Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Marsha's Musings: Nagging=Taking Responsibility that Belongs to Someone Else (1 Peter 3:1-6 KJV)

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Peter 3:1-6 KJV)

Okay, now Peter has left practical Christian living and has gone to meddling!  At least that is what some of us would think.  This is extremely practical advice, if only it was easy to live by it!

It's way too easy for us women to nag our husbands.  Two ways to know if you are nagging are these:
1. He doesn't listen to you.  He ignores you.
2. He gets agitated with you when you talk.


Basically, Peter is saying that if the husband is not obeying the Word of God, it is not our responsibility to nag him into obeying it.  That will never work.  Basically, when we nag about anything,  it's because we are trying to take responsibility for someone else's actions or lack thereof and we women have far too many things on our plates to take on someone else's responsibilities as well.

Simply put, it's not our responsibility to see that our husband grows spiritually, reads his Bible, prays, attends church and does what he is supposed to do.  These things are his responsibility and our nagging about it will not help.  Well, it might help for the short term just to get you off his back, but the heart issue won't be fixed.

So Peter is telling us that if we live our lives with a conscience toward God, being in subjection to our husband's wishes, with a meek and quiet spirit, trusting God to do His perfect will that the husband may be won by this behavior to be obedient to the Word of God.  

Notice the word may.  It doesn't say he will be won, but that he may be won.  What does this mean?  It means that we are to obey God in this behavior regardless of whether the outcome is favorable to our desires or not.  Our obedience is not to be conditional.  Take responsibility for your actions alone.  Your husband's actions are not your responsibility, so stop trying to make them your responsibility by nagging him.

This passage doesn't apply only to those whose husbands do not obey the word of God.  It applies to all of us who are married.  Even women who have husbands who are the perfect spiritual leaders in the home and that are easy to submit to have problems at times deferring to their husband's wishes and leadership.  We are all prone to nagging at one time or another.  It can be just nagging him as we leaves for work in the morning..."Don't forget the...  Remember to do...  Be sure you get..."  We often treat our husbands like we do the kids.  Yes, we are supposed to be their helpmeet, assisting them to make their life easier as the provider for the household, but we need to find the balance between a friendly reminder and nagging.  We need to find the balance between letting them take responsibility for things and our fear that they might mess up and make us look bad.

Sometimes it's a delicate dance to know when you have left off being helpful and encouraging and gone to nagging.  The key, I think is the quiet and meek spirit.  If you feel the fear building up within that if you don't "remind" him of this or that, that you might be imbarrassed somehow, then you are probably nagging.  If your reminder is simply to help make life a little easier for him and he appreciates the reminder, then you are being a helpmeet.

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