“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands… when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear… rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God… as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…’ (1Pet 3:1-6)
I shall now boast in the Lord! My husband and I are married for over 42 years. In Christ and by the grace of God, I declare that I am quiet, gentle, precious and beautiful! The Word of God says so! My husband says so! What others say it does not matter. I have learned over the years to speak less than my husband, especially when we are in public. For example, if he speaks 10 words, I speak maybe 3. If he is not around I can speak 8. You may joke about it, but this is the truth. I mentally count the times I open my mouth. If I do not have something good and godly to say, I am not ashamed to keep quiet. I do not have to prove that I am intelligent by talking.
But when I talk, I make sure that I am on my husband’s ‘side’. I do not come from the opposite side. I do not stand against him spiritually speaking. I do not threaten him positionally. I am never on the side of them who argue with him, even if jokingly. If I do not understand something he says I make a mental note to ask him at home. I do not want to ask him any question while others listen to us talking. If it is an ‘emergency’ I ask him in Romanian. Thank God, most people do not understand this language. I do this because I do not want to be seen as his boss, teacher or mentor. I gladly submit to him because of God’s command. I also do not ask other men questions in my husband’s presence. I do not want to be seen as a foolish ignorant wife. That attitude will place the blame on him implying that he did not teach me well at home.
You may say: ‘this is so hard’…You may also ask: ‘what is your gain in all this’? My gain is God’s pleasure over our home! The Holy Spirit is free to rest, move and work in us from inside out. Obviously, my husband and I are ‘a work in progress’ but if we obey God’s Word, the progress is faster. We love that!
The devil loves to ask questions causing division, doubts, fears and confusion. It is very easy to be rebellious. It is very hard to love and to submit. It takes the training and the discipline of the Holy Spirit to achieve this mighty work of loving submission for Christ’s sake! I pray before I talk. I choose when to answer or when not to answer a question that is ‘thrown’ at me. My husband is the only one who has the right to ‘demand answers’ from me. No other person has the same right. I refuse to be intimidated into foolish submission by ‘strangers’ even if they are friends or family. That will mean betrayal to our marriage. I do not regret talking too little but I regret talking too much. This strategy of keeping quiet (well… most of the time) is not legalistic or religious. It is the result of the leading of the Holy Spirit who gives me the power to choose silence over speaking when silence is the winner.
Finally, this counsel is for couples who serve God together: Since we started the ministry, the greatest attack has been on our marriage in particular; to destroy the unity of the Spirit between us. The devil knows that if we are not united in the Spirit, we shall ‘fall’ as a couple. We may not divorce but we will be separated in our hearts. That fall will affect the ministry. The false believers in the congregation are very smart to detect and increase any division among the leaders. Because both of us preach and teach, both of us we need to be very sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Our spiritual gifts are different. The way we approach the things of life and the strategies to solve problems are different. But we are born of the same Holy Spirit and we are one in Christ! The strength of the unity and the freedom of expression must be displayed each time we minister. Only God can do that! We know it! We appreciate it! That is why without the leading and power of the Holy Spirit, we do not know how to ‘conduct’ a service. That is why we are always so grateful for the Holy Spirit, our Comforter! This is our testimony: by the grace of God we are happily married! By the grace of God we are making impact as spiritual leaders! To God alone be all the glory! Amen!