Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wives & Husbands

I love the healthy example Peter gives us for marriage. Speaking of wives (next week I’ll cover husbands) Peter says they are to be like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master… (1 Peter 3:6).

Now let me just state for the record, that Cindy has never called me Master in all the years we've been married. So I’m wondering what is behind this allusion to Sarah calling Abraham her master.

It turns out it is from Genesis 18, where God appears to Abraham, apparently disguised as a traveler. As Sarah eavesdrops on their conversation, the traveler (God) predicts that Sarah, even though she is quite elderly, will have a baby within a year. Sarah bursts into laughter and says something very similar to, “Are you kidding me? Me and my master?” (Go ahead, look it up).

And this became a hallmark story in their family. How Sarah laughed. So much that when their son was born they called him Isaac, which means laughter. Three things stand out for me.

1. They had a relatable marriage. Abraham and Sarah exhibited both trust and doubt. They were real people trusting God when His plans weren’t all that clear.

2. Sarah was finally at the point to believe that God could work through her imperfect husband. Earlier she had tried to manipulate things by suggesting Abraham bear a son through her maidservant. That was a disaster.

3. Finally, and this is so important, they were light-hearted. I love that there was laughter. As I said, this became cherished family lore. Submission, when it works well in a marriage, is always light-hearted. Not some sober salute, but a joyful partnership of following the Lord’s unpredictable lead.

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