1 Peter 3:1-7: Marital Submission and Respect

Keeping up with the submissive theme found in the last few verses of 1 Peter 2, the next verses focus on marital submission and respect.

1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your 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, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, 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. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” (1 Peter 3:1-6)

The words “in the same way” refer back to the discussion in the previous chapter in which the principle of submission has already been applied to our responsibility to governmental authorities and, the servant’s relationship to his master.

This would suggest that the same principles discussed earlier hold true to wives in their relationship with husbands, to submit not only to the good, but also to the harsh.

The verses above clearly outline that if a wife suffers wrong from her husband when she was doing good, it is commendable before God even if she bears mistreatment as a servant of the Lord.

By comparing wives to Sarah.. Peter puts emphasis on the holy women in the Old Testament who trusted in God. Women who adorned themselves with a gentle and quiet spirit and women that were submissive to their husbands.

Sarah trivia shows that she was so beautiful outwardly that Pharaoh wanted her when she was over 65 years old and that the king of the Philistines wanted her when she was over 90 years old, and long past the age of childbearing. Sarah’s true beauty was demonstrated by her submissive spirit as she called her husband “lord.” To be considered a “daughter of Sarah” by God would be a very special honor, it can be had by any woman who heeds the words of the apostle Peter.

It is not surprising these verses are in tune with verses found in the fifth chapter of Ephesians, a letter written by the apostle Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome.

22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-25)

While the emphasis of each section is on submission, the theme in these verses targets marital submission which, as Christians, we are called to utilize in our lives in modern times just as ancient times when scripture was first written.

Turning to husbands, Paul and Peter both invite men to dwell with wives with understanding and knowledge. Husbands are expected to know, and understand their responsibilities in marriage as the nature of women, as “weaker vessels” refers to physical strength rather than intellectual abilities, moral courage, or even spiritual strength.

Such understanding is to govern how the husband lives with his wife — with love and thoughtfulness as husbands bring honor to their wives.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:25-33)

7 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.” (1 Peter 3:7)

Both Paul and Peter felt the need to emphasize on marital submission and respect. As disciples of Jesus Christ, I invite you to abide by the verses above in your marriage or if you are not involved in matrimony, to rely on the word of God when you come to that junction in your life. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for this day and for your servants Paul and Peter,
We praise you for their wisdom and for their works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of both apostles.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we face temptation
Fill our hearts Lord with your strength, with your wisdom,
Allow us to abide by your word as we submit to one another in love
Becoming examples of faith through obedience.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.