Friday, April 5, 2013

What Is He Thinking?

              “What was he thinking?” “I don’t know about this.” “Are you sure?” These are some questions that I have brought to the Lord in regards to my husband. There have been times when I have sat back and wondered about his leading of our family. But the Lord God, in His mercy and unfailing faithfulness, has shown me that it will always be okay, no matter what. There are times when our husbands are going to lead us down paths that we will question, we may wonder why he has chosen this path and the only answer we get from them is that they believe this is the right thing to do. It is hard to submit to something when you disagree with what is being asked. But submit is what we are supposed to do.
                I have been studying and pondering on a scripture verse from 1 Peter 3:5-6 for some time now. It has been rolling around in my head for weeks, and today, I prayed and asked the Lord to teach me what it means to be “Sarah’s Daughter.”

                “For 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
                As I have pondered on these scriptures, I kept thinking about the time when Abram first heard from the Lord God. (Genesis 12) He had just received the promises from God that God was going to make him great, so he packs up his family and they move to where the Lord leads them. But not too long after all these great things happened, Abram (Not yet called Abraham) falls down in his faith, and takes Sarai (not yet called Sarah) with him. Peter tells us that we are her daughters when we submit to our husbands in the way that she also did. But what about those times when we doubt our husbands leading, when we question where he is taking us, when we wonder if he is following the Lord or following his flesh? What do we do then? Genesis 12:10-20 gives us the picture of what this looks like, and how we, as women of God and daughters of Sarah, can submit, even in our husbands lack or loss of faith.
                “Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.” (Gen. 12:10) Now, Abram has just received the promises of God. God promised to bless him, to protect him, to make him great. But a trial has come upon him; there is a famine in the land. Like every good husband and father, he wants to make sure his family is provided for. So Abram went down to Egypt. The words, “Abram went down” show us that he had slid back in his faith. He lost his faith footing that he just had to leave his home and everyone he knew, and he takes his wife and his entire house with him. Egypt was a place of comfort, it was a wealthy nation, and would provide for Abram all that he needed for himself and his family. Our husbands may take us back to a place that seems more comfortable to them, a place they know and are familiar with, a place they know they can get help for the family, even when it may not be the place the Lord wants them to go.
                We forget that our husbands have a greater burden and judgment upon them. They will stand before God and answer for themselves, and for the entire family. They will stand before God and have to answer for you (wife) your children and the way they led the family God gave them. He will be judged on how he provided for each one of you spiritually and physically. Abram and all our husbands desire to provide for their families, they want what is best for us. Sometimes they are going to make the wrong decisions in this area, and lead us down to a place that we should not go. But that is not up to us wives to determine where they lead us. That is for God to judge and God to determine. All we have to do is trust the Lord God and His promises to us.
                “And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he 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.’” (Gen. 12:11-13) Now, Abram asks Sarai to lie for him. Abram’s fear overtook his faith. Sarai did not go against what Abram asked of her, she submitted to his leading, trusting that the Lord God would take care of them, just as He had previously promised.
                Abram was more concerned about his own flesh that his wife and what they might do to her. We see this because Abram said, “that I may live because of you.” His fear of what might happen to him if they found out she was his wife clouded his judgment and caused him to lead her down a path she should have never had to go down. God had just promised Abram that He would bless him, protect him, make him great (12:1-3) but all Abram saw was fear, he could not see the promises of God. Abram’s fear led him and his house to sin against God by lying.

Abram’s only concern was for his own self. He tells Sarai to lie for him, because he was sure the Egyptians would kill him, so he asks his wife to lie. Of course, it would be for her sake as well, since how would she survive if not for him? Our husbands may put us into situations that make us uncomfortable, and they may ask us to do something that goes against what we believe. This is a time when we need to seek the Lord God and His will. Sarai could have outright refused to obey Abram in this, but Sarai trusted the Lord God, and did what she believed the Lord was asking her to do- submit. A truly submitted wife does not put her trust in her husband, but in the Lord God who promises to give us a future and a hope. Sarai was obedient to Abram, because she loved him, and she trusted the Lord to protect her, even in her husband’s disobedience, she leaned upon the Lord God to keep her safe no matter what her husband’s sin may do to her and their home.  
                “So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys and camels.” (Gen. 12:14-16) So far so good, just as Abram thought things were going to play out- they did. He was probably eating and drinking and having a good ol’ time down there in Egypt, just glad to be alive. But God saw Sarai, He saw Abram and He intervened. Sarai was Abram’s wife, she was to be the mother of the promise of God, and He was not about to have her used and abused in Pharaoh’s house.
                “But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram and said, ‘What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister? I might have taken her as my wife. Now, therefore, here is you wife; take her and go your way.’ So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.” (Gen. 12:17-20) Here is an Egyptian King who knew nothing of God, until Abram comes waltzing into his kingdom. It was not Abram who God focused on protecting, it was “because of Sarai”, his wife. God plagues Pharaoh and his whole house because of Abram’s asking Sarai to lie. All these plagues came upon this idol worshipping king because he had Sarai, God’s precious daughter, stored away in his harem. God uses Pharaoh to not only protect Sarai but to chasten Abram’s lack of faith as well. It was because of Sarai’s submission to her husband, even when she knew she shouldn't  that God was able to protect Abram’s entire house. It was through her obedience and submission that the Lord blessed Abram. (vs. 16- Abram was treated well for her sake)
                Our husbands are going to make mistakes, they are going to ask us to do some things we may question, but in these times, we must trust the Lord God to protect us and lead us. It is not up to us to correct our husbands, in our obedience and submission, God will take care of them, just as He did Abram. It was because of Sarai’s willingness to follow her husband’s lead, no matter where that may have taken them, that the Lord God was able to teach Abram a lesson in faith. We can get so caught up in trying to get them to do what we think is best, when in all reality, it is us who need to submit and trust the Lord God to protect us and care for us, even in our husband’s disobedience.
                You may be travelling down a dark and dusty road with your husband right now. Not sure where he is driving you, not sure if he knows where he is going, but remember, God is your seatbelt, your air bag and His promises to you never fail. You are His precious Daughter, and He loves you and cares for you more than the man who snores beside you every night. Our husband’s are going to fail us, they are going to fear instead of having faith, but even in their failures, we still, as women and daughters of Sarah, need to submit and trust the Lord enough to keep us safe in Him.

                May the Lord God bless you today, as you follow your husband’s, wherever they may lead you. Trust the Lord God, and He will keep you safe. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.