Okay, by a show of hands, wives… How many of you said, “Goodbye, master. Have a good day at work!” to your husband as he left this morning? Hmm…well, my hand’s definitely not in the air. Is yours?
1 Peter 3:5-6 says:
“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, 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.”
Wow. Many of us look at that passage and just say, “HA! Yeah right, honey. Good luck getting that one out of me!” It seems a little old-fashioned, and probably just something they did in “Bible times”, right? Well, I don’t believe that these scriptures are saying that we must literally call our husbands our “masters”. However, I believe God wants us to carry the same attitude as Sarah did in her heart. Let me explain.
In the original language in which this was written, “Master” (or “Lord” in some versions) means “supreme in authority” or “controller”. Ephesians 5:22-24 says, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” I don’t think anyone would argue the fact that Christ is “supreme in authority” or the “controller” over the church. And if the husband is the same to the wife as Christ is to the church, then that would place him as being “supreme in authority” and “controller” over her.
Sarah accepted Abraham as her master. She allowed him to be in “supreme authority”. She not only showed this in her actions, but also in the thoughts of her heart. Genesis 18:12 is part of the account where God tells Sarah that she is going to have a baby in her old age. She laughs at the thought of it. Verse 12 is her own personal thoughts to no one but herself. In it, she refers to Abraham as “my master-my husband”. No one was around to hear her show this respect. She didn’t say it because she thought that Abraham might overhear her. She said it because that was how she truly felt in her heart.
Submission is an issue of the heart. It is accepting the fact that God has placed you as the helper, not the leader. Sarah happily accepted the role that God gave her. She was a “helpmeet”. She wasn’t in charge, and she was okay with that.
Are you okay with that? Do you think of your husband as “your master? Submission is out of style these days. Sadly, so are Godly homes. We aren’t the status quo. We are the people of God and therefore, we’re living a new life in Christ. Let’s live it at the center of God’s will by respecting our husbands as masters.