Scott LaPierre Ministries

Scott LaPierre Ministries

A Submissive Christian Wife Puts Her Trust in God Versus Her Husband (1 Peter 3:5-6)

February 24, 2023

A submissive Christian wife will put her trust in God versus her husband. But what about when her husband is wrong? How should they each respond? Read or listen to this chapter from Your Marriage God’s Way to learn, "What does biblical submission of a wife look like in practice?"

Table of ContentsA Submissive Christian Wife Will Submit When She FearsA Submissive Christian Wife Can Be Encouraged by Sarah’s Example of Trusting God A Submissive Christian Wife Can Be Encouraged by Jesus’s Example of Trusting GodA Submissive Christian Wife Keeps Her Strength Under ControlThe Premier Demonstration of Strength Under ControlHusbands Are Going to Make Wrong DecisionsHow Husbands Should RespondHow Wives Should Not RespondResponding Rightly to Wrong DecisionsFootnotes
Wives Submit to Your Husband is the third message I deliver at Your Marriage God's Way Conferences.

When it comes to learning how we can grow as Christians, being told what to do can be instructive, but being shown what to do can be even better. This is why examples are so helpful. When I taught elementary school, I would tell my students what to do, then I would also try to give them an example of how to fulfill my request. The apostle Peter takes this approach in the New Testament. He finishes his instruction to women by lifting a woman out of the Old Testament—Abraham’s wife, Sarah—and using her as an example for church-age wives. Sarah demonstrated the submission and inner beauty Peter describes in 1 Peter 3:1-4. He writes, “In this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror” (1 Peter 3:5-6).

Two Reasons to Be Encouraged Sarah Was Chosen as the Example of a Submissive Christian Wife

First, Sarah Had to Submit to Abraham

Consider who Sarah submitted to: Abraham. It might be tempting for women to say, “I wouldn’t have any trouble submitting to my husband if I was married to Abraham!” While Abraham was indeed one of the greatest men of faith in Scripture, the truth is that being his wife was difficult. God’s call on Abraham’s life required him to leave a comfortable city life in Ur to become a wandering nomad (Genesis 12:1-5; Hebrews 11:8-10). How many places did Abraham and Sarah live? How many times did they have to move?

In addition, Abraham made some foolish decisions. Twice he told Sarah to say she was his sister instead of his wife because he was afraid someone coveting her beauty might murder him in order to seize Sarah. He was willing to endanger his wife to protect himself:

[Abraham] said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you” (Genesis 12:11-13; see Genesis 20:2 for the second instance).

As a result, Sarah ended up in a pagan king’s harem twice, which must have been terrifying for her. Worse yet, Abraham didn’t do anything to save her. In contrast, when his nephew Lot was captured, he organized a war party to rescue him:

When Abram heard that [Lot] was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants…and he and his servants attacked them…and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people (Genesis 14:14-16).

How would that make a wife feel? Far from being a strong, brave husband to whom it would be easy to submit and follow, at times Abraham was a cowardly, compromising husband. More than likely, Peter chose Sarah as an example for wives because of how difficult and terrifying it was at times for her to submit to Abraham.