I heard something the other day on the radio that has been rolling around in my heart. I heard the word, “expectation”; expectation in the sense of that which we expect from others, in this case, our spouses. This morning, as I was praying about what to read and what to pray, this word came up again, in reference to my husband. Yes, this is a blog post about husbands, wives and our marriages.
1 Peter 3:1 says, “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they without a word may be won by the conduct of their wives.” So what does this have to do with the expectations we place on our husbands? Everything! God commands us as His daughters to be in submission towards our husbands. Submission is the “unresistingly or humble obedience” we give to our husbands. This is a hard lesson for me to learn, but it is one that I need to hear, and need to apply.
Peter goes on to tell us wives that we are to look to Sara as our example- so I did. Genesis 12:10-20 tells us of Abraham and Sara who travelled to Egypt because there was a great famine in the land. In verse 11-13 it says, “And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt that he said to Sara his wife, ‘Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’, and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.” Sara obeyed Abraham, even though she knew that he was walking on dangerous ground. She did not tell him no or even try to talk him out of this bad decision- she submitted to his desires, and left the rest up to God.
Jon Courson puts it like this in his commentary-“Even though Abraham was going in the wrong direction, God protected Sara and enriched the family as a result of her obedience…As you study Abraham’s life, you see the key component to his greatness was having Sara for his wife-one who travelled with him, one who trusted in God, one who called him lord. Sara did not try to change Abraham’s mind- on the contrary, she put her trust in the Lord God and let Him deal with Abraham’s poor decisions.
This is such a very valuable lesson for us wives to learn. You see, we have a tendency to put our own expectations on how our husbands should behave, when God is simply saying to us, I have my expectations for your husband, if he messes up- I will deal with him. God is asking us to “unresistingly and humbly submit” no matter the outcome. Peter tells us that “even if some do not obey the word, they without a word may be won by the conduct of their wives.” Our expectations should be in the Lord and our trust and hope should also follow.
I have had many expectations for my husband. I thought that once he became a Christian he would start doing daily devotions with our kids and I. I thought that he would become as actively involved in our church as I did. I thought that he would change into what I wanted. But I forgot one very important factor- it’s not about me! Not even in our marriage do I have a right to “expect” my husband to be something God has not asked of him yet. And besides, if I were honest- I am too “spiritual” in my own thinking to allow my husband to teach me.
So many times my pride gets in the way of the submission the Lord has called me to. Unlike Sara when I see my husband going in the wrong direction, I want to tell him all about how he needs to change- how he needs to let the Lord change him. What happens when I start to do that- we get into a fight, and I get my feelings hurt because I “expected” a different reaction. I have said this so many times, not only to myself but to other women- “we are not the Holy Spirit” we cannot change our husbands. But there is something we can change- our expectations. I am not saying that we should stop desiring for our husbands to be all that they can be, or stop praying for them- that should be something we make a point to do daily. But what I think the Lord is asking of me today is total submission- as a meek and quiet spirit. Not freaking out because my husband is not leading me the way I think he should. God will lead, all I need to do is submit to Him first, and then to my husband. Just like Sara was protected by God for her obedience (even when Abraham was being an idiot) we too as wives shall be protected when our husbands do idiotic things. (Yes, I said it- because it is true) Ladies, wives- your expectations, your hope, your desire should be to Jesus Christ first, the rest will come.
I want my husband to be this great man of God, who loves the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, mind and strength. I want my husband to lead our home in such a way that others are amazed and God is glorified. What I did not see- was that he does love the Lord his God, he is leading us- just not the way that “I” thought he should. Wives, can I please encourage you today to stop praying for the Lord to change your husband into what you think you need- and pray for the Lord to change your heart for what your husband needs. (It’s called a “help-meet”)
A godly wife will always put the needs of her husband before her own. I can honestly say that I have not been a very godly wife. In fact, I have done more complaining about his lack of leadership as I saw it, which caused me to become non-submissive and almost intolerable to live with! He was trying- but my expectations were not godly- they were selfish. I pray that if you are reading this today, that you will join me in prayer as we ask the Lord God to forgive us for our unrealistic expectations we have placed upon our husbands, and become the wives God wants us to be. Just as Peter said we have our example of godliness through Sara, we should not be afraid or scared when our husbands sin or go against Him- but we should trust, hope and have confidence that the Lord God will take care of us, and protect us because we are being who He wants us to be- submissive in all things to our husbands.
May the Lord God open our hearts to hear His word to us wives today. Even if some do not believe and have turned away from God, may we as women, mothers and wives look to You, Lord Jesus Christ. May our expectation, hope, trust and desire be to You first. In Jesus Name, Amen.