"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" Our Duties As Wives And Husbands (3:1-7) INTRODUCTION 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 - 1Pe 1:14-16 b. BEFORE THE WORLD, he is to live an honorable life, one filled with good works - 1Pe 2:11-12 c. AS A CITIZEN, he is to submit to civil authorities - 1Pe 2:13-17 d. AS A SERVANT, he is to do good, even it means to suffer patiently the mistreatment of others - 1Pe 2:18-25 2. As we come to chapter three, we find there are also certain responsibilities in our relations as husbands and wives - 1Pe 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 that which is the will of God, and is "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 (1-2) 1. The word "likewise" refers back to the discussion in the previous chapter a. In which the principle of submission has already been applied to: 1) Our responsibility to governmental authorities 2) The servant's relationship to his master b. This would suggest that the same principles discussed earlier hold true to wives in their relationship with husbands 1) I.e., to submit not only to the good, but also to the harsh - cf. 1Pe 2:18 2) That if a wife suffers wrong from her husband when she was doing good, it is commendable before God if she bear that mistreatment patiently - cf. 1Pe 2:19 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 "a" word (persistent nagging), he may be reached by her conduct! b. The type of "conduct" likely to have that effect is described as: 1) "chaste" - that is, purity in all manner of life 2) "accompanied by fear" - that is, reverence; which in this case... a) Is manifested toward the husband b) And is an attitude consistent with the principle of "submission" 3. So the first duty of wives as outlined by Peter is that of "submission", especially if the husband is an unbeliever B. ADORN YOURSELVES PROPERLY (3-4) 1. It is likely that Peter's comments are in the form of a "Hebraism" a. I.e., a Hebrew idiom (form of speech) commonly found in the Scriptures 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 everlasting life 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 outward adornment b. Not that is always 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" shines forth b. Where people notice more "who" you are rather than "what" you wear! 4. It is a "gentle and quiet spirit" that constitutes true inner beauty a. Unlike hair, gold, and apparel, it is incorruptible!
- cf. 2Co 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 noticeable feature! a. Without inner beauty, any outward beauty is like a ring of gold in the nose of a pig! - Pr 11:22 b. Parents, are we teaching this truth (by word and example) to our daughters? C. BE "DAUGHTERS OF SARAH" (5-6) 1. Remember, the holy women in the Old Testament who trusted in God... 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 they... a. "do good" (be submissive to their husbands) b. "are not afraid of any terror" (composed with a gentle and quiet spirit) [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 important...] 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) Refers to physical strength 2) Not to intellectual abilities, moral courage, or spiritual strength 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" involves the idea of that which is "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 O.T. priests who divorced their wives - cf. Mal 2:13-14 CONCLUSION 1. We learn from Peter, then, 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 God..." b. If husbands are to keep open the avenue of their prayers to God... -- Then we must apply the principles in this passage (1Pe 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 one can become such an heir? - cf. Tit 3:3-7