“For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”1 Peter 3:5-6
“The only known antidote to fear is faith.” Woodrow Krol
- It’s time to meet with your Jesus! He loves you more than you could ever know and has great things to say to you today. Ask Him to speak to your
heart as you read.
- Read 1 Peter 3:1-7. Write verses 5-6 in the journal pages of your workbook.
How to Submit When You’re Scared
Sadly, I have a particular memory etched in my mind that I wish would go away. But before I explain, allow me to give you a bit of the background to the story.
It was right before our daughter’s 16th birthday. She had gotten her driver’s permit almost a year prior and was about to get her license. She was going places, making lots of new friends, and having fun adventures. Christie was a sweet and godly teenager who was just beginning to spread her wings.
We told her she could begin “dating” after she was 16, and wouldn’t you know it, about this time the guys began crawling out of the woodwork to date our sweet, precious daughter.
One of these guys was an 18-year-old guy (man) she had met while performing in an Easter play at our church. This young man was fervently seeking to date our daughter, but both my husband and I had an unsettled feeling about him. As we got to know him better, we both confirmed that he wasn’t the type of guy we wanted our daughter hanging out with.
Our daughter was indeed interested in dating the guy, but I was super scared about her spending any time at all with him. My husband felt (much to my chagrin) that this was an opportunity for Christie to learn how to handle grown-up situations like this one and to begin making her own decisions. Normally, I trusted my husband’s judgment (he is a very wise and godly man), but this time I was fearful, and honestly, I felt as if I knew better.
So my husband and I began to argue, and argue, and argue. These arguments were the biggest, loudest, most intense ones we have ever had; it was awful. Totally awful. It truly was the most difficult season in our marriage we have ever had, and we have never had a season of arguing like that since.
I wanted my husband to tell the guy to leave our daughter alone, and he wanted her to learn to decide for herself.
During one of our worst fights, I actually cussed at my husband using one of those ugly, no-no words. I was shocked and couldn’t believe that phrase came out of my mouth! I grew up cussing like a sailor and some habits die hard, even for strong Christians. I was very disappointed in myself.
But the fact of the matter was, I was scared—really, really scared. And if I was completely honest, I was scared because of my past. I was terrified of my daughter making the same mistakes that I did in my life. This was always my “greatest fear” of motherhood: my children repeating my mistakes. I worried that if she got alone with this guy, he would try to do things that I know she didn’t want to do; she was so innocent.
After that day, I was broken. I cried my eyes out to the Lord and asked Him to take control. As always, my sweet Jesus comforted me as I read His Word and sought an answer from Him. I remember reading 1 Peter 3:5-6, and I felt God was telling me to submit to my husband, to do what was right, and to not give way to my fears. I would like to say making the decision to obey and submit to my husband was easy, but it wasn’t. I still worried and fretted, and I spent much of my time praying and fasting for our daughter and the situation. After a little while, I was able to feel like I could trust God and my husband with the situation. I moved forward in submission. Even if it was just a little, at least I was moving forward.
My husband and I calmly explained our reservations about this young man to Christie, but told her that we trusted her to make the right decision. We agreed they could meet at a public place so she could get to know him a bit. The entire time she was with him, I was on my knees praying.
I will never forget the day when she came in and told me that she really didn’t think they were right for each other. She said that she asked him about his faith, and after questioning him, she told him, “You know, I don’t think that you and I believe in the same God.” She said that he was very permissive in what he believed was appropriate behavior for Christians, and she wasn’t even sure he was a Christian anyway.
My heart was happy and sad all at the same time. I was obviously happy because she had made a wise decision, but I was sad because of the road it took our family to get there. We were all pretty devastated. I fought with my husband because I was afraid. I doubted God’s goodness and whether He could truly protect my daughter and keep her heart pure. I wish I would have prayed and trusted God and my husband earlier.
And so here I am telling you my story in hopes that it may encourage you to walk by faith a little more and to trust God to lead your husband and your family. It is not easy to trust our husbands all the time. Sometimes they do make bad decisions, but we still need to trust them as the leaders of our homes,
as long as they are not asking us to sin. I have thought often about Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him Lord, even when he gave her to Pharaoh (Genesis 12:10-20). God says we are her daughters if we do what is right and do not give way to fear. Fear is a part of life and can be a stronghold if we give in to it. Thankfully, God is with us and will help us to overcome; we just have to trust Him.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Do you trust God with your life—your finances, kids, marriage, your health?
- Write out your biggest fears in your journal. Be brutally honest and raw. If you don’t feel like you can trust God (or your husband), write out the reasons why. Pray and submit these concerns to Jesus and ask Him to help you overcome your fears and unbelief (Mark 9:23-24).
Take a moment to write a “Best Case Scenario” where the situations and problems you wrote about turned out just fine. Think big about God’s goodness and ask Him for faith to believe Him to answer your prayers. Exercise trusting in your spouse and watch what happens. The situations you are worried about may not turn out as you had hoped, but in the meantime, you are obeying God’s command to be a submissive wife and learning to walk out your faith in God.
I remember going into my daughter's room night after night and kneeling beside her bed and crying my heart out to God because I didn’t know how to be a Christian mom; I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. You know what? God is so faithful! He answered me and simply said, “Spend time with me, Deb.” And so I did. I began arising 15-30 minutes earlier each day so I could read my Bible and pray, and plan out my day with my family.
If there was one thing I would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!
Deb is married to her soulmate of 28 years, Randy. They have two grown children, Christie and Jack, and one precious, answer to prayer son-in-law named Alex.