Thursday, July 30, 2009

Living The New Life - Wives and Husbands

1 Peter 3:1-7

The word likewise in verse one refers back to 2:13, which instructs those living the new life to submit to every ordinance of man, etc. Peter here deals with the wives and then the husbands.

He speaks, first, of women in general, telling them that they should be in subjection to their own husbands. This should be a thing that is simply assumed, but evidently it is not, since God reminds us here through Peter about it. Ladies, set it in your mind to do what these verses instruct you to do. Both women and men have a responsibility to God to keep his commandments.

One of the reasons that God wants women to be in subjection to their husbands is so that, if the husband (a saved man) disobeys God's word, he can be won back to a good walk in the Lord by simply seeing the obedience of his wife. This obedience, then, is an object lesson to a woman's husband, and this passage does not say how long this will take. The husband will see the wife's conversation (way of life) along with the object of that life, which is the fear of God, verse 2.

As the husband beholds the wife, she should be adorned, not with the lustful dress of the world, but with the hidden "man" of the heart, which is a meek and quiet spirit, not a spirit of disdain and constant nagging, verses 3-4.

Peter then gives an example of "the old time," using Sarah, the wife of Abraham, as an example of this meek and quiet spirit. These women in "the old time" trusted in God and were not afraid to obey God, verse 6. Sarah called Abraham "lord." This was out of respect to him as her head. This is God's way (1 Cor. 11:3).

In verse 7 Peter turns to talk to husbands concerning their wives. He says to "dwell with them." This means that the husband should not quickly leave a woman but understand his position as husband and father. He is to give honor to his wife. This Greek word for "honor" is the basic word for "precious." So, the husband should consider his wife to be precious to him. He is to consider her the "weaker vessel," refusing to use his bodily strength against her but to consider her precious, not precocious.

The husband is to consider his wife "heirs together of the grace of life" so that their prayers not be hindered. Too many times either husband or wife will think himself better than the other in one way or another; but God says they are equal spiritually in regard to the grace of life. The Bible is very clear in teaching the place of both man and woman in service of the local church, but in regard to grace, they are equal in the presence of God.

No comments: