“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives.”
to your own husbands
“Own” is a special term. The word in Greek is idios from which we get the word “idiot!” The word here does not mean wives are to think of their husbands as idiots! No, the term simply means privacy. The implication is that the wife is to submit to her husband and not to men in general. She is to accept the leadership of her husband.
The word “own” can carry the idea of intimacy. The wife is to arrange herself intimately with her husband. This is not only talking about physical closeness but mental intimacy. This is the intimacy of the soul. Every normal woman wants that. So this is referring to intimacies of the personality, of the soul, of being.
The purpose of a biblical marriage is intimacy.
Every woman wants to share her life with her husband. Whether men are aware of this is another matter. She truly desires to be “in” her husband’s life. “Will you open yourself to me? Let me inside.”
Martial life is a cyclical relationship. Each role of the husband and wife contributes a different enhancement to the marriage than the other. The wife contributes something different from the husband and vice versa.
Two of the most significant false assumptions of all time are that the husband has the same need as the wife and the wife has the same need as the husband. That is a colossal mistake in marriage. Because each partner in marriage operates within their own premise, they do not truly understand their mate. They do not understand the need of their partner. They usually understand their own needs thoroughly. They do not understand the opposite role.
The Bible presents the roles in marriage so that a woman looks at her husband’s essential need, and the husband looks at the wife’s crucial need. The need for the husband is different from the need of the wife.
The need of the wife is security in her husband’s love. The need for the husband is respect for his leadership in the home. Both the wife and the husband need both of these ultimate needs, but the husband and the wife have different ultimate needs in marriage.
A wife who is indifferent to her husband’s accomplishments or ignores his achievements treads on thin ice in her relationship with him. If she listens to his hopes and plans and gives her approval, she operates at the essence of his needs. If she demeans his accomplishments, he will shut up like a sealed drum. God’s responsibility for the wife is to bring out the best in her husband. No wife gets a ready-made husband. Helping the husband toward maturity is a delicate process.
Some men feel the need to keep their wives off balance by criticism. They criticize her cooking. They disparage her dress. Usually, the driving force behind this is his insecurity. They bolster their own insecurity by minimizing their wives. All of this makes it difficult but not impossible for wives to follow the role God has designed for them. She can help her husband become more mature by being more mature in her own role. She creates an atmosphere where he sees what God can do in her life. He will judge her Lord by what he sees in her life.
The wife’s soul is fulfilled with her own husband, not with the man she meets at the party. That apparent gregarious, attractive, dynamic personality may be deceptive. He may be all smiles, tall, dark, and handsome, but he may be at the same time a walking time-bomb relationally. That is why “own” in this verse means to exclude other men from your consciousness. This does not mean that you do not talk to other men. However, romance is no substitute for rapport. This goes far beyond sex for sex cannot hold a marriage. People who have affairs fight, so obviously sex cannot keep a relationship.
What holds a relationship? People married for 20 years can love more than the day they were married. Why? Because rapport love fulfills the soul. Love becomes more wonderful as the years go by.
We can easily spot the couple who each has their own interests but does not love each other. He is retired and has his golf. She has a flower garden. They talk about grandchildren, but they do not have rapport between themselves. They are bored with each other. This is about as close to hell on earth as there is if there was such as a thing as hell on earth.
TV is a great help to this condition!! Sometimes it takes two TVs!! They have nothing in common. They talk down each other to their children. They live in bitterness. They have thrown in the sponge. They wonder why their children reject Christianity. Children who continuously hear their parents fight using them as a football will never have stability. All they are is beanbags for their parents to throw at each other.