** 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;…** 1 Peter 3:1
We talked about submitting to our husbands a little while back. Submission or being subject to someone is one of the more difficult topics to talk about. Everyone has their own strong opinion of what submission means. My comments today are not absolutes, they are ponderings. I still struggle with allowing my husband to lead ALL the time. I ALWAYS have an opinion on how things should be done. I don’t always respond well to his final decisions. But I have learned one important principal.
I need to allow my husband to fail.
Today’s verse is part of a passage about Sara, Abraham’s wife. Sara left her homeland and all that was comfortable in order to follow what her husband believed was his purpose in life. They traveled out together, step by step, day by day to find and experience the Lord’s promise for Abraham and by default–for Sara.
But if you know the story, at the first sign of trouble, Abraham put Sara in danger. They had passed through someone else’s kingdom, Egypt, and Pharaoh himself had a liking for Sara, so he took her. He wanted her for his harem. I wonder what they were doing so close to Egypt that the Pharaoh himself saw her. Getting supplies, maybe?
Sara goes off with Pharaoh’s men and Abraham did nothing.
Let’s remember also that when his nephew, Lot, was taken after moving to Sodom, Abraham brought together an army to rescue Lot and his family.
But for Sara. Nothing.
It makes my blood boil a bit thinking of the danger that she was in.
But, the Scriptures tell us something very important. Not only did Abraham do nothing to save his wife and get her back, but Sara didn’t say a word. Not one word.
We can look at this couple of ways. Maybe Sara was happy to be taken into Pharaoh’s home. Now she had walls around her instead of a tent. She had a real bed, instead of pillows and blankets thrown on the ground. She had delicious food to eat and beautiful clothes to wear. And she was far away from the smell of the camels.
Or…she was a woman of great faith. She trusted that the Lord would only allow the things to happen to her that would fulfill His purpose for her and Abraham. And if that meant living in Pharaoh’s house. So be it. If it meant she would never see Abraham again, she trusted the Lord’s decision. If being separated from Abraham gave the Lord more liberty to fulfill His promise to Abraham, it was okay with her.
Remember that back then, millennia ago, they were traveling by foot or by camel. It was a slow moving train. We don’t know how much time passed exactly, from when they left their homeland and then arrived in Egypt, but I am guessing months. Maybe more. Both Sara and Abraham knew that the promised nation from God wasn’t going to happen without her having a son. So, those months gave them plenty of time to get pregnant with that promised son. But it didn’t happen.
And now she is in Pharaoh’s house. Maybe she was supposed to get pregnant by Pharaoh. Like us, when we are presented with a big task from the Lord, we really have no idea how He is going to make it happen. It might not have made any sense to either of them, but they both just walked through it and let the Lord deal with the details. Neither one of them got upset really. They just seemed to have trusted the Lord with whatever happened.
So, we can talk about this scene in Egypt for a long time and all of its possibilities. And I really wish you were all here so we could!!
But getting back to the submission thing….Sara is a great example for us. She just ‘rolled with the punches’, as they say. She didn’t allow what looked like a big mistake on Abraham’s part to derail her faith or her attitude. She allowed the situation to happen. She didn’t fight it, or argue and complain or whine or talk to everyone around her about how her husband messed up. She just trusted that the Lord was in charge of Abraham and not her and that making mistakes was going to be part of the process of making Abraham the Father of a Nation. Because none of us learn much when everything goes according to plan, right?
I am the first to say that submission is tough. For all of us. But if we can allow ourselves to be governed by the Lord, we can allow ourselves to trust our husbands and the Lord’s dealings with them. Sara did.
And none of us have to live in a tent for the rest of our lives, right?