Summary: A sermon about how a godly life is a great evangelistic tool.
A Godly Wife and A Godless Husband
Although it IS Mother’s Day, it has to be a God-thing that our study of I Peter brought us to I Peter 3 ON MOTHER’s DAY. The idea of talking about godly women is not new on Mother’s Day, but the timing of our study in IP Peter makes it one of those “Christian Coincidences” that is hard to miss.
Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife, said it was a great day in her life when she realized it was not her job to change her husband. She said, “It was my job to love Billy, and God’s job to change him.” We want to focus this morning on what our job is—and then trust God to do His job.
“Likewise”: he continues on with a previous thought. The theme is 2:12 – “keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles”—talking about the way we live being a testimony / witness. We should want to see people get saved. We should live our lives in such a way that they see Christ in our lives and they are attracted to Christ by the way we live. The thoughts in chapter 2 are keep your behavior excellent by the way you submit to government and the way you submit to your employer. Now he continues by saying you also need to keep your behavior excellent by the way you submit in the home. If you want to have a maximum impact on your culture, live a model submissive servant life. If you want to have a maximum impact on your workplace (or your school or your neighborhood), live a model life as the best employee your company has. If you want to have a maximum impact on your home, live a model submissive life in your home. It’s the same principle…the same impact.
So, today’s message isn’t just for saved wives of unsaved husbands, even though that is what the passage talks about. It is about how we ALL are supposed to live our lives in this world. Notice in vs. 1 it says that our goal is to see people get saved—in this verse, it especially applies to an unsaved spouse.
Notice that vs. 1 says that some of these women were married to husbands who were “disobedient to the Word.” Some of these ladies, who had already been married, got saved. And Peter wants to tell them how to live their lives so that they can live godly lives in front of their unsaved husbands. This is not a sermon on marriage. Peter’s message is a sermon on MIXED marriages.
Notice three things Peter does not tell these women:
1. Don’t leave your husband. If you really love them, you should want them to be saved. So stick around and do what you can to see him find Christ. In I Corinthians 7, Paul specifically says, if he doesn’t want a divorce, then you shouldn’t pursue one. Stick around, because when God is blessing you, your husband benefits. Peter doesn’t say a saved wife should leave an unsaved husband (or a saved husband shouldn’t’ leave an unsaved wife, either).
2. Don’t preach to him. Don’t paste Bible verses all over the house. Don’t play Christian radio so loud it drives him out of the house. Don’t hound him or nag him or preach to him. Vs. 1 says that he could be won WITHOUT A WORD from you about his need for salvation. You need to concentrate on living a godly life instead of coming up with another way you can sneak the gospel message in front of him.
3. Peter doesn’t say that men are superior to women. Don’t get bent out of shape about this “submit” thing. He tells them that submission is part of the Christian life—both men and women. Peter doesn’t say that men are superior to women. In fact, if you notice in vs. 7, when it says a husband is supposed to see that his wife is weaker…it means that the husband also is weak! Men, we need help, too. You aren’t superior. You aren’t invincible. You aren’t the boss. You can’t expect your wife to submit to you unless you are also submissive to her—and to Jesus Christ. That goes back to Ephesians 5:21 that tells us we are to be submissive to each other in the fear of Christ.
Margaret Thatcher became the prime minister of England in 1979. While she and her family were moving into the prime minister’s residence, a reporter was interviewing her husband. Probing for a sign of jealousy, a reporter asked Mr. Thatcher, “Who wears the pants in this house?”
Mr. Thatcher replied “I wear the pants in this house. And I also wash and iron them and fold them, and do whatever else Mrs. Thatcher wants!”