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How you can tell a joke at your husbands expense and still be a submissive wife

In I Peter 3, when the apostle is explaining the duties of a wifely submission, he offers a living example -- Abraham's wife Sarah:

For this is the way holy women, who hope in God, adorning themselves in former times, being submissive to their own husbands. Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him "lord," and you will be her children if you do what is right without being intimidated by any fear. I peter 3:5-6

Sarah was the perfect submissive wife. She called Abraham "lord." When was the last time, ladies, you called your husband "lord"? I have not doubt Sarah carried sandwiches and beverages to Abraham in the barcolounger, every evening. She always made sure he had the clicker. She never complained when he left his clothes on the floor, or forgot to take out the garbage. She said things like "You go and have fun, I'll just stay back in the tent and fold laundry." And "Don't forget now you were planning to watch that Orioles game for the next three hours" (I'm sorry, she probably said "Don't forget now you were planning to watch that Orioles game for the next three hours, my lord").

Is this the Sarah we've come to know from the Bible? I think not. Sarah is the woman so beautiful that in her 60's Pharaoh had to have her for his harem "Genesis 12:14-16. When the heir God promised was not forthcoming Sarah is the woman who said to Abraham;, " Go sleep with my handmaid and have a baby boy by her" to which Abraham replied "Uh, okay" (Genesis 16:1-2, in fact the phrase "listen to the voice" vs. 2, is most often translated "be obedient to"). Later when she was fed up with Hagar and the handmaid's cheeky son Ishmael she said to Abraham, "Kick this uppity servant and your own son out of my tent!" To which Abraham replied, "Uh, okay" (Genesis 21:8-14). The Sarah we meet in Genesis is beautiful, smart, and strong;. She is funny too.

Sarah tells just about the best joke in the Bible. Only Jesus has a better sense of humor among the saints we meet there. In Genesis 18, Abraham, nearly one hundred now, is sitting beneath the Oaks of Mamre. His wife, Sarah, nearly ninety, is inside the tent. Three travelers come down the road. They appear to be ordinary travelers, but they are the Lord and two angels. Abraham begs them to take refreshment, and prepares a sumptuous feast for them. While they are visiting, the travelers inform Abraham that at the same time next year he and Sarah will be the proud parents of a brand new bouncing baby boy. When Sarah hears this she laughs. And why should she not. She was well past childbearing years, and Abraham according to Romans 4:19, had a body that was "as good as dead." Neither were physically able to conceive a child. So she said "After I have become old, will I have pleasure, my lord having become old also? (Genesis 18:12).

This is about the best pun ever delivered. In the Hebrew the word "lord" here is the word ba'al. Sometimes ba'al means "mister,""sir," or "husband." Sometimes it means Baal - the Canaanite god of the storm (and FERTILITY) we read so much about in the prophets. So when she called Abraham her "lord," her "husband/fertility god" she is making a great joke at his expense. This is the event to church Peter refers in 1 Peter 3:6.

Didn't Peter get the joke? Yes. Couldn't Peter find a better example of wifely submission than Sarah's snide remark?

No. There is no better example of what it means for a wife to submit than Sarah in Genesis 18., because despite here hilariously delivered misgivings, and the biological factors she clearly understood, she slept with her centenarian husband and conceived a child. He was the spiritual leader of his family and she respected that leadership. She submitted her doubts to his faith, and the child of promise was born. Sarah was a woman who, in Peters words, "was not intimidated by any fear." She was pretty smart, strong, funny, and yes submissive.


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