The Women’ Fellowship in our church was very good. We praised God and prayed to Him. We also shared testimonies of His goodness. Then the Word of God came. It was a challenge to be like Sarah of old!
“For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror… then you will not need to fear offending your husbands… without fear of what your husbands might do” (1 Pet 3:5-6; NKJ, TLB; NLT)
Apostle Peter says that the godly wife should imitate Sarah. She was a good wife to Abraham, who was called ‘the friend of God’ (Jam 2:23). What can we learn from Sister Sarah? She was a holy woman of God. She trusted in God. She invested in her spiritual growth. She became a mature woman of God of a gentle and quiet spirit, very precious to God. This spiritual maturity became her wisdom and beauty, approved and blessed by God. Abraham and Sarah lived long and fruitful lives. They were not perfect. They were sinners saved by grace. But they are a great inspiration to us, not only individually, but also as a godly couple who struggled in life but they overcame at last. (They are buried together in Hebron. My husband and I saw their burial sites during our trip to Israel.)
Sarah was both submissive and obedient to her husband. Submission is an internal attitude, a heart thing. Obedience is the external manifestation of a humble heart. This obedience shows especially thru her actions. Just think of this… Sarah followed Abraham in all his journeys of life. She traveled with him from their native town, Ur of the Chaldees, to the Promised Land, then to Egypt and back. It is easier for a man to travel. Men generally love adventure. It is more difficult for women to travel because they love comfort and a stable home. But Sarah obeyed Abraham and was a helper to him until she died. They both made mistakes along the way. For example, she shared in his sin of doubt, adultery, cowardice and lying. But the grace of God ‘abounded much more’ in their lives. As a wife and friend, Sarah stayed faithful to her husband to the end; both in poverty and riches, in good times and bad. This is a wonderful testimony of a married couple!
The word ‘fear’ used in 1 Peter 3:6 appears only here in the New Testament. In Greek it means to be alarmed or to be terrorized by another. It is a fear that will make you fall, fail or run away. King James calls this fear ‘amazement’. You should not be amazed by any man, not even by your husband. Only God should amaze you because He is God! To be amazed it means to be shocked by something so strange, something that you can’t believe is happening to you. The lesson here is that we should pray to understand our husbands. This understanding is based on the Word of God and the revelation of the Holy Spirit. To be a good helper to your husband, you must understand his weaknesses and his strengths. This understanding is wisdom and makes your marriage happy, safe and peaceful.
Finally, let me say this: it was not easy for me to write this letter. I trust the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to you, who to fear and who not to fear! These are spiritual words describing spiritual realities. If you are not saved, you will not understand what I am trying to say. In no way at all I am encouraging rebellion, pride or stubbornness in marriage! Dear sisters in Christ, godly wives and mothers, let us be virtuous women, bold like lionesses, following the Lion of Judah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, walking in the power of the Holy Ghost! “Those who know their God shall be strong and do mighty exploits… will take action, show strength and prevail” (Dan 11:32). May your marriages be blessed! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Be a blessing to your generation! Let testimonies abound! Glory to God!
(After the fellowship we all went to celebrate the birthday of one of our sisters in the church. She is 50 years today. The husband spoke so lovingly about her. We were all touched. He said that she has been with him in the valleys and mountaintops of life for more than 30 years. She never complained about any hardship. She was always encouraging him. She saw ‘something good in him’ even when he saw nothing good in himself. God has blessed them with true love, peace and happiness in their home. God has also blessed them materially beyond what they can say. Their children are all good and obedient to the parents. The testimony of this godly couple is a very good example to other couples in the church. The celebration ended a wonderful day in the presence of God. As Pastor Leigh was praying for them, they knelt down and worshiped God. I took a picture of them at that holy moment. To God be all the glory!)