Friday, January 30, 2015

Submission and Noah's Wife


My great idea of writing through Proverbs 31 didn't seem so great when I realized that the next verse was on marriage. I am married to a godly man who makes it easy to be submissive - and yet I still have much more to learn about being a good wife. Because I fail often, I'd rather not hand out marriage advice. But when I looked into this verse and then considered an example of Noah's wife, I was inspired - so maybe you will be too.

And a disclaimer: I'm not addressing whether or not a Christian woman should submit to her husband. I consider the Scripture to be rather clear. (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18) Neither am I addressing what you should do if your husband is not a godly man. My interaction with women at the detention center have introduced me to stories of evil men who ask their wives to join them in despicable acts. That topic demands much prayer and more wisdom than I posses.


Submission and Noah's Wife

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” Proverbs 31:11

Noah, imagine what our neighbors will say. They already think we are crazy. Will God really destroy the earth? Why waste your time building an ark?”

We know very little about Noah's wife. She is mentioned only five times in Scripture and never by name. Did she balk at obeying God's command to build an ark? Did she compare her husband with the other men and wish she was married to one who wasn't so radical in his obedience to God?

As I consider Noah's wife, I think of my own reaction to my husband's projects. My husband has never considered building an ark, but once he told me that whenever he makes a suggestion, I try to find all the reasons it won't work. Oops!

I consider myself a practical, detail-oriented person. These may be good qualities—sometimes. But in this area, I needed to keep my mouth shut. I wasn't a safe place for my husband to share his dreams and ideas.

A wife's attitude can encourage or hinder her husband. Every man wants and needs a wife who respects his leadership. We women have the power to undermine our husband's ministry. 

I like to think that Noah's wife was a virtuous woman who had a heart of submission toward God and her husband. Instead of the negative words above, maybe we could have heard her say something like this.

Noah, how blessed we are that God has warned you of the coming judgment. How can I help you? I suppose we won't have any stores to purchase our food after the flood. I've been buying our cheese at the local market, but I think I'll start making my own. And our daughter-in-law is so good at growing plants. Maybe she can help me decide what kind of plants and seeds we need to bring in the ark to grow our own food. I could talk to our midwife and ask her some questions about what kinds of medicines I should pack.

But Noah, what concerns me most is the influence our children face. What if our sons do not choose to come with us on the ark? There is so much evil around us and they have no godly friends. We must faithfully teach them the ways of God.

And Noah, I'll be praying for you when you are preaching today. Maybe some of our neighbors will choose to join us in the ark.”

None of us face quite the daunting challenges as Noah's wife—the rejection, the loneliness, the huge responsibility of her family's survival. She had not one friend who shared her goals. She prepared for a disaster that no one had experienced before. Yet she raised faithful sons; she survived the flood; she help build new homes. Her example shows it is possible to be a trustworthy wife that a husband can depend upon even in the worst of circumstances.

How did Noah's wife stand strong in the many years it took to build the ark, endure the flood, and rebuild their home?

We can only guess. The Bible says that Noah “walked with God” and he “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8-9) The same God that gave Noah courage to preach to evil people, could also give grace to Noah's wife. 

Grace is the gift of God's power to live a victorious life. Noah's wife may have been a skillful and wise woman, but no amount of talent could have protected her from the flood. Only Noah and his wife's submission to God saved their family.

God's grace is available to me too. He can help me funnel all my words through a heart of submission. Maybe my husband too can say of his wife that he can “safely trust in her.” 

What about you? Want to be brave (or humble) and share how you are challenged to submit? How does God's grace help you to be a godly wife?

14 comments :

  1. The warm fireplaceJanuary 30, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    It is a big challenge, my husband has said that he feels he is on a path that he has trod before, so when he suggests things i do feel that it is Gods will, he has laid out my husbands life and the path that he must tread. It hasnt always been easy and some days i can feel the surge to question in a more forth right manner, but if i step back and look at the decision i know my husband would not make a large decision without alot of thought and prayer.
    I do pray daily to be a Godly wife.
    Sue

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    1. Thanks for sharing Sue. You seem to have a great attitude of seeing God at work through your husband.
      Blessings,
      Gina

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  2. You make it sound so easy. And perhaps the type of man you have married does make it easy. I married a widower with teenage boys and his previous wife had been the spiritual leader, which I am not. He expected me to be and when I have asked him to be (especially with his children) he really has no response except that he is sorry. Your life seems so perfect and so well planned and I feel it is unattainable for me, for us.

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    1. Joy -
      I admit that I'm married to an easy man - though my life certainly is not perfect since we are both still ordinary naturally selfish people. I'm sorry that you have struggled. I know that second marriages, even when the first spouse has died, have their challenges. Please hang in there and pray for God to work through your marriage.

      Praying for you.
      Gina

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  3. I loved what you said about being a safe place for your husband's dreams and ideas. That's exactly who I what I want to be - a safe place. My husband was just asked to be part of the elder team at our church, and I am so thankful that I am able to joyfully support him and encourage him in this, even if it means a few more days/nights away from our daughter and I. Rather than selfishly asking him to spend all his time with us, I can support him in this because it will help him grow and help him be a blessing to others. I'm so thankful that it's actually quite easy to support him in this because when he is home with us, he makes his time count. He dotes on our daughter. I'm so thankful that he is, as you said your husband is, an easy husband to be submissive to.
    Thank you for sharing this and for reminding me of the great blessing I can be to my husband.
    Kara

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    1. Kara-
      I have to admit that I'm not always gracious about sharing my husband with church work - but I'm trying to be supportive!
      Thanks for your encouragement!
      Gina

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  4. I liked trying to imagine how Noah's wife might have felt! :) When we moved to Ohio 3 years ago with no house available to move into I had to wonder what Abraham's wife went through?! All you read is that she went but I had to wonder how she felt? Surely the women back then were as human and hormonal as I am??

    I often find myself being manipulative - maybe not being blantantly disrespectful but undermining my husband in little, "I just didn't think about it" ways. If I really care about what he likes/wants/enjoys/wishes than I should gladly do those things and = confess, sometimes I just don't feel like putting forth the effort, especially if it doesn't seem that important to me!

    Something we can all always work on........ I enjoyed your post!

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    1. Bethany -
      That sad thing is that I can be manipulative but find ways to justify myself! Thanks for your input!
      Gina

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  5. After 34 years of marriage I regret to inform you that I am not always supportive of my husband! ;) However we have been married long enough that he has learned to ask what my objections are and decide if it's a real problem or just menopause (used to be the monthly)! Having said that - he is in charge and I find that submission (the general rule) is incredibly freeing and gives/gave me the time and focus to be a homemaker (especially when the kids were little) without worrying about the stuff he handles. It is definitely easier than it was back then, after a lot of years there is a lot more trust! Our ladies bible study started a project where we don't let ourselves criticize or be negative, it has been an eye opener, we are all over 50 and married a long time and we get into negative habits. This is a good reminder as well.

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    1. You mean that when I'm married 34 years - I won't have it all together! ;)
      Thanks for your honesty!
      Gina

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  6. Over the years, I've been blessed with many Bible study groups, and discussions with friends on this challenging topic. I have never forgotten hearing once, long ago, that 'to be submissive is to get under, or behind and support, and lift up!" and the teacher used her hands to demonstrate, This is something most of us strong-willed women can do,
    And also, I have been reminded over the years, that the Bible tells all of us, wives and husbands alike, to 'be submissive, (supportive) one to another' This is alot easier in a Christ guided family,
    On the flip side, I worked as a Case Manager in a Domestic Violence Shelter, for many years, and have seen and dealt with the dark side. Another guiding Biblical principal, is to remember that we are told to put God first, then our husbands,
    All of this requires great wisdom,discernment and maturity that can only come from our Savior, and we are all works in progress, no matter our age or experiences. The above virtues mentioned above, usually come from the Lord shaping and molding and re-arranging our thoughts and lives, and is rarely comfortable!! I so agree with Ms, Gina,,,hang in there sister! Do right, be humble and give thanks. We will pray for you;

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    1. I appreciate the thoughts of you all who have been married more years than I!
      Gina

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  7. Gina, this is a wonderful, wonderful post! I haven't had internet for a few years, but I came by today (recovering from minor surgery) to reacquaint myself with your blog and this post was really a blessing to me. Congratulations on your littlest blessing! Monica formerly from NaturalmamaX4.blogspot.com. My new blog can be found at www.simplefarmmama.wordpress.com

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  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, it really was very thought provoking! I have become convicted over the last few weeks, that I am not really being as submissive to my husband as I thought I was. It is my prayer that the Lord will help me, "weed my garden" of negative, undermining speech. I am very much enjoying your blog!

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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