Summary: Chapter 3 of First Peter shows how to seek peace, in the home, in the church, and in the world.
Seek Peace (1 Peter 3)
In chapter 2 of First Peter Jesus is given as an example of obedience and submission to God’s will. Then, 1 Peter chapter 3 begins with the phrase, “…in the same way …” The instructions in chapter 3 about husbands and wives will never be understood properly apart from an understanding of chapter 2. Husbands and wives are instructed to follow the example of Jesus Christ in our Homes. Then we are ALL instructed to follow Jesus’ example of submission and obedience in the church and in the world at large.
Right in the middle of this chapter we see WHY we need to follow Jesus’ example. Verse 11 contains the key phrase: "… seek peace and pursue it." That’s what the advice in I Peter chapter 3 is about – PEACE – in our relationships … at home, in the church, and in the world.
So, with that context in mind – let’s look at how we can seek peace in our homes.
1. Seek Peace in the Home (vs. 1-7)
Why do people say “home, sweet home?” It’s because we all want home to be an inviting, peaceful place. Marriage is meant to provide a haven … a place of peace and safety … where everyone pulls together in love and unity.
But it’s not always that way, is it? I went to a Marriage Seminar one year, and repeatedly they would tell us,”Turn to your spouse and say this to each other: 'I am not your enemy.'” How is it that a husband and wife … who got married because they were crazy in love with each other and couldn’t live without each other … how can they end up feeling like enemies?
Let’s face it, we’re either going to have Wedlock or Deadlock. Much of the way we treat our spouse is based on the way we saw our parents treat each other. In fact, most of what we learn comes from imitation. It’s all about who we are imitating. Who are our role-models?
Peter lifts up Jesus Christ as our role-model. The best person a Christian husband can possibly pattern himself after is Jesus --- who is a perfect blending of strength and tenderness. Peter also pointed out Sarah (Abraham’s wife) as an example for wives. Sarah wasn’t perfect, but she was listed as a hero of the faith in Hebrews chapter 11.
Here’s what Peter wrote: 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, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 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. 1 Peter 3:1-4
Peter presents submission and a quiet and gentle spirit as an opportunity for any wife to win her husband … not just to win his love for her, but to win him over to increased faith in Jesus. For a Christian wife, a gentle and quiet spirit is worn like an ornament. How rare those qualities are in a home.
Think about what life is really like in most families. Think about the needs and noise of children … the late nights and the early mornings … … the financial pressures, the busy schedules, the irritation and exhaustion …. and just the daily-ness of daily life! A wife who maintains a gentle and quiet spirit will bring peace to the home. She’ll be beautiful to her husband and of great worth in God’s sight.
If the key word here for the wife is submission, the key word for the husband is consideration. 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. (vs. 7)
It’s amazing how considerate a boy can be on a date and how inconsiderate a man can be in his marriage. Men, if you want to seek peace, never forget that your wife’s happiness is made out of many little moments. The small courtesies of life … little compliments, helping out with a chore, appreciating what she does, using a kind tone of voice when you address her … these things go a long way toward peace and joy in a marriage. On the other hand, big resentments often grow out of small hurts. Consideration means the husband respects his wife’s feelings, thinking, and desires.