Peter's Husband Teaching
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Jewish Marriage Ceremony 109

Christian Wives

A Jewish Marriage Ceremony1 Peter 3:7-8 closes the household code with the Peter's husband teaching addressed to husbands primarily but also to wives. Peter writes, "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 are not to treat their wives harshly.✞

Mixed Marriages

Wives are to be submissive in this context of love to husbands. Peter writes, "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." Peter considers two possible scenarios of mixed faith and a Christian marriages where one partner is an unbeliever. A Christian wife whose husband is an unbeliever might experience harsh treatment for insubordination because of her strange devotion to Jesus however Peter believes that exemplary behavior might win over the unbelieving mate to Christ.

Gentle and Quiet Spirit

Outer adornment is one specific aspect of respectable conduct. Peter writes 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 provides a pattern for the modern wife. Spiritual inner adornment is commended as a gentle and quiet spirit.✞

Godly Lives

Peter urges above all else that Christians live godly lives in a pagan society. He writes 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 are fellow heirs of eternal life and failure to treat each other with respect will affect their own relationships with God. Love and respect between husbands and wives are two marks of belonging to a New Testament household.✞

"Peter's Husband Teaching"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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