At the height of the second wave feminist movement of the 1970s, the phrase “Well-behaved women seldom make history“ was coined by Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. She wrote the phrase while writing a little article in 1976 about funeral services and lamenting that the good that women do in society often goes unnoticed. In that article, she was not meaning to encourage women to misbehave in order to get attention.
But then her newly coined phrase “Well-behaved women seldom make history“ took on a life of its own. Feminists worldwide seized on the phrase and it went viral. It then became a rallying cry for women to rise up against “the patriarchy”.
It is true that well-behaved women seldom make it into the history books, but sometimes they do. There is a woman in the Bible whose good behavior, reverence and submission toward her husband earned her the place of being an example for all woman. And this woman’s name was Sarah.
“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: 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 Peter 3:5-6
Ladies – even if your name is never recorded in a history book, you can make history in the lives of your children, your grandchildren and your great grandchildren. Your example of submission, service and reverence to your husband and your service to your children can make history in their lives and have a greater impact that you may ever know.