His, Mine and Ours

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. – 2 Peter 3:18

If you’re a married woman, maybe you believe it’s strictly your husband’s responsibility to nurture you in your faith. Yes, the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior (Ephesians 5:23), but that doesn’t exempt you, as a wife, from having a personal responsibility for your growth in Christ.

When you’re married, faith becomes a blended family of his, mine and ours. Perhaps you married while both unbelievers, and one or both of you have come to a saving knowledge of Christ since then. Or perhaps you were both believers before marriage, and you married someone on the same spiritual plane. But you’re never in exactly the same place.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you have a husband who is mature in his faith, someone who studies the Word with you and who prays with you. If you’re really lucky, he is able to help you understand heady doctrinal concepts or engage with you in deep theological discussions. These are a few of my favorite things.

But perhaps your husband is not there. Maybe he’s not on solid enough spiritual ground to demonstrate that kind of leadership, or maybe he just lacks confidence. Maybe he’s wandering through a spiritual desert as he struggles to find answers to his own questions. Maybe he’s even lost.

Regardless of whether your husband leads, you must continue to follow Christ. This requires a regular commitment to reading and studying the Word and to prayer. It also requires becoming a doer of the Word. We find our individual responsibility before God in the sentence structure of our verse.

Many of you know I write and edit for a living, so please bear with me while I put on my grammarian hat. I want you to notice something about 2 Peter 3:18: “But grow . . . “ The verse is in the imperative voice, which means it’s a command with the implied pronoun subject of “you.”

You grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This is God’s will for you, a command that is not incumbent upon your dependence upon anyone else except the Lord. It doesn’t let your husband off the hook for his role as a spiritual covering over you. For that, he is accountable before God, just as you as accountable before God for your own walk with Him.

But here’s an interesting truth about faith and marriage: Even if you grow apart, you can grow together. How can that be? This dichotomy proves true because as you grow as individuals in your walks with Christ, you will grow in your obedience and submission to His will. You will grow in your knowledge of His Word. You will grow in your reliance upon the Holy Spirit to guide you. You will grow in your ability to love as God loves and forgive as God forgives.

All of this is a recipe for potential marital bliss – potential only because it takes two to make a marriage work.

Even as you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, submit to your husbands. Let them lead. Don’t be a Miss Smarty Pants about your mind-blowing knowledge of scripture. Be teachable. Be humble. And continue to sit at the feet of Jesus, knowing someday you will stand blameless before His throne.

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