He Hearkened to the Voice of His Wife

He Hearkened to the Voice of His Wife

There are two very famous men who hearkened to the voice of their wives and caused much devastation as a result. The first man was Adam who listened to his wife and ate of the forbidden fruit. When God found Adam, He said to him, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree…” (Genesis 3:17) and then God gave the consequences of listening to his wife. Thus, the world was cast into sin.

The other famous man was Abraham who knew that God told him he would be a father of many nations yet had no child so Sarah suggested he sleep with the maid to have a child. “And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarah” (Genesis 16:2) and did what she suggested which became part of the lineage of those who fight against God’s chosen people, Israel.

Often when I teach about women being submissive to their husbands and obeying them “as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…” (1 Peter 3:6), they want to find wiggle room in this by saying that they have a right to state their thoughts and opinions. “‘Without the word’ doesn’t mean we can’t say anything!” I believe God’s intention for us as wives is to obey with gentle, quiet, and submissive spirits as unto the Lord. I believe this is His perfect will for us.

Does this mean we can’t give our thoughts and suggestions? No, but if we are continually questioning, arguing, and giving alternatives or wanting our way, we are in sin. This isn’t how God wants us to live in submission to our husbands. If we want to give our thoughts or suggestions, we must be careful when doing this, making sure it’s wise advice and not just what we want, and don’t do it often. We don’t ever want our husband to be rebuked by the Lord for “hearkening to the voice of his wife.”

Men typically want to please their wives and will do whatever it takes to make peace. But God made it clear that we are to have “quiet” spirits which means we are at peace, not wanting our way, and are willing to follow our husband’s lead and choices. As John Piper preached, “This is how the holy women of old used to adorn themselves by submitting to their husbands. The deepest root of womanhood is hope in God. That’s where we start defining Christian womanhood – hope in God. 

A Christian woman does not put her hope in her husband or in getting one. A Christian woman doesn’t put her hopes in her looks. Remember my favorite verse in the Proverbs 31 woman? ‘Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come.’ ‘Everything that’s coming at me, I’m laughing!’ She doesn’t cringe. She doesn’t run. She’s not naive about what’s coming and she laughs because holy women of God hope in a Sovereign God who promises to help women whenever she needs Him.”

If we trust God Almighty and His will for us, we will trust our husband’s leadership instead of always having to give our input. God is wiser than us and maybe, just maybe our husbands will make great leaders if we let them and stop fighting them.

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 3:6

5 thoughts on “He Hearkened to the Voice of His Wife

  1. Thank you for sharing this today, Lori. A woman who trusts God is able to submit to her husband because God is in control of all things, even her husband. It helps to remember that whatever God commands, we know His commands are NOT burdensome (IJohn5:3). God can free us to obey our husbands without regret and worry. Isn’t that good to know?!🙂

  2. I agree that we should share our concerns or thoughts with our husbands but without nagging. While reading this I thought of Pilots wife warning him to have “nothing to do with this righteous man”. There are times when it behooves a man to heed the council of his wife. But I also agree the question comes in when the council turns to nagging. As wives we have to remember that our security ultimately rests in God. If we are right before Him, He will not forget us despite the (potentially foolish) decisions our husbands may make.

    I believe as wives we also have not put to use some of our greatest methods of effecting our families and instead resort to nagging. I find the story of Sarah telling Abraham to get rid of Hagar very insightful.

    ” After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

    So it was Sarah’s idea in the first place to give her maid Hagar to Abraham in order for Abraham to have an heir. Then it was Sarah again who said she wanted to get rid of Hagar, BUT she blamed Abraham for this course of action they took when it was her idea from the beginning, not Abrahams. At the end she goes so far as to say “May the Lord judge between you and me”. Abraham actually agrees with her and sends Hagar away.

    So I learned a couple of things from this discourse. One that no matter what idea the wife comes up with, it is the husband’s job to determine the course of the family. By Sarah invoking God, it shows that Abraham knew this too. So if we as wives nag our husbands to do wrong and they give in, it is they who will have to answer to God for leading their family astray. Who wants to be that woman?

    Secondly from this discourse I learned that we as wives can indeed effect change without nagging and that is by appealing to God and having Him judge. I myself have done this once. My husband and I were at an impasse in a pivitol life circumstance. Despite what I considered Godly and sound advice my husband didn’t see it as such and was determined to do things as he saw fit. I finally appealed to God and said, “May the Lord judge between you and me”. I left it alone and not even two weeks later God answered. It was made clear that I was in the right (on this circumstance I am by no means right all the time). So instead of me being the bad guy (nagging wife) I allowed God to change my husband’s mind and my husband now looks back on that time in our lives and considers me a loving and supportive wife (not the nag I could have become). I was still on my husband’s side and it was God who showed Himself right, not me opposing my husband.

    Secondly, I believe so many of us women have forgotten the power of prayer and fasting, fasting in particular. Recently I was made aware of a sad situation of a young marriage that is now in it’s 4th year of separation. From the side I heard it from, it seemed that there was a lot of confusion over who was in the wrong and the wrong purported was evil and illegal. I suggested we fast about it. Jesus said that some demons won’t come out unless we fast. This friend was very glad to hear my suggestion as I believe she felt that her loved one was in a hopeless situation without power. We as wives DO have power, it is the power of God if we ask Him. But we do have to be careful when asking God to step in because if we are in the wrong, God will act against us.

    1. Great post and great comment. Thank you both! Amen about the prayer and fasting (prayer bring key otherwise simply going without food is just a diet right?) It is that verse missing from the NIV I used to read that opened my eyes to corruption in modern Bibke translations. Matthew 17:21 is gone completely and the word fasting is removed from Mark 9:29 in the modern Wescott-Hort manuscript versions (NIV, ESV, ERV . . .) but God said He would preserve Hid Words. Which Bible we read–matters!

      “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
      Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”

      psalm 12:6-7 King James Version

    2. Enjoyed this post and really love this whole comment above, thank you so much for sharing, M, and for the wonderful reminder to place it in God’s hands! I have done the same during difficult moments in my marriage and God has always made the path clear – He is so good to us!

  3. Many years ago there was a show hosted by Art Linkletter called “Kids Say the Funniest Things ” or something like that. In one particular interview Mr. Linkletter asks the children what we learn from the story of Adam and Eve. Well this little girl says very matter-of-factly “Not to believe a woman because she will send you straight to hell” I remember laughing so hard back then but sadly with all these false women teachers she unknowingly was telling the truth.

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