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Unilateral Submission?

Unilateral Submission

Does that sound frightening?
Then the concept of submission, as God intends, has not yet become clear to you. Unilateral wifely submission in  1 Peter 3 is a powerful, anointed, redemptive description of  what being a wife of a disobedient husband entails. It is not a position of enslavement, weakness, nor inferiority. It is a position in which you humbly place yourself under the protective hand of our Almighty Powerful God who WILL nourish, cherish, protect, love, understand, and respect you, despite your husband’s failure to do so.

The hupotasso verbs used in 1 Peter 3:1,5 are both parsed in the PASSIVE voice, a detail which is traditionally overlooked when interpreting the passage.  To read more on the significance of the passive voice parsing, see “Wives [are Subject] to Their Own Husbands in Everything” Eph. 5:24.  The implications of this are that you will be honest and transparent with your husband about any distress his actions are causing you and what the Lord has been showing you about any needed changes, just like Sara was honest with Abraham.  (see “as Sara obeyed Abraham”)

Jesus is the role model described at the end of 1 Peter 2 for BOTH wife and husband in dealing with their spouse- note “Likewise…” in verse 1 and 7). But what if your husband is not doing his part of the “Likewise…” instruction? Then God wants you to go first. You have the responsibility of leading the way! You have the responsibility of behaving Christlike! Is that hard? Yes and no… It is a process, it takes time, falling down and getting back up again… BUT, NEVER FORGET, whatever God is calling you to do, HE is ready willing and able to EQUIP you to do! Going deeper under HIS mighty hand, Going deeper into submission and obedience to HIM is a very rewarding pathway, no matter what choices your husband ultimately makes.

A disobedient husband includes one who is disobeying God’s instructions for husbands, one who is NOT loving, respecting, nourishing, cherishing, considering, valuing his wife (1 Pet 3, Eph 5). He may be Lording over her, bossing her around, disregarding her desires, treating her like a slave while he acts like he is the king. For the wife of such a husband, I believe 1 Peter contains powerful anointed instruction which will work unilaterally (without her husband’s humble cooperation) and redemptively in the marriage.
The “Likewise...” directed to wives (1Pet 3:1) refers back up to JESUS.
She is to unilaterally role model Christ to him

In a marriage where both husband and wife are walking in obedience to Christ, the same passive subjection which brings a great deal of pain to the heart of the wife of a disobedient husband will bring  unity of the spirt, the bond of peace, oneness, mutuality. Both are humbly submitted and obedient to God .

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2 Comments
  1. May 2, 2008 12:31 pm

    that just reminded me of Proverbs 25.

    21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
    And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
    22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
    And the LORD will reward you.
    23 The north wind brings forth rain,
    And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

    Hot coals have to start burning the recipient’s head at some point….

  2. May 2, 2008 5:03 pm

    that preaches, sister! 🙂

    A parallel passage is found in Romans 12:9-21

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