As a wife, I wear many hats and I go by many names. I am the weaker vessel in our house, as it clearly states in 1 Peter 3:7. The phrase “weaker vessel” does not mean inferior spiritually. For there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11). Wives are equal in Christ with their husbands. There is neither male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).
The First Peter passage is referring to the fact that we are weaker physically. We are in need of protection and provision. However, even as the weaker vessel, I hold much influence with the names I wear. For example, my mood, good or bad, directly affects my husband’s. Sometimes my name is “Moody.” My quick reaction will greatly affect the tone and even outcome of a discussion. Here, I am “Careless.” My opinions will sway him. I am “Opinionated.” My expectations can alter his plans. In this case, call me, “The One to be Pleased.” My pride frustrates him. “Frustrater” is my name. My selfishness robs his growth and ability to increase as well as mine to decrease. In those moments, I am simply “Arrogant.” My silence can leave him totally out of the picture, leaving him confused or misguided. Here I am the “Mute Controller.”
These are all names that I am in a daily battle to rid myself of. Most believers are aware of the put off/put on concept in scripture. In order to beat down the sins of arrogance, selfishness, and pride reigning in my heart, I must replace these things (these “names”) and do as Ephesians 4 instructs. Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
This influence, if you will, can be yielded and used for good. For example, my smile warms his heart. Then, my name is “Comforter.” My compliment strengthens him. Call me “Affirmer.” My humor makes him laugh. “Comedian.” My openness enlightens him as “Sharer.” My faith walk inspires him when I am “Spiritual.” My protection of him publicly shows him respect, for I am “Respectful.” When the work of my hands is organized in aiding his work, I am “Dependable.” My dedication assures him as I am “Devoted.” And my touch reaffirms him in my love. I am “Lover.”
The role of wife is a beautiful God-given position. Woman was created to glorify man and help him bring more glory to God. Our lives as wives need to glorify our husbands. Man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake (1 Corinthians 11:7-9).
Patrick accepted Christ two weeks after arriving in the United States for college. He then found me. My parents were praying for him (my future spouse) my entire life. God had protected him from things a typical young Frenchman outside of Christ would not normally have been shielded from… Because of all this, I really believed Patrick was made just for me. However, if I am going to chew up and swallow this 1 Cor. passage, the reality is I was created for him.
I pray I wear Christ beautifully in my life. As I seek to become more Christlike in my role as a wife, may I wear “Fata” as beautifully.