Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 3:1-7
Characteristics of a Godly Marriage
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 behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
What are characteristics of a godly marriage? What should we be aiming for when we are looking for a wife or a husband for those who are single? Understanding what a godly marriage looks like is very important so we can prepare for it.
It is good to remember that when God made man in his image (Gen 1:27), he made a husband and wife yoked together as one flesh (2:24). This means that the marriage relationship is a model of God and specifically the Trinity. When a marriage does not function properly, it mars the image of God and it breaks down every aspect of society.
For this reason, from the very beginning of creation, the home has been under attack. Satan attacked the home by tempting Adam and Eve in the garden. He attacks the home because it destroys the image of God, and therefore, our societies become farther and farther away from God, as the family decays and erodes. The family is the foundation of society, so when the home falls, the church falls, and when the church falls, the nation falls. As we look at this text, Peter teaches us the characteristics of a godly home, focusing on the roles of both the man and the woman.
No doubt the stress of persecution happening in the Roman Empire as Peter wrote this text, led to discord and fights in the home, particularly between husband and wife. Peter aims to correct that.
Peter also attempts to correct the common scenario of how a woman should react if she was married to a husband who had not yet come to Christ. This was very important because wives in the ancient world were often viewed as property. If she became a believer when the husband was not, it was perceived as rebellion and made the home life very difficult. On the other hand, if the husband became a believer, the wife and children were expected to follow. Therefore, Peter writes specifically to women whose lives were very difficult as a result of the former scenario.
This message is important not only for married couples, but also for singles who will one day be married. Many of us have grown up with bad models of marriage. These bad models are promoted on television, in the media, and sometimes in our own home. Most Christians do not know what a proper marriage should look like, so when they get eventually married they live out the models they have seen or experienced in the home they grew up in.
Scripture calls us to a higher model which is God’s original plan for the man and the woman. We learn something of God’s design in 1 Peter 3:1-7. It is a powerful remedy, not only for the church, but for our society that is cracked at the foundation as a result of our homes functioning outside of God’s perfect plan.
In this text, we will see six characteristics of a godly marriage.
Big Question: What characteristics of a godly marriage does Peter focus on as seen in the roles of the man and woman?
In a Godly Marriage, the Wife Submits to Her Husband to Transform Him
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 behavior of their wives.
In the above passage, Peter starts off with the phrase “in the same way.” This is referring to the third area of submission that should be seen in the lives of believers. He previously spoke about submitting to government (1 Pet 2:13–17) and to masters (1 Pet 2:18), and now he focuses on the home.