Your adornment must not be merely external — braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
–1 Peter 3:3-5
I love the last part of 1 Peter 3:6 — the potential of a life that’s not frightened by any fear! How awesome is that! But what’s crazy is Peter is talking about Sarah — a woman who was taken by two godless kings into their houses. I would have been afraid!! And yet, she was not afraid because she trusted in God. And in her story, the Lord cast Himself as the knight in shining armor who, not once, but twice, defended her honor and got her out of those awful situations. (And He plays an awfully good hero, you have to admit: “King Abimelech, You’re a dead man!”) Sarah knew — knew that she knew that she KNEW — that as long as she was walking in His plan, He was ultimately responsible for her safety and future.
Submission’s greatest enemy in our hearts is fear. Yes, we have to get over our stubbornness, our pride, our American feminist independence, our plain old preferences. But when it comes down to it, when the rubber meets the road, it’s fear that can completely do us in. I mean, let’s face it: we’re being asked to put our life on the line by a fallible man. That doesn’t sound very secure. And it’s not — except that God Himself is part of this equation, and He’s ready to defend those who walk in obedience to Him.
For me, this lesson came while still a daughter. For years and years, I submitted to my dad because, yes, I knew I was supposed to (Ephesians 6 and all that!), but also because why not? He was really, really smart, and always knew what was best for me. (What can I say? I have a really great dad!) Then one day, as adult decisions loomed, I suddenly began to wonder if maybe Dad could, you know, make mistakes! — and had to learn what it meant to submit because God said so. Now, as a wife, each time I come back to this issue of facing fear, trusting God, and submitting, I realize afresh that really, this is simply another call to total surrender — just another means used by God to bring me to a yielded place of radical devotion to Him.
Are you willing to take a leap of faith, and trust in God as He uses authorities in your life? Are you ready to let go of yourself and walk according to His plans? Are you willing to ultimately submit to Him as He molds and makes you into the image of His Son?
Week 1: Sarah: A Holy Woman
Week 2: Sarah: A Woman Who Chose Trust
Week 3: Sarah: A Woman of Character