I received a sweet letter from one of our members, and she had the following question:
<<<I can't be sure that my husband is saved. He says that we shouldn't have to ask someone if they're saved, we should just know by the way they live their lives. I beg to differ with him, but how do I go about talking to him without crossing that line of preaching to him?>>>>
....First of all, you are right about being concerned about submission regarding this issue. A woman who is not in submission can do more harm than good in a situation like this. We can actually prevent the Lord's working in a man's heart.
The first passage that comes to my mind concerning this is I Peter, chapter three. While some may question the use of I Peter 3, let me say briefly that all scripture is for our learning and admonition. Because "our" apostle Paul reiterates all previous scripture regarding the submission of a woman to her husband, we can conclude it is not a "dispensational" truth. Therefore I believe we can learn from the passage in I Peter. We cannot however, take the "winning" to mean salvation, because in Paul's epistles, we are told that a person is won to Christ by the preaching of the gospel. See:
1 Corinthians 1:21:
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (KJV)
But notice in I Peter 3 what the passage says:
1 Peter 3:1-6:
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.(KJV)
In verse one, I believe it is shown that a husband will not be saved by his wife's "preaching" to him. He is more likely to be influenced by her meek and quiet spirit. Your job is to be a godly wife. The Lord will use the wife who is in submission, and who "reverences" her husband.
You see, the Lord will see to it that your husband hears the gospel preached, if he will believe. Maybe the Lord uses the godly wife to soften the husband's heart so that he will not want to be in rebellion to the Word of God, but rather to know more. Maybe with this softened heart, when a husband hears the gospel preached, he may be saved.
Your submission seems to be the key for this process to start, according to the passage.
But do not sit down in despair. Many a wife has had a great influence on her husband, by other means other than "preaching" to him. Some have left tapes and tracts lying around. Others have played salvation messages on tapes while traveling, after first asking their husbands if they would mind. Others have merely asked their husbands to go to Bible studies, or church services with them, where they know the gospel will be preached.
You can order salvation messages on cassette tapes at our web site. Just go to the "Free Cassette Tapes", page.
You know, we can never know about another person's heart, so we can only do what the Lord has instructed US, as women, to do, (follow our own instructions from the Lord), trusting the Lord with the rest.
Probably for you, just trust your husband to the Lord. He may already be saved, but whether he is or not, you do not have to find out. Your job is to reverence him (Eph. 5:33). And, just faithfully and patiently, wait for the Lord to reveal it to him, one way or the other, and if He so wills it, to you also.
It is all right to talk about the Bible in general with your husband, and to pray for open doors to do so. However, you must always let it be the natural flow of conversation. Or, you may certainly answer anything he asks you, because he is doing the asking and you are not "usurping" authority in that instance.
A wife must be careful to obey the verse about this:
1 Timothy 2:12:
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (KJV)
About your husband's statement, "He says that we shouldn't have to ask someone if they're saved, we should just know by the way they live their lives." As you have stated, this is erroneous. Lost people can live "good" lives by the world's standard, and saved people can live as if they are lost. No one should, but nevertheless, they do.
I pray this helps.