Did you know that God is in the business of making you a better wife? I know that you struggle with a bad attitude and with a propensity to selfishness. I know that the word submission makes your stomach churn and the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I know that it isn’t easy to love that man you are with, to give your life for him, to sacrifice your desires for his. I know because I feel it to. I feel that struggle with sinful flesh, the struggle to satisfy my own longings, my own wants, my own “needs.” It is the struggle against anarchy, against a body that desperately wants to defy its Maker. It is a struggle against this woman in me who desires to follow after her mother Eve; that woman who chose the promises of a liar over the truth of the Living God.
But Christ, precious Messiah, holy Savior came to liberate us from the chains of sin. He was willingly put to death by the Father so that he could secure the death of the sin reigning in our bodies. Yes, he died to crush the power of our pride, our selfishness, and our insubordination. He rose mightily from the grave so that we could live new, holy lives. He implanted his Holy Spirit within our very bodies so that we would bear good fruit–so that we could learn to love, sacrifice, submit. We are new creations. The cross demands that we turn away from our old ways and live in the knowledge of what Christ has done for us. He has made us better wives. He is making usbetter wives. His Spirit, full of GRACE, full of POWER, is at work within you to do his will and his will is to transform you.
The Lord hasn’t commanded you to respect your husband and not provided the grace to do so.
The Lord hasn’t commanded you to submit to your husbands and not provided the grace to do so.
The Lord hasn’t commanded you to love your husband and not provided the grace to do so.
No, your obedience to God, your ability to respect, submit, and love your husband, is empowered by his GRACE, his mighty, life-giving grace.
You see, your story is part of God’s story. He is in the business of renewing his creation. Through Christ, he is restoring what was broken; he is erasing the horrid effect of Adam and Eve’s sin. Through Christ, he is growing your marriage toward the perfection that Adam and Eve were meant to live in. He is giving you the strength to fight against the sin that still wages war in your body.
No, perfection will never be attained in this world, but the pursuit is possible and victories are attainable because you do not work alone. You do not strive toward holiness alone. You are fighting with the power of the God of the universe. It is his pleasure to bring about respect, submission, and love in your thoughts, words, and actions. It is his will for you to live in the glorious reality of the redeemed. You were set free from sin so that you could taste the joyful fruit of Christ-likeness. What heavenly delights are made available to those who are in Christ and how desperately those who have tasted of these delights long for the day they will fully experience holiness, when this sinful flesh is wiped away forever. Those who have tasted the appetizers of Heaven are ravenous for the feast set before them.
Press on today toward holiness, but only as you press into Christ. Your efforts toward being a good wife are futile if they are an attempt toward self-sanctification. Self-sanctification is impossible. You will only find disillusionment, pain, and failure in your own attempts.
Christ is your sanctification.
Christ is your path toward living a holy life.
Christ is your hope of being a good wife.
Look to Christ and be saved.
Look to him and be sanctified.
You can obey God’s commands, because Christ bought obedience for you. He has provided a way of escape from every temptation, but you must look to him as your Savior and King and choose to follow him. Take hold of the obedience he bought for you and walk in that newness of life. Fight hard toward being a good wife because he fights with you.
Respect your husband.
Submit to your husband.
Love your husband.
Sure at times you will fail, yes you will continue to sin, no you are not yet perfect, but Christ has made the road of sanctification possible and his holy Spirit resides in you. He is willing and working to make you a better wife. He is in the process of making you holy.
Live in the reality of the freedom he has bought for you and taste the fruits of living according to his perfect will.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4 ESV)
“…you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.” (Romans 7:4 ESV)
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11 ESV)
“…and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:15 ESV)
“…having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12 ESV)
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…” (Colossians 3:1-5 ESV)
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousnessand sanctification and redemption…” (1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV)
“I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.” (Romans 6:19 ESV)