Summary: The duration of a marriage depends on the attitudes and actions of both partners. With all the polarizing factors in our world that pull against a successful marriage, an unbreakable one is difficult to make. Peter gives four principles to develop this.
Building the Unbreakable Home 1 Peter 3:1-9
Father’s Day Sermon by Don Emmitte, Grace Restoration Ministries
Having presided over many different weddings through the years, there have been an equal number of unusual experiences. Following one particularly formal wedding ceremony, the bride's father approached me and asked in a humorous way, "You did tie that knot tight, didn’t you preacher?” I smiled and answered that the knot would stay tied as long as they continued to tighten it!
The duration of a marriage depends on the attitudes and actions of both partners. With all the polarizing factors in our high-speed, high-tech world that pull against a successful marriage, an unbreakable one is difficult to make. Some marriages are miserable; others are mediocre; a few are a mistake; but good, growing marriages possess a magnetism that binds two people for a lifetime.
A married apostle named Simon Peter instructed husbands and wives about their duties in the initial verses of the third chapter of the first epistle.
Take Your Bibles, Please…
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (1 Peter 3:1-9 ESV).
There are four principles…
First, an unbreakable home cooperates.
Teamwork makes a terrific marriage. The phrase "have unity of mind” (v. 8) is here only in the Greek New Testament and literally means "to think as one." It implies a cooperative mind-set on behalf of a husband and a wife. A good ball team must think as one, as a whole, to play effectively. An orchestra must think as one to achieve a harmonious sound. Any lasting relationship between two people depends on a cooperative effort. Of course it is true that two are required to make a marriage, while one can break it. There are two essentials in these principles for us to understand.
1. You should develop an alliance. A popular magazine explored the idea of what makes happy couples and concluded that marriages that endure happily ever after are built on a practice of love as an "alliance." An alliance involves a mutual confederation between two parties. A husband and wife are allies, not antagonists. They share a likeminded cooperative mindset with each other. They must wage war against the outside forces that threaten to destroy their alliance.
2. You should develop unity in diversity. Was Peter suggesting that "unity of mind" excludes differences of opinion? Certainly not! Differences of opinion are inevitable results of divergent personalities among male and females. However, he called for unity in the midst of diversity. This requires that we understand the goal and purpose of God in our family and personal lives.
Second, an unbreakable home is compassionate.
No marriage can possibly survive without compassion. It is the force that holds everything together. In the Greek text, Peter used several words descriptive of compassion: sympathy, brotherly love, and tender-hearted affection. A functional definition of compassion is "love based in a fellowship of common weaknesses. A husband can show compassion quite easily when his wife is charming, gracious, and loving; however, his real test occurs when she is irritable, cutting, and unaffectionate. The critical need for compassion is when we are weak and vulnerable to ill behavior. Husbands and wives share a common humanity in faults and failures that polarize relationships. We are both at our base just sinners.
The wonderful play by Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun is the story of the dreams and struggles of a black Chicago family in the 1950s. After Walter Lee (Sidney Poitier) gets cheated out of a large sum of money, he makes the unpopular and demeaning decision to accept a buy-out of their new home from a white community association that didn't want a black family moving into their neighborhood. Walter's sister, Beneatha, emphatically tells her mother, Lena, "He's no brother of mine. That individual in that room from this day on is no brother of mine!" Lena admonishes her daughter, "You're feeling that you're better than he is today? Yes? What did you tell him a minute ago, that he wasn't a man? Yes? You, give him up for me? You've wrote his epitaph, too—like the rest of the world? Well, who gave you the privilege?" "Momma, will you be on my side for once? Now, you saw what he did. You saw him down there on his knees. Wasn't it you who taught me to despise any man who would do that? Who would do what he's going to do?" "Yes, yes, I taught you that. Me and your Daddy. But I thought I taught you something else, too. I thought I taught you to love him." "Love him? There's nothing left to love."