Summary: Women are called to lives of faith, just like Jesus was. Their calling includes this difficult command to submit to their husbands, even ones who are not believers. What is required is the same thing required of Jesus; an obedient faith.
May 11, 2003
"Women of Faith" 1 Peter 3:1-7
Pastor Jon MacKinney
Christianity, our faith, is most challenging when we read passages of Scripture like the one we read last week. From the chapter before the one Chris just read in 1 Peter 2:21 where it says, "To this you were called. Because Christ suffered for you leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps." And we saw last week that what we were called to was this life manifested and exemplified by Christ of obedient faith. We see other passages that are equally tough, like Philippians 2 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who being the very form of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But made himself nothing, taking on the form of a servant." Or also in the book of Philippians, verse 10 of chapter 3, "I want to know Christ, the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings." Now I say those things and you’re going to say, "Well, certainly Pastor Jon is not going to ruin Mothers Day by preaching from such a passage." Well, you’ve already gotten a hint from the passage that Chris read from 1 Peter 3, that in fact I am going to ruin Mothers Day. But I think we’ll find out that…. Well, first of all, let me just say that I didn’t plan it this way. I planned to preach through 1 Peter and I laid out the passages and lo and behold on Tuesday this week I said, "Wow, this is Mothers Day and look what I’m preaching." "Wives be submissive to your husbands." Thank you all for staying, by the way, after Chris read the passage and you’re still here.
I would like to suggest, though, that few passages in Scripture elevate Christian motherhood and womanhood better and higher than this passage right here – in the context in which it is found. Because remember what the context is saying. We make the mistake so often of taking a passage of Scripture like this and pulling it out and talking about it as if it was written in its own book – the book of 1 Peter 3:1-6. But the fact of the matter is that this passage is written in a letter, in a context that is calling all people, all believers, to this same kind of life. And that is the life of faithful obedience to God, for believing in God and following the example of Jesus which led Him to the cross. And in that context, then, as Peter has talked about the situation of citizen to country, has talked about the relationship of slave to master, has talked about the relationship of Jesus to His Father; now talked about the relationship of wives to their husbands.
As we look at this passage, let’s look at it in that context. Asking, "What characteristic is God looking for in believing women? What are the hidden treasures that God seeks in us?" It shouldn’t be a surprise. It shouldn’t be a surprise to us in this context that God is looking for the expression, the manifestation, of faith in the lives of women who are His beautiful daughters.