We had a great question on our Marriage Devotional about last week’s idea of serving our spouses. She asked: “How do you put your spouse first without becoming a doormat?” Here’s our answer … assuming there is no “abuse” involved.
Start by reading I Peter chapters 2 and 3 for some helpful biblical insights to your question. The apostle Peter argues that one of the hallmarks of our faith is “submission” … to all who are in authority over us whether they are Christ followers or not.
I Peter 2 verse 22 reads: “… He (Jesus) committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him (the heavenly Father) who judges justly.”
Peter reminds us that Jesus submitted Himself not only to His heavenly Father … but to the pagan authorities. He was humiliated … He laid down His life … sounds like He was a “doormat” … right in front of heaven’s door!!
In I Peter 3 … Peter makes this idea of serving (submissiveness) specific to Christian wives. They are to love their non believing husbands in a way that will win them over by demonstrating their love and respect for God and their husbands. Christian wives are to have the spirit of Sarah who called her husband Abraham “my lord” … and obeyed him even when he was asking her to lie about her relationship with him.
Paul in Ephesians 5:25 states: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …” Paul mandates that husbands (this serving and submissive thing goes both ways!) are to love their wives like Jesus loves His … He gave Himself up for us. That is the same suffering Peter was talking about.
So in one sense we are to be doormats … humble, submissive and demonstrating the love of God so our spouses, children and all those around us can see the unconditional love of God at work.