Monday, August 31, 2009

Do Not Give Way to Fear

1 Peter 3:1-6. I have never liked this bible passage. The NIV puts it this way: " 1Wives, 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, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, 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. 5For 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, 6like 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."
The Message Bible puts it like this: " 1-4The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.
4-6Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as "my dear husband." You'll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated."
I did not like this passage of scripture because it intimidated me. I read it to say that a non-believing husband could become a believer if he had a pure and holy wife because he would see her purity. So to the man that knows you better than anyone but the Lord you are suddenly supposed to appear pure? Does anyone else see how terribly convicted I felt everytime I got upset or ill in the presence of (not even necessarily upset or ill with) my husband? Surely, God knows that I am not pure and holy?!!? How on earth could I live up to this standard? Then I saw it. There it was at the end of verse 6. "do not give way to fear" Hmmmm.....number 1 reason that I find it hard to be submissive? BINGO! It's fear. Fear that my sweetie really has not thought through everything...Fear that my sweetie is just being selfish...Fear that my sweetie does not truly love me....Fear that my sweetie just isn't very bright.....Fear, fear, fear....God is telling me not to fear. So it's a choice. I can trust in God and submit to his plan for marriage or I can continue on my stubborn path of trying to figure it all out myself...
Lord, forgive me for my fear. It is often difficult for me to understand your ways especially when you use us flawed human beings to orchestrate your divine plan. I want to take each step in faith but I fall again and again as I take my eyes off you and peer into the dark, murky waters beneath my feet. Help my unbelief, Lord. I thank you for your tender mercies as you remember me on a daily even second by second basis. Thank you for being there for me even as I turn my back from you and say that I am too busy, too tired, too frazzled, too something/anything for the one that loves me best. Amen

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