Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 3:1-6

Text: 1 Peter 3:1-6

Title: Politically Incorrect…Again

Date/Place: LSCC, 10/2/05, AM


A. Opening illustration: Tom and Dennis and their business venture—p. 170-172 in Marriage God’s Way

B. Background to passage: Continuing his discourse on God-ordained authorities in our lives, Peter moves on to marriage and begins to discuss authority there. He again uses the word “submission,” which in our day is not politically correct, but nevertheless biblical.

C. Main thought: Our text shows three truths about a wife’s submission to her husband.


A. The Meaning of Submission (v. 1)

1. Again, Peter uses the word hupotasso, meaning to line up or arrange under an authority. Biblical submission is a divine calling to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership, authority, and responsibility, and help carry it through according to her gifts. The amplified version of the bible translates a wife’s duties as to notice, regard, honor, prefer, esteem, praise, and admire her husband. Submission does not mean…1) putting the husband in the place of Christ, 2) giving up independent thinking, 3) giving in to every demand of the husband, 4) that in some way the wife is inferior or unable to make decisions, 5) that the woman is of lesser importance or value than the husband, 6) or that all women have to submit to all men. It is likened unto the submission of the church to Christ. The NT never commands husbands to bring wives into submission. It commands wives to place themselves in this position. But it doesn’t give any exclusions as to the kind of husband to respect. The two words that Peter chooses to describe this submission are chaste and respectful, which mean pure/holy and that one treats another as one who possesses authority, and a strong desire not to displease.

2. Col 1:18, Eph 5:22, 1 Cor 11:3-11,make an apologetic argument for the real meaning of submission.

3. Illustration: someone told me one time that “my husband must earn the right to be submitted to,” Finally, the 3rd man said, “make me 5 times smarter than I already am.” The mermaid said, I’m not sure you know what you’re asking me to do – are you sure you want me to do that? The man insisted, that’s what he wanted. So the mermaid said, your wish is granted – AND SHE TURNED HIM INTO A WOMAN! When Erika and I left Good Hope Baptist Church,

4. The same general principle applies that when a husband asks his wife to sin, she is not obligated to obey or submit. However, this extends not only to external obedience and compliance, but in attitude and desire. Ladies, the reason that you submit to your husbands is that you trust God, not your husband. This is not an optional instruction. Do you honor, revere and respect your husband? Do you do it even when you disagree with his decisions, in both word and attitude? Do you view yourself as part of your husband’s team, seeking to aid him in doing God’s will for your lives? This can only be done by women that are filled with the Holy Spirit, and allowing Him to live through them.

B. The Beauty of Submission (v. 3-4)

1. Some people have used this text to argue that women should not wear jewelry, expensive clothing, make-up, or braid their hair. This was as much of a fad in the first century, especially among the Romans and Greeks, as in America during our day. The verse clarifies for us the true beauty of womanhood: a quiet and gentle spirit. This clarifies for us more of the behavior of submission. “Gentleness” is a word that means “not insistent on one’s on personal rights or benefits” or “not pushy, or selfishly assertive” or “not demanding one’s own way.” It is only used three other times in the NT, twice referring to Christ. It even can carry the connotation of restrained power, because of God’s will, His ordained authority structure, and because of a deep trust in God. The interesting thing about this is that Peter says that even unbelieving husbands will see this and be impressed. God has placed in the hearts of men and women a desire for and appreciation of proper gender roles within marriage. But the main point of these verses is to say that true beauty is that of the spirit; things that Peter calls “incorruptible.” The focus is eternal, not temporal.

2. 1 Tim 2:9-10, 2 Tim 2:25,

3. Illustration: God wants to do an Extreme Makeover on the inside of you ladies, Charles William Eliot (1834-1926), former president of Harvard University, had a birthmark on his face that bothered him greatly. As a young man, he was told that surgeons could do nothing to remove it. Someone described that moment as “the dark hour of his soul.” Eliot’s mother gave him this helpful advice: “My son, it is not possible for you to get rid of that hardship…But it is possible for you, with God’s help, to grow a mind and soul so big that people will forget to look at your face.” The renowned Quaker scholar Rufus Jones was speaking of the importance of having a radiant countenance. After his address, a woman “with an almost unbelievably plain face” came up and asked him what he would do if he had a face like hers. He replied, “While I have troubles of my own of that kind, I’ve discovered that if you light it up from within, any old face you have is good enough.”

4. Ladies, do you know that if you are walking with God, trusting in Him, submitting to your own husband, that he will see the beauty in it? Men really desire that you would be beautiful in submission, not because of power, but because of security and warmth that it adds to the home. Would your husband describe you as beautiful on the inside? Is your submission to your husband constituted with meekness/gentleness, not demanding your own way? Do you spend as much time trying to beautify the inside as the outside? Young ladies, do you want to be attractive to men, spend time before the Lord in prayer instead of in front of the mirror; restrain yourself from sin not from food to lose the spiritual weight; make your focus not on the appearance of your body, but on the condition of your heart.

C. The Benefits of Submission (v. 1-5)

1. Peter gives us three major benefits of this submission. 1) Hopefully the disobedient husband will submit his life to Christ, without a word. The unity in marriage will be greatly increased. And hopefully in the meantime, he will see the beauty of her life. 2) God will be pleased. Peter calls it “precious” in His sight, meaning “of great value and worth.” 3) You will experience freedom and fulfillment because your joy is in God, not in your circumstances or your husband.

2. 1 Cor 7:16, 1 Pet 1:8

3. Illustration: As she passed them, they heard her saying, “Aisle, Altar, Hymn… Aisle, Altar, Hymn… Aisle, Altar, Hymn.”... The preacher with the black dot on the paper--“As you travel down life’s pathway, may this ever be your goal:/ Keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole!” Just as the farmer plants and sows, works diligently during the waiting period, finally his work is rewarded—bamboo tree. Heather and Andrew Macdonald’s testimony of her waiting, and reaping great rewards.

4. Continue in prayer for that husband trusting God to work in his life. Use this as a motivation during times of stress or anger, to quell sinful impulses, remembering that his eternity is a stake. God will bless you in many ways, because of it. Hang in there! Again a paradox, but true Christian freedom is found in submission to Christ and authority. And it continually will point you to Him as a source for joy, not circumstances. This goes for all of us—our ultimate source of joy is God. And when we look to Him for that joy, we will never be disappointed, because He is the greatest and most fulfilling being to seek/find.


A. Closing illustration: Augustine’s mother’s testimony—ill file

B. Invitation to commitment