I have joined Beth Moore and the rest of the Siesta Scripture Memory Team to memorize 24 Scripture passages in 2011. See the Living Proof Ministries blog if you're interested: http://blog.lproof.org/.
In late December I was thinking of at least a handful of verses to start off the year. Most had to do with becoming a new creation and putting the old behind. I had thought of one or two which spoke to what it meant to be a wife, but it was more of a passing thought.
With only a few days left to decide (our verses are posted on the 1st and 15th of each month), I used biblegateway.com to look up 1 Peter 3:5-6 in several different translations. When I read the Amplified one, it really "amplified" in my head. Though I resisted a bit, I knew this would be the first one for me to memorize in 2011.
I had recently been visiting with a friend about what the Lord had been doing in my life and she pointed out that He had been teaching me about obedience. I've been getting the distinct feeling that He's taking me to a new level regarding obedience in 2011...
Here is 1 Peter 3:5-6 Amplified (I'm typing from memory, so feel free to check me!):
"For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them].
It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [followed his guidance and acknowledged his headship over by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority).
And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you]."
When I first copied this down, I underlined the part which says "to them." As I kept reading it over, I eventually wrote myself above each "themselves" and him above each "them." It would read "adapting myself to him as myself secondary and dependent upon him." Sometimes I'll even use my husband's name instead of "him" when saying it. Then one day I read it and thought, "This is just the opposite way many women approach marriage."
How often do we hear men say, "She liked me just the way I was before we married and now she just wants to change me."?
How often have (or do) our own husbands felt (or feel) that way? Ouch, that question hurts.
In this verse, however, we are told that the pious women of old did the opposite. In fact, when they wanted to make themselves beautiful, they changed according to their husbands ways! That means WE are the ones to do the changing, NOT them.
Please let me clarify something. This does not mean we should do something our husband is doing if it is ungodly. In the verses preceding the ones above we read:
"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 1 Peter 3:1-4 NIV
To me this implies we should live according to God's Word, whether our husbands believe the Word or not. We should, however, be careful not to be the "nagging" wife husband's are warned about in Proverbs. There are too many to list, but if you type in "wife" in biblegateway.com and then scroll down to those which are in Proverbs, you'll see what I mean. Men are warned that it's better to live on the corner of a roof and in the desert than to live with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.
You would think that was enough learning for my first memory verse of the year, but the last part spoke volumes to me as well: "not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you." I don't know about you, but I often "rebel" against my husband the most when I feel as if I know a situation better than he does. When it comes down to it, my mind begins racing ahead with "what if" scenarios, most of which do not have good endings. I must also admit that most often these situations have to do with our children, as I'm convinced I know them better than anyone else, including my husband.
Maybe you can see it now. I trust him with the "safe" things, but if things get out of that "safe zone" I begin taking over. Why? Usually it's because I'm giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties (what if...) unnerve me!
So, if you have had any thoughts like mine, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! If you have not, then please pray for me to be the kind of wife my husband needs and my God wants me to be. Actually, you can pray that for me either way. I just said a quick prayer for all of you reading this, that you would be the wife your husband needs and that God wants you to be. Blessings!