Summary: Living on Mission in a Foreign Land Husbands and Wives, part 2 Loving Wives and Answered Prayer
Living on Mission in a Foreign Land
Husbands and Wives, part 2
Loving Wives and Answered Prayer
We are in our second mini-series in 1 Peter, “Living on Mission in a Foreign Land,” based on 1 Peter 2.11-4.11. In this section Peter connects the way we live to the mission of Christ, making disciples. Peter tells us that 'God has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light to proclaim His excellencies.' We started chapter 3 last week, looking at what Peter says to wives and this week we are looking at what he says to Husbands.
Passage Overview – In chapter two, verse eighteen, Peter began to tell us to submit to those in authority over us, even if it means to suffer unjustly, starting with the government, then moving to masters, and then husbands. He puts forth Christ as both the pattern and the power for unjust suffering. Christ paid for our sins on the cross so that we might experience the power of the gospel by faith not only to save us but also to sustain us through suffering by the ever present supply of both grace and peace. Last week we saw that wives are to submit to their husbands as the God given authority in the marriage and to focus their energy on the internal qualities that are precious to God with the goal of winning non-believing husbands to Christ. Now he tells husbands to love and honor their wives as co-heirs of salvation so that their prayer is fruitful.
Big Idea – Husbands love and honor their wives as co-heirs of salvation so that their prayers are effective/fruitful.
Husbands Lead by Loving Their Wives
'Likewise husbands live with your wives in an understanding way, literally, “accord to knowledge.”' He tells husbands to take responsibility and leadership in the marriage relationship. Don't let your wives always be the one to say, 'will you talk to me; will you pray with me; will you disciple the kids'. My immediate question is knowledge of what? I think it means that a husbands knowledge of God and his purposes for marriage will lead to husbands living with their wives in a way that meets their greatest need in life, being loved by their husbands as Christ loves the church.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
I want to make two points from this passage. First, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ demonstrated his love three ways - by humbling himself to become a man; by living an obedient life; and then by willingly suffering and dying at the hands of evil men to meet our greatest need. Second, this act of love guaranteed that the church will be presented to Christ in splendor, holy and blameless. Husbands are to love their wives in this same way Christ loves the church. First, this means you love your wife by setting the example for her in humility, obedience, and suffering. Husbands, are you leading your wives in obedience, humility, and suffering? Second, husbands, your serving your wife in this way is the means God uses to sanctify your wife and present her before God in splendor, holy and blameless. What are you doing to encourage her faith? To encourage her to serve others, reach out to the lost, or use her gifts? If I asked her, what would she say?
Some of you who are single are not ready to love a wife because you do not love the church the way Christ loves the church. Some of you husbands are unable to love our wives because you do not love the church the way Christ loves the church. Do you love the church? Are you committed to the best interests of the church? Are you sacrificing yourself for the church? None of us will ever love our wives as Christ loves the church until we love the church the way Christ loves the church.
Husbands Lead by Honoring Their Wives
Then Peter tells us to lead our wives by honoring them as the weaker vessel. The term 'weaker vessel' not derogatory nor does it point to inferiority in any way. His point is that of the two vessels, husband and wife, both weakened and frail by sin, the wife is the weaker and more vulnerable because she does not hold the same authority as the husband. The way husbands honor their wives is by treating them as fellow heirs together of salvation.' Treat them as having equal standing and equal value in Christ. Honoring your wife means you recognize her worth and value in Christ. Honoring your wife means you treat her as heir together with you of the grace of life. Let me give you four ways you honor your wife. First, honor your wife by valuing her as one who is equal to you in Christ and seek her input. Second, honor your wife with emotional and sexual fidelity. Do not look to other women for emotion support or sexual satisfaction. Pornography is dishonoring; sensual material is dishonoring. Third, give her regular public and private praise. Never criticize her in front of the others, including your children. Fourth, honor your wife by serving her. Get off the couch and from in front of the TV and help her. When you dishonor your wife, you dishonor the work of Christ on her behalf because you are not treating her as fellow heir with you of salvation.