The Wife's Role, Part 3

Faith Church May 8, 2010 Ephesians 5:22-24

1. We’re continuing our series: Taking the Next Step with Joy & applying this year’s theme to our Marriages & Families

2. This is actually our 3rd week for our study of the Wife Role in the marriage relationship

3. Somebody complete the following BLANKS for me:

* Strong Christians and Strong Marriages and Strong Families = Strong Churches!

6. If FBC is going to be STRONG (growing, serving, outreach, bringing glory to God), we have to be strong in our relationship with Christ & have strong marriage relationships & strong families where:

  • Problems are being solved (Gen. 3 “bush living” vs. 1 John 1 “walking in the light”)
  • Jesus Christ is the CENTER of attention – Matt. 6:33; Col. 1:18
  • The goal in life is please God by being like Jesus Christ – 2 Cor. 5:9; 1 Cor. 10:31

Testimony: TBD – NOTE: We do this every week – a different couple will share 1 or 2 biblical truths that have helped them in their marriage and/or a practical lesson that God has taught them that has helped their marriage

[Open your bible’s to: READ Ephesians 5:15 – 21 for the context, then vs. 22-24

5. We’ve been asking a couple of important questions in this series:

Q: Do the men in the church who are married understand their role as a husband and are they rejoicing about it and seeking to GROW in obedience and bring glory to God?

- true joy in found only in being what God wants us to be and doing what God wants us to do!

- the other question is equally important:

Q: Do the ladies in the church who are married understand their role as a wife and are they rejoicing about it and seeking to GROW in obedience and bring glory to God?

> obviously, we (as your pastors) thought the answers to both questions were (to a certain degree) . . . NO

> a lot of the men/women in our church could not say YES to that question, so that’s why we’re doing this series!

* There are 4 key concepts to help a wife understand her role in a marriage relationship:

I. The Wife’s PURPOSE: To be a “helper suitable” for her husband– Gen. 1:26-31; 2:18-25

- it’s important to understand that because:

  • Purpose provides direction (the course you take, where to go)
  • Purpose promotes effectiveness (how much you accomplish, meaningful)
  • Helper Suitable (NAS) = lit. one who helps – completing, complementing, corresponding to, fitted perfectly to, custom-made to meet needs

Q: This term is also used to describe who? Answer: God

Q: What can we learn from that truth? The term is a POSITIVE term, not a negative one!

- God designed the wife’s role for a unique purpose.

Q: What are those role? Unique in ___________________?

1. . . . Companionship– Gen 1:26-28; 2:18, 20, 24

* As she helps her husband intellectually . . . emotionally . . . and . . . spiritually

2. . . . Sexual Relationship – Gen. 1:28; 2:25

3. . . . Responsibilities – Gen. 1:28

- both in WORK (keeper of the garden) and MINISTRY (use of gifts/abilities in the church)

4. . . . Parenting – Gen. 1:28; 2:24

- Because of the ‘one flesh’ relationship, she has great influence on the children (+/-)

- The 2nd step we discussed LAST WEEK was:

II. The Wife’s POSITION: To be “submissive to her husband – Eph. 5:22-24

A. Develop a biblical view of submission!

1. Submission is God’s divine plan for function and order.

2. Submission is present in the Godhead – Gen. 1 (cf. John 1:1-3)

3. Submission is good because its foundation is in the nature and character of God!

* Submission existed BEFORE the curse of sin!

4. Submission is a way of life for every believer, not just the wife – Eph. 5:22

5. Submission reveals a lot about a person.

a. It reveals one’s love for God – John 14:15, 31

b. It reveals a wife’s heart (inner man) & impacts her true beauty (outer man)
– 1 Pet. 3:1-6

c. It reveals one’s attitude toward God – Eph. 5:22 …as to the Lord.

6. Submission is picture of the church obeying Christ - Eph. 5:22-24

7. Submission is limited only by biblical mandate, not personal preference – Acts 5:29

- let’s continue our study on SUBMISSION:

B. Remember the history & future of a lack of submission (i.e. rebellion to authority)

- this subject goes beyond Genesis 3 and Adam’s rebellious choice!

1. A lack of submission started when Satan rejected God and rebelled!

> Satan (Lucifer ) – you need to remember a few things about Satan:

1) He is a created being – an angel

2) He was NOT made in God’s image as was Adam – therefore, he and his followers are NOT redeemable

3) He was given a prominent position of all the angels

- Yet, he would not function under God’s authority!

- He rejected God’s authority as the Creator and refused to submit

- And we all know where that got him . . . and where it’s going to get him in eternity!

- While Adam’s sin plunged the whole human race into sin:

  • Romans 5:12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

- the problem with PRIDE started earlier than Adam’s choice: (in reference to Satan, Isaiah wrote these words:

  • Isaiah 14:13 But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'

Q: What can we learn from those truths?

* A lack of submission is rooted in pride!

- Notice the times “I will” is used in Isaiah 14:13-14 = 5 times “I will ______”

Note: Compare that with Jesus’ words in the garden prior to Him being crucified:

  • Luke 22:42 “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done."

Point: Satan is proud and so is mankind (all of us – not just women)

> but one day, “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father” – the functional authority of the Godhead! (Phil. 2:10-11)

2. A lack of submission continued in the garden of Eden – Gen. 3:6-7; 1 Tim. 2:14

- Eve took the bait of deception (describe the process of pleasant to the eyes . . . desired to make one wise. . . )

  • 1 Timothy 2:14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

- But Adam did it willingly and clearly rejected God’s command (cf. Gen. 2:16-17)

Q: What was the result?

  • 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

- the 1st Adam blew it – but the 2nd Adam redeemed us with His blood!

- Paul put it like this in his 2nd letter to the church at Corinth:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

- Thankfully, God has all this planned out (i.e. Redemption) long before Adam sinned!

3. A lack of submission extended to all mankind – Gen. 4-7

  • Genesis 4 – Adam & Eve rebelled in Gen. 3 & resulted in Cain rebelling & killing Abel
  • Genesis 5 – ‘. . . and he died’ (every death is proof that God’s word is true and rebellion is wrong and costly!)
  • Genesis 6 & 7 – God saw the wickedness of man’s heart . . . and resulted in the Flood!

- Isaiah summed it best when he wrote:

  • Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray . . .”

- Paul put it like this in his letter to the Romans:

  • Romans 3:23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

- that’s why we pointed out last week that we ALL struggle with submission

- we want to be in control – and we’re not – GOD IS IN CONTROL!

- You want some BAD NEWS – in Alabama we’d say: It ain’t gonna git any better!!

4. A lack of submission will increase in the last days – 2 Timothy 3:1-9

- Paul gives to Timothy an awful description of what it’s going to be like in the last days

>it would seem we are in them now – but maybe we haven’t seen anything yet!!

- Phrases like:

  • For men will be lovers of self, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, without self-control, haters of good, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
  • …always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

C. Recognize that submission is often MISUNDERSTOOD and therefore MISREPRESENTED

[NOTE: Only the “Wrongly Describe” is on the PowerPoint]

Submission Wrongly Described

Submission Biblically Clarified

  • The wife is inferior to her husband.
  • The wife is a fellow heir of the grace of life
    (I Pet. 3:7)
  • Marriage is a ‘one flesh’ relationship (Gen. 2:24)
  • The husband is never wrong (perfect).

  • God is the only perfect authority (I Pet. 2:13-23)

  • The wife cannot think and should be silent.
  • She is commanded to ‘speak the truth’ (Eph. 4:15)
  • Part of her role as a fitting helper (Gen. 2:18) applies to biblical communication
  • The wife has no influence in the marriage relationship or in the home.
  • She can greatly impact her husband by modeling truth, not just speaking it (I Pet. 3:1-2)
  • Biblical Examples of a godly influence:
  • Hannah (1 Sam. 1-3)
  • Eunice, Lois (2 Tim. 1:5)
  • Bad Example (Manipulation): Rebecca – Gen. 27

D. Focus on the comparison of a wife’s submission: “. . . as the church is subject to Christ” (Eph. 5:24a)

  • Ephesians 5:24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

- granted, the church as PERFECT authority to follow – a wife doesn’t

- but that does not minimize the commanded the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write

Q: Why does the church submit to Christ instead of Christ submitting to the church?

[various answers]

- not only are we not capable, but that’s NOT the way God designed it!

- while some wives may be smarter than their husband (great capacity for a lot of different areas ) . . . it’s still God’s divine plan of function and order to be the way it is!

E. Focus on the perfect picture of submission: Life of Christ - 1 Peter 2:21-23

(the context of v. 13-20 is being submissive, even to imperfect authority)

- So each wife has a choice to make:

1) To be like Christ who modeled submission and obeyed His Father

2) To be like Satan who rebelled and disobeyed!

Remember: * Choices have consequences!

- those consequence can work both ways:

* POSITIVE for obedience – NEGATIVE for disobedience

- we tend to want the benefits of obedience, but we don’t want the responsibility of making the choice!


1. It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you know

  • James 1:22-25 …be doers of the Word and not hearers only deceiving yourself!

- The Holy Spirit of God wants to take the Holy Word of God and conform us to the image of the Holy Son of God!

2. Here are some questions that you as a wife need to consider:

Q: Are you pleasing God and bringing glory to God in the way you submit to your husband?

Q: Are you willing to ask your husband for examples of ways you need to change and grow to be more like the church submitting to Christ?

Q:If you daughter responds to her husband the way you respond to your husband is God going to be pleased?

Q: If your son’s wife submits to him the way you submit to your husband is God going to be pleased?

Q: If every married lady in the church responded to her husband the way you respond to your, how spiritually strong would our church be?

3. Recommended Resources: [not on PowerPoint, but on the Study Guide]

Creative Counterpart, Linda Dillow

An Excellent Wife, Martha Peace

Helper By Design, Elyse Fitzpatrick

Christians Living in the Home, Jay Adams

Strengthening Your Marriage, Wayne Mack

Faith Church