“Well, no, Harper. I am not, exactly, telling you that. GOD is telling you that.”
Harper then said (arms still folded in defiance), “Well, I am not doing that.”
Sarah’s legacy, as recorded in First Peter 3:1-5 is not one that most women aspire to build today. The qualities that we are specifically instructed to exemplify in order to be her daughters–in order to “do well”–are all traits that we are to exhibit in the marriage relationship. They are: subjection, a chaste manner of life, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, and obedience.
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;While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Our willingness to observe and emulate the spirit described in the above verses will set us sharply apart from most women of today’s American society. While women around us make fun of their husbands, we will honor ours. While they attempt to usurp the roles of leadership and family provision, we will be happy to follow and flourish in the roles for which God created woman. While female role models in America today are those who flaunt sexuality and focus primarily on physical beauty, we will be modest and chaste, placing our emphases on the beauty of the heart. Ironically, our quietness will make us stand out in a world of assertive and boisterous women and our femininity will be a gentle affront to feminism in our culture. While we may associate worldliness with immoral actions (i.e. drinking, fornication, adultery, gambling…), the big temptation to be like the world, for God’s women today, is often in Satan’s lure for us to lead our husbands, to assert our authority in society and to be loud and self-promoting in our very personalities.
Harper grew up in the Lord’s church, but somehow she missed the relevance of this plain scripture to her own life. She missed it in Bible classes. She missed it at school where it hasn’t been taught (where it has been mocked) for the past sixty years. She missed it from the pulpit, which must have been weakly, if at all, proclaiming the plain truths from the New Testament about roles in marriage. Saddest of all, she missed it in the place where it could have been taught most directly and powerfully—her own home. Unless Harper changes, her marriage and parenting are never going to be the happy experiences that God has in store for those who choose to do home and family God’s way. In fact, unless she changes, the Word will be blasphemed from her spiritually dysfunctional home (Titus 2:5). Harper’s daughters will probably never be truly happy either…and their daughters….
***portions of the above material taken from The Power Lectureship Book, 2014, www.southavencoc.org.