Summary: 5 of 6. Peter pressed & confirmed the crucial role of Christian governance regarding Christian marriage. But how is Christian governance addressed in our marital obligations? Christian governance in MARRIAGE addresses/encompasses...
C. CHRISTIAN GOVERNANCE-&-Marriage-V—1Peter 3:1-7
Governance by God in Marriage.
Peter pressed & confirmed the crucial role of Christian governance regarding Christian marriage.
Christian governance is foundational in/to Christian marriage.
How is Christian governance addressed in our marital obligations?
What does Christian governance or submission look like in Christian marriage?
2 applications of Christian governance for/in marriage.
2 aspects of Christian governance that are addressed in/within marriage.
Thus far we have discovered that Christian governance in MARRIAGE addresses/encompasses...
1. A Submissive Attitude for WIVES(:1-6)
A. SOUL-WINNING CONDUCT(:1-2)
B. INWARD ADORNMENT(:3-4)
C. OBVIOUS REGARD(:5-6)
2. A Submissive Attitude for HUSBANDS addresses...
A. UNDERSTANDING TOGETHERNESS(3 aspects--i-iii)(:7a-d)
B. UNHINDERED PRAYERS(:7e)
So far we have found that UNDERSTANDING TOGETHERNESS involves,
i. HONORING HIS WIFE(:7b)
Today, we will unpack another aspect of a HUSBAND’s UNDERSTANDING TOGETHERNESS by looking at how he addresses...
*ii. DISPARATE WEAKNESS(different in kind)(:7c)
“as to the weaker vessel,...”
“Living “knowledgeably,”[with understanding”-:7a] then, refers to living as persons whose patterns of thought & judgment have been transformed so as to reflect more faithfully the thoughts & judgments of God.”—2HNTC
A “husband’s” “giving honor to his wife” is motivated by his rightly viewing her as “the weaker vessel” of the two of them.
Paul’s description of a wife as a “weaker vessel” in comparison to her husband has caused no end of debate.
*So what does Peter mean by “weaker”?
“Nothing else in the New Testament suggests that women are intellectually inferior”, nor “intrinsically weaker in character”... nor is it clear that women are weaker “emotionally”...“nor”.. “weaker in conscience”...nor “weaker morally or spiritually than men.” They are not “light-minded” as secularists might assume.....“The most obvious meaning therefore, is that women are weaker than men in terms of their strength.”—NAC/NICNT/MNTC/2HNTC(2 Horizons New Testament Commentary)
Due to the physical strength of men as expressed in the workings of secular society, women are made more vulnerable in many if not most societies.—NICNT Thus “Christian husbands are to be the sacrificial providers & protectors of their wives.”—MNTC
**I personally(BKS) believe that the key to grasping Peter’s meaning for a woman’s being a “weaker vessel” is found in Eve’s approach to Satan’s trickery aimed at instilling disregard for God’s directive. This trickery is first expressed by Satan regarding the Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good & Evil, in Gen. 3:1-7. That application also guides Paul’s instruction to Timothy regarding headship in 1Tim. 2:8-15(particularly :14), & has little to do with physical strength but rather more to do with relationship & role.
1Tim. 2:8-15—“I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath & doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety & moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, & holiness, with self-control.”
There ‘may be’ a ‘deceptive aspect’ common to women in general, that is countered thru a godly “husband’s” recognition & care regarding such ‘trappings’ of femininity’(gunaikeiov)(Eph. 5:25-28). Her ‘women’s intuition’(femininity) CAN sometimes be her worst enemy, in that it can keep her from weighing things properly by not pulling in the logical nature of things as well. She may do what she ‘feels’ is right whether it is or not! Her femininity makes her fit for the nurture of children & for encouragment & exhortation of those who have children(1Tim. 2:15; Titus 2:3-5).
1Tim. 2:15—“Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, & holiness, with self-control.”
Titus 2:3-5—“the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things--that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
*Of course her femininity covers & counters the ‘trappings’ of masculinity as well.
So the “weaker vessel” aspect here hints at a “weakness” that certainly involves, but also appears to be beyond, mere physicality. Certainly many aspects are surely & incalculably intertwined(Heb. 4:12).
**The “wife” is definitely the “weaker vessel” in regard to her relation to the granted authority of her Christian “husband” as ‘head.’ In that same sense the man is indeed the ‘weaker’ in relation to his ‘head’, Christ Jesus Himself(1Cor. 11:3; 1Pet. 5:4).
1Cor. 11:3—“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”