Woman of Noble Character > A Prudent Wife > The "Good Works" God Prepared for Wives > Part 5 - What About Our Beauty
The "Good Works" God Prepared for Wives - Continued
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Part 5: Conclusion: What About Our Beauty
How does our beauty fit into the good work God has planned for wives? Does beauty fit into loving our husbands sacrificially through honoring, serving and forgiving?
How do you look and act? Do you rely upon your outer beauty and neglect your inner? Do you neglect them both? There have been seasons in my marriage when I have been guilty of both. I think that appealing to our husband’s eye for beauty is important in a marriage. Caring for our health and our appearance can be an act of service if we are motivated by love and desire to satisfy his visual needs. However, it is not serving our husbands when we are concerned with satisfying our vanity or clothing obsession, dressing to impress the fashionistas in our lives, or seeking the approval of others at the gym. More importantly, inner beauty is what captivates a husband’s heart in a way that our fading beauty cannot.
God is more concerned with our inner beauty. Inner beauty is evident when a wife is respectful, supportive, and willing to submit. Yes I said it, SUBMIT! Do not give up on me now just because I dared to bring up submission. You’ve made it this far, please hear me out. Believe me I tried to avoid submission all together, but I now realize God had this ending in mind from the beginning. The reality is we are most beautiful to God and our husbands when we submit to God’s plans for us as wives.
Wives are told in the bible, more than once, to “submit” to their husbands. But the first time submission is mentioned in Ephesians chapter 5 the section begins with instructions for both husbands and wives to submit to one another, and then it is followed by the first mention of wives submitting to their husbands.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
Notice in verse 22 that it instructs us to submit to our husbands as we do to the Lord. If we are not submitting to Christ it will be nearly impossible to understand and obey this command to submit to our husbands. Spending time with Christ by making time for prayer and studying the bible will help us know God. Christ is after a relationship with us. He is not after our religion. In turn, by making our relationship with our Savior priority we are enabled to honor the command to submit to our husbands.
If we read further in Ephesians 5 we will see that husbands are called to an even greater act than that of their wives.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,
cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Our husbands are to love us like Christ loves the church. Christ gave himself up for the church to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with the water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church. But if we listen carefully we can hear how we too can be cleansed and made radiant for Christ and our husbands. By the washing with the water through the word, the water is the water of our baptism. Have you been baptized?
While working for a consulting firm I worked with Carl. Carl and I discovered that we had both submitted our lives to Christ about two years prior. We regularly discussed our faith and were like school children rejoicing over our Savior. I returned to work one Monday morning and was stunned when I saw Carl, his face was radiant. I asked him what had happened over the weekend, because he was “glowing” like a pregnant women. Not that I had ever seen a pregnant women who was actually glowing, but his face was visibly radiant the way I had imagined a pregnant women would “glow”. He was shocked to hear that his face was radiant, and he shared that he had been baptized over the weekend. He had taken a formal step in his faith to publically declare his submission to Christ. And he was radiant through the washing of the water through the Word. I have never seen anything like it before, and I have never seen anything like it since.
If you’ve never been baptized, perhaps you may want to consider it. I believe Carl was saved before his baptism, but his act of obedience allowed God’s glory to be evident in his radiant face. When we submit to our husbands we are being obedient to God, and His glory radiates through us. You know the children’s song “This Little Light of Mine.” That song is talking about God’s glory shining through us. We let that light shine when we honor God’s commands. God is not a curmudgeon who wants to ruin our fun. He desires what is best for us. He wants us to have a good marriage. When we keep our eyes on God and we honor Him and submit to our husbands, they get a glimpse of God’s glory through us.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
Renewing our minds through God’s word and allowing Him to wash us and make us radiant only happens when we submit. Submission is key to our beauty to God and to our husbands. The instruction for wives is not contingent upon our husband’s obedience. So if you are not convinced your husband is willing to die for you, you are not off the hook. Submission during difficult seasons in our relationships could prove vitally important to the longevity of our marriages.
Obeying the command to submit to our husbands is different than being submissive. Submitting to our husbands in a biblical manner does not suggest that we give up our right to our opinions. Respectfully discussing disagreements is part of a healthy marriage. Willingly setting aside our need to be right is part of submitting. Sometimes it is more important to submit and let go of the argument than being right. Submitting also means giving up our need for control and letting our husbands make a decision when we disagree and honoring the decision. This is assuming the decision does not cause you to break one of God’s commands.
Honoring his decision when we do not agree with it is especially important when it comes to parenting decisions. Do not dishonor your husband and permit the kids to disobey a decision their father has made. You are not only guilty of disrespect, you are breaking your husband’s trust and damaging both yours and your husband’s authority and credibility with your children. Your children need to know their parents are aligned and support each other’s parenting decisions.
We are told that when a wife of an unbeliever submits to her husband, her husband will be open to the work of the Holy Spirit and be drawn to Christ.
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that,
if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words
by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
1 Peter 3:1-2
The purity and reverence of our lives! Wow, wouldn’t that be awesome if our husbands saw our lives that way? Maybe to some of you purity and reverence sounds old fashioned, but isn’t that what we aimed for on our wedding day? Didn’t we want to appear pure and reverent? Whether we were or not, most of us put on the white gown and we appeared to revere God and our husbands. Now we are accountable because we know that God is calling us to live in such a manner that our husband will see our beauty through our pure and reverent lives.
When we are living according to God’s will we are different and our husbands will notice.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
1 Peter 3:1-7
Do not give way to fear. Do not disobey out of fear of what others will think or the fear of being weak and vulnerable. When you take time to read and meditate on these scriptures seeking the Holy Spirit’s instruction, your attitude toward submitting to your husband will be transformed. I am only telling you what I have learned from God’s Word and experienced in my own life. I am not trying to lecture you and I admit that I do not have this all down pat. But I am trusting God will continue to transform me as I obey His Word. Once again I am drawn to Roman 12, this verse says it best.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The Good Work God has planned for wives is this: to love our husbands sacrificially through honoring, serving, and forgiving. Our beauty comes from a gentle and quiet spirit, a spirit willing to submit to God and our husbands. It is never too late to work on our marriages. Loving unconditionally sounds impossible, and as I mentioned earlier without God’s help it probably is.
Here are three points to remember that can guide us as we seek to do the good work of loving our husbands sacrificially through honoring, serving and forgiving.
1. First things first, BELIEVE!
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
2. Be properly prepared for the good work.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
3. Remember we are a work in progress.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work
in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father we submit to Your will for our lives and we embrace the good work you have prepared for us as wives. Lord soften our hearts toward our husbands, and give us favor with one another. Renew our mind through the pages of scripture. Remind us to seek the power of the Holy Spirit who enables us to love our husbands sacrificially through honoring, serving, and forgiving. May the beauty we desire be the beauty that comes from a gentle and quiet spirit. Only with Your help can we be the wives You have called us to be. Change us, Lord please change us! In Jesus precious name we pray, Amen.
Part 1 - Introduction: The "Good Works" God Prepared For Wives
Part 2 - A Wife's Sacrificial Love - Honors
Part 3 - A Wife's Sacrificial Love - Serves
Part 4 - A Wife's Sacrificial Love - Forgives
Part 5 - Conclusion: What About Our Beauty?
By: Kathy Dork
May 16, 2014
May 16, 2014