Summary: Spouses are to serve one another.
Help for a Hurting Marriage
Rev. Brian Bill
November 22-23, 2014
Pastor Jeff Strite shares what happened when a woman sent an email to tech support.
Dear Tech Support, last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and I noticed a distinct slowdown in the overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications. In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as Newspaper 5.0, TV News 3.0 and Basketball Game 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs.
Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.
What can I do? Signed, Desperate Woman.”
Dear Desperate Woman, first, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package while Husband 1.0 is an older more reliable operating system. Try to download Tears 6.2. If this application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. However, remember, overuse of the above applications can cause a default to Silence 2.5. Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). In summary, you might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance.”
A magazine for Christian leaders published a cartoon that showed a pastor peering out anxiously from inside a World-War-II-style bunker, which was behind the pulpit. The well-protected pastor announced, “My text for today is 1 Peter 3:1-6.” I’m not looking for a bunker today because I’m committed to preach what the Bible says, no matter what grenades may come my way. But before we read our passage, I do want make some preliminary points.
• The context deals with how a Christian wife can witness to a husband who is not saved…yet. Some of you are in that exact situation and you long for your mate to share your faith. I pray that this passage will give you hope and a godly game plan. A good marriage is more than being with the right person; it’s being the right person.
• If you are single, determine right now to not enter a spiritually mismatched marriage. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says clearly: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”
• Some of you are single, divorced or widowed and may feel that this passage does not apply to you. I read an article this week called, “Marriage Must Be Honored by All.” In it the author quotes Hebrews 13:4: “Marriage must be honored by everyone.” Have you noticed that marriage is no longer honored in our society? It’s dismissed as irrelevant and is demeaned, denounced and discouraged by many. Marriage is being ridiculed and has been redefined. God declares that marriage is between one man and one woman for life.
• This passage does not contain all that Scripture teaches about marriage and therefore this sermon will not address everything that the Bible has to say about this topic.
• If you are in an abusive and dangerous relationship, please find a safe place and get some help.
• While there are six verses directed to wives in 1 Peter 3, only one verse is directed to husbands. In order to have integrity as a husband, I want you to know that I studied verse 7 first so I could make sure I’m living out my responsibility. Originally I was going to preach about both wives and husbands today but in order to do our passage justice I’ve decided to handle husbands next weekend – wives, make sure you get them here! If it seems that wives have more to work on in this passage, remember that other sections of Scripture, like Ephesians 5, lean heavily toward a husband’s duties. Actually, Peter is giving more attention to wives because of the suffering they’re enduring.
With that, let’s dive in to 1 Peter 3:1-6: “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.”
We see right away that this is the third instance of the word “submission” in this section of 1 Peter. Two weeks ago we learned how submission fleshes itself out for Christian citizens. Good Christians should be good citizens. Last week we applied the master/slave situation to the employer/employee relationship and established that Christians should make the best employers and employees. BTW, I should have mentioned that almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe today. If you want to learn more about this, check out International Justice Mission. On top of that, there are millions of children who are being trafficked, many right here, in the Quad Cities. If you want to make a difference locally I recommend the organization called Braking Traffik.org.