Assemblies Of God Adult Manual

Biblical Pattern For Wives. AG Adult Sunday School Manual

 

Lesson Bible Text:
Ephesians 5:22-25; Colossians 3:18; Proverbs 31:10-12,27-29; 1 Peter 3:1-6.

 

Central Truth:
The Christian wife’s devotion to her husband reflects the church’s relationship to Christ.

 

INTRODUCING THE LESSON

Society today affords women more opportunities than ever to contribute their talent to the world. But society continues to need women who are dedicated wives and mother if the family unit is to survive and thrive. This week’s lesson offers a Biblical guidelines for women to follow to build strong marriages. The challenge is to keep those guidelines in focus while considering opportunities and goals few women during Biblical history could ever dream of. If you are a wife, then God has called you to a wonderful position. As a Christian wife, God has given you a very big responsibility to respect your husband, take care of your home and then live a lifestyle that will glorify Christ in your home. 

 

LESSON OUTLINE

1. RESPECT YOUR HUSBAND

A. Timeless Example – Ephesians 5:22-23
B. Loyalty Priorities – Ephesians 5:24; Colossians 3:18.

 

2. BE COMMITTED TO THE FAMILY

A. Priceless Partner – Proverbs 31:10-12
B. Home Builder – Proverbs 31:27-29.

 

3. DEVELOP CHRISTIAN CHARACTER

A. Lifestyle Evangelism – 1 Peter 3:1-2
B. Inner Beauty – 1 Peter 3:3-6

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lesson,
students will be able to:

1. Accept whole-heartedly
God’s demands on loyalty from wives towards their husbands.

2. Follow scriptural call to and prioritise the home and Wife ‘s priceless responsibility as a home builder.
3. Esteem godly character as the foundational sources of a woman’s beauty.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

1. Accept whole-heartedly God’s demands on loyalty from wives towards their husbands.
2. Follow scriptural call to prioritise the home and Wife ‘s priceless responsibility as a home builder.

3. Esteem godly character as the foundational sources of a woman’s beauty.

Ephesians 5:22-24

[22]Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
[23]For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
[24]Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Colossians 3:18
[18]Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

Proverbs 31:10-12,27-29

[10]Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
[11]The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
[12]She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
[27]She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
[28]Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
[29]Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

1 Peter 3:1-5

[1]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;
[2]While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
[3]Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
[4]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.
[5]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:
 

Commentary and Application

1. Respect Your Husband

A. Timeless Example– Ephesians 5:22, 23*

Question for Application
Does Ephesians 5:22, 23 apply to our lives today, or does it describe cultural realities in the Early Church?

It is difficult to reconcile
Ephesians 5:22 with prevailing secular views of the wife’s role. But approaching the verse from the viewpoint of the modern women’s liberation movement is a mistake.

The push to “liberate” women is a reaction against the abuse of Women, both in the home and in society. Women’s rights groups have pursued some positive goals, such as the right to vote and equal opportunity in the work place. But Some women’s groups have become mired in a carnal view of Women.

Women are being misled into believing they abase themselves if they give in to the wishes of any man. Women are encouraged to exalt self-expression at the expense of their husbands, their children, the smooth functioning of their homes, even their unborn babies.

Ephesians 5:22 is not about abuse, grovelling, or giving up one’s identity. It is about living out one’s Christian testimony. A godly wife submits to her husband “as unto the Lord,” because she is submitted to the lordship of Christ.

Verse 23 approaches the marriage equation from the husband’s side. He is “the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” As last week’s lesson emphasized husbands who lead in a Christlike manner sacrifice themselves to meet their wives’ needs.

Clearly, Ephesians 5:22, 23 not based on changing cultural mores. Wives who are committed to pleasing the Lord will respect their husbands. The verses connect the timeless framework of the home with timeless spiritual principles.

*B. Loyalty Priorities–Ephesians 5:24; Colossians 3:18

(Ask a student to read Ephesians 5:24 to the class). The context of a wife’s submitting to her husband is that of the Church submitting to Christ. The idea here is that a wife will demonstrate godly submission to her husband as an expression of her relationship to Christ. This builds value into the wife’s respect for her husband, but also calls for the husband to model Christ in the home.

Question for Application

What does “in everything” mean in this passage?

Verse 24 applies the call for submission very broadly. It does not say a wife can pick and choose areas in which she will respect her husband’s wishes. However, this is not the only verse to address the subject.

The phrase “as is fitting in the Lord” (Čolossians 3:18) offers additional guidance for wives. A wife is not to follow her husband’s wishes if doing so would involve any kind of sin. That would never be “fitting” or appropriate behaviour to God.

Husbands and wives must remember that the wife’s first loyalty is to God, and that marital submission is an outgrowth of that loyalty. The husband must seek to support God’s plan for his wife, not undermine that plan in selfish fulfilment of his own goals. He will recognise the importance of her spiritual gifts and divine calling. This means those considering marriage need to be open with one another about the direction God is leading their lives. God intends that husbands and wives work as partners to accomplish His purposes. The husband’s leadership in the home is best expressed under these circumstances.

 

2. Be Committed to the Family

A. Priceless Partner- Proverbs 31:10-12

A woman’s place in society in New Testament times was much more limited than today. Yet Ephesians 5:22-24 clearly demonstrates that God’s view of the wife is much higher than the value placed on her by society 2,000 years ago. That contrast is even greater in Old Testament times.

Heathen societies in Old Testament times commonly held a low view of women. In Egyptian art, women often appeared on a smaller Scale than men as a portrayal of their lower social status. The Athenian hero, Pericles, reportedly said that the greatest glory for a woman was to be talked of as little as possible.

There is nothing second class in this portrayal of the ideal wife. She is “of noble character” and “worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10,
NIV). She stands out as a woman of talent and intelligence, worthy of the confidence of her husband. She is committed to a lifelong relationship with her partner, determined to do him good as long as she lives. Each of these verses touch on key factors in a marriage relationship.

Verse 10 places enormous value on the wife. Indirectly, it calls on husbands to prioritise their relationships with their wives above their pursuit of material success. Many marriages have fallen by the wayside when one partner has become more married to a career than to the spouse.

 

The wife’s noble character is also impacted by her husband. Paul warned Christians not to be unequally yoked, because he knew a spouse has the most powerful influence on one’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions. Christians must seek out other committed believers as marriage partners. Husbands must Iive in such a way as to encourage Christlike character in their wives.

Verse 11 describes the husband’s confidence in his wife and her ability to bring good things into his household. This not only honours the wife’s abilities, it describes the necessary choice husbands must make to allow their wives to become all that God intends them to be. Confidence is a choice. Many husbands who ridicule their wives for perceived shortcomings have never stepped back and allowed their wives to demonstrate their God-given gifts.

As more marriages fall by the wayside in modern society, heeding the Bible’s call for lifelong commitment becomes even more vital, The extent to which a wife brings her husband “good.. all the days of her life” (verse 12), rests in large measure on how her husband invests himself in her. The husband who understands the priceless worth of his wife and gives of himself
accordingly reaps a lifetime of companionship. Such a deep relationship is a balm to the soul during life’s most difficult days.

B. Home Builder-Proverbs 31:27-29

The home is the main building block of every society. It is the nurturing ground for a nation’s future teachers, doctors, preachers, and those in government service. The Bible gives due attention to the wife’s vital role within the home.

Verse 28 points to more than just compliments given in return for services rendered. The word “blessed” includes the idea of being honest or true. In other words, this mother’s testimony is influencing her children. They recognize the depth of her character.

Today, there are even more opportunities for women to rise to the top of a career or field of expertise, than in Bible days (see verse 29).
But again, God’s Word prioritises the home. “Thou excellest them all,” is the praise the ideal wife of Proverbs 31 hears.

3. Develop Christian Character
A. Lifestyle Evangelism–1Peter3:1,2

Marriage to an unbelieving spouse creates one of the most difficult environments in which to live out a Christian testimony. The person who is the closest human believer is out of companion to the fellowship with that believer’s Saviour. The case of a wife living with an unsaved husband creates an additional quandary. How can she respect the spiritual leadership of some one who does not acknowledge her Lord?

In 1 Peter 3:1, 2, Peter called attention to this dilemma, and his answer may seem surprising to
some women. If this were simply Peter’s opinion, one could argue against it. But the Holy Spirit inspired this passage. He views the Christian wife as His closest ally in reaching out to an unsaved husband.

Question for Application
What exceptions to this rule might a wife have to consider?

A wife who seeks to follow the leadership of an unsaved husband is never obligated to disobey God in the process. Her husband may be bound by sinful habits and he may attempt to include her in them. At such times, she will need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to express her priority of being loyal to God.

The expression “without the word be won” (verse 1, KJV; “won over with out words,” NIV) is powerful. In some homes, unsaved husbands may violently oppose any mention of the name of Jesus. In other homes, the believing wife may affect a tone of self-righteousness that harangues an unsaved but otherwise kindly husband. But the wife who prayerfully commits her every action to the Holy Spirit’s guidance will communicate volumes about her faith to her spouse by her behaviour.
                                                   
B. Inner Beauty– 1 Peter 3:3-6

The Christian wife is a woman of unsurpassed beauty. Christ’s transforming work gives her a wellspring of love to share with her life companion and her children. If her spouse is unsaved, she has the opportunity to draw him to Christ if her spouse is a believer, she has the privilege of standing with him in service to the Lord.

Peter had such beauty in mind when he wrote 1 Peter 3:3, 4. The woman with a gentle and quiet spirit is not spineless. Rather, she is in a position to hear the still small voice of God’s Spirit. Like the woman described in Proverbs 31, she may possess great strength of character and many gifts and talents. But she focuses her abilities on pleasing God. This, as the surrounding verses show, includes her loving respect for her husband.

Question for Application
Was Peter claiming that the use of outer adornment was wrong?

While some groups of believers have interpreted this passage as a prohibition against jewelry, makeup, or certain fashion trends, this was not Peter’s emphasis. He was
showing the priority of inner beauty over outward adornment. The Bible often describes the use of jewelry, perfumes, and beautiful clothing in a positive light. But godly character must be the foundational source of a woman’s beauty.

One of the most beautiful women mentioned in the Bible is Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Her beauty caught the attention Egypt’s pharaoh despite the harem of wives he already had. And her beauty captivated him when she was well past middle age! Peter picked Sarah as an example of beauty, but he did not focus on the face that stunned Egypt’s palace (1 Peter 3:5,6). He directed his attention to her godly character.

Sarah and other godly women of the Old Testament are mentioned as examples to wives living in every era. Peter did not call on women to refer, to their husbands as master. He described Sarah’s practice in order to reveal her heart attitude of faithfulness to God and to Abraham. It is that attitude that God wants every Christian wife to develop today. It is an attitude committed to doing what is right and not giving in to fear.

Sarah was a Woman of great faith. Her life bears out this reputation. She faithfully stood by Abraham, travelling from their home in Haran into the land of Canaan. She became the mother of Isaac, the son of promise, in her old age. Her life is so significant in Scripture that even her burial arrangements occupy a chapter of Genesis.

By connecting the wives in his audience with Sarah (verse 6), Peter made a key observation, the woman who fulfils her God-given role within her marriage is truly a spiritual giant in God’s eyes.

Call to Discipleship

A wife reaches her full measure as a lifelong partner when she brings her husband “good, not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:12), demonstrating to him the love, compassion, and servant’s heart of Christ.
As she seeks to be the wife God desires her to be, she will not only create an environment of blessing in her home, but will also mature spiritually herself and draw closer to her Lord. The Bible invites a woman to serve her family and her God and build a lifelong marriage rich in love and dignity and full of joyful expression.

1. How can a Christian wife’s devotion to her husband reflect the Church’s relationship to Christ?
2. In what ways can a married couple show the world the relationship that Christ has to His bride, the Church?
3. List Some practical suggestions on ways a Christian wife can Win her unsaved husband to the Lord.

 

Ministry in Action
Some students in your class may be dealing with marital discord or
even facing the dissolution of their marriage because they have never made Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives. Invite them to make that decision today.

 

Action Point
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I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.

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