God’s Word for You
1 Peter 3:5-6 A wife’s beauty (Part 3)
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, April 22, 2022
5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. (NIV)
Peter holds up Sarah as an example for Christian wives, who even in a moment of weakness still showed her submission to her husband. When the angel promised she would have a son within a year, she laughed and said to herself. “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12). Her word, “lord” (adonai), is frequently used for God (Genesis 15:2), but there she meant her husband. The great believing women of the ancient world all shared their common faith and that quality of perfect submission and devotion to their husbands. Eve and her daughters and granddaughters who became the wives of the patriarchs before the Flood all shared this faith and this way of showing it, as did the wife of Noah, of Shem, and the others down to Abraham’s dear Sarah.
But what does Peter mean when he says, “If you do not give way to fear”? Consider the position of women since the Fall. Through the order of creation and the will of God (1 Timothy 2:13) a man has headship in his family and in the church (1 Timothy 2:12). Because of her position in each, it can be a temptation for a wife to worry and to be afraid of the future, especially when the family or the church is not managed exactly in the way she thinks she would do things. She wants to follow the will of God, but the sinful nature is tenacious. She might be tempted to look to astrology or some kind of witchcraft to guide her, leaving the simple and clear promises of God lying around like unwanted leftovers in the refrigerator. Or she might seek refuge from her fears through trashy novels, soap operas, or such things. She might even try to put a fresh coat of paint on them and call them entertainment, but they can become little idols on the corner shelf, and God won’t allow an idol in his house. Or a wife might try to set aside sinful fear and replace it with other sins; she might usurp authority in the home or in the church, or she might turn to other sins that don’t need to be numbered here.
But God invites wives to set these things aside, even those that might seem only like innocent diversions or entertainment. It is the motive in the heart that God sees, not only the details of the act (sinful or not). “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). A Christian wife doesn’t need to trust to luck or family superstition or a horoscope; she can trust in Christ at the invitation of Christ. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Would it help to look at other people to whom the Lord said, “Do not be afraid”? There was Abraham, worried he would die childless despite God’s promise to make him into a nation (Genesis 15:1). There was Hagar weeping in the desert when she was sure that she and her son were dying of thirst (Genesis 21:18). There was Isaac, who found every well his father had dug had been filled in and hidden by enemies (Genesis 26:24). There was Jacob, who hesitated when famine relief came (even from the lips of the son he thought was long dead!) because it would mean leaving the Promised Land (Genesis 46:3). And there was Esther, in a seemingly impossible situation but wanting to protect her people, who risked her life and had the example of her cousin Mordecai’s fearlessness (Esther 4:16, 5:9).
“In God I trust. I will not be afraid” (Psalm 56:11). He will spread his garment over you just as he stretched out the heavens above, for he is your redeemer.
Pastor Timothy Smith