In yesterday’s passage, Peter addressed the importance of spiritual health over trying to impress people with our outward appearance. In today’s verses, Peter continues that theme. So let’s work through this passage that has often been taken out of context.
1 Peter 3:5-6
For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
I love the fact that Peter uses Sarah as an inspired example of biblical submission. Read her story in Genesis 11-23. She was not a wallflower who waited on Abraham to call the shots. She was an opinionated woman, who devised an ill-conceived family plan (Genesis 16:1-2), mistreated the accomplice (Genesis 16:6), laughed at God (Genesis 18:12), and finally ordered Abraham to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael by sending them off to wander in the desert (Genesis 21:9-10). Sarah destroys the world’s twisted picture of submission!
Peter uses Sarah as an inspired example because submission in Scripture is not at all like submission in the world. In biblical submission, every wife is a “player” in the relationship. She is an able partner who contributes and participates in the mission and direction of her marriage. Her input and interaction are not simply appreciated; they are vital to the health of the family. Her voice in decisions is crucial for determining the best choices.
But notice what this influential woman did not do. She didn’t question when God told Abraham to leave his country and family and go “to the land that I will show you.” Instead, she held Abraham in high regard. Her ill-advised family plan came from a desire to see Abraham’s legacy live on. She was with Abraham through good times and bad. She recognized Abraham as the leader of the family and joined him as a willing and able partner.
Father, thank you for this inspired example of biblical submission that puts to rest the world’s misunderstanding of the role of husbands and wives. Raise up “Abrahams” and “Sarahs” to carry your marriage design throughout the church, our country, and our world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.