I have always struggled with Sarah until I asked the Lord, “Why, study Sarah?” Then when he told me the answer is in 1 Peter 3:6, and in order to understand that verse I needed to study her life real deep not just gloss over in a story. That is why I’m struggling with her. All I have heard were the stories growing up about her and not understanding who she was or look deep into her faith or lack of it to see why Sarah was so important that not only was she included as an example to follow in 1 Peter but also in Hebrews 11. Over the next six weeks as we look at Sarah together we will get a sense of who she was and why she was important to be remembered by the New Testament writers.
When I look at 1 Peter 3:1-5, I see the highlights of the Proverbs 31 Woman. The husband can trust her, she makes the family clothes, she is respectful towards him in public… Then I get to verse six and it has always been one I couldn’t understand. As I started taking the verse apart the first thing I wanted to know was when did Sarah call Abraham lord? It is in Genesis 18:12;
So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”
One thing I noticed there are many versions replace lord with husband. The Greek word, kýrios, which is used here is the same word we get God, Lord, and Master from it doesn’t mean husband, it is a title. So Sarah was giving Abraham the leadership role in their marriage. I got that part no problem but what about the rest of the verse. Being called her daughter because we follow in her footsteps is another easy concept to grasp.
Now, the part that I have a problem with, not that I’m saying it is wrong I just feel it can be said in a different way. It is this phrase I feel a lot of Christian pastors and counsleors have used in a way that condemns the wife, “if you do good.” How many wives have gone to counseling and been told they need to go home and be “the good Christian wife” that they need to be. The Greek word used for good is, agathopoieō, and it also means to do something that profits others, to do someone a favor, or to be a good help. Did you catch the last one, to be a good help? God created woman to be a helper to man.
I think the Amplified version explains it best;
without being frightened by any fear [that is, being respectful toward your husband but not giving in to intimidation, nor allowing yourself to be led into sin, nor to be harmed].
That doesn’t mean if you are in an abusive relationship you are to stay in it. God has called the husband to love his bride like Christ loved the Church. That means the husband is to put the good of the wife first, at all times not just when he feels like it.
Didn’t Abraham have Sarah lie to save his neck twice? Yes, and both times God stepped in and protected her for His purpose.
Back to Proverbs 31, I see Sarah now as a type of the woman talked about and as we look more into her life I share how she fits. As for now, I am beginning to see why she is important to have the mentions in the New Testament.