Category Archives: Daughters of Sarah

Daughters of Sarah: Wives of great worth. Bible studies from the book of First Peter.

00. Daughters of Sarah: Wives of great worth

Sarah’s imperfection gives me hope. The story of Sarah proves that we don’t have to be perfect to receive God’s blessing and become wives of great worth.

Introduction and Author’s Preface

Becoming Sarah’s daughters

Sarah was not perfect. Her early history makes her seem an unlikely example to pattern ourselves after. Yet we are told in 1 Peter 3 to submit to our husbands as Sarah did. God says that we are daughters of Sarah “if you do what is right do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do” (v. 6, NLT).

Sarah’s imperfection gives me hope. I’m still learning. As I look back, I can see areas where I could have been a better wife. God understands my humanity, and he has forgiven me for the things I lacked. Through many years of seeking his will for my role as a wife, God taught me the principles I’ve shared in Daughters of Sarah.

Unequally Yoked

My husband was an unbeliever when we married. I was a Christian, but I allowed other things to compromise my relationship with God. Seven years into the marriage, I made a new commitment to God, and I questioned how to live for Christ in an unequally yoked marriage. My husband later professed faith in Christ, but he struggled with commitment and security in that relationship. Through it all, I found answers in God’s Word to help me find my role.

The last year we were together, my husband was out of the house a lot. I worked in volunteer Christian ministry through chat rooms when I was alone. I found women who were experiencing the same marriage struggles I experienced, and I began sharing with them the things God taught me through the years.

Hope in a House Divided

When my marriage ended in separation, my friends reached out to me. Yet, they could not reach the loneliness I experienced as I watched my world torn to shreds. Again, I sought answers in God’s Word. God planted a dream in my heart to create a place where women experiencing the hurts of a troubled marriage could find help.

In January of the year 2000, God led me to to set up the website Hope in a House Divided in order to share the things I was learning from the Bible. God also opened doors for me to start an email support group for women struggling in their marriages. Early in the year 2000, I began writing and publishing the Daughters of Sarah Bible studies on Hope in a House Divided as well as our email support group where we discussed these lessons in depth.

Moving Forward

As I moved these studies to our new site in March of 2009, I added discussion questions for each session. I also added sub-headings throughout, and made a few editorial changes for clarity. This preface and introduction is written in March of 2009.

The story of Sarah proves that we don’t have to be perfect to receive God’s blessing. We only have to submit to God’s loving direction in our lives. God bless you as you seek to fulfill the role he has for you at this point in your marriage.

Lois

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0. Daughters of Sarah – Contents

Helps wives with unbelieving husbands, women in difficult or unequally yoked marriage unions, or any woman seeking to be a better wife improve her marriage relationship. Studies on submission.

Bible answers from the book of 1 Peter.

Daughters of Sarah

The Daughters of Sarah Bible studies for women are based on the story of Sarah and her husband Abraham, whom God made “the father of many nations” (See Genesis 17:4-5 and Romans 4:17-18).

For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, when she called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do (1 Peter 3:6 The New Living Translation).

Table of Contents

Daughters of Sarah: Wives of great worth (Introduction)
Chosen for God’s Best: Chosing to obey, 1 Peter 1:1-5
Take Control by Submission: Given to God, 1 Peter 1:6-15
Live by Faith: Trusting God’s faithfulness, 1 Peter 1:7-21
Rid Yourself of Selfish Attitudes: Needed and honored, 1 Peter 2:1-8
Called to Be Holy: Welcome and equal, 1 Peter 2:9
Winning the Inner Battle: Set yourself free, 1 Peter 2:10-16
What About Our Rights? Given to God’s protection, 1 Peter 2:17-25
Winning Behavior: Repay evil with blessing, 1 Peter 3:1-12
If things still go wrong You go right, for you are blessed! 1 Peter 3:13 – 5:11

— Begin reading Daughters of Sarah

09. If things still go wrong: You go right for you are blessed!

When things go wrong, you go right! Accept the “gift” of adversity through which God grows his children. Always remember “You are blessed!”

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 9 (1 Peter 3:13-5:11).

We Are Blessed

Some of us have done our best to be submissive, Godly wives, yet we find ourselves groping in the rubble of a broken home. We trusted in God. What went wrong? God has a precious and tender answer for us:

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened” (1 Peter 3:13-14).

Can it be that even in what seems so wrong, “You are blessed”? Oh, yes! When a woman faithfully follows the Lord as best she can in a troubled marriage, God walks daily with her. She is called to a great faith. As she trusts God day by day, she learns that he is faithful to that trust.

“For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (Psalm 1:6).

What greater opportunity to grow in faith than when the very foundation we’ve built our marriage on begins to crumble. What a comfort to know that even in this God watches over our way! When a woman is faithful to the Lord, God will multiply that faithfulness back to her many times over. She will begin to experience continual joy and peace in the midst of the pain.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

“You are blessed!” Peace and joy in the midst of suffering and a broken heart — can there be any greater blessing than this? As we are faithful in a troubled and sometimes broken marriage, we learn of God’s faithfulness as we could no other way.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2).

Do not live for the things you desire (a beautiful marriage relationship.) Rather, live to fulfill the will of God for your life. God’s desire is that your marriage be made whole. But his greater desire is that you experience continual trust in and fellowship with him. Live for that!

Rather than envy those who have “solid Christian marriages,” begin to thank God for the blessings he has given you even in the painful times of your marriage. Remember, those “solid Christian marriages” struggle also. Some are much more shaky than they appear from the outside. Others are strong, but none is perfect. In every marriage you so envy, the wife is frustrated with her husband from time to time. He is sometimes annoyed with her. So do not envy. Rather be thankful for God’s blessing in the marriage where you are. You are blessed!

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

The Bible speaks of gifts of the spirit. But in the context of 1 Peter 4, could it be that the gift here is the gift of adversity? What greater gift can the Lord give than to make life hard so we learn to trust him? As songwriter Andrae Crouch says in “Through it All”: “For if I had never had a problem, I would never know that God could solve them, and I would never know what faith in his word could do.”

How are we to use these gifts of suffering? By “faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” God will give you grace to live for him as you trust him through the heartbreak of a wayward child. God will give you grace to live for him as you hold his hand through the storm of a difficult marriage. God will give you grace to continue on for him if you experience the pain of the marriage you’ve worked for crumbling under your feet.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13).

This verse was written to a people who were suffering persecution for their faith. Ours is a different situation, but in a sense it is the same. Because of our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and to our husbands, we’ve tried to live for Christ in our marriages. We’ve not been perfect, but we’ve done our best. Many have followed Christ even as their husband followed the world. Some have been the only Christian in their homes.

“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19).

What do you do when things go wrong? When things go wrong, you go right! Be humble toward your mate, and be willing to admit your own weaknesses in the marriage. Give your husband to the Lord, and continue to trust God moment by moment.

…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
–1 Peter 5:5-7, 10

Always remember, You are blessed!

Prayer

Lord, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you that we have a hope and a purpose, and that you are not finished with us yet. Thank you that even in our own failures in our marriages, you receive us, forgive us, and help us to stand in your grace.

Please be with our husbands, and help them find your hand, Lord. Please help them to know your comfort. If it be possible, unite our husband’s hand, and ours, back together with yours. We know you have the power to do all things, so we give our husbands to you, trusting you to work in their hearts and ours to bring about your will.

Thank you, Lord, that because of you, we are blessed. Please help our husbands to know your blessing, too. Amen.

Table of Contents for Daughters of Sarah

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

08. Winning behavior: Repay evil with blessing

Our way is not words, but behavior, not outward apparel, but inner beauty. Repay evil with blessing. Jesus is our way. We are followers, pure, modest, beautiful, human, and faithful.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 8 (1 Peter 3:1-12).

We Are Followers

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives… (3:1)

In the same way as what? Backing up into verses 20-25 of chapter 2, we find the context is speaking of Jesus and his submission to the unfairness he suffered in order to purchase our redemption.

“In the same way…” Jesus is our way. He has set us an example. Now he tells us that his way is not words, but behavior. Jesus could have told us over and over from heaven, “I love you.” But his words would have rang empty, and we would have still been forever separated, were it not for his behavior:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death —
even death on a cross!

–Philippians 2:5-8

We Are Pure

The Bible says our husbands may be won without words “when they see the purity and reverence of your lives” (3:2). Our words will ring empty, too, without proper behavior. Our behavior is to be manifested by the purity and reverence of our lives.

God explains further that outward behavior begins with inner change.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (3:3-4).

We Are Modest

The way we behave on the outside will reflect what we are on the inside. What we put on the outside or leave off of the outside will reflect our inner purity as well. We have an important role here.

The Christian community will throw stones at a man who is in an adulterous relationship. Yet it is acceptable for Christian women to adorn themselves, even at church, with as little as they can get by with, and then a little less. Somehow we’ve got our values all messed up.

Temptation is everywhere for men. A Christian woman can walk by wearing a skimpy garment. She finds pleasure in the attention she gets for the moment, and just as quickly, her mind is on other things. But she leaves behind her a man struggling to capture the emotions she has unraveled within him. He may have committed his heart to sexual purity before God. Now he feels guilty for the lust he finds in his mind, even though he has done his best to avoid temptation. Who will God hold accountable for this evil? (Update 4-5-2006: For an eye-opening look at this subject from a young Christian man’s viewpoint, see On Modest Dress.)

We have a major responsibility, ladies, to dress in such a way as to help men live above reproach in a sin-sick world. Woe to us if we adorn ourselves in such a manner to pull them down to the level we have lowered ourselves to when we dress immodestly.

We Are Beautiful

When we get our attitudes in order, our actions will follow.

We’ve been taught since we were tiny that beauty is what is on the inside, not the outside, but we’ve never believed it. We take time to get our makeup just right, coax a lock of hair into the right place, and make the necessary adjustments in front of a full length mirror to be sure we’ve put together a lovely package. But that same morning, we brush by our Bible on our way out the door and think to ourselves, “I really should take time to read that…maybe tomorrow.”

God says this is wrong: “Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 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” (v. 4-6).

We Are Human

Sarah was human just like us, ladies. She laughed in disbelief when God said she would have a child in her old age. Then she lied to cover up her lack of faith:

Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, `Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

–Genesis 18:10-15

Sarah was not perfect, yet God calls her a holy woman of the past and says she had unfading beauty because she subjected herself to her husband, did what was right, and did not give way to fear. God puts a high priority on this.

We Are Faithful

How do we give way to fear? We fear that when we obey our husbands in what seems to be poor judgment on his part we will bring disaster on ourselves and our children. We don’t have to fear being obedient. Obedience to God via our husbands is right. God will honor our obedience and take care of us.

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (v. 7).

“Ah… finally we are getting to the heart of the matter. I would if he would!” We sound like Spiritual two-year-olds. How God must long for us to grow up and realize that our husband’s failure does not free us.

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble” (v. 8).

We are commanded to live in harmony. Our part is submission. We are commanded to love as brothers. Is it possible to love our husband with brotherly love as well as romantic love? It is not only possible, it is necessary. What is brotherly love? Compassion and humility are good descriptions.

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (v. 9).

Do you want to get even with your husband? How can we repay evil with blessing? What is promised if we repay with blessing?

“For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it…'” (v. 10-11).

If we keep our tongue from evil but harden it in our heart, are we okay then? No, what is in our heart will eventually spill over. We can only keep the lid on so long.

“…Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Submission starts in the heart.

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (v. 12).

Do you want God’s eyes and ears attentive to you or against you? The greatest blessing on earth is to have the God of the universe attentive to our prayers. He asks so little in return. He only asks that we trust him, trust him enough to be submissive to his leadership through our husbands. God calls us to submission to teach us faith so he can bless us.

You can trust God. He gave his Son for you.

Prayer

Lord, this is more than we can do. We’ve already failed. Thank you that you understand our humanity. Forgive us, and lead us onward from here. We follow. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

Is it possible for us to live as Jesus did?
How does our humanity fit into all of this?
How do the clothes we wear reflect the level of purity and reverence in our hearts?
What is the relationship between attitudes and actions?
What is the relationship between fear and faith?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

07. What about our rights? Given to God’s protection

Giving ourselves to God who deserves our best frees us to give our husbands a Godly wife who always seeks his well-being. We give our rights to God’s protection, and return to our Shepherd.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 7 (1 Peter 2:17-25).

We Are Respectful

The Bible teaches us to show proper respect to everyone, but especially to our husbands.

Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
–1 Peter 2:17.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
–Ephesians 5:33

Your husband is King in your home. Are you showing him proper respect?

“But, what if my husband is unworthy of respect?” you ask.

“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God” (2:18-19).

While this passage is referring to slaves and wives are not slaves, the principle remains the same. Are you being treated unfairly? Are you not getting your “rights” as a wife? Is your husband not treating you as he is commanded to do in God’s Word?

Here is news: You have no rights! If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you gave your rights to the protection of Christ. Your Lord Jesus Christ holds all rights to your life.

“But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (2:20-21).

We are not advocating here that women endure beatings. This was written to slaves, and while we can adapt some of the principles to our role as wives, wives are never commanded to endure physical abuse from their husbands. However, our wonderful Lord does not require from us anything that he did not first submit himself to. He gave us a perfect example of how to deal with a malicious and verbally abusive husband:

“‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (2:22-23).

Do you think he did this with an attitude of, “Well, they are wrong. This is what I have to do, so I will do it. But I begrudge it!”

No! His attitude was, “I love these people. They are undeserving, but that does not change my love.” He also did it because of love toward his Father. He knew it was his Father’s will.

We Are Giving

These are the two reasons we choose to ignore the failures in our husbands and to be all God wants to give them in a wife. We choose to be God’s gift to our husbands in love. Because we give ourselves to a loving God who deserves our very best, we are free to give our husbands the treasure of a Godly wife who always seeks his well-being no matter what.

It is immaterial whether our husband is deserving. By virtue of our husband’s position and the authority God has given him we confess our willfulness and unworthiness before God and ask God to enable us to present the gift of a Godly wife to our husbands. We know our husbands may not always follow what is best for us. But, like Jesus, we entrust ourselves to him who judges justly.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (2:24).

We no longer have to live in our sinful rebellion and quarrelsomeness. He has paid the price to rescue us. We bowed our heads in shame for our willfulness and he set us free. He healed our sin-sick attitudes. He is making us into wives of great worth to our husbands.

“For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (2:25).

No longer will we walk the stray and lonely path that demands it’s own rights. We are returned to our Shepherd who is overseeing our well-being.

Prayer

Lord, we admit our need. Help us continue to grow, and learn, and understand how to be the wife you have created us to be. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Since Christ holds the rights to our lives, where does that leave us?
  2. By what authority do our husbands deserve our respect?
  3. How can we respect our husbands if we feel they are not acting respectably?
  4. Are we always respectable?
  5. Does Christ react to us according to the person we are, or the person he is creating us to be?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

06. Winning the inner battle: Set yourself free

By releasing control that God never gave us as wives, we are free. We no longer struggle to take what is not ours. We are free to experience God’s best – a Bible paradox.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 6 (1 Peter 2:10-16).

We Are Victorious

“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (2:10). We are part of the people of God and partakers of his mercy just as our husbands are.

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (2:11). Because of the wonderful calling we have, we are urged to live above our sinful desires.

I hate submission to my husband! I would like to take charge of my home and my life and tell my husband he can like it or lump it! That is sinful desire warring against my soul! I abstain from that. I have a higher calling. I am chosen for obedience to my worthy God!

“But you don’t know my husband!” you exclaim. Is your husband pagan (non-Christian) in reality or in action? Here is God’s desire for you:

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right” (2:12-14).

I’ll be honest, ladies. I could never submit to my husband for my husband’s sake. Much as I love him, I couldn’t submit out of love and respect for him. I am too independent. I’ve got my own ideas of how to run the show. But for my Lord’s sake? My Lord who chose the cross for me and became my Savior? For him my armor of resistance melts. “For the Lord’s sake” I choose to submit to every authority instituted among mankind — including authority in the home.

“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” (2:15).

Our own words often provoke our husbands to “ignorant and foolish talk.” If we are always fighting against our husbands, the Bible addresses us: “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife” (Proverbs 25:24). Again, the Bible says, “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day (Proverbs 27:15).

Ouch! Are you a quarrelsome wife? Are you constantly nagging?

The Bible does not have anything to say about a quarrelsome husband — only a quarrelsome wife. There is a good reason for this. Our husbands are correct in seeking to take control of our homes. Now, if they are lost, they may not be aware that this leadership is their God-given position. But they still instinctively seek control.

When we are quarrelsome with what God has given to them and not to us, we are the ones in rebellion against God. But when we choose obedience to our God and allow him to mold our hearts into the Proverbs 31 woman, our value will be far more than rubies: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).

We Are Free

When we present ourselves as this woman, offering the rubies of a Godly wife to our husbands, they no longer have to clamor for what is rightfully theirs. We gladly give it in God’s love. We exchange our quarrelsome nature for treasures far above rubies. We present this treasure as a gift to our God and he gives us the grace to humble ourselves and present it to our husbands as well.

“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God” (2:16). Only when we submit our willful nature to the loving control of our God are we really free to be all God made us to be. We are afraid to submit to our husbands. We hold onto what we perceive to be our “rights,” and in so doing we are keeping ourselves imprisoned in a household of bitterness and rebellion. We live in misery. We are constantly going against the grain.

We need to confess our willfulness to God and allow him to free us to experience his peace, joy, love, and hope in our homes. No matter what our circumstances, God wants to provide something better than what our quarrelsomeness can provide for us. He wants to make us free!

The Bible is full of paradoxes. Here is one: By giving up the control that God never gave us as wives to start with, we make ourselves free. We no longer have to struggle to get that which is not ours. We are free to experience God’s best for us!

Prayer

Forgive us, Lord, for our rebellion against the authority you have set in our home. Thank you that you have a better plan for us. Thank you for giving us victory through Christ who sets us free. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why are we, by nature, rebellious against the authority God set in our homes?
  2. Why does the Bible speak against quarrelsome wives but not quarrelsome husbands?
  3. If our husbands are quarrelsome with us, what does God’s Word teach us to do?
  4. How does holding onto our own rights keep us from being free?
  5. How can we find victory and freedom through submission to Christ?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

05. Called to be holy: Welcome and equal

The Hebrew Tabernacle: Jesus’ sacrifice opened the way for whoever accepts His atonement to freely commune with God. We are welcome and equal in our relationship with Christ.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 5 (1 Peter 2:9).

We Are Welcome

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (2:9).

Ah…there’s that beautiful word “chosen” again! Yet this Scripture goes beyond chosen. Not only are we chosen, but if we have trusted in Christ, we are part of a royal priesthood. What does this mean?

In the Old Testament, the priests were set aside to offer lambs and other sacrifices for the sin of the people. The priests also were given the opportunity to communicate directly with God in the Holy of Holies area of the Hebrew Tabernacle and later the Temple. Then they would share God’s words with the people. The Tabernacle was composed of three parts, and the Temple was later patterned after the Tabernacle. There is rich symbolism throughout. Each part in some way symbolized Jesus.

The first part was an outer court in a fenced-in area. Just inside the Gate (Jesus, our Entryway) was the Altar (Jesus, our Sacrifice) where the lambs were sacrificed to atone for sin. Also in the outer court was a basin or Laver (Jesus, who cleanses us.)

The inner part of the Tabernacle consisted of two rooms. The first room, called the Holy Place, contained a Table of Bread (Jesus, our Sustenance), a Candlestick (Jesus, our Light), and an Altar of Incense (Jesus, our Intercessor).

The second part was the most holy place, called the Holy of Holies. It was separated from the Holy Place by a curtain, or Veil. The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant (Jesus, our Ark of safety and Fulfillment of promise).

It was inside the Holy of Holies that the priest went to commune with God. When Jesus gave his life on the cross as our atoning Lamb, the Veil of the Temple, which was as thick as a man’s hand, was torn in two. This symbolized the beginning of a new era. We would no longer need a priest to communicate to God for us in the Holy of Holies. In the New Testament, Jesus, the Lamb of God, became our High Priest. The Veil was torn in two, as Jesus’ sacrifice opened the way for whoever accepts His atonement to freely commune with God.

We Are Equal

“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:11-12).

Christ offered his life as a sacrifice for our sin. Once the sacrifice, God’s redemption, was complete, Christ sat down at the right hand of God. No further sacrifice is needed to atone for our sin. When we accept the sacrifice he made for us, we become part of the priesthood under Jesus. Now we can communicate directly with God our Father.

“In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God” (John 16:26-27).

There are Scriptures that tell us that Jesus does intercede to the Father for us. But he wants us to know that he has also made a way for us to communicate directly with the Father because we love Jesus and the Father loves us!

The Israelites are God’s chosen people, chosen to be a holy nation. However, the Bible teaches that today every believer in Christ becomes part of God’s spiritual holy nation. God has lovingly called us “a people belonging to God.” Male or female, we share this same privilege. We are equal in our relationship with Christ.

God has shown us the light of truth. Have you responded to the truth and received Jesus as the sacrifice for your sin? If you haven’t, that is the first step. Click our Seekers page to learn more about this important step.

We no longer live in the darkness of rebellion. Now we are free to walk in the wonderful light of God’s loving watch care!

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for showing us who Christ is for us, and accepting us when we respond to him. Thank you that all who believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are equal in their relationship with him. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How is the Hebrew Tabernacle a picture of who Christ is for us?
  2. What is the significance of the torn Veil at Jesus’ death?
  3. What is the significance of Christ’s sitting down on the right hand of God?
  4. How can we communicate directly with God?
  5. What does it mean to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.

04. Rid youself of selfish attitudes: Needed and honored

If our attitudes are wrong at home, they are wrong everywhere. There is only one right answer: Rid yourselves! Malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander can destroy a home.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 4 (1 Peter 2:1-8).

We Are Needed

Does this mean we are not to have any role in the decisions of our home? Not at all. We owe it to our husbands to share with him our insights on the issues we face together. But we are not to force these insights upon him. We are to offer them in love with respect for the leadership role that God has given to him. The Bible says, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind” (2:1).

Rid yourselves! Rid is an action word. We tend to think of this Scripture as referring to someone else. Or we think it refers to our attitudes toward other people in general. We need to bring this verse home where it hurts. If our attitudes are wrong at home, they are wrong everywhere. This is not multiple choice. There is only one right answer: Rid yourselves!

In your home, toward your husband, is there

  • malice?
  • deceit?
  • hypocrisy?
  • envy?
  • slander?

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (2:1)

A newborn baby craves only one thing — pure milk. When we are born again, we are born to crave God’s pure milk. We feed on it. We are nourished. However as we grow, and develop an appetite for more solid food, we often turn away from God’s wholesome word to the delicasies of the world.

“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly — mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

We are like a two-year-old whose favorite word is “me.” We stomp our feet if we don’t get our candy bar. We bang our head on the wall when our husbands fail to live according to Godly standards. We sulk and pout when our husbands attempt to lead us against our “better” judgment. What we don’t realize is that our role of submission is just as important, and just as honorable, in the kingdom of God as our husband’s role of leadership.

We Are Honored

Where is a wife to turn when her husband fails to honor her as he should?

“As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame'” (2:4-6).

Are you rejected by others, maybe even your husband? You are chosen by God. Think about it: not just accepted, but chosen! You are “…chosen by God and precious to him.” He uses the same words for you that he uses for his Son when he calls him a “chosen and precious cornerstone…” You are chosen and precious.

By submitting, we are not accepting a role of second class citizens. Some husbands may treat their wife as though they were inferior. But the wife who submits her heart and actions to God is highly honored by God. He himself was rejected by men and he understands the plight of a wife whose husband has rejected his responsibility to care for her in love. The real problem is not our husbands. The problem is our own hearts.

We Are Obedient

“Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,’ and, ‘A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the message — which is also what they were destined for (2:7-8).

Many women stumble at the command of submission. They fall because they disobey. They miss God’s best.

Let us rid ourself of the selfish attitudes that keep us from God’s best for us. Let us submit to God and experience the security and richness of a life rooted deeply in the Cornerstone of life itself, Jesus Christ our Savior.

Prayer

Lord, help us to rid ourselves of attitudes that hinder us from being obedient to you by respecting the authority you have given our husbands. Thank you that we are “chosen by God and precious to him” as we are built upon the foundation of your Son, “a chosen and precious cornerstone.” Thank you that you promised us that “the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What should we do when we do not agree with our husband’s decisions for our home?
  2. How do the attitudes listed above from 1 Peter 2:1 hinder us from being the wives God has called us to be?
  3. How can we rid ourselves of these attitudes?
  4. How would you respond to someone who argued that to submit to our husbands as head of our home is to acknowledge that we are inferior to them?
  5. Explain how our role of submission is just as important and honorable in the kingdom of God as our husband’s role of leadership.

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.

03. Live by faith: Trusting God’s faithfulness

We are no longer ignorant of God’s requirement of submission to his faithfulness. Our submission to God is demonstrated by submission to our husbands. Anything short of that is rebellion against God.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 3 (1 Peter 1:17-21).

We Are Accountable

God has called us to take the ultimate step of trust in His faithfulness. “Your faith and your hope are in God….” (1 Peter 1:21). By submitting to our husbands, we are trusting God to intervene for us if needed. We are totally dependent on God. There is no safer place.

What if He Leads Me to Sin?

But what if my husband leads us into sin. Will I not be held accountable? The Bible has much to say about submission to our husbands. Yet no where in Scripture does the Bible address how a woman is to respond if her husband asks her to actively participate in a direct sin. There is a good reason for the Bible’s silence on this issue. When a woman submits to her husband in an act of total submission and sacrificial obedience to God, God will never allow her husband to require her to actively participate in a direct act of sin. She is “shielded by God’s power” (1:4).

What if He Forbids Me to Serve?

God will never allow his children to be placed in a position of having to choose between two opposing commands. It may seem so at first. But if she looks to God, he will provide a way of escape. God may allow a husband to deny his wife the privilege of actively participating in commands that God has given. For example, a wife may desire to tithe or be active in church and her husband may forbid it.

“Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them. If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he is responsible for her guilt” (Numbers 30:13-15).

God may allow her husband to deny her the privilege of certain acts of commitment and worship. But even as her husband denies it, he is unknowingly providing her opportunity for a more supreme sacrifice of commitment and trust in God by submission to her husband.

“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear” (1:17).

“Man” in this verse is referring to “mankind,” both male and female. We call on a loving heavenly father. In our father’s eyes we are judged individually and impartially. We are accountable before God to be the wife he has called us to be. Whether our husbands fulfill the role God has called them to as Godly leaders is immaterial to our responsibility before God. It is also immaterial to God’s provision for us. God will judge us impartially and provide for our needs as we are faithful to the wifely role of submission he has given us.

We Are Secure

How can this be? We are bound together as one flesh. Our livelihoods are bound together. Yet the God who created male and female, who ordained marriage, who hung the stars — this God will move heaven and earth if necessary to meet the needs of a wife who faithfully submits to her husband and trusts in her God! We no longer have to live in emptiness and defeat.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1:18-20).

We are “chosen…for obedience.” Christ was chosen for the sacrifice that would pay for our disobedience!

“Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God” (1:21).

“Your faith and hope are in God…” When we as wives refuse to submit to the leadership role God has given to our husbands, we are placing our faith and hope in our own ability rather than in our God. We are deliberately choosing to live outside God’s will. That is the most dangerous place on earth to be!

God has called us in some ways to take a step of faith even greater than that to which he has called our husbands. He has called us to willingly submit to the judgment of another whether that judgment is sound or unsound. God has called us to take the ultimate step of trust in His faithfulness.

“Your faith and your hope are in God….”

Prayer

Thank you, Oh Lord, our Judge, that you stepped down from the bench to long enough to give your life for our redemption. You have demonstrated a love that we can trust. We bow in submission before your throne. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Is submission to our husbands always compatible with obedience to God?
  2. Has God ever shielded you by his power from a wrong action someone required you to take?
  3. Why is it dangerous to live outside God’s will?
  4. What should we do if our husbands lead us away from what we feel is God’s plan?
  5. How does the Scripture “Your faith and hope are in God…” apply to marriage?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.

02.Take control by submission: Given to God

We Are Submissive. Submission to God is not passive! Submission is actively taking control of our selfish nature and handing the control to God. Only then can he provide us his best.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 2 (1 Peter 1:6-15).

Submit in Faith

How can a wife submit to her husband, who is at best imperfect and sometimes fails to lead in right directions? We submit through faith in our mighty God! We submit joyfully in the freedom of God’s protection.  We submit actively in the holiness made possible by grace.  In our last session, we learned that we are “chosen…for obedience” through the “sprinkling by his blood,” into “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1:4-5).

In our own power, or our husband’s power, there is always vulnerability for the things we value to “perish, spoil, or fade,” no matter how wise our plans. As we submit to God’s plan in faith we are “shielded by God’s power.” No matter how poor our husband’s decisions may be, we are shielded! We may suffer some consequences with him, yes. But we will not be overthrown. Our God will see us through. We have his word!

Submit Joyfully

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1:6-7).

Our submission to our husbands is a monitor of our faith in and submission to our God. It is not enough to submit reluctantly or grudgingly. Submission sounds like a passive word. We want active control. Yet this is not different from what we want in every area of our lives. God says, “No.” He requires us to give control of our lives to him. Only then can he provide for us his very best.

Submit in Freedom

If our husbands have control, does that not override God’s control in our lives? No. As the leader of our home, our husbands are to submit to God’s control as well.

But what if my husband doesn’t submit to God’s control? That frees me from this requirement of submission. Right?

We are just looking for excuses. God says neither we nor our husbands are given ultimate control. God requires submission as an act of obedient faith. God never requires submission so he can get control. God already has control!

This frees us to submit to our husbands knowing that even if our husbands rebel against God, they cannot lead us into areas where we are not, by faith, “shielded by God’s power!”

Submit Actively

We don’t want to be passive. We want to be active, and that is exactly what God has called us to! The submission that God requires is never passive. It must be active obedience to and acceptance of God’s plan for us. How can we actively submit to our husbands and ultimately to God?

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1:13).

Ah, the control that we so desire! But not control of our husbands. Ours is a higher calling: self-control. We must prepare our minds for action by acknowledging that God is our ultimate authority. We must determine to cooperate with God by embracing God’s plan of submission to our husbands.

We must be self-controlled. No longer can we allow ourselves to assume the leadership role in our homes. We must relinquish control of our homes and take control of our attitudes, thoughts, and actions. We must discipline ourselves to submit to our husbands in accordance with the command of our God.

Submit in Holiness

We must not allow our minds to dwell on the possible consequences of what appears to us to be poor judgment on our husband’s part. Our hope must be “fully set” in God’s grace. Because of his grace, Jesus lives in us by faith. Jesus is being revealed in our lives every day as we submit to God’s authority. Ultimately Jesus Christ will be revealed in all of his glory in power on high. We will be there with him, partakers of his grace that gives us acceptance in his love!

So now, as wives, we are faced with a choice. God says, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1:14-15).

Prayer

Lord, give us the courage to submit, and teach us the way day by day. Amen

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why is it harder to submit to our husbands than to submit to God?
  2. Can we submit to God without submitting to our husbands?
  3. How does submission set us free?
  4. How can we be self-controlled?
  5. What is the ultimate goal of obedience in verses 14-15?

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See also: What we believe about submission

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.