There are some instructions in the Bible that I don’t claim to fully understand, but I have determined to try to just do what God says, even if I don’t know the reason why.
One such instruction is that wives are supposed to obey their husbands, and ladies who are getting older are supposed to teach the younger women this.
“…that they admonish the young women to… [be] obedient to their own husbands” (Titus 2:4-5).
Here is how other English translations word Titus 2:5:
“…subject to their husbands” (GNV)
“…submit to their husbands” (CJB)
“…to place themselves under their husband’s authority” (GW)
“…subject to their own husbands (NASB)
“…subject to their husbands” (NIV)
“…submitted to their own husbands” (TLV)
The Greek word is hypotassō.
Here’s what it means, according to the Outline of Biblical Usage:
to arrange under, to subordinate
to subject, put in subjection
to subject one’s self, obey
to submit to one’s control
to yield to one’s admonition or advice
to obey, be subject
“This word was a Greek military term meaning ‘to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader.” In non-military use, it was ‘a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.’” (OBU)
Here is a sampling of other verses where this Greek word is used in the Apostolic Scriptures:
“Then [Yeshua] went down with [his parents] and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Yeshua increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:51-52).
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the Torah of God, nor indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1).
“Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the Torah also says” (1 Corinthians 14:34).1See 1 Timothy 2:11-16.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Messiah is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Messiah, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
“Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:9-10).
“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey” (Titus 3:1).
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh” (1 Peter 2:18).
“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” (1 Peter 3:1).
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).
I’ve been dreading writing this post. It took me almost 11 years to write it! (Here was my previous post.) I am imagining the angry comments, the caustic emails, the sharing on Facebook with mocking headlines.
However, as author Voddie Baucham says, “I don’t write the mail; I just deliver it.”
People will say that Paul’s letters aren’t Scripture but were simply one man’s opinions to churches that existed in the first century.
Peter didn’t see them that way!
“…consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:15-16).
Peter tells us that Paul can be difficult to understand, but he also equates Paul’s writings to the level of “the rest of the Scriptures.” We are to show Paul respect and to take his words as truth.
So for me, it’s one of those things where I might not understand all the reasons why—but my choice is to take Paul literally and obey, just as I strive to obey the “the rest of the Scriptures.”
So what does it actually mean to be obedient?
It has the same definition we would tell our kids: to obey right away, the first time we are asked, with a happy attitude.
- Yeshua obeyed His parents, even though He was God in flesh.
- We are to obey the Torah of God.
- We are to obey governing authorities.
- The church is to obey the Messiah.
- Bondservants and employees are to obey their masters and employers.
- Younger people are to submit to older people.
- We are to submit to God.
- And wives are to submit to their husbands.
We have a right to appeal, if we do it with a respectful attitude. We also have the responsibility of being a suitable helper to our husband (Genesis 2:18), so we should speak up if we have information our husband needs to know. We are to help him!
As my husband and I have talked about before, we are to be one, echad, united in vision and purpose and goals.
In our homes, we are to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another” (Ephesians 4:32).
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
But when my husband makes his opinion known, I’m to go with it, even if I disagree.
“Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:24).
This is only to my own husband (and unmarried girls to their fathers, but that’s off topic for today). To other men, we show honor, brotherly love, and gentleness (1 Peter 2:17, Titus 3:2).
I’ve been dreading this post, and now it’s over, and we can get on to easier topics next time.
But wait… What would our homes look like if we were to diligently follow the instructions given to us in our Bibles, by the appointed apostles of our Master, Messiah, and Rabbi Yeshua?
Would we have more peace? Would our children want to keep walking in truth? Would we help effect change in the world?
Titus 2:5 ends, “that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
Is Paul referring only to the last instruction, for wives to obedient to their own husbands, or to the entire list of things older women are supposed to teach younger women?
I’m not sure, but at the very least, if we want to honor YHVH before a watching world, we need to model how to be obedient to the authority the Creator has set up, just as we show our love to the Creator by obeying Him.
I want my children to have a lasting faith, one that is passed down to a thousand generations.
And of all people, my children know the truth about my marriage.
In fact, their view of God’s Words, His commands, depends on my attitude to my husband’s wishes at home. If I fail to obey and respect Kraig, why should my kids feel they have to obey YHVH? The entire Scriptures are slandered to my kids. I’m telling them the whole thing is a lie, worthless, and definitely not worth their time.
Blaspheme: (Strong’s Hebrew 5006) to deride (verb). KJV Translations: despise, provoke, abhor, blaspheme, contemn, flourish (Benner)
And if I can’t obey the Scriptures in this one area because I think I know better than God, or because I think my Messiah’s appointed apostles’ words don’t apply to me—then why would I obey in any other area?
The Word of God has been blasphemed.
So as a getting-older-every-day woman who has been married 30 years, I earnestly admonish and exhort and urge and warn you to be obedient to your own husband.
Let’s do Bible things in Bible ways.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
|↑1||See 1 Timothy 2:11-16.|