Tuesday, February 1, 2011

To Do What is Right and Live Without Fear

I’m feeling a little bit more at home now in Oklahoma. The radio in our car is programmed with the necessary stations. I’ve got my big three set.- Country, AM Talk/news and a sermon station. Everyday at 8:00 a.m. as I pull away from taking David to school Adrian Rogers comes on. Yesterday, by some sort of miracle I was running a few minutes early and heard Chuck Swindoll reading from 1 Peter chapter 3.

“Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live, when they observe your pure, reverent lives. Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes; instead, it should consist of the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. For in the past, the holy women who hoped in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You have become her daughters when you do what is right and live without fear.” 1 Peter 3:1-6

I realize that this passage of scripture has been misinterpreted more often than it has been properly understood. When I heard it spoken so clearly yesterday morning it was refreshing. All the way home was an evaluation of how I’m doing as a wife and a witness.

If I’m taking my cues from the world, everything is wrong. And I’ll admit even now it’s hard to shake the temptation to become resentful when everything doesn’t go my way. Until I remember our wedding day, when I stood and joined myself to Chad. We gave our lives to each other and surrendered our future to God. Therefore, what hurts Chad hurts me and what brings him joy, brings me joy. Ultimately, what honors God for both of us will strengthen our marriage, home and witness.

Then there is the insecurity I feel when I watch the real housewives shows. They seem to think the most important thing they can do for their husbands is put on the tightest blouse and spend their time and money injecting everything until they look like living dolls. Everything is beautiful until they open their mouths. Out comes the most venomous bile I’ve ever heard.

In 1 Peter 3:4 it says ” . . . a gentle and quiet spirit is very valuable in God’s eyes.” I know, I laughed out loud too. My college transportation was a Jeep Wagoneer with an “ain’t skeered” bumper sticker.

I pride myself in my strength. I’m not a push over by any means, and if you try to my hurt my husband’s heart you’ll get the worst of it. Proverbs 31:1-11 says, “Who can find a capable wife? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will lack nothing good.”

While my husband is working to provide and make Christ honoring decisions for our family, it is my job to be a helper to him. To lift him up in prayer, guard his heart and make him laugh as we walk through life and serve the Lord together. Most importantly I must stay rooted in the word of God, so when we’re discussing major life decisions, I’m not just weighing-in with my feelings of what the most “secure” move would be.

The night my dad sat down at dinner with the plan to move in to the building downtown I threw a fit. In my mind moving into an old building on Polk Street was one step closer to crazy-ville. Later when venting to my mom about how I felt, she said, “Anna, your dad is following the Lord and we need to help him.”

The statement Chuck Swindoll made was “You may spend two or three hours getting ready for an elegant dinner with your husband, but the hidden person takes a lifetime of preparation to present to God.”

“And just as Sarah obeyed Abraham. . .You have become her daughters when you do what is right and live without fear.” This is not for the faint of heart!

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