Win Him Without A Word
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
How does a wife win over an unbelieving husband? It’s not through lectures, leaving Bible notes, CDs, playlists, or Christian Radio; it’s not by dragging him to church (although it has worked for some). It more so by submission. Submission is that divine calling to respect, support, and help her husband fulfill his role as a servant leader to provide for and protect the family. Yes, this means even if he’s not a believer!
The Apostle Peter spells it out by saying “even if some do not obey the word”. That’s the gospel! Even if the husband is not a Christian, the wife is challenged to submit or be subject (ESV) to her husband.
This doesn’t mean that’s she’s to submit herself to do things that are harmful, hurtful, or to do anything that would be contrary to God’s will and God’s ways; that’s sinful and not at all what the Apostle Paul is saying to do! Rather, he’s challenging the wives to witness without saying a word.
When the wife is respectful to her husband, she’s opening up an opportunity to show him the difference that Jesus Christ has made in her life as a wife. This is perhaps the most important witnessing opportunity the wife has; it’s not what is said, it’s what is done. As the saying goes, sometimes actions speak louder than words.
If the wife goes to church, busies herself with Bible studies, and then comes home, angry, impatient, disrespectful, and rude, the husband’s chances of accepting her faith is about as likely as it would have been for Mother Teresa to ask for a pair of brass knuckles to fight Mike Tyson! It would never happen!
The wife’s influence is so strong, as recorded in our Bibles: “…they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.” Scripture says, “they may”, which is not the same as “they will”. It’s just possible - if the wife’s behavior lines up with her beliefs, there a good chance he will come to faith in Christ.
I can recall the story of a young woman who became a Christian early in her marriage. Her husband remained an agnostic. He believed in a God, just not really sure who he was. For years she invited him to church, prayed for him, but more than anything she respected him and loved him. She never stopped showing unconditional respect despite their differences. He wanted nothing to do with church, was uncomfortable to talk about God, and had far too objections to the Christian faith. Until one day, it all clicked. He had watched his wife live it out for years. Her faith, love, and respect changed him. It caused him to reconsider everything. He started looking for answers to his questions, he talked to others, he read the Bible, and then one day he placed his faith in Christ.
One cold Christmas morning, he gave a gift to his wife with a note in it saying …
“I’ve watched you. I waited to tell you because I wanted this to be special. I believe now. It took me a long time to come around, but I can’t deny the faith, I’ve seen your life change, and I don’t understand it all but I have come to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and I’m ready to take the next step.”
For the praying wife, this was the best gift ever. God had heard her prayers and blessed her obedience. She trusted God by doing her part to show respect. “Even if” he wasn’t ready to be Christian, she loved and respected him.
This story is true for countless wives throughout the centuries. No one can control another person, but everyone can control themselves. Today, I encourage you wives to commit to showing respect to your husband no matter if he’s a believer or not and trust God will use it for good!