Homeschool News ‘n Views
Issue 119, June 7, 2009
Love, honor, and obey –
Out-dated words or eternal words?
Not so long ago, those words were spoken in reverence at practically every marriage in America. If spoken now, you might be running the risk of inciting a riot if uttered within ear shot of most women today, even church-going women.
Recently, I finished a book written by veteran homeschool mom and friend, Shari Popejoy. Shari has accomplished so much with the Lebanon Area Homeschoolers that we won’t even try to recount it. Now she has also written and published a book.
The title, Won Without Words, is from I Peter 3:1-2, “Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear,” NKJV. The purpose of the book is to show that a Godly wife can have a profound influence on her home by letting God lead her in her relations with her husband and family.
Shari begins her story with her wedding day and takes the reader with her on her life’s journey, from the pinnacle of high expectations to the lows of frustration. In the despair of her low points, she begins to see things in a different light. After twenty years of trying to please her husband on her own terms, with little success, she “finally turned to the creator of my husband for understanding, [and] He lovingly responded to my request and began to teach me about my husband.” And so began her quest for God’s wisdom through prayer and Bible Study, the results of which are the contents of the book.
When she married, she naively thought that husbands needed just three things – meals, intimacy, and mothering his children. She reveals how she came to see that a man’s needs are the same needs that our God desires from us – the need to feel important, the need to be loyal to him, and the need for a show of affection.
Her section on “Intelligent Submission” is a jewel of wisdom written in a humorous, yet honest style. She jokes, “Now your husband might not be a proud man, who never admits his mistakes, is more stubborn than sin, and thinks he is right all the time. You won’t understand anything I’m saying if you have a husband who dotes on your every word, embraces your opinions as his own, kisses your feet, and readily admits his faults with tears in his eyes for the pain his weaknesses have caused you.” She then reminds us that there are spiritual laws at work that when obeyed can and do produce miracles. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up,” James 4:10.
Godly submission, she states, is about “using our freedom as women to be smart.” “. . . we do not HAVE to be under the thumb of a man. We do not HAVE to, but we can CHOOSE to.” She continually calls on the reader not to look at a situation with physical eyes, but to look beyond the physical to the spiritual, reminding us that all acts of love require the laying down of self. This is what Christ taught, “He that comes to me must deny himself.”
“But what about my rights?” today’s women might ask. Shari responds to that question by asking the reader to look at the results – the fruits of a generation of women demanding their rights. “Are you happier than your grandmothers? Are your children better adjusted?” she asks. Look at your friends, neighbors, relatives. “Are they truly better off than any other generation when it comes to personal satisfaction?” Many Christian families have been torn asunder as a direct result of women demanding their rights. The answers to her questions are obvious.
As Shari began implementing the biblical principles that she very clearly describes in her insightful book, the pieces of her marriage began to slowly come together again. The love, respect, and joy that a marriage should be became theirs. Not from her willful efforts, but from her submission to God’s authority. It’s a beautiful testament to the grace and glory of our God.
If we can believe that this Being can resurrect our dead bodies, then why do we find it so hard to believe that He can and will perform miracles in our marriages? In Shari’s case, she had to submit her will to the will of God by putting herself in God’s care and having faith that He was capable of doing what He said. The first miracle God performed was the change in Shari’s heart. She became a new creation as she states on the cover page, “[This book is] [d]edicated to my new husband in memory of his first wife.” And through her change of heart, God worked a miracle. Yahweh God was able to use her willingness to submit to her husband as a tool to teach her husband submission to God. “Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1 NKJ
“Won Without Words” is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Injoy Inc. is the publishing company Shari and her husband, Marc, founded after “Won Without Words” was written.
On the back cover is this admonition, “By accepting this copy, you have been entrusted a treasure, a message that has received a ‘go forth’ commission. Matthew 18:19. Do not hide or bury this treasure on your shelf, but share it with a sister.” I just did.
This week’s commentary by Margie White
In association with Pass It On Ministries