TITLE: Respect for Sarah
By Dawne Biggs
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Luke 6:31 (New International Version) "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
Sarah was married to a pastor. Being a pastor’s wife, she knew her husband would be called upon quite a bit from his congregation for individual counseling. She also knew that 99% of those who requested counseling would be women!
Sarah noticed a young woman calling and dropping by to see her husband at the church quite often. Sarah knew the young woman, as she had been a friend of her husband’s before they were married.
Sarah felt quite uneasy about this young woman as the calls and visits became more and more frequent. Sarah, who helped her husband in ministry, wanted to make sure the meetings remained decent and in order and centered on a real counseling need.
Sarah implemented a few rules. When the pastor counseled women, his office door would remain open. Just in case a woman had the wrong idea in mind about what kind of session it would be, the open door, without question, set the tone. The pastor would not be meeting any woman behind a closed or certainly not a locked door. Surprisingly, this deterred traffic quite a bit from the pastor’s office! In addition, Sarah saw to it that all counseling sessions were pre scheduled. No walk-ins. That would allow both the pastor and the congregant to take several days to pray prior to the meeting.
One day Sarah spotted the young woman coming in to the church. Sarah asked her the nature of her visit, as she did not have an appointment. The young woman said she just wanted to see the pastor. Sarah said that she needed to make an appointment if it was not an emergency. The woman insisted and said she just wanted to visit! Sarah gently told her that the pastor scheduled non-emergency appointments to keep down confusion. The young woman responded, “He’ll see me because we have been friends far longer than he’s known you!”
Sarah felt disrespected and told the young woman so!
Fast forward several months…One of Sarah’s friends had recently been married. Let’s call him Will. They talked quite a bit on the telephone, as they had been friends for years! She met Will’s new wife and made an overture of friendship to her.
One day, Sarah and Will’s wife were chatting on the telephone. After several minutes the conversation concluded. The wife then called her husband Will, who did not answer his cell. The wife redialed Sarah, who did not answer either.
Now, the wife knew that sometimes Sarah would call BOTH her and her husband at work on the same day just to “chat”. The wife called both Sarah and her husband several more times. Will finally answered and said he was talking to Sarah!
How do you think the wife felt? Probably the same way the young woman had made Sarah feel.
What a double standard! Sarah wanted a respect level in her marriage that she was not willing to give a friend in hers.
The Lord speaks directly to us in the “do to others” scripture in Luke 6:31. We, as women of God have to be conscious as well as sensitive to other women in this area.
It is so hard today to maintain healthy marriage relationships without having to deal with blurred lines of extra-marital friendships. The Lord created marriage as sacred and holy and should never be defiled by women disrespecting each other!
Every woman should consider the Golden Rule as far as respect in marriage is concerned, especially women who so desperately want respect in their own marriages. Let’s try giving what we want, expect and frankly deserve.
We are all Sarah! The respect Sarah sought should be the same respect that each married woman can claim for herself!
Matthew 7:12 (New International Version) "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…"
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