“This is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves by submitting to their own husbands” (1 Peter 3:5). The deepest root of womanhood is hope in God. The deepest root of Christian womanhood. That’s where we start defining Christian womanhood. Hope in God. “Holy women who hope in God used to adorn themselves a certain way.” A Christian woman does not put her hope in her husband — or in getting one. A Christian woman does not put her hope in her looks.
Do you remember my favorite verse in the Proverbs 31 woman chapter? Proverbs 31:25:
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
I love that verse. “Everything that’s coming at me, I’m laughing at you.” That’s a woman. She doesn’t cringe. She doesn’t run. She’s not naïve about what’s coming. She knows what’s coming and she laughs because holy women of old hoped in a sovereign God who promises to help women whenever she needs him.
A woman in Christ knows her Bible, knows her theology of a sovereign God who makes promises, knows his promises to be with her, no matter what. She draws strength down from this and a certain kind of tree grows up from this massive deep root of hope in God.
This hope in God yields fearlessness. “And you women are Sarah’s children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Peter 3:6). This comes from hope in God. There’s plenty that’s frightening in the world. Frightening in relationships. Frightening in children. Frightening in health. Frightening in the future. And Peter says, you will be Sarah’s daughters if you’re not afraid of anything because you’re a holy woman who hopes in God, and he’s sovereign over all these frightening things, and you know that, and you rest in him, and that drives out your fear.
Mature Christian women are not naïve about what’s coming at them. “Even if you should suffer for righteousness’s sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14). She knows suffering is coming. “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19). The deepest root of a Christian woman is hope in God, and it yields this strong tree of fearlessness in the face of suffering.