Peter Husband Teaching
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Peter Husband Teaching
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Jewish Marriage Ceremony

A Jewish Marriage Ceremony1 Peter 3.7-8 closed the household code with the Peter husband teaching addressed to husbands primarily but also to wives. Saint Peter wrote, "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. Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble." Christian husbands were not to treat their wives harshly.✞

Mixed Marriages

Wives were also to be submissive in this context of love to husbands. Saint Peter wrote, "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own 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." Saint Peter considered two possible scenarios of mixed faith and a Christian marriage where one partner was an unbeliever. A Christian wife whose husband was an unbeliever might experience harsh treatment for insubordination because of her strange devotion to Jesus. Peter however believes that exemplary behavior might win over the unbelieving mate to Christ.

Gentle Quiet Spirit

Outer adornment is one specific aspect of respectable conduct. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3.3-6, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." Sarah's demeanor provided a pattern for the modern wife. Spiritual inner adornment was commended as a gentle and quiet spirit.✞

Godly Lives

Saint Peter urged above all else that Christians lived godly lives in a pagan society. He wrote in 1 Peter 2.11-12, "Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." Husbands and wives were fellow heirs of eternal life and failure to treat each other with respect would affect their own relationships with God. Love and respect between husbands and wives were two marks of belonging to a New Testament household.✞

"Peter Husband Teaching"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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