Summary: This sermon teaches us that our love for our spouse should always reflect Christ's love for us. In 1 Peter 3:1-7, we are shown the qualities that should characterize a Christian wife and a Christian husband.
When it comes to being married, who do you, as a husband or as a wife, take your cues from?
For those of us who are married or ever plan on getting married, whether we realize it or not, we are constantly being blasted by so many different examples of marriage relationships. When you reach for your phone in the morning and bring up Facebook, you see that your newsfeed has pictures of your married friends going out the night before, articles like “Ten Things to Stop Saying to Your Wife,” and video links to America’s hot-button marriage issues. Then at work you interact with your co-workers and notice how they talk about their spouses. You get home, wind down and watch some evening sitcoms and observe how these TV spouses interact with each other. Let’s take a look at some of the more well-known TV couples:
(I created a montage of TV clips from several sitcoms and played it here.)
Now I’ll admit: I find some of these shows hilarious and entertaining. But I noticed that when I begin to peel away the entertainment layer, some of these shows start to bother me. Like when I see Debra Barone constantly yelling at her husband or the bossy, loudmouth Roseanne cutting down her husband.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. Maybe it bothers you too. Like when you see the classic momma’s boy Ray Barone, who is way too passive in leading his family or as you watch the impetuous Al Bundy interact with his fashion-obsessed wife, Peggy. Or the irritable, loud, bad-mouthed Archie Bunker taking shots at his wife. Or the fiery and condescending Claire Dunphy who attempts to lead her family because her husband Phil is too immature and coward to do it himself.
To be fair, not all of the TV shows encourage these things. There are some decent TV couples, like the caring Clair Huxtabel and her encouraging husband Cliff. Or the fun-loving George Jefferson and his cool/collected wife Louise.
The point is, for any of us in here who are married or have intentions of ever getting married, we are bombarded with so many different examples of marriage relationships, many of which are dysfunctional, unhealthy, and far from ideal.
Fortunately, though, we don’t stand upon Hollywood or social media or pop culture to learn what it means to be a husband or a wife. As a believer, you stand upon the Word of God. And today we’ll be looking at 1 Peter 3:1-7, where the Apostle Peter shows us the qualities that should characterize a Christian wife and a Christian husband; it’s in 1 Peter 3:1-7 where you’ll learn that your love for your spouse should always reflect Christ’s love for you!
We’re in the series “Hanging Tough in Trying Times,” where we are journeying through the Apostle Peter’s first letter. It was this hardened blue-collar fisherman who was transformed by God’s grace and wrote this letter to other persecuted Christians who were scattered in various parts of the Roman Empire. In this letter, Peter reminded these Christians to live every moment of every day with hope in God, because it’s only hope in God that could see them through their times of suffering and persecution.
Peter’s been teaching us about submission in the life of a believer. Last week we saw Peter apply the theme of submission to our lives as citizens and employees. Today we’re going to see how Peter continues this theme of submission by applying it to marriage partners. And keep in mind: Just as the world will think we’re peculiar as we follow Jesus is all areas of life: even as citizens and employees; many will also think we’re peculiar when we follow Jesus in our marriages.
In the first seven verses of 1 Peter chapter 3, Peter lays out for us the qualities of a loving wife and a loving husband. He starts by addressing the wives in verse 1: "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives…"
I. So the first way a Christ-like wife reflects love is by her submission.
Remember that this passage on submission in marriage is part of the larger context of Peter’s teaching submission in ALL areas of Christian life.
So before anyone gets tempted to trash this verse, let’s explore a bit about what Peter means when he is telling wives to “be subject” (or submissive) to their own husbands. In our world, there is a whole lot of baggage that comes with a term like “submission.” If you’re one of those people who cringe when you hear the word “submission,” you might find this verse a bit difficult. But realize that your difficulty is NOT with the Scripture; it’s a difficulty with those who have abused this passage to make it say something it was never intended to say.