God’s Surprise for Women Part II

(Continued from Part I)

We need to tell the truth of what we really want, NOT just what we think the other wants to hear. This can become very dangerous, ending up doing what neither wants to do, because we so want to do what we “think” the other wants to do. This is the opposite extreme of each wanting their own way but can be just as dangerous to a marriage.  I think of a special weekend in Seattle, years ago, where this lesson was implanted on my heart. We had gone to Seattle to stay in a lovely hotel and have some time together. Each of us asked the other what we would like to do that first evening. I came up with the thought, why don’t we each say what we “really” want to do, not what we think the other person wants to do. We don’t have to do it, but it would be fun to just hear what it is. So I said, “I have brought along the new Christmas catalogs and I would REALLY like to just cozy up on the bed and look at the catalog.” I said, the truth instead of saying, “I would really like to walk the waterfront and look at the marine stores.” (Which I thought he was wanting to do). Then he said, “Well, I would really like to watch a certain ball game that is on the TV right now”. So that surprised us both and we stayed in the room, me looking at the Christmas catalog and he watching a ball game and we were both happy. Much better than doing something neither of us wanted to do- just because we “thought” that was what the other wanted to do.

Ok, so we do say, “These are the feelings in the subject/ problem, but I will do whatever you think best. I just wanted you to know how I am feeling.” Then, our husband does make a decision- different from the one we wanted and suggested- and it does go badly. What do we do then? Keep your mouth shut and don’t say “I told you so”. He will know, and perhaps the next time- or many times later- he might consider your opinion more.

Another reason to submit is an example to our children to respect their father.

I Tim 3:4 talks about keeping children submissive and respectful in every way. And Romans 13:1 talks about submitting to governing authorities. Our example can teach our children to be submissive and respectful in both of these areas.

Another result is harmony in the family.

Mothers- don’t ridicule your husband privately with your children. We do not say, “Your father is a jerk but we will do what he wants anyway.” Submission brings harmony- not fighting to see whose will, will win. Let your respect for their father rub off on your children.

Try not to argue or dispute in front of the children. Try to handle disputes and arguments privately. Don’t put your children in the position of choosing sides. And also of hearing hurtful words that you might not really mean but which will go into the child like a dagger in their heart. Provide an atmosphere where joy and fun prevail and where friends are welcome.

The opposite of the submissive wife is the “contentious woman”. We read of her in Proverbs 21:10, Prov. 21:19, Prov. 25:24, and Prov. 27:15. It isn’t fun for anyone to live around them. They think they are misunderstood and they never think of themselves as being contentious. It’s always someone else’s fault.

By being submissive we give it to God and are free to have harmony and love prevail in our home. By submitting to God it is easier to submit to our husband, or the reverse could also be true…By submitting to our husband it is easier to submit to God, depending upon where we are in our relationship with God. I think of a quote of Abraham Lincoln where the gist of it was: “It is not the things in the Bible that I don’t understand that give me trouble, it is the DOING of the things I do understand that is hard.”

God gives us a command but doesn’t go into WHY we should do what He says. The book, “None of These Diseases” by S.I. McMillen, gives us good examples of the “why” of things God says. Ex. 15:26 reads, “If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and do that which is right in his eyes and give need to his commandments and keep all his statues, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord, your healer.”

In McMillen’s book he states many of the commands the Lord just gave to the Israelites without explaining why. It is interesting to me that today, science is finding out the “why” of many of God’s commands. One example is found on pages 84-85 of that book. Lev. 7:22 reads, “Say to the people of Israel, You shall eat not fat of ox or sheep or goat.” Then McMillen goes on to say, “Many recent scientific studies show that the important agents that increase dangerous cholesterol in the blood are: 1. Eating fat of animals 2. Overweight 3. Smoking 4. Carnal emotions and stress. He says, “Happy as we are with the fact that medical science has arrived, we may be amazed to discover that our ultramodern research is about 3,500 years behind the Book of books.”

Many of the things I learned in this book, emphasize the fact to me that God does not tell all the “whys” of submission, He just says to do it. That is where I think the great surprise comes in for us as we take him literally at his word. We can learn from this also: If we obey what God is telling us to do as wives, we don’t have the problems the world around us is having. This could be misunderstood but I feel the joy and love and strength and unity we have personally felt as a family, has a great deal to do with submission. As I obeyed and submitted, God blessed our family.

OK, we obey God’s word and our husband in what we feel could be a precarious situation. Can God intercede for us and protect us. I think that Sarah can be our example here. I think this is one of the greatest keys to the mystery of submission and we need to look at Sarah and her life and see how we can learn from her. When we have practiced DOING in other verses we are able to DO the hardest thing for women- Submit. (Blindly sometimes, thinking, it isn’t fair, it doesn’t make sense. But God says DO IT and I believe HIM).

What can we learn from Sarah? I Peter 3:5-6 says: “So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord. And now you are her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you.”

We can be terrified to submit. Thinking: I am afraid if I obey my husband on this crazy thing he wants to do:

  1. We will go broke financially
  2. We will lose our house
  3. We will have to move
  4. It is too much of a risk
  5. What will my friends think?
  6. What will the future hold?
  7. What if, What if, What if, What if….

What did Sarah do? What did she have to risk? Had she reason to be terrified?

We know Sarah was a woman of strong faith. In Heb. 11:11 it says: “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, SINCE SHE CONSIDERED HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAD PROMISED.” We can learn from Sarah that God is faithful to his promises and all the verses we have talked about are his promises.

Let’s look at Sarah. One of her first real tests in obedience and submission is recorded in Gen. 12:10-20. Let us read that portion out loud and consider how Sarah might have been feeling. How do you think Sarah felt being brought into the Pharaoh’s palace? Here we can learn a great lesson. She was obedient to Abraham. She did this to protect him. I’m sure she could have thought this was a crazy plan. Knew what could have happened to her. Perhaps even thought Abraham was a weak man to put her in this danger.

Can you believe what Abraham says in Gen. 12:13- he is certainly thinking only of his welfare and not Sarah’s. “Say you are my sister so that it may go well with ME, and MY life will be spared.” (To me the unsaid thoughts are: “I don’t really care if you are afraid, or may be raped in the Pharaoh’s palace, but my life will be spared.”)

Sarah obeyed the craziest of schemes, She could have been in great danger, BUT God protected her and interceded for her and because she trusted God and had faith in him she was not terrified. We know this because the I Peter verses and a glimpse that it gives us into her heart. We too need the same confidence, that if we obey our husband on crazy schemes, the Lord will protect us. Also remembering Romans 8:28, “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”

Also, Matthew 16:25 “For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

You tell your husband in love your feelings and your ideas and plans but that you will concede to his. We read Genesis 20 that Abraham again repeated his sin. He had not learned his lesson, but Sarah again obeyed and God again interceded for Sarah.

In Gen. 20:11 Abraham says, “he thought” and he rationalized.

If we are obedient and our husband’s decision is a mistake, I really believe God will bless us for our obedience and protect us from the results of the mistake. If Sarah is our example we will not be terrified to submit. Submission can be terrifying, thinking of the “what ifs”. LOOK BEYOND WHAT IF and consider Isaiah 26:3 “Thou dost keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.”


I challenge you to really try, even harder than you are perhaps trying- to give Biblical Submission a total try. Then evaluate it honestly. Share what happened. Was it good or bad? Do you want to continue or do you have a better plan? Think about these verses:

Psalms 34:8 “Oh, taste and see what the Lord is good”

Ephesians 5:8-10 “Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord”

Malachi 3:10 “Thereby put me to the test” (We are told in Deut 6:16 and Is. 7:12 and other verses that we are not to put God to the test. But Mal. 3:10 implies we are to test his promises,)

Try them- test them and know with Sarah, that WE CONSIDER HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAS PROMISED.

In Heb. 12:11 we read regarding discipline: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

So it is with submission. It may seem painful at the moment but if we continue we see that it later yields the “Peaceful fruit of love” to those who follow God’s teaching on the subject.


If you will have courage to be a “doer of the word” regarding Submission, you will be in for the greatest surprise of your life- much different than anything you every anticipated.