Summary: A godly wives beauty is seen in her inner character.
Living As A Godly Wife
Text: 1 Peter 3:1-6
1. Illustration: All of the charms and beauty a woman may have amounts to nothing if her ambitions are self-centered. But if she reflects her creator and assumes the posture of a graceful servant, she cannot not help but command high respect and favor (Jeanne Hendricks).
2. So far in our study of 1 Peter we have examined how Peter instructs us to live right side up in an upside down world. Now, however, Peter is going to get more specific; gender specific.
3. The next two sections will discuss how women and men are to live right side up.
4. Today Peter shows us the...
a. Example of Submission
b. Example of Inner Beauty
c. Examples of the Past
Proposition: A godly wives beauty is seen in her inner character.
Transition: First we see the...
I. Example Of Submission (1-2).
A. In The Same Way
1. Often times in Scripture the simplest and shortest phrases carry the biggest impact.
2. This is certainly true in the opening conjunction of 1 Peter 3. Peter begins this chapter with, "In the same way..."
a. The phrase in the same way (or “likewise,” homoios) most likely referred to 2:13, “Accept all authority.”
b. While wives are to serve their husbands “in the same way” as slaves serve their masters, Peter was not saying that wives were slaves.
c. Instead, the wives’ service should have positive motives (“for the Lord’s sake,” 2:13) and should be consistent no matter what the attitude of the one in authority.
d. As with the other units in this section, the exhortation to submit in 3:1a is part of a larger pattern: living a holy life before unbelievers with the hope that such conduct will have a positive impact on them.
e. In Jewish perspective, while women were respected and protected in the laws, they were treated as inferior in most every way to men.
f. While it would be wrong to think that everything was bad for women in the Jewish world, it would not be wrong to think that their world was highly restrictive, patriarchal, and clearly debilitating to the development of their gifts.
g. What all of this means for our text is simple: Peter is urging the women of the Asia Minor churches to live a life that is respectable in society so that they will be able to maintain a good reputation for the gospel.
3. Peter then continues this idea by saying, "you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words."
a. Peter's injunction to Christian wives is that they conduct their lives so as to win their husbands to the Christian faith "without words" (McKnight, The NIV Application Commentary – 1 Peter, 181-183).
b. Christian wives were to accept the authority of their husbands in obedience to Christ to keep harmony in the family and to encourage unbelieving husbands to believe.
c. However, when both wife and husband were Christians, the woman should respect the God-given authority of her husband, while the husband exercised his authority in a loving and gentle manner.
d. For marriage and family relationships to run smoothly, there must be one appointed leader—and God has appointed the husband and father.
e. The wife should willingly follow her husband’s leadership in Christ, acknowledging that this is his responsibility.
f. Submission does not mean blind obedience, nor does it mean inferiority.
g. A wife who accepts her husband’s authority is accepting the relationship that God has designed and giving her husband leadership and responsibility (Barton, Life Application New Testament Commentary, 1114).
4. Then Peter says, "They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives."
a. Peter's point here is that the wife's godly behavior is the most valuable testimony to open the husband's heart to the gospel.
b. He will need to hear the words of salvation, perhaps from her.
c. But it will be as he is able to observe her submission as a faithful wife that she truly commends the gospel to him.
d. How a believer lives in that most intimate relationship helps make the grace of Christ believable (MacArthur, MacArthur New Testament Commentary – 1 Peter, 178).
B. Spirit of Willingness
1. "Love is giving up control. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two—love and controlling power over the other person—are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all the desires within us to manipulate the relationship."
― Rob Bell, Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality
2. Submission is all about love; loving God and loving your husband God has given you.