Following Noah


Following Noah is part of an ongoing series, Portrait of a Godly Wife

A handful of years ago, my husband got an unsolicited job offer that would require us to move. We lived in our hometown in a big house that we built on family land near grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and lifetime friends. When David first approached me about the offer, I shared my thoughts: We are where we are supposed to be. I am content. I don’t want to move. The end.

Only that wasn’t the end. The more he prayed about this job, the more convinced he became that it was the right move for him and our family. I faced the hardest moment of submission in my married life. I did not want to move and he did.

David accepted the job and a for sale sign pierced the sod in our front yard. Several months later we moved into a much smaller house, 2 hours from all of our family and friends. I grieved every one of those days leading up to the move and for weeks afterward. I cried gallons of hot tears, wrestling my heart to follow my words–“where you go, I will go.”

There is a sweet, old lady in Genesis that faced a similar decision to submit to her husband’s leading. We don’t know much about her or about the conversations that went on behind closed doors. We do know that she followed her husband as he followed God’s direction.

The story of Noah is familiar. We know he was the only righteous man on the face of the earth (Genesis 6:8, 7:1). We know he built a boat on dry land. Let’s take a moment to meet his wife. She is given no name in scripture, but she is admirable even still.

And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Genesis 7:7

She followed her husband into an unsure situation to escape an unknown danger. God did not share his plan with her the way He shared with Sarai (Genesis 18:9-15). Gabriel didn’t stop by to chat as he had with Mary (Luke 1:26-38). The only thing she had was a word from Noah.

Have you ever stood at the entrance to the ark? Your husband is in front of you, calling you to follow him as he follows God’s plan. What is behind you is familiar and comfortable. What lies ahead is uncertain and maybe downright scary (hello, lions and tigers and bears!).

Centuries before Paul penned his letter to the church at Ephesus, Noah’s wife demonstrated godly submission.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Ephesians 5:22-23

Noah acted as a savior for his precious wife that fateful day. As the rain started to fall, she followed her husband onto the floating zoo (Genesis 7:13). Because of her submission, she and her family were spared.

Only Noah was left and those who were with him on the ark. Genesis 7:23

Just for a quick contrast, let me introduce another Old Testament wife into the story.

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26

Those first few months in our new setting were so difficult. I struggled through them, holding on to the promise that God would honor my submission, as difficult as it was. A year to the month that David decided we were moving, I found out I was expecting our third child–a little, unexpected blessing. Because we downsized when we moved, I was able to leave my full-time job to be a full-time mama.

One ordinary day, my insightful daughter said, “Mama, I know why we had to move now. It was so Barrett could be born.” That was a holy moment; I could see a purpose in the pain, a blessing for my submission.

I only need to look at my little rainbow baby to know God’s promises are true.

Barrett collage