My Sister, My Bride

Heath Lambert, “Breaking the Marital Impasse: How Authority and Submission Work When Spouses Disagree,” in JBMW 15:2 (Fall 2010):

In Christian marriage, the spousal relationship is not the only one that characterizes the involvement of a man and wife. For Christians, a wife is married to her brother in Christ. All the passages in Scripture about marriage are relevant to a Christian wife, but all the passages about walking with a brother in the Lord are also relevant to her.

This means a wife will not be a good sister in Christ if she engages in behavior that tends to lead her husband into sin (Rom 14:23), or if she avoids rebuking her husband in his sin (Luke 17:3; Gal 6:1-2).

One of God’s greatest gifts to me is a sister in Christ who sees me more closely than anyone else and, so, is equipped to point out sin in my life that nobody else sees. Marital submission does not mean that a wife ceases to be a fellow Christian along with her husband. Likewise, marital authority does not insulate a man from being helped in his sanctification by his wife.

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