Summary: God wants Christian husbands to be gentle initiators and Christian wives to be confident responders. Yes, this often – though not always -- makes for a better marriage; but it is first and foremost God’s revealed will.

Man and Wife or Spouse and Strife?

(I Peter 3:1-7)

1. Marriage bears the brunt of a lot of humor.

2. Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?" ?

"Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life."

The child thought about this for a moment, then said, "So why is the groom wearing black?" (

3. Grandpa Jones was celebrating his 100th birthday and everybody complimented him on how athletic and well-preserved he appeared. "Gentlemen, I will tell you the secret of my success," he cackled. "I have been in the open air day after day for some 75 years now."

The celebrants were impressed and asked how he managed to keep up his rigorous fitness regime. ?"Well, you see my wife and I were married 75 years ago. On our wedding night, we made a solemn pledge. Whenever we had a fight, the one who was proved wrong would go outside and take a walk." (

4. Despite many attacks leveled against marriage, most young people today hope to get married and stay married. But it takes a lot of adjustment to be happily married. We must learn to understand the other gender and to take two wills and blend them into a new combined third will. But sometimes it is like a salad dressing with vinegar and oil. The combined union separates into two wills.

5. All human beings seek two things in life: security and significance. But the genders tend to lean in opposite ways. Generally, women value security above significance, while most men value significance above security.

6. Good relationships must get over the control phase and move into the cooperation phase.

Main Idea: God wants Christian husbands to be gentle initiators and Christian wives to be confident responders. Yes, this often – though not always -- makes for a better marriage; but it is first and foremost God’s revealed will.

I. Women: Develop A Gentle ATTITUDE (1-6)

A. A woman’s sense of power is often connected to her BEAUTY

1. Peter tells us that it is a submissive spirit that impresses a lost husband (1-2)

2. The temptation for some women is to focus primarily on outer beauty (3)

• As women age and their beauty fades, she is no longer the center of attention. If a woman cultivated her inner self, she is, in some ways, more beautiful than ever! If she is shallow within, she may have some beauty left on the inside, but she is ugly within…

• I’ve known women who were beautiful when they were young and used to everyone bowing before them, but when they got older and their beauty faded, they made absolute fools of themselves either trying to act like teenagers or creating trouble just to get attention…

3. Instead, the deeply Christian woman focuses primarily on her inner self (4)

Proverbs 31:30, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."

B. It is FEAR that provokes vanity and STATUS behavior (6b)

1. "A woman can trust her ability to influence and control her husband, or she can trust God and be submissive. A woman can trust her outward adornment, or she can trust God and cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit. It all comes back to trust in God, so she should be like the holy women who trusted in God." David Guzik

2. Status-seeking women come across as incredibly shallow and immature, and they are; but it is fear that keeps them immature; they can control clothing and lawns and houses, and that control soothes their fears.

C. Other women develop an INDEPENDENT attitude to combat fear

1. To cope with fear, some women become rough, hard, and impervious

2. When I was a young man, I used to get angry at such women; as I age, I am beginning to feel more pity for them; many of them have been traumatized and abused, and getting tough was a survival technique; it takes great faith to overcome such a pattern; they are later often friendless and lonely. Their fear isolates them.

D. The example of SARAH, who was anything but WEAK

1. Sarah is given as an example of an alternative approach, the approach of faith

and submission

2. Sarah was no wimp; she freely shared her opinion with Abraham; women who are walked over are not following Sarah’s example…but she generally went along with Abraham and let him make the major decisions…but she chimed in

3. We tend to focus upon her failings, how she encouraged Abraham to father a child through Hagar…but remember, they had been married over 50 years by that time…to me, that’s a lot of faith…

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Ron Sylvester

commented on Nov 18, 2006

good thoughts that seem to naturally arise from the text and de"fang" the usual approach of the genders to their roles in marriage

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