Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word,
they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
1 Peter 3:1-2
Welcome to week 3 of our study! We have come to a very fun passage of scripture today, one that excites much debate in various Christian circles. “Wives, be subject (or submit) to your own husbands.” Peter mentions this twice our passage so we need to pay attention.
Before we dig into these verses we have to remember the context of this book. Peter wrote this to fellow believers who are suffering, who are feeling alienated, and are being persecuted because of their faith.
In this passage Peter is addressing wives who are married to unbelieving and ungodly men. Though, what he says here applies to all marriages.
So what words of wisdom does Peter have for these these women and for us?
Before we get to that, let’s remember what the goal of marriage is. We read marriage books and attend seminars in order to figure out what marriage is supposed to be all about and how to be successful in it. But what is the point of it all?
It’s actually Paul who gives us the answer to this in Col 1:28:
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Our goal in marriage is to see our spouse become mature in Christ. We should want to see the image of Jesus shine more and more brightly in their lives and for them to bear fruit in faith.
And Peter gives us some practical tips on how to do this.
1. Submit To Your Husbands
Submission means to willingly follow the lead of another person or to willingly deny ourselves for the good of another.
Now this is not a command only for wives. The whole of the Christian life is about submission. We are to submit first to God, and then we are told in Eph. 5:21 that we are to submit to one another, and in Phil 2:3 we are told to consider others as more important than ourselves. So this concept of submission is not something that God only intended for wives to do. It is for all Christian to follow.
Now this does not mean that we follow our husbands into sin or foolishness. Submission does not equal being silent or inferior. Remember: in Christ we are equals. We are of equal value and worth.
Peter knows that marriage is not easy. He was himself a married man. And now he is seeing these women who are married to non believers, and some of these marriages are very difficult. Peter is saying to these ladies, “What I want you to do right now is to submit to your husband’s leadership wherever you can, to respect him, and to live in such a way that the beauty of Christ shines through your life. Maybe they will find faith in Jesus through your witness.”
While everyone needs to have the gospel preached to them, these husbands also need to see the gospel at work in you. They needs to see what a changed heart looks like. This goes for those who have believing husbands as well. We encourage our husbands by living a godly life.
2. Pursue Spiritual Beauty
What makes a person beautiful? Is it the external? Sure, but this kind of beauty is subjective. What I find beautiful, you may not. Outward beauty really should be of small concern to us, and yet we spend a lot of time worrying about our hair, nails, eyebrows, weight, and diet. Often times it is not because we want to be healthy, but because we want to look a certain way.
But as my husband so eloquently once said, the older we get things “fade, wrinkle, and drop”. Lovely! 🙂
Peter says, pursue spiritual beauty! This has the ability to make you beautiful even when you are 90 years old. And this is also a way for your husband to see Christ’s work in you. The fruit of your faith can be used by God to draw your husband to himself. Things like a gentle and quiet spirit.
Some of you may think well I have a loud personality. That is fine. A gentle and quiet spirit is not silence. It is avoiding needless arguments. It is a humble heart that does not complain but complements the circumstance.
So Peter’s advice to those who are struggling in their marriages, especially those who are married to a non-believer, is to follow their husbands leadership wherever they can and to pursue spiritual beauty.
This is not a guarantee for a perfect marriage. But it is what God may use to change your husband’s heart; and most importantly, it is honoring to God.
Our challenge for this week is to:
1. Pray for humility as you seek to willingly submit to your husband.
2. Look for an opportunity to share what God is teaching you with your spouse.
3. Commit to regularly praying for your husband. Either for his salvation or for his continued growth in holiness.
Look up passages that show Jesus acting with a gentle and quiet spirit. Ask yourself these questions, “What keeps me from having a gentle and quiet spirit?” and “What can I do to grow in this beautiful character trait (i.e. in the workplace, among friends, with family, and in difficult circumstances)?”
Looking to Jesus,
WEEK 3 READING PLAN
WEEK 3 MEMORY VERSE:
WEEK 3 CHALLENGE:
Jen, you have no idea how much today’s reading was meant for ME!!! Just this weekend my husband went to Easter service with me and my two children for the first time in 5 years. I had been praying this would be the day….the day the Holy Spirit would move in him so much that he could not deny it was God. Well the weekend did not go like I wanted. You see I said “LIKE I WANTED”!!! I have wanted nothing more than for my husband to find salvation, to have a heart for God….to have a changed heart!!! My husband is not a Christian and deep down I think I knew that when we got married 9 years ago. I was younger, not as firm in my faith and chose to believe something different…..that he would change!! Yes I just said that!! Well for the past 5 years I have been living the consequences of marrying a non-believer. He supports me and the kids going to church and morally he is a great man, but it boils down to the fact b/c he is a non-believer his heart is just not in the right place. After this weekend I have had just horrible thoughts in my mind. You know, those thoughts like “I just don’t know how much longer I can do this?” or “This is just not the life I want for me and my kids.” Well I am so thankful for my faith AND for today’s reading!!! Today was meant to give me hope, to keep me dedicated to my marriage NO MATTER WHAT!!!! Instead of giving him the silent treatment and living in fear that he may never change, I need to pour life, light and God’s love into him….NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!
Thank you for being so forthcoming and transparent! I’m so glad that you were encouraged and comforted by the Holy Spirit through Jen’s wonderful message. Don’t lose hope! God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ever ask or think. That includes changing your husband’s heart. Continue to trust God with your husband because God truly loves him more than you do and He is more eager to see your husband come to Him than you are. I know that’s probably hard to imagine. I’m so glad that you are dedicated to pour out life and light into your husband. You may be all the light he sees. Be patient knowing that God is long-suffering and that He is not willing that any should perish. No one is beyond God’s reach or His grasp. You may be the very catalyst to bring your husband to Christ. Be at peace for God is working on your husband. Continue to thank God for every small victory. I’m so excited for you and your family that you were all able to attend church together. What a wonderful testimony you two will have in due time. I will be praying for your endurance and an outpouring of God’s grace and love to flow from you in the meantime! <3
Thank you so much for your uplifting words Terria and for your prayers!!! It means so much! Thank you also for the reminder that God loves my husband more than I ever could and that “no one is beyond God’s reach.”
Nicole, God is faithful and he can do anything if you leave it up to him. Put God in control and he will do nothing but good for you and your marriage. The most we can do is be obedient and let his light shine through us!!!!
Thank you so much Ashley!!!
Wow, Jen! That’s all I can say is wow! God really gave you such wonderful and concise insight into this passage, and you explained it beautifully! After reading and meditating on this passage, I started to feel all of the old fears and anxieties creeping up, of not living up to what God says, as a woman of God and as a wife. The way you explained it, though, reminded me of the fact that it’s a process. We are to take passages such as this, and examine our hearts and ask God to grow us in this area. I thank you for this video and I thank God for speaking through you! God bless!
Yes, Mistie! Thank you for that sweet reminder that we are never quite going to “arrive.” We need to just keep pursuing… 🙂
I am so glad I found this. I really needed this today. My husband wasn’t feeling good yesterday and rather than being the compassionate person I usually am, I was more annoyed at his constant complaints. He asked for suggestions but each one I tried he shot down. I know he gets good and grumpy when he’s not feeling well. And now I feel terrible for acting that way. I am trying to be a good wife. We have stopped going to church (I don’t know why). He still encourages me to pray and he even got me a devotional to read. I think he’s just frustrated because of the way our circumstances are. However, I would never even dream of willingly disobeying my husbands’ wishes unless it was something..not a good thing. My friends are like “Submission?! Yeah, well if you like that sort of thing” or “I would NEVER let a man tell me what to do”. Regardless of how I explain they don’t get it. But that’s ok. We do what works for us.
Sorry this seems all over the place. But thank you for this post. I’m going to print it out so I can keep it and maybe share it with my husband.
Linda, Bless you for your honesty! Praying that God blesses you with calmness and quietness in your responses.
Blessings, Amy A (LGG Encourager)
I believe God led me to this post today. I found so much validation, answers, and direction from your words. This was such a blessing to me. Thank you and love you!!!!
Ashley, Thank you for leaving a comment with such encouragement!
Continued Blessings, Amy A (LGG Encourager)
I love this study. I can honestly say prayer works. My husband serves God more now than ever in our 22 year of marriage. It has taken alot of prayer to get him there. And my persistence that certain behaviors were not going to be tolerated in our family. I try to lead by example. I get better with time. as does he. Neither one of us are where God wants us to be, but thank God we are not what we used to be. It’s a one day at a time, and daily prayers. We are a work in progress. Thank you for this study.
Thank you for your testimony of God’s faithfulness in your marriage. 22 years, huh? Wow! Blessings to you and your husband! <3
Need prayer. Had my first panic attack today. Seems my symptoms are getting worse. Flashbacks nightmares feelings of unease, dread, guardedness. And now my first panic attack. To explain it in short, I was at a church member’s house for a fish fry. Saw the name of his address on his mailbox. Cartwright. Which brought to my memory Carters Ferry Rd the street where I used to live.
And then pow! Flashback. The worst one I’ve ever experienced: a feeling of unreality like part of me was still at that house of abuse. Pounding heart. Shortness of breath trembling. Like for example I noticed my hand shaking when I drank my cup of tea.
Surprised no one noticed. And thank God for that. Got a reputation to uphold here: the strong, happy girl. The panic attack didn’t last long. Only a few minutes. Pray for me. That this doesn’t happen again. I refuse to see a doctor and go on meds.
Father God, You are our Deliverer, our Healer, our Refuge. I lift up Angela and her situation right now. Lord, cleanse and heal her of any sadness and despair that she is experiencing. Pour out Your love onto her memories of rejection and abuse. Replace those thoughts immediately as they occur with thoughts of Your peace, Your faithfulness, and Your comfort. Lord, remind Angela every morning as she awakens and every night before she goes to bed that she no longer has to fear anything or anyone…because Your perfect love rests on her. Flood Angela’s mind with Your Word and Your Truth…that she is never alone; that You will never leave her nor forsake her; that You fight all of her battles; that You are greater than any fear or anxiety that she will ever have; that she is safe. Thank You, Lord, for delivering Angela from her horrible past circumstances and thank you in advance for Your faithfulness to deliver her from the residual memories of that horror. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Great prayer Terria. A prayer that we can insert our very own name into. A prayer to remind us of His power, His presence, and His divine healing, and plans for us (in our lives). Bless you.
AMEN! Girl this is exactly what I get out of this verse, yet I was told I was wrong. Glad to know I heard the voice of God whisper to me.
Cody Doll, So glad that you are part of this study and learning along with us. Thank you for stopping by.
Blessings, Amy A (LGG Encourager)
This lesson reminded me of my duties as not only a Christian but as a believing wife and mother as well. My husband and I work different shifts so he usually is home around 10 at night after I have been working during the day and then managing our kids in the afternoon. So unfortunately we tend to only get “us” time on the weekends ( non kid weekends every other) and in turn after working 5-6 days a week we sleep in on Sundays and miss church. ( I tend to let him sleep and ignore our alarms.) It just reminded me that how can I expect him to lead our family in a Christ like manner if he is not getting the training and growing opportunities and neither am I. This reminded me that I am equal and can take the responsibility so that my husband and kids can learn from my actions on how to cultivate that spiritual beauty and gentle spirit and not to hinder my family bc we need “us” R&R time.
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