Read: 1 Peter 3: 1-4
Reflect: There’s a big joke in any Bible study I’ve ever led that I say, “this is one of my favorite passages of scripture” about every scripture we share. I do love the Bible! So many verses have such special meaning to my life personally that they become my favorite.
Well, we’ve stumbled upon a section of scripture that is not a favorite for me. In my early years of marriage, I didn’t love scripture about submission, because I just didn’t understand it. Later, once I’d been married a while and served women in ministry for some years, I began to dislike these verses, because they’d been so misused. In my opinion, a misrepresentation of submission has led to women accepting abuse or enabling men to refuse their God ordained mission to lead and love as Christ lead the church.
But, today, that’s not our focus. In chapter 11 of Audacious, our focus has been relationships in general. The marriage relationship is a simple one to target, because it is supposed to mirror our relationship with Jesus. I’d love for us to think bigger, though. Is Beth really saying that part of living audaciously is to act submissively -- in humility rather than pride -- in our relationships?
I love this quote more than I can adequately express,
There is no estimating the revival we could have in America if we were all less convinced that being unlikable is a Christian virtue. (Audacious, page 146)
Respond: How do you feel about that statement? It seems that everything needs to be a political and a spiritual battle. But, our scripture is saying something different. If, in the relationship of husband and wife, Peter is saying that a believing wife can win her husband over with a gentle spirit, it must be true for that co-worker, child, boss, or neighbor. But, how in the world do we interact in humility, in submission, in gentleness when the very nature of this world right now is offensive? With nearly 11 weeks of study behind us, could you spend your response time today answering that question? Really…. What do you think? Practically, how do we do that?
Renew: I have one more quote, because it’s just too good.
If you decide to do this thing, Jesus is going to work it all out even when and especially when you are fresh out of ideas for bossing Him how. (Audacious, page 149)
Oh, she could be talking to me! I shudder to think how many times I’ve missed the point, the blessing, the lesson because I was very busy bossing God and calling it prayer.
The gentleness that Peter spoke about flows from a heart that knows God will work it out! When my trust is firmly planted on the One that can not fail, I’m not so caught up with what the world (those in my world) are or are not doing. They belong to God, and He will convict. His Spirit is a powerful force. I’m responsible for me. You are responsible for you. Let’s let God take care of us today. Rest in His love for you. Be fully present in your time with Him, because He is the only one that can prepare you for what you’ll face in the rest of the day. If others need to see Jesus in us, we must renew our Spirit by acknowledging and experiencing His loving power each and every day.
For with You is life’s fountain. In Your light we will see light.