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Ancient Holy Women’s Methods

Updated on December 13, 2019
OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile image

Over three decades ago I become interested in the Bible, having drank from the heavenly cup once, I have not been tired to drink more

Introduction

Apostle Peter in first six verses of chapter 3 of his first epistle to the saints addressed the women because he knows the important role they played in the expansion and growth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being wives and mothers.

He doesn’t want them to lose their roles and for the women not to lose their roles in the growth and expansion of the gospel of Jesus Christ he cannot but make mention of how they need to comport themselves in the failing and fragile world.

He notices some things among the brethren which was happening then, and which of course is globally happening now, because we all are still in the flesh and in the world where we mingle and interact with those whom we do not have the same faith with.

Ancient is defined as belonging to the very distant past especially before the end of the Western Roman Empire A.D. 476 and which is no longer in existence.

Women is defined as adult female human being as being different from a girl. This is someone who has reached menarche and could become a wife and mother.

Ancient Holy Women
Ancient Holy Women

In his message to them, he shared some methods which are peculiar to the ancient holy women, wives, through which they maintained their homes bring up their children and sustained their faith.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;(1 Pe 3:10)

The Greek word for wife (or woman) in this verse is “γυνή”, Romanized form is gunē (phonetic spelling is goo-nay'). This shows that the apostle is directing his words to the matured women, those who have reached menarche among the saints.

The Methods

In this article I shall be talking on those shared maintenance methods by the apostle with believers among whom we are one today if we have given our lives to Jesus Christ and how their methods rub off on their children, specifically their daughters.

Submission
Submission

1. Submission

This is the first method he says the ancient women practiced within their families, they submit to their husbands.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;(1 Pe 3:10)

The Greek word for subjection here is “ὑποτάσσω”, Romanized form is hupotassō (pronounced as hoop-ot-as'-so) which means to be under obedience, submit to.

The ancient women he notices that they put themselves under the control of their husbands. They do not usurp authority over their husbands, because they are subordinate to them. In bringing the word close to them, he says, that they should act likewise and if they could act as those ancient ones acted, they would be able to achieve the following:

(i) Bring Them to Obedience

As the Gospel was just making waves then, he notices that there are some husbands who are not obeying the word of God, and if they should be arguing with them, wanting to enforce their faith on those husbands, much harm would be wrought than good, thence, he says, they need to be submissive unto them, and through that would be able to bring such disobedient ones to obedience when they see how they are behaving.

This is equally true of our days because some men whom some ladies married to do not have the same understanding of the word of God as their wives, though they have been saved, they have accepted Jesus into their lives as their savior but they still have shallow understanding about the way and things of God. If such woman who is married to such husband started arguing or wanting to lord things over the man, there would be chaos in the family, to avoid this, the woman needs to bring herself under control to the man and when she has been doing this prayerfully the disobedient man would come to obedience, would start seeing things differently.

(ii) Save Those Who Are Unsaved

Some ladies have been married before they got saved, while the man to whom they are married to are yet unsaved yet doing things that the Lord does not want. For such a lady who does not wish to divorce the man, he would have to be submissive unto the man and by that would bring the man to repentance through that would bring the man close to Jesus and he would be saved. This the apostle says they would not be able to achieve if they wanted to show their class, their status in the society, this they wouldn’t be able to achieve if they do not submit to the man.

And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. (1 Cor 7:13)

To bring a man who does not believe to Jesus Christ, the apostle says, the woman has to be submissive unto her husband.

(iii) Shift Their Views From The World

This they would be able to do because the apostle says their husbands would be looking at their behaviors and while they were looking at their behaviors they wouldn’t have another option other than being in surprise that “what type of woman is this?” “Is my wife an angel or a human being?”

Many husbands are looking outside, because their wives’ manners are not reflecting Christ neither the characters of those ancient women whom they claimed to take after.

The first method apostle Peter noticed to be common among the women who have lived in the world before writing this epistle to the saints is that they are submissive women.

Poll 1: Submission

Are you submissive as a wife?

See results

Poll 2: If No

Why are you not submissive to your hubby?

See results

Some of us do have pets at home, we know that irrespective of how big the pet is, the pet would submit itself under our leadership, it won’t argue with us when we tell or control it to go somewhere even in the case that the pet is hungry, the pet would still yield to our leadership, that is what is called being submissive.

Irrespective of the position we may be occupying in our offices as women, the exploits we have done, the awards we have won, the gifts (or anointing) of God we may be carrying, Apostle Peter in the strongest possible terms enjoined us, as Christians, to always put ourselves under the leaderships of our husbands at home.

We should know that office is different from home when we are at home, the leadership of the home (family) has been put in the custody of the men, thus we should abide by that leaderships at home so that our homes would be heaven on earth and through that we shall be able to pass the gospel of Jesus across to the world, when the outsiders see how harmonious our family is living together.

Modest Behavior
Modest Behavior

2. Modest Behavior

Google defines behavior as the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others. Apostle Peter in his words talks about “chaste conversation”.

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (1 Pe 3:2)

Chaste in Greek is written as “ἁγνός”, while the Romanized form is hagnos (pronounced as hag-nos') and the word is said to also implies the followings: clean, innocent, modest, pure, perfect.

And the Greek word for conversation is “ἀναστροφή”, which has this Romanized form anastrophē (phonetic speling is an-as-trof-ay') which means behavior.

As the saints of God, whom we are irrespective of our sex after we have given our lives to Jesus Christ, Apostle Peter couldn’t use another means to describe how our behaviors ought to be other than saying it should be innocent, perfect.

How does innocent thing look like? To view an innocent just consider a baby you will see that a baby does not discriminate, a baby would not say this is a Scandinavian or a Caucasian or a black person, a baby would relate with all races and sexes equally as it is in his heart.

However, when such a baby started growing up, we shall find out that he may start discriminating.

The child’s earlier position when he has not gotten knowledge, or when his mind has not been infiltrated by some terrible thoughts from outsiders is called innocent time. It is this kind of disposition that Jesus said about anyone who wishes to enter kingdom of heaven, he says such a one needs to act like a baby, innocent in all things without discrimination ability to yield to correction and obey their parents.

And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.(Mat 18:3)

I hope you get this? This is the kind of way the Apostle says believing women’s behavior should look like to outsiders and mostly to their husbands.

Innocent or pure behavior is better than good behavior, because innocent behavior shows your real person, how one is originally, but a good behavior may be intertwined with some manners which shall be considered arbitrary by outsiders, but for innocent everyone will see such behavior as pure, no hide and seek game is being played in such behavior.

Women believers are enjoined modestly act toward their spouses, they should put themselves in the positions of their husbands before acting, they should act with them sincerely and in a straightforward manner like children would act to all and sundry around him.

Poll 3: Behavior

How is your behavior to your spouse?

See results

Poll 4: Misconstrued

Has your behavior at any time be misconstrued by people?

See results

When your behavior is modest to all, sometimes it may be misconstrued, but you shouldn’t stop because it is being misconstrued, for with time those who are misconstruing your actions would come to know that, that is how and whom you are.

3. Fear (Reverence)

The fear being talked about here, is not the kind of fear that the dictionary defines as being afraid of someone or something as because the thing is harmful or likely to be dangerous.

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (1 Pe 3:2)

The Greek word fear here is “φόβος”, which if Romanized becomes phobos (pronounced as fob'-os). The word Phobos here is the offspring of Aphrodite and Ares (Online Wikipedia). When this is used in relation to God as an adjective, it means God fearing (www.learnersdictionary.com)

The New International Version of the bible gives us a graphic picture of what the fear here means when it states that, “when they see the purity and reverence of your lives” (1 Pe 3:2 (NIV))

This shows that the fear King James Version talks about here is God fearing, being in reverence. Reverence is being defined by Google as deep regard or treat someone with deep respect.

Your partner is not harmful to you neither dangerous to you. Anyone who is involved with a dangerous partner wouldn’t want to be married to the person except the person hides his identity until they be married and for a person who hides his identity until they be married, his partner would leave him with time.

However, reading closely what Apostle Peter says in this verse we shall know that he is not talking about a woman who is seeing her partner, husband as being harmful and injurious to her, but he is talking about a woman who is in love with her partner, but for some reasons or another the partner is not on the same page with the wife, maybe because the man has not given his life to Jesus Christ.

Now, for the woman who has been saved, what the woman needs to do is continuing to treat her husband with all respect she has been using with him for the time past. She shouldn’t because the man is yet to be saved neither be on the same page with her start misbehaving, start fumbling. No, she shouldn’t do that, but now, she should increase her respect for her husband than before and be interacting with him modestly in all her behaviors.

Apostle Peter says when the woman’s husband sees her modest behavior with how she is treating him, not treating him like a crap, a pack of failure, the man would praise the Lord on behalf of his wife and would be challenged with her reactions to her such that he would draw near unto Jesus Christ.

Poll 5: Reverence

How are you treating your husband?

See results

If you cannot treat the cloth you are putting on anyhow, you are being encouraged not to treat your spouse anyhow, treat him like a gold, treat him like a costly apparel within and without and you will be surprised what would happen when you start doing this.

Your modesty character must be balanced by your deep respect. This is essential for you as the wife in the house.

Adorning
Adorning

4. Adorning

This is defined as making more beautiful or attractive. The ancient women have been found to be very beautiful women according to the biblical accounts of them. (Gen 12:11; 24:16; 29:17; 1 Sa 25:13) However, we do not read much about the types of things they used in adorning themselves then.

However, according to what this wonderful Apostle says here, it means that some of them would be using some things to adorn themselves with in the olden days. This he may have gathered from the history of their culture and others.

As they were using things to adorn themselves then, it is very sure that some of the saved Christian women too during his days were using something like that and thus, he decides to address that with respect to their family, on how the adornment should be allowed to interfere with their family’s peace, development and growth.

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel.” (1 Pe 3:3)

Adorning here in Greek is “κόσμος”, Romanized form is kosmos (phonetic spelling is kos'-mos) which means orderly arrangement, decoration.

He is telling them after close observation and interaction with the believers what their type of decorations should be.

Your modesty character must be balanced by your deep respect.

Type of Adorning

If we closely look at this verse, we shall see that there are two types of adornment that the Apostle talks about here, and they are internal and external adorning.

(i) External Adorning

External adorning is common because that is what the people would see, that is what would attract their partners. The components of this include plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel.” (1 Pe 3:3)

Three external adorning are made mention by the apostle here, these are being paid close attention to by women irrespective of their age.

As the Christian sisters also pay attention to these, the Apostle says, they shouldn’t dwell on that, alone because that was not what the ancient women whom they claimed to be following focused on when they were living. What then should they dwell on? This question is answered in the next verse.

(ii) Internal Adorning

Having been living with them, he knows that what they needed most is an adornment of the inside. The adornment of the inside is the one that would help their living with their spouses as well as their neighbors. And thus, he says,

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Pe 3:4)

The internal adornment according to him here is the decoration of the inside, the decoration of their minds, hearts, soul and thoughts of the person.

He buttressed his point so that there won’t be any miscommunications by stating what the components of the internal adornments are:

(a) Meek Spirit

Meek in Greek is “πραΰ́ς”, when Romanized it becomes praus, (phonetic spelling is prah-ooce') which means mild, humble, gentle. While spirit is pneuma (πνεῦμα) in Greek and it is related with air, breath.

By this word the apostle is saying that what the women should decorate their lives with is gentle (humble) spirit.

Humble in Greek is “ταπεινός”, which is tapeinos in Romanized form and its pronunciation is tap-i-nos'. this word means low degree (estate). The apostle infers that what the wives should do is being in low degree of mind, not puff-up at home with their husbands irrespective of their position, and their possessions.

(b) Quiet Spirit

Quiet is “ἡσύχιος” in Greek. The Romanized form of the word is hēsuchios (phonetic spelling hay-soo'-khee-os) this means being still, undisturbed, peaceable. In a world where things happen every day, when one fills one’s heart with a quiet spirit this would help in navigating through the undulating systems of the world without causing troubles at home.

Internal Decoration’s Duration

The word not-corruptible here in Greek is “ἄφθαρτος”, the Romanized form is aphthartos (phonetic spelling is af'-thar-tos) which means immortal, un-decaying, continuing

The period for which this internal decoration would be is clearly stated by the Apostle and the length of time for it is as long as the person shall be on earth.

This is clearly opposite to the duration of time for which the external decoration would be. The external decoration would last for hours before it is being changed as it cannot last till the person leaves the world. External decoration will be applied every day. And when another style or method evolves in the market, the person whose life is centered on external decorations would ensure that he gets in tune with what is in vogue in the market by being compatible, by buying those new apparels, but this is not so with internal decoration.

This internal beauty (or decoration) cannot be corrupted unlike the outside beauty which can be corrupted because our bodies fade away with ageing, irrespective of how we maintain our physical appearance, yet there would still be changes there however little the changes would be, there would be changes. In the same vein is the things we used to decorate our bodies, with, those things too are corruptible, I mean they can be destroyed, but the internal adornment cannot be destroyed, because it is in our mind. Our minds are always fresh before God, our souls are always new before God we are always like a baby in the hands of the Living God.

Internal Decoration’s Benefit

He stated that doing this decorating one’s spirit with these internal decorations they are “πολυτελής”, polutelēs (pronunciation pol-oo-tel-ace'), extremely expensive in the sight of the Lord God.

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Pe 3:4)

When something is valuable or costly in our hands, we shall not want to lose the thing we shall not want to trade with the thing not for anything in the world. But something that is not costly we can exchange it for anything in the world.

As costly as outside decorations are, they are not important in the sight of God like the internal decorations because through this internal decorations people could be brought to God, through this internal decoration our families could be maintained and keep growing.

We all should remember that God values families, because it is through families that the gospel could grow and expand, through families the churches of God could be established and through families the nation could be at peace. When families are doing good and well the nation will also do well.

Poll 6: Decoration

Do you wish to be valuable before God?

See results

If we want to be valuable in the sight of the Lord what we need to do is work on our internal decorations, work on the fruits of the spirit in us and most especially, those two fruits mentioned by the apostle here, which are quiet and meek spirit because there is no way that we shall not be talking at home in fact family is instituted by God because man lacks God companionship, in the garden, man lacks whom to associate with, he does not have good rapport with the animals and other living things in the garden. This God doesn’t want to continue thus, he creates for the man a woman, person who shall provide for him good companionship that the man cannot get from animals.

The bedrock of all companionship and good rapport is communication, exchanging of ideas, and while doing this there is bond to be differences among the duo those differences can and would only be resolved when there is quiet and meek spirit living inside them.

Trust
Trust

5. Trust God

Another thing with the ancient holy women was that they trusted in God.

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.” (1 Pe 3:5)

Those ancient women relied solely on God for all things and in all ways. This kind of attribute they also should possess. They should expect and hope for all things from God whom they have made their father.

We know that when talking about trust it is related to faith. It is their faith in God that makes them see God in their husbands, that makes them attain the heights they wouldn’t have ordinarily attained.

And now as believers in Jesus they cannot do anything less than this. The women of the Gospel also need to have complete trust in their God so that they would be seeing God in the lives of their husbands. It is when they see God in the lives of their husbands that would make it easy for them to submit themselves unto their husbands’ leaderships.

It is someone that one trusts that one would allow to lead one in a path that one has not trod before, but someone that one does not trust one wouldn’t allow the person to lead him even on the path that one has trod before because there is no trust in one’s heart for the person.

Sarah-Abraham
Sarah-Abraham

6. Example of An Ancient Woman

The author of the book gives an example of the ancient woman to the saints reading this and the given example is Sarah.

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Pe 3:6)

What Sarah did was stated and it was that he “obeyed Abraham”.

(i) Obedience

The word obey here is “ὑπακούω” in Greek Romanized form is hupakouō (pronounced as hoop-ak-oo'-o) which means conforming to a command or authority. In other words, the woman, Sarah brought herself low, puts herself under the leadership and authority of her husband Abraham.

(ii) Expression of The Obedience

The obedience was revealed in the way Sarah was calling (addressing) her husband within and without their compound. The bible says she was calling her husband lord”. This act must be uncommon feat during their days and thus it could be referred to by the apostle here.

The word lord here is “κύριος” (kurios) which means controller. She saw Abraham as her controller. She imagines herself like an animal that a shepherd is being directed here and there without talking. This is the position her husband occupies in her heart.

Is this not true? How many wives could agree with their husbands and presented themselves as junior ones to the husband instead of saying she is the wife of the man? Not many people can do this, but because she sees her husband as the controller, she agrees that she would be presenting herself as his sister wherever they get to so that danger would not come nigh her husband.

“And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, this is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother. (Gen 20:13)

Poll 7: Taking a cue

Can you do as Sarah did?

See results
Beautiful Daughter
Beautiful Daughter

7. Reputable Daughter

A female child would be carrying the gene of both parents inside her. To be a reputable and real daughter of the ancient women an example of which is Sarah, you will have to do as Sarah did, the apostle said.

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Pe 3:6)

In doing as Sarah did, you will do what is right, what is good and become fearless because you are doing what is expected of you to do.

Are you qualified to be called one of the daughters of Sarah or one of the daughters of the ancient women? You will be qualified to be called this when you do what those people do, submitting unto their own husbands and adorning their spiritual persons with the internal adornments.

Simple Multiple-Choice Questions For Personal Assessment

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© 2019 OLUSEGUN

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