"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"
Our Duties As Wives And Husbands (1 Pe 3:1-7)
1. In this study of 1st Peter, we are seeing that God teaches the
Christian how to conduct himself in all relations of life
a. BEFORE GOD, he is to be holy, even as God is holy - 1 Pe 1:14-16
b. BEFORE THE WORLD, he is to live an honorable life, one filled
with good works - 1 Pe 2:11-12
c. AS A CITIZEN, he is to submit to civil authorities - 1 Pe 2:13-17
d. AS A SERVANT, he is to do good, even if it means to suffer patiently
the mistreatment of others - 1 Pe 2:18-25
2. As we come to chapter three, we find there are also certain
responsibilities in our relations as husbands and wives - 1 Pe 3:1-7
3. In a society where "dysfunctional families" seem to be the norm, it
is even more imperative that the people of God demonstrate, through
their families, the will of God, with "honorable" (good, beautiful
to behold) conduct
[Our text goes a long way in describing the sort of conduct that is
"honorable" for wives and husbands, beginning with...]
I. INSTRUCTIONS TO THE WIVES
A. BE SUBMISSIVE TO YOUR HUSBANDS (Vs 1-2)
1. The word "likewise" refers back to the discussion in the
a. In which the principle of submission has already been
1) Our responsibility to governmental authorities
2) The servant's relationship to his master
(Likewise, an employee's relationship with his supervisor.)
b. This would suggest that the same principles discussed
earlier hold true to wives in their relationship with
1) I.e., to submit not only to the good, but also to the
harsh - cf. 1 Pe 2:18
2) If a wife suffers wrong from her husband when she
is doing good, it is commendable before God if she bears
that mistreatment patiently - cf. 1 Pe 2:19
3) A wife should first obey God, not her husband, if he asks
her to do anything that is against God's will Acts 5:29
4) A wife's willing submission to her husband is a part of her
service to God Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18
5) Submission is something a wife volunteers willingly; the
husband does not have the right to demand subjection
It is understood that these instructions are to Godly husbands and
wives making an attempt to overcome worldly problems. Where wife
beating and abuse are concerned, other Scriptural admonitions against
anger and striking would be more relevant.
2. The value of submission is best illustrated in the case where
a Christian wife is married to an unbeliever
a. He might be converted by her conduct
1) Even though he might not have previously obeyed the
word (the gospel)...
2) Without saying a word (especially persistent nagging),
his heart may be touched by her conduct!
b. The type of "conduct" likely to have that effect is
1) "chaste" - that is, purity in all manner of life
2) "accompanied by fear" - that is, reverence; which in
a) Is manifested toward the husband
b) And is an attitude consistent with the principle of
3. So the first duty of wives as outlined by Peter is that of
"submission", especially if the husband is an unbeliever
a. Adam and Eve's relationship was that of a loving headship
and submissive helper
b. The New Covenant seeks to restore the marital relationship
similar to that held by Adam and Eve
B. ADORN YOURSELVES PROPERLY (Vs 3-4)
1. It is likely that Peter's comments are in the form of a
a. I.e., a Hebrew idiom (form of speech) commonly found in the
b. In this case, there is a contrast ("not this...but this")
for the sake of emphasis
c. A good example of this is found in Jn 6:27
1) Jesus is not saying that it is wrong to work so we can eat
2) But that our priority in life should be to have
2. A similar emphasis by way of contrast is being made by Peter
a. I.e., don't let your emphasis on "beauty" pertain to
b. Not that it is wrong to arrange the hair, wear gold, or
put on apparel
c. But place your emphasis elsewhere
3. Let your beauty be "the hidden person of the heart"
a. Conduct yourself so that beauty of the inner person
b. So people notice more who you are rather than what you wear
4. It is a "gentle and quiet spirit" that constitutes true inner
a. Unlike hair, gold, and apparel, it is incorruptible -
cf. 2 Co 4:16
b. It is also very precious in the sight of God - cf. Isa 66:1-2
5. So, Christian women, let your inner beauty be your most
a. Without inner beauty, any outward beauty is like a ring of
gold in the nose of a pig! - Pro 11:22
b. Parents, are we teaching this truth (by word and example)
to our daughters?
C. BE "DAUGHTERS OF SARAH" (Vs 5-6)
1. Remember, the holy women in the Old Testament who trusted in
a. Adorned themselves with a gentle and quiet spirit
b. Were submissive to their husbands
2. A case in point is that of Sarah:
a. Who was so beautiful outwardly...
1) That Pharaoh wanted her when she was over 65 years old
2) That the king of the Philistines wanted her when she was
over 90 years old, and long past the age of childbearing
b. Yet her true beauty was demonstrated by her submissive
spirit (calling her husband "lord")
3. Christian women can become the "daughters of Sarah," provided
a. "do good" (be submissive to their husbands)
b. "are not afraid of any terror" (composed with a gentle and
[To be considered a "daughter of Sarah" by God would be a very special
honor! It can be had by any woman who heeds the words of the apostle Peter.
But a failure to heed these words will result in being more like a
"daughter of Jezebel." Remember, she delighted in her physical beauty
and in manipulating her husband. May such never be true of women
professing godliness and wearing the name of Christ!
Peter's instructions to husbands are brief, but nonetheless extremely
II. INSTRUCTIONS TO THE HUSBANDS
A. DWELL WITH YOUR WIVES "WITH UNDERSTANDING"...
1. The KJV says "with knowledge"
2. Husbands are expected to know, and understand...
a. Their responsibilities in marriage - e.g., Ep 5:25
b. The nature of women, as "weaker vessels"
1) This refers to physical strength; therefore making them
vulnerable to mistreatment
2) Not to intellectual abilities, moral courage, or
3. Such understanding is to govern how the husband lives with his
wife -- with love and thoughtfulness
B. GIVE HONOR TO THE WIFE...
1. The word "give" means "to assign"
2. "Honor" refers to "precious, of high value"
3. So the husband is to assign to his wife the honor of being
precious and of high value in his sight
4. A good reason to consider our wives in such light: they are
truly "heirs together of the grace of life"
5. I.e., sisters in Christ, and therefore worthy of the respect
we give any other child of God!
C. "THAT YOUR PRAYERS MAY NOT BE HINDERED"...
1. Here is good reason to heed Peter's instruction!
2. The word "hindered" literally means "cut off"
3. Thus the way we treat our wives may result in our access to
God being cut off
4. This is what happened to the Old Testament priests who divorced
their wives - cf. Mal 2:13-14
1. We learn from Peter that how we conduct ourselves as husbands
and wives can have a bearing on our personal relationship with God
a. If wives are to be considered "very precious in the sight of
b. If husbands are to keep open the avenue of their prayers to
-- Then we must apply the principles in this passage (1 Pe 3:1-7)
to our lives!
2. If we do, then we all can be "heirs together of the grace of life!"
Speaking of being heirs of the grace of life, do you know how one can
become such an heir? - cf. Ti 3:3-7
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