Dr. Ed Young - What Every Wife Needs to Know
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God invented marriage. God gave us this most sacred union as a long as we're alive on this earth, and therefore, in that union, He has spelled out, He's explained clearly as to how a male functions, and to how a female functions. But I dare say, I could pick somebody out of the audience and bring 'em up and say "You're married"? "Yes". "Tell me your job assignment"! And most of us, have to shake our heads and say "Well, I think it's this, I believe it's this..." And so many marriages are duals, instead of duets. Many marriages are debates instead of a dance! Marriage God's way is intended to be a Divine dance! Now, we watch the Winter Olympics sort of casually, year by year, but I can remember-well, this year. I'm watching a basketball game on one channel. Time out, commercials. Zip! I go to the news channel, and I'm flipping back and forth. In my flipping, I run into the Winter Olympics, and there is pair skating!
Jo Beth says, "Let's watch that a little bit..." Now, for many years, I looked on pair skating as curling, which is not my favorite sport. And the fact, the fact it is a sport is astounding to me! but being the perfect husband that I am I always stop! And I watch it! And then I have to tell you the truth: I now appreciate it and like it! It is some kind of event! It's, you see the strength of the man, and you see the femininity of the woman, and you see how she trusts him, and how he has confidence in her, and it is a fabulous event of balance, timing, coordination, discipline, training, and behind all of that, what's going on? Music! They're in time with music, with rhythm! And we know behind that is a choreographer who has written everything down, every move the you make, every turn of their body in unison, and in harmony.
I dare say there's not a sport on the planet on that is more demanding than pair skating as far as two individuals moving together with a beautiful flow! Now, when the flow doesn't work-heh! When the timing is out of sort, we just launch out there! We say "Boy, my marriage isn't working because of this and that"! We haven't read the score! We don't hear the music! We haven't followed the choreographer who is God Himself! So now we're going to catch up! No man who was here last time has an excuse for saying "You know, I don't know what I'm supposed to do as a husband..." That excuse is invalid! Today, no wife will be able to leave and say "Well, I don't know what I'm to do as a wife"!
After this time together, that excuse will be invalid. The Divine dance of marriage, God's style! We have to begin and understand as first of all, we call the Apostle Paul forward, remember? We said "Paul, come tell us about marriage..." And he talked to the guys. Today we say "Paul, come tell us about marriage". He's talks to the wives! And then we'll ask the Apostle Peter to come. He talked to the guys last week. We're gonna say "Pete, come tell us about the females this week"! So therefore, we have two authorities inspired by God, giving instructions so we can see what's on the box of marriage and get it together! And marriage can become, not a debate, but a dance! Open your Bibles, if you would, to the Book of Ephesians, Chapter Number 5. Familiar Chapter! Before we get into the assignments for the wife, let's see the introduction to this.
Look at Verse 18. Paul says: "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in Psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks for all things in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father". Verse 21, "And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ". And then there is the assignment, ladies. Look at Verse 22: "Wives, be subject, be submissive to your own husbands, as to the Lord". To understand marriage, we have to understand the background that is here. Paul has given us in the book of Ephesians, five and a half Chapters of heavy theology. Somebody's saying "I don't like theology"! Theology is what you believe, and what you believe and what I believe should be the basis upon which we live, basis upon which we make decisions.
So theology is important! But five and a half Chapters of practical doctrine. Then we have this Verse, the transitional Verse. "Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit". From doctrine to practicality! What does that mean? Be not, be drunk with wine? When you're drunk, what happens? You don't think clearly. You don't see as well. You don't speak as well. Your coordination is out of sorts, and you make bad decisions. So Paul is saying "Don't be drunk with wine and have all of this liability on you". He said, "Be filled with the Spirit". And when we're filled with the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, guess what happens? We see better! We think better! We move better! We make wiser decisions because He is empowering us, empowering you, and empowering me.
So we see the contrast that is here. And then he tells us characteristics of the Spirit-filled life. How can you tell where someone is full of the Spirit? By the way, to be filled means to be under the control of. If you are filled with anger, guess what? Anger is in control of you, or in control of me! If you're filled with malice, the same thing. If you're filled with the Spirit, it means to be controlled, to be God-controlled. And then we say we're thankful! I believe God honors people who are thankful and grateful, and appreciative as much as anything else! That should be an attitude of someone who's walking with Christ, who's being led by the Spirit, who is full of the Spirit.
And then finally there is that word "submission". And what does, what does Paul say? He said "We're to be submissive, one to another. Males are to be submissive to females, and females are to be submissive to males"! And then he goes along and talks about the job assignments in the rest of the Chapter. And he says "Wives are to be subject, submissive to their husbands. Children are to be submissive to their parents, and employees are to be submissive to employers".
Now women get upset about the word, "Oh, I'm supposed to be submissive"! Remember the operative word for men? We're supposed to live lives of sacrifice before our wives, and a man who lives sacrificially before a wife, how easy it is for a female to be submissive. And submissive doesn't mean inferiority in any way. It doesn't mean that the husband is the top sergeant, and you're a private, ladies! That's not what that means, any more than when we leave today, and we're on the expressway, and zip! That little light comes up behind us in the car, and we pull over the side, and we're submissive to that officer! Doesn't mean they're superior to us! It means that is their role. That is a responsibility. That's how we function in our culture and our world. That's what this means in that particular area.
Now we have to look at the historical context of this submissiveness. It's very, very important. When these words were written, when Christ entered history, the plight of women soared! Women prior to this were owned. They were like cattle. They were like property til' Christ entered this world. Make no mistake about it! That is historically true. And then Jesus comes! Paul and the church comes and liberates the female! And then we see the assignment here that the female has in this job description. Look back to Ephesians, Chapter Number 5 if you would. Here's the Verse, ladies! Hold on! "Wives, be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord..." by the way, in your Bible, is the word "subject" in italics? Look at it. Isn't it kind of in italics? Wonder why that is? You know why? It's not in the original Greek! But subject was put in there because in the context, remember the context? "Wives, be subject to the husbands... husbands be subject to the wives..."
See in that context? And then he's saying "This is simply the job description". All right. "Wives, be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself, being the Savior of the body". What is he saying? Submission, wives, is an obligation. It's an obligation. Submission is what wives are built for! For example, in the Bible, you not, not find one illustration, remind you, of a command for wives to love their husbands. Remember that? Not one time. Three times, you find the command for men to love their wives. Why is that? God doesn't command something that's already taking place. It's already built in, does He?
Wives have a capacity to love. Female has a capacity for love. Females have a capacity to care. Us guys, we have to develop that. That's not innate in you and innate with me. So, we see, it is the wife who asks the question of the husband, "Do you love me as much as I love you"? That's a female question. Men don't ask their wives, "Do you love me as much as I love you"? That's, that's not-you know. You look a survey, and women think that, "Boy, I wish he loved me, the way I way I love him"! 'Cause women are built for love! Jo Beth and I... I've been pastor of five churches. And from Erwin, North Carolina, to Canton, North Carolina, to Taylor, South Carolina, to Columbia, South Carolina, to this area in Houston. In all five churches, you know, they'd come, and they'd hear you preach, and they'd want to go, and you'd pray about it, and we went over that many, many times.
But a few times, I thought, there's a place where God could use me and expand my ministry, and I felt He was speaking to my heart. Went very slow, very deliberately. Got a lot of counsel about it. But every time, I felt like maybe this, we should go. Jo Beth and I had prayed together. She'd say "I don't want to go". "You don't want to go"? "No, I don't want to go". And we'd pray some more. I said "Do you feel like God is leading us to go there"? She said "No, I don't feel anything from God leading us". Five times! But every time, she would say "But if you feel God's leading, I want you to know I'll go one hundred percent".
And so every time, the same situation, she's never felt God moving us from one place to another place in our marriage of fifty years plus, but she says "Wherever you go, I'll be there with you"! Ladies, that is when the big decisions, the men! We have responsibility for the credibility of the home! We're accountable to God, guys! Therefore, we can't be accountable unless the wives are submissive when it's a tie vote in decision making. A lot of areas, I'm totally submissive to Jo Beth. She's the authority. Other areas, she's submissive to me. When there's a tie vote, I have to break the tie under the leadership of Almighty God! And that's when the wife has to be submissive. So wives, you have an obligation, and a calling, and a job assignment, God, to be submissive to your husband. This is what Paul says.
Now look at what Peter says. He's had more experience in marriage than anybody because remember, he and his wife and family lived with his mother-in-law in Capernaum! So he really! Let's listen what he says to the wives. He says submission is an opportunity. Listen to it. "In the same way, you wives be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives". What does this mean? It means that if you wives has a husband who is not a Christian, don't put tracks under his pillow. Don't spend all the time saying "Oh, you're going to hell"! Don't spend all the time preaching, and lamenting, and working, and trying to trick and bribe them! You know what you do, gals? You just live the Christian life in front of your husband. You just let it shine! I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day, hadn't you? Ten to one!
So you live that Christian life. They see the genuineness there. That is what God uses. A woman told me fairly recently, said "My husband hates you"! And I said "Well, I hardly know your husband"! Then I said "Get in line"! Anyway, but uh... She said "Oh, he's not a Christian, and he hates the church, da da da da da... he goes on and on. He's critical and everything". And she said "But I'm working on him". Said "When you come on television, he'll get up and leave the room he hates you so much". And, and said "But we get to a good part in the sermon, I turn the volume up, pweeew, where he'll hear it through the wall"! And I told her "I'd hate me too if I were him". What is this saying? An opportunity to clearly witness the validity of the Christ person is given to those.
Wives, when you're submissive, understanding and compassionate, they see, man! This is something! A lot of wives, they bail out in their marriage, and just bad things happen to them. They spend all their time in civic activities, and business activities, in all kinds of church activities, and they're gone the whole time! For example, I couldn't imagine, we're gonna deal with Sarah in a minute. Sarah, the wife of the patriarch, Abraham, writing this note to her husband. She wasn't that kind of woman! Imagine, he came in from being, working all day in the hot with flocks and all the things he had She finds this note: "Babe, mutton-pot-pie in the stoneoven! Gone to Torah study with the ladies at Bethel. Took the small chariot. Be home late. Don't worry! Be sure to give Ishmael herbs for his cough at sundown, and bathe Isaac. Sarah. P.S., don't forget to close all the flaps when you go to bed. A sandstorm is coming"!
Now that's a wife that may say "My husband's not measuring up". She decided to be absent without leave. So, so wives, you have an obligation to let them see Christ in you. If you, if you work, he sees how you handle the things in the market place. He sees how you handle the things at home, and by the way-this is an obligation: You bear your witness through your life more than your words, or legalism, or your piosity! Also, look what else submission does to a wife that is submissive. Look at here. It says "Submissive is an ornament..." Listen! "But let it be the hidden person of the heart". Verse 3: "Your ornament must not be merely external, braiding the hair-women braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or putting on a dresses".
Now I have been in churches that they say "Ah, see that Scripture there? You women, you don't braid your hair! The Bible says don't braid your hair"! I've been in churches, "Okay, you women! Don't you wear any gold jewelry! Man, you don't do it"! But they do the next part about wearing dresses. They don't say "Now you have to be nude"! You see how the Bible can be so twisted, ladies and gentlemen? You read just a part of something? What is Peter saying? He's saying "Ladies, let the inside of your life speak more than the externality". And, you know, I think the lady needs to be as attractive and as beautiful as she possibly can. And a little paint on the fence, always, you know, brightens it up!
So we move in this area, and to be submissive is an ornament. It's is an attractedness there, and then, Peter talks about a woman who is unforgettable, and that's Sarah, the wife of the patriarch. Look what he says! "But 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". Verse 5: "For in this way, and former times, the holy women also who hope for God, used to adorn themselves with, being submissive to their own husband, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear".
In other words, he's saying "Wives, trust your husband. In this Divine dance, trust! He's gonna throw you! He's gonna catch you! He's gonna be there"! And we see the characteristics of an unforgettable woman. Every female here, single or married, you need to develop these characteristics. An unforgettable woman-first of all, is feminine. Feminine. That doesn't mean it's a sensual, sexual display, but it means there's taste, there's class, there's dignity, there's a femininity there. Sarah was feminine. "Well, how do you know that"? Read her story in the Old Testament. When Sarah was 65 years old, Abraham took her down to Egypt because there was a famine in Israel, and while they were down there, they met Pharoh And Pharaoh was drawn to Sarah. And Abraham passed Sarah off as his sister.
Now she was his half-sister, half true, because he was afraid Pharaoh would kill him in order to take Sarah, a 65 year old woman in his harem! Now, let me tell you something: A 65 year old woman taken in the harem of the most powerful man on earth, who had everything, could have any woman that he wanted? Boy! Sarah had a charisma, a femininity about her that was unmatched! Wouldn't you say that? You don't see that today! If Bill Gates lost his wife, you don't think he'd go find some 65 year old woman to marry? He'd find more or less some 25 year old! That's how it works, isn't it? But Sarah, Sarah was feminine. And to further prove that, you know, when she was 90 years of age, Abraham took her down to the land of Philistia, Galatia, to be exact, and there they ran into King, Abimelech.
And the King looked at Sarah, she was 90 years old, and said "Whew! Is that your sister, or your wife? I want to take her in my harem"! Ninety years old! That is that inner beauty! There is that charm, and Sarah was unforgettable! And every female can be unforgettable. Femininity! Be feminine. Be feminine... Also, look at the next thing that it said. Remember our Scripture, what I said? Review. What's the characteristics here? "Gentle, and a gentle, and a quiet spirit, another characteristic of an unforgettable woman". A gentle and quiet spirit. Doesn't mean that "I'm quiet. I don't speak. I'm backward..." It means there is a smile, and a delicacy, and a gentleness, and a quiet inner confidence when you walk and when you speak. You meet a woman like that-she is absolutely unforgettable! Strong, but quiet and gentle. Also, intelligent! Intelligent. It doesn't mean your Phi Beta Kappa, top of your class, but you keep up with what's going on.
You know what interests your man! You know what's happening in the world! An intelligent woman! I just read a survey. It said "The smart man always marries someone that's smarter than he is". For some of you guys, that was pretty easy to do! An intelligent woman is an unforgettable woman. And finally, a female that likes to have fun! You have fun when you're together! I can't imagine being married to somebody who always is negative and narrow! Uh, somebody who's fun to be with! There's spontaneity! There's excitement! There's creativity! That's an unforgettable woman! And the final thing, unforgettable woman is someone who makes the man feels bigger than he really is. More than he really is! Tell you something! When I walk down the street with Jo Beth, I'll tell you, I feel bigger than I am! More important than I am! She makes me feel smarter than I am!
And that's a challenge! That's an unforgettable woman! Unforgettable woman is feminine. She has a quiet and gentle spirit and confidence. She's intelligent. She stays up! She's fun to be with, and she makes that guy feel bigger than life! That was Sarah! That can become any woman here when we build up on the inside, and there's a beauty that comes out. That's God's design for the wife. Therefore, in the Divine dance, look how this works! Boy! He is confident of her, and she is thrilled with him, and they move together in unity, in coordination, and it is a wonderful thing!
What a great tragedy when God the choreographer, who's given us clear assignments, men, live sacrificially with your wives. How easy it is to take out the trash when you're living sacrificially, when you give your life, isn't it? Wives, you're to be submissive, teaching us how to love and become lovers. When that happens, pshewww! Heh, heh, heh! There's a dance, there is a beauty, there is a flow that's absolutely supernatural, and God Almighty says "In that marriage, in that dance, give that couple a gold medal"! That's our goal. That is how we put together the multiple, multiple decisions and choices we made living out my job description, my wife living out her job description. Nothing gets better than that!