parade, you are adorning yourself.  You are pushing your own cause and your own case.  Instead of that, verse 4 says, you should be concerned with the "hidden of the heart."  The word "man" is not in the Greek.  It simply means the secret of the heart.  In other words, don't work on the outside--work where?  On the inside. 

Now, I am not advocating that you look awful on the outside but that there be a wonderful balance, and that there be a preoccupation with the inside.  And what should you do on the inside?  You should put in there what is not corruptible, which means to say that apparel, and gold, and all that stuff on the hair is corruptible.  I mean, you spend all that money for the hair and two days later it is shot.  All that money for the clothes and six months later if you wore that they will say "tacky--she's out of season."  And the gold gets old because it's the same old stuff and you want new.  If you want to do something wise--invest yourself on what is incorruptible.  It literally means "imperishable" and "immortal" which is, what?  (Now watch this one) "Decorate yourself with a meek and quiet spirit."  Oh my.  Now listen, does that sound foreign to our day?  Women who preoccupy themselves with taking care of the inside and developing a meek and quiet spirit.  "Meek" is "praos" in the Greek: it means "quiet and gentle."  And the word "quiet" simply means "silent and still."

We have women today who are boisterous and loud, and women who are screaming all over the place for their rights and parading everywhere and marching everywhere in the midst of everything performing and proclaiming all the things they have to say--and the Bible says, but this is God's standard: don't spend so much time making a show on the outside as you spend doing something on the inside that is going to result in a meek and quiet spirit; in a gentle, still, peaceful, silent spirit.  Now, you say to yourself, "Woo!"  But you see how force-fed you have been that we can hardly accept this as a standard for a woman in our society, because we have been buying the bag for so long, that the world's been selling. 

If you stand up in many places and say this--I mean, I'm glad that I'm in Grace Church--I would get thrown out of some churches for saying this, and I know that I would get thrown out of most public places, but this is what the Bible says: "A meek and quiet spirit."  You want to adorn yourself with godliness?  Adorn yourself with a meek and quiet spirit.  Now that doesn't mean that you just crawl and never offer your opinion, it means that you have an understanding that God expects you to be humble and still.  That's the beauty of a woman--she is supportive--that's her strength.  By the way, this is in the sight of God, and "enopion" (Greek) means "face-to-face with."  You are standing "face-to-face with" God. 

You want to have acceptability and credibility "face-to-face with" God?  God couldn't care what your hair looks like and He couldn't care about all the gold you got, and He really doesn't care a whole lot about whether you have the latest fashion--what He's looking at is the meek and quiet spirit.  And in His sight that's of "poluteles" (Greek), that's the same word use in Mark 14:3 when the woman opened the Alabaster box and took out the precious ointment--that's precious to God, very valuable.  "Polus" (Greek) means "great"--"great cost."  Do you want something that really costs a lot?  It isn't gold and it isn't a fancy $200 dress; what really is costly is a meek and quiet spirit--in God's eyes that's precious. 

By the way, verse 5 says, "After this manner in old time the holy women did."  Do you want some examples?  This is how holy women used to be.  This is the way the holy women used to be--they worried about the inside (the holy women did).  It has always been that way.  Holiness has always been the concern of godly women; it has been the inside they worked on, the inside they were concerned about.  Oh, that's all right to have a nice dress on the outside if God prospers you.  Why, I remember reading (and we will see it later) Proverbs 31, that lovely woman, the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, made of herself a beautiful gown of tapestry and of fine linen, and white linen, and it was lovely, and purple--and that was all right.  I am not against that; I'm just against the fact that becomes the preoccupation and you forget about the meek and the quiet spirit. 

So the holy women did it that way.  Why?  Because they trusted God.  They trusted God you see," their preoccupation was God.  And God said "These are the standards" and they said, "Then that's the standard we will uphold, because they were holy women, and they adorned themselves in that way because they were subjected to their own husbands.  They took a place of a meek and quiet spirit in submission to their husbands.  He gives one particular illustration: Sarah--she obeyed Abraham, calling him "Lord."  "Lord" is not a title of simply function but of respect, of awe, of reverence.

Now watch, "Whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any terror."  Abraham is the father of the faithful, right?  Galatians.  Sarah is the mother of the submissive.  Daughters of Sarah are submissive.  Daughters of Sarah are those who call their husband "Lord" and who are submissive to him.  Look at the end of verse 6--a tremendous statement--"they are not afraid with any terror."  People say, "Boy, I am afraid to submit to my husband.  Man alive, I will lose my rights.  He will run me around."  But you know something?  These women trusted God, so they had no fear of obeying God, and if there was ever an abuse they knew God would take care of the results.  Right?

You don't need to do God's business.  You obey God; submit to your husband as the holy women did, in a meek and quiet spirit, responding the way God wants you to respond, and you don't have any fear--no terror.  You can believe God that He will honor that, no matter what.  It's a great passage.  I want to show you another one: 1 Corinthians 11.

Do you ever hear your neighbor's wife screaming at him?  I always think of 1 Peter whenever I hear that.  1 Corinthians 11, now just a brief look at this; now hang on.  In Corinth they were having a Woman's Lib Movement: women were trying to do the same job as men; women were trying to look like men and act like men (we went into that in our study of Corinthians) it was a big deal going on.  In response to that, some women in the church of Christ had gotten into the movement.  Now, this was really giving a reproach to the Name of Christ and it was a reproach on the church itself.  So Paul has to write them to straighten this out.

Now watch in the Corinthian society the women were supposed to be submissive, and they had a symbol, or a sign, or a token of submission, and the token they had was a veil.  Women in a Corinthian or a Gentile society in that day and in that part of the world wore a veil as a symbol of submission, a submission of modesty; a symbol of their humility.  Now only two kinds of women took their veil off: one was a harlot (for obvious reasons-you want to know what you are getting into--you want to see what she looked like).  So harlots were unveiled.  So women took their veil off for the purpose of prostituting.  Second, were feminists, who took their veil off for the symbol of protesting: "They were going to demand equal rights with men--off with the veil, and so forth!"  In those days it wasn't "Burn the bra!" it was "Burn the veil!"  It was the same idea: the idea that women are going to "demand rights" equal to men. 

So you had the feminists and the harlots: the protesting and the prostituting.  So Paul writes to these dear Corinthians and he says, "Ladies, keep your veils on."  Now let me tell you something folks: that isn't for today.  We are not going to have a veil station outside and before you come in everybody has to put a veil on.  He is saying, in your society and in your time and in your day, that's recognized as submission--now you respond to that symbol, so that the world doesn't see the church rebelling against a God-ordained principle.  You see?  That's what he is saying.  "And, by the way," he says, "It's not a bad principle that women should have covering, because God even did that naturally!"  Look down in verse 14, "Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man has long hair, it is a shame unto him?  But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given to her for a covering."

Now, this is not saying that it is a sin for a man to have long hair, but what it is saying is that nature teaches you that women's hair is to be longer than men's to have a covering.  What does nature have to do with that?  In my research I discovered that a woman's hair grows faster than a man's hair.  That is a God given thing.  That is a genetic issue and what it does is, it indicates that God has given hair to women, at a faster growing rate, so that the longer hair would become for them a sign of their submission or covering.  And so he is saying, "It is not a bad thing to have veils; it is very close to the way God designed it, anyway." 

So, be sure that you abide by the principle that manifests submission.  You see?  All I want you to see from that passage is that Paul is simply saying, again, "A woman takes a place of submission, and in society she shouldn't violate that place."  I'll tell you something; a virtuous woman will call attention to her husband.  Did you get that?  Not herself.  O.K., let's go to another passage.  If you think that you have been hit already--"You ain't seen nothing yet!" 

Titus, chapter 2--for those who may be visiting with us; you probably gained one thing already from our time this morning, and that is that we don't necessarily say what everybody says; and two is--that if the Bible says it--we accept it, and that's right.  Titus, chapter 2, verse 3, "The aged women;" it sounds like decrepit, but it doesn't really mean that--just older, maturer, probably women whose children were no longer in the home: they were married.  "The older women likewise, are to be in behavior as becometh holiness."  Oh boy, that is so simple: mature women are to be holy, not false accusers; that is, they are not "scandal mongers."  They don't go telling tales around about people. 

"They are not given to much wine, but they are teachers of good things."  Now notice that older women are to be what?  Teachers.  Older women are to be teachers.  Older women are to be teachers, and who are they to teach?  Young women.  Boy, I think there is a fantastic pattern here for the life of a woman and I want you to see this; I think that it will really help you.  All right?  "And the older women are to teach the younger women."  Teach them what?  "To be sober-minded."  In other words, "To grow up; know priorities; be serious-minded; be considering the things that really matter."  And what are they?  "To love their husbands."  One word in the Greek "philandro:" "to love a man,"  "Man-lovers;" literally, "Husband lovers."  They should be characteristically loving their husbands. 

You know, we get into Ephesians and we say, "Husbands love your wives," and we bang that drum, you know: "Husbands, love your wives;" the wife is only a responder, you know?  Well, it doesn't say that in the Bible.  I mean, I kind of agree with that, but there's more to it.  We say, "If your wife doesn't love you, it is your fault--you're not loving her.  If your wife isn't doing this and doing that, you're not loving her; all you need to do is to love her and every . . . ."  But that's a little overstated, because right here it says she's commanded to love you, and there you see is that tremendous mutuality and balance.  She has just as much responsibility to love you because you respond to love too.  Right?  No?  I do: so do you.  And so it is mutual.

Then it says (and this is key) to be a "philoteknos" (Greek), a "child- lover;" to love her children; to love her children.  The concept of love, of course, is to self-sacrifice, to do whatever needs to be done for the husband; to give her life for the husband; to give her life for the children; that's the implication of these terms.  So she is to be a husband-lover and a child-lover.

Then to be "discrete, chaste, (hang on!) keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed."  You see, that's the issue.  You see, God wants His Word glorified!  Read it, 1 Thessalonians 3.  God wants His Word exalted and when you and I do not live by His Word it is dishonored!  Do you see?  We are in effect saying, "What's the difference what the Bible says?"  That's what we are saying when we disobey it.  "Who cares what the Bible says?"  Thus, we dishonor God's Word.  If we are going to honor God's Word then we love our husbands and love our children.

"And obedient to their own husbands."  Do you notice again, "their own," the possession idea.  Yes, there is to be a responding.  By the way, the word "obedient" here is a bad translation.  It is not "hupakouo," (Greek) it is "hupotasso" (Greek) again.  It's the same word of submission again, and there is that response again, "our own husbands."  Paul uses it again, there is a possession that sort of makes the mutuality.  So we are to submit--the wives to the husbands.

Now notice (hang on), see the phrase "keepers at home," I believe the Holy Spirit wants this applied to 1979 [year sermon preached].  We have got a problem in America--nobody's home!  Do you know that?  Nobody's home.  Do you realize that 42 million working mothers now in America; 42 million working mothers; 6 million with little children.  One out of every three mothers with a child under three works in a full-time job.  Who's raising kids?  Who's keeping house?  Who's taking care of the home?

You say, well, "keepers at home."  What does it mean?  Let me tell you.  I did some work on the word "oikouros" (Greek), kind of sounds strange.  Comes from "oikos" (Greek), "home" "ergon" (Greek), "work."  It simply means to "work at home."  I am going to go right ahead and tell you what I really feel that this is saying: 

"I think that women ought to work at home--profound, huh?"

You say, "Where did you get that?" 

"Right there!"

You say, "But I have a wonderful job!" 

Well, the Bible says, "to work at home!" 

You say, "But we need the money!"

Well, the Bible says, "To work at home!"

You say, "But my kids are in school!"

Well, the Bible says, "to work at home!" 

It doesn't say, "PS., under these following circumstances this is not valid."  It doesn't say that.

Now, what does the word "ergon" (Greek) mean?  The word "ergon" (Greek) is a word that means "work" but I want to show you how the emphasis in the New Testament lays upon the fact that it involves "a job or a task," it is translated in many of the lexicons, in fact, all of the lexicons render it this way, at one point or another, by the word "employment."  So a woman is to be employed at home.  It is not the idea of just of work in terms of "Boy, this is hard work."  It is not just a quality sort of thing; it is talking about a task that is assigned.  A woman is to be employed in the assigned task at home. 

For example, in Mark 13, "The Son of Man is like a man taking a far journey, left his house, gave authority to his servants, and to every man his 'ergon' (Greek)."  "To every man his appointed employment, or task, duty, or work."  In John 4:34, just so you will see how this is used again, 4:34 says, "Jesus said unto them, 'My food is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work."  This is not just some qualitative definition of activity; this is an assigned task.  In the Book of John, 17th chapter, "I finished the work You gave me to do."  It had a beginning and it had an end--it was a task, an employment.  In Acts 13, "Separate unto me Paul and Barnabas for the work to which I call them."  Philippians 2:30, here is an individual who is near unto death, "for the work of the ministry."  1 Thessalonians 5:13, "Esteem them very highly in love's sake for the work which they do." 

In other words, frequently in the New Testament, the concept of "ergon" is related to employment, to a task.  I think what Paul is saying is, "You tell the younger women that their task is at home."  Do you see?  It's at home.  It's at home.  If you would compare 1 Timothy, chapter 5, and verse 14, it says, "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, (that's God's will, be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth.)  Children are like arrows, blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them," says the Old Testament.  "Bear children and" be really "oikodespotes" (Greek), in Arndt and Gingrich, and Molt and Milligan (two excellent lexicons) say it means "to keep house."

What's a woman to do with her life?  Pursue a career?  I don't see that here--do you?  What's a woman to do with her life?  A woman is to be a "keeper at home."  A woman is to be a housekeeper.  A woman is to be a lover of her family and a lover of her husband.  A woman is to be one who does her tasks at home!  You know, if you don't get the message, what I am saying here is, I think God is saying, that the standard procedure for a wife and a mother is to work inside and not outside the home.  I think that it is all related to the principal of being obedient to your own husband, because if you are outside the home you have got other circumstances; you have got other involvement; you have got other complication; you have got other bosses; you have got other people giving you orders. 

Your boss may say, "That's not the way to dress, I want you to dress this way."  So you have got to go out and buy a whole new deal, and maybe your husband doesn't feel like that's what ought to be done; there's conflict at that point.  You see people at the office who come on strong and they are at the top, and they are working well, and they are all dressed up all the time, and you get tired of seeing "old Charlie" with his hair messed up in his slippers, and pretty soon you get that--I just think that you put yourself under circumstances, and under authorities, and under bosses, that know no Biblical injunction to have responsibility for you.

I think it is an important issue.  I think that part of what we are seeing in our society today is directly related to the loss of the woman in the home.  You wonder why 3,000 cults in America have attracted more than 10,000 young people, and I will tell you why in one great measure, because people who grew up without love in a family are desperately looking for it and they find it in those families.  If you want a reason for "Jonestown" [or the Branch Davidians in Waco] there is one good one. 

The issue is not whether the kids are home from school yet.  The issue is when the children are there, and the husband is there, there is the provision of a home for them, and a total sole commitment of life to that preoccupation.  Believe me, in the day in which we live, if you don't give your full time to it, you can't accomplish it--can you?

Psychological tests have even shown that children who grow up in homes where the mother works are much more insecure than children who grow up where the mother is home even though the kid's at school; if he knows the mother is at home it is like an anchor.

Working women contribute to lost children, delinquency, lack of understanding of proper God-ordained roles in the home.  Working women contribute to the decline of the next generation.  They contribute to adulteries, to fornications, to divorces, and, by the way, so do women who stay home, but are unfaithful busy-bodies who just watch soap operas.  So don't say, "I'm home, I'm spiritual."  You may be home and be worse than somebody working.  At least the working one may be looking at a typewriter while you are looking at "As the World . . . does something"--I don't know what--"As the World Goes Down the Tubes" it ought to be. 

You know, I didn't want to give this message, frankly, as strong as it is, so I tried to find a place in the Bible where it says the woman is to be the breadwinner--I didn't find it!  I mean, I couldn't find it anyplace.  I couldn't find any statement in the Bible anywhere, where the woman is to be the protector of the family, the preserver, the provider--I couldn't find it!  I just couldn't find it!  In fact, what I did find was the opposite in 1 Timothy 5:8, and here it is talking about a man.  I mean, this is so clear you couldn't possibly miss it, it says, "If a man provide not for his own," and I believe the "own" there is extended because the context is widows.  "For his own," I mean, whoever is related to him: any widow in the situation, any woman who has no way to make her own way in the world, he has to take care of her.  And then it says, "especially those of his own house;" so, it is not just those in his own house, but it extends to anybody in the extended family.  If a man doesn't take care of that he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. 

You know what happens when we say, "Well, what about the poor lady: her husband dies or her husband divorces her and she has to go to work?"  Do you know that, that is even worse yet, because now there is nobody home.  There is not a father and now there is not even a mother.  You say, "Who's responsible?"  I'll tell you who is responsible: if I am related to such a person, I am responsible to take up her support so that she can stay home.  And if she has no one related to her to do that--the church is responsible to do that.  But she should not have to go out and forfeit the responsibility that God has given. 

Now, I am not talking about people who are just married and haven't had any children and established a home yet, (although I think when you get married you ought to have children and get that thing going); I'm not talking about women whose children have grown up.  Now, go back a minute to Titus; I want to show you something.

You say, "Well, my children are all gone!  I mean, they are all grown, they are all out of the house and what do I do now?"  I'll tell you what you do, you've got it right here, "When you were a young woman you were to be loving your husband, loving your children, keeping the home, obedient to your husband and so forth.  Now that you are an older woman here's what you do: the older woman teach the younger women."  So when you get to be an older woman then your priority is to invest yourself in a spiritual ministry of teaching the younger women.  That would be the primary thing; I am not saying that you can't work at that point, but I don't see that provision in Scripture.  You may take that liberty; I'm not sure it says one way or the other.  But, I do know what it says when you become that mature woman, then your responsibility is to take on the younger women and to teach them the things that you've learned. 

Do you want to know something?  The next generation isn't going to have any women to do that if we don't keep those women at home.  What are they going to have to teach?  What is the legacy to the next generation?  Now some of you dear precious people haven't got any choice in this thing.  Nobody is taking care of you, nobody is making your provision; and some of you women are working because nobody in your family is willing to do that.  Do you know what I have to say, and I know that I represent Grace Church when I say it, then that's our responsibility to meet your needs so you can be with those children.  That's something that the church has neglected for centuries. 

A woman is not to be a breadwinner.  And yet, what happens?  We have got couples getting married and they want a house and a car, and so they decide that they are going to get the house they want, and the car they want, and its all predicated on the fact that they both work.  And they get into that kind of a lifestyle; a kid's born and they stay home for three months, "zap" the kid into the lap of a baby-sitter, "fire out" and let the baby- sitter raise the kid.  Do you know that even Christian institutions, Christian schools, are now providing day care centers to take care of the little children of their faculty and staff?  That's not right.

By the way, this message has a tremendous impact on Grace Community Church--I want you to know that--and on who works here.  You say, "Well, but look how the Lord has blessed us!"  Listen, if the husband works and is the provider, and God gives you 25 big cars and a Greyhound bus to boot, and if God gives you 5 houses and a hotel--Alleluia for you!  But if you have a wife who has to violate the standard that God has ordained and leave the children to go to work to get the "thing," then don't confuse the blessing of God with your disobedient presumption. 

By the way, if you want a little hint economically too, one of the major contributing factors to inflation is working women.  Where you have two breadwinners in the family all you do is create more earning power; more earning power creates higher prices; higher prices creates inflation.  People say, "Well, you can't buy a house any more."  Well, you can almost see how that all started when women started to go to work.  That doesn't even matter--that's just economics--all that matters is the Bible.

Now you say, "John, this is pretty strong stuff.  I mean, I've got a lot of energy and creativity and I want to do things!"  Good; I've got one more Scripture that's going to let you off the hook, Proverbs 31.  I got to finish on a positive note or I'll never get out of here.  Proverbs 31; I want you to meet a virtuous woman, and boy if you think that a woman is stifled, you have missed it; I mean here is one amazing gal.  "Who can find a virtuous woman?  Her price is far above rubies," or it could be translated "pearls," but anyway, she is worth a lot: a virtuous woman.  Now lets find out about how a virtuous woman functions. 

This virtuous woman, verse 11, "The heart of her husband does safely trust in her, he shall have no lack of gain."  The first thing about a virtuous woman: her husband can trust her 100% with the checkbook--he has no fear that she is going to waste his fortune; no fear that she is going to squander his resources; no fear that he is going to come home and she is going to say, "Honey, I just went out and found this fantastic bargain," and he goes "Ohhhhhh!"  No, this man trusts her; he never has fear of lack of gain.  Why?  Because she supports him, verse 12, "She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."  She sees her role as one to support her husband; she sees her place as one to undergird, to free him; to free him from anxiety; to free him from fear.  And you know something, there are many women who drive their husband harder, and harder, and harder, because they want more, and more, and more, in violation of this kind of virtue.  And you know something about her, she just doesn't hang around saying supporting things--she gets in the action. 

He works in town (no doubt) according to verse 23, "He's known in the gates, when he sits among the elders" (he probably has time to sit around with the elders during the little break times).  But, he works in town, he's not a farmer type, but she is pretty enterprising at home.  "So, she seeks wool (verse 13) and flax."  In other words, she chases around; in fact, in verse 14, if she has to go like a merchant ship to "bring it afar" she'll do it.  You know it's like your wife going to San Bernardino to save a quarter on the wool.  I mean, she'll go, she'll go; wherever you go to get the deal.  Right?  Check it out. 

So, "she seeks wool, and flax;" now we are not saying that a woman has to stay at home and never leave the place, and you lock her in and keep her barefoot and pregnant and that's it.  We are not saying that.  She can get dressed up, put her shoes on, and she can have a second car and do things, and she can have a ministry and go disciple people and attend a Bible Study and shop.  I mean, there are things she has to do and there are times when she may be productive in this kind of an area.  But any way, this lady goes a long ways to get a good deal on wool and flax, and according to verse 19, she gets that and puts it on the spindle and the distaff, and she makes thread, and with the thread that she gets she begins to make things.  So, she is a productive gal. 

But I want you to notice, in verse 13, "that she works willingly with her hands."  The Hebrew word here is "she works with her hand's pleasure."  In other words, this is her hobby, this is her joy, this is what she loves to do.  I look at my mom and I think of this.  I have never seen my mom, that I can recall, sit anywhere for more than 10 minutes in the last 20 years, without something in her hands (going like this), she's always doing--that is her "hand's pleasure."  And she produces that kind of thing for all the family and for people who enjoy and need those kinds of things, and that is her "hand's pleasure."  Here is a woman much like that.

Now, she even goes beyond that, verse 15, "She rises while it is yet night, and she gives food to her households, and a portion to her maidens."  Let me tell you about a virtuous woman: she has more care about her family than her own comfort.  Did you see it?  She isn't "sacked out" until 10 in the morning (some of you are really groaning--husbands, restrain yourself from moving your elbows!).  "She rises while it is yet night, and she gives food to her household,"  I love to see a woman whose great primary concern is to live for the family far beyond her own comfort.  And you know something, boy, she has managed to make a few things, and she has saved some of her husband's money instead of squandered it, she secured it in the home. 

So she has got enough saved up (verse 16), "she sees a field, that's a good bargain, she buys the field, purchases the seed with the fruit of her hands and plants a vineyard."  I mean, she doing terrific; there is all kinds of place for enterprise, but the home is the base, and it is not to be the equivalent breadwinner.  If you can't live on what your husband makes, then you are living beyond your God-intended means, and you are victimized by the same old affluent, materialistic, indulgent, luxurious society.  If God gives it through him, thank Him and praise Him, and enjoy it, because He gives bountifully.

"She considers a field, she plants," and then, "she works;" verse 17, "she girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms."  She's not frail and self-indulgent, doting, and fixing herself to be beautiful all the time--she's out there working with her arms.  She's providing for this little extra.  It isn't that it has to be this way; she's adding a little bit extra and it comes into verse 25, you see, because of the strength and honor in her hands, and because she worked in buying the field and producing it, she shall rejoice in time to come.  The Hebrew says, "She will laugh at the future."  In other words, this isn't something they need for the moment, this is her little enterprise against the moment when the tragedy comes and they can't meet it.  This is future planning; this isn't indulgent.  And so she is some kind of lady.

"She perceives that her gain is good" in verse 18.  I want to show you what she does this for, there is a progression, verse 20, "She stretches her hand to the poor."  First of all, she does it for those who don't have anything.  She is enterprising to give it to people who need it; what a wonderful thing.  Secondly, she provides it for the cold, for her own house, "for all her household are clothed with scarlet."  You know something?  It isn't necessary to clothed them in scarlet; you don't have to be that fancy about it, but if she has got a little left over from what the needy needed, then she gives it to the family just so they will have something a little nicer. 

Finally, when the needs of the needy are met, and the needs of the family are met, if there is any left over (in verse 22) she makes herself a lined overcoat out of tapestry, and her clothing is literally white linen and purple.  There is nothing wrong with that; there is nothing wrong with having a lovely tapestry overcoat; there is nothing wrong with white linen and purple and dressing in a lovely manner--if that is because of and after the fact of meeting the needs of those that God has given you the care of, and those who are in need and poverty.

Then, of course, her husband is famous because he has such a wife, in verse 24.  Beyond that, she has met the [needs of the] poor; she has met the needs of the family; she has met her own needs and a little extra, and she makes fine linen and sells it, and "delivers belts to the merchant."  Now, she has got a little business!  "Hey?"  But it is all out of the home, and it is all in the right sequence of priority.  And the result is, verse 27, "She looks well to the ways of her house."  Ladies, do you look well to the ways of your house?  And your children?  And your husband?

"She never eats the bread of idleness," and do you know what the result is?  "Her children rise up, and call her blessed; and her husband also praises her."  Boy, that's it, that's graduation day, that's winning the award, that's the prize--all in God's perfect plan.

I want close by taking you back to Ephesians 5 for about three minutes.

2.  The Manner of Submission

The matter of submission--I think we have covered it.  Now, very rapidly I am going to run by those three last points because they will be covered just by reading it, "Secondly, the manner of submission, as unto the Lord."  Did you get that?  When you submit to that husband of yours, it isn't "Boy, I'll do it you turkey, but this is really rough.  If you only knew what I was sacrificing for the sake of spirituality."  No!  You are doing it as unto the Lord.  If Jesus Christ walked up to you and said, "Lady, quit your job and go home and take care of your children."  What would you say?  "Yes, Lord."  If your husband walks up and says it--would you do it?  The Lord is saying it; the Lord is in the place.  These are His principles.  He stands in the place of leadership in your family, "As unto the Lord;" it is the Lord who set down these principles--that's the manner of submission.

3.  The Motive of Submission

Thirdly, the motive, "For the husband is the head of the wife," (the motive there), "even as Christ is the head of the church, and the Savior of the Body."  The husband is the head of the wife, and listen, you're a body and he's a head!  A head gives order, a body does it.  You say, "But it's degrading!"  It isn't; if a body responds to a head, it isn't degrading!  If a body doesn't respond to the head it's spastic--that's degrading--not when it responds.  When we see a body that responds to a mind, a well coordinated functioning body, the body is honored and the mind is honored.  When we see a body that doesn't respond, both are dishonored.

4.  The Model of Submission

So the matter of submission leads to the manner of submission, and the motive of submission, and then finally: the model of submission.  Who's the pattern?  Christ, the Head of the Church; Christ the Savior of the Body; "Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."  Let me tell you something, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the Church.  Right?  When He died on the cross He said, "It is finished."  All we do is fall under that provision.  That's the illustration; the husband is the provider, the husband is the deliverer, the husband is the protector, the husband is the savior.  We don't need to be co-breadwinners, co-saviors, co-protectors, co-providers, and co- preservers.  All we need to do is to fall, as wives, under the protection, provision, and preservation of that man.  That's God's ordained pattern.

I tell you, when we follow this we will have happier homes, godlier children, and less divorces, and God will be honored, and the Word of God will not be blasphemed.  You see, in the church we haven't even followed this, and God's Word is thought of in the church, "Well, we don't agree with this; we will just take this out; this is a rabbinical gloss; this is tradition; this isn't inspired, etc."  No, Christ is the model.  What did the church ever do for Christ?  You tell me--but submit.  That's it.  What do we ever do but yield to Him, submit to Him?  He did it all; He purchased the church with His own blood, so we submit to Him.

Finally, in verse 24, it says, "In everything,"--you say, "Everything?"  Everything!  Only one out: if he tells you to do something that is disobedient to God, that's when you have to say what Peter said, "You judge whether we obey God or man," but short of that--everything.  What's the key?  Verse 18, "Be filled with the Spirit."  A Spirit-filled wife can do this and God's Word will be honored.

Let's pray.  Father, thank You for our time this morning.  These are words sometimes hard to hear; they have great impact on all of us, and yet, Lord, all we ever want to do is to obey you, and we have no fear, and no terror because we obey you and we know we will be blessed.  Raise up in this congregation holy women as of old, daughters of Sarah, who call their husband "Lord" and submit to the principles of Your Word as unto Christ, in whose name we pray and for whose glory.  Amen

Transcribed by Tony Capoccia of

BIBLE BULLETIN BOARD MODEM (318)-949-1456 BOX 130 1200/2400/4800/9600/14400 DS HST SHREVEPORT, LA 71110

Doc viewed 15092 times.

Related Content

This articles keywords/phrases are:


The articles in the list below have 1 or more of the same keywords or phrases as the article you are viewing. If you wish to hone in on a single keyword, click on that keyword and you will see a list of articles that match just that keyword.

Who Was Cain's Wife?    in Sermons

Site and Hosting Sponsored by:
Invite Them Home SEO Solutions

Debugging Information
ColdFusion Server Standard 2016,0,12,315717
Template /view.cfm
Time Stamp 16-Dec-19 02:15 AM
Locale English (US)
User Agent CCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
Remote IP
Host Name

Execution Time

Total Time Avg Time Count Template
72 ms 72 ms 1 top level C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm
5 ms 5 ms 1 C:/inetpub/wwwroot/believersweb/header.cfm
1 ms 1 ms 1 C:/inetpub/wwwroot/believersweb/Application.cfm
0 ms 0 ms 1 CFC[ C:/inetpub/wwwroot/believersweb/Portcullis.cfc | scan([complex value], form, ] from C:/inetpub/wwwroot/believersweb/Portcullis.cfc
red = over 250 ms average execution time

SQL Queries

docsum (Datasource=believersweb, Time=2ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\header.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT docName, docDescription, keywords, keyverse
FROM Documents
WHERE docID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 314

visitor (Datasource=believersweb, Time=0ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\header.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
	SELECT visnum
 	FROM  stats
 	WHERE recid = 1
(Datasource=believersweb_write, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\header.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
	UPDATE stats
	SET visnum ='39758548'
	WHERE recid = 1
getdoc (Datasource=believersweb, Time=4ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT docID, docName, docDate, docAuthor, docCategory, docFileName, docDescription, docsource, viewtimes, keywords, keyverse, docbody
FROM Documents
WHERE docID = ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 314

authorQ (Datasource=believersweb, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT authorName FROM Authors WHERE authorID = ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 58

catQ (Datasource=believersweb, Time=0ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT categoryName FROM Categories WHERE categoryID = ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 5

docdetails (Datasource=believersweb, Time=2ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT	docid, 	
FROM documents
WHERE docid = ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 314

keywords (Datasource=believersweb, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT	keyword
FROM keyword_list
WHERE word_id =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 62603

doclist (Datasource=believersweb, Time=4ms, Records=4) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT	docid, 	

FROM documents
WHERE keyword_ids LIKE ? AND docid <>  ?
ORDER BY docid
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(CF_SQL_CHAR) = %:62603:%
Parameter #2(cf_sql_integer) = 314

keyword (Datasource=believersweb, Time=0ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT	keyword, word_id 	
FROM keyword_list
WHERE word_id =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 62603

keyword (Datasource=believersweb, Time=0ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT	keyword, word_id 	
FROM keyword_list
WHERE word_id =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 62603

keyword (Datasource=believersweb, Time=0ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT	keyword, word_id 	
FROM keyword_list
WHERE word_id =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 62603

keyword (Datasource=believersweb, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT	keyword, word_id 	
FROM keyword_list
WHERE word_id =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 62603

getmatch (Datasource=believersweb, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT docID, docName, docCategory, docDescription
FROM Documents
WHERE docID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 315

catQ (Datasource=believersweb, Time=0ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT categoryName FROM Categories WHERE categoryID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 5

getmatch (Datasource=believersweb, Time=2ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT docID, docName, docCategory, docDescription
FROM Documents
WHERE docID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 793

catQ (Datasource=believersweb, Time=0ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT categoryName FROM Categories WHERE categoryID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 1

getmatch (Datasource=believersweb, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT docID, docName, docCategory, docDescription
FROM Documents
WHERE docID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 842

catQ (Datasource=believersweb, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT categoryName FROM Categories WHERE categoryID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 1

getmatch (Datasource=believersweb, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT docID, docName, docCategory, docDescription
FROM Documents
WHERE docID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 1052

catQ (Datasource=believersweb, Time=1ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
SELECT categoryName FROM Categories WHERE categoryID =  ? 
Query Parameter Value(s) -
Parameter #1(cf_sql_integer) = 5

views (Datasource=believersweb, Time=0ms, Records=1) in C:\inetpub\wwwroot\believersweb\view.cfm @ 02:15:53.053
	SELECT docviews, pageviews, rc_views, visnum
 	FROM  stats
 	WHERE recid = 1

Scope Variables

Application Variables:
portcullis=Struct (21)
CGI Variables:
CERT_SERVER_ISSUER=C=GB, S=Greater Manchester, L=Salford, O=COMODO CA Limited, CN=COMODO RSA Domain Validation Secure Server CA
CERT_SERVER_SUBJECT=OU=Domain Control Validated, OU=PositiveSSL, CN=believersweb.org
HTTPS_SERVER_ISSUER=C=GB, S=Greater Manchester, L=Salford, O=COMODO CA Limited, CN=COMODO RSA Domain Validation Secure Server CA
HTTPS_SERVER_SUBJECT=OU=Domain Control Validated, OU=PositiveSSL, CN=believersweb.org
HTTP_USER_AGENT=CCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
Cookie Variables:
Server Variables:
coldfusion=Struct (10)
os=Struct (5)
Session Variables:
sessiontimer={ts '2019-12-16 02:15:53'}
URL Parameters:
Debug Rendering Time: 5 ms