1 Peter 3:1-7
3 Wives, follow the lead of your husbands. Suppose some of them don’t believe God’s word. Then let them be won to Christ without words by seeing how their wives behave. 2 Let them see how pure you are. Let them see that your lives are full of respect for God. 3 Braiding your hair doesn’t make you beautiful. Wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes doesn’t make you beautiful. 4 Instead, your beauty comes from inside you. It is the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Beauty like that doesn’t fade away. God places great value on it. 5 This is how the holy women of the past used to make themselves beautiful. They put their hope in God. And they followed the lead of their own husbands. 6 Sarah was like that. She obeyed Abraham. She called him her master. Do you want to be like her? Then do what is right. And don’t give in to fear. 7 Husbands, take good care of your wives. They are weaker than you. So treat them with respect. Honor them as those who will share with you the gracious gift of life. Then nothing will stand in the way of your prayers.
In our world “submission” is not a popular attitude for women. In our consumer society huge amounts of money are being spent on creating beauty products which will increase sex appeal. Peter is not so sure that the expense is warranted. Of course he is more concerned about the relationship between husband and wife, especially where the husband is not a believer.
The sense of urgency in proclaiming the gospel in Peter’s world meant that the witness of the wife to an unbelieving husband was of high priority. He makes it clear that no matter how beautiful a woman may be outwardly, it is how beautiful she is inwardly that is going to influence her husband the most.
So it is today in our world that inner beauty which shows a gentle and quiet spirit in submission to her husband is the attitude on which our God places great value for eternity.
This is not a one way street as far as Peter is concerned. A husband should honour his wife and delight in her. He should give her the love she deserves. In Ephesians 5:25 Paul sets up a very high standard for husbands to achieve when he likens marriage to the love Christ had for the church because He gave himself up for her.
So, Paul encourages a mutual submission to each other in order to achieve the oneness first referred to in Genesis 2:24. He warns that neglect of this relationship hinders the effectiveness of prayer.
Thank you Lord that long ago You determined the pattern for marriage during your creative activity. Holy Spirit we ask you to empower us to continually reach this divine pattern for love and submission.
Written by Keith Bennett