Creflo Dollar - Mutual Submission - Part 3
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the Book of 1 Peter chapter 3. We have been talking for several weeks now on the series entitled "Grace-Based Relationships". We started this out by talking about the two major relationships that, they're pretty obvious. It's the relationship, number one, that we have with God. And then the relationship, number two, that we have with one another. And it's important that you understand that the primary relationship, the one that's probably the most vital relationship, is man's relationship with God. Now, lots of people try to live life without having a relationship with God. And we are free moral agents, so that's their choice. But life is never gonna be what it can be without understanding how vitally important it is to have a relationship with God. You cannot have a relationship with God without, first of all, having a relationship with his what? Word. God and his Word are the same.
In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So, if you don't have a relationship with the Word, you don't have a relationship with God. I don't care how many times you go to church. If you don't have a relationship with the Word, you don't have a relationship with God. So, that's the most important relationship, man's relationship with God. And then we spent time talking about man's relationship with man. We talked about friendship and how important it is to allow the Holy Spirit to be a part of that friendship stage and that, you know, you learn a lot in friendship that will carry you through your marriage. And so now, for the last week or two, we've been in that relationship dealing with marriage.
And so, I want to begin in 1 Peter chapter, chapter 3. You know, I think we made this statement too last week that without Jesus, nothing would be held together. Without Jesus, nothing can be held together. And every successful marriage in the kingdom of God always has a third party, and that third party is Jesus. Every successful marriage in the kingdom of God always has a third party, and that third party is Jesus. Now, I want to go through 1 Peter chapter 3. And remember, this is grace-based relationships, so you're gonna look at a lot of things that has been said about this. And, you know, I believe your eyes are gonna be opened to this, that it's gonna really bless you. But the first word presents a problem that a lot of people hadn't looked at, 1 Peter chapter 3, verse 1, and that word is "likewise" or in the same manner as. So, he says, "Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word of God, they also may without the word of God be won by the conversations of the wives".
Now, several translations says, "Likewise, you wives be in submission, or subjection, to your husband's authority". And that's not what that means. Likewise, it says, it says in the same manner as, in the same manner as, wives, be in subjection to your husband. So, the first question we've got to ask is, what manner is he talking about? Be in subjection, in other words, be in subjection like this. So, we gotta go and find that what that "this" is. Obviously, there is a model that he's saying, "I want you to be in subjection, according to this model. I want you to be in subjection to your husband, according to this model, or in this particular manner". Well, how are you gonna know how to be in subjection to your husband according to this manner or this model if you don't know what the model or the manner is? All right so, does everybody follow me here?
So, what is this model that he is saying wives should model after, likewise? Well, in order to do that, you gotta back up to 1 Peter 2 and find out what the the manner is, likewise or in the same manner. So, what's that manner or that model that he's talking about wives to follow? Well, in verse 21 he says, "For even thereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us," what? "Leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps". So, all right, this is the model or the manner that he's talking about. "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judge righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and the Bishop of your souls".
So, like this, wives, all right, let me break it down a little bit more. So, in verse 22 he said, "Who did no sin". Likewise, wives, do no sin. "Who had no guile found in their mouth". Likewise, that guild is when you're speaking deception, you're speaking deception with your mouth. So likewise, wives, don't speak deception. He says, "And when he suffered, he threatened not". So, wives, no threatening. "But he committed himself to him that judge righteously". We commit, likewise, wives, commit yourself to him that judge righteously. "Who in his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin should live unto righteousness". Likewise, wives, live unto righteousness. "For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and the Bishop of your souls". Likewise, wives, return to the Bishop and the Shepherd of your souls. So, then he goes on, he says, now, based on all of what was just said here, he says, "Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands".
Well, how do you do that? You submit to your husband by being committed to God and doing what's right. See, in what we just read, 21 through 25, he was just saying as Jesus was submitted to God by doing right, so likewise, wives, be subject to your husbands by doing right, by doing right. So, I don't know what the deal was over the years where the church came in and told the wives, "You need to be subject to his authority and do what he tells you to do," and left it at that. But you see how much we miss. Likewise, or in the same manner that Jesus did right, even when it was uncomfortable. I mean, you know what it means when Jesus says stuff like, "The Bible says that he was reviled"? That means he was criticized in an abusive or an angrily insulting manner, but he still chose to do right. He is saying to the woman, "As an heir of God, commit yourself to doing right and submit to your husband by doing right to me". Wow, that's just amazing.
So, now you read on here and you think, "Well, hold on a minute, Pastor". Well, look what he says. Now that we know that, "Likewise, you wives, be subject to your husbands by being committed to God and doing what's right. Be subject to your husbands by being committed to God and doing what's right". Why do you want to be subject to your husband by being committed to God and doing what's right? He said just in case your husband is not obeying the Word, then he can look at you doing what's right and be won over through your conversation and your lifestyle.
Now, a lot of people think, "Well, no, he wasn't saved". Well, he didn't say, you know, that he can be saved through your lifestyle. That's what conversation means, your lifestyle. He said, "If you should have one that's not being obedient". If you have your husband that's not being obedient, what he says is, if you're committed to doing what's right and you have subjected that to your husband, he says that's gonna be good because when he's doing something wrong, he's gonna look at your right and will be won over because he has an example to see how right should look. That's strong. That's strong. Man, he gives this to the woman. He says, "While the husband's who's in disobedience, while they behold your chaste conversation, or your lifestyle, coupled with fear". He says, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold". So, when he talks about adorning here, he's not talking about your hair, or, you know, your hair, I'm not gonna say that. Your hair, your hair. I'm growing. He's not talking to me. But he's talking about adorning or decorating yourself, not just the outside.
Now, of course, he does not mind you decorating the outside but he was like saying, that's not the most vital part. You know, you can look sharp, and God doesn't mind you looking sharp. God is not against makeup. Please don't misunderstand me. I am a believer of Max Factor, Maybelline, and whatever makes you look better. Baby, decorate yourself. Just try not to overdo it so we'll know who you are when you walk out the bathroom. That's all. So, I'm not against that. You do hair, you do weaves, you do earrings, you do glitter on your face. I mean, you can have short hair one day and it can be like a horse, I mean, a train hair. Not a horse, but a horse hair, you know, not a horse hair, the long hair, but anyway, decorating is not a problem. That's not what God is saying. He says, "But don't forget about the heart, the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit".
Now, notice what he says. "A meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of a great price". So do that, do that. "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also trusted in God, they adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands". They did that by trusting in God. "Even as Sara obeyed Abraham and called him lord: whose daughters, he says, you are, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. So likewise, in the same manner, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as the weaker vessel".
Now, this has been really misunderstood. It's kind of like people have interpreted this like, "Oh, poor wife. She's weak, incapable". And that's not why Paul uses this term, "weaker vessel". You have to understand at that particular time, women were not even allowed to be educated at that time. At the time this was written, they were not even allowed to be a part of certain conversations. At the time this was written, the poverty that was on a woman because of the restrictions that were in that society. And so, you have to read this thing in context. He's not talking about, you know, honor her 'cause she a weak woman. There are some women that can out lift you in the weight room these days.
So, we're not talking about no weak woman. I mean a woman that can raise children by herself because the man took off somewhere, that is not weakness. No, forget that. If you're married and you saw, you were there at the birth of your child, that ends weakness. That takes, listen, if having children was left up to me, it wouldn't happen. It would not happen. It would not happen. I wouldn't want to be with nobody that's gonna put a baby in me I gotta push out with that kind of pain. If it was left up to men, the earth would be void. Are you serious? Women are strong. I don't know which kid it was, but I was in the room.
I was like, "Come on, baby". 'Cause I was like, I needed to do whatever I can do to kind of see if I can help her out. I mean, she's doing all the work. And I started praying in tongues. I said, "Oh, Jesus". She said, "Baby, baby". I said... She said, "What"? I said, "What"? She said, "Shut up". I said, "Huh"? "Shut up. Just shut up". Hurt my feelings, I walked out the room just for a moment. You can track yourself. She didn't mean to hurt my feelings, but it's like, "You did this to me". Strong, so, he's not talking about weaker. But here's what he says, he says you're to honor her. The word "honor" means to weigh in, that which carries weight. To honor someone means that your words or you carry weight, you carry value. What you say carries weight in my life. The issue is, does your wife carry value? Does your wife carry weight in your life as a man? So, here's what he's saying. You need to honor her as the weaker vessel and as being heirs together of the grace of life. So, first of all, it says you stand on equal ground. She is an heir, just like you are. Heirs together, all right?
Now, here's the deal. Men, don't miss this. So, if you choose not to honor her, value her, treasure her, nourish her, if you choose not to do that, your prayers will be hindered. You can pray about that promotion all day long. Your prayer, what? Your prayers, are you kidding me? Your prayers are hindered because you don't honor, cherish, or allow your wife to carry weight in your life. And all of us are guilty of that at one time or another. Your wife shows up, and she needs to have an opportunity to impart some things, in what's getting ready to happen in that team marriage. And when you take it upon yourself to do that without her impartation, then you devalue her, dishonor her, and the car or house, or whatever you went out to buy, may hurt you because your prayers are going to be hindered because there was a dishonor where the Word says to honor your wife so your prayers can be not hindered.
And most men don't think about that. You can't have a wife and she not weigh in. The wife can't buy this, this weird fable that says you're not supposed to say nothing, "I'm supposed to submit to my husband, so I just need to be quiet, be the little wife". You are hurting that man because you carry something that's valuable to the relationship, and the religion has told you to shut up, be quiet 'cause that submission. No, that's not. You're gonna be a doormat after a while. That is not submission. Men need the wife to chime in on situations so it will cause us to reevaluate what we thought was the only way.
Does everybody hear what I'm saying? How many men in here want to make sure your prayers are answered? You better treat that woman right. You better treat that woman right. You better honor that woman. Your secretary ain't got no business knowing more about you than your wife. You don't go talking to your secretary talking about, "I need to sit down and talk to you. I'm just a little depressed at this particular time". And then the secretary says, "Well, you know, your husband told me he's a little depressed". And she's like, "How you find that out? He's supposed to be telling me he depressed before he telling you he depressed". See, that's intimacy under violation. You're not supposed to violate your wife by sharing that type of intimacy with somebody that you're not married to. Oh, you ain't got to clap. Just look at me and just say, "Oh, me" under that mask. Might be good you got that mask on today 'cause I can't see your face real good. Like, I can't see your lips poked out.
All right now, watch this. Everybody with me now? He says, "Giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and being heirs together, heirs together, heirs together, of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called, that you should inherit a blessing". What is the blessing that God said that you can inherit as a married couple? Here it is, verse 10, "That you'll love life and that you'll see good days". That's the blessing. Now, I want to pronounce that blessing on every married couple right now. You will love life and you will see good days. In fact, if you're sitting near your spouse, turn to them and say, "You will love life and you will have good days". If you're not married but you're gonna be married one day, say out loud, you can look at Jesus 'cause he your husband or whatever you need him to be at that time. Say out loud, "You will love life and have good days".
Now, notice what he says. If that's gonna happen, you gotta do right. "Let him refrain his tongue from evil," all right, "and that his lips, that they speak no guile". Guile is a very interesting word. It's not just deception, it's clever deception. It's, I think I used last week the word, duplicity. When he's talking about guile, he's talking about deceitfulness in your speech or conduct as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter. In other words, it's like double dealing. It's an act of deceitfulness. And he says, "You being involved in speaking guile will hinder the blessing of loving life and seeing good days. Let him escheweth evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good"?
So, this is what he was telling the wife, men. Do good. Do good, no matter what, do good. God will promote you or exalt you in due time, but you just don't want to, you know, exalt yourself. Do good. Don't do what clearly violates God's Word because Jesus is your Lord. Don't do it. And so, one of the things that we mentioned last week, and then I'll be kind of finished with the summary, but one of the things we mentioned last week that it takes a strong person to submit. And remember, the Apostle Paul, we're gonna get ready to go to Ephesians 5 because the Apostle Paul is now bringing in mutual submission. The Apostle Paul is saying, "No, submission is not just for the wife," but he says, "Submit yourself," in verse 21, "Submit yourself one to another out of respect and reverence to God".
Submit yourself one to another. So, submission is not a woman thing. Submission is not a wife thing. Submission is a man and woman submitting one to another, bowing the knee to doing what's right according to God. And you see over and over again in Ephesians 5, "Do this, even as Christ did it. Do that, just like Christ did it". In other words he's saying, "Likewise do that or in the same manner. Love the way Christ loved. Submit the way Christ submitted". So, everything: the strength of the relationship is gonna be this third party and it's Christ. And so, one other thing I want you to recognize is that submission is not inferiority. Inferiority means falling short.
Sometimes people thought, "Well, if I submit, then, you know, it's really me falling short. I'm not all that I can be". No, no, no, submission is a very powerful thing, and I hope to share that with you this morning. Let's go to Ephesians chapter 5 and get into this today. Somebody says, "I thought we was already getting into it". No, that was all review, see if we were getting on the same page. Ephesians chapter 5, and we're gonna look at 25 through 33. Well, you know what, I want to show you Jesus in action before we... hold your place at Ephesians 5. Let's go to Luke chapter 2 and 51. Luke chapter 2. 'Cause I figure if you find Jesus doing something he's telling us to do, we probably need to do it. Submission releases God's favor, and the place of submission is the place of blessings.