Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 3:7
Text: 1 Peter 3:7
Title: The Christian Husband
Date/Place: LSCC, 10/9/05, AM
A. Opening illustration: Panel of Women debated on what they thought was a perfect man, a guy who was ‘with it’. You would have thought they would have decided upon some actor or athlete even a wealthy tycoon. They decided that the perfect man was MR POTATO HEAD. 4 Reasons: ‘He’s tan, he’s cute, he knows the importance of accessorizing, and if he looks at another girl you can rearrange his face, “the perfect husband” ill file
B. Background to passage: This is the first time in Peter’s address in which he addresses the party that carries the authority. In the Greco-Roman culture, a husband was very powerful in the family. Most husbands had no real friendship with their wives, and treated them in a very authoritarian manner. But Peter instructs Christian husbands to use their authority to support and honor their wives. Peter gives a couple of motivating factors at the end of the verse that are important to bring up now as a foundation for biblical headship in the home. Just as wifely submission is not “a barefoot, pregnant, domestic servanthood where you speak only when spoken to” relationship. Headship is not an authoritarian domination of the male, abusing his power to rule over his home like a miniature king. In fact, male headship in a marriage is about responsibility more than authority. Peter affirms from the start that husbands and wives have equality in value and worth before the Lord as joint heirs to grace of God. However, in Peter’s understanding this does not contradict the differing roles in marriages, nor the differences in the sexes in general. Secondly, Peter tells husbands that their fellowship and favor with God will be stifled, if they fail as husbands.
C. Main thought: Our text will show three ways Christian husbands are supposed to treat their wives.
A. A Christian Husband Must Study His Wife (v. 7)
1. Peter tells them to “dwell with,” including the whole of the marriage relationship, “their wives, according to knowledge.” Peter is commissioning husbands to be a lifetime student of their wives. But not only of wives, but of marriage and God’s purposes and structure for it. Women are very complex, so they require that we study them to learn them. But knowledge in and of itself is not enough. They are to live according to that knowledge. They are to use this personal insight to better equip them as to how to demonstrate their love and care for their wives. According to Eph 5, a husband is to nourish, cherish, protect, satisfy, provide for, care for, and sacrifice himself for his wife. But they don’t come with a built in knowledge of how to do that.
2. James 1:19, Pro 11:29,
3. Illustration: Jim Henry’s wife making an appt with him. The husband who was told by the marriage counselor to try and be more considerate of his wife. One day he comes home from work. He’s dressed up in a suit, he has cologne on, and he has a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy in his hands. He rings the doorbell and he’s standing there as she opens the door he holds out the flowers and the box of candy. The wife opens the door takes one look at he standing there and starts crying. In between her sobs she says, "Oh, I can’t believe it! Little Johnny has been throwing up; … the dishwasher just broke; … your parents are coming to visit this weekend and … to top it all off, you come home drunk! Someone asked Einstein’s wife if she understood the theory of relativity, and she said no, but she understood Dr. Einstein.
4. In order to know God’s plan for marriage, one must study it as well. Make it your lifetime goal to always be learning about marriage, and how to be the best husband that you can be. In order to study them you must make time for them. You must spend quality and quantity time with your wife. You must listen to her. As the head of the home, it is your responsibility to make sure that it happens. Even if you have to make the arrangements to have someone watch the kids, swap days off with another employee to make time. Don’t let this study denigrate into a purely academic exercise. Make it a labor of love. Learn what you wife’s favorite things are, and get them. Learn where her strengths and weaknesses are, and shield her. Learn her wants and desires, as well as needs. Learn what is really important to her. We are supposed to be learners of our wives, so that we can demonstrate our love and order our lives so as best to serve her. Our primary role as a leader, is that of a servant leader, like Christ.