Summary: The key word today is “submission.” There, I said it. I started my sermon out by using a dirty word. Some of you might think it is a dirty word anyway. Let’s read the passage from Scripture that also uses the dirty word of the day.


1 PETER 3:1-7

INTRODUCTION… illustration contributed by Rob Morton

There were three guys talking in the pub. Two of them are talking about the amount of control they have over their wives, while the third remained quiet. After a while one of the first two turns to the third and says, "Well, what about you, what sort of control do you have over your wife?"

The third fellow says "I’ll tell you. Just the other night my wife came to me on her hands and knees."

The first two guys were amazed. "What happened then?" they asked.

"She said, ’get out from under the bed and fight like a man’."

Hopefully you find that funny. The subject that we are talking about this morning is one that often gets people angry and is one that is touchy for many people. The key word today is “submission.” There, I said it. I started my sermon out by using a dirty word. Some of you might think it is a dirty word anyway. Let’s read the passage from Scripture that also uses the dirty word of the day. We need to understand before we read this difficult passage that we as believers in Jesus Christ believe that the Word of God describes how life works best.

READ 1 Peter 3:1-7

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”


The word “submit” in the Bible means “to arrange under”, “to subordinate”, “to submit to one’s control”, “to obey.” Submission is not just an eternal principle or Godly quality only talked about in 1 Peter. Romans 13, Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, 1 Timothy 2, and Hebrews 13 are all various chapters that speak about submission in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. We should realize that for two chapters now the Apostle Peter has been telling us that we are “aliens and strangers” in this world (1 Peter 1:1, 1:17, 2:11) and so to those who do not have the Spirit of God living inside of them, such talk makes no sense and it seems odd. Submission challenges a culture that gives men or people in authority ultimate power. That's countercultural even today. Nobody wants to yield the right of way. Submission isn't the answer we like. It's not the answer we wanted, but it is the Godly answer to the constant frustration and anger we have in our relationships. There is no other way. Submission cuts against the grain. Your family or your friends may not understand your desire or practice of submission, but you and your spouse don't follow the culture, you follow Christ. The Quest Study Bible has a note which says, “A submissive spirit runs counter to society's values and it always has. However, it remains God's standard for all believers—male and female—for all time.”

As we are defining submission, you should know that Biblical submission takes place in the church and in the home. Women being submissive to men, as we will get into in a few minutes, are commands about our homes and our church family… it has nothing to do with business, politics, or supervision at work. The other thing we should know is that submission is not a personality trait. Strong people with type A go-getter personalities can be submissive. Biblical submission as it is described in the Bible is a Godly choice.

I was reading through verses on submission and I discovered that even Jesus Christ exemplified the idea of submission. Hebrews 5:7-9 says, “During the days of Jesus' life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered 9 and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” Jesus Christ our Savior had as part of His personality and way of life reverent submission to God. Drawing on all of the Biblical passages about submission, let’s define this word properly.

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