I had heard the story about Abraham and Sarah (at the time Abram and Sarai) pretending to be brother and sister, but had never given it much thought. After recently re-reading the story, it became glaringly obvious how self-centered, deceptive, messy and entangling sin can be!
Placing myself in Sarah’s shoes, I cannot even begin to describe the depths of fury I would feel toward my husband for putting me in that situation. Reading between the lines of his logic to justify his plan of deception, “say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake” (Genesis 12:13), it sounds like Abraham is trying to make this about Sarah and for her benefit, but it is really about him.
We don’t know how or even if Sarah really reacts. We do know that she submits to the plan and she is taken into the Pharaoh’s house as his wife. Abraham sins, Sarah becomes a participant in the sin, which also causes Pharaoh to sin.
So, what should you do when your spouse asks you to sin? What should you do when your spouse admits his sin openly to you, but he asks you not to tell anyone? What should you do when you know your spouse is secretly sinning, but you decide to look the other way? What should you do when you realize that you were helping your spouse continue in sin unknowingly?
First, although wives are called to submit to our husbands, submission is not passive, slavish or coerced. Husbands are responsible to love, serve, protect and provide for us as Christ does His church. We also know that we are always called NOT to sin. If this is true, then we know that our husbands should not ask us to sin and we know that we do not need to submit to our husband’s sin, if they do. We know that we must not agree to hide sin. We know that we can take an active stance against sin.
If your husband has led you and your family into sin - whether you knew about it or found out afterward - please don’t be discouraged. Redemption can be found.
No wife should follow a husband into sin. Submission does not mean surrendering thought. It does not mean no input on decisions or no influence on her husband. It does not come from ignorance incompetence...Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership... it [is] free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening...”
~John Piper, “Husbands Who Love Their Wives Like Christ and Wives Who Submit to Them”
Pray that, together, you would live and strive to honor Christ and His Word as absolute. Pray that your relationship will be guided by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and grace. Pray that your marriage will be centered on trusting God and believing in His faithfulness.