Summary: A sermon that describes the character of an individual who seeks to adorn the "inner man of the heart."
"The Adornment that Attracts" Pt. 1
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Intro: The first six verses of this chapter are very difficult for the American church to embrace much less accept. As a matter of fact most American Christians chose to ignore these verses altogether but can we? I think not! First off, what would surprise the reader in the first century would be first and foremost that Peter is addressing women at all. Earlier Peter talks about slaves, we find in the Roman world slaves had no rights -- they were considered objects - Women are treated in a similar way. Women, generally have no rights. In fact they were considered the property of their husband, or of their father. A woman was under the father's power, the father had full power over the woman even life and death; when she married, this power passed to her husband. She was completely at his mercy. Cato wrote: 'If you were to catch your wife in an act of infidelity, you can kill her with impunity without a trial.' The attitude of the Romans was this: no woman should make any decision for herself. That is pretty stark stuff isn't it? With that prevailing attitude in mind, it is surprising that Peter even addresses women. But he does -- for they are equals in Christianity as we see in Gal 3:28. But don't think for one minute that Peter has a different attitude about men for in verse 7 he includes the menfolk in his exhortation about adornment. Second, let me make sure that we understand what kind of adornment we are talking about and where it's at. Peter is speaking of spiritual adornment and he tells us where this adornment is at. It is in the "inner man of the heart" What can we find in this passage to learn about adornment that is attractive? I am going to focus on just three things although there are many more here.
I. Adorn yourself with submissiveness-passivity
So Peter does address women.... he will address men next. Understand, a woman in Roman society would take whatever religion her father or husband practiced. She might have her own cult on the side, but the family religion was the husbands or the father's. Then Christianity comes along -- and women, independently, make a decision for Christ, even if no one else in the family has, even if the husband has not. Some of you know what this is like, being the only one in a family who is a believer. So now the woman has experienced this empowering freedom she enjoys nowhere else. She comes to church as an equal among others; she is even given authority; She knows full well her hope is in Jesus Christ; She knows that Jesus Christ values her, and honors her. So the woman places Jesus Christ first in her life, over the husband's religion, over the husband's demands upon her. Before she was completely subject to a man, now she is, free, and completely subject to God. This attitude just blew the minds of the Romans. It was beyond imagination that a woman would defy the culture, her husband and place Jesus Christ first. This was just a screwball notion. So Peter addresses these women as independent moral agents (remember, he is concerned with behavior) -- and he says, 1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husband's 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.