We are doing a quick two-part series on Marriage Keys. This is the second and last part. Let's read the text we are studying.
1 Peter 3:1-7 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Last time we looked at verses 1-2 seeing the primary key responsibility of the wife. What key opens up a successful marriage for the wife? It's to be submissive to your husband SO THAT... A wife is submissive to her husband for results, not to simply be a submissive little wife. The results are to have the husband she longs to have, the home she longs to have, children raised the way she's always wanted, and to experience life the way the word of God says she should. Let's finish studying the passage today, first quickly looking at what else Peter said the wife needed to do and then looking at the husband's key responsibilities. What is the key responsibility for the husband?
1 Peter 3:3-6 Your beauty should NOT COME FROM OUTWARD ADORNMENT, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your INNER SELF, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who PUT THEIR HOPE IN GOD used to make themselves beautiful.
Peter is talking about modesty. In our society and every society, the normal emphasis of women is the outside - outward adornment. Is Peter against a woman's hair looking nice and attractive? No! Is Peter against a woman wearing jewelry? No! Is he against fine clothes? No! God's wired women with a desire to look pretty for her man. The woman in the Song of Solomon was beautifully prepared from head to toe. She fixed her hair (Song 4:1). She wore earrings and necklaces and perfume (Song 1:10). Peter's point is a wife can become so occupied with the outside she forgets about the inside.
Don't confuse a spiritual woman with a sloppy, unkempt, plain Jane "holiness" woman. A sloppy adorned woman calls attention to the outward appearance also. This displays an unconcern not only for her husband, but also for herself.
In the culture of Peter, women were as focused on outward adornment as much if not more as our culture is today. You recall images of Cleopatra with her wigs, jewels, makeup, and clothing. Greek women died their hair all sorts of colors like women do today. They wore elaborate wigs and did the beehive thing. We get insight of women's dress from Isaiah who wrote about 760 BC.
Isaiah 3:18-23 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
Today's dress isn't much different. Peter gave the wife a model. He used the holy women of the past, not glamour models of the past like on magazines today. Peter is saying don't look at women on the covers of In Style, Glamour, Shape, and Self magazinesas your models. Look in the Bible at the holy women of the past who made their marriages work. I could say the same. Look at the Shelia Dowda's and Judy Young's.
Peter said adorning the inner self is of great worth in God's sight. It is highly valued by God. How does a wife do this? It's with a gentle, not mean, and quiet, not loud and noisy, spirit. This is of great worth in God's sight. It speaks of a woman who is in control of herself, not out of control.
Peter gave a specific Biblical model. Her name is Sarah.
1 Peter 3:5-6 ...THEY WERE SUBMISSIVE TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS, like SARAH, who obeyed Abraham and called HIM HER MASTER. You are her daughters if you do what is right and DO NOT GIVE WAY TO FEAR.
What does "do not give way to fear," mean? Sarah called her husband master (KJV lord). Can you imagine a wife calling her husband "lord," or "master" today in a respectful way? Someone might say, "Sarah's husband must have been a near perfect husband for her to call him lord." No! This is why Peter used Sarah as the model. Abraham took Sarah away from her home in a city to live in a tent in the wilderness when she was about sixty-five. Would this cause a woman a little fear? But, Sarah didn't give into fear. Instead she put her hope in God. It doesn't say she didn't have fear. Sarah was extremely beautiful. Because of her beauty, Abraham put her in bad situations with powerful men twice in order to save his own neck. Would this cause you women a little fear? Abraham had a child with another woman creating extreme family problems, but in all of Abraham's goof ups, Sarah did not give way to fear. Again, it doesn't say she didn't have fear. She put her hope in God.
The picture Peter paints is not how perfect Abraham was, but how imperfect Abraham was, sort of like your husband. Peter wants us to see the model Sarah is though she had a goofy husband. Abraham made some very bad decisions, yet Sarah called him lord. In the craziest of times, Sarah was submissive to her own husband allowing her inner beauty, her gentle and quiet spirit, to be the tool bringing her the life she wanted. Sarah lived to be one hundred and twenty-seven years old (Gen 23:1) still married to Abraham for over one hundred years.
How many wives have ever experienced fear because of things your husband did and decisions he made? Did you give way to fear? There are fears every wife will experience. Don't give way to fear. Put your hope in God.
Peter said the wife's key responsibilities to unlock a long successful marriage, even when her husband is a non-believer, are: 1) be submissive to your husband; 2)look nice, but focus on the inner self and the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit; 3) do not give way to fear. Put your hope in God.
What does Peter say the husband's key responsibilities are in marriage? What should the husband do even if his wife is a non-believer?
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, IN THE SAME WAY BE CONSIDERATE as you live with your wives, and TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
"...in the same way" means we husbands also are to submit to our wives.
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
It's not submission to the authority, leadership, or headship of the wife. Those are the husband's responsibilities. What is it then? Peter said, "In the same way be CONSIDERATE as you live with your wives." A husband submits to be considerate of the needs of his wife. We subordinate our own agendas to the needs of the wife even if she's not a Christian. Consider her feelings and her needs. We husbands have a tendency to become so engrossed in what we're doing we forget about our wife's feelings and needs and take her for granted.
Year's back, we had recently purchased this building and we were remodeling it. I was working on it day and night. One day Judy asked me to not work one evening and take her out to eat. I reluctantly said okay. I worked as late as I could, ran home, showered, dressed, and we got into the car to go eat. She handed me a card. It said, "Happy Anniversary!" It was our wedding anniversary and I'd totally forgotten it. I was so engrossed in my agenda I had become inconsiderate of her feelings and needs. This is not good for a marriage.
Peter also said, "...treat them WITH RESPECT as the weaker partner and as heirs with you..."In their culture, this would be revolutionary. Men did not respect women in their culture. Today, when I see a man disrespect his wife I think how archaic, yet it happens frequently. A husband, or boyfriend, manhandling his woman is frequently in the news. Society calls some of these men celebrities. Really? A man abusing his wife physically, mentally, or emotionally is no celebrity. He is a weak man. It takes a strong man to treat his wife with respect.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, JUST AS Christ loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR HER
Ephesians 5:28-31 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
Husband, if you want a loving submissive wife who will follow you into the wilderness and live in a tent if necessary, if you want a wife who will stick with you through all your goofy mess-ups and bad decisions, if you want a wife who respects you (lord/master), you must be willing to die for her. You must love her as you love yourself. If she hurts, you hurt and you take care of her. If she needs, you need and you take care of her. As you provide for your own needs, you must provide for her needs. You do not respect yourself if you do not respect your wife. You leave everything for her - your agendas, your father and your mother. You must unite with her and become one flesh. She is your wife and your body. You are to love her, cherish her, adore her, protect her, be considerate of her, and respect her exactly as Christ loved his wife and his body the church.
Peter said she is the weaker partner. What does he mean? Think a minute. The grammar tenses are "weak," "weaker," and "weakest." Peter is comparing the wife to the husband. You are weak. She's only weaker than you, so husband, don't think you're strong, but with her strengths added to your strengths, together you can be strong. Usually, not in every situation, but usually a woman is physically and emotionally weaker than the man is. She's not mentally or spiritually weaker. Actually, my wife is far more intelligent than am I and it's likely this way in many marriages. The wife is not inferior to the husband.
It's about being partners and heirs together. In every partnership, there are strengths and weaknesses. My wife is far stronger at some things than I am. For example, making certain we remain good parents and grandparents. I'm stronger in areas than her. It's when we partner together we experience a strong working successful marriage.
Peter said, "...treat her with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious GIFT OF LIFE..." Peter's not talking about eternal life or life after death. He's talking about the amazing gift of life we've all been given. The greatest gift God gives anyone is life. The greatest gift life gives is marriage. In marriage, we partner together as heirs for life. My wife is my partner in life. We share what we acquire in life. The better partner she is the more we have to share. The better partner I am the more we have to share. I accomplish this by loving her, being one with her, being considerate of her, and treating her with respect. Then Peter says an amazing truth. Let's read the verse again.
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, SO THAT NOTHING WILL HINDER YOUR PRAYERS.
Last time I pointed out a "so that" to wives. You will experience tremendous results if you are submissive to your husbands. There is a "so that" for husbands also. There are amazing results when we husbands are considerate of our wives, respect our wives, and see our wife as partner (one) in life. What are the results? Nothing will hinder your prayers. Peter said "prayers" plural. It's more than a husband praying for his lost wife's salvation. It's all your prayers. Husband, are your prayers being answered? If not, how are you treating your wife? Mistreating your wife will hinder your prayers (plural). It will block the blessings of God on you. Husband, how your life goes is greatly determined by how you treat your wife.
What are the key responsibilities for the husband? 1) Be considerate as you live with your wife. Consider her needs and feeling. 2) Respect her as your partner - your wife and your body. 3) Love her as Christ loved the church. Give it up for her. If you will you will have the wife you've always wanted.
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