Living at Home
1 Peter 3:1-12
God has instituted a precious relationship between a husband and his wife that is under attack in our culture. Attempts to redefine marriage and the practice of cohabitation before marriage are examples of this attack. This attack can be overcome by turning to the Word of God for truth. The marriage relationship is the focus of 1 Peter 3:1-9.
Peter continues his theme of submission to authority that he started in 1 Peter 2:12. He has stated that believers should be submissive to governmental leaders and employers using Christ as our supreme example. Now he focuses his attention on those closest to us, our mates. Married couples have a choice to make: Live life conforming to the trends and patterns of this world or honor God and follow His pattern for marriage.
Peter starts by addressing wives and encourages them to be submissive to their husbands. In our society, this idea is becoming more and more foreign to our way of thinking. A wife demonstrates her faith in God by submitting to their husbands. She also is a mighty instrument of ministry to her family when she lives a life of “purity and reverence.” Peter indicates that the husband who is lost can be won to Christ by the godly life of his wife. There is great power in living a righteous, Christ-centered life.
In this passage of scripture, Peter also identifies the source of a woman’s beauty. He contrasts a woman who seeks beauty in outward adornments, braided hair, gold jewelry, and fine clothes with a woman who seeks “inner” beauty that comes from a gentle and quiet spirit. A woman of “inner” beauty is of great worth to God. Peter does not condemn paying attention to dress and fashion, but does communicate that is not ultimately the source of true beauty that God honors.
In verse 8, Peter challenges husbands to be considerate to their wives, respect them, and provide protection for them as the weaker partner. This again is counter cultural and foreign to our current way of thinking. God has instituted an order to the marriage relationship. Men are to be the spiritual head of the household and provide for and protect their wives. Husbands and wives are equally important to God with different roles within the family. Peter indicates that both husbands and wives are heirs of the gracious gift of life that Jesus offers.
A man’s relationship with God is influenced by the quality of his relationship with his wife. Peter says, ” . . . . so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7) This passage shows that a man’s prayers are hindered if his relationship with wife is unhealthy, which shows the importance of our marriage relationship. Read Ephesians 5:22-33 for more scripture on the theme of submission in the marital relationship.
Finally in 1 Peter 3:8-9, Peter addresses all believers to:
- live in harmony with one another,
- be sympathetic,
- love as brothers
- be compassionate and humble,
- not repay evil with evil, and
- not return insult with insult, but with blessing
This type of life leads to blessings.
Peter finishes this thought by quoting Psalm 34: 12-16 that focuses on the way we can “love life and see good days.”