Money can’t buy happiness. Solomon had it all — health, wealth, and wisdom. But his pagan, foreign wives constantly stirred up strife in his home. What kept him from experiencing true love and peace in his family?

Solomon’s political-appeasement-centered marriages lacked submission. His seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines were not at any length prepared to surrender their independence for the sake of one man. Their stubborn and contentious spirit often made Solomon consider escaping to the wilderness for quietude (Proverbs 21:19).

In stark contrast, Abraham and Sarah had a strong marriage. Was it because either marriage partner was perfect? Absolutely not. Both had flaws. But the glue that sealed their marriage was Sarah’s respect and care for Abraham and Abraham’s love for her.

Not every wife would leave her luxurious ranch in the suburbs of Haran and consent to life as a wandering nomad. Not every wife would stay loyal to her husband after wandering 25 years through the wilderness. But Sarah humbled herself and submitted. God always honors a submissive spirit.

Does this mean that wives should submit in an abusive relationship? No. Husbands have equal responsibility to love their wives. The same is true of parents and children, employers and employees, and in relationships between friends. Let’s determine to put the other person’s desires above our own. By submission to one another, we’ll keep the relation “ship” afloat.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.