“For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.”
For in this manner,
“This manner” – in the manner of the woman who in her inner disposition has in-wrought grace and is settled in her soul.
in former times,
“Former times” is Old Testament times. Women do not change. Styles may change, but the soul of the woman does not change.
the holy women
“Holy women” is just a term for Old Testament women who believed in God. This woman has no halo over her head.
who trusted in God
“Trusted” means placed her hope in God. The issue here is more one of confidence. God was the object of their hope. These women had a sense of awe of God.
Women who know God personally and respond to his Word have the aperture of their souls open to him. Because they know how to respond to God, and they know how to respond to their husbands’ needs.
God designed Christian marriage cyclically so that each partner meets the needs of the other partner.
Many people come to a deadly truce in their marriage. They live under the same roof. They disarm their weapons for fighting relationship wars. They do not argue anymore. Each goes his own way, and each lives his own life. Neither fulfills the other.
Other marriages live in deadly cycles. Joe Husband comes home from work. He has had a bad day. He is tired. His wife meets him at the door, but he wants nothing to do with her. She says, “All I tried to do was to kiss you.” He says, “Get away. I don’t want to be bothered. I have had enough of people today.” She says, “OK, I can understand that.” He sits down to read the paper, but the sport’s page is missing. She used the sport’s page to wrap garbage with it. He then goes on his petty tirade about not touching the sports page. “Do what you will with the woman’s page or the want ads but never touch my sport’s page.” She is about to explode, but she bottles her anger. They sit down to eat, but because of this tension, she overcooks the meal. He says, “What kind of garbage is this? I did not ask for a Burnt Offering.” This is all she can take. They spend the whole evening arguing until they reach a stage where neither says anything to the other. Silence goes on for a few days until they forget about it until the cycle starts over again.
What should the wife do to avoid something like this? All of the descriptions of the husband were overt. He growled at the door when he came home. He complained about the sport’s page and the meal. If all she sees is the surface, she cannot meet his need. If she asked about his day at the right timing, the result might have been different. Maybe his boss reprimanded him for something. Not only that, but his coach dropped him from the baseball team because he was not good enough. All she sees is the growl. If she was mature and could see beyond his immaturity, she could step into his essential need. She can let the superficialities fly by her because she knows him. She can step into the interior of his life.
This understanding does not come overnight. It takes months and years to discover your husband’s needs. This is more than talk. This is communication. It is more than an understanding of what he likes for a meal. It is an understanding of what is most important to him. Many women married for 20 years still do not know their husband’s essential needs. They have their construct as to what his needs are.
She forms this construct based on her own needs. Her whole life centers on her problems. She sees her own problems because her husband does not treat her right. She lets self-pity drive her relationship with her husband. Maybe the reason her husband does not treat her right is that she does not take the time to find out what he is all about.
Every man is different and unique. No categorization covers all men. We cannot put every man into the same category. If a woman drags her dad into her relationship with her husband, she commits a deadly error. “My dad did it this way, and you are doing it that way.” “My dad was horrible, and therefore, you are a monster.” Each man is different, and his wife must understand him for who he is and not some imposed construct of what she thinks he might be.
Some of you may say that “It is too late for me. I am already married to the wrong man.” There is hope, for there is the ingredient known as the grace of God. If a woman operates on the grace of God, she can change her situation.