“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.”
that even if some do not obey the word
“Do no obey” means to be disobedient, to refuse to be persuaded, to refuse belief. This is a very strong term in Greek. It means to set oneself against the Word, the Bible. It means not to be persuaded, to be obstinate.
In this verse, the meaning is to refuse to believe the Christian message, refusing to be a believer, and rejecting the Christian message. This woman, unfortunately, is married to an unbeliever.
Even though the Word is designed to win people to Christ, some husbands are obstinate to the Word. The only way the wife will win her husband is through her life or behavior. She will win this unbeliever to Christ through submission to his leadership in the home.
Some men mix the gospel with their wives’ manipulation. He refuses to believe because he is so busy fighting her manipulation. He thinks that this is a mandate from his wife. He confuses his wife’s commands and the gospel. Therefore, he resents and rejects the gospel. This is a warning to the wife.
they, without a word
What should a wife do if she is not to nag her husband into the kingdom? Her first role is not to nag or bully her husband spiritually. Her first role is to live out the grace of God in her life.
Some women withhold sex because their husbands do not become Christians. This is contrary to the principles of the Word (1 Cor 7:1f). This is using female attraction to bully the husband. Coercion does not win people to the gospel. Everyone comes to Christ as an act of their own volition.
In their zeal to win their husbands to the Lord, some women take up the tactic of nagging their husbands. When this happens, it destroys the concept of fulfillment in marriage. Instead of accepting her husband’s leadership, she regurgitates criticism. She criticizes him for his bad habits. He burns holes in the carpet with his cigarettes. He tracks mud on the floor. You know the routine.
The average woman thinks that if her husband would straighten up, he would be a right candidate for becoming a Christian. “If he goes on the wagon, he will go to heaven.” Many women drive their husbands from the gospel with this approach. She calls this “witnessing.” This is pitiful. What is truly happening is she is nagging him.
The silent witness is the best witness for people who live close to each other as husbands and wives. Note the wife wins the husband without “a word.” The wife does not have to talk to her husband into receiving Christ. They know what happened to her. In close relationships, life is more important than the lip in witnessing. They will be won without talk. A wife with good horse sense never becomes a “nag.”
I found this with my own father. When I first became a Christian, I was so enthusiastic that I wanted him to receive Christ immediately. He revolted against my witness because he took it as his son telling him what to do. Until I stopped talking and started showing him that I loved him, he was not open to the gospel. He received Christ 20 years later.
Some think that submission means that a wife is to be a doormat for her husband. She is not free to express her opinion about things. Submission does not remove her freedom. It allows for it. A train has its greatest freedom when it is on tracks.
may be won
“Be won” means winning souls into the Kingdom of God by the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:19, 20 (twice), 21, 22) or by godly conduct (1 Pet. 3:1). A wife will win her husband to Christ if she follows the principles of this verse.
Wives win their husbands to the Lord, not by nagging but by respecting his leadership in the home.
Many women have husbands who are obstinate to the Bible. Some husbands are obstinate because their wives have tried to ram the gospel down their throats. That is a mistake. They will never win their husbands by nagging them with the gospel or to come to church. Some Christian wives ride their husbands about moral issues – beer in the refrigerator and smoking. These things are inconsequential. If the husband refuses to receive Christ, the wife must grant his desire.
As soon as some women say “I do,” they try to “redo” their husbands. Their husbands will fight for their personhood. Some women have the belief system that if they downgrade their husbands, this will straighten them out. They feel if they never agree with them or give them a tongue lashing in public, this will put them in control.
Some women feel that they need to invade every area of their husband’s life. Husbands of these wives will hide their needs from their wives due to fear of criticism. If a wife is not sensitive to this, she will be met by self-induced deadness from her husband.