And so, we move on in our study of marriages in the Bible and in particular the study of Abraham's marriage. There are so many lessons to learn from the marriage of Abraham and Sarah.
Genesis 12:10-20 tells us about how Abraham continued with his journey of the call of God in his life. It was in Genesis 12:1-3 that God called Abraham to embark on a journey leaving his father’s household behind, but still within that same chapter, we read something interesting that Abraham did.
In Genesis 12:10-20 we read that there was famine in the land and Abraham went down to Egypt, but just before entering into Egypt, he called his wife and told her not to say she was not his wife but his sister. The first thing that got me wondering is that if Abraham whom we read of in later books of the Bible that he was a friend of God and he believed in God and it was created to him as righteousness could not trust God to protect him from the hands of the Egyptians without putting his wife in harms way then there is a need for men to be very careful. Even those who are considered men of God. I respect Abraham so well as a man of faith, but as a husband, I believe he didn’t do so well.
But that said, the lesson in this passage is for the wives reading this blog. I am trying to imagine what was going through the mind of Sarah when her husband made that proposal to her. Was she so in love with Abraham to have obeyed him so blindly or was she more of a woman of faith than her husband to obey her husband as the Lord had asked her to do even in the face of danger?
Going by the report of her in 1 Peter 3:5-6 and the way God defended her all through her years of marriage, I want to believe that she was more of a woman of faith in God than a woman in love. I do not believe that Sarah agreed to lie about her status as Abraham’s wife just to show her love to her husband, it would have been a situation of trusting God to protect her as she obeys her husband as He (God) had asked her to do.
Ephesians 5:22-24, Colossians 3:18, and 1 Peter 3:1-6 all says the same thing; “wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord,” and what we see Sarah display in Genesis 12:10-20 is the height of what God is calling the wives into in their marriages, and God will surely defend our obedience to His word for our lives.
When I first had the divine revelation of Sarah’s obedience in marriage, it felt like an impossible thing to do for us in our generation today. It’s almost just impossible for a woman to put herself in harm’s way like Sarah did just in the bid to submit to her husband in fulfillment of God’s instruction. To us it cannot be God telling us to obey His words to that extent; God can’t be so cruel. More so, when adultery is a sin, and then we run through the many what-ifs in our minds and tell ourselves God will understand if we disobey just this one time.
But for Sarah, she never doubted God. For her, there were no what-ifs, her husband said it and she did it anyway. And God in His usual faithful manner came through for her just at the right time when she needed Him to. I have also trusted God for this kind of submission in my marriage. My husband has never asked me to deny my identity as his wife but I have learned to obey him on so many occasions where we have extremely different and conflicting views about situations and instructions he has given. I have learned to obey him even when it wasn’t in any way or form convenient for me to obey. And not once have I had to regret such acts of obedience since I have allowed God to take the wheel of my marriage. And above all, I have earned my husband’s respect and trust simply because I obey God in obeying him.