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Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2673
Nottingham, England

 Sapphira Submission

For those aquainted with the book of Acts, you will know that I speak of the wife of Ananias, whom, along with his wife Sapphira, lied to the Holy Spirit and were both struck dead.

My question is, how submissive to her husband should a wife be?

I say this, because of a Christian sister, who, after being in the chuch over 20 years, has left with her husband to attend another church, that embraces a different and unscriptural doctrine, than at her previous church.

They have 4 children,, in their 20's and teens, and she, understandably, wants to keep the family together.

What does scripture say concerning this?

To be honest, I'm scared for them all, and especially for her, because she does not embrace the unscriptural doctrine, but because she wants to keep the family together, she is going along with it.

Does God embrace or accept this? If so, where is it spoken of in His word?

Please help.

 2008/8/22 11:17Profile

Joined: 2006/12/23
Posts: 248
Montana USA

 Re: Sapphira Submission

Hi Enid,
This is the sort of question it seems women have been asking for a long time.... I know I have and I know others who have as well, it certainly can be a struggle when the husband is not the same kind of believer that the wife is, and sometimes even when he is...

Firstly, I do belive that Sapphira was not just being "submissive" to Anninias; Peter said to her in acts 5:9 "How is it that you have [i]agreed[/i] together..." So I think that Sapphira's part was not simply passivity.

On the other hand, the scriptures that are pertaining to women whose husbands are not Christians or their positions as wives are very well known, just not very easy to apply to certain situations.

All I know is this: God knows our hearts! God knew Sapphira's heart, and God knows the heart of this woman that you know. Does she need intense prayer support? Strong indeed! Does she need fellowship from those she has had fellowship with previously? Indeed!and much of it!

If indeed this woman's heart is one to follow the Lord wherever HE leads, and if she is convinced that she should follow her husband, then we should as a body of believer ask God for a quick work to convict, to bring a quick end, and for protection for her and for her children.

We know that there is nothing that is brought into our lives without prior knowledge from our Lord and Savior, He who is ever interceeding on our behalf; perhaps she has things within her own heart: fears, doubts, who knows... things that need this kind of a struggle to be able to see them within her own self clearly?

While we may not understand all these kinds of things, we can certainly go to Him who does.

Thank you for kyour question, and I will be keeping you all in my prayers.

Love in Christ,

Lori Salyer

 2008/8/22 16:09Profile

Joined: 2005/11/10
Posts: 530

 Re: Sapphira Submission

My question is, how submissive to her husband should a wife be?

Excellent and frequent question. I believe the Lord has a very simple and clear answer for this situation, one that is spiritual and a blessing. The Scriptures tell us that a wife should submit to her husband "as unto the Lord".

I take this to mean two things: (1) Her submission should under normal circumstances be total. (2) She is not required to submit when it would require her to break her relationship with God.

This means that a wife is to always submit to her husband entirely, unless, like in the case of Ananias, he wanted to tell a lie. Sarah (wife of Abraham) shows that even when your husband goes into lying, the wife can submit without needing to support the lie or take part in it. Sarah submitted the right way and 1 Peter 3 holds her up as a "holy woman", a great godly example. Sapphira did not "submit" at all! She agreed to lie to the early church. Very different. There is no clear sense that she needed to submit anything of her own will to her husband, although maybe she did. But in having her agreement and cooperation with a lie in the middle of a great work of the Holy Spirit among the people, she suffered her own penalty before God and not because of her husband. She died for her own sin. If she would have remained silent and "submitted" she never would have died.

I hope this makes sense. I believe the two sentences above give complete Christian direction under any circumstances for a godly wife who wishes to do the Lord's will.

 2008/8/23 4:54Profile

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