In Nik Ripkin’s book The Insanity of God, he tells the story of Aisha, a 24-year-old Christian widow and convert from Islam. She was so outgoing in her witness to Christ in the hostile environment of her Islamic town that the authorities arrested her and put her in the dark, unfinished cellar of the police station.
At the point when she felt she could take no more and was about to scream, instead, to her surprise, out of her mouth came a heart-song of praise to Christ. As she sang, she could tell the movement upstairs ceased. They were listening.
That night the police chief came down and said he was taking her home on one condition: You must come to my house in three days. Then he said,
I don’t understand. You are not afraid of anything. My wife and daughters and all the women in my family are afraid of everything. But you are not afraid of anything. … I want you to come to my house so you can tell everyone why you are not afraid. And I want you to sing that song.
When I read that, I thought: Surely that is the kind of thing the apostle Peter had in mind when he wrote these words:
This is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. (1 Peter 3:5–6)
This kind of fearless witness to Christ is a glorious part of “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet [or serene] spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4). I am eager to know this spirit myself and to see it flourish with peculiar grace in the lives of Christian women.