Daughters of Abraham (Chapter 3 Verses 1-7)
The example given here I think makes my point (vv5-7). These Old Testament women who were godly, holy women, were filled with this radiant beauty stemming from an inner relationship with God. Now take Sarah for instance (v6), she was submissive to her godly husband, a quiet, but not a perfect spirit by any means (Gen.16). Now Abraham wasn’t a poor man, in fact he was a very prosperous cattle rancher (Genesis 13.2). I wouldn’t think for one moment that Sarah walked about in rags, would you? Of course not. If she could afford good, smart clothes, nothing wrong with that. Where it becomes wrong is when it becomes an obsession, when fashion becomes an idol, when fashion is worshipped instead of God. Or when we are dressing up for the wrong reasons, sensual ones. Our dress at the end of the day should reflect our culture to a degree, but also that we are Christians, we belong to God. We don’t need to be peculiar for the wrong reasons. So how do you become a daughter of Sarah (v6)? The same way you become a son of Abraham, living not in fear, but faith. If we live by faith, we live and we dress to please God first and foremost. If we live by faith we live in submission to our husbands, we respect them, a respect borne out of love. There is no fear in love (1John 4.18).
There is no escape for husbands here, they have responsibilities too (v7). Consideration, respect. Why? Because the woman, his wife is the weaker partner. No not inferior, weaker. Made differently, for different functions. In modern society it is advocated women can do anything men can do, in the armed forces especially this is declared, it comes of course from a very militant feminist movement. But it is nonsense! God says so here, the woman is the weaker partner, no not more sinful, just made differently. There are things that women cannot do that men can do, that is a physiological fact. So it is the husbands Christian duty to look after his wife, care for her, nurture her, she is a gift to you from God, and together you are heirs of the gracious gift of life, a life together, shared, partnership to be cherished enjoyed together. How different from what is seen around us in the world? God’s ways are always wiser, better, more wholesome, he knows best, listen to him. If we live like this, husbands and wives, our prayer life will blossom. It is our next most important relationship after God.
(© James R Hamilton, written May, 1998)