Friday, March 11, 2011

Remembering Sarai

One of my favorite scenes in the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” is when the mom explains to her daughter who the “head of the household” is. She concedes that, yes, the man is indeed the head of the household, but the woman is the neck. And she can move the head in any direction she so chooses.

It’s a funny scene – probably because, as women, we can relate to this desire to tell our husbands what to do. After all, part of the curse given to Eve, and all of womankind after her, is the desire to rule over her husband (Genesis 3:16).

As a Christian wife, I desire to be obedient to God’s Word, and I know that it tells me to respect my husband and submit to him as the leader in our home (Ephesians 5:22). Of course, sometimes this is easier said than done. But there is one thing that helps me to be obedient in this area.

Whenever an important decision needs to be made and I am tempted to convince (or manipulate) Jeff of a certain direction, I remember Sarai.
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” (Genesis 16:1)
This sounds like the advice of a crazy woman. But the desperate measure that she was willing to go to indicates the deep shame that she suffered because of her barrenness. Maybe Sarai got impatient, but her old age indicates that she actually waited a very, very long time. It’s possible that Sarai truly believed she was being helpful, especially since God had already promised to give them a family. Perhaps she even considered her choice a selfless act of sacrifice.

However, Sarai’s “helpfulness” ended up causing tremendous pain for everyone involved.

I need to remember this because, every once in a while, I want to tell myself that I am being helpful too.

Jeff and I always talk about a decision together. Then we pray about it. And most of the time, we agree on the necessary course of action. But on those rare occasions when we can’t agree on something, I remember Sarai.

Regarding a particular situation, I may sometimes think that I know best. But I also know that decision-making is a privilege, and with that privilege comes responsibility. And, ultimately, both the decision and the responsibility belong to my husband.



Terry said...

Good thoughts here, D.J. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is one of my wife's favorite movies. Decision-making is a huge responsibility. I always want my wife's input on major decisions because I need more wisdom than I have; but I realize that ultimately I am responsible for my decisions. I can't blame her for my bad decisions, but I can give her the proper credit for helping me to make good ones.

Warren Baldwin said...

And God will bless you for that spirit, D.J.

Sonya Lee Thompson said...

Well put, DJ! I often remember Sarai too. Women have the power to persuade and thus we need to be careful with that power. Being led by God is the only good option - hopefully our husband's are hearing that voice even more clearly than us!