While we were walking recently I used the phrase "I'd rather see a sermon" but couldn't remember where I'd heard it. I want to give credit where it's due. That comes from a poem from Edgar Guest entitled "Sermons we See" Fortunately it's public domain now so I can add it to our lesson and it can be posted on the church website with our other lessons. I encourage you to go online and read the whole thing, but here's the first verse
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear
Fine council is confusing but example's always clear
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creed
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs
Ladies, we are to be walking sermons as we go about our daily lives. The way we interact with our neighbors, our co-workers, even our companions in the check out line matters. We should be the ray of sunshine in someone's dark day. And as this passage dealt with slaves and masters and submitting to authority, we should model a submissive heart in our workplaces. Be the employee who comes to work on time, ready to honor the folks who issue our paychecks. That means we don't start clearing our throats or faking a cough on Wed and Thu so we can take a mental health day on Friday. We don't use the business copier so we can save on paper and ink at home. And we don't ever bad-mouth our boss to our fellow employees even if you really could do her job with one hand tied behind your back.
The way we conduct ourselves in public is a direct reflection of the way we fill ourselves in private. We need to be women who reflect to the world that we are filled with God's Spirit. People we don't even know watch how we respond to what life throws our way. This means that if we'd have a fish decal on the back of our cars we probably shouldn't pull into the corner tavern or naughty nightie store. Nor should we cut someone off in traffic and then give them a one-finger salute as we zoom on by them.
Here's just a bit more from Edgar Guest's poem. "And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true, but I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do". Let's strive to be walking sermons.
Love, as always, Renée
Now on to this week's lesson
Read 1 Peter 3:1-7
Memory verse 3:5 " 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"
1. Verse 1 tells us that wives are to submit to their husbands as eagerly as Christ submitted. Do you think Peter is saying to submit like Christ did to His death on the cross, or does he mean to submit like Christ did to God's will in general? Is there a difference? Explain your answer.
2. What is the benefit in doing so according to this passage?
3. What in particular does this passage say is most attractive to our husbands?
4. What do you use to make yourself more attractive to your husband?
5. These verses give Sarah as an example of submission. Can you think of another example from the Bible of a wife who submitted well to her husband?
6. How can you model that wife's submission in your own marriage?
7. Verse 6 says that we're Sarah's daughters if we do right and do not give way to fear. What is the most fearful aspect of submission?
8. Why do you think Peter used 6 verses to convince women to submit but only one verse to identify a husband's proper response?
For personal growth:
1 Peter 3:3 cautions that our beauty should not come from outward adornment. Consider your spending habits so far this year. How much have you spent on hair cuts, hair products, make-up, tooth whitening, perfume, clothes, shoes and jewelry? Compare that with the amount you've tithed and given to charity. What do your spending habits reveal about your priorities? If a forensic accountant tracked where your money went would he know you were a woman of faith? The world says that we have to look good to feel good. Have you fallen for this lie? How can you balance the desire to look attractive outwardly with the teaching in our passage to be attractive inwardly?
For the good of the group:
Who is the least physically attractive inwardly beautiful woman you know?