Summary: Marriage Service Sermon. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: 1 Peter chapter 3 verses 1-8:
• For the first time in her life
• Four year-old Suzie had just been told the story of "Snow White":
• She could hardly wait to get home from nursery school to tell her mommy.
• With wide-eyed excitement, she retold the fairy tale to her mother that afternoon.
• After relating how Prince Charming had arrived on his beautiful white horse,
• And kissed Snow White back to life,
Suzie asked loudly: “And do you know what happened then?"
• "Yes," said her mom, "they lived happily ever after.
• "No," responded Suzie, with a frown, “they got married."'
Sadly we live in a world where people believe the idea:
• That getting married and living happily together
• Do not necessarily go together.
Quote one cynic said:
"Marriage is not a word; it is a sentence".
Quote Jane Austin:
"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance".
Quote Mae West:
"Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet".
Compare marriage to the story of, "The Three Little Pigs."
• Like the first two pigs, many couples build their marriages out of straw and sticks,
• Only to have them collapse when adversity blows.
• The more solid, lasting, and enjoyable marriages, however,
• Are built out of the same material that the third pig used i.e. bricks.
The apostle Peter gives us some good advice in these verses concerning:
• The bricks that we need to use,
• If we want to build strong & happy marriages:
• Peter gives us some good advice;
• But notice his teaching is reciprocal.
• That is; teaching that never places all the responsibility on one side:
• When dealing with relationships the advice is always given to both parties.
• - i.e. Gives advice to slaves, he also gives advice to masters.
• - i.e. Gives advice to children, he also gives advice to parents.
• -& So here he gives advice both to wives and husbands.
Note: now if you were listening to the reading you may have noticed something:
• Peter gives six times more advice to wives,
• Than he does to husbands,
• Now don't take that the wrong way!
• It is not that Peter was male chauvinist, who is putting women in their place!
• In fact the opposite is true;
• The extra advice given by Peter is a sign of his respect, love and care!
Remember the time & the culture that this letter was written in:
• And that will explain why these verses unequally divide themselves up like they do.
• In ancient civilization, women had no rights at all.
• Under Jewish, Greek & Roman law women were the possessions of men.
• Property owned by their husbands.
• YET in these verses Peter does not talk to women as objects owned by men,
• That may have been the cultural understanding, but it was not God’s!
• Peter under the guidance of the Holy Spirit says to his readers, the opposite is true;
• The fact he takes the time to advise them, show that he views women as equals!
Now in verse one Peter is addressing a particular problem:
• If a husband became a Christian, that meant no domestic problem because;
• His wife would automatically go with him to Church, she would do as she was told.
• But if a wife was brave enough to became a Christian, while her husband did not,
• That would have caused major ripples in the domestic pond!
• So the Apostle Peter takes extra space in his letter,
• To pass on some good, helpful, practical advice for any women in this situation.
The Apostle Peter:
• Will give to wives four bricks of advice, essential to building a strong marriage:
• Remember these bricks are not for throwing at each other, but for building with!
• Note: they are relevant whatever the culture or period of time you find yourself living in.
• They are timeless truths for building a happy lasting marriage.
(1). Actions (verse 1-2):
The first brick Peter hands her is called "Actions".
"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 behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives".
The key term in the verse is the word “Submit”:
• Now just because our Bibles indicate a new chapter;
• Don’t assume Peter has changed the subject matter here.
• Note: the expression; “In the same way”,
• This connects these verses with the previous passage that began in chapter 2 verse 13.