Submission to Older Women
One of the tasks given to “aged women” is that of teaching “the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (Titus 2:4-5).
Here is a new career to master. Paul suggests that the wife should look to older, more experienced women for training. This is a wholesome concept. Most big businesses pass knowledge gained from many years of service down from older, experienced employees to new, inexperienced employees. In this way, the best methods are preserved. This again implies submission. It implies the willingness to learn from others. This idea goes counter to much modern-day thinking–that older people have nothing to contribute to the younger generation. To give proper honor and appreciation to the older women and to be willing to learn from them would save untold heartaches for many young women.
The Proper Spirit
Genuine love (Titus 2:4)
One of the great privileges of a wife is that of loving her husband and her children. This love is not stimulated by the husband or the children alone but must first come from God and go out to them. What is meant by love? It is not hugs and kisses. It is not passion. You need not be married to find someone who can arouse passion within you. On the other hand, a husband and wife can embrace each other, and yet each knows that there is some barrier between them. An invisible but very real wall can separate husband, wife, and children. This is well expressed by an old song:
There is a wall between us;
It’s not made of stone:
The more we are together,
The more I am alone.
It is Christian love that binds–gentleness, kindness, goodness, patience, long-suffering, compassion, temperance.
Many wives say, “If he treats me well, I will treat him well. The responsibility is on him. I’m good because he is good.” Thank God that the alternative to be good or bad does not lie with someone else! It is a decision for you to make. This is a struggle. Often you must struggle with the decision to look to God for love to bestow upon a husband or a child who may not return it. You can submit to your marriage with a stony heart, or with a loving heart.
A worker at home
To be a worker at home is also a high calling (Titus 2:4-5). Wise purchasing, wise planning, and creating a wholesome atmosphere in the home require the best that is in you.
It is a fortunate man who finds a woman who will dedicate herself to keeping the home and maintaining a happy relationship with her children and her husband. These verses point out that such a woman has a ministry. Through her behavior the Word of God will not be blasphemed (Titus 2:5).
For a woman to give herself to her family is a high calling, indeed. Essentially, our Lord poured His life into only twelve men.
The proper adorning
Peter speaks of a quality in a wife that is “precious in the sight of God.” He speaks of this with reference to a wife whose husband is “disobedient to the word.” However, any wife will do well to live by this exhortation in I Peter 3:1-4. These days, there is much emphasis upon outward appearance. Women spend a great deal of time and money on clothes, jewelry, care of the complexion and hair. How many spend hours styling their hair, putting on jewelry and flattering clothes … ! Now women should look just as lovely as they possibly can. The intent of this passage, however, is to stress the truth that these outward things are not the ornaments that are of God. This is the ornament that counts: “Let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
You should, of course, care for your body. In addition, and more important, is a meek and quiet spirit that shines through your face, gets into your muscles, into your nervous system, and into your heart. Why? For your own good, of course. For your own happiness, of course. But just as important is your influence on your husband, the atmosphere that you create for the people in your life. A meek and quiet spirit that dominates your life is one of the greatest accomplishments possible for a wife. It is, in the sight of God, of great price. Such a spirit will win the man who is “disobedient to the word.”
Recently the wife of a man who was not a Christian told of this incident. Her husband came home late from work because he stopped on the way home to play golf. She resented this very much and was seething within when he came home. After supper he announced, “Honey, we are going out for a ride. I have a surprise for you.” She did not want to go anywhere because she wanted to nurse her grievance. He insisted. They stopped in front of a pet shop. He went in and came out with a particular parakeet that she had been noticing and had said she would like to have. She tried to look grateful, but within she was very much ashamed.
The parakeet is now at home; but she doesn’t enjoy it, for it represents to her a symbol of a seething heart, rather than a gift received with a meek and quiet spirit. This woman is a Christian. Her husband, who is not, treats her better than she treats him. If she wants to influence him for Christ, she must avail herself of the proper equipment–a meek and quiet spirit. Then the Word of God will not be blasphemed.
In these days there are many tottering, weak, unhappy marriages. Could it be that the key to strengthening many of them is in the hands of the wife? This passage from 1 Peter would say so. You, wives, have a high calling–a great job to be done. The proper dress for the job is spiritual and invisible. It is available only from God–the adornment of a meek and quiet spirit. May each wife who reads these pages submit to the task, and thus provide the haven that her husband and children need in these tense days.